12-14 October 2007

Friday 12th October : Today marked the start of a marathon 10 days for the working members of the C15PS. The day began with members preparing an ‘away’ tool kit for the days ahead and ensuring that D8233 and other vehicles were clear of debris for moving out of Road 6 of the loco works.

Around midday Class 03 2062 and Class 47 47402 departed Castlecroft Depot for the loco works to shunt D8233 out. We arrived back at Castlecroft around 2pm with D8233 being hauled by 2062. It was then shunted into position at Castlecroft on Road 4 for crane access. The tarp was moved back over the cab and the 10-ton Coles Crane moved into position, the roof section slung and the remaining bolts removed. The roof section was then removed and placed on 4 empty barrels in the yard. Next up was the side frame, again this was slung and the remaining bolts removed, the crane then moved it away from D8233 and down onto the ground. Next up was the 2 x turbo’s again these were slung, the remaining bolts removed and then these were placed in the storage area as these turbo’s are our spare ones as the new Power unit already has two of its own. A team then set about removing the water header tank from the roof section, a little bit of brute force and modification with the ‘gas axe’ was needed before it was free, and discussion took place on some mods to aid its fitting!

With the next day looming upon us, and the light depleting, we decided to move the tarp back over for the night and relax.

Saturday 13th October: An early start for us all, the day began with removing the tarp back over the cab and clearing the area ready for the Hiab wagon that we had hired for the weekend from Alasdair Morgan. Around 9am Alasdair arrived and the wagon and D8233 moved into position.

Two of us started to jack the generator armature off the power unit crankshaft, however, this proved more of a task than first thought, and extension pieces to the bolts that jack the armature away from the crank had to be made. The HIAB was then positioned over the generator and it slung, we then ran through the method statement and risk assessment with the PIC and the lookouts were deployed. The weight was taken and the generator moved towards the cab with the aid of bars, then the armature jacked forward more till the stop and then the casing moved forward with the bars…. you get the picture!

It took us around 30mins or so before the actual armature had been completely jacked off the crankshaft dowel’s and I must say its not a job I’m looking forward to in fitting the generator back once overhauled! The generator set was then lifted clear of D8233 and placed on Alasdair’s wagon. The roof section was then moved with the HIAB out of the way and the wagon repositioned.

Next up was the power unit itself, the Hiab moved back over and the Power unit slung, the mounting bolts removed and the weight taken. However the lift was not level due to the weight on the stripped down power unit being mostly in the fan drive end. The power unit was put back down on D8233 and re-slung. The next lift was more level, and the power unit was moved clear of D8233, and moved to its stabling position on the ground between the two crossley power units. The generator set was then slung and moved off the bed of the wagon and into the clear area on the ground.

We then test lifted the new power unit and weighed it at the same time with a weigh sling, the unit weighed 7.9 tonnes. We did this so we were sure of its weight and also that Alasdairs HIAB could lift and swing the new power unit into position with no problems, this was a success and the new power unit was placed back on the ground ready for the following weekend. We then helped Alasdair pack away and he departed.

Work though was far from over, the tarp was then completely removed from D8233 and the traction motor bearing caps that were in the engine compartment and No.1 nose end removed with the aid of a lift table and placed into safe storage, the Coles crane was then employed to remove the 2 x exhausters that were on the running board of D8233 and into storage till the time we need to restore them. The roof section was then moved with the Coles crane to a position close to the shed so power could be got to it.

A team was busy scraping and removing years of gunk and ming that was under the old power unit and generator, we were slightly disappointed that only one spanner was found, we expecting a full ex BR toolkit! With as much as possible scraped away, the steam cleaner was then brought out and the rear bulkhead and floor steamed off as much as possible. We then set about shunting Castlecroft shed, so D8233 could be put inside No2 road for the week ahead. At around 6pm this was completed and D8233 stood alongside D9531 and D1041 in Castlecroft and the team called it a day.

Sunday 14th October: A slightly later start to the day, a team set about the cleaning up and drelling of the engine compartment, the floor was degreased and cleaned and the heavily rusted and pitted areas needle gunned. The Water header tank was moved inside and a start made on cleaning it back to bare metal with the needle gun and wire wheels.

Another team set about the mods to the roof section and cutting off the captive nuts that had broken bolts in them. A large section of the skin that covers the water header tank area on the roof section was cut out, the main reason for this was to promote air flow through the engine compartment and also to stop the build up of corrosion between it and the small roof section that sits above it. One of the girders that runs straight across the roof section that the water header tank sits on was cut down also, this was also to aid re-fitting and future removal if needed. By Mid afternoon and the majority of the team called it a day and headed home after what was a very long weekend.

Above : The roof section is lifted off D8233. © C15PS
Above : The stripped engine is slowly lifted clear of the locomotive. © C15PS
Above : With the generator set strapped onto the flatbed the old engine is lifted out. © C15PS
Above : A very stripped D8233 awaits shunting into Castlecroft shed. © C15PS
Above : D8233 in Castlecroft shed ready for the engine bay to be cleaned and painted. © C15PS


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