Friday: We had tried to pretend that we had fixed that slight water leak around the back of the washing machine, but when the mice started to scamper round with bathing trunks and towels we thought it best to have another go, and by the time we had changed the feed hose and stopped it dripping Andrew declared it too late to go anywhere and instead spent the rest of the day sorting my vast collection of nuts and bolts – not a collection like stamps, you understand, but stemming from my hatred of trying to do a half-decent job with rusty old bolts of indeterminate length and pitch – and re-arranged the garage again. Partly this was because we were on tenterhooks – for away down in south west Wales, 14 901 was top-n-tailing with “Thomas” on a 4 day out with Thomas event, and we were apprehensive lest a panic call came in.
Saturday: We thought we would show our faces at Scunthorpe again but the AFRPS had thought otherwise and we were on our own until Glenn saw the shed doors open and stopped off to investigate. My main task was to rig up a 110V line out to the 03 (we decided it too hot/too much hassle to move the loco again) and drill the front mounting pad ready to fix the a/v mounts. That means the only task between us now and trying the engine in is removing the casing sideframe, and Andrew is talking of doing that next week with maybe the engine in the week after, but don’t hold us to it. He had taken the decision to remove the long hand brake pull rod that I had had to allow to pass through the frame mount at the right hand side, so that was finally extracted and I will have pieces profiled to fill the holes and strengthen the mount.
The shaft for the handbrake - must be 80% of the loco length - is now gone!
The handbrake was to become my “usual” spring-apply/pressure release assembly, but it had struck me the previous night that rather than remove or leave idle the brake linkage, we could utilise a mechanically actuated calliper and thus the handbrake wheel and thread would serve a purpose and save money. Andrew went along with this, and we had a long conference in the cab discussing the control system to employ. The new electrical panel is already drawn up for profiling this week and the old instrument panel will be stripped, cleaned and ‘re-populated’ in due course. I s’pose next week I better get around to measuring up for the radiator, compressor and exhauster installations. Second day with no problems from Gwili and the first you-tube video appears…
Sunday: With van reloaded, we went off to Telford. The brackets we had made at Scunthorpe last week for the t/c cooler etc didn’t fit: it seems somewhere along the way I had dropped a clanger on the Autocad. I had kept looking at them feeling that something wasn’t quite right but couldn’t see it until they were presented to the loco. Andrew not impressed. I retired to the cab.
You saw the electrical connection box (above) a few weeks ago, when I found I could not unscrew any of the “choc-block” screws, I have come now to the conclusion that the whole thing has been flooded to a depth of an inch or so at some time as even the brass screws that held said choc-block to the chassis plate sheared rather than unwound. I would have liked to have declared the whole thing scrap and started again, but this is not one of our usual rebuilds and Andrew wants it into operation ASAP, so I snipped all the wires off and, with a fight, extracted the chassis plate complete, bolted through new choc-block and started re-wiring it. Several cubic inches of rust paint, etc flakes were extracted and the chassis replaced, so I could start to reconnect. Another days work should see the desk end complete, and once the t/c brackets have been ‘adjusted’ we can complete the plumbing and I can continue with the engine end. Still no panic calls from Gwili – more youtube videos – see here and here…
Monday: I am now confused as to what day it is. Far from drying up, the washing machine has an even bigger puddle and the mice have rubber dinghies. It appears that we concentrated on tightening the connection at one end of the hose to the detriment of the other. By late morning we load the van and set off for Rowsley. My phone rings – it is Duane from the Gwili – 14 901 “won’t take power”. We talk it through and it seems that the engine simply isn’t accelerating when the air throttle is increased – he can even hear the air exhaust from the control valve as he lets it return, so the air system is tight. Andrew and I concur that it sounds as though the linkage between air cylinder and fuel pump has parted company, so we direct Duane as to where and what to look for. Ten minutes later and another call that all is now well.
The front-to-back pipe is now in place and clamped...
We are returning in earnest to Pluto now. The clamps and front-to-back pipe are all ready to assemble finally and following that, Andrew can start on the bits that go across each end to the swan-necks and hoses. The former should be back from machining later this week. Having measured the front end a couple of months ago for the exhauster installation, I have to do it again as by now I cannot make sense of my sketches and I come up with – I hope – a more satisfactory arrangement. We do have a discussion on the possibility of a hydrostatic drive, since a small gear pump would be far easier to locate at the front end, but eventually discount it on lead time and cost. Of course when Hibberds did this, they used a completely separate Enfield engine and rotary exhauster, presumably because they felt that driving an exhauster and compressor at the front end was too difficult within the available space. I agree, but it’s not the first time I have blithely achieved what others have discounted. A further conference on where to locate the driver’s vac valve takes place – for once we are not doing our “standard” AV2 system and I must re-create bits which I removed twenty years ago. As we commute between Pluto and the stores van we find a gentleman photographing D9500 for a 4mm scale model (he works in P4 so the Heljan one is not for him) and we fill him in on history and detail. He has apparently found the frame drawings in a box at the NRM – things they have yet to catalogue, but good to know they are there as I would like to do the engine installation on this properly.
...and the next bits are being added.
Three work days now and it starts all over again.