Thursday, April 27, 2006

Removing the Bearings to Arnold

The EL Dorado Western is currently overhauling a narrow gauge Plymouth diesel switch engine, known as ARNOLD Z. Why ARNOLD Z?

Well, when the engine was purchased from the Westside and Cherry Valley operation of Glen Bell, the locomotive had been fitted with a CAT diesel radiator, which gave the locomotive a snouty look, like the pig on the old TV show Green acre's. The short exhaust stack produced a snorting sound, "Arnold Z" or just "Arnold" for short.

Ken starts to remove the cab to Arnold on Saturday, April 1, 2006. We plan to replace the cab on the re-build Arnold.

The decision was made to rebuild the locomotive running gear, brakes, and cab, to provide a utility engine for track work, switching the steam engines, and even pulling the passenger trains if required. Inspection identified a lot of needed work including turning the wheelsets. To accomplish this, the locomotive was stripped down to the chassis, including removing the old beat up cab, which will be replaced.

The Caterpillar engine to Arnold. We started cleaning the locomotive last weekend on Saturday, April 22. The was crusted with 40 plus years of built-up rust and mud.

Now we could access the interior of the chassis for cleaning, set up a new braking system, and remove the journal bearings to allow dropping out the wheelsets. Given the addition of several very capable new volunteers, one a locomotive engineer, the others involved in trucking and mechanical repair, the work has progressed to the point of bearing removal.

From the left, Garrett, Scott and Ken remove the last billet from under the pumpkin.

This is where the story really picks up, as we were challenged by the size, and press fit of the bearings on the axles. A puller was machined, and we bolted up the puller to the journal box. The rear side of the puller pressed against the axle. Using an impact wrench, we tightened the bolts in a sequence, and very slowly the journal box moved over the axle. However, the job became much more complex, more next time. Keith

Bill's bearing puller in action.

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