A Turbocharged Failure – The Story of the Cleveland 498, Part II

In this second part of A Turbocharged Failure, we will go through some design features of the engine.  What better way to do this then to simply go through the engine manual and show a few key areas of the engine design.  Numerous additional photos of the 498 will appear in Part IV. 

Be sure to view last weeks Part I: A Turbocharged Failure – The Story of the Cleveland 498, Part I

The initial “catalog photo” of a production 12-498, with a Falk MB series reverse-reduction gearbox.

I have two versions of the 498 manual – both of which are titled as “preliminary” manuals.   The older version, which is undated and likely from around 1957, and lists 4 models of the 498; a 6-, an 8-, a 12- and 16-cylinder.   Like all manuals, an end view diagram is included, however this is a rather primitive, hand- drawn sketch. 

Engine cross section drawings. A colorized version would never be done. Click for larger

By the time the second edition was printed, dated for July of 1960, an all-new diagram was made including outlining various parts of the engine.   Along with this, several additional diagrams appear in the manual, as well as some more photos of various engine parts and repair techniques. At some point the 6-cylinder version was dropped from documentation, and would ultimately never be built.

Engine data and ratings – Click for larger

Engine Operation
Like all Cleveland engines, a simple lever is attached to the injector linkage.  A small thumb latch allows the lever to control the engine with no governor input.  When unlatched, the governor takes over all control of engine operation, used in conjunction with whatever remote propulsion control system is used.   On the 498 (and some Cleveland 567’s) equipped with reverse reduction gears, a second lever was added to control the air clutch, so that propulsion speed and direction could be controlled right at the engine.  498 engines were air-started- using an air motor, unlike the 278A engines which had direct air start into the cylinders.  

Engine operating levers on the 498. Click for larger

Crankcase
Like the previous Cleveland models, the 498 used an all-welded crankcase of various forged parts and steel plate.  A balanced, alloy steel crankshaft is used, interestingly enough the 12-cylinder crankshaft did not have any counterweights.  The crankshaft is drilled for oiling the connecting rod main bearings and wrist pins.  A vibration damper and balancer are mounted on the front end of the engine. 

Pistons, Connecting Rods & Liners
One of the biggest sets of improvements to the 498 engines from the previous 278A – are actually a few concepts borrowed from sister division EMD and the 567C engine. 

While the 278A and all previous models used a semi-water deck style liner (like the EMD 567 though the “B” block) – the 498 used a sealed liner which was attached to a water manifold in the airbox by a jumper (much like the 567C). 

A look in through the crankcase inspection cover at the connecting rods, showing the “pee pipe” attached to the lower end of the liner for piston cooling.

Again, borrowing from EMD, the pistons are a two-piece, trunk style floating piston (introduced on the LST 12-567 in WWII), whereas the 278A used a more traditional one-piece piston and a wrist pin.  On the floating piston, the piston itself sits on a thrust washer, which in turn sits on the piston carrier attached to the connecting rod.  Again, departing from the 278, Cleveland adopted the “pee pipe” piston cooling scheme EMD used since the first 567 of 1938, as opposed to the drilled connecting rod of the 278 & 268, which directed cooling oil from the crankshaft to the bottom of the piston. In the 498, the drilled connecting rod is only used for oiling the bearings and wrist pin.

Piston cooling on the 498 (top) used a drilled connecting rod to lubricate the bearings and wrist pin, however used a jet of oil which sprayed into an orifice directing oil into the cavity below the piston crown. The 278 (bottom) simply used the drilled connecting rod to lubricate everything, and used a spring check plate to retain oil in the crown.

The connecting rod of the 498 used a strap style of “cap” to contain the bearing and connect to the crankpin.  Like all Cleveland’s, each connecting rod used its own bearing on the crankpin, unlike the EMD engines which use a shared crankpin and bearing set by use of the fork and blade connecting rods. This allowed the EMD to be a slightly shorter length overall, as the cylinders were directly opposite each other, versus slightly offset on the Cleveland.

Cylinder Heads & Exhaust
Again, sharing with previous Cleveland models, the 498 used individual external heads, however these had some upgrades.  One of the big downfalls with the 278A style head, is there is a half-circle seal against the back of the head, which seals the cam pocket to the head.  Unfortunately, this is a major source of oil leaks.  The Navy devised a tool in the 1950’s to help combat this problem – a bracket clips into the injector control pocket on the block and a set screw presses the head back into the pocket, thus compressing the seal before the head is torqued down.  The 498 head had a specific tab on them (visible in the above photo of the operating levers), in which a bolted clip catches, allowing one to compress the head back into the seal.   The head itself was also torqued down in an interesting way. The head used stretch bolts, in which a special hydraulic tool was attached to pick up on the bolt before it was tightened down. The 498 returned to a two-piece valve cover design like the Winton 248 used.  The fuel lines were also moved inside now. 

Looking down on the cylinder head, which is a bit more cramped then those on the 278 family. Both fuel lines are now inside the engine, connected to main fuel lines under the exhaust manifold. The 498 used a two piece cover, like the original Winton 248 engine (I wonder if they are the same castings..). The new head design uses a combination safety and test valve, which were separate valves on the 278. EMD did not utilize these valves, which open should any excessive pressure build while the engine is running, preventing a bent connecting rod or worse. Note that the exhaust jumper has some sort of spray on insulation.

The hydraulic tool for tightening the head bolts was a rather simple process. The tension shaft is threaded onto the top portion of the stud, the tool is slipped over the tension shaft, and a nut on top secures it together. The tool is pumped up to 5,000PSI, and the actual nut holding the head down is tightened with the socket handle inside of the tool. The later 1960 manual indicates that these could also be manually torqued down to 1,030 ft. lbs. Click for larger.

A slight revision on the exhaust jumpers as well was devised.  Previous engines used a completely water- jacketed jumper (the older manual incorrectly stating that the 498 had this as well), however with the 498, it was preferable to keep the exhaust gases as hot as possible entering the turbocharger – thus no water jacketing on the exhaust jumper. A small pipe exits the head and carries water to the main exhaust manifold, which was still water jacketed.   The main exhaust manifold itself used diffuser sections to carry the exhaust gas to the turbocharger. 

