Wednesday 27 June 2018

Maintenance Update (plug, carrot, spark, ash)

Wednesday 20th
The day began with Bruce changing over the top clack valves (that feed water into the boiler). Not happy about the newly fitted ones leaking already, Bruce refurbished the old ones and fitted them back today. (Whenever there’s a chance to clamber over the top of the loco …)

He reckons that the surfaces in the removed ones are not flat - slightly bevelled - which could account  or their inability to stop the backflow.

Remember the broken ash-pan sprinkler pipe? Well, here’s Gilbert sawing through that part that is accessible, with a view to then putting a plug in it.

The sawing was the easy part. Removing the pipe remnant from the elbow joint took most of the day … plus two helpers!

Remember the pep pipe fountain?

Bruce took the pep pipe valve apart today. The bottom half-inch of the “carrot” was shiny, indicating that it was the only part of the valve that was in contact. So, Bruce lapped it in again and fitted a new seal in the top. Hopefully that will fix it.

John G noticed the five rail chairs that had previously been needle-gunned, and knew exactly what to do with them.

John set-to with the angle grinder, removing rough edges and smoothing off the surface. Then out came the wire brush to polish them up. Honestly, you can almost see your face in them by the time he’s finished!

I volunteered to remove the blow-down valve pipe. The plan is to fit a standard fire-hose connector to the end of it, so that the boiler can be filled through it (when cold, of course!) quickly and easily. You are not allowed to remove a mud-hole door, for example, to put water into the boiler. That would be breaching the integrity of the boiler seal, and would necessitate a boiler steam test all over again.

This “five minute job” took from 10.30 am to 3.30 pm.

The problem being that although there is only a single two-bolt joint, it is beneath the cab floor. The near bolt is a doddle to remove. The far one, on the other hand … is beneath yet another pipe’s flange, below the floor panel through which the three damper door operating levers pass!

I finally gained access to the nut; persuaded it that it really did want to come off, and eventually extracted the pipe.

Bruce can now cut its end off and fit the appropriate hose connector … and then I’ll fit the pipe back on again. 😊

Wednesday 27th
2807 had been rostered in service this week, but the increased fire risk put paid to that because she has a reputation for setting things alight! I advised the GWSR that there are spark arresters for the smokebox and for all three dampers, so today’s task was to fit them.

JC kindly shunted us over a pit inside the shed, whereupon it became obvious that the firebox and ashpan had not been emptied since the steam test on the 16th. We are not allowed to empty ash into the shed’s internal pits, so we decided to fit the spark arresters - Bruce tackled those underneath, while I tackled the one in the smokebox.

The “traditional” spark arrester in the smokebox is two-part that clamps around the blast pipe. The original stainless nuts & bolts that we bought for it seem to have gone awol, and have been replaced with ordinary nuts & bolts. Shame! Nevertheless, it took less than an hour to fit this.

The ones that we (i.e. David) designed for the dampers are very easy to fit - they slot into place and each has two R-clips to secure it.

2807 has three damper doors because the ashpan is in two sections, one either side of an axle. The front section has two dampers and the rear just one. There is no space for a damper right at the very back to be able to open.

As I mentioned, Bruce discovered that the ashpan was absolutely full …

So, after lunch we were shunted out over an external pit in order to clean it all out.

I cleaned the grate …

… and Bruce cleaned out the ashpan.

Thanks also go to Eddie and Alex for helping clean out the pit after we’d filled it with soggy ash. 😊

2807 is now rostered to be in service on the next two Saturdays & Sundays.


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