At this time of the year we carry out the servicing of the coaches. One of the jobs that we do is the removal and check of the white metal wheel bearings. This is probably one of the most oily, messy jobs going. This sequence of pictures takes you through the process for one axle of mark 1 BFK number 35069
The first job is to place a jack underneath the axle box, a piece of hardwood is placed between the jack and the box to spread the load, this stops the jack placing too much pressure onto the cast iron box causing it to break.
After removing the split pin from the right hand bolt, both bolts are then loosened with a pair of spanners.
The bolt on the right is then completely removed, allowing the door to swing open on the left hand bolt which is still in situ. Note the tray to catch any spillage of oil and the bucket to deposit the old oil when it is extracted.
The axle box door swung open to reveal the end of the axle. On the end of the axle you can usually find the axle number stamped into it as well as the year of manufacture. On these BR1 bogies it is not unusual to find a date of the early fifties.
The next job is to remove the oiler pad. This is a sprung pad which fits up against the axle, it has a number of tails underneath which sit in the oil reservoir in the bottom of the axle box. These draw up the oil by capillary action and place a small film of oil onto the axle.
A side view of the Armstrong oiler, it sits in a metal frame which provides the spring to hold the pad against the axle. The tails can be seen hanging down.
The box is then jacked up until the axle drops away from the bearing. This then allows the bearing retaining plate to slide out.
Removing the bearing retaining plate.
Finally the bearing itself is removed. The use of a tyre lever is to lift the bearing lugs out of their slots and hold it level over the axle.
The bearing face, the shining part is the actual bearing surface, whereas the dark edges are the oil leads, these will be cleaned up and scraped. Scraping is a process of removing a few thou of metal from the surface.
The process of axle lubrication is by the Armstrong oiler picking up the oil from the reservoir and placing a thin film on the axle. This film is then forced between the axle and the bearing when it hits the oil lead in on the bearing, thus the axle rides on a very thin film of oil.
All that remains is to clean it all up, change the oil, put it back together again and do the same to the other seven axle boxes.
The electricians invade the shed on a Friday. They have been moving the on board smart charger from one of the battery boxes into the Guards compartment. The reason for this is that over Christmas 35069 struggled to last the day on its one box of batteries, there wasn't any room in the other box to load any more because of the charger being in the way, hence the move to free up space. Here Paul has loaded a new set of batteries into the now vacant box and is in the process of wiring them up.
Electrician Ray at the bench with pieces of metal, lamp supports I'm told.
Electrician Bill, spraying every where with sparks.
Joyce, painting and generally tidying up inside the mark 1 SO, number 4477.