Monday, August 12, 2013

When the Bough Breaks

My next big ambition in life is to change out the compressor on the 36.  But overly ambitious people are often thwarted by unforeseen difficulties, or so I've read.

Older style compressors such as the D3-EG in question generally sit on a so-called "cradle", a metal frame supporting the pump underneath and attached to the car's underframe. In order to replace or work on the compressor, the cradle must first be lowered from the car.

In most cases, such as the 308 and 309, this is done by means of small steel keepers inserted through a slot in the frame.  You raise the cradle's frame a little, push the keeper out, and then it can easily be lowered and removed.

But as you will note with dismay, the 36 doesn't have this convenient system; the cradle is attached with a total of 20 bolts, most or all of which must be removed.  So I'm working on getting them loose, and it isn't easy.  One just snapped apart, and on another I basically stripped the threads, just using a large open-end wrench and my own limited strength.  Bolts are easy to replace, but in some cases it's nearly impossible to remove the rusted-in parts.  And under the car, the brake rigging is in the way, and...  Sorry, that's enough whining for today.  I also took measurements to be sure we can actually pull the compressor out under the truss rods, which are put there to make this job more difficult.  We should have about an inch to spare.  Heh.
That got old after a while, so I decided to take steps to make the car more complete.  Here we see one of those steps in position at the #1 end.  I believe we will not need to remove them again, but now that the bolts have been freed up and/or replaced, it would not be difficult to do so.  Next we need a pilot.  One who didn't have the fish for supper.

Well, that's enough about me.  Let's see what Tim is up to.  Here are the old letterboard sections stacked up against a scaffold.  Do not be deceived -- that car behind it is not actually a rapid transit car.

Among other things, Tim is hard at work making patterns for the roof hardware.  The 24 (1024) had an impressive array of various items at the ends of the roof, but all of this disappeared a hundred years ago, literally. So he is making patterns out of wood and plastic, in preparation for brass castings.  It's a very challenging project.

 And then I met a man from Tucson, a member of the Old Pueblo Trolley.  I haven't been to Tucson for many years, and because they're located in the middle of a large city, they're at the mercy of forces beyond their control.  So we talked about that for a while, and I let him see the interior of the 36, and he had been tasked by the guys back home with taking pictures of various cars, so I pointed out where they were.  It's always interesting to meet people from other museums.

In any case, at IRM there are several other challenging projects in progress, including getting ready for DOWT.  We can always use more help!


Anonymous said...

if the old compressor is that tight a fit, have you also measured the new one to be sure it isn't just a little bit bigger?

C Kronenwetter
IRM Member

Bruce Duensing said...

And I thought working on my old truck was a challenge..

Randall Hicks said...

I did actually measure the replacement compressor to be sure. There are sometimes slight differences between identical models.

Anonymous said...

always, measure twice, cut once

C Kronenwetter
IRM Member