Saturday, August 16, 2008

Oil change

It's rare that the crew at the El Dorado Western Railway devotes 100 percent of its time to artifact renovation. One or two crewmen spend a few hours each week on maintenance, cleaning and paperwork.

The medium-sized forklift has consumed a lot of attention in recent months. The crew re-built the hydraulic cylinders and repaired the brakes in June. Today, we changed the oil. It's once again a fully functioning forklift.

That brings up the question: How do you change the crankcase oil on a two-ton forklift?

Answer: Lift it off the ground with the heavier forklift.

Keith Berry uses the heavy forklift to jack the two-ton about 18 inches off the ground.

Next, you block the forks so a hydraulic failure doesn't injure the mechanic. Here Jacob Karoly (kneeling) slides a block under one of the front forks as Bill Rodgers looks on.

Of course, someone has to crawl under the two-ton and empty the oil pan. That job fell to Keith.

And since we do our part to project the environment around the museum yard, Bill poured the old crankcase oil into a five-gallon container for disposal. Keith waits for the catch basin so he can drain the remaining bit of oil.

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