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Sunday, March 13. 2011
The late GB&W 2407 update Posted by James Kolanowski in Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe 841 at 23:12
Here is a very late update on the progress on GB&W 2407 from February 12th, I had drafted it before I went on vacation for a couple of weeks and forgot to publish it. We had a pretty large group out Saturday afternoon, including Frank DeVries, Marcus Ruef, Warren Lloyd, Kyle Merkel, Kevin Hennessy, Greg Ceurvorst, Dave Fullarton, Jeron Glander, Jim West, Dan Currens, Rich Schauer, and myself. The main tasks were to get the rest of the water system tight. The previous weekend and during the week we had made a number of repairs, but did not have a chance to water it again. The electrical system, governor, and air compressor were also worked on.
Dan Currens started by digging into the electrical system, verifying everything was connected and functioning properly in the cabinet, and with the governor and such. Kyle and Jim worked on refilling the governor and pump with oil. We will have to flush the system again at a later date. There was some minor raccoon damage, but the majority of the electrical system was in pretty good shape.
Meanwhile Dave and Kevin were working on checking all the injection pumps, seeing which ones were free and which were sticking. They found a bunch that were very tight and began working on lubricating and freeing them up. Warren, Kyle and Rich joined in as well.
Frank and Marcus made a gasket to replace the leaking one on a cover on the air compressor, and then changed the oil in the compressor. We started watering again to verify the latest repairs and was very surprised at how well it was holding water. We did mark a few more water elbows that we had not marked the last time, along with some additional pipe couplings. Frank noticed a crack on a low pressure cylinder liner that was leaking water. There were a number of other leaks in this area the last time, so we didn't notice it. We are looking into some ways to fix this without changing the liner as it looks like the only damage is this area on the outside of the water jacket.
Greg joined Marcus and Frank, and they made some more gaskets to replace the leaking ones along with some hoses on a few of the water elbows on the engineers side after draining the water. They made enough for all the ones that were leaking on both sides. Warren replaced two of them on one side of the loco while Marcus and Frank replaced a few on the engineers side. While draining, we noticed that the compressor and water cooled intercooler on the compressor did not have a drain as the pipe that should have gone to the main drain valve was removed and plugged. This was done sometime when it was on the railroad, and is probably why there were water problems on the compressor. We'll have to thoroughly check out the intercooler as well.
It was a very productive day and I'd like to thank everyone that helped out to move this project much further along. Be sure to visit the Photo Gallery of the current work going on. Also, donations to the RSD15 are still needed and appreciated.
Wednesday, February 9. 2011
Tuesday nights work on the Green Bay and Western 2407 was to fix more leaks on some of the water pipes. Jeron Glander, Dave Fullarton, and myself arrived about 6:30pm and spent about four hours working on it. We started in the cramped quarters of the radiator room, using the porto-power to move one of the main water pipes around, bending a mounting bracket straight again and getting 3 main points of the pipe to line up properly. After a lot of adjusting, the sleeve fit perfectly. Then Jeron and Dave wire wheeled the surfaces of the pipe where the rubber gaskets of the coupling will seal and then reassembled the coupling and tightened up all the clamps.
After that I removed a small 1/2 x 8 inch pipe that was cracked, removed the reducing bushing that had the broken portion of the pipe stuck in it, removed the broken portion and replaced with a new pipe. Naturally, it has to be in one of the worst spots to reach, between the oil cooler and main water pipe, blocked by the drive shaft and eddy current clutch and guards, but we were able to squeeze in there and get it done.
Dave did some vacuuming of some debris on the floor before he and Jeron moved on to the engine to start taking off some water elbows between the head and block. There are a number of gaskets on the engine and air compressor that are dried and split and just need to be replaced.
I have created a photo gallery of the mechanical work as it progresses. There are also a few photos of the cab and the fogged and bad windows that need to be replaced. These will all have to be replaced with FRA glazing, donations to the RSD15 would be greatly appreciated and will assist in the costs of the restoration.
