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.