Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Of being right and wrong

15th October 2017

After all those pretty pictures last week, a bit of a dearth this week. Never mind, I'll try to make up for it with some pithy prose.

Andrew and I squeezed an evening or two in at the shed, mostly trying to tidy things up a bit, so not very photogenic yet. One step was to fill the new tool chest, the stainless steel one with the wheels, with all manner of sockets and spanners, grouped into shelves by reference to comparative size and series. I had brought down my labelling machine so carefully endorsed them 'A/F medium', 'A/F Large' and in the case of Whitworth's 'BSW Very Large' and ' 'King Large'. It's amazing just how many we've amassed. But Thursday was of course Tunstead day, so I set off blissfully expecting that I would be presented with a group of qualified fitters and would use my years of practical management skills to supervise them and progress towards a running test of the engine.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

Getting there at nine o'clock I was informed by security that there was a new one-way system in effect because of repair works on the main access road. I set off with a map, covered with blue and black arrows, and the confident report from the security staff that 'only one or two' had got themselves lost negotiating it. There were no inscrutable marks like 'X marks buried treasure' or 'here be dragons' and the most awkward bit is where opposite lanes for light vehicles must negotiate a weighbridge subject to a set of traffic lights. I didn't stop to find out the weight of the van, but made my way down to the workshops and decided that I had been there enough times to consider myself an 'authorised person' to go into the works.

RS8's frame has been brought out of the paint booth and is now taking up space in the middle of the 'shop, behind the bed frame carrying its planned new engine. But if I had expected that the engine would be ready to run, or that I would be acting in a purely supervisory role, then no, Liam G was there but it was going to be down to me to get on with things. After a brief discussion I brought the van in and we unloaded van's toolbox, which had a varied selection of A/F and Whitworth spanners as Liam's were limited to metrics.

So while Liam prepared to look after the flywheel end I set about turning the engine, using the front crank barring facility, around until the timing marks at the fuel pump lined up, which took me a while as accumulated layers of paint needed scraping before I could find the engraved line. Then I started disconnecting it, ready for removal. By the lunchtime the old pump was off and its replacement dropped in place, and as the afternoon wore on I was getting the new one connected up ready, but ran up against a couple of snags. The old pump on this engine was lube oil fed, the 'new' one, being in fact a slightly older version, wasn't, so I will have to blank off the oil feed and return lines. But the pipe from lift pump to filters didn't fit either, and it took me a moment to realise this was because the new pump had a secondary scavenge pump behind, and this moved the centre line of the connection outwards. Reluctant to force the pipe for fear of cracking or kinking it, I decided to get a m/f adaptor to make up the distance.

It had been agreed that the injectors would be changed. On 'modern' engines, like Cummins or Cat, you haven't needed to change injectors unless you think they have a defect, but on the Rolls the injectors should be changed at fixed intervals, and for an engine left stood as this one has, better to start with a fresh set and use the opportunity to put a camera down and inspect the bores without disturbing the cylinder heads. The injectors on a Rolls though, are notorious for getting wedged as carbon deposits get around the injector nozzle and into the sleeve holding the injector, and having removed spill pipes and most of the securing nuts I could shift none of the injectors. Two nuts are severely corroded and may have to be removed the hard way.

IMG 3633 blog

Liam meantime, had fitted the flywheel, the bearing that supports the nose of the clutch shaft, the clutch ring and the adaptor ring when I randomly decided to turn the engine over to check that the flywheel timing marks were in the expected place. But I couldn't, the engine was absolutely solid. This was a trifle concerning but too late in the day to worry too much about. I finished by connecting up my 'start' box (it's in the picture above) and removing the old fuel filters.

IMG 3637 blog

On reflection the most likely answer is that we've picked up the wrong screws, and that they have passed through the flywheel, the crankshaft boss and jacked the crank to one end of its bearing float before jamming tight on the inside of the flywheel housing. We'll resolve that one next Thursday, when I'm back again.

