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 Post subject: Re: Driver journal oil cellar conversion
PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 10:25 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:29 pm
Posts: 1350
Location: Youngstown, OH
Spherical rollers may have worked a bit better, but probably not much without cannon boxes.

I wonder why anyone would think that a roller bearing conversion would make more sense than just properly maintaining the original plain bearings. Just for kicks I priced new roller bearings for the J&L 58, which uses four 8" ID tapered rollers per axle. Retail for each cone and cup is $10,000, making the total cost $40,000 per axle.

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 Post subject: Re: Driver journal oil cellar conversion
PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 12:59 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:43 am
Posts: 563
Is that for STOCK bearings, or do they have to custom make them?


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 Post subject: Re: Driver journal oil cellar conversion
PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 1:06 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1494
Location: Strasburg, PA
Lincoln Penn wrote:
Somebody should alert the 2472 and 4449 people about the shortcomings of the SP system.

Regarding GSMR, I can't recall ever seeing a reliable "post-mortem" on that.

Was it a failure of the bearings on one axle or did all of them fail?

Did they fail all at once?

What was the failure mode?

Was it an inappropriate application (size or type of the bearings)?

A post mortem was posted in this thread on Rypn.
Ryan Scott wrote:
There were a few flaws in the slaw, so to say, that led to earlier than expected replacement of the roller bearings.

1. The rollers were AP bearings. In other words they were sealed for life with grease. They could not be "flushed" periodically like any other true steam locomotive roller bearing. The ability to change the oil periodically may have helped. Also, the use of oil instead of grease will let some of the loose metal particles collect at the bottom of the bearing box, instead of continuing to grind the remaing bearing just like griding compound.

2. The rollers were not housed in a common box, as in standard locomotive roller bearing boxes. In roller bearing locos, as like the NKP 765, the left and right boxes on a particular axle were actually all one box. There are two halves to the box, and upper and a lower. Thus, as the box encountered the frame during lateral movement, both bearings were loaded exactly the same, because they were located in a precise machined "common" box. Also, with the common box, the spring rigging cannot induce moments on the bearing in the same axis as the rail. Also, the bearing designs themselves differ from the standard loco bearing to the AP bearings.

3. The AP bearings were designed to be used in two to three axle trucks that had a much smaller wheelbase than a steam locomotive. In this case a 2-8-0 with 57 inch drivers. Also, they were meant for smaller wheels and higher speeds, say 36 inch wheels and 45-60mph. At the higher speeds the AP bearings would heat up enough to evaporate whatever water might pass the seals in weather changes, and in the case of a steam loco, steam cleanings. The AP bearings just couldn't handle the lateral load that a 2-8-0 on a curvy RR will create.

The conversion to Roller bearings on this loco was an experiment. Unfortunitly, as with any experiment, we are sometimes disappointed with the data that we are presented with after starting the experiment. Couple that with the fact that AP bearings are meant to last for "life", with "life" being measured in the lenth of time it takes to wear out the wheel on the same axle. On a steam loco, it is MUCH more involved to remove a roller bearing than on a freight car axle. One must dismount/mount the wheels which over time will "wear" the interference fit between the axle and wheel, and also requarter the crankpins after each of these "lifetime" replacements. Thus, axles and crankpins last much longer with true RR roller bearings or friction bearings.

The #1702 has been converted back to friction bearings on all drive axles for many of the reasons above. For all of those contemplating a roller bearing conversion think long an hard about the costs vs benifits both short and long term.

Ryan Scott

lima709@aol.com

I recall in a conversation with Ryan, that he said that they had seen no signs of failure while in operation, but when the drivers were dropped for tire work they were surprised to find around 1/4" of lateral between the cones and cups of the Timken AP bearings where there should have been none, so a catastrophic failure wouldn't have been far in the future.
Hot Metal wrote:
I wonder why anyone would think that a roller bearing conversion would make more sense than just properly maintaining the original plain bearings.

Damn straight!

Another advantage to running with oil cellars is that some of the oil lost in operation lubricates the hub faces, considerably reducing wear of those parts in comparison to grease cellars where the hub faces generally get far less lubrication.

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 Post subject: Re: Driver journal oil cellar conversion
PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 1:17 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:40 pm
Posts: 799
Thanks, Kelly. I must have missed that.

AP bearings were in no way appropriate to that application, so it was doomed from the start. I don't see where wheelbase plays a role, though.

I would have expected GG bearings, which are larger, heftier, and can be adjusted.

