Following on from our last post about the disassembly and preparation of the compartment fans in the XBS, work has subsequently progressed on their finishing and reassembly. As always, in the interests of recording the process for posterity (and to assist the next poor souls who decide that refurbishing a set of 24V fans might be a fun way to kill a week or three), we have set out the steps involved in getting the fans to their current state. For the best finish, the disassembled components were left to sit for a fortnight or so following paint stripping. This ensured that any residue had ample time to cure before painting, and would ensure the best possible adhesion of the paint system. Following a quick once over with some phosphoric acid to treat any surface rust, the components each received 2 healthy coats of etch grey primer. This was then followed by two coats of Metal Shield Epoxy Enamel in Classic Cream, with the exception of the fan blades which were painted silver. As usual, the paint was supplied by our good friends at Dulux.
After leaving this to sit for 24 hours, reassembly was commenced. The plates were easily re-attached by tapping in a couple of small metal push rivets – and not even these escaped the onslaught of Classic Cream! With hindsight, it would have been nice also to have gone to the lengths of removing the plates when restoring the CAM fans (https://eastcoastheritagerail.com.au/cam10/), as it’s a gauge of the quality of the restoration project, with few carriages receiving such a thorough going over as this one is having. The devil’s in the detail – and in this case it’s a credit to the dedication of the skilled team at Eveleigh Projects, always ensuring jobs such as this are done to the best of their ability and to the highest standards.
On observation of the plates, it’s interesting to note that while the fans in the CAM were manufactured by Stones of England, those in the XBS are home grown – having been made by Elcon in Australia. Following these, next up next for reattachment are the speed controller handle and the fan motor cradle. It never ceases to amaze us how easily these things can fit back together after a bit of tlc, especially given that the fans were temperamental to say the least during the disassembly leg! But now comes the tricky bit – after going the extra mile previously in removing the stator (refer to the earlier fan post below) to allow the components to be fully treated and restored, it needed now to be reinstated in its rightful place. In the end this was achieved with a bit of signature railway “gentle persuasion”, courtesy of a small mallet and drift. But would it work after having been disturbed from its resting place of the better part of eight decades?
First, the brush contact mounts were refitted to the motor casing and leads then run to each, one for positive and the other for negative. The motor was then reassembled with little difficulty, being held together by just 2 threaded bolts, before being tested using (appropriately enough) a stalwart 12V transformer pilfered from the model railway. Performing these little projects away from Eveleigh at private workshops really helps the project progress, as you certainly couldn’t find one of those in The Large… But the result: good news! It works on 12V, so will be fine for 24V carriage voltage later on.
Having passed the test with flying colours, the motor is then mounted in its cradle, a process which for this style of fan is a ‘breeze’, using 2 simple plugs to allow the fan motor to be easily removed from the cradle. New electrical leads were also fitted at this point to allow for reconnection to the carriage electrical supply upon reinstallation. This is followed by the fitting of the caps to seal in the motor brushes and the four brackets to attach the fan grill, and we’re now ready for the final check.
The variable speed controller works, adjusting the RPMs as it should – so once the grill returns from the chrome platers it will be reinstalled, making this fan complete and ready for interim storage prior to reinstallation later in the project. So now onto the next fan, and at this point a side-by-side comparison exemplifies both the quality of the restoration and scope of the skills which are alive and well among the volunteers of Eveleigh Projects team – the fan has been subjected to a miraculous restoration in its own right!
Keep an eye out for further XBS updates in the coming days…