Camshaft, Accessory and Governor Drive
Nothing all that special going on here.  The water pumps and blower are driven off the accessory drive on the front of the engine.  The camshafts are driven from the rear end of the engine by the crankshaft through a set of gears.   6- and 8-cylinder engines use one-piece camshafts, with 12- and 16-cylinder engines having two-piece camshafts.  On the forward end of the camshafts, the left side has a vibration damper (not used on the 12-cylinder engine) and counterweight, with the right side having the fuel pump mounted. 

The governor drive is also driven through bevel gears on the camshaft drive.   The engine uses a Marquette hydraulic governor for operation.  Driven from the back of the camshaft, the overspeed governor is a bit of a complex mechanical/hydraulic device devised by Cleveland, rather than using an additional off-the-shelf Marquette governor like the previous models. When the engine overspeeds, a centrifugal flyweight arrangement closes off oil flow to the small oil pump in the governor, forcing it to build pressure which discharges to a small piston on top.  The piston acts against a spring and controls a set of linkage going to each injector rocker arm.  When the overspeed is tripped, these arms engage onto the rockers, and hold the injector down in the no fuel position. 

Overspeed operation. Click for larger.

Oil & Cooling system
The 498 uses 3 lube oil pumps, a scavenging pump and a two pressure pumps (one for main oiling, one for piston cooling).  Diesel-Electric engines had an additional scavenging pump installed for the support bearings on the generators.  An additional small oil strainer is mounted on the feed line for the turbocharger bearings. 

The cooling system for the 498 is virtually unchanged from the 278A except for the lack of water- jacketed exhaust elbows mentioned above.   The 498 uses a raw water-cooled intercooler mounted between the turbocharger and the blower. 

Intake & Exhaust
What sets the 498 apart from her sisters is of course the use of the turbocharger. In addition to the turbocharger, the Roots blower is also used.  See description below.  Since the Roots blower is not doing all of the work providing scavenging air, it was found a much smaller lobe length would be required, although they did spin at a slightly higher RPM then those on the 278A.   

The turbocharger for the 498 was furnished by De Laval Steam Turbine Corp. and was a basic “gas turbine driven compressor”.  The Model A turbocharger was supported in its own service manual supplied by De Laval.  The unit used a “monorotor” construction with both sets of blades mounted on a common central hub.  The housing between the turbine and compressor is water cooled from the engine freshwater cooling system.  The engine also supplies lube oil for the bearings, with an optional self-contained oil pump if so required.

The turbocharger on the 498 was mounted to the front end of the engine, with the air intake sandwiched between the turbocharger housing and the intercooler. A duct ran from the intercooler to the bottom intake side of the Roots blower.

An interesting note on the turbochargers.  On most engines, the turbocharger was mounted vertically, as seen in the photo above.  On the batch of engines sold to Cuba (more on this in Part III), the turbocharger was mounted horizontally.  It is unknown why this was done, be it for clearance issues in the building, or some other unknown reason likely lost to history.

Another interesting note, the tug Robinson Bay (again, more on her in the next part), used an 8-498 engine.  However, it appears this engine did not use a De Laval turbocharger, but it looks to be an Elliot-Bucchi design! More questions we likely will never know the reason why to.

The 16-498 engines built for Cuba used a horizontal De Laval turbocharger. The tug Robinson Bay used what looks to be a much smaller Elliot (or so it appears) style turbocharger, but the engine was still rated at 1400HP. (1959 Diesel Engine Catalog Left, 6/1958 Diesel Times Right, J. Boggess Collection). Click for larger.

498 engine plumbing for a Diesel-Electric tugboat (click for larger)

In Part III we will go through every 498-engine built (it was only 58!)


Sidebar: My co-conspirator & former EMDer Jay Boggess & I have concluded that we really started this project about 10-15 years too late!  Too many souls have moved to the Great Beyond – souls that could answer the questions our research has uncovered.  We do not have clear reasons why the 498 didn’t make it (more on this in Part III and IV), only guesses and suppositions and the little bit we have been able to gather talking to guys who worked on these engines in the last few years.  But then, 15 years ago, we didn’t have the internet to bring folks from across the country together, sharing common interests and information. And besides, 15 years ago, I was in junior high living 900 miles away!

Special thanks for this part go to Preston Cook, who sent me a Xeroxed scan of a 498 manual several years ago. I have since been able to acquire several versions of the original manual and service newsletters thanks to Great Lakes Towing Co., who was gracious enough to send a few surplus copies to me when we started this research project. I would love to find a service parts book, and an De Laval turbocharger manual (we only have a photo scan of it) for the Cleveland 498, and would happily pay a good price for them! My contact is in the upper Right of this page.

A Turbocharged Failure – The Story of the Cleveland 498, Part I

June is a the two year anniversary of this blog, and with that I am kicking off a series dedicated to the Cleveland 498 engine. The 498 engine has been shrouded in mystery over the years, and was one of the main driving forces of creating this page. I wanted to do a writeup on the engine, but had no place to put it! Just to put this right on top – if anybody has any stories, recollections, information, photos or documentation on these engines, PLEASE send me a message! I am trying to document these engines as best as I possibly can.

In the days after WWII, medium speed, 2-stroke diesel engines essentially hit a horsepower wall, around 1600HP or so.   A common way or obtaining a higher horsepower rating, was simply to add more engines!  Unfortunately, adding more engines, means more space is being taken up.  So, the solution is to try and get more horsepower out of what you already have. 

Enter turbocharging.  

Now, turbocharging was not a new concept by any means. Many diesel engines benefited by use of turbocharging, but these were almost all 4-stroke engines.  Cleveland Diesel had a single turbocharged 4-stroke engine design during WWII, the 258S (originally a Winton engine) which was a 2000HP direct reversing engine built for subchasers.  Even several WWII aircraft, including the B17 Bomber were turbocharged. Turbocharging a 2-stroke engine was an entirely new concept.  As it is, a 2-stroke requires some form of positive displacement blower for scavenging.  The issue with adding a lone exhaust-driven turbocharger, is in periods of startup, lower idle and acceleration, the engine gets starved for air, as it is not providing enough exhaust to spin the compressor.  Kind of a catch 22 situation.  More on this later. 