Monday, January 31. 2011
Green Bay & Western 2407 progress Posted by James Kolanowski in Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe 841 at 03:59
Originally Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe 841, this Alco RSD-15 was moved into the diesel shop early last year for some mechanical work. Progress over the summer was very slow due to many other ongoing projects and was mainly limited to cleanup of the cab, nose, and engine room. More recently, however, we have made a lot of progress. First, a little bit of history: Several years ago, the years start to run together so I'm guessing in 2000, we attempted to turn over the 16 cylinder engine for the first time at IRM and found that it was seized. We had no idea how good or bad it was, we knew that barring, nor trying to turn it over with its own starters would not work, it was certainly solid state. The stack was uncovered when we inspected and picked the unit back in 1995 in Green Bay, but all of the units there did not have covers, just a bit of tape and wire where the plastic covers used to be before the sun's UV had gotten to them. We figured it was a few years of rainwater and snow getting into the stack and going through the turbo into the engine. A few years later from first trying to turn it, we had started to poor some Kroil (the oil that creeps) into all of the cylinders by taking the relief plugs out and at first using a finger pump oil can, and later using a pressurized garden sprayer. This was done by the gallons a couple times a year over the span of a few years.
Moving on to the most recent work... On Tuesday night, Jeron G, Colton V, and myself finished a little more cleanup around the engine to prevent dirt, racoon crap, and paint chips from getting into the engine when we had covers open. Over the past couple of weeks, or maybe its been months...the time does start to run together...we've been talking about how to go about freeing up the engine and many different ways to do it. What we ended up with on Thursday and Friday nights was Charlie S and I making some adapters so that we could take a quick connect air fitting to a 1/2" pipe and kinda force it to thread into the plugs of the relief holes in the heads. We went through each cylinder and checked the position of the rods to pick a few cylinders that would give the most leverage on the crankshaft by pumping compressed air into the cylinders using the pistons to turn the crankshaft. We noted which ones would give us the correct rotation by air pressure and by leverage with a jack or porto-power in its given position. By Friday night, we had emptied 8 cans of PB spray into the 16 cylinders and had all the adapters in place, hoses all setup and tested. On a few cylinders we had to pull the rocker arms to close the valves. We called it a night at about 4am.
Saturday afternoon Charlie started to take off the air intake box from the front of the turbo. There isn't much room in this area of the loco, air, oil and water pipes are everywhere, and this box is what connects the intake filters to the turbo, and the intake filters have their own mount which is all blocked by other stuff, not an easy task. We figured the turbo was probably stuck too, and that was the easiest way to get to it. Meanwhile I started to get some 12 ton bottle jacks ready, we charged up the 4 cylinders we picked from the night before with air. After some playing around I found best way to wedge the bottle jacks was between the edge of the crankcase inspection holes against the 3/4" steel, and the bottom center of the rod bearing cap. A little bit of pumping on the jack, just to the point of almost needing two hands on the handle, there was a slight woosh of air and the jack crashed down on the screen in the crankcase. It actually moved, just a few degrees, but it actually moved. The next two hours was spent doing the same thing, moving a couple bottle jacks between a few holes since you could only turn it about 20-25 degrees per hole given the reach of the jack. We removed air from the cylinders as they got to the point where it would work against us. When we made it about 230 degrees around, we put air back on two cylinders, it took a couple pumps with the jack before the air pushed it around on it own nearly 100 degrees to almost BDC on those pistons.
A few others had arrived by this time including Warren L, Eric Z, Jim W, and Colton V. They dragged over the long heavy jumper cables and hooked them up between the 33C on the next track and the 2407. We turned the proper switches on, hit the start button, and watched the start contactors arc and bounce. The next step was to clean up the tips, on the second try, we hit the start button, and watched the lights go dim on the 33. The batteries weren't there enough anymore to get that big Alco engine to turn. After pondering what other options we had being all the way deep into the shop, not near any other locos with batteries, we checked the voltage on the big welder next to us and decided that may do the trick. The guys dragged over the other set of jumper cables and we wired that up along with the batteries in the 33C. The third try, we hit the start button, and heard the tone of the welder change, and that was about it. We only had the welder set at about 200 amps, so we turned it up to about 375 and gave it another try. We hit the start button, and the 16 cylinder engine started to turn slowly, picking up a little momentum after the first couple turns. After begin seized for more than 15 years, the Alligator was actually cranking itself over.
