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Diesel Service Updates

Diesel Service Report – February 22, 2020

By February 22, 2020January 26th, 2022No Comments

Diesel Service Report, Feb 22, 2020

Volunteers for the week were Richard Berk, John Salvini, Carl Pickus, Doug Newberry, Taka Sakai, Tom Platten, Frank Kunsaitis, Tim Johnson, and Bob Bray.


Richard and John continued working on the #2 wheel set replacement during the week. John cleaned the gear case halves and began fitting the new modern style seals. The old-style seals, that were in the gear case, were made out of felt. The new ones are a much better design and they fit without having to modify the gear cases.

John and Richard then identified which position the support bearings match on the replacement axle. Those bearing halves were mounted into the traction motor support bearing mount and the wheel set was lifted into place. The other half of each support bearing was then installed. The next step will be to install the support bearing caps and gear cases. Once that is done, the traction motor and wheel set will be tested for correct operation.

The oil cooler was sent out for refurbishment several weeks ago. It has been cleaned and is awaiting arrival of correct seals prior to being reassembled.

USAF 7441

Tom continued needle gunning the exterior paint while Tim worked on removing the tar like substance that was applied for sound deadening when the locomotive was built back in the 1940’s. Carl continues to apply primer over the freshly removed paint areas to avoid new rust. Bob has also helped with the project a number of times.


The cooling systems for the Diesel Engines were filled with anti-corrosion treated water a few months ago. The treatment color should stay a bright maroon color but had faded away to almost clear. That meant more treatment chemical needed to be added. However, we changed chemical suppliers a short time ago so both engines were totally drained of coolant and Frank and his helpers refilled them with water that was treated with the new style chemicals. We will keep an eye on the coolant sight glass and add more of the liquid chemical if we see the color start to disappear.


After restoration, the oil filter canister developed a leak around the lid. Frank, Carl, and Bob, removed the lid and decided that an O-Ring would provide a better seal. The problem is that the size of O-Ring needed to do the job, is very odd. An O-Ring making kit has been ordered. That will allow us to make and O-ring of the correct size. Two different diameters of O-Ring rubber stock will be tried to see which size provides better sealing.

Diesel Locomotive Restoration Planning

The Diesel Service group at the museum has two main responsibilities. The most important function is to continuously maintain the locomotives that are operational in order to support on-going operations at the museum. The second function is to restore locomotives and, if reasonable, bring them back into operational service. Presently we support nine operational locomotives. Those are SF108, SP1006, SP1474, SP3100, UP942, OERM 1975, OERM 1956, USAF 7441, and USAF 1601. The other locomotives that are candidates for restoration are SP2954, SP2958, USAF 8580 and SF560. The ones that aren’t being considered for restoration, even long term are, Navy 8, SP1543, and SP1558.

The selection priority for which locomotives are next to be restored, is subject to discussions which will focus on the amount of work and funding required. However, before those discussions take place, research must be done to identify the issues with each locomotive and what the approximate costs might be. There are two leading candidates for restoration currently. Those are our 1957 Fairbanks Morse SF560 or either SP2954 or SP2958 which are ALCo RSD12 locomotives. Near term, data will be collected regarding each of the candidates in order to help determine where the priority should be placed.


Dave Althaus

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