Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Of Golf and Gas

11th March 2012

The magazines are now beginning to report the plans for the AFRPS gala, now but 2 months off. Some are confidently saying that haulage will include a certain 03, others adding the “subject to availability” caveat, and one contributor muttering that “getting a move on” will be vital if D2128 is to turn a wheel (but what does he know?). Provided there are no major hitches, things are progressing nicely, and Andrew’s biggest concern is cash flow to buy the remaining big lumps. The control panel still monopolises the front room table at Briddon Towers.

It has all its gauges, switches and lamps mounted and largely wired up, though inevitably I now see things I could have done better, but it is always thus.

Saturday morning found us in Darlington having overnighted at my daughters en route to Sunderland. Andrew had opted to purchase a VW Golf from a dealer there and I was along to oversee the deal. It is the power of television that apparently every prospective purchaser now insists on shutting the door, listening intently and declaring it “sounds like a Golf” so we promised not to. By the time the paperwork had been completed and we had driven the 125 miles back to Sheffield, it was ten to 1 and as we passed Barnsley we phoned Terry, who was joining us for what was left of the afternoon. In due course he arrived, transferred himself and some small gas bottles to the van and we set off for Scunthorpe, arriving at 3pm.

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The new fan cowl sat by the front steps

Terry’s task was to attack certain parts with oxyacetylene, so I set to work removing the tarp and marking out bits with chalk while Andrew pointed him to a pipe or two that wanted extraction. The two main parts I wanted to see were firstly the rearmost stretcher where we need clearance for the forthcoming prop-shaft as it heads over the oil reservoir, and the front stretcher where a coolant pipe must pass under the transmission cooler. As for the latter, the first part of the bottom coolant connection is now in manufacture (as Andrew’s welding is not yet reliably 100%, this is being done commercially) and as I dropped this off, I picked up the bar for the fan drive and the fan cowl, which fits over the engine side of the radiator.

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The clearance for the prop-shaft (above) and hole for the bottom coolant line (below)

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Terry had not seen the 03 before, and with the inevitable first impressions, came up with suggestions that we should have thought of. We paused to explain how in fact most of them had been thought of and that what we have is about as good as can be arranged. He did not, for example, like the planned drive shaft for the exhauster as it obstructs access to the oil filter etc on that side, but as we pointed out, the shaft will be no thicker than that of a Land Rover and the alternative was to have it hanging out into the shunters recess. I tried the fan bar and cowl into place - a few minor tweaks will be required but nothing major. Andrew meanwhile, had had "Beverley's" injector return lines disconnected and we ran the engine briefly (and messily) to see if it made any difference to the hunting - which it didn't, so he reconnected them. The fact that it was running though caused interest and a while later I had a cab-full as Beverley made a couple of forays up to the headshunt and back. I hoped to get Andrew to do a turn whilst I got some pictures but he was anxious to get back to work. Terry is of the opinion that first thing we should do is check the timing of valves and injectors as try as we might it continues, at idle, to hunt from 500-750rpm.

Sunday, and we headed over to Rowsley, with a few extra bits for storage there as we try to reduce the amount of loco components stacked at Briddon Towers in anticipation of moving home later in the year. Andrew was hoping to make progress on "Libby" but first I wanted some fabrication work completing. So behold the fan drive assembly for D2128 (upside down in the photo).

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The fan itself will mount on a short shaft that passes through the tube on bearings at each end. The triangular pieces at the end provide a slide for a carrier assembly upon which the jockey pulley will mount on a (yet to be made) shaft. The tabs at the end hold it to the existing radiator brackets, and with luck I have built in sufficient adjustment to get it all to fit square and central (the fan efficiency is a function of clearance at the tips, so I envisage a 800 diameter fan running in a 805 dia hole, so not much room for error). With this assembled, and 4 mounting pieces to carry the fan cowl from the rad, we adjourned to the other end of the site for free teas and cake on offer from Lynn and Paul in the "Break Van", before Andrew at last got the time to resume the assault on the cupboard in Libby's cab. I had holes to drill in some brackets, but could hear the alternate noises of grinder, hammer or anguish as the cab fought back, but in the end most of it had been removed and awaits final cleaning up and fillering before painting.

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