Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Of old age and flywheel housings

2nd December 2018


So, I won't have to give out the prize of free accommodation in the Darley Dale Portakabin because no-one got it right. There were some interesting suggestions, some unrepeatable and a couple of downright kinky, but you're going to have to wait to see the answer. Monday, as usual, was up at Tunstead and again with no welder available we made good on what we could. Pete C and George started on the branch to the vac pipe from down by the old firebox frame slots. On RS8 originally, this came round as a pipe under the cab, up at the front and back in through a hole in the front bulkhead to a tee-piece, one side of which went to the drivers brake valve and the other blanked off. This long and unsupported pipe didn't meet with my approval, and not having the original DBV anyway, restoring it exactly as ICI built it seemed pointless - so I planned to route it up through the hole in the floor just behind the handbrake chain. It is a slightly restrictive area in which to work - we've already put the exhaust pipe and fuel cross connection in and I've still to insert the air brake cylinder feed pipe and the fuel delivery and return lines, so here's an idea of how complicated it is, let alone swing a pipe wrench, with Pete C planning the next bit.

I didn't really get into my stride this week. I came up with a 1.5inch BSP piece for this pessky bulkhead fitting and found that that too was incorrect. Since it is neither the right diameter ID nor OD, and too fine a pitch thread to be BSP, it became a complete mystery, and I had to return to other issues, including mounting a further gearbox control valve and carrying on with some of the small bore pipework. A piece of trunking was added to carry cables just above the battery switch and adjacent the bulkhead was marked for mounting the fuses. Andy H continued with undercoat and reported that he had expended all 5 litres. My mind came back again and again to the bulkhead fitting and the thought occurred to me that it might be Ermeto, a range of fittings designed for steel pipe but had an olive like other types and hard enough to dig in to obtain a seal. Ruston used them bit I didn't recall anywhere on RS8 that I had encountered them, all the 1 inch pipework so far being with malleable iron screwed connections. So on Tuesday, having found that Parker Hannifin make a 28mm Ermeto to 1 inch BSP nipple, I was all set to order one but decided to take a trawl through the old ICI drawings again. Unfortunately, we don't have a drawing of the piping as built, rather an earlier proposal by the drawing office that was cast aside by revised plans to have two balancing fuel tanks and rearrangement of the air receivers under the casings. So while it isn't the same (and this bulkhead fitting didn't appear at all) it did give me an idea of how the drawing office thought and their practices, and therefore what the workshops were likely to have to hand. And up came the name Benton & Stone on the drawing parts list, as the most common fitting. It seems I must be getting old because I confess that I didn't recognise the name straight away, but the internet put me right, and a piece of information came straight back to mind. Stone, spelt backwards, is Enots. So almost certainly this is some sort of Enots threaded fitting.

Now IMI Norgren do Enots nowadays, but nowhere near as big as this, so it looks like one of this week's tasks is to measure the pitch and diameters of the internal thread and get a nipple specially machined. I've been promising myself a decent set of thread pitch gauges (I had a set but lost them years ago and have managed to muddle along without) so they were ordered up and are out ready to be deployed.

Readers of Andrew's website will know that months ago he acquired Hunslet 6295 from RMS Locotec. Although he has one Hunslet in the collection (Adolf) it is scarcely going to be typical of the marque, and 6295 was one of the first two built to the latterday standard Hunslet offering. Historically after Sentinel came out with their first model in 1959, they and Thomas Hill took a large percentage of the UK s.g shunter market. Builders like Hunslet and Hudswell were busy with underground locos and Hunslet were reluctant to depart from their diesel-mechanical designs as they had considerable commitment to gearbox manufacture in-house. But as the Twin Disc torque converter was in the ascendant, Hudswell launched their 35ton 0-4-0DH in 1962 (and allied themselves with Cummins probably in retaliation to R-R's ownership of Sentinel) and Hunslet in 1964-5 with a pair of 42ton 0-6-0DHs for NCB Snibston colliery at Coalville. I saw these at Snibston when I was working at Thomas Hills, and when the colliery closed, they went to C F Booths. I hired one for use at Ford, Bridgend in the early '90s and when it returned, the pair were bought by RMS as part of their then-expanding hire fleet. It is rather woebegone now, with a smashed flywheel housing reputedly from a shunting accident and thereafter Christmas-tree'd.

