Saturday January 8: We loaded up and set off for Telford. The Sentinel 0-6-0 “Tom” had been moved since last time, as Thomas Hill Vanguard “Joanna” is leaving to be works shunter at EMR Kingsbury, and the scrapman has been removing parts from the Yorkshire 0-6-0DE which has been in store there. For safety’s sake – to prevent any “unfortunate misunderstandings” – the Rolls C8 was to be moved also, away from the Yorkshire’s Perkins 2006 and Hydrovane set that are awiting collection. But first job was to start fixing the flywheel, support bearing and housing, ring gear and adaptor for the converter. And here I had had a slight crisis. For years I have dealt with one nut and bolt supplier in Sheffield, confident that unless it was something very exotic – like a left handed inch-and-three-quarter BSF lock nut – it would be in stock, or something suitable instead, ready to collect. I ordered 11 lines on Thursday, and nine came back as ‘3-5 days’ which smacks of accountants cutting stock levels to me. If I am going to have to order stuff a week in advance then I might as well shop around for the right price Anyway, we managed to find the original bolts (which was nothing much short of a miracle, after all we didn’t strip these parts off and the converter was taken out by the HST group maybe a decade ago) after which the TSR’s Richard lifted the engine on the fork lift to move it nearer the loco.
For some of this I was on my own, for two of Andrew’s friends from the Aln Valley railway were there to inspect the Leyland railbus RB004 which is up for sale, but wouldn’t start, and Andrew cannot resist a challenge. The main problem it appeared, was insufficient fuel (but it took Andrew to convince the owner) and after a further contribution to its tank it condescended to run up and down a few times. Reputedly another group are coming to see it on Monday. Andrew rejoined me as by now the torque converter had been brought round.. Fitting these things can be a bitch – but much easier if you first release the clutch, slide a loose drive ring over, centralise the friction plates and lock the clutch back up. Even then the input shaft would not go into the bearing, so we drew it back out again and in the process I realised that the lock tab on the input shaft nut was not driven over. Whoops. Tab done, input cleaned and a bit of oil added, and the converter slid on and did up, though we need a few more bolts. By now it was getting dark, I’d had a migraine so snoozed a bit as we headed back north, turning left at Derby and arriving at Rowsley at about 6.30. The stillage was dropped off for further use, and two sold genuine ex D9500 pistons/conrods collected out the VBA. The most practical way to carry these is to hold on to the big end with both hands in front and walk with the piston periodically banging on your ankles. I’ve always wanted something long dangling between my legs…
Sunday: After a slow start it was over to Scunthorpe. Andrew had taken the Cebora MIG set and continued patching up holes on Beverley’s exhaust tail pipe, and plating over the worst bits.
Andrew cleans up the repaired area
I wanted to try the front engine mount for the 03 into position (remember this? the bracket that I thought was 30kg but later worked out at 44?) so after Andrew and I had recovered it from the Palvan, I swung it into position on the 03. Of course I had made the “slot” fairly close – no point in it slopping around and being hard to weld true, but through combination of plate thicknesses, rust and profile tolerance, it would not slide down at all, so I had to get a grinder out and spend an hour or so gradually taking off a few thou and trying again. In the end, it went in with a sledgehammer and a bit of jacking to get it to within a millimetre of the centre line.
The bracket in position, with a/v mounts placed on for effect
Next visit, I determine from my drawing where the rear mounts ought to be, and clean the areas of any obstruction, ready for a grand engine-mounting session, which even now Andrew is planning.