Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Of oils and cowls

7th April 2013

So on Bank Holiday Monday we sorted out a few things and as I was suffering from a bit of fatigue it was not until after lunch that we headed in to Rowsley with the intention of progressing Tom and 14 901. Andrew had decided to nip up the bolts on the Voith oil cooler which had been leaking for some time so we would need to see if it was better.

With Cheedale cleared from in front I started up the '14 and after getting sufficient air pressure to make the Hunslet final drive do its stuff, moved up and down a bit. Far from being better, the leak seemed rather as though it was worse, and as the indicated oil pressure was still low, we decided to shut it down until we could carry out an oil change. But first we wanted to test the vac brake system on Cheedale, using 14 901 to provide the suck. Everything worked fine, meaning that Cheedale could, in an emergency, operate a vac fitted train provided another loco was able to exhaust the train pipe.

Back on Tom, we had come to a decision that, for the moment, we will let the loco run as it is and the breathing will either get worse (top end wear) or better (rings were stuck) but that we need to get the fan assembly out and the bearings changed. The thing is though, that radiator manufacturers supply a radiator with a fan cowl, and the locomotive manufacturers fit said radiator, and neither considers how to take the resulting concoction apart. The front end of a Sentinel 0-6-0 always was a shoe-horn job anyway, but fingers crossed I detached the entire fan assembly from the radiator and with a bit of help from Andrew attempted to wangle it out. In hindsight we had no chance, it was heavy enough to need two, but hoses, coolant pipes and sundry important bits kept obstructing us. In desperation we detached the fan cowl from the rest of the assembly, but even this would not come out on its own. We retired (emphasis on the tired) for another day.

Oil filters for the DV8 are hard to get hold of, so much so that a firm I know that are involved with them on generators and such have them specially made, so I ordered up some from them with the promise of a hand-delivery later in the week. Oil too was a pre-requisite, and this was ordered from my regular specialist oil supplier, which is, since we moved to Derbyshire, some 60 miles away. Added to that, the DV8 requires a mere 31 gallons of the stuff, so on Friday the van was emptied and I headed up to collect a 205 litre drum, which proceeded, despite my best endeavours with lorry straps, bits of timber (and two bricks that my oil supplier jammed in and declared 'that should hold it!') to roll around the back of the van as I dashed back down the M1 to get to my favourite fabricators before they closed, as waiting for me were a number of pre-cut bits for Beverley and Cheedale. Talking of which, during the week we received a slide of Cheedale, or RS233 as it was then, freshly delivered at Buxton. The slide was won on e-bay, so as I filled out the feedback I sent the vendor a quick message explaining why we had wanted it. He replied saying that he was an ex-Buxton employee, there when it was new and looked after it for a number of years, and will come and look us up sometime later in the year.

So anyway, on Saturday Andrew had nominated a return visit to Scunthorpe but first I had to head off to a lay-by 'meet' to collect the DV8 oil filters. What with that, and after dropping the drum out the back of the van at Rowsley (by the time I had got my safety boots on I was pleased to discover that Rob and Andrew had already got it out) we did not make it there until well after lunch. We arrived as the AFRPS sorted out a minor crisis - Janus No.1 was top'n'tailing a brake van tour with the Bagnall 0-6-0DM when the former's safety valve stuck open and vented all the air down. One of Tata's Janii had been commandeered to take over. While Andrew cracked on with cleaning out and re-tapping some of the mounting flange holes on the exhauster, I set up our chop saw and attempted to cut 45 degree ends on sections of 80 x 80 angle to form nice corners for the casing extensions over the exhauster. Eventually Andrew came and welded them up, but despite our best endeavours the sections have pulled in slightly and when we come to weld the resultant inverted "U" onto the existing superstructure we will need to force it into position. This I was unaware of as I backmarked and pilotted out holes for the hinge pins - it seemed like a good idea at the time but now looks like a case of more haste less speed. Andrew meanwhile was making up sections of pipework ready to install when we are able to get in over a pit. Andrew is anxious to press on with Beverley and get the vac system completed (there is a deadline, I won't explain why) so although the Mk2 profile for the gear change is now available, progress on D2128 will, for the next month, be minimal. Finally after loading up a load more stuff from the Palvan (not much left at all now) we headed back home.

Sunday, and after unloading the van once more we arrived yet again at Rowsley. 14 901 was fired up and moved over the ash pit, where I could leave Andrew to get on with draining the old oil while I set up the grinder with a slitting disc and converted the fan cowl on Tom from one piece into two, making it much easier to come out! Thus exposed, the fan and its bearing assembly was easily removed as it was held on by only 4 bolts and after scraping off years of coagulated grease and coal dust I was able (with a bit of help from Andrew) to remove decrepit oil seals, circlips, roller bearings and finally, (with a bit of help from another Peter), to recover the large ball bearing by smacking the thing with a brake stick. By now Andrew had won the battle of the oil filters (there are three, and because of the Rolls' arrangement, you have to take them out and put them back in order, and as you detach the first one, the pipework above them drains back down over your wrist...) and was ready to start filling. We opened up the 45 gallon drum and with the aid of a rotary drum pump, I started to transfer 30+ gallons from drum to sump. True, it is easier than winding that turntable, but takes a lot, lot longer.

Around the back of the loco shed, placed there by us some years ago before Peak Rail invested in a proper oil store, was another 45 gallon drum containing our meagre stock of Tegula, the oil specified for the Voith transmission. It was time to go recover it. Thanks to the (unreported) leak while down on the Gwili, the Voith was now well below min on the dipstick so we transferred ourselves and pump to the rear of the loco of pumped a few gallons in there. Andrew also found a leak on an air brake line, so nipped that up tight to stop it.

By now it was nearly time to vacate the ash pit before the green painted six wheeler 'Lord Phil the Kettle' came to use it, so 14 901 was fired up again and Andrew drove it back. According to the gauge, the oil pressure is still low, low enough that the oil pressure switch should have tripped, leading us to questions whether the electric gauge sender is duff - if so this is the second on this loco to do so, and I said last time I would remote mount it if it happened again so as to isolate it from whatever heat/vibration is doing it (it is, to be fair, rather close to the manifolds).

Now, next weekend might be interesting. Although Andrew may be away on Saturday, on Sunday we are, unless plans get changed, out in action with 14 901 and Cheedale. For in the early afternoon the BB pacific "Tangmere" is due in off Network Rail and we have been asked to shunt the train clear of the platform while the train lays over. (That both locos are dual-braked is an advantage!) There may also, during the week, be another edition of this blog as we announce something special. For those of you on the RSS feed, therefore, don't be surprised - for those who just pop in every Monday - take another look later in the week: who knows? There might be more to read.

POSTSCRIPT: There is now, see Of a roof over our heads

More in this category: Of a roof over our heads (part 1) »

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