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Diesel Service Updates

Diesel Service Report – March 14, 2021

By March 14, 2021January 26th, 2022No Comments

Diesel Service Report, March 14th, 2021

Fairbanks Morse H12-44, SF560 Restoration Project

Richard Berk and John Salvini have been working many days now taking apart the front of the Diesel engine as they track down a water leak which appears to be someplace around the exhaust manifold on the “control” side of the engine. The extreme amount of congealed old oil, mixed with dust and dirt, makes the job very dirty and difficult. After several days working on it, they are getting close to uncovering the problem. The first picture (left) shows how bad the oil build up was.

This next picture (right) shows the area after working several days cleaning it up. And if you look on the left side of the picture, you can see that the dirt and oil are also on the sides of the engine. Also notice the two large square holes roughly in the middle of the engine block, just to the left of John. Those are the exhaust openings. The snubbers (mufflers), that bolt onto those square holes, are being delivered to an industrial radiator shop for cleaning. The snubbers were also full of oil and hard carbon deposits.

Sellers Wheel Lathe Restoration Progress

Carl Pickus has finished building the two-part housing that encloses the whole lathe facility. The two halves individually roll apart on rails to provide a wide opening directly over the lathe. That allows a crane to lower a complete wheel set down into the lathe. There are a few final details to take care of inside the enclosure but it is essentially done now and will keep the lathe out of the weather. Bob Bray and Tim Johnson started the cleaning process on the lathe yesterday and pictures were taken of them standing in the pit. However, the pictures did not turn out so the perspective of how small a person is, compared to the lathe, was lost. Instead, this next picture is of another larger Seller’s lathe showing a workman as he is operating the lathe. Our lathe isn’t this large, but it demonstrates how the lathe works. The major task now will be to clean the lathe, lubricate all its sliding and moving parts, test the internal oiling systems, change the oil in the oil cellars, install work lights, etc.

 USAF 1601, 80 Ton GE Switcher

The handbrake chain was not rolling up properly on the take up spool. Carl had welded on a support bracket previously to solve the problem. But when an excess amount of chain was unspooled, it would drop off the take-up spool and not wrap up correctly again. Carl welded on a new “U” channel to help hold the chain in place. This type of hand brake uses a chain to pull the brake shoes tightly against the wheels. To release the chain, all that is required is to release the tension on the chain. That releases the brake shoe pressure against the wheels. It is advised that about half a turn of additional slack be given with the handbrake shaft. If more is given, then the excess chain just piles up underneath and can cause problems.

It was also reported that the new shutdown solenoid was not acting correctly again. We will take a look at that in the next few weeks.

Diesel Locomotive Load Bank

The load bank was wired a few months ago but needed to have its external shielding replaced. Carl cut sheet metal pieces and installed them on the front and back of the load bank.

Richard Berk and John Salvini will try to use the load bank sometime soon. They want to test it to make sure that it is functioning properly.

Now a way needs to be found to easily move it around. It is so heavy that Carl’s forklift, that is used in Carbarn 7, can’t safely lift it anymore. Plans are being formulated to mount the load bank on a trailer of some sort or attach wheels to it and be able to tow it. Also, a secure storage area for the copper cables needs to be devised. Once the load bank is functional, it will be able to finally help test almost all our locomotives into some of their higher load ranges.

Dave Althaus

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