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Diesel Service Updates

Diesel Service Report – February 29, 2020

By February 29, 2020January 26th, 2022No Comments

Diesel Service Report, Feb 29th, 2020

Volunteers for the week were Carl Pickus, Doug Newberry, Frank Kunsaitis, Taka Sakai, Richard Berk, and John Salvini.


During the week, John, Richard, Carl, and Doug reinstalled the support bearing caps back onto the traction motor and lifted the motor back onto its wheels. Then they installed the motor combo set back into the truck frame. Of course, that’s a lot easier to say than to do. Next, they moved the reassembled truck back onto the slider assembly to get it ready to go back under the locomotive.

On Saturday, Carl and Doug moved hydraulic pulling cylinders to the other side of the locomotive and attached the pulling chains from the pulling cylinders to the slider frame. Once that was completed, the truck was ready to be pulled back under the locomotive.

This picture shows the pulling cylinders with the hydraulic pump located between them. Carl designed and built the hydraulic pulling system with valves to control each cylinder individually and another valve that would actuate them both. This was done to ensure the truck stayed lined up properly as it was slid back under the locomotive. Notice that Carl designed anchor points on the dead-man end of the cylinders so they hooked over an adjacent track.  The sliding load was then transferred sideways into that anchor rail.



Chains were then attached to the pulling cylinder and to the slider frame on the opposite side of the locomotive.


For the truck to be pulled under the locomotive, the air jack on that side of the slider had to be removed. But before it could be removed, special blocking had already been placed under the locomotive skirt to support that corner of the locomotive while the sliding operations took place without a jack under that side of the locomotive. Fortunately, we have a good supply of steel blocks made just for this purpose. These blocks were obtained from Taylor yard when it was dismantled about 10 years ago. Note that there is wood between each of the layers of steel blocking and the locomotive skirt. That ensures that the steel surfaces won’t slide on each other. Also note the upper piece of plywood that is directly under the skirt. The forces involved are very high and crushed the plywood just like it was cardboard.

Then the sliding operation started to move the truck back under the locomotive. The four greased sliding channels are on the floor just to the right of the truck.

The truck had to slide about 12 feet sideways, but the cylinders had a short “throw” length. That meant the cylinders would pull the full length of their piston rod, then extend back out, shorten up the chain, and then go through the process a number of times. It worked perfectly except for a failure in a power cord that fed the hydraulic pump. Taka isolated the problem and a new plug was installed. Things then went great for the rest of the operation.


Once the truck was back under the locomotive, the air jack was put back under that side and the skirt blocking was removed.


The locomotive was then carefully lowered back onto the truck once the bolster ring on the locomotive body and the center bowl of the truck were perfectly lined up. When the jacks were lowered, the bolster slid back into the bowl with perfect alignment.

The next task was to remove the slider out from under the truck. To do that, the truck “clips”, as they are called, were put back into place. These clips ensure that the truck will stay attached to the locomotive in case of an accident. In this case, the clips held the truck tight to the locomotive as the locomotive and truck were jacked up as a single unit.

The skirt blocking was then reinstalled. The jack on this side was removed again and the slider frame was pulled out from under the truck. Then the greased channels were removed. After everything was clear under the locomotive, the front skirt blocking was again removed and the locomotive, with truck attached, was lowered back onto the tracks.

Then it was time for cleanup. All the blocking material and work tools were put away to get ready for moving the locomotive over the work pit to finish the reattachment of all the hoses, air bellows, brake rigging etc. Richard and John are planning to do much of that work this week.

The final task for the wheel replacement job will be to reattach the front and rear skirt guards. Once that is done, the wheel replacement project will be finished.

The remaining task on the locomotive will be to complete the refurbishment and installation of the oil cooler system. The cooler has been cleaned and is waiting for gaskets and seals.

There is one more task associated with the oil cooler project. That is to build and install a screen in the water path that leads to the oil cooler. That screen will help filter out debris that could plug the oil cooler in the future. The water tank will probably need to be modified to have ready access to that new filter screen in the future.


When 1474 was started Saturday, a loud clunking noise was heard coming from the cooling fan compartment. Further examination revealed that the fan drive has a lot of play in it. Its not clear yet if the excess play is caused by worn gears in the gear box or a worn-out shaft coupling that drives the gear box. Further examination is needed to isolate the problem. Until further notice, 1474 has been taken out of service.


During the restoration project, the oil filter tank was rebuilt to house modern locomotive oil filters. During that rebuild, it was discovered that the tank lid gasket was a home-made flat piece of what appeared to be rubberized canvas. A more modern rubber coated fabric was used as a replacement, but it leaked. The next approach was to use an O-Ring. The problem was that the size of the O-Ring needed to be about 16.5” x ¼” which would be a custom size. An O-Ring splicing kit was purchased and Carl cut and glued a new O-Ring to perfectly fit the space available under the lid. After the O-Ring was installed, the engine was started, and no leaks were found.

This picture shows the top of the oil filter tank. It seems to be unique to Southern Pacific SW1 locomotives since we have not found any other SW1’s that used this style and size of filter tank.

Dave Althaus

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