Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Inspection #2

Today inspection started on car 319.  Joel told me in advance that the car could be left over the pit until Saturday or Sunday, so there was no pressure to get everything done.  In particular, lubrication will have to wait, because otherwise the car would be dripping oil into the pit.  Having to put off lubrication was almost enough to ruin my whole day....

But it was nice weather, perfect for this type of work.   Here the 319 is on its way into the barn.

There aren't a lot of things in this process that are very photogenic, but here we are looking straight up through the bottom inspection hole, after the plate is removed.  That's a dipstick that we use for checking pole piece clearance, and above it is the commutator.  The dipstick makes sure that we still have plenty of clearance between the rotating armature and the stationary pole pieces.  If they were to start hitting each other, it would be bad, to put it mildly.

And looking down at a motor through the top inspection hole, we can check that the brushes and brush holders are in good condition, nothing has come loose, and so on.

Jeff Brady is working on making new steel pieces for the 28, helped by Joe, a recent recruit who works as a welder at Belvidere, and is currently on a temporary layoff while the factory is retooled.  Joe also helped me remove the covers for the contactor box, which would be difficult to do alone.

Elsewhere in the shop,  Norm is working on other new steel pieces.

Victor showed me some pictures of the late Dana Ishman he had on hand.  For now, I was reduced to taking pictures of pictures, and at an angle to avoid glare, but it's the best we have so far.  He says these date to about 1988.

At IRM, we have from left to right, Roger Kramer, Dana Ishman, Bruce Bergman, and another volunteer and his son whom I don't recall.

And Dana helped Victor and the other coach guys with moving some Rock Island coaches from Iowa.  Above, he's helping clear out a disused grade crossing.

We haven't seen what's happening in the Electroliner for a while.  Ed Oslowski is still hard at work.

Here he's cleaning up the door to the little closet in the motorman's compartment.

Below, we have some reproduction castings in aluminum of the North Shore herald. which will be on sale in the gift shop for about $200, he says.  All proceeds go to the Electroliner fund.

And next, we found some of the water flasks from the dining section in storage.  They look quite nice.

Looking into the cab, you can sort of make out the closet on the right, minus its door.

The Electroliner cab is very cramped.  Ed points out that it's almost impossible to get past the controller to work on the front part of the compartment.  Luckily we have a couple of young guys who are skinny enough to fit through this space.

Tim is making progress on spraying the imitation gold-leaf outlining on the 24.

Finally, by the end of the day I had finished most of the inspection items that needed to be addressed, without any major issues.  I took the controller cover into the shop, and after looking at it in better light, decided to wire-wheel it down to bare metal before repainting.

 And here's the white primer.

We'll finish this up on Saturday.  Anybody who wants to come on out and help will be most welcome!


Anonymous said...

When inspecting the commutator, do you clean the slots with a wooden stick? I have done this on my old tinplate trains for good success in motor operation. Not that it is exactly the same voltage or anything, but just curious.

Randall Hicks said...

That's a good question. Slotting the commutator often needs to be done if the motor is dirty or hasn't been used for many years, for instance, but it generally doesn't need to be done every year under our conditions. The main difference is that whereas your toy train motor probably has three commutator segments and therefore three slots, a traction motor has about 200. And I can't just rotate the armature with my finger.

sd45elect2000 said...

Actually what I've done with locomotive is jack the wheel off the rail and rotate the motor using a welding machine. Clean the comm with a stone

These folks sell comm stones and brushes.


Randall Hicks said...

That's an interesting idea, which I'm pretty sure we haven't tried. So are you jacking up the main journal boxes, or the truck frame itself? Either way, I can see some possible problems.

Randall Hicks said...

Oh, and by the way, I have a comm stone sitting on my desk here at home. I just haven't gotten up the nerve to try using it yet, such as on a compressor.

sd45elect2000 said...

I put the jacks under the traction motor support caps on a diesel, the same area would work on a smaller interurban motor.

I've actually done this many times on locomotives.

On air compressors I would a stone on a wooden stick, the idea is to keep your hands out of the motor.


Anonymous said...

Hello- It is my personal belief, and the GE and Westinghouse books back me up on this, that stoning a commutator should be an infrequent event, to solve particular problems (chiefly pitting). A commutator generally doesn't get into a condition requiring stoning or other cleaning by itself; something else happens, which if not stopped promptly, injures the commutator. A commutator should have a brown film on it; it's a product of the passage of current from graphite through copper in the presence of water vapor, and it drastically reduces friction and brush wear. Both GE and Westinghouse recommend turning them, not stoning, in cases of out-of-roundness or burned bars not caused by bad connections. One thing they do suggest, which removes much less copper, is sanding with fine paper if the surface condition or heavy dirt requires it. After any work which removes the film, GE tells you to air-cure the commutator until the sparking stops before trying to use it.
R. W. Schauer