On Wednesday this week it was uplifted from Wolsingham and delivered to Rowsley, and Thursday morning it was time to collect it. Harvey C was not available so Roger Hallat, Peak Rail's Joint MD, stood in, opening and closing the level crossing gates for me at Church Lane. Ah, but is the light dawning now? Y'see how 6295 doesn't have any buffers? We could just throw a chain on, maybe a screw coupler done right up, but the result would be a bouncy ride as 40+tons of loco yanked back on starting off and banged into you on slowing down.

But Andrew's Mk1 fixed coupler bar did its stuff, with sufficient gap on the hooks to allow for misalignment during crossovers and such, but rigid enough to make the ride reasonably pleasant. For the moment, 6295 has been parked on Road 1, making an interesting comparison with the sort of locomotive it was designed to compete with, the Sentinel.

Talking of Adolf, we got back on to it on Saturday as while Andrew drilled the running plates to suit the cab a/v mounts...

I set about drilling through the original Cummins trunnion mount to weaken it and faciltate its removal without first extracting the front crankshaft flange. With that achieved, Andrew cleaned up some burrs on the new mounting arrangement and fitted it, later adding the frame part of the mount with its a/vs. Notice the two large holes which will form a safety link so that should the a/v's fail, the engine will be restrained.

We carried on with the rear mounts, again doing up the frame sides through their a/vs so that the power unit could be lifted up complete. We also took off the air cleaner (too small, intended for inside use being a generator) and the big by-pass oil filter assembly which we know colloquially as the 'bucket'. Cummins went through various developments with oil filtration on the 12 and 14 litre straight 6's, and the bucket is my least favourite. There is a later spin-on filter which easily retrofitted.

We weren't alone, incidentally for working on the principle that a change is as good as a rest, Dr Ben Riley had joined us and made a start on repairs to the 12ton box van, succesfully de-welding the security measures that had been applied to one set of doors and ultimately removing bits of roof, door frames and old canvas.

Today it was just me and Andrew, and we had planned to lift the power unit into Adolf and adorn tonight's blog with tangible progress. But it was not to be, for as we lifted the engine up into the frames, it became apparent that the rear mounts were far too wide, so down it went back to the workshop floor and out came the tape measures. I had never been aware that the 855 came with anything other than a SAE1 flywheel housing, and although this didn't look quite the same (I knew Cummins had several different patterns with alternative mounting configurations) I had never thought to check. It appears that this engine has a bell housing and flywheel more like an SAE0, and when I find my copy of the Cummins' salesman option manual ( a wonderful loose-leaf book that shows everything that you can ever find on an 855, with installation dimenions - but is currently AWOL) I shall know for sure. Never mind, we have spares, so first thing was to set about removing the flywheel (the engine's sat on the bell housing, so that'll be an off-and-on in one hit) and removing the engine mounts.

Ah well, the mounts should fit right once the right bell housing is on, and it's not as if it's going to thwart us in our plan to have Adolf running by the end of the year, that's long since been unachievable. Then to cap it all, Andrew spotted a crack - fresh?- in the front crankshsft pulley flange so that will have to come off after all. Had we hit it during our Birmingham-screwdriver exploits to remove the trunnion mounting? We'll never know. I did drop one of the cab a/v mounts in place, just to show you.

The brackets that go from there to the cab are being painted, (along with other bits that have waited some time for such attention) and will be fitted to the cab base in due course, along with renewal of various angles which have severely rotted over the years, and pieces to form the new sub-base for the floor to sit around the Hunslet gearbox.

So that's about it once again. I'll be back next week with more progress or maybe further steps backwards, who can tell? This must be what old age does for you. Who did you say you were? See ya next week.

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