Friday evening I had an e-mail exchange with the MD of the Tunstead workshops: he has accepted the Method Statement and Risk Assessments for freezing the crankpin, and having delivered the drawing to him for metal spraying said crankpin (a bit of a compromise as our measurements appear to show that the original is on a 1 in 100 taper but that it has fretted giving the wear on the wheel centre more in the E-W than the N-S axes) that should progress in a week or two.

Saturday, and we were down reasonably promptly as the IDRPG lads were coming over from Lincolnshire. Stephen, Toby, Charles and new member Will had just arrived and soon made a start, amongst other tasks carrying out repairs on corroded areas of 1382's middle casing section and painting superstructure, brackets, cab heater and air receivers, etc. I found myself once again tidying, by ferrying things up to Andrew who was ensconced in the container trying to bring order to chaos. We did however take a break to install more glass fibre insulation over the top of the roller shutter door on 3B, using the pack I bought from New Mills a few weeks ago. The roller shutters are recessed at the doorways and the cladding sheets are all that stands between us and the cold, outside world, so they now have a significant layer of insulation above them, There is a gap between the edge of the cladding sheet when the roller shutter when it is down – Andrew reckons this may be where the occasional Robin enters - but I simply tore the sheeting so haven't reduced this much. (For that matter the roller shutter itself is exposed to the cold outside and is a single layer, but then every little helps). Although I was wearing gloves and a dust mask for this exercise, it still didn't alter the fact that glass fibre insulation gets very uncomfortable and the effects linger. I insulated the loft at Briddon Towers, not to mention that of my In Laws, many years ago, insisting on putting down twice the thickness that was then the Government recommended minimum (i.e 50mm not 25mm, yet today it is 100mm, but that's life) and used a surgical mask (I was naïve but cautious).

Part way through the afternoon someone was spotted lurking by the gate: he was after a tour round so I did my usual spiel and he put a few pounds in the donation box before heading back to Crewe.

Late in the afternoon we were joined by Phil G, and after packing up relocated to the Briddon Country Pile for an IDRPG general meeting and a round or five of 'Cards Against Humanity' which I am pleased to say I won. The IDRPG were then away save for Phil, who stayed overnight for an early start with Andrew.

blog 1

So first thing this morning they dropped me off at the shed and having loaded the van, set off to do a day on the low load trailer (I'm going to have to come up with a snappier name for it). Later on Andrew reported good news and bad news – on the good news side, the trailer had been moved over a pit, held air well, hydraulics worked OK, air suspension bags appeared satisfactory and he was able to swap the damaged marker lights for new LED ones, but on the bad news side the brake chambers he'd bought were the wrong size, so it's still not ready to go for MoT. A further work session is planned for a fortnight.

blog 2

Meanwhile, I got a ladder safely set up and made a start on applying insulation over the roller shutter on track 3A, cutting the insulation to about the right width this time, and bedding it up against the roller shutter in the hope of reducing the gap to about nothing. With what was cut off and left over I added some layers to the cloaking sheets at the personnel doors.

Steph came down after lunch which gave me the opportunity to go up on the Terrypicker and progress the installation of the Row C lamps. C3 and C4 were duly mounted and cabled, after which I used the cage to access Column 4 and apply more intumescent paint to places I couldn't reach from ladders. The whipped cream has set a bit with having had the tin open for some weeks, making it harder to apply but easier to achieve the required thickness! The brackets for those filter assemblies were also coated ready for their installation and piping. Then the Terrypicker was moved along and I looked in the cupboard for lamp C5. Ah. I had never got around to making up the last 4 lamps, so I pulled the bits together for C5, pre-wired it then took it up and fitted it, but making up C6 – C8 will be a job for later this week.

As we shut up shop, I expected a bit of glass fibre to fall down as the slats in the roller shutters created a 'running clearance' on the insulation. I wasn't wrong, it was a glass-fibre blizzard and fortunately I had stood a little back from the doorway.

So that's about it for the week. Thursday is of course Tunstead day and Friday we collect grandson for half-term week, so quite what will happen next? Tune in next week: same time, same website.

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