2009 Week 5 in Review
January 25 to January 31, 2009
Work continues on the Catalyst
This week at OTM Inc, we cleaned all the cylinder heads and installed them on the Catalyst's engine. We used compressed graphite head gaskets, which is what they were running on for the past 10 years. I haven't seen these used on any other engines, but they sure sealed well, so we made replacements and bolted them down. The good side is that they are easy to make and they seal really well. The bad side is they are not reusable, since they compress a lot. Copper may still be cheaper, since copper head gaskets are reusable.
Once the heads were torqued down, I checked piston height by placing a little lead ball on the highest point of the piston. Then I cranked the engine around to smash it, then mic'd the ball to get the piston-to-head clearance. I did this without any shims under the rod foot, then subtracted the .125 from the results to get the required shim thickness for each.
Then, I installed the valves. Beforehand, I performed the kerplunk test with every valve in every hole and found some needed adjusting to pass. In the end, there was only one that would not pass the test, but in only one hole. All the cages and holes have little variances that are hard to spot, so nothing substitutes the kerplunk test.
Parts for the Pago Pago crane barge
Dan got a call from the folks who run the Atlas-Imperial-powered crane barge in Pago Pago, Samoa. They needed some spare parts, so Dan cleaned up some of our spare injectors and head gaskets and sent them off. I hope we get some pictures of the engine soon.
OTM Inc has been receiving lots of request for digital copies of vintage diesel manuals and catalogs for the Atlases, Washingtons, Enterprises, Fairbanks-Morses, and other old engines. We're working furiously to fill these requests, and have set Katrina up with our new scanner. We'll start getting them up to the web soon!
New things on the web!
We've launched the first upgrade to the website: a sortable table to browse old engines with! If you've visited the Old Tacoma Marine Inc website to look at old engines before, you probably noticed that you could view engines by size & specification, by region, or by use. This system was sort of clunky, and we're doing away with it and using a fully dynamic sorting table instead.
What does that mean, you ask? That means that when viewing the master engine list, you can have it sort by size, owner, original use, current use, name, model, serial number, location, and more. Check it out here -- click on the grey boxes at the top to sort by that column heading.
Right now, it's only live on the Washington Iron Works index, but stay tuned for sorting tables for all the engine manufacturers. We at Old Tacoma Marine Inc are committed to bringing you the most up-to-date and easily accessible information about the antique diesel engine world.