December 12-13 2009

Saturday 12 th

Attendance: 3

Before we arrived at Bury an Email had been sent to the group asking that we make arrangements for the movement of the remaining Class 15 spares stored at Castlecroft yard, this is all part of the ongoing work to clear the site of all the diesel group spares in readiness for the re-opening of the Bury Transport Museum, We still have the six MV137 traction motors and associated bearing caps, gear cases and nose suspension links on site and the plan was to get one of the flat wagons shunted into position and then crane the stuff onto the wagon for transportation down to the Baron St site where its to be unloaded, however as the points to the shed were out of action the shunt could not take place, but when Jason & Rob arrived on site they thought that we could use Robs small Citroën C15 van to move the smaller stuff, however just then Steve Beniston happened by and he kindly offered the use of his rental van to do the job instead, this was great as with the bigger VW Crafter panel van we could get all the stuff shifted in one hit whereas it would have took multiple trips with Robs small van.

After Breakfast, Jason went down to Baron St to collect the Vvn but when he got back on site the ELR P-Way team had parked their Land Rover and trailer in the way, also as all the bearing caps were on a pallet it was planned to use the diesel forklift to lift the pallet into the back of the big van unfortunately the battery was flat and it struggled to turn over, so Rob went to Halfords to buy some jump leads, when he returned the forklift was started and the Land Rover and trailer moved out of the way, Andy Hardman then drove the forklift, picked up the pallet and when Jason backed the van down it was loaded in the back, by this time Dave Garnett had arrived and together with Rob & Jason they loaded the rest of the stuff into the big van (and couple of bits into Robs small van) and then they drove off down to Baron St. The traction motors had to be left behind as they will be moved another time.

On arrival it was decided to place the stuff in the Co-Bo tent for safe keeping, a quick phone call to Project Leader Chris Baily to approve the plan and the vans were backed up and the stuff unloaded, the bearing caps now had to be manhandled individually and they are rather heavy so Jason borrowed a wheel barrow from the steam dept to make this job a little easier, with that task completed Jason returned the van keys to Steve B with thanks and now work could continue on the locos.

Rob was determined to progress his allotted task of gunning, drelling & painting the inside of the engine compartment roof section so he set about doing that. Dave G went into the Co-Bo to carry on with his baton & peg boarding in the cabs and Jason had a more specific task in mind - the exhaust manifolds on the engine require some replacement heat shield lagging, we plan to buy some special woven tape that will do the task, however its pricey and Chris B wanted to know exactly how much we would need to do to job. This meant the surface area of the manifolds needed to be measured so Jason's task was to get out all the pipes that had been removed from the L/H side of the engine and measure them for length and diameter, so each pipe was done and the results noted down. After measurement of the L/H pipes had been completed Jason took them into the workshop of the support coach and neatly placed them on one of the shelves in there, then the pipes on the R/H side of the engine neede to be measured and as these pipes are still fitted in situ it was a lot trickier also the porting of the R/H manifolds is different so some of the pipe designs were not quite the same however some were near mirror images of pipes on the L/H side so it was possible to Jason to guestimate most of the lengths and finally finish off his task.

Rob had been busy drelling and painting inside the engine room roof section, the rear and R/H side grille sections had previously been primer painted so Rob now applied the grey undercoat, not before having to warm the cold thick paint pot up in a sink full of hot water. After this job was finished he had only the L/H side grille section to do but as he needed a full day to complete that job he left it for another time. Meanwhile Jason was trying to figure out what had happened to the Co-Bo power supply during the last working weekend, we'd had a short and it had tripped out the supply lead but when it was checked to where it plugs into the works supply it was still on, Jason had bought his Multimeter to check that the power was coming out of the trip box and it was, however there was no power at the other end of the long cable, so he traced in inside the works and found a 13 amp plug & socket inline on the cable hanging 15 feet up the side of the wall, guessing that the fuse had blown Jason got the ladder and asked Rob to hold it steady for him when he went up and changed the fuse, he tested it to make sure it was blown (and it was) and swapped it for a working one, then he came down and reconnected the Co-Bo power supply and everything was working again.

