Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Chopped nuts

Today we got all the remaining bolts out so that tomorrow we can (with the help of the crane) take the top off the engine room, like opening a giant tin of beans, and using an enormous spoon (or, OK, perhaps the crane) remove the contents. Thus the engine also has to be unbolted from its mountings, and its various connections disconnected. This also has been achieved, except that the exhaust hasn't been taken off yet and disconnecting the propshaft is a treat for tomorrow too. What I noticed on Sunday, when we went and looked at the replacement engine, is how bloody big it is; like an iceberg, when installed, most of it is hidden beneath the surface. We thought Warrior's was a beast, but the PD2, including the gearbox, is probably bigger (not as heavy though, phew.)

Most of the 130-odd fastenings holding the roof on - probably 90% - were surprisingly easy to undo. Jim stood on the outside with either a spanner or a large screwdriver, as appropriate, and I went for it on the inside with my trusty ratchet, in a shower of old paint, red lead and spiders. Mmm. Never has washing my hair been such a treat. Some though were a little recalcitrant and Jim had to grind a few heads off, and cut through a couple of nuts on the engine mounting. He was remarkably blase when this set light to many decades' worth of oil and old crap underneath the engine which smouldered away like an incipient volcano for many hours, without, thankfully, ever actually bursting into flames.

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