Monday, 23 February 2015

Small Loco Maintenance...

Hi all. Since our last posts regarding "Achilles" and the Atlantic, there hasn't been much on the small steam front. "Achilles" in her last report steamed at Ryton for the near New Year do, and 'Maisie' went up there for the February running day. This post is a sort of stop-gap post about both of them. First comes "Achilles". The tank engine ran very well but the water pump was leaking badly. I've found over the years that if you don't use the engine for a few months and the PTFE packing has chance to dry out then the glands start leaking. Once the packing has dried out it won't seal properly anymore and no amount of adding water will change that: it just needs replacing. With this in mind I opted to do a service on the water pump which means, yes, the loco has to take a fall...
With the loco on her side it is much easier to access the water pump. The drive for the pump is via two eccentrics coupled to the leading axle. With these disconnected the rams can be easily reached. The next job is to remove the two gland nuts and the lowest pair of stainless steel balls, as well as the old packing. The cleaned up parts including new balls are spotted below...
As I put the water pump back together its time to fit the new packing. I use PTFE yarn which I soak in thick steam oil before packing it around the ram within the gland nut body. Then, with a liberal application of steam oil to all moving parts, just connect everything back up...
After a check-up and some cleaning, "Achilles" was put back onto her wheels and onto her storage trolley. The loco will now hopefully be fit and ready for a future outing yet to be decided. However, we are hoping to do some RPMR public running with her this year, all being well. Now, over to 'Maisie'. 4436 ran very well on her last outing to RPMR following her quiet winter, though the lubricator was proving troublesome. A few days ago I stripped the tender off and ran the engine up and down. Unusually, the lubricator worked faultlessly. Perhaps an air lock or the leg stuck in one tooth?...who knows! I'll have to keep an eye on that. I'll probably steam her at home next time just to watch it. It definitely uses oil, and in some volume too! With the steam chest now no doubt full of oil, the tender was put back on. I do like this engine...
The only other job now required on 'Maisie' is to replace a ball within the clack for the handpump. The handpump system has two separate clacks but the boiler end one is sticking open; reducing handpump efficiency by a strong degree and generally being a pain. Another small job that I'll get done soon. All the best guys, Sam...

No comments: