Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Of brake linkages and filters

26th May 2013

Apart from a run to the profilers, we have kept in touch with the hydraulics company in Sheffield and towards the end of the week I was able to collect the repaired fan motor ex D9500. A chance comment averted a crisis - we had thought the ports in the motor were 3/4 BSP, but learned they were in fact a metric thread virtually the same OD but different pitch. Fortunately they had fittings in stock and quickly converted one in to a hydraulic coned fitting which we required for our new hose, sat in the loco waiting.

On Saturday, after a quick trip in to Rowsley to pick up a few bits, we headed over to Scunthorpe. We had hoped that space might be there to get Beverley in, and while the dmu trailer car had moved from track 1 of the AFRPS shed, it was merely to take up residence in track 3. The Peckett 0-4-0ST however was out and in steam for some sort of training crew, leaving space over the track 1 pit to get Bev in - we fired up a loco and hurriedly took up the place. So with the welder set up, Andrew got the vacuum dummy brackets welded in position, (using a vac hose borrowed from the 03 too gauge the length) I was laying out various parts for welding from the peculiar collection brought back from the profilers.

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As we are nearing the end of the vac fit on Beverley, we need some way for the driver to control it. We could of course, merely install a big ball valve (actually, some Westinghouse vac brake valves were basically that) but we prefer to use AV2's for vac control - for one thing it gives a fully lapped application, which to us is important when you have drivers who have little or no experience with non-lapping valves. Thus, ironically, we control our vac brake system with air, and to do this we have what is intended as a commercial vehicle parking brake valve. Rather than mount this in the middle of the cab, it makes more sense to put it at one side and drive it from the other side with a dummy handle, and I had spent some time and brain cells trying to work out solutions that engaged with a valve not designed to be used that way, before realising that two dummy handles, one of which would drive the valve mounted immediately underneath, was the better answer.

But I am getting ahead of myself. Andrew worked his way through the various parts welding up various bits, then set the welder up in the 03's cab. One of the distinctive features of 03 and 04 cabs is the vac brake linkage. The vac brake valve itself, complete with handle, mounts in the centre of the desk, and a cross linkage takes it to two dummy handles, one at each driving position. On a standard BR loco, this cross link is a piece of flat rectangular bar with 3 holes in. Although I got a piece of suitable material some time ago, I opted instead to use this in the parking brake linkage, and a new laser profiled cross link has gone into the cab, much more elegantly shaped. The dummy handles were cast off the vac brake valve's original more than a year ago. The steel mounts could now be welded into position, finishing it off properly (sorry about the clutter on the desk...).

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I then started drilling out a new part for the planned exhauster drive for the 03. You'll see more of it in due course, but to avoid the hoses and other parts running up that side of the loco, I had come up with an idea for the driven pulley to run eccentrically in a bracket. By turning the eccentric within the bracket, the distance between the pulleys increases and makes the belts tension - as the exhauster drives off a propshaft the change in shaft position will not affect it. If it works satisfactorily I may use it again when it comes to vac fit James or Jack, where the engine installation angle decrees a remotely driven exhauster. But for now, I was drilling out the first of the two sides of the bracket to take an M10 setscrew to clamp the eccentric. Andrew took a turn or two with the Makita before returning to Beverley to continue with the last bits of pipework from the exhauster filter, through the AV2 to the train pipe. Bar some clips, it is completed.

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By now the kettle - er Peckett - was demanding its space back bit as it was a pleasant afternoon we put Beverly back outside and while Andrew started rubbing down and undercoating the power bulge for the exhauster, I drilled the cab bulkhead for the air control valve and two dummy handles. By about half-past six we had gone about as far as we could, and packed up.

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Today it was back to Rowsley, with refitting 14 901's fan drive as being the priority. After discussion, we opted to utilise D9500's fan with D9500's motor as we knew that the shaft fit was a good one. Having cleaned the latter up, various parts went in and by just after lunch, it was looking about complete. The oil used in the system is engine oil, and although we know that at least one 14 owner has used a hydraulic oil (and to me it is possibly more logical) we are following that practice, which does have one advantage that if the pump seals fail - and the pump is mounted directly to a PTO on the Rolls - it will merely add engine oil into the engine sump rather than contaminate with hydraulic. (And before you tell me that is unlikely, my one and only export order in my YEC days - to the Ford plant at Genk in Belgium - did exactly that, and a sump (very) full of mixed engine and hydraulic oils soaked me from head to hip when I tried to drain it).

While Andrew started to draw the remains of our 45 gallon drum of engine oil (bought to service '901 on its return from South Wales) I set up my little computer and tried to remember how to add new elements to the program. For the control of the new fan system is through the PLC, and it has to know it's there and what it has to do with it. In addition, I had to amend the deadmans/vigilance program, as with the prospect of the loco working top and tail with a Peak Rail one, we had decided it would be useful to be able to isolate that part of the deadmans that activates the system if the loco moves (but without the Voith engaged). Again, I had installed a switch, but the PLC did not know what it was for. It does now.

Unfortunately, that is as far as we got, for before the system was filled, the drum was empty, partially because we lent some to Peak Rail for the 31 a month ago and haven't had it back yet. We'll return to that tomorrow and hopefully find some more.

For today though, taking advantage of the good weather, I let Andrew climb precariously on and into the bogie bolster carrying the steelwork to measure up the various main sections so that the structural engineer can in due course calculate the weights and thus, the concrete requirements. For although the agreement with Peak Rail is not yet signed (hopefully the final version is now acceptable to all) it is imminent and we are sorting out quotes for the various tasks and compiling some sort of timetable. The original drawings supplied by the vendor were somewhat lacking in detail (like the crane support beams and brackets do not appear) and we all need a definitive drawing to work to

As the day drew to a close we fired up James. We have a peculiar problem with James, in that with the clutch out the loco revs to around 1750 rpm on the tacho (which is a touch low if correct) but under load will not get above 1100. This we proved again with a stall test, but what was confusing us is that you'd expect it to black smoke if the air flow was insufficient for the fuel, but the exhaust remains clear. Of course, we deduced this evening, if the fuel flow is restricted, e.g. blocked filters, that would ensure that there was more than enough air to burn all available fuel but insufficient to produce the power. We do not recall when the filters were last changed - we think it is time they were.

More in this category: « Of fans Of brackets and buffers »

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