Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Of doors, floors and filters

22nd July 2012

It has been another interesting week. OK, not so much of railway interest in the short term - far too much of the week has been occupied with the forthcoming move from Briddon Towers to Briddon Country Pile - which at one point I was seriously thinking wasn't going to happen until some time in August. But by dint of applied pressure we got as far as exchanging contracts on Friday and hopefully completing this Tuesday. So is it then all systems go?

No. Although the new house did have a phone, and the wiring is still intact, because it is "dead" it suddenly becomes a "new installation" and as all phone engineers are tied up with flood damage repairs, the earliest we can have a phone (and thereafter internet access) is August 21st. For someone self-employed where e-mails are a key requirement, this is a serious problem.

Andrew followed up a couple of Rolls-Royce DV8TCAs that were on e-bay - that they were attached to generators and lacked some useful accoutrements like radiators made them look possibles when they went without a bid - but a day or so after he'd inspected them I rang up to make an offer to be told that they had been sold as a job lot. A Rolls DV8 or a Cat 3412, are our preferred options to repower D9500 and until there is something suitable in stock, Andrew is rightly reluctant to commit time to it - we have quite enough projects on the go as it is. One thing that didn't happen during the week was a call from our transmission gurus to say that the spare powershift for D2128 was tested and ready. I haven't yet pursued this - so whether it is technical issues or merely other jobs taking precedence I don't know. Similarly two aluminium profiles with 17 slots each ordered to start the new doors required for D2128 should have been ready for collection on Friday and weren't, but may even be ready as I write this.

So at last Saturday came and we headed over to Scunthorpe. My immediate task was to remove the two doors from D2128 and start removing the furniture - that is to say door handles, budget locks and hinges. In its Deutz air-cooled era D2128 had the two front doors on each side cut roughly in half and the lower sections replaced by fixed mesh panels for cooling air entry. By moving doors around we were able to use these shorty doors to locate over the compressor and exhauster (where I have fabricated bulges to draw up) but two must be renewed, ventilation louvres and all. The only problem with stripping them was that BR chose to fix the hinges with countersunk rivets which meant drilling them out and chiselling through what remained. Andrew meanwhile had headed over to "Beverley" - incidentally Bev's 6 injectors are back from a free spring clean - 4 look OK but two are bunged up solid so must go to somewhere that handle old Cummins injectors - and that may have to be Cummins. Andrew's work therefore was essentially applying paint to the wheels and side rod that he cleaned and primed last time, plus other bits and bobs. We had a conference at one point about where and how to drive an exhauster - sounds like I may be after another Land Rover air cleaner to go with the ex-dmu one. My other task was to open up D2128's cab floor and contemplate the disc brake and its calliper assembly mounting - actually I was intending to have a serious look at setting up direction detection off the gearbox, but as the back of the RF11 sits underneath the cab cupboard, which is dirty, greasy and bolted to the backsheet, I decided to admire the front of the RF11 instead! With some rough dimensions I should now be able to pull together a bracket to carry the calliper over the disc, ready for when the big MIG is next brought over.

Sunday: With a load of additional bits in the back of the van (as Andrew continues "doing his bit" by emptying the garage at Briddon Towers) we headed over to Rowsley. Andrew headed to Tom, where he suspected he had used the wrong section silicon hose last week so he changed that, and fitted up a load more. In the course of this, he realised that the bottom outlet of the rad looked unpleasantly sludgy, so we flushed through a few gallons of water to shift the worst. I meanwhile had been on the Drewry. With no time to renew the cab floor as we'd planned, I put back the old floorboards (with screws - someone had nailed them) and did some other repairs before joining Andrew on Tom. Andrew decided he was going to do the main starter cables so leaving me to get on with the converter fluid lines. So I collected the swager out of the VBA, got set up and started by making up a breather line from the converter to the top of the system above the torpedo cooler. Rolls used to do it this way - personally I prefer to put an air bleed valve on the converter top and purge the air out as the system is first filled, but a bleed line, in theory will continuously take out any air that accumulates up and into the return line to tank. My next plan was to assemble the return line to the tank from this point and to do that, I needed to add in the unique orifice assembly.

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The principle on the Twin Disc converter is the charge pump forces your oil in, and the base pressure is created by restricting the line back through a very small 'ole. To prevent this hole become obstructed, there is a fine gauze filter shaped like a thin section of pipe. From time to time you should, as a responsible locomotive maintenance man, strip out the filter, clean it but inspect the debris. Brown sludge is either biological action or overheating, but grains of ferrous or brass is a clear sign that all is not well within the converter - bearings going allowing parts to touch - and it is time to take it out before more damage occurs and it gets really expensive. Before fitting Tom's orifice back into the line I opened it up - oh dear. The gauze was invisible under a layer of consolidated coal dust splattered with bits of ferrous chippings. No wonder when Andrew bought Tom the converter was away under repair. I had another in the van, it had come from a scrapped loco at Poole harbour so I opened that up to see if it would be suitable.

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It had no filter at all! These assemblies are available but being unique to Twin Disc, are getting a touch expensive. So I dropped the idea of doing the return line and instead investigated producing the suction line from tank to the primary converter filter. Having traced this back from pump to filter assembly under the running plate I decided to unscrew the filter bowl. Would you believe, no filter and half an inch of coal sludge in the bottom? [I don't know why but every ex coal board loco I have had dealings with has a tank whose fuel is black from coal dust in suspension. Did some mad executive believe that he could eek out supplies of expensive gas oil by augmenting it with combustible hydrocarbon in a more solid form?]

So anyway, there you have it. Some coal board fitter no doubt found the filter element clogged, none in the stores so let it run without. Thus coal dust passed through the converter, clogged the orifice filter and in due course caused significant converter damage. I made up the new feed line to the filter assembly, after which Andrew decided that maybe we should replace it with one of our current spin-on filters. He’s good like that.

With the day drawing to a close, "Charlie" which Rob had left over at the shed for us, was started up and we swapped the Drewry and Tom around so the former can come off shed more readily for the Warring 40s event. Which reminds me, two Army Surplus stores down and we cannot find any olive green ovvies for our starring roles. Hivi ist verboten for that weekend. Must start a serious search.


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