Update from Sat 20th Jan. By Simon, Terry and Ian.

A busy weekend with D9526 sent out on a test run. Also progress on other projects.

D9526 test run and D9518 report. By Simon with photos below by Terry

After a fair amount of shunting and loco movements, we managed to extricate D9526 out of the main shed
and prepare her for a bit of a run up to Crowcombe Station.
Because the front bonnet and exhaust cowling has not yet been refitted, we ran as a propelling move and
pushed the Class 47 up towards the top of the bank.  The 47 was crewed by Neil, John and Martin.  Terry
was the official videographer and watched events from the rear cab of the 47.
The first run was again taken slowly, and we stopped at Stogumber for a check around the frame,
axleboxes and rod bearings.  The weather was a bit damp and we had slithered and slipped most of the
way.  Colin controlled the throttle well and we kept the whole lot moving, although it was touch and go for a
spell.  The loco sanders were used to good effect at these points.  After the stop, we pushed on up to
Crowcombe, being mindful of the level crossings and the general state of the rail (adhesion).  A further
check was carried out, before returning back to Williton with a quick bearing check at Stogumber.  No
issues were found and it was decided to repeat the run.
The second run was a little better as some of the sand that we had placed on the way up on run one was
still able to give a bit of traction where we had previously slipped.  The engine was opened up a lot further
and various readings were taken as the journey progressed.  The coolant temperature did not go much
above 160 / 170 degrees F and the transmission temperature was slightly lower.  The cooling fan sounded
good and was working hard.  The engine was opened up to maximum and the counters showed 1500 RPM
- which is what we had hoped for under loaded conditions.  The turbo boost pressure also came up to a
healthy 13 PSI and there was a 'slight colour' to the exhaust, so hopefully we are not too far out on
adjustments. Obviously this engine is still 'running in' and will loosen up as things bed in, requiring further
adjustments to be made.As with the first run, we carried out bearing checks at Stogumber and at
Crowcombe. It was felt that the bearings were starting to cool from the little bit of temperature noted on run
one. On return to Williton, it was time to 'put everything back into their respective boxes, and an hour of
shunting commenced.  D9526 was put back into the shed and shut down after running for another three
and a half hours and clocking up some more miles.
As can be imagined, there are a couple of niggles and faults to sort out, but we are progressing.
I would like to again express my thanks to everyone who helped make this test run happen, especially to
the Signal men, Colin, Terry, Neil, Bob and John.

D9518 Update by Simon

Warren has managed to slacken off the remaining side buffers, and is looking to prepare for the removal
of the side rods.  These rods are kept in place with crank pin nuts which are in turn retained with tapered
pins through the nut and crank pin.  These have been very difficult to knock out, and we may have to re
position the frames so that it is easier to get a straight blow on the taper pins.  All have been left to soak in
WD40 for a week or so before the battle is rejoined.   We managed to have a quick look at one of the
Right hand Side rod nuts and this is showing signs of extreme wear,  but we know how to repair these as
D9526 was also suffering with similar wear patterns.  The bearing bushes are also looking very worn and
in need of remetaling,  so another job to add to the list!

D6566, D6575 and D7017 Updates by Ian

It looks as if we have stemmed the coolant leaks, fingers crossed!
On Saturday the triple pump was run and the gauge needle just went into the red area so topping up was
required. Some 25% antifreeze coolant was mixed in an IBC and used to top up the system with the rest
being retained for future use. The engine was started and run for about 45 minutes and all seems well.
The exhauster motor stator and armature have been flushed with electrical cleaner and have actually
come up well. Andy cleaned the brush ring on the bench so the motor is now ready to fit.
Terry has found a reasonable set of old vanes that can be used to test the exhauster, the new vanes
manufactured from an alternative material are on order but it will be a few weeks before they are delivered.
So on Sunday I went to WN for a few hours and fitted the vanes. As the end plate comes from the original
exhauster, Terry recommended using a piece of solder and squashing it between the end plate and rotor
to provide a measurement of the clearance. I did this on the ‘new’ exhauster and a clearance of 0.02” was
apparent. So for comparison I did the same thing on the old unit and that also gave a reading of exactly
0.02” so must be ok! All the studs and nuts including those for fitting the oil pump have been found.
The rest of the broken lug has been recovered and it actually fits in place well, the break not being
noticeable unless you look closely! A new rotating shaft lip seal is required for the oil pump and is on order.

D6575 - John Cooke did an auxiliary motor exam as part of the winter maintenance.
All reported ok although the blower motor brushes are getting near to replacement level.

D7017 – The loco was started inside the shed (much noise and smoke!) and Neil and gang tested the
replacement exhauster.  All was deemed well after an excess filling of oil was remedied. The preheater
fault has also been fixed.