The basic operation of a turbocharger from a Garrett-AiResearch manual.

Throughout WWII, General Motors Diesel (Cleveland Diesel, Detroit Diesel & Electro-Motive) was the leading Diesel engine supplier to the war effort.  Cleveland Diesel would supply over 13,600 engines (from 7-1939 thru Dec 31, 1945), be sure to read our history about Cleveland Diesel here: Cleveland Diesel Engine Division – GM’s war hero turned ugly stepsister

Cleveland Diesel WWII Production:
16-278A: 1,930
12-278A: 771
8-278A: 243
6-278A: 554
Total 278A Production – 3,498 engines
16-278: 20
12-278: 352
8-278: 55
6-278: 72
Total 278 Production – 499 Engines
268/268A (all models) – 9,136 Engines
248 (all models) – 268 Engines
Miscellaneous – 239 Engines
Total – 13,640 Engines

The Cleveland 16-278A engine was one of the most widely used engines during the war and peaked at about 1800HP, which was about on par with the EMD 16-567C, which was introduced in 1953.  Alco was already there with their 12-251B, also making 1800HP, however this was a 4-stroke, with a turbocharger already.  Fairbanks-Morse cracked the magic 2000HP barrier in a medium speed engine with the 10-cylinder 38D OP engine by 1950, using only a Roots style blower.  

With General Motors (and Cleveland Diesel) still working closely with the Navy, an experimental test was devised by the Navy’s Engineering Experiment Laboratory in Annapolis, Maryland in 1947 to start testing turbochargers.  A proof of concept test was launched, using a Detroit Diesel 1-71 (yes, GM turbocharging has its roots in the diminutive, little 1-71 engine!).   With the proof of concept done, more testing was devised in the early 1950’s at the Engineering Lab using a bone stock 16-278A engine.   A test was devised in which a mock “turbocharger” (another Roots blower) was installed on the test floor, operated by an electric motor, to feed the engine in a simulated and controllable environment.  A goal was set to maintain a cylinder firing pressure in the area of 1300 PSI (compared to the stock 850-1050 PSI) and make 3,000HP. Numerous tests were conducted with various configurations of inner and after coolers, blower sizes, injectors, controlling exhaust timing and use of snorkels for Submarine use. A similar test was conducted using an 8-268A engine as well.   Unfortunately, I have yet to come across any photos of these tests. 

The winner – Using the stock configured 16-278A engine, with turbocharger feeding the Roots blower with an aftercooler made an impressive 2,990HP at its rated 750RPM.  With controlling the exhaust timing, the engine made 3,130HP.  Amazing numbers for a stock engine! Not to mention, a true testament to the engineering of this engine, and its ability to take such punishment.

Performance ratings for the test engine, from Turbo-charged engines for the Navy, by L. Wechsler and T.W. Shipp, Internal Combustion Engines Branch, Bureau of Ships

After the tests, three turbocharger manufacturers would begin working with the Navy to spec out an appropriate design, and how to supply the air to it, be it via individual ducts from each cylinder (common on 4-strokes), divided manifolds or a single manifold using a venturi system.   The results of the testing were concluded in a presentation at the SAE National Diesel Engine Meeting on October 27th, 1954.  The report, High Supercharging, Development of a GM 16-278A 2-Stroke-Cycle Diesel Engine, was presented by Warren G. Payne and Wolfgang S. Lang of the US Naval Engineering Experiment Station. 

Unfortunately, not all the testing was complete at the time of this paper, so it is unknown just how well the testing progressed when the turbochargers were installed on the engine.  What is known, is that testing further proceeded at the Engineering lab on the 16-278A, The Lanova Corporation handled the 6-71 testing in New York, and De Laval Steam Turbine further tested the 8-268A at their own lab. 

The test 8-268A test engine at the De Laval test lab, used a model B-8 turbocharger. From a 1955 De Laval advertisement.

After the presentation, a discussion panel ensued, which is also part of the transcript of the report, in which comments were heard from other engine builders and engineers.  One such stands out:  Rudolph Birman of the De Laval Steam Turbine Co., who essentially picked apart the findings. Mr. Birman states several things, such as:

“Water cooling of the exhaust manifold cannot be tolerated in a turbocharged 2-stroke engine.”

 “All starting, idling and high exhaust back pressure problems are eliminated, however, if the positive displacement blower is retained and the turbocharger arranged to operate in series therewith.”

“There is a similar disagreement between the findings of the authors and those of De Laval with regard to the location of the intercooler in a turbocharger-positive-displacement-blower in series arrangement.”

I do not know if De Laval were working behind the scenes with GM/Cleveland Diesel already (given the time frame, they must have been), however, Mr. Birman’s commentary would essentially be the entire basis for what would become the 498 engines in just a few short years. 

The concept drawing of the Cleveland 498 first appeared in the August 1955 issue of Diesel Times, along with some basic specifications and features.

Another set of comments worth noting, was from A.K. Antonsen and E.L. Dahlund of Fairbanks, Morse & Co. FM was working in-house on their own turbocharger design, starting in 1945 on a basic 10-cylinder 38D 8 1/8th OP engine used in submarines, as well as a smaller 3-cylinder 5¼” OP engine.  Full production of a turbocharged OP engine was not offered commercially until sometime in the late 1950’s (Anybody have a specific year?). The Turbo OP would be a very popular stationary power engine, and would peak at over 4,400HP for the 12-cylinder engine.

FM’s Turbocharged OP engine is still produced today, producing astronomical amounts of horsepower mainly for standby power generation. Note that like the Clevelands, it retains the Roots blower. FM Brochure

As mentioned above, one of the shortcomings of the turbocharger on a 2-stroke is the lack of enough scavenging air.  The issue was addressed by simply retaining the Roots blower, but it was found a smaller one would work (we will get to this more in Part II).   With the testing on the 268A engine, in place of the blower a small hydraulic motor was tested mounted to the turbocharger.  In periods of low RPM, the hydraulic motor would turn the compressor, essentially making artificial air pressure with the turbo.   The pump for the hydraulic motor was driven by the engine.  

