Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Of Pluto pump problems

19th August 2012

By rights, I should be able to sum up this weekends progress in a very few words. After all, Andrew and Steph were away at a birthday party on Saturday, and after a few jobs around Briddon Towers, I headed over to the Country Pile with more clothes and a few bits and bobs and entertained myself, imagining what it would be like when I finally get to live there, a state which it seems is getting closer, with a phone line due to be connected this Tuesday.

Had things gone according to plan, however, Andrew envisaged Sunday at Scunthorpe, as early in the week a large box containing Beverley's injectors arrived. However barely had I deposited said box in the middle of his bedroom floor than an e-mail arrived from the DVLR with the news that Pluto had pulled off its party piece again, running up to full engine rpm as soon as it started and overwhelming the engine lube filter. Although the e-mail went on to propose that the problem might be caused by excess oil carried over from the supercharger, Andrew stuck to his view that it was primarily a fuel pump problem and it was time it came off for a bit of TLC.

Thus, having finally surfaced, we headed off to Murton on Sunday morning, getting past the last section of the A64 shortly before the Police arrived and closed it to recover a caravan which was lieing on its side at about 90 degrees to the carriageway having taken most of the way with it its Mercedes towing vehicle. Somebody was having a good start to their hols.

Anyway, while Andrew went off to hear first hand from Vince the circumstances, I set to to remove the pipework and connections. I soon discovered, having disconnected the pipes, that operating the lift pump by hand did not seem to move the fuel visible at the inlet port, nor cause overflow at the outlet port.. Moreover it didn't feel right, and we came to the conclusion that the lift pump was, in our professional opinion, duff. The pump itself is lubricated by engine oil, but the governor runs on diesel, so a problem with the lift pump can not only cause contamination of lube oil but compromise functioning of the governor. Not only that the cavity on top of the supercharger over which the pump mounts was full with thin black engine oil, so the bottom seals of the pump may be passing. All in all, it is definitely due for a visit to the pump doctor. On a more serious level though, that the engine can succeed in blowing the filter apart despite a relief valve and on a summer's day means that either we must improve the relief arrangement or switch to a more substantial filter assembly, so this, and a replacement fuel filter header will be put in hand.

The pump came way with us after barely an hour's work and we headed back down the A64 watching the several miles of queuing traffic resulting from the recovery of the caravan. The pump was dropped off back at Briddon Towers, (it will go to our friendly pump man later in the week) and we reloaded the van with tools and sundries destined for the Country Pile.

Actually, we were in at Rowsley on Thursday afternoon (Andrew having joined me after an early start to his working day), unloading a large number of lumps from a Spectrum Freight 40footer to a bogie bolster, but as to what that is all about, you'll have to wait a while longer. As Andrew is also off for several days next weekend escorting class 57s towing emus quite what we will have to say next week, I don't know.

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