Another thing both Timken and SKF will tell you to is to leave the oil alone. Changing it or flushing the boxes is just asking for trouble later on. Both recommend draining any condensation from the bottom of the boxes on a regular, preferably scheduled basis,
take a sample of the oil annually and have it analyzed by a reputable lab. If the lab finds no issues, don't think you will be making a hero of yourself by messing around with the oil.

Keep the oil levels where they should be, being very careful not to get dirt into the holes while doing that chore.

Timken recommends an 85W140 EP oil (IIRC), which is pretty easy to find these days as it has a lot of other uses.


Last edited by Lincoln Penn on Sun Mar 06, 2016 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Driver journal oil cellar conversion
PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 1:27 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1494
Location: Strasburg, PA
Russ Fischer wrote:
Has anyone come up with a successful method of adding a dust seal between the top edge of the cellar box and journal to reduce the infiltration of dirt and water into the oil? We tried a simple version of this on the 401 at Monticello. It consisted of a U shaped neoprene channel that fit over the top edge of the sides of the cellar box. I am not sure how effective it was since it did not uniformly contact the journal surface like a normal shaft seal would but it did reduce the gap somewhat.

If you build up with braze and bore the ends of your cellar boxes to a close fit to each journal, you will find that to be good enough. The loss of oil in daily operation tends to flush dirt and ash out of the boxes fairly effectively (compared to grease cellars) so long and you don't leave a large open invitation for it to float in.

We replaced the covers on the inside ends of the cellars with 1/8" brass sheet bored to fit each journal and slid up tight against the journal before tightening. They work well even on our rear axles which are all right under the ash pans since our roster shuns trailing trucks. (An off topic interesting phenomenon we see is that after a monthly inspection of every cellar, the brass sheet covers are slid up tight to the journals and tightened, then at the first daily inspection, we will often find one or more of the brass covers slid down about 1/8" from the journal even though the clamping bolt is still tight. The only conclusion I can reach about this is that during hard pulls, the journals will try to climb out of the boxes from time to time.)

With your rear drivers ahead of the ash pans, you shouldn't need to be too concerned about dirt. I would suggest that C&TS change to cleaning your ash pans with water instead of air to reduce dust. We flood our ash pans with a fire hose to saturate the ash prior to opening the doors which really cuts down on the dust.

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 Post subject: Re: Driver journal oil cellar conversion
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 2:56 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 10:46 pm
Posts: 131
Kelly-

Thank you for pulling that out of the archives.

All-

I was very pleased with how 1702's engine ran both immediately after returning to service, as well as the rest of the 2004 season. Bearing temps were 5-20 degrees F above ambient, unless the boxes were taking on water. Still, we would see that in the axle temps and made our PM work more frequent for filling and changing the oil in the cellars. I really was looking forward to taking the engine back out West of Bryson the following season, but it was not to be.

We used the 936 high lead bronze for the crown brass, and the Journal-tex HD 57 in the cellars with a common 6x11 pad if memory serves.

As mentioned, the AP bearings were in fail mode when they were disassembled. We didn't know it while operating the engine. We got "lucky". It is true that the daily and weekly maintenance is more for the friction bearings than the rollers, but you should be under the engine frequently anyways looking at everything else down there. It was more costly to fit the rollers to the engine than repairing the crown brass back in 1997, it was very costly to take them back out in 2003, and they didn't even make it to the very next 1472 inspection before failure.

Big picture, do not put AP rollers on drive axles of a steam locomotives. It is a misapplication of the technology, which will lead to a very costly failure. They have been used with great success on the pony and trailing trucks, but not on the drivers. It is not enough to understand how a technology will work, you must also consider how it may/will fail. Only then can you determine if the chosen technology is robust enough for the application.

Ryan


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 Post subject: Re: Driver journal oil cellar conversion
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:36 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 1:45 am
Posts: 315
Location: Alaska
Quick sidebar to agree with Kelly. Blowing ash pans out with air is exponentially worse for the engine and the crew compared to a rinse with water. TVRM has a line plumbed into the ash pan from the injector which you can see hosing down ash any time the injector is running, which reduces fire risk and potentially saves grate life.

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 Post subject: Re: Driver journal oil cellar conversion
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:51 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 12:00 am
Posts: 526
Location: Dallas ,Texas. USA
Has anyone worked with the various friction reducing additives in the oil sellers of driving boxes.

What were the results?