An early Detroit Diesel 6-71T engine used for an industrial application.

With Cleveland Diesel now working on a whole new turbocharged engine – GM sister division Electro-Motive was doing the same.  EMD started their own program in January of 1955 to turbocharge their current 567C engine, unlike Cleveland, they did not start by redesigning the entire engine from the ground up. Like the Navy tests, EMD used an electrically-driven Roots blower in a mock test using a 12-567C engine for development purposes, but EMD would design their own turbocharger for the 567C engine.  Instead of using the combination Roots blower and turbo in series, EMD designed their own all new turbocharger, which would be mechanically-driven from the crankshaft through a geartrain during starting, low speed, low power and accelerations, providing scavenging air. The turbocharger is connected to the geartrain through an overrunning clutch.  At certain power levels (approximately Throttle Position 6 on a locomotive), there is enough energy in the exhaust so that the turbo runs faster than the geartrain, the overrunning clutch disengages, providing “free” turbo-supercharging.  This would go on to become a very successful design and used throughout the 710 line (with several refinements of course).   EMD’s first production turbocharged locomotive, the 2400HP SD24, was introduced in 1958. We may do an article specific to EMD turbocharger history down the road, but for now we will stick to the CDED 498. 

The prototype turbocharged EMD 16-567C engine from “Performance of a Turbocharged 567C engine” by A.N. Addie/EMD. Production turbochargers would be used only on 16 cylinder engines, and were given the “D” model. Turbochargers would not be used on 12-cylinder engines until the 645 line.

Union Pacific Railroad was doing their own separate development with adding turbochargers to the 567C used in GP9 locomotives starting in 1955.  Working with Garrett-AiResearch – (later makers of the turbocharger used on the 6-71), a manifold was devised, and four small turbochargers were added feeding into the stock Roots blowers through an intercooler.  UP would also test engines with turbochargers made by Elliot, but using only two slightly larger ones then the Garrett installation.  These tests were successful, and several engines were converted.  UP would send GP9’s to EMD in 1959, which were upgraded with new EMD turbochargers for further testing. Ultimately these test engines were converted to EMD turbochargers, or had them removed.  I urge everyone to read Don Strack’s Utah Rails page on the Omaha GP20’s for much further information on this test program. Please be sure to visit the links below.


Omaha GP20’s, Union Pacific’s GP9 turbocharging program
Omaha GP20’s Diesel Era V7 #6, 11/12 1996

The quad Garrett turbochargers installed on the 567C. Note the complex plumbing for the exhaust and charge air going to the blowers. Union Pacific Photo, Don Strack Collection.

The Elliot installation was a little more simplistic, with a single exhaust manifold feeding a pair of slightly larger turbochargers, with each one feeding one of the blowers. Union Pacific Photo, Don Strack Collection.

The Cleveland 498 made its public debut at the General Motors Powerama Festival.  Powerama was held August 31st-September 25th of 1955 in Chicago, Illinois.  The event, “A Worlds Fair of Power”, would be a giant showcase of products from General Motors, including Cleveland Diesel, Electro-Motive, Detroit Diesel, Euclid, Allison, GMC Truck & Coach, Fabricast and Frigidaire.  On display were numerous engines, pieces of heavy equipment, locomotives, and even the Great Lakes Towing tugboat Laurence C. Turner, and the Fleet Submarine Tautug SS-199.

The first Cleveland 498 displayed at Powerama. I have my doubts that this was a full production engine, as it just does not look “right”, especially the exhaust jumpers and manifold. I think this was more of a mock up model for display. Note the differences just in the cutaway model on the left. The first production engine used commercially was still several months out. Unknown photographer, VDD collection.


Stay tuned for Part II, where we will discuss the 498’s design features and specifications.

This will be a four part series, the links of which will appear for each post as they are added.
Part II – Engine design features & specs
Part III – Uses and installations
Part IV – The last one, Tug Idaho

Note: A complete set of bibliography and notes will appear in Part 4

Comparing the 278A to the 567B Internally

One thing I am often asked by railroad friends when discussing the Cleveland 278A, is “Just what is the difference between an EMD 567, and what parts crossover?” Well, its a simple answer, They are two very different animals, and have zero parts crossover. I figured I would throw this gallery together of doing a full gasket renewal on a 278A, which shows the differences, at least in the cylinder and head area of the engine. Something to keep in mind – the 201A was the father of both this engine, as well as the EMD 567. EMD (EMC) engineers went off and designed the 567 from the mistakes of the 201A with the goals of a railroad engine, and Winton went off and designed the 248 which was the marine service engine, which evolved quickly into the 278/278A as I have mentioned in past articles.

The 278A is best compared to the EMD 567B, in that it uses a water deck style liner. The 278A uses an individual water deck area specific to each cylinder, not one section of the block per say, both of which are sealed with O rings, which cause leaks. Leaks are bad, especially when water gets into the oil side of things. Lets dive into a 278A and go through the process of finding a leak, and how to fix it, and compare the engines along the way. Click on all of the below images for larger versions.

The first sign of trouble, is generally when you see water coming out of the airbox drains. This at least narrows it down to one side, so then you start by pulling all of the covers off, and looking for Niagara Falls.

The leak itself can come from two very different issues – The liner O rings are leaking, as seen in this image. Follow the brown trail of water from the bottom of the airbox, leading up to the liner. A second way of spotting the trouble, is when blowing down the engine, you will get water vapor (or solid streams) coming out of the blow down. This is a second area that leaks, the O rings between the head and the liner. When this happens, water will run down into the liner, and out the intake ports in the liner into the airbox – if the piston is down. This will also cause the expansion tank/water side of the engine to pressurize. More on this shortly. A cracked head can cause this same issue, which can be a bit more troublesome to pin point, especially if it only does it when they are warm.

