Monday, October 5, 2015

Grey day

Frank writes...

Sunday was cloudy, chilly and very windy - good working weather for the most part!  I didn't get out to IRM until about 2pm and started out by removing one of the two remaining un-rebuilt grid boxes from the 36.  This box is the middle of the car's five boxes and, as can be seen, was in pretty terrible condition despite the fact that it was still functional:

Those three nuts sticking out on the side of the box are split-bolt repairs, plus if you look closely you may be able to tell that some of the elements were bent over enough that they were shorting to the next element in line.  This box is unusual in that it only has two taps, at the ends, with no intermediate tap.  It was pretty rusty and took a while to disassemble, but I did manage to get it all taken apart and then needle-chipped the box castings.
We'll still need to wire-wheel them to get rid of the rust before priming and painting but good progress is being made.  While I was taking a break from that, I made my way over to Barn 7 where the gang was working on ex-Shaker Heights PCC 63, one of the cars acquired from Trolleyville.  This car was a last-minute addition to IRM's Trolleyville haul.  It was built for Minneapolis but ran for 30-odd years on the Shaker line and was modified pretty extensively there.  It has some real body rot issues but is complete and generally presentable.  Frank Sirinek and Mike Stauber spent a while after it arrived cleaning up the interior and replacing the fogged Lexan windows with ones acquired from East Troy.The "new news" for Sunday was that Richard, Greg and Joel had gotten the lights tested and working.
But the big news is that the car runs!  A couple of years ago Jeff Hakner had helped work through some control problems during a visit from Connecticut, and towards the end of the ATRRM convention a couple of weeks ago the IRM guys decided to take another look over the 63 because it had been moved inside and un-tarped to participate in a PCC-oriented convention seminar.  They managed to get it running and Sunday it got pulled outside of Barn 7 for a couple of photos.
It's not quite ready for prime time, of course.  First, the center doors don't work; it also needs the interior and exterior paint gone over and touched up, not to mention that long-term it would need significant welding repairs.  It will also need some more testing to work any bugs out of the electrical systems.  But with some work it could potentially be a "beater" in the short term, something to use for Thomas or other heavy events.


Anonymous said...

Did the car seem to have any dead or weak controller points? I'm guessing maybe notch 4 and 9 ?


Randall Hicks said...

No, we didn't have any dead points, but it may not be obvious when the resistance is too low, due to patches and shorts between grid elements. These would tend to produce greater acceleration. In any case, rebuilding the box was long overdue.

patentable said...

Nice to see 63 out in the open.
How far away from revenue service is the other Cleveland PCC Car - beautifully painted 4223? What's the status of the KC PCC? Any other PCC's in process?

And since Cleveland was mentioned, any movement on unveiling 1218?

Frank Hicks said...

Work is moving along steadily on Cleveland 4223 but it's a ways from revenue service. Right now they are finishing up with installing ceiling panels and wiring in the bulls-eye lights on the car. The walls are mostly installed but they still need to do the floor, then of course install all of the seats, stanchions, etc. KCPS 755 is a suspended project at the moment. The interior is largely done but the car will (eventually) need some welding repairs to the side sheets at the rear end plus some backdating to remove exterior fixtures installed by SEPTA. More importantly, it will need new/rebuilt trucks and motors as well as a thorough going-over of the control system. The only other PCC being worked on is the ex-Newark car but I"m not certain of the current status of that. And regarding unveiling the 1218, that will happen once Barns 13 & 14 are filled and it can be put inside. Until we can store it inside we're not going to remove its (very good quality) shrink-wrap tarp.

patentable said...

Thanks. Volunteers do great things but I know it takes time. The last photos of 4223 show what will eventually be an awesome restoration. Last time I saw the 755 it looked like it was coming along well, but, I only saw the "top" not the bottom.