This seems like it would not do anything, but does adding graphite or other additives to hard cake grease make any difference on grease lubed axle temperatures and wear. It might reduce start up wear.

I read once where it said that the antifriction additive only offered additional lubrication during the start up, when there was some metal to metal contact, but once the oil wedge was established it had no effect. Some kind of antifriction treatment could prevent accumulative damage upon start up, if it did what they are touted to do. I wonder how much extra life an axle could give if the start up damage could be reduced via the use of these high pressure additives and/or surface treatments that could be applied to the driving axles during assembly?

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 Post subject: Re: Driver journal oil cellar conversion
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 10:33 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1494
Location: Strasburg, PA
Loco112 wrote:
This seems like it would not do anything, but does adding graphite or other additives to hard cake grease make any difference on grease lubed axle temperatures and wear. It might reduce start up wear.

I read once where it said that the antifriction additive only offered additional lubrication during the start up, when there was some metal to metal contact, but once the oil wedge was established it had no effect. Some kind of antifriction treatment could prevent accumulative damage upon start up, if it did what they are touted to do. I wonder how much extra life an axle could give if the start up damage could be reduced via the use of these high pressure additives and/or surface treatments that could be applied to the driving axles during assembly?

Since grease cellars rely on heat (wear) to start the grease flowing, adding an additive would simply take the place of the grease in lubricating the journal, until it was gone and the journal then heated up and the grease started to flow (which doesn't happen with the grease available today anyway, which is at the root of the current problem).

The heat needed to activate the cellar grease is at the root of the basic illogic behind using grease for driving box lubrication in the first place. The advantage of grease cellars is that when they have proper grease, they can go a long time without attention, but at the cost of less overall mileage between overhauls compared to oil cellars. Oil cellars need to be filled every day (which I don't see as a problem in today's operations) and if they are let run dry can fail pretty quickly. But when properly maintained, and fed a diet of the proper oil, are head and shoulders ahead of grease lubrication in all areas.

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 Post subject: Re: Driver journal oil cellar conversion
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 10:57 am 

Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2015 7:28 pm
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Location: Northern WV
This is, most likely, a dumb question. Could standard roller bearings used on virtually all freight cars be adapted for steam locomotive use. If not for drivers at least for leading/trailing trucks and tender trucks?

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 Post subject: Re: Driver journal oil cellar conversion
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 1:56 pm 

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Location: Northern Illinois
Errr... did you read all the discussion above concerning the AP bearings applied to 1702, and subsequently removed?

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 Post subject: Update on driver journal oil cellar conversion
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:49 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 10:40 am
Posts: 84
Location: Chama, NM
I couple of years ago, shortly after I returned to the C&TS as Master Mechanic, we began experiments on converting the main driver journal lubrication on the locomotives from the original hard grease to oil. I asked for information and advice here and of others who had done this and got a lot of good responses. We have now converted two locomotives, 489 and 488, to oil cellars and, between the two, have about three operating seasons of experience with them. This is a follow up to update anyone interested as to what we have learned.

The project has not been without incident and we went through a learning curve with the first engine, 489, that required going back and making some changes over the course of the first operating season. We applied what we learned to the 488 and it has run without any mechanical issues so far. All things considered, we feel that this is a success and plan to continue to convert all of our K-36 class power as they cycle through the shop for driver work. We are using the Armstrong oiler lubricators and are very satisfied with them.

Aside from the limitations of the available grease (more about that later) maintaining the oil cellars is considerably less costly in terms of man hours. Since our locomotives are outside frame, the only way to remove the cellar is to drop the binder. It takes two people about an hour to drop a binder and replace a grease cellar. This does not include the time required to actually repack the cellar screen. In comparison, one person can top off all eight oil cellars in about 15 minutes with our current filling method and I plan to improve that in the future.

An engine will normally make a 130 mile round trip over the railroad in a two day period. All maintenance of the cellars is performed in Chama. Each cellar consumes a little over a pint of oil during the 130 mile round trip. Some of that is lost to waste due to our filling procedure and I feel that that can be reduced with improvement there. We are using Journal Guard oil. Crown brass temperatures normally run between 15 and 30 degrees above ambient. They run cooler when the engine is working than when drifting. I cannot explain that.

What we have learned (sometimes the hard way)

1. The journal surface must be consistent. We have set a standard of no more than .020 inch taper over the width of a 10 inch journal. The surface must be straight. In other words, no hour glass or barrel shape of the journal surface can be tolerated. This has required us to machine practically all journals that we have converted so far.

