The offending article – linkage removed

My second visit to the workshop this month, the team are trying a schedule of two Saturdays a month at the moment. Just a handful of the regulars were in attendance but we made some good progress – Toby completed work on a storage area in the tram whilst Bob, James, John and I worked on the Simplex.

Bob was working on the removal of the sole below footplate sanding tube, not an easy job which resulted in him head butting the chassis when one bolt came free – a nasty bump and scratch being the result.

I spent my time working on the control mechanism. This one lever can be moved through the shape of a capital E lying on it’s back to control both the direction and speed of the locomotive. The throttle linkage (the up and down motion) was working nice and freely but the complex connection to the torque converter (side to side motion) appeared seized.

Another view – it’s under the two yellow brackets

My first action was to remove the linkage at the torque converter end, an interesting pin and fork arrangement which came free after a little head scratching. With everything still solid, I turned my attention to the pin and fork nearest the lever. The split pin put up a little struggle but was soon prized free. The pivot between the two forks was stiff but this soon eased with a little penetrating oil, the horizontal movement of the lever however was still stuck solid.

We decided the main mechanism needed to come off to be dealt with on the work bench, fortunately an easy task, hopefully the photos and my memory will see it re-attach just as easily when the time comes!

Once on the workbench I decided the main leaver needed to be removed so another split pin was extracted leaving just a large cotter pin securing the lever. Despite the attention of a mechanical persuader (hammer!) this was not budging an inch so, as our lunch break was on the horizon, it was liberally doused in penetrating oil and left for later. After lunch it almost fell out, nice to have the penetrating oil work so well!

The seizure remained on the main shaft, it seems this is two concentric tubes that need to slide within each other. There is a grease nipple between the two support bearings so lots of grease was pumped in and it was soon oozing out confirming our understanding of the design. It was all still solid though. More penetrating oil was applied and I tried to replace the lever, only to find there were two sprung pins now filling the slot. After a good deal of poking and head scratching with assistance from Toby and James these were removed.

The end of the day was fast approaching so the seized item was left sitting in the vice almost swimming in penetrating oil ready for another attempt next time.

Guest Blog: Mr Awkward’s Workshop Diary – 24th January 2015