Tuesday, March 3, 2009

February 2009 Work Weekend (Switcher D-9's restoration begins!)

After ripping the Six to shreds, the staff at the MCRR realized that the usual cushion of 4 working engines ("Six,", "Nine,", "Sixteen," and "Fourteen") was down to three -- and that several in that group were questionable!

The decision was made to do a minimal restoration (lots of cosmetic and some mechanical) to the twin of the Fourteen. From this author's understanding, the Fourteen and this beast, the "D-9" were part of a coordinated purchase about 20 years ago. Of the two, the Fourteen was in better mechanical condition and was selected for restoration. The D-9 was to serve as a cadaver if parts were necessary for the Fourteen's restoration.

Both engines were manufactured by the Plymouth Locomotive Works. This company built small switch engines (steam, gasoline and diesel) until the late 1990's. Plymouth Loco Works was located in...Plymouth, Ohio!

One of the reasons for not selecting for the D-9 for restoration 20-odd years ago was due to its ferocious leak from the twin disc (torque converter?) housing. While first thought to be the rear main bearing seal on its engine, the recent effort determined that the engine was fine and the leak was coming from beyond the crankshaft.

In anticipation of the diesel mechanics removing the twin disc housing, the shop crew's February task was to remove anything that blocked access to it.

As can be seen in the following picture, the D-9 had seen better days. The date of this picture is unknown; it easily could have been taken last summer, but it has been displayed on the MCRR's website for several years.

A closeup of the current engine markings. Although barely visible, the name is "The Carbon Limestone Company." After using the "google" it appears there was a "Carbon Limestone Company" in Youngstown OH, not too far from Pittsburgh PA.

After removing the doors and the bolts holding the front hood in place, MCRR volunteer Elliot H. removes the electrical connections to the headlight. This picture was special because it was one of the few items removed without an air impact wrench.

A engineer's side view of the engine compartment. The air cleaner and sand hoppers are still in place in this picture.

Dave O. and Dan H. torch and winch the sand hoppers off the frame. Oddly, everything impeding access to the torque converter was bolted in place except for the sand hoppers. Numerous angle irons were welded to the D-9's frame and required some tight torch cutting to free the hoppers.

The hoppers dangling from the overhead crane. It almost looks like a kitchen sink!

This is a good portion of the parts removed from the front of the D-9. The rear of the Fourteen is in the background.

Engineer's side view of the D-9. This thing looks like a real disaster, but the engine does run good.

Fireman's side view of the D-9.