2. We machine the crown brass to a smooth surface with no oil groves or pockets. We initially tried machining a small oil return grove in each edge of the brass but decided this was not worth the effort and the oil that does escape out the side helps lubricate the hub liners. We have tried using clearances from .015 to .030 on the diameter. Both work acceptably and we have standardized on .030 for our 9" journals. We found that a little loose is FAR better than a little too tight. Part of that learning curve.

3. The D&RGW had a practice of lubricating the hubs with soft grease, a practice which we continued. The grease works its way into the edges of the lubricator pads and slowly fouls the pad causing loss of lubrication. We are converting the hubs back to oil lubrication as they were originally designed by Baldwin and that seems to eliminate that problem.

4. One of the few benefits of the outside frame design in this regard is that the cellar boxes are completely surrounded on all sides which helps keep dirt from getting into the box and pads. A normal inside frame locomotive would leave the inside of the box exposed at the axle. Kelly addressed their fix for this in one of his posts.

5. We have issued all of our engineers IR temp guns and have them check journal temperatures at all regular stops and report immediately if one is above 150 degrees. Once the operating temperature begins to rise, letting it go a while to see if it will settle down is not an option.

We first tried to convert the original grease cellar boxes by plugging the tell-tale holes and adding the filling ports. We soon decided that this would not work well due to the uneven surface of the cast boxes. We made all new ones out of ¼” steel plate, precut and folded by a fabricating shop.

Attachment:
File comment: Box parts prior to assembly.
Oil cel box parts small.JPG
Oil cel box parts small.JPG [ 76.69 KiB | Viewed 1240 times ]


Attachment:
File comment: This is the only access to the cellar boxes. All servicing must be done through the narrow opening between the hub and binder.
Oil cel installed sm.JPG
Oil cel installed sm.JPG [ 92.07 KiB | Viewed 1240 times ]


Attachment:
File comment: We built spring loaded check valves. These allow both draining water out of the cellar and filling from a pressurized oil tank by inserting a probe into the opening. The other fitting has a stand pipe that sticks up into the box about 1 1/2". This currently serves as a fill indicator. I plan to mount reservoirs on the frame and run hoses to these fittings for filling.
Oil cel box fill sm.JPG
Oil cel box fill sm.JPG [ 82.65 KiB | Viewed 1240 times ]


Now, a little more about that grease. Years ago when the original hard greases became unavailable we were unable, for a time, to find any suitable substitutes. Based on that experience, the grease was getting the blame here for all lubrication failures on the driver journals. In parallel with developing the oil cellars I have also been improving the maintenance of the grease cellars still in service and have found that WHEN EVERYTHING ELSE IS RIGHT there are at least two hard greases that we have tried that work acceptably in our service, although still not as well as the old greases. Your mileage may vary.

In our current view we have decided that the cooler running temperatures we get with the oil lubrication along with much less labor intensive maintenance make the oil cellars a better option for us. In addition, the engines roll much more freely on oil than with grease. One or our guys calls it "the scary roll".

We don't have enough time on them yet to compare the journal and crown brass wear. That will take a few more years of service.

(Edited to correct oil consumption figure)


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 Post subject: Re: Driver journal oil cellar conversion
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:50 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 10:34 pm
Posts: 693
Thank you for your updating your finds and this older posting. This is the stuff I like about RYPN most of all. Regards, John.


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 Post subject: Re: Driver journal oil cellar conversion
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:32 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 1:45 am
Posts: 315
Location: Alaska
Russ, do the crews still drift with the throttles shut? I know it's common practice that was handed down from somewhere back in time but I would encourage the practice if you have the ability. When I worked for the C&TS in 2012, I always drifted the engine with a cracked throttle to cushion the running gear just as is standard practice most anywhere else. The 484 had great running gear that year, and when drifting correctly, you couldn't hear a single pound anywhere from the drivers or rods, just the air being displaced by the machinery and the rail joints. Perhaps this would increase the life of the bearings and solve the mystery of the higher temperature when drifting.

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 Post subject: Re: Update on driver journal oil cellar conversion
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 2:58 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2352
Location: Northern Illinois
Russ Fischer wrote:
...Crown brass temperatures normally run between 15 and 30 degrees above ambient. They run cooler when the engine is working than when drifting. I cannot explain that...


I would suspect that the piston thrusts continually move the line of greatest bearing pressure around to different areas of the bearing, which spreads the heating out and encourages cooling. When drifting the heating is more concentrated in area of the brass.

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