After that happiness and excitement, we turned our attention to a couple of stuck valves, freed those up, and then to the stuck turbo. Eric and Charlie dove into that, getting access to both ends and getting rust and debris cleaned out and then getting some penetrating oil between the blades and housing. We called it a night before 10:00pm for once to get dinner and a good night sleep for a good start time the next morning.
The goal for Sunday was to get the turbo freed and get the cooling system put back together and get it watered. There were a few large couplings that had been disconnected in the GB&W days. Roger B, Scott N, Pete P, and Warren L started working on those while Eric Z started digging into the turbo. Kyle M and myself cleaned all the screens in the oil pan and put the plugs back in the heads. Jeron G joined us right after lunch. Jim W set us up with the water hoses and we started filling with water. Overall it went pretty well, however, there were a few leaks that have to be dealt with, one coupling that goes into the oil cooler will need to be cleaned and reseated, a pipe on the air compressor was leaking where it slipped out of the compression fitting, several seals on the compressor, engine heads, and water manifold over the engine will need work. They are old and dry and just need to be replaced, and will be dealt with over the coming weeks. The turbo on the other hand is fighting us every step of the way. The exhaust inlet end was reassembled and left with penetrating oil to soak in between the blades and body, we'll come back to that another day.
The progress that was made by everyone this weekend was great, far beyond where I thought we would be by the end of the weekend, I can't thank you all enough for the effort that you all put in. Several huge steps were completed with getting the engine to turn and having it hold water. It is very possible that the 2407 may be part of the operating fleet by the end of the year, perhaps sooner depending on what it takes to resolve the turbo issue. We also need to thoroughly inspect the remainder of the electrical system, replace all the cab glass, as well as complete some other items, donations would certainly be welcomed to assist in the costs of these items.
Monday, November 29. 2010
CNW 6847 progress, November 27, 2010 Posted by James Kolanowski in Diesel Department at 10:28
Earlier in the week on Monday morning, Dave Diamond drove the wheelset that was removed from 6847 along with the new motor to a shop just outside of Chicago. They pressed off the wheels and gear, machined the bearing surfaces on the axle, and pressed the gear and wheels back onto the axle and reassembled the combo with new support bearings. Initially there was over .350" of lateral between the old motor and wheels, which is out of tolerance. After the machining and pressing the gear into the correct place and after reassembly with the new motor and bearings, the lateral was .079" where it should be. Dave Diamond helped us out again and picked up the combo on Wednesday morning and unloaded it in the steam shop under the overhead crane.
Saturday morning, Roger Broms, Dan Currens and myself arrived and started to do some other prep work including replacing a broken bolt on the nose pack, and then compressing it to be reinstalled once the motor is back in the truck. The nose pack is basically a rubber pad sandwiched between two thick bars of steel, which supports the nose end of the motor against the truck frame. We also mounted the blower duct and roller bearing boxes and then moved the motor to the drop table.
The Steam Department volunteers helped us out again as well by getting the drop table ready to go and helping get some tools and supplies, as well as operating the crane to stage the combo on the drop table for the installation. The 8537 was used to push the 6847 onto the drop table, centering the #5 axle over the table. The position of the pedestals was marked on the table, and then the table was lowered a bit and moved to the west side of the pit. The centerline for the wheels were marked and then the combo was placed with the nose of the motor blocked up.
