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4th March 1924, Page 29
4th March 1924
Page 29
Page 29, 4th March 1924 — THE MAINTENANCE OF STEAM WAGONS.
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Assistance for the Novice in Steam-wagon Driving and Hints on the Repair of Motion Work.

MOST OF the suggestions which are embodied in a long letter which we have received from " S.W.," of 'Shrewsbury, will certainly appeal to the novice in steam-wagon driving. Experienced drivers will hardly need the advice, since they will—as regards the majority of them, at least—carry out their work on the lines sriggested.

This correspondent recommends that, in order to facilitate the work of getting a. steam wagon ready for use in the morning, the various operations should be arranged so that while those which take time, and which cannot be expedited are proceeding semi-automatically, others may be carried out. For instance, while the boiler is being filled with water the fire may be laid; while steam is generating the cylinders may be warmed and the lubrication carried out, and so on. Further, while dealing in this manner with the various operations, he recommends an organized method of carrying out each operation so that labour is diminished and the work more efficiently performed.

As a preliminary to filling the boiler with water, both water gauge and trycocks (if fitted) should be opened so as to allow the air in the boiler to escape. Meantime, lay the fire in the following manner :—Put a little straw or other easily combustible material on the top of the fire-bars, spreading it all over ; on top of that put a layer of wood, and over that again a thin covering of coal or coke, or maybe a mixture of the two. By this time there will be nearly enough water in the boiler. If there is, it will have commenced to run out of the gauges or the try-cocks. The taps to the former, or the latter, slieuld then be closed and the fire lit.

While steam is generating, keep the fire going by replenishing with mail coal spread thinly all over the fire. Open the stop-valve and cylinder drain cocks, so as to-allow the cylinders to be warmed gradually, and to let the condensed steam pass away as it is formed. This, of com-se, is more important in cold weather than in warm weather.

Having progressed so far, attention should next be given to the lubrication, not forgetting to note that the mechanical lubricator is well supplied with oil and that the displacement lubricator is in working order, but not full to the top. See that the chain sprockets and the change-speed gears are lubricated, and do not overlook the fact that both the differential gear and the driviekg chain require lubrication. Incidentally, while going round the chassis with the oilcan, -put your hand on any nuts that may have a tendency to work loose, and use the spanner where it is thought necessary.

By this time, or after the water tank has been filled, steam should be up to the required pressure. Close the stop valve, leaving the cylinder drain-cocks still open, and then turn the crankshaft by hand to make sure that all parts are free, without there being any excessive slackness. Steam may now be admitted to the engine, which slit_ Ad be allowed to turn over a few times with the drain Trouble with leaky tubes mainly arises from two causes—excessive use of the blower or of the double-highpressure gear. Neither should be used except when absolutely essential, and then only for short periods. The dampers should be kept open a little way practically all the time, only being closed when the safet,y valves actually commence to blow.

When on a familiar route the driver will know from experience where he can get water, and will act accordingly. When about to set out on a journey concerning which this informs ion is not available, keep a close lye on thetank and refill whenever the opportunity presents itself, taking tare not to run so far as to allow the supply to get low. The best way to fill the tank is to use the water lifter, putting the strainer into a bucket and the bucket into the pond or stream. This method prevents any solid matter being sucked into the tank and keeps the latter clean. Use a minimum of steam with the water lifter, as too much heats the delivery pipe, which is bad for the injector. Use town water wherever available.

Some useful hints on the repair of motion work have reached us in a letter from `` II.A.B.," of Rotherham. One of these relating to the hardening of pins, suCh as that of which a sketch appears on this page, is generally applicable to pins which may be found on all types of wagon. The pin, it will be seen, is a plain one with a collar at one end, close to which is a step-peg or snug, and a hole for a split-pin at the other. The pin itself should have no sharp corners. There should be a good radius at the junction of the collar with the pin, and others at the outer edge of the collar and the end of the pm. The split-pin hole, too, should be countersunk at both ends. This is necessary, because sharp corners Constitute a weakness, which is increased when hardening is carried out. The stop-peg must be of soft iron, and must be fitted after the hardening is completed. If it is fitted before hardening it will be found silbsequently to be slack as the result of shrinkage, and will fall out.

Wear, in connection with reversing gear, usually takes place in the slots of the quadrant, on the paddle and in the bushes on the rocking shaft. The slots in the quadrant should be Bled at the sides only, care being taken not to make them any deeper. The paddle should then have a steel plate of suitable thickness riveted on to it, as shown in the sketch, so that it is then a nice working fit in the newly filed slots. The bushes for the rocking shaft pins should be reamered out and new pins fitted. If the spring on the paddle is weak it may easily be set right if a few coils be cut off and the spring stretched.