Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Of wiring and welding

17th April 2011

So, did anyone miss me, I wonder? (Don’t all shout “No!” at once). There was no “Weekend Rails” last weekend because, although Andrew had a (rather unsuccessfull) day on his own at Rowsley, your truly was to be found at the Leander Club at Henley-on-Thames Saturday night on one of those “family occasions” that necessitated swapping overalls for a Dinner Suit.

Work this week has seen me at it each day refitting a Dorman 8JT into a Plasser & Theurer crane, but if I had any ideas of rest and recuperation this weekend, you can be sure that Andrew didn’t. For with 14 901 out the way, it was time to start catching up on various other projects that had been put on hold.

Saturday: After sorting the van and reloading, we set off for Telford. It has been so many weeks since I last saw Tom that I could barely remember what I was doing last, save that it was wiring. Once I saw it all again though, it began to return, and having drilled a new ‘ole through the bulkhead into the wiring box, I resumed re-wiring the engine, though with the rather unpleasant position of squatting on the torque converter with its vent nipple and lifting eye in unwelcome juxtaposition with my bum. Andrew swung two batteries back into their housings, declared the battery/starter cables as being below our acceptable standard, and then turned to the fuel pump, which, as it was last known to have been functioning some 10-15 years ago, was to come off for attention, a decision vindicated when it seemed to evacuate gas oil from a port that should have seen lube oil.

A departure before 5pm had been intended, but it was gone 6 by the time we set off back north, and a detour into Rowsley was also scheduled to uplift Andrew’s “big MIG” welder (another e-bay acquisition) for work at Scunthorpe.

Sunday: Tom’s fuel pump had saved some of its contents for the journey home, so some time had to be spent emptying and cleaning the van before setting off for Scunthorpe. D2128 had for some time been parked “around the back” and although we had been promised that it would be repositioned, it was unmoved. So job No.1 was to fire up D2853 (an 02) and with me shunting and Andrew driving, go collect it and the two brake vans sat in the way. With the welder set up and plugged in, we did a final check of the position of the front frame mount, found it had ‘migrated’ a couple of millimetres and put it back in its place with the aid (?) of an AFRPS sledgehammer with a loose head.

Andrew welds the front frame mount

While Andrew was welding, I went over to the Palvan, (where the Cummins engine for D2128 currently resides) and trial-fitted the rear engine mounts. These need to sit up close to the overlap on the flywheel housing so the weight does not leave the bolts in shear, so needed a bit of grinding to get a snug fit. With that done, and marked “L” and “R”, they were taken off and back home for painting.

Rear engine mount

Back on the loco, the measurements to the rear mounts were double-checked and then they were tacked in place. Andrew’s plan is to drop the engine in, check it all lines up, then lift it out, weld fully and drop it back in finally. When will that be? Not for a few weeks yet – there are still some holes to drill in the front mount and Andrew wants one of the casing frames removed to make access easier. That may be next week though.

Front frame mount (left foreground), rear frame mounts in background

D2128 is moved back after finishing

For today, we shunted the loco and brake vans back to their starting places, fab’d a couple of brackets up for “Tom” while the welder was up and running and at a quarter to seven, headed for home.

More in this category: Of water in all the wrong places »

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