Tilly's grand adventure
In the few opportunities we had to steam Tilly at the end of last summer I was concerned about consumption of steam. With a little bit of time still available before steam car season will start I decided to take a good hard look at Tilly's engine. The bottom end of the engine has been beautifully reworked several years ago.
I noticed that all packing glands, both piston rod and valve rods were very loose. Solution, to repack them. That's normal maintenance. On the other hand I found a loose nut on the bottom of a piston rod. The Piston rod was free to turn. This needed to be fixed before the engine would run again. The other glaring problem where the bushings in the beautifully cast bronze frame that the pump drive arms run in. They needed attention, badly.
Yesterday I removed the engine, took me about an hour and a half to 2 hours. I decided to do more investigations took the valve chest cover off to look at the slide valves. They are in very good condition. I then removed both upper cylinder covers. Upon measuring the distance from the top of the piston to the top of the cylinder bore, I found the piston that had the loose nut on the bottom of the Piston rod had moved about .035. after cleaning the threads in the Piston rod I reset the Piston height. Once I had piston heights the same I used red Loctite on the nut and retightened the nut that secures the Piston rod itself. Job number one complete.
The repair of the pump arm pivot bushing is now underway. I made a very quick extractor with a piece of quarter 20 threaded rod and some odd pieces I had in the shop so that I could extract the bushing without having to hammer on it. The tool may not look like much but it did the job very easily. So still around stock has been ordered so I can fabricate and fit the two new replacement bushings.
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