Welcome to the Team Dick Melzer! 02-09-13

Dick Melzer 02-09-13

Another ‘Milwaukee Road family’ member Dick Melzer has joined the X-5000 team. Dick’s Father, worked on the Dynamometer car in the 1950’s-60’s as it’s engineer. Dick has many fond memories of his Father working on the car, even going back to the steam era.

Dick himself then worked briefly for the Milwaukee Road as an electrician apprentice under Mr. Dick Donovan (seen in the video on the x-5000.org homepage) in the early 1960’s. He said he would see the Dynamometer car in the Milwaukee Shops routinely, but he never went aboard the car until today that is!

Today he helped us fabricate tongue & groove ceiling boards in the IRM Wood Shop (picture on the IRM Wood Shop blog 2/9/13) and he looks forward to helping with other woodworking-related restoration work.

Welcome Aboard Dick!!

Oct 27, 2012 – Last Day out for the Year

This is the last work day of 2012.

When I first entered the car, the inside was compeltely dry. Front office roof drain installed by Chuck Trabert working phenomenally.

I removed drain from Subcooler thinking water had gotten in this Summer when filling the kitchen water tanks. I reached my hand inside and it felt like water, however, it turned out to be an inch or so of pure silt.  However, it was totally dry.

Taped up South facing side door with Guerilla tape to keep water/snow out since weatherstripping is not 100%.

Then I put the Enginator exhaust riser cover back on the outside of the car which we had taken off a year or so ago. Not nec. to be off until painting the sides.

More testing the Enginator. I hoooked up a night light as an indicator to the Oil-Heat thermal trip coil to see if it was being energized. I did not observe any power to light. Now it seems the control cable from the car to the unit under the car with the Ralco connector has shorted. When I moved it, the Oil-Heat tripped. Looking closer, I saw cracked insulation on the cable. Another hour or so of work.

I measured the door hardware, and light fixture outlines in hopes of finding replacements. So far we have not been able to locate replacement door hardware. Roger Kramer from the IRM Coach Dept does have some lighting fixtures that appear would work.

By the end of the day the batteries were totally dead – unable to start the Enginator. The 4 golf car batteries do not appear draw enough current when charging to hold in Low Current Relay (which shuts the Enginator off when the load decreases) enough to properly charge them. So at about 7:15pm when it’s dark I decided to disconnect them and bring them home since temp in the Midwest are starting to dip towards freezing. Hydrometer reading at home indicated they were completely dead.

Measured floor and ceiling board lengths and front office wall dimensions for purchasing new lumber.

General House Cleaning – Waukesha Oil/Heat Trip – Sat. 9/15/12

I had a very productive and interesting solo Saturday of Museum Showcase Weekend on the X-5000 at IRM. Mainly I cleaned out a whole pickup truck (courtesy of Roger Kramer) load of junk.  There is still a lot of metal scraps, wood scraps, etc. stored on the car that we don’t need. The problem is when someone comes on board, it gives the impression that it is just junk storage.

Mostly stuff that we been accumulating for 20 years that that the car has been at IRM.  A lot went to the Coach Dept so we can still get to it. I kept all the smaller screws/bolts, etc.  and wire. There’s still a lot more to do, but I cleared three bunks worth!  Looks far better now.

Roger took me to the “inner sanctum” of the IRM Coach Dept. – the coach where they store all the coach hardware and parts. After two trips I found the proper interior door knob/handle for the kitchen door. Cleaned it up at home (never seen anything so dusty in my life) and bought a piece of 5/16” square stock at the hardware store for installation.

Roger Kramer sold me some boxes of 25w and 50w 32V bulbs for $1.50 each. I figured I should buy them because you never know when you can get them again. He suggested I began replace on his recommendation since the old ones will work in a berth fixture and the new ones will not.

Roger also has some Pullman brass lights he will sell. I may buy one so we have at least one for reference. He brought his Safety Car coach light book, but we could not positively identify the berth and corner berth light fixtures. The consensus seems to be that they may be “Milwaukee only” fixtures. Others say they are standard Pullman berth lights.

The Oil/Heat keeps tripping out on the Enginator. What I’m suspecting is that the engine temp sensor is not set to trip and the correctly temperature or could be the fact that the wires to the oil pressure or temp sensor are shorted out because the insulation is visibly cracking. This means rewiring which is probably a 1-2 hour job. As best I can describe, we make incremental progress on the Enginator each trip out. I need to make a test light and attach to the temp sensor wires to positively identify when it is tripping out to determine if the wires are shorted all the time or does the temp sensor close at too low a temperature.

New Roof Drain Installed Solving Longstanding Water Issue in Front Half of Car!! – 9/1, 9/9/12

I have combined two weekends worth of work by Chuck Trabert into one blog post.

New Roof Drain installed in front closet.

Chuck Trabert single handedly installed a roof drain above the front closet these past two weekends, 9/1 and 9/9/12.  Ever since the Milwaukee Shops added the A/C duct (late 1960’s) which runs length-wise and about 14″ off the car centerline, water has been leaking in the car at some level. The A/C duct forms a natural trough where water can pool and eventually leak in the car.  We have sealed the duct well, but pooling water is not a good solution. Water leaking destroyed one plywood wall of the front closet and damaged the interior roof boards.


Water runs through the drain for the first time!

Here is Chuck’s proposed plan for the roof drain (8/30/12):
I hope to get this installed Saturday as it might not rain. I thought about possible ice damage and decided to tap a 3 or 4″ 3/4″ ( instead of 1/2″) galvanized pipe nipple thru the angle iron to the surface. On top of that I will cement in a stainless screen to keep debris out. Below, immediately transition to 1-1/4″ PVC drain pipe. This way, the constriction will be the 3/4 pipe and being short, should allow any ice block to squirt out either end rather than break the pipe. The larger PVC should allow plenty of room for any ice without damage. This pipe will go straight down, or can jog as necessary to go thru the floor.