The table was lowered and moved back to the east side of the pit under the loco, and raised back up stopping occasionally to check clearances and to line up the roller boxes with the pedestals. We had to push the firemans side wheel over just a bit with a bottle jack to get it to line up exactly in the pedestals, then raised up some more. Eventually the motor nose supports lined up with those on the truck frame and we slid in the support pack and pinned it in, lowered a bit to remove the blocking under the motor, and then continued to raise the table until the springs seated properly over the roller boxes. The table was clamped back into place and the loco was moved back into the shop.
We then put the pedestal cross bars back on, remounted the brake shoes and shock absorbers, released the bolts holding tension on the rubber nose pack, hooked up the traction motor leads and inspected a few other items. After all that, we moved the loco back outside and Jim West helped move the 428 and Shay back into the steam shop.
There is a gallery setup with some random photos during the process of changing the combo, http://www.irm.org/gallery/diesel-november2010, they are mostly in order from the prep work, to removing the wheelset and old motor, to installing the new motor and wheelset. Thanks to everyone that helped during the entire process. Next year when the weather is warmer, we'll test everything out operationally and CNW 6847 will be back in service again.
Tuesday, November 23. 2010
Diesel Shop News, November 21, 2010 Posted by James Kolanowski in Diesel Department at 03:12
The main goal for the afternoon was to get the wheelset, traction motor and other accessories from the 6847 loaded onto the truck and tied down so they could be taken to a machine shop near Chicago. Kevin Hennessy and I loaded the wheelset, TM and a pallet with the gear cases and a box with the support bearings. Kyle Merkel and I tied everything down with chains and ratchet binders. Rod Turner moved the CE4 a bit further into barn 6 so we could park the truck inside overnight in case it rained. Dave Diamond drove the parts towards the city early Monday morning. With some luck, we should be able to pick up a fully assembled combo on Wednesday morning and reinstall on Saturday.
Kyle and I then moved into the shop and started to disassemble the front lower pilot of CB&Q 9255 as it had been bent up a little bit from a derailment a while ago. We unbolted the bottom plate and then the firemans side supports. Steve Lewkowycz joined Kyle to complete the engineers side. All the parts were moved to the back of the shop ready to be straightened out. While they were there, they drained the loco for the winter as this weeks weather forecast is calling for below freezing temperatures for several nights in a row.
Dan Mulvihill and Bob Sundelin were testing some spot welded wires/pins that will be used to hold down the insulation on the M-35 above the windows. It was a short day, but a productive one.
Sunday, November 21. 2010
CNW 6847 progress, November 20, 2010 Posted by James Kolanowski in Diesel Department at 19:26
On Saturday morning, Roger Broms and I arrived about 8:30am and started getting some parts and tools ready to remove the #5 motor and wheel combo. We started the 8537, the US Army 45 tonner, which would be used later to move the 6847 over the drop table. Roger gathered some parts while I moved the new motor over to the steam shop under their new overhead crane. Meanwhile, Nigel and Ralph, and some others were removing the roof from the drop table, and getting the safety fence setup along with other some other items around the table. Jeff Calendine ran the forklift to remove two freight car trucks that were on the lead south of the table and in the way. The 6847 was facing south so we could close the railroad doors behind the shop to keep the heat in the shop.
Roger Broms and Bob Milhaupt drilled the last holes in the wheel clamps we made the night before so we could place a clevis on them to attach a chain from there. Roger Bradshaw began prepping the new motor, taking off the support bearing caps and cleaning everything up. Scott Nauer and I removed the last pedestal cross bar and the bracket that holds the traction motor nose pack pins in place. We then moved the 8537 to the steam shop and began to shove the 6847 over the table, lining up the #5 axle in the middle of the table. We tied everything down and moved the 8537 back into the shop out of the way.
We blocked up the nose end of the motor. One of the bolts on the rubber pack was broken so we couldn't compress it to remove it easily, so we just let the motor tilt more and more, added blocking as we lowered until the rubber pack was free to be removed. We then lowered the combo the rest of the way, slid over the table and raised it back up to let the Bay City crane lift the combo off the table to where the forklift could reach under it. Jeff moved the combo over to the shop near the new motor.