A third source of water issues on a Cleveland can be in the exhaust elbows. EMD’s have an integral exhaust path, whereas the Cleveland’s have individual exhaust jumpers between the head and the manifold which are all water jacketed. Look closely and you will see pitting in the elbow, causing water to leak into the head and liner through the exhaust valves.

The fourth area of concern, and this is NOT Cleveland specific – is when a liner lets go. In this case, the engine was not blown down before startup, and the liner violently let go (it is a sound I will never forget). The side of the liner pushed out, thus the entire water system dumped out in a hurry into the airbox, once again, Niagara Falls resulted. Now, Cleveland’s have a pressure relief valve on each head, thus when this happened, the valve opened (and shot a solid stream of water out) preventing the connecting rod from bending. EMD’s don’t have this. The only damage from this was the piston rings were broken by the chunk of liner that failed. And on that note – If your running an old engine, take the 5 extra minutes and BLOW IT DOWN every time! It can save you some serious trouble!

Now, we drain the engine down..

…and start to take it apart. Fuel and overspeed lines are removed, rocker assembly removed, exhaust jumper removed. In this case we pulled the injector also, but it is not required.

Sometimes it takes some creativity to get all the tools in there in certain spots on these engines. In this case a chunk pf bent pipe from a handrail was used as a cheater bar. Hey, it worked! 4 nuts hold down the head to the block, and 6 bolts hold the head to the liner. EMD’s the liner sits inside the block, but the Cleveland’s sit on top of the block, and do not use shared crab nuts.

No difference between them here – Lots of rags, and piles of parts!

With the head removed, we see one of the biggest downfalls of the 278A. There is a half moon shaped groove that fits a round rubber seal. When these seals start to go, the engines leak oil, and badly. In the 1950’s, the US Navy devised a tool and a process to push the head back onto this seal before you torque them down. This helps, but not that much. This, is why almost every Cleveland is covered in oil. The valve cover gasket seals (two per cover) are not any better, and are very temperamental. EMD built a box around their oil leaks…

Bottom of the head. Nothing special here. The left is toward the center of the engine. The large hole to the right is where the injector control rods goes into the head.

Now we have the head off. Pulling the head is typically the hardest part of the operation, as the stud holes will fill with oil and sludge, as well as carbon – more on that one shortly. Cleveland’s use direct air start, meaning no starter motor. 300PSI (up to 600 was used on the Sub’s) is directly admitted to the head in order of timing in 8 of the heads – that’s what the small line is just above the right most, lower head stud.

With the head off, we are at a crossroads. If the liner O rings are leaking, you need to forge ahead and pull the liner. If you are getting water through the liner, and the expansion tank is bubbling off – that means you lost a fire ring, which is a solid copper ring that seals between the head and the liner. When this fails, it burns out any number of the 12 small rubber O rings that seal the water side of the head and liner on small copper ferules. We dubbed these the little rubber douchebags. If the liner is still sealing good, you don’t HAVE to pull it, but it is typically good practice to just replace them all while its apart.

To pull the liner, you need a liner lifting plate (we had to make one, we now have an OEM one..). The piston crown has a small tapped hole for an eyebolt, thus you can secure the piston to the plate, and lift them out as one assembly.

But first, you need to pull off the bearing shell from the connecting rod. Cleveland’s use an individual rod and bearing for each cylinder, EMD’s double up with their fork and blade style assembly.

In this one, we pulled the piston out as the rings needed to be changed. 278A’s use a traditional wrist pin assembly, whereas by the later 567A engines, EMD switched to the floating piston.

Pulling the liner out – Cleveland’s have two liners available, a cast style, and a later fabricated style, which are interchangeable. The two ferrules that are closer together are the markers telling you this is the outer edge of the liner.

Liner and piston/rod is out. The rusty area is the where the water enters the liner.

Looking down through the airbox, you can see the water deck area. Water enters through the water manifold that runs through the airbox into the liner. The EMD 567C and Cleveland 498 engine simply used a bolted on extension from the manifold pipe directly to the liner, eliminating these O rings. These O ring seats can actually be changed, but it is an enormous project. You can see here how Cleveland’s have individual connecting rods on each connecting rod journal.

A full gasket kit for a Cleveland, which encompasses all new O rings for numerous things, cork seals for the covers, exhaust jumper gaskets and many other small gaskets.

With the O ring grooves cleaned up, the new O rings are installed and set in a bead of silicone, which helps seal them, as well as keeping them from pulling out when installing the liner back into the block. The liner is lubricated with dish soap to help it slide in.

With the liner back in, a new copper head gasket is installed, new fire ring, and new O rings for the water jumpers and oil seals on the rear of the head. A large cork circular gasket seals the injector control rod hole and the head. EMD’s essentially have all of this combined onto one gasket. Note that the liner is not fully seated down – This will be remedied when the liner is bolted to the head, and it is all cinched down.

With the head back on, everything else goes back together fairly quickly. The head is bolted to the liner with 6 bolts, which are torqued to 175 ft lbs, (290 on the 567B), and the 4 bolts holding the head get torqued down to 650 ft lbs (1800 on the 567B). The exhaust elbow uses two copper clad gaskets, as well as two smaller gaskets for sealing the water side (Cleveland’s are water cooled exhaust). It is a bit tricky to put them on, as the lower bolts are fine thread, and the upper bolts are coarse thread, so you cant mix the bolts up. You essentially have to roll the jumper on, starting with tightening the lower bolts first, in order to compress the gaskets, and line the top up.

Hopefully this answers some more of the mechanical questions of how the 567 and 278 engines compare internally. Down the road I may do something a bit more detailed on this and cover the other portions of the engine, and how they are different, such as the blower, oil and governing systems. Something to note about the Cleveland’s – they require no special tools to take them apart, outside of a torque multiplier.

Tug Profiles – M. Moran

A few months back, I made a post on the tug Luna and Venus, of the Boston Towboat Company, dubbed Historic Tugs I. The intention was to highlight museum vessels and whatnot with historic documentation and photos. To change that a bit, I am going to start a new series covering just tugs of the 1930’s-1970’s, including both new and repowered boats, using several styles of propulsion. This first tug profiled, will be the M. Moran.

