Sunday, November 05, 2006

News from our engine correspondent

Jim writes:
It is that time again - no not Christmas although that is coming up fast on the horizon- but my report on the progress ( or not) on Warrior's engine and gearbox.
It seems very much the way of things in the narrowboat game that those on whom you rely for technical assistance or maintenance services operate in a way far removed to the rest of the commercial world. They seem to operate on the Julian calendar and set their times by the some arcane and secretive oracle who transmits the information by thought transfer. Needless to say none of this relates to the realitites of anyone but themselves. Should you not understand their way of doing things and therefore believe that appointments will be kept and that work will be commenced at least within a year of the agreed date, it is all your fault especially when you have driven 250 miles across the country and you will then be punished with further delays or extra costs or both.
This is the way of things for the rest of the industry but not the men with beards (and moustaches) of the RN Diesel Engine Co, for despite appearances they have been quietly -too quietly for my taste-beavering away totally rebuilding our National despite their early reservations. Not only that but more excitingly still they have totally refurbished our 1:1 Bruntons gearbox which is apparently unique or at least no one at RN had seen one like it. The gearbox has been totally dismantled and checked and the gears were found to be in good order Phew and twice Phew!! no nancy hydraulic box for us thank you very much. When it was reassembled all the bearings were replaced - well it is likely that not much has been done to it since 1937. Astonishingly Allister Denyer the engineering genius at RN located new ones with next day delivery!! even more remarkable when you consider that none have been made since 1940. You can't even get that sort of service from a Ford main agent apparently.

Back to the engine - the new pistons, liners and con rods have all been modified, machined and fitted in the block and are awaiting the crank case with the new white metal bearings machined to the restored crank. Despite their earlier resistance to building up the engine the RN Engine Co are actually very keen to build up the whole of the short engine including setting all the timing. The heads are currently being totally refurbished and will be finished next week so it is likely that I will be able to install the engine over Christmas provided Ian is available - now there is another story

Sarah picks herself up off the floor and adds:
Yes, and Santa and all his little elves will help ... and the tooth fairy, for good measure.

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