After draining the oil from the support bearings, removing the bearing wick assemblies, and removing the gear cases, we setup both motors on their ends. This way we could eventually lift the wheel off the bad motor, rotate 180 degrees, and onto the new motor. After setting the combo on its end, we could see there was a very large gap for the lateral motion between the motor and axle, well over a 1/4" gap on the comm end of the combo. We started tearing down the support bearing caps and pulled the top bearing shells out. We could immediately see excessive wear on one end of the axle where the flange end of the support bearing meets the wheel. The gear end looks like the gear had been moved or hammered over by almost a 1/8" as it wasn't lining up how it is supposed to be with the marks on the axle. The bearing shells were worn in certain spots and galling in other spots. At this point we figured there was no way to complete the job today and do it right.
Roger said if we could get the wheels, new motor and a few of the other required parts to his shop on Monday, they would press the gear into the right spot, machine the axle bearing surfaces and reassemble the combo with new bearings. Hopefully we will have the complete combo back by Wednesday before the holiday so it can be reinstalled Saturday. We started cleaning everything up, moving the motors back to the diesel shop inside on pallets. We removed the roller bearing boxes from the axle and placed those along with everything else on pallets. We dragged the 6847 back into the south end of the steam shop and put the 8537 away.
It'll be an extra week that we hadn't planned on, at least the job will be done right and everything will be back together with the proper limits and good bearings. Tentatively we are planning on installing the combo this coming Saturday if everything works out and there are people available on the holiday weekend. Sorry there are no pictures with this update, there were a number of people taking them, but most of them left before we were done so I couldn't ask to use them here.
Saturday, November 20. 2010
Diesel Shop update, November 19, 2010 Posted by James Kolanowski in Diesel Department at 02:18
On Thursday night a lot of switch moves were done to put the 1630 inside for the winter and move the 938 back to the turntable leads. We also made some temporary room on track 92 for UP 428 and the Shay. JD Marzec ran the 8537 as Bob Milhaupt and I worked the ground. Jeron Glander joined us later in the evening. After sorting some of the steam locos, we grabbed the CNW 6847 and moved it into the steam shop for some upcoming work the weekend of the 20th. Once the barn 9 and steam shop moves were completed, we finished putting the last car in barn 11 for the winter.
The Diesel Department is working with the Steam Department to clear the Steam Shop for a day, this Saturday, so a bad traction motor can be changed out on the CNW 6847 using the drop table. This kind of cooperation will save a lot of money by using the existing facilities rather then hiring large cranes. The order of equipment in the steam shop needed to be changed to facilitate future driver work to UP 428, everything would have been moved anyway, so the timing worked out very well. Thank You to everyone in the Steam Department for working with us to make this happen.
Late last year the #5 traction motor on the CNW 6847 failed with a grounded field. The limited operation this year was with a pair of motors cut out, which required a little bit of control rewiring as these CNW SD40-2's don't have motor cutouts. Earlier this year we obtained a good RTO traction motor and have been planning to change it out at the soonest opportunity. After many discussions and scheduling with Tom and others in the steam department, this weekend was chosen to do the job.
The evening of the 19th, Colton Verzi, Scott Nauer and I worked on cutting and welding some 3/4" steel to make some wheel clamps for lifting the motor/wheel combo with the overhead crane. After a few hours in the diesel shop the lifting clamps were done, and we headed for the steam shop, joined by Jim West. We started preparing the #5 combo, Jim began breaking the motor leads apart while Scott removed the pedestal cross bars. Colton and I removed the brake shoes and shortened the brake rigging via the slack adjusters, and then removed the shock absorbers. Saturday morning we'll drain the oil from the support bearings and prep the TM nose pack while the #5 axle is still over the little pit inside the shop, and then move it over the drop table to continue the job.
There are some additional photos added to the gallery at http://www.irm.org/gallery/diesel-november2010.
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