Not much has to be said about Moran Towing, one of the oldest and well known tugboat companies in the world, founded in 1860 by Irish immigrant, Michael Moran. Moran Towing is a well established company, using a vast fleet of tugs, ranging from small 80′ direct reversing Canal tugs, to large, WWII surplus ocean going 165′ tugs, many of which were on charter from the US Navy. Fast forward to 1960: These were all single screw tugs, never exceeding much more then about 2000HP. Moran Towing had a long history of working with TAMS Inc., and later the General Motors Marine Design Section under naval architects Richard Cook and later Joe Hack.

In the era, just about every tug was considered “Ocean Going” (a scary thought..), however in reality only the larger, WWII era tugs really were just that, with the rest being glorified harbor and coastal tugs. Joe Hack would design Moran a 120′ tug, with a 31′ beam, and an 18’9″ depth. A new first for Moran was also introduced – twin screw propulsion.

Click for larger – CDED Drawing, collection of VDD

The tug was named the M. Moran, after the founder of Moran Towing’s Michael Moran. She would be the 7th tug named for him. The M. Moran was designed for an 11,000 mile range, or anywhere in the world – holding a capacity of 75,000 gallons of fuel. The M. Moran was built in Texas, by Gulfport Shipbuilding.

Click for larger – CDED Drawing, collection of VDD. I acquired these original drawings several years ago, they are several feet long! Thanks to Jay for scanning them.

The M. Moran had a rather unorthodox layout, using two split levels underneath the wheelhouse, giving her a rather odd, low profile appearance, but affording a massive amount of interior space. 9 full staterooms, two of which were dubbed a radio room, and a sick bay. A large central galley was located over the engine room – thus she lacked any actual upper engine room, also known as a fiddley. Behind the galley was a space for a 75HP Almon-Johnson towing machine.

Diesel Times – Collection of J. Boggess

You guessed it – the M. Moran was Diesel-Electric, powered by a pair of Cleveland Diesel, 1750HP 16-278A engines, with Allis-Chalmers main generators – all WWII surplus equipment, giving her a rating of 3,500HP. The engines were factory rebuilt, and were originally installed in US Navy Landing Ship LSM-529 (engine #55810), and LSM-324 (engine #55284). Ironically the other engine from LSM-324 would also go to Moran, re-powering the steam tug Michael Moran. The tug had a pair of Detroit Diesel 6-71’s for generators, as well as a piggyback shaft generator belt driven on top of each main generator. The tug had a pair of 9′ 10″ wheels, and a rated bollard pull of 95,000lbs.

Diesel Times – Collection of J. Boggess

The wheelhouse of the M. Moran featured American Engineering electric-hydraulic steering system, and the same Lakeshore throttle stands used by Cleveland for a number of years, of course modified for twin screw. A Sperry gyro, and radar rounded out the interior – pretty spartan, even for its time. While the maneuverability of Diesel-Electric is well known, an interesting feature of the M. Moran – being twin screw, was the cross-compatibility. The tug could run on only one engine, and power both propulsion motors when running around lite tug, somewhat of a throwback to the Destroyer-Escorts of WWII (where the propulsion motors in the tug originated), where various combinations of engines could power certain groups of motors.

Diesel Times, 10/1961 – Collection of J. Boggess

The M. Moran was placed in service on 9/27/1961, and her very first trip, just a week later – would take her all the way to Pusan, South Korea, towing the 30,000kW generating barge Resistance, a WWII LST converted into a powerplant. The M. Moran was well covered in Cleveland Diesel’s Diesel Times newsletter Diesel Times, as well as several issues of Moran Towing’s own newsletter, Tow Line.

Moran Towing Publicity Photo
Moran Towing Publicity Photo
Robert Lewis Collection

By the late 1960’s the M. Moran would gain a large upper wheelhouse. She would spend many years running around the Gulf area towing large project cargo, as well as the occasional foreign tow. The M. Moran was briefly renamed as the Port Arthur for a brief time in the early 1970’s, likely operating under a charter.

Robert Lewis Collection

Moran would go on to order a 2nd tug, to the same design as the M. Moran, named the Esther Moran. The Esther would be built in New York, by Jakobson Shipbuilding. At the same time, Jakobson also built the Patricia and Kerry Moran, which used the same hull design, however it was shortened 12′ with the tug being setup for harbor work, thus lacking the towing machine and split levels. These three tugs would be the last new tugs powered by Cleveland 278A engines. Cleveland was rolled into Electro-Motive in late 1961.

Robert Lewis Collection

Both the M. Moran and the Esther were not Cleveland powered very long. Both tugs would be repowered with EMD 16-645E engines with air clutches by the end of the 1960’s, giving them a new rating of 6,300HP – a massive amount of power at the time. Joe Hack would revisit the split level design with a pair of tugs for Gulfcoast Transit, the Katherine Clewis and Sarah Hays.

Will Van Dorp Photo

In 2000, Moran sold both the M. Moran and Esther Moran to Canada’s McKeil Marine. The M. Moran became the Salvager, and the Esther as the Salvor. The Salvager became the Wilfred Seymour in 2004, later being shortened to Wilf Seymour. Both tugs operate in the Great Lakes, and both would be converted into Articulated Tug-Barge combinations, with the Wilf getting a Bludworth coupler, and the Salvor a JAK system. The Salvor was laid up in 2018, and the Wilf is still in service.

Will Van Dorp Photo
Painting by Carl G. Evers

Noted maritime artist Carl G. Evers would do several paintings of the M. Moran, including one of her in Korea. Several of Carl’s paintings have graced the cover of Moran’s Tow Line.

More on the M. Moran and Esther Moran:
https://tugboatinformation.com/tug.cfm?id=772
https://tugboatinformation.com/tug.cfm?id=746
https://gltugs.wordpress.com/wilf-seymour/
https://gltugs.wordpress.com/salvor/

Note – Yes, I know the caption text is not centered under each photo. It is a glitch in WordPress that I have yet to figure out..