Do you know the construction of the floor? Can I drill thru it with a hole saw, or is there maybe some concrete in there? It might be thicker than a hole saw can handle, so I might have to use drills and Sawzall.

Can the pipe go straight down, or is there a door there to the closet that needs to be rebuilt? I don’t remember what that looked like. Do you have any photos that might help? I can also just cap the 3/4 pipe and we can do the PVC part later if need be.

Update from 9/1/12:
First thing when we got there Saturday was a 1.5 hr rainstorm. Used that time to finish attaching the ceiling and light over the board. It took the rest of the day to drain the lake and drill and tap the angle iron and install the pipe nipple. I capped it for now. Will be going back next weekend sometime to hopefully finish the plumbing. Did not even look at going thru the floor. That will be an adventure of its own.

Update from 9/9/12:
It was a beautiful day out there yesterday. I was able to locate a very convenient place to drill thru the floor so the pipe comes out behind the propane tank cage and next to the air tank in the center. I was able to jog the pipe up top so it will be easy to rebuild the closet wall around it. Pauline will be sending pictures. The roof lake issue is now solved, until the car gets parked on a slope in the other direction.

I caulked everything I could find on the roof that looked suspect, so we should be good for the winter. The last two times I was there and it poured rain, I did not see any leaks in the area under the expansion tank. I am confident we are water tight for now.

I also stabilized the light and conduit in the hall by the desk. That whole mess was about to crash down. They are only attached to the ceiling boards, not the carlines. The nails holding the boards rusted out so the whole ceiling needs to be reattached. This will be a 2 person job.

Pauline (Trabert) was nice enough to clean up my mess while I finished up on the roof. I did not have time to secure anything, so I wouldn’t recommend moving the car unless you can do that.

“New Dynamometer Car Placed in Service on the Milwaukee” Railway Age Article

Today, Bob Storozuk, MRHA President, dropped the above article as I gave him the four old MILW passenger car builders photo books (via John Grube) that MRHA will scan for its files. Someone had found it and kindly saved it for Bob to give to me. Thank you Bob and whoever saved it!

This article describes the building of the Dynamometer car at the Milwaukee Shops in 1930 and provides the earliest history of the car.

The full article is posted here: http://x-5000.org/dynamometer-details/1930-railway-age-article/

Enginator Fine Tuning, Secured Interior Ceiling, Fitted Wood Staunchens – Sun. Aug 26, 2012

Today we continued our efforts on getting the Enginator is tip-top operating shape (Warren Newhauser/Chuck Trabert), reattaching wood ceiling in the instrument room (Chuck Trabert) and fitting new wooden stanchions (Buzz Morissette).

Pictures can be seen here

We first adjusted oil pressure on Enginator to the 30psi recommended down from above 40psi. Too high of oil pressure will ruin the oil pressure sensor.

Chuck and I attempted replacement of fan belt, but new belt was wrong size. We ended up cutting new belt off ($10 loss) to get it out from behind fan quicker. Chuck measured the old belt and we need 5L350 not 5L300. We can definitely see why later model Waukesha engines had a better fan belt arrangement – they could not afford two guys 1/2 hr for a belt replacement.

Changed the oil filter with a new Baldwin P67 cartridge filter which I ordered online from Application Associates. We will change oil every 30 years whether it needs it or not!

Verified the oil pressure sensor will trip the engine if the pressure is below 5psi per specs.

Removed and tested the engine temp sensor to verify it will shut down the engine in case of overheating. The mechanical mechanism to short out the circuit when overheating is detected may have been stuck. I moved it with a screwdriver, re-installed old sensor unit and installed new crimp connectors on the cable to it, but at the end of the work day they seem to be shorted out inside the protective metal housing they are contained in.

Verified the the Oil-Heat thermal time delay trip is working properly to shut the engine down if oil pressure or engine temp exceeds limits.

Chuck screwed several severely sagging ceiling boards back to the wooded staunchens in the ceiling. Reattached the overhead light fixture in the instrument room. We concluded that the boards have slightly expanded in length due to contact with water and popped out. Need to make a saw cut in them and they will lay flat on the ceiling.

Buzz Morisette fitted the new wooded staunchens he’s been cutting in the wood shop for the instrument room.

All in all, a very productive day!

Update Sunday 8/5/12 – 2-7pm

By Warren Newhauser

Pictures can be viewed here

Removed parts from Waukesha Enginator being scrapped by IRM Coach Dept. – magneto, temp sensor, high current cables, oil filter, rad guards. To-do: remove rad, water pump, fan belt tensioner and air filter. Never know when we might need them!

Viewed the remained inventory of Waukesha units/parts in the B&O wagontop boxcar with Mark Gelman

Roger Kramer, IRM Coach Dept., to help identify interior Pullman hardware/fixtures. Identified source for 32V incandescent bulbs.

Ran Enginator for about 20 mins until it shut off by itself indicating batteries are charged

Pumped 5 more gal water into kitchen water tanks. The sight glass actually registers now and we can wash our very dirty hands after a day of work.

Initially tested small motor-alternator (32VDC to 120 VAC)  in electrical locker that ran a small freezer that transported seafood from Tacoma to Milwaukee. Units runs but is not producing 120V output at receptacle in office area.

Sprayed for wasps in the kitchen vent and Alco loco behind the Dyno.

Propped up ceiling boards above instruments that were sagging.