Main transmission, cleaned by Chris
Main transmission, cleaned by Chris

While your faithful blogster was off gallivanting in Scotland (of which more later), the RSG team, no doubt pleased not to have him breathing over their efforts all the time, succeeded in removing the Motor Rail main fuel tank (for cleaning): as is to be expected, some (well, quite a lot) of the fuel was spilt around the workshop. This joined the general miasma provided by the hydraulic fluid drained from the secondary (take-off) system removed the previous week. The team emerged, from time to time, from the workshop in a woozy state, probably seeing not so much pink elephants as bright yellow engine parts, cavorting in some sort of Disneyesque cartoon dance.
Richard, not taking the throttle operating system’s “no” for an answer, took it apart again, re-assembled, tut-tutted a bit (I would have said a little more, I think) when it still refused to co-operate, took it apart yet again – removed most of the grease, again re-assembled it – and it now WORKS!
We now have the (inoperative) secondary take-off hydraulic system mostly drained and removed for storage (and refurbishment and refit if considered necessary, although rumours are that it never worked really well in Scotland). Many other small jobs are done – the manufacture of the new battery tray has started (the old one was rusted away practically to nothing), the exhaust fixed pipe is cleaned up and ready to refit, the underside of the main frames and transmission is looking a lot cleaner (so the old diesel did come in useful!), the main electrical control panel has been stripped down, and is being painted, ready for refit of components.
The (detached) coupling assembly is gradually being cleaned, de-rusted and painted, section by section. The handbrake system is under maintenance to reduce stiffness. The sanders and brakes – all clean, all painted, new retaining pins fitted – will be ready, once we have the new support pins made (they are in hand) for refit as soon as we have removed the wheels to adjust the back-to-back measurement (luckily, something that the loco is designed for). We bid for and succeeded in getting a heavy-duty hub puller from eBay, which we hope will do the job.
In off moments, the outside body panels are gradually getting sanded down to a smooth finish (the metal is in fine condition, so all we have to do is to remove most of the various dark blue, light blue and yellow paint layers), while Ken our Deutz engine specialist has already removed and refurbished all the injectors, replacing a broken spring on the way: luckily, everything within the engine block has – so far – been in very good condition.
The Motor Rail work will now have to take a back seat for a few weeks, as the underframe of future SR open wagon No. 41 (of the Heritage Train Project) is about to arrive in a yard already crammed with SR stuff: our volunteers will have to dismantle it (for re-gauging from 2’6” to 3’) as quickly as possible to make room – more on this in a few days.

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