Winton & Cleveland Diesel: The List.

Over the last few months, I have been combing through the records for Winton, and later Cleveland Diesel, and put together the following master list of every engine produced by them. This is the result of several nights of going through 2000+ pages of entries, and then spending the following several months filling in the gaps with specifications using various manuals, brochures, company newsletters and everything else, and even still, there are many, many holes with the early engines.

The records start with engine #15 – thus I can not fill in those very first engines. Note that Winton assigned model numbers to several of their auxiliary units such as compressors and pumps, and are labeled as such below.

Click for larger

The last Winton engine before being purchased by GM was engine number #3559 on 6/12/1930, a model 148 engine for Electro-Motive. Winton was purchased by General Motors on 6/20/1930.

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On 12/30/1937, Winton Engine Corp., was renamed to the Cleveland Diesel Engine Division of General Motors. The Final Winton Engine was #5359, A 12-201A for Railroad Service.
Note 1: 4432/3 are the prototype 201 engines, listed as “used 201” in records.

Click for larger

When it comes to horsepower ratings, especially on the later engines (278A, 268A, 567C), there were simply too many horsepower numbers to list, as it varied by application.

Note that by now – we see engines that are made by sister companies including Detroit and EMC/EMD. Early on, the Detroit Diesel engines sold through CDED (typically part of a “package” for a boat) carried both a Detroit Diesel as well as a Cleveland Diesel builders plate. In the case of the Detroit engines, this was dropped by the 1940’s.

However – with the EMC/EMD 567 line, engines sold though CDED for marine and stationary use carried only a Cleveland builders plate well into the late 1950’s. Only the very last few 567 engines sold through CDED carried both an EMD and a CDED builders plate. More information on this can be found on our post documenting Winton/CDED linked below.

Also to note: This list covers only engines built or sold through Winton and Cleveland Diesel. This does NOT cover any additional engines or developments by Detroit Diesel (such as the 51 or 53 series and later) or EMD (184A, 645 etc.)

Thanks to J. Boggess and P. Cook for helping with this. As always, there are numerous holes in the listing, so please send us a message with any additions or corrections.

4/5/2020 : Since posting this, I have been able to fill in a number of holes in the list. At some point in the future, I will post a revised edition.

Cleveland Diesel Engine Division – GM’s war hero turned ugly stepsister.

Milwaukee Firsts

Nope, I am not talking about Pabst Blue Ribbon, or Miller High Life.   This past week I found myself heading to Wisconsin for a meeting and opted to make a stop over by where Great Lakes Towing operates in the Port of Milwaukee.    A pair of Great Lakes Firsts are spending this winter laid up in there. 

Back in the Menominee River, sits the tug North Dakota.   North Dakota, built in 1910 by the Towing Company, was the first “G Tug” converted to Diesel propulsion.   North Dakota was converted to diesel in 1949 by Paasche Marine Service in Erie, Pennsylvania, to plans laid out by Tams Inc., and Great Lakes Towing Company.  Under the hood so to speak, is a Cleveland Diesel 1200HP 12-278A, that was shipped 2/23/1949, part of order number 5641.  These engines drove Falk 12MB reverse reduction gears that swing a 102″ wheel.  Order 5641 encompassed the propulsion for four tugs, including North Dakota, Arkansas, Vermont and Illinois.  Today, all four of these tugs are still in service.   

Click for Larger

North Dakota had some major engine work done recently, and hopefully will be in the fleet for a few more years.   The crews in Milwaukee keep their boats looking sharp.   North Dakota would be a great museum piece one day, a true testament to the “G Tug”, now going on over 100 years old, and having spent more time with Diesel engines now, then their original steam plants. 

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Back at the Kinnickinnic River in the Port, is the Stewart J. Cort.   The Cort was the first 1000’ ship built for the Great Lakes, abit in an odd fashion.  The bow and stern sections were built by Ingalls Shipbuilding in Mississippi, welded together and sailed to the lakes.   On arrival, they were split apart, and a mid-section was added by Erie Marine, also in Erie, PA. The Cort went into service in 1972, on a run she still handles today between Superior, WI and Burns Harbor, IN.   The Stewart J. Cort is powered by a quartet of EMD 20-645E7 engines, rated at 3600HP each.  Each pair of engines drives an Escher Wyss controllable pitch prop.   EMD supplied several of what were essentially locomotive parts for the Cort, including many traction motors that power the Bow and Stern thrusters and various pieces of unloading equipment. 

Click for Larger

In front of the Stewart J. Cort, is the tug Louisiana.  While not a first, she was converted to diesel as part of the 2nd order of engines in late 1949 for Great Lakes Towing.  Unlike the first batch, all these engines were WWII surplus that went through Cleveland Diesel’s rebuild program and emerged as brand new engines with new serial numbers.   Louisiana’s engine originally powered the Landing Ship – Tank # 935.  For all intents and purposes, she is identical to the North Dakota. 

I am going to throw this one in also for the hell of it. On my way back to the highway, Amtrak’s Empire Builder was leaving. While I can’t say railfanning interests me like it used to, I opted to get a quick shot. In the lead is Amtrak 182, a 19 year old General Electric P42DC, followed by two more. Amtrak has begun the process to replace these tired engines with new Siemens Chargers…which, to put bluntly, are ugly as sin. But hey, they said that about the EMD F7 once upon a time also..

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Sun Sets on the North Dakota..

Aluminum in the Jungle – American Tugs in South America

What does one of the worlds most versatile elements have to do with a blog about 1950’s diesel engines?  Well, we will get to that.   Aluminum as we know it, is composed chiefly out of Bauxite Ore, which is ground into a powder and mixed with Sodium Hydroxide to produce Aluminum Oxide, which is then converted by electrolysis at an Aluminum smelter into Billets or Anodes, where it can be further formed.  I am not a chemist, so if you want to know more about making Aluminum, look elsewhere.

Being somewhat interested in Rocks & Minerals, I went up to my local shop and picked up a piece of Bauxite.

