Over the years, the piston rods on No. 6 have been forming grooves where the steam packing seats. Regardless how tightly packed we made it, steam leaked which reduced the power available to the engine. It was time to repair the piston rods.
The cylinder heads were removed to gain access to the piston/rod assemblies.
Brian B. and Matt W. disassemble the joint where the connecting rod connects to the crosshead. Removal of the connecting rod allows the engine to be moved without having parts dragging on the ground.
The piston rod easily slips out of the steam cylinder. Look closely at the second picture to get an idea how badly grooved the rods had become in roughly 30 years of service.
The right side piston rod came out so quickly the work crew thought they'd be done with the left side in 30 minutes. No. 6 fooled them! A wedge holding the piston rod in place had become bent and flared which resulted in about 2 hours of work including vulgarity in several languages. In this picture you can count 6 people (which doesn't include the two in the pit!) discussing what to do next for the left side piston rod extraction.
Scott D. looks over the chassis of the cab-less drivetrain-less Vulcan gasoline switcher (the Squirt).
Matt C. prepares to mate the Squirt's new transmission to the bellhousing on the replacement engine.
Kendall O. breaks for lunch.
Dan H. filtering oil in anticipation of pumping it into the water separator. .