As grandson is still with us, Andrew was only available Saturday afternoon and I had some errands to run in the morning, so the target was to get the exhaust system re-installed. First concern was that the silencer, which I had specified to have a 4 inch Table D flange at the front and a 4 inch plain pipe at the rear, turned out to have a rear pipe that was 110mm i.d. (4 inch is 102), which made my plan for setting it all up a trifle difficult. In practice, it meant that the rear of the silencer had to have the proprietary elbow welded in (it was only just big enough to fill the hole) which effectively meant that the line of the outlet was determined by that and we must fill the gap between the front flange and the existing pipework. Even if I had fully drawn this whole scheme up in advance (I hadn't) this would have resulted in improvisation and it has been so all weekend. We also decided to lift out the other roller-shutter for repair, but had a surprise as we detached the last split pin that the roller started spinning round. Someone has obviously been meddling with this door before, and the sudden motion took us by surprise and broke one of the nylon connecting bits, which we will have to fix. So we returned to the exhaust system and by Saturday night we had just about got it sussed, but needed to secure the back end by welding in the newly manufactured bracketry as with the silencer hanging from the fork lift hook it was swaying around whenever we touched it.
First thing today I was back down, drilling and mounting the air cleaner and sorting out the new ducting from there to the engine itself. Now my good friend the retired R-R service engineer is rather against this stuff, so will be tut-tutting and whereas the older black canvassy ducting that Hills used to use – and we refer to as elephants trunking – used to rot through in places (usually out of sight ones) ably assisted by the spiral wire rusting, this duct is in PVC which has replaced the canvass so we will see how more durable it is. And although I don't like Jubilee clips, I have had to use them on this stuff and hopefully the Achilles heel – where the clip goes over the spiral wire cannot be 100% air tight – will be good enough.
I also was on orders to start manufacturing joints for the exhaust flanges. We have a stock of exhaust gas jointing – horrible stuff but asbestos free, naturally – which Andrew usually cuts with a sharp Stanley knife, and it takes forever. With an eye to labour saving, I decided to try tin-snips, but they didn't work at all. So I thought I would see how my 'Tullochs' coped. Many years ago, well my father and mother were still alive so that puts it over twenty years back, they gave me one Christmas a set of, well I suppose you'd say 'scissors' - manufactured by a firm called Tulloch in New Zealand. And they look as though they're cheap rubbish with pressed steel blades and plastic handles, but it's amazing how they cope with all sorts of tasks, and surprisingly enough, they chomped through this gasket material as well as a Stanley knife but in a fraction of the time. Encouraged by thus success I tried drilling the bolt holes out with a hole saw and this proved a doddle too. By the time I headed back for lunch three gaskets were prepared and I was pleased with my morning's work.
Andrew joined me for the afternoon and set about welding the rear bracket or the silencer into place followed by the front pipe that joins it all together. We are however not entirely sure how the 1979 vintage bellows assembly will take to all this new pipework and subtly different alignment, so just in case we're going to make up an alternative flexible section in reserve. He then moved on to re-fit the Mechanics coupling while I fitted a new filter in the torque converter suction line and after he'd cleared the area, identified and cabled up the last (?) wire in the connection box.
Late in the afternoon we switched the batteries back on and attempted a start – but nothing. Well, not absolutely nothing, for Andrew saw a flash from within the connector box, so something either arced or shorted, but one or more of my re-connections are not correct, as I feared last week with the faded cable numbers. Ah well, out with the test meter I suppose and work it all though bit by bit.
At the moment though, the other three cab mounts still need changing, and the silencer requires a front end support to take the weight off the pipework, though the loco could be run up and down a few times to test it out.
With all this progress on Cheedale you might assume that nothing else has happened, but that's not entirely true. Over in the corner by the sink, a Unistrut frame now waits to become the mountings for our 3-phase incoming supply and distribution point, and on Friday I collected some profiles which will serve to hold the frame to the concrete panels without blunting the ends of myriads of masonry bits. Similar but subtly different profiles now await their new roles as either the supports for the water heater or to attach short bits of Unistrut which will carry striplights over workbenches.
And then there's the load cell, I said it was going to be a long drawn out saga. I took it into the manufacturer this week and as I waited he scoured the place looking for a remote screen to plug in and try so that I could then know what it is I want to order from their nearest distributor. Only none of theirs fit, so this presumably is the bit that they didn't recognise. They referred me to another company who might have something suitable but gave me a number that only goes to voicemail (and I can't find listed). Meanwhile I casually asked a friend of mine into all things electronic. Oh, he said, I've a 10t version, does it plug in with a round DIN plug? Sounds like it, I said., He's promised to look his out over the weekend and see what his 'scope shows the display is running on.
I'm sure it'll be worth it in the end.
Continuation Of Cheedale and conflagration ......... see part one here