In 1907, the Aluminum Company of America was formed, later known as Alcoa.  Alcoa was the country’s leading Aluminum manufacturer, which was growing at a rapid pace with a slew of plants across the country by the time WWI rolled around.   Alcoa was, however, not just an American company.  They were worldwide by the teens, operating mines, refinery’s and smelters around the globe.   In 1916, Alcoa opened a new Bauxite Ore mine in Moengo, Suriname, part of what was Dutch Guiana– about 70 miles Southeast of the capital city of Paramaribo.

Our story begins in South America… Google Maps.

To get to Moengo:  We start at the Atlantic Ocean and begin a very short trip down the Suriname River.   We hang a left just inside the harbor and enter the Commewijne River.  The Commewijne heads South, and the Cottica River splits off a few miles in, and continues East, before making a hard turn and dropping straight south into Moengo.   

Now, most of us are familiar with the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio.  The Cuyahoga, which has literally burned 13 times, including a major fire in 1952, stretches (for the navigable section) 5 winding miles up the river to what is now the ArcelorMittal Steel Mills.   Great Lakes Ships traversing the river, would typically need a pair of tugs (until Bow/Stern thrusters came prevalent), one on the bow, and one on the stern to navigate the rivers bends and bridges.

A pair of Great Lakes Towing tugs assist the steamer Willowglen in the Cuyahoga River at the aptly named Collision Bend in 1985. Most ships today dont even take tugs, and better yet, they even back out! Unknown photographer, VDD Collection

A great video from Youtube user Wes Clanton of the M/V Sam Laud transiting the Cuyahoga. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5m_YLBnVHA

Well, the Cottica River, makes the Cuyahoga look like a drag strip.  And it goes for 40 some miles. 

The Cottica River down to Moengo. Note the several short cuts that I assume were man made. Be sure to click for the full size. Google Maps.

In Moengo, Alcoa subsidiary Surinaamsche Bauxite Maatschappij operated the Bauxite mine, which would ship the ore by rail a short distance to the processing plant on the Cottica, where it would be transloaded into ships.   From there, ships bound for sea would need to transit the Cottica, and naturally, a single screw steam ship of the day, would need an assist tug.  That’s where Tams Inc. comes into play. 

Alcoa, being an American company, went to Tams Inc. Naval Architects in 1952, and had them design a pair of sister tugs for doing assist work on the Cottica to replace some antique steam tugs.  Joe Hack at Tams would design a pair of 103’ tugs, which would be based off the very well received Moran shipdocking tugs of the late 1940’s.   

The first tug delivered was the Wana. In a few years Joe Hack would design the tug W.R. Coe for the Virginian Railway, which was almost identical, right down to the streamlined stack flared into the wheelhouse. Cleveland Diesel/Diesel Times.

The tugs were operated as day boats, much like traditional NY Harbor Railroad tugs, and thus did not have a need for any major accommodations outside of a small galley and some pipe berths in the bow.   For better control towing in the quick turns of the river, the stern H bitt was moved way forward.  The unique feature, and what was foretelling for the future of tugs in general, was that the sisters had a second set of controls on top of the wheelhouse, under a simple sunshade.  

Tamarin’s upper wheelhouse. Note the “airbrushed” out windows in the lower wheelhouse. Fun fact – That style of drop down window was built by Alco – Yes, American Locomotive built tugboat windows! Cleveland Diesel/Diesel Times

Propulsion would come from a 1640HP Cleveland 16-278A driving a Falk MB reduction gear and Falk Airflex clutches.   A pair of 30kW generatros driven by Detroit 3-71s would power the auxiliaries. The tugs were built by Gulfport Shipbuilding of Port Arthur,Texas.   The tugs, owned by Alcoa Steamship Co., and operated by Surinaamsche Bauxite Maatschappij would be named the “Wana” and “Tamarin”, and were delivered in late 1952/early 1953.   Both tugs were based out of Moengo.  Cleveland Diesel covered the tugs in the March 1953 issue of Diesel Times.

Looking aft in the engine room. Cleveland Diesel/Diesel Times.

Each day, one of the tugs would run upriver and meet the ship before the river became a roller coaster ride.  According the the NYT article linked below, it was around a 10-hour trip, and it was not uncommon to brush up against the trees or run aground. 

1964 NY Times : SCENIC ‘JUNGLE CRUISE’ FOR CARIBBEAN TOURISTS

Over the last few years I have been lucky enough to acquire some slides of the tugs in action, likely all taken by Alcoa Steamship passengers. Unfortunately I have no idea the photographer and cannot credit them for these rare views.

The Wana in 1956. I assume this is the location where the tugs would pickup the tows. Click for Larger. Unknown Photographer/VDD Collection
Kodak 126 slide of the Tamarin in March 1967. Note that the stack colors are the same as that of the ship in the above photo. Click for larger. Unknown Photographer/VDD Collection
In what looks to be almost the exact same spot as the above photo, the Tamarin makes a hard turn to pull the bow of the ship around the corner in February of 1958. Click for larger. Unknown Photographer/VDD Collection
Same photo as above, but cropped tighter. Note that the rear H Bitt has an awning. The upper wheelhouse has Canvas sides as well, the roof was aluminum. Unknown Photographer/VDD Collection
Tamarin dragging the bow of the ship around a bend, the same day as the above shot. The Cottica was home to several local tribes. Click for larger. Unknown Photographer/VDD Collection

Alcoa (now locally Suralco) would open up a new smelter and refinery in nearby Paranam in 1965, as well as building a massive hydro-electric dam, which would ultimately power most of the area.   Unfortunately, finding information about 67-year-old tugboats in South America, can be a bit of a challenge!  According to Tim Coltons Shipbuilding History page, the “Wana” was renamed the “Coermotibo” by 1968.  After finding one of the local facebook pages for the town of Moengo, and translating some posts, I was able to find out the “Wana” was unfortunately tripped while towing a ship in the river and sunk, killing her 5-man crew.   The tug was apparently raised and rebuilt, along with being renamed.   The upper wheelhouse was rebuilt into an actual enclosed wheