Saturday, July 20, 2013

We'll Give You the Air!

Today was the annual Diesel Pageant, and the weather was better, so we had a good crowd of visitors.  I was unable to watch the pageant myself, but we may have more about it later.

We would never actually give you the air, of course -- that would be rude.  But the car has to give us the air to make the brake system (and whistles) work, so today was mostly spent working on the air system.  Al and I installed a correct governor in the 36 last year, but the wires were never connected, so I spent some time doing that and then testing the wiring to make sure the compressor will work correctly.  The next big task is to replace the current compressor, which is probably unsalvageable, with a rebuilt one.

Then I had to fix an obtrusive air leak under the #2 end.  This was traced to a loose union that could not be tightened, and after replacing it, the leak disappeared.  This took a while, at some cost to my personal appearance, and friends accused me of stealing dirt from the Museum.  But if we're going to dish out dirt on the web, we've got to collect it first, don't we?

I also tested the two retrievers that came with the car.  One works OK, but the other apparently has a broken retrieve spring, so I need to trade it in to Joel for a working one.  Joel also will be finding the parts for the trolley poles (harps and shoes) that I need.

By the way, Joel also told me of an amazing offer -- free oil change!  Just run your car over the pit, and you can have the compressor oil drained and changed -- for free!  You can't beat that with any local oil dealer!

The next thing was to clean and lubricate the triple.  Here it is on the bench.  This cylinder cap is much different from any of the others.  Looking through my Westinghouse manual, the cap is an early version of the emergency or quick action system.  Later caps are much smaller.  I was unable to disassemble it, but it was washed out with solvent and oiled lightly, and later tested.

The rest of this M2A is pretty normal.  The slide valve and graduating valve parts were a little dirty, but not badly worn, and they appear to lap well.  So they were cleaned and lubricated, and the valve was reassembled.  The old gasket had failed and was replaced, and everything tested out fine when installed on the car.  (In this case, the air was graciously being supplied by a friendly neighbor, the 308.)

And Rich Witt has started painting some of the first aid boxes with white primer.  They'll look great.

Of course, apart from the pageant, there were lots of things happening in every direction.  Be sure to keep up with the department blogs.   It's never a dull day out at IRM!

No comments: