26/27 May 2007

Saturday 26th May: Today there was 7 working members in total, and our mission was to refit the radiator shutters and test that they worked via the air cylinders. Sounds simple doesnt it! The first part to allow our mission to happen was to fit the new cooler group side panel, which being heavy took some brute force to move from the coach and onto D8233.

We then set about preparing all the shutters ready for refitting, the pins were cleaned up of rust and paint with emery cloth and over half of the shutters required old split pins knocking out or drilling out on the operating arm pins, a very time consuming task when the split pin holes are only a 1/16" big, very fiddly work. The mountings for the shutters had all the bushes cleaned out with a dremel fitted with a wire wheel to remove all paint and rust to ensure the shutters have smooth operation. Once done it was time to assemble the shutters in the loco, sounds simple? It required someone with around 20 pairs of hands! The shutters dont actually attach to the mounting bracket, the pins only sit in the bushes, then the whole assembley is kept together in the frame on the cooler group side panel. So it was a case of putting a shutter in at a time and holding it in while the opposite side mounting was put on, several times one would fall out just at the last moment! However we prevailed and the assembly was fitted into the side panel then bolted up, some of the shutters required 'technical' adjustment to ensure all moved freely and sat correctly. The operating arm was then fitted, only to discover that in doing so, it jammed the whole assembly up! Again, a bit of 'technical' adjustment and the shutters were all connected and moving freely. The next thing was to fit the operating cylinder and test that the shutters opened and closed happliy with an air supply, a compressor was untilised for this task and the shutters opened and closed quite happily using the air cylinders, all be it with some frightening force!

Sunday 27th May: Total of 5 working members present today. We followed on from yesterday’s progress and aimed to get the Radiator Tanks and side frames refitted. Firstly we had to dig out all the nuts and bolts for the tanks to ensure all were present then they were cleaned up on the wirewheel, several other items for the tanks assembly were also dug out from the depths of the coach checking all what we needed was present and any that needed attention before fitting could be done. Before any tanks could be fitted, the side panels between each top and bottom tank had to be fitted to D8233, they sit on rubber mounts which are then bolted through and have castle nuts and split pins, all good fun trying to fit split pins in confined spaces! Fitting these took some time and it was quite a while before we were ready to fit the first set of tanks. Firstly one of the top tanks was offered up and bolts loosely put in, and then the bottom tank. We then trial fitted a radiator element to ensure all was square and the elements fitted ok to the top and bottom tanks. Once done, all the bolts were tightened and torqued up and the two stretcher bars fitted. We did have the intention of fitting the other set of tanks as well, but time being against us, we decided to defer this task to next weekend.

A big thanks to all those who helped muck in over the weekend, we saw great progress on D8233 and the cooler group compartment is coming together nicely, and I’m sure the others will agree, when you stand in the compartment now, its a different place to the mucky rusty grimy hole that it was and well worth the hours spent in the coach preparing tanks/pipework etc.

Photos of the work are below and video can be seen here

Above : The awkward task of fitting the radiator shutters. © C15PS
Above : Newly fitted radiator shutters in the open position. © C15PS
Above : Newly fitted radiator shutters in the closed position.. © C15PS
Above : A view from inside the radiator compartment. Two radiator elements are test fitted. © C15PS


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