Southern Pacific #18 Restoration – July 2014

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The inmate “waterin hole”

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Stacking tie plates and rail joiners

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A little cloud cover helped out with the heat, the backside of the Sierra’s provide some stunning scenery.

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Perlite car #73 heads across the yard to its new home.

What a few weeks! This update will cover a couple of weekends of work in July at both the museum and locomotive. First up, the Museum:

With temperatures easily in the upper 90′s to 100, we really got to house cleaning and clearing out unneeded stuff. Both weekends we were assisted by groups of 4 inmates from the Inyo county jail. These guys really did a great job removing sage brush and trash (8 trailer fulls over 2 weeks) and stacking all our tie plates and rail joiners on pallets. They worked their tails off out in the sun. It wasn’t all bad for them though, they did build a little watering hole in the creek for some relaxation.

 

With the help of a little cloud cover; Rick, Dave, Jeff, Gary, Ted, and Bob went about moving some of the museum pieces that were in the path of the ROW. Biggest of the pieces was perlite boxcar #73. Over the years we have discovered the one thing our group really excels at is moving boxcars without wheels. #73 was no exception and it took a 100yard journey relatively quickly.

Thanks to all the help, both volunteer and inmate, we are about two-thirds of the way to having the yard cleared out and ready for a track survey, which we plan to do in September. This project still needs your donations to make it a reality, any help is greatly appreciated!

 

 

New and old

New and old

Forest installs a new brass lateral shim.

Forest installs a new brass lateral shim.

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Rolling flues

 

The key to flue rolling, Crisco

The key to flue rolling, Crisco

Dave Mull with Independence's first fire truck.

Dave Mull with Independence’s first fire truck.

Independence's current fire truck and volunteer fire dept. give the #18 a squeeze.

Independence’s current fire truck and volunteer fire dept. give the #18 a squeeze.

Leaking throttle and water glass valve packings.

Leaking throttle and water glass valve packing’s.

 

Over at the engine things moved right along. The first weekend we installed the four new coil springs and #3 leaf spring, which along with some cotter pins has completed the spring rigging work!

Next up was installing a new lateral shim on the right crosshead and adjusting the guides. This took about a day and turned out very nice. This work along with some cotter pins, grease fittings and nuts completes the valve motion, aside from timing of course.

The major accomplishment was flue rolling. After figuring out which drill had the right torque, we were off to the races. Our new flue expander and a bucket of Crisco made relatively easy work of the rolling. All together it took us about a full day on each end to have them all rolled. Initially we had no intention of filling the boiler and doing a hydro but we were at a point that we were ready to do it on Sunday and figured why not.

We started filling the boiler with the garden hose and added 500 additional gallons with Dave’s 1943 fire truck. With the boiler basically full a quick request was put into the Independence volunteer fire department to do a hydro. About 10 minutes later they arrived and had us up to 125psi.

As has been stated before, this is truly a community project with a lot of local support, and we often see it with short notice assistance from the community in various forms like a fire truck or sandwiches from Jenny’s Cafe, it all helps make the project happen.

With the #18 up to 125 psi. we discovered one major leak and various minor ones. The minor ones such as rolling about 15 flues one more turn, adding some packing to a few valves and tightening a couple staybolt caps were easily fixed. A handful of staybolts will still need to be worked (the process of working over the bolt end on the firebox side with an air gun) during the next hydro to full pressure.

The biggest leak was the throttle. After removing the dome lid and looking at what was going on it appears that we did not get a good seat on the gasket between the throttle column and throttle valve. Once that is fixed and we have our plugs to put in place of the safety valves for the hydro we will be ready to do a full test to 225psi, or 1 1/4 times the max operating pressure. While the full pressure test will undoubtedly show us a few more little leaks, we are certainly on the downhill path with the boiler work.

Thanks again to everyone who has helped out these past couple weeks and we look forward to wrapping up all the boiler work in the next month or so and start putting things back together.

Southern Pacific #18 Restoration – June 2014

Marty and Randy getting the rings in the bore.

Marty and Randy getting the rings in the bore.

The last weekend in June was a bit of a different weekend, mostly due to the small memorial celebration held for Larry Peckham, a long time member who passed away in May. Although we took time for the memorial, Larry would have been proud of the amount of work we still managed to accomplish.

The biggest accomplishment on the weekend was the completion of the right side valve and piston. After

New head in place

New head in place

months of work, mostly by Marty and Scott, we finished up the work with the installation of the piston and new rings, the brand new cylinder head, and installation of the remaining valve motion.

With things all tightened up we went ahead and installed the cylinder and valve covers as well, not only to get them off the floor, but to help us feel like we’re getting somewhere with this project.

The only things left to complete on the valve motion (other than valve timing) are a couple odds and ends with cotter pins and grease fittings. We also have to remove one shim on the right crosshead shoe, it turned out to be a little tighter than we would like. All things considered its nice to have one more large part of the restoration done.

The steam chests are all buttoned up.

The steam chests are all buttoned up.

While the valve work was progressing, we also installed the linkage for both blow down valves. Also accomplished was the installation of the new #3 spring. We would have had all the spring rigging complete but our coil springs did not ship in time for the weekend. We also would have begun rolling flues, but just like the springs, our flue roller did not arrive either.

The right side crosshead and valve motion are just about done.

The right side crosshead and valve motion are just about done.

Scott installing the new piston packing.

Scott installing the new piston packing.

Mike cuts the slot for the blowdown linkage in the new running board while Jeff looks on.

Mike cuts the slot for the blowdown linkage in the new running board while Jeff looks on.

While the work was going on over in the shade of the tent, Dave, Rick and Ted were over in the 101 degree sun moving junk in the museum yard for pick up. Slowly but surely phase 1 of the museum track plan is starting to be implemented.

Finally, pick up a copy of the first volume of Ed Fleming’s new DVD about the SPNG and the #18 restoration. Ed has done a great job with it and it’s available in our store along with many other great items like the beautiful Jan Rons painting. As always, all of your purchases directly support the restoration and building projects.

Thanks again to everyone that helps and supports us, we’ll see you next time.

The lubricator in place to so we can measure lengths for lubricator lines.

The lubricator in place so we can measure lengths for lubricator lines.