Whats Happening ?

And yet more tweaking.

Following Bob’ s suggestion Alistair starts the crane with the intention of making a channel through the mud in the centre if the lock which should allow water flow to cut through and remove some of the silt.  Having cooled down since the previous days working the carefully adjusted clutches decide to bind again and a frantic phone call is made to to the head Grease Monkey to determine which of the clutch band adjustments have to be altered.

The new clutch linings need time to bed-in properly and it  has become obvious that the crane needs to be run regularly in order to keep them rust-free.

After a little adjustment here and there Alistair swings the clam-shell into action and with Adrian directing soon clears a channel through the chamber.  All that is required now is a lot of running water!

Tweaking the crane!

Alistair is down for the weekend.  While Viv’ goes of shopping in Bideford he, Trevor and Adrian try to get the crane operating smoothly.  The adjustment on each clutch band and the brake bands is quite critical.  While Alistair is in charge of operating the controls Trevor slackens or tightens the appropriate nuts.

Adrian is promoted to chief Tea boy, a very important position, whist Trevor is demoted to head Grease Monkey.  Finally all Trevor’s hard work stars to pay off and Alistair is able to control the crane ‘s functions smoothly and relatively easily.

Trevor plays ‘hide and seek!’

Norman was counting cranes not sheep overnight and has come to the conclusion that the horrible ‘grunging noises were simply due to lack of oil.  He and Trevor had put some multigrade in the previous day but only a small amount.  referring to the instruction manual, always a good idea when all else fails, He and Trevor learn that there should be 5  gallons of very heavy gear-oil (140 Grade) in the gearbox.

Since there is no dip stick Trevor loosens first one and then the second of the 2 sump drain-plugs.  To do this he has to get up in under the machine which makes him look as if he’s trying to hide.  Perhaps he is!

What comes out of the gearbox is not oil but water – lots of it!  Norman makes some telephone calls and drives off  to Barnstaple to collect some fresh oil.  Gear oil of this type and viscosity is not readily available but eventually Norman returns with 20 litres of 140 grade and 20 litres of 90, not ideal but better than nothing.  The sump drain plugs are replaced, the oil poured into the filler and having allowed some time for the oil to flow down into the depths of the machine the engine is restarted and once again the main clutch is gently engaged.  The ‘grunging’ noise is briefly heard but quickly subsides, not to be heard again.  Hooray!

It’s a great pity that water was found to be such a poor lubricant because it is certainly much cheaper than the oil turned out to be.



Springs and bands come together, nearly.

Finally the postman delivers a package containing a replacement cushion spring.  Trevor arrives carrying the newly relined boom hoist bands, all nicely painted and sets about re-intsatlling the boom hoist mechanism.

Before replacing the very heavy and awkward to manoeuvre hoist-drum laggings  they decide to start the engine and test the lifting of the boom.  The engine fires up easily and Adrian gently engages the main drive clutch.  An awful ‘grunging’ noise starts and scares Adrian ‘half to death’.  Trevor tries a number of different adjustments but each time the main clutch is engaged the terrible noise is made.  Heads are scratched.

Later in the day Norman arrives.  He and Trevor start taking even more of the machine to pieces.  Adrian leaves them to think about mechanical things while he extends the scaffolding along the inside of the wharf wall.  By the end of the day the problem has not been solved.  So much for having new parts and having all the linkages carefully cleaned and greased.  Situations like this are so frustrating but that’s the nature of working with elderly machinery.

Way to go!

Trevor and Norman set off very early in the morning to travel to Birmingham.  Norman has located a company that will reline the boom hoist clutch bands while he waits.  He was unable to find any other company willing to take on the job without a considerable delay.

Arriving at the Birmingham workshop at the beginning of the working day enabled Trevor and Norman time to go and visit the Black Country Living Museum.  This is a fascinating place which Hilary and Adrian enjoyed visiting on their last caravan holiday in that area.