By this time it was getting dark, Rob had to leave early and Dave was still working in the Co-Bo cab, so Jason went into the Generator room on D8233 and used the vacuum cleaner to suck up all the drelling dust that was on the floor in the area, the generator well was particularly messy as the L/H exhaust manifolds had been laid here, now that they have been moved Jason could get in and clean up, with that job completed it was time to pack up, the tarp was secured on the Loco and Dave finished up in the ‘Object'. We had got quite a bit done today, moving all the small traction motor spares from Castlecroft was the main achievement and something that had needed doing, the rest was little jobs but as they say every little helps…

Sunday 13 th

Attendance: 2

This morning was quite cold, Jason started things off early and did a small painting job in the support coach, the rocker box covers that had been removed from the L/H side of the engine have all been glossed but the Paxman logos needed picking out in a different colour, Jason had done one before as a tester so now it was time to paint the rest so he set up in the sitting compartment made sure the heating was on and using a small modelling brush carefully hand painted the 6 other caps that needed doing. One of the caps is blank, it sits behind the air intake manifold that come down off the turbo, but Jason decided that we needed two more rocker boxes with the logos on to go in their place, fortunately we have spares – a full set of rocker box tops that came off D8233 original engine and these are in store so after Jason had finished his painting he went out to get a couple and bought them back. These will need to be drelled and painted to the same standard as the others but that's a job for another day.

By this time Chris Guntripp had arrived and he planned to do some work on the batoning in cabs on the Co-Bo, this left Jason to get on with other Class 15 jobs that needed doing, one of which was to unbolt the air compressor. One of the few original auxiliary machines still fitted to the class 15 after ETH unit conversion is the air compressor, it's a Westinghouse CM38 2 cylinder electrically driven machine and is located on the L/H side of the No2 lower equipment compartment being bolted down onto two sections of upturned channel that are welded to the floor. Two of the bolts pass right through the loco floor to the under frame and the other two are just into the tapered up ends of the channel sections. After undoing the tarp and pulling it back enough to get access, Jason had to use a socket and spanner to get the long bolts out on the L/H outer edge first, after that he undone the electrical conduit fittings that attach to the motor but they had to stay in situ as they need to be pulled out when the compressor unit is removed.

Jason then had to undo the tarp on the other side of the loco and climb into the lower compartment while crouched down so as to gain access to the other two bolts, one was taken out and the other left in to make sure that the compressor didn't move or tip up on its mountings, after that was done he tied up the tarp again on both sides and had some lunch.

In the afternoon Jason decided to try and paint the L/H side of the engine with the grey undercoat and further the task of the engine repaint, now after recent successful use of the electric airless spray gun he decided to try and spray on the paint again, but this time he was going to use the air spray gun, but the problem with the grey undercoat is its very thick especially when cold, so the paint had to thinned down so that it could be made sprayable. So a test batch mix was made using white spirit and then the air compressor was set up in the loco and the spraying commenced. Unfortunately the paint mix was too runny and when he tried to spray it came out two thin & fine and did wasn't covering at all, also the amount of overspray mist that was kicked up soon became intolerable so he was forced to quit using the air sprayer and try with the electric airless spray gun again like last time.

Unfortunately Jason just didn't seem to have the knack of getting the grey undercoat thinned down to the correct consistency, the batch of paint he mixed up for the air less sprayer was too thick & wet, when it was sprayed it spurted out in huge globs, it was covering to be fair but it was causing all manner of runs & drips when it was applied to the lower coolant pipe, Jason soon had to admit defeat leaving behind a mess that he had to clean up with rags where the paint had dripped down onto the previously glossed engine bed frame below, this job will have to be finished off another time with the more traditional hand brushes!

There was one more job that Jason could do, that was to fit the engine electrical box mounting brackets to the L/H side of the generator bed frame, these had been removed from the old engine cleaned up and primer painting, the bolt holes were already there so it was assumed that it would be a straight forward job to bolt it back on… Not so? There was paint & gunk in the screw holes so Jason had to break open the tap set and tap out the hole threads once more, after this was done it was time to pack away, Chris Guntripp had finished what he was doing in D5705 so both locos were secured and the workers cleaned themselves up and went home, so ended the last working weekend on D8233 for 2009.

verall its been a quiet year for the Class 15, work on the loco has mainly concentrated on bodywork & internal compartment overhaul, but this year did see us start work on the Cab & “B” end of the loco, work which will no doubt pick up pace next year, of course this time last year we got the bad news of the true cost of the generator overhaul and this necessitated the launch of the Generator appeal, However next year we hope to have the Genny back and refitted to the loco & perhaps then we can attempt a 2 nd start-up ;) so roll-on 2010 its looking good for significant progress next year.

The next working weekend is 16/17 January. If you wish to lend a hand please contact Chris Tatton

Above : At Castlecroft yard Andy Hardman forklifts the Bearing Caps pallet into the back of the van. © C15PS
Above : The L/H exhaust manifolds are laid out on the floor ready for measuring. © C15PS
Above : Rob is busy undercoating the inside of the engine compartment roof section. © C15PS

Above : Jason carefully detail paints one of the Paxman logos on a rocker box. © C15PS

Above : Jason works around the solebar as he removes one of the compressor mounting bolts. © C15PS
Above : Spray painting the L/H side of the engine didn't quite go as planned. © C15PS


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