Southern Pacific #18 restoration – April/May 2016

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A view of the right side rods.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the weekend of April 30th and May 1st the C&C crew was at it again working on #18. This weekend was about finishing the installation of the rods, continuing the electrical work, and plumbing as well.  Charlie was on hand to lead the charge on installing the main rods. The main rods connect the piston and crosshead to the crank pin on the second set of drivers to move the locomotive. The 18 was rolled out of the tent on our panel track, with help from a fork lift and some muscle the rods were brought into place. After install of the main rods you have to check the clearance between the piston and the front and rear cylinder heads when the driver is at the 9 and 3 o’clock positions.(or when the piston is at the end of stroke) This is to ensure that the piston does not hit the cylinder heads. There is approx 1/4″ clearance between the head and the piston in the left cylinder on both ends. The right side however has 9/32″ clearance on the rear, but 0″ on the front. This is a problem, to remedy this is was decided to grind down some excess braze on the front of the piston and machine an 1/8″ off the back of the cylinder head. Combined this should give us the approx 1/4″ clearance we are looking for. Once the head is back we can double-check this, then adjust the lateral rings and do final fit of the rods.

Below is a link to a video made by our very own cinematographer Ed Fleming.

Dave drives the forklift while Forest and Pat help guide him.

Dave drives the forklift while Forest and Pat help guide him.

Right main rod being muscled over to the right side of the engine.

Right main rod being muscled over to the right side of the engine.

Right main rod installed.

Right main rod installed.

 

 

 

View of the right piston showing the large braze job from an old repair. This was ground down to hell with piston clearance.

View of the right piston showing the large braze job from an old repair. This was ground down to help with piston clearance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Electrically wiring progressed into the cab fairly well. The right side is completed, but the left side still needs work. We will need a proper fuse installed and new twist lock connection for the tender.

Some electrical work in the cab.

Some electrical work in the cab.

We were successful in airing up the locomotive to 40 lbs, however the air compressor on site is not up to the task. Rather than kill our only onsite air compressor, we stopped filling. We were able to tighten up many leaks with just 40lbs. In addition one more gauge line for the brake cylinder pressure needs to be installed. A larger air compressor will be needed to properly test the air system as well as completing the rest of the plumbing.

 

Left crosshead with main rod in place, and other linkage attached.

Left crosshead with main rod in place, and other linkage attached.

Charlie and Forest make small adjustments to center the rod over the crank pin so they can insert the bushing.

Charlie and Forest make small adjustments to center the rod over the crank pin so they can insert the bushing.

Southern Pacific #18 restoration – April 2016

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Marty, Randy, Ed, Scott, and Chris take in the action of tightening a knuckle pin.

April will be a productive month on the #18 with two work parties. The first of which this update covers. It was an extremely productive weekend with perfect weather.

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Scott works on the sander and bell piping.

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First up was the side rod installation. Although all the brasses were effectively done, we had to make numerous trips across hwy. 395 to our lathe for some final lateral   adjustments and to press the brasses into the rods. To install them we simply greased the rails and used our winch to roll the locomotive in place and then a come-a-long to the wheel spoke pulled the pins into final adjustment. All in all they went on very nicely.

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The nest of air plumbing assembled by Jarrett.

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Bob works on running wires.

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Cab with about 90% of the plumbing completed.

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Bob drawing his wiring schematics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jarrett and Scott spent most of the weekend on air plumbing. Thanks to their efforts we are about a days work away from putting air to the system and trying out the brakes. Jarrett deserves honorable mention for his work under the cab with the mile of piping crammed into a half mile of space. It looks better than when we found the locomotive and is more user friendly as well.

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The main light switch for head and rear light is getting wired in.

Meanwhile, Bob and Chris got down and dirty with the electrical system. They drew a schematic and ran most of the wires. Another couple days of work and there will be light.

We are now past the 90% completed mark on the entire restoration. There are really no new areas remaining to work on, just a handful to finish up and some final paint and cosmetics.