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 Post subject: Question about Big Boy running gear
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 5:20 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 1159
Location: Back in NE Ohio
In watching video from yesterday's run from Cheyenne to Rawlins with the Big Boy and 844, I noticed something about 4014 I hadn't observed before. It has what appears to be chain-driven mechanical lubricators on the front engine. I know that some overseas steam locomotives used chain drive for some functions, but this is the first time I have ever seen one used on a "modern" American steam locomotive. Was this the original design, or a later retrofit? Was it not possible to work out a solid rod-driven arrangement for lubricators on the front engine? How reliable is this arrangement, and were the chains a weak point on the class as a whole?


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 Post subject: Re: Question about Big Boy running gear
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 5:48 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
Posts: 2255
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
The chains go back nearly to the first years in service. They were an improvement over the standard oscillating rod. So as not to speculate, I will let someone else speak with authority. I can't remember the source of my information.

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Danmarks Tekniske Universitet
Institut for Systemer, Produktion, og Ledelse


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 Post subject: Re: Question about Big Boy running gear
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 9:39 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:53 pm
Posts: 145
I also wondered about this arrangement, after seeing the chain drive "up close", on the Big Boy in Green Bay. I later read that the original (factory) rods that drove the lubricators were prone to bending. The UP retrofitted them with a chain drive to correct the problem.

Like Mr. Harrod, I also cannot locate the reference for this, at the moment.

JR


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 Post subject: Re: Question about Big Boy running gear
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 10:11 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 2:46 pm
Posts: 567
Location: St. Louis, MO
Big boy 4006 at the National Museum of Transportation has the same gear on it, but there is a metal guard over nearly all of the chain. The may have left it off for easy access right after the rebuild. There are other changes made during their operating lives. I worked at the museum for 10 years .

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Ron Goldfeder
St. Louis


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 Post subject: Re: Question about Big Boy running gear
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 10:37 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1605
Location: Strasburg, PA
I seem to recall the chain drives being mentioned in the old "Last of the Giants" video, (maybe on YouTube) as a Union Pacific fix to an ALCO design problem. They usually have guards in place over the chains that are missing at this time.

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"It was not easy to convince Allnutt. All his shop training had given him a profound prejudice against inexact work, experimental work, hit-or-miss work."
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Strasburg Rail Road Mechanical Department


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 Post subject: Re: Question about Big Boy running gear
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 11:09 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 2:46 pm
Posts: 567
Location: St. Louis, MO
I worked at the Museum of Transportation near St. Louis for 10 years and Big Boy 4006 is there. It has the same chain drive on the front engine, but it has a metal safety guard over most of the chain. I think they left it off for access to make adjustments right after this rebuilding. If you google "big boy 4006" and look at the photos you will see it. Other changes were made during the operating life of these locos.

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Ron Goldfeder
St. Louis


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 Post subject: Re: Question about Big Boy running gear
PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 10:05 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2005 1:24 am
Posts: 81
Location: Michigan
What's up with the 3-4 copies of the same replies showing up?


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 Post subject: Re: Question about Big Boy running gear
PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 10:21 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:53 pm
Posts: 145
I hit the Submit button, but got no feedback. So I hit it again (and again), thinking that my original attempt was unsuccessful. Found out this morning that they all got posted. I guess the other folks had a similar experience.

JR


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 Post subject: Re: Question about Big Boy running gear
PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 10:45 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1605
Location: Strasburg, PA
.

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"It was not easy to convince Allnutt. All his shop training had given him a profound prejudice against inexact work, experimental work, hit-or-miss work."
C. S. Forester

Strasburg Rail Road Mechanical Department


Last edited by Kelly Anderson on Tue May 07, 2019 1:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Question about Big Boy running gear
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 11:16 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 1159
Location: Back in NE Ohio
Thanks for the replies and clarifications.


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 Post subject: Re: Question about Big Boy running gear
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 1:09 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 7:57 am
Posts: 2405
Location: Faulkland, Delaware
I took care of the duplicate posts. I'm not sure if I fixed the problem.

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Tom Gears
Wilmington, DE

If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem.


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 Post subject: Re: Question about Big Boy running gear
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2019 6:53 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2006 10:42 am
Posts: 243
Location: Lancaster, PA
Hello,

So I don't start ANOTHER thread.....I'll add to this one...

There is a sea of posts and information out there but I wanted to quickly ask if the Big Boy has roller bearings on the main driving axles. With a quick scan I am not seeing if they do have them.

Can any of you advise? Maybe it's an obvious yes?

Thank you.

Randy


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 Post subject: Re: Question about Big Boy running gear
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2019 7:15 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1605
Location: Strasburg, PA
That's right, roller bearings on all axles and the rear end of the eccentric rod (?why?). All other joints have plain bearings AFAIK.

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"It was not easy to convince Allnutt. All his shop training had given him a profound prejudice against inexact work, experimental work, hit-or-miss work."
C. S. Forester

Strasburg Rail Road Mechanical Department


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 Post subject: Re: Question about Big Boy running gear
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2019 7:39 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2006 10:42 am
Posts: 243
Location: Lancaster, PA
Kelly,

Thank you for the confirmation.

Regards.

Randy


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 Post subject: Re: Question about Big Boy running gear
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2019 7:48 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 10:19 am
Posts: 51
Another question: in the runbys, it sounds like there is a side rod clank on the BB. Is that right or is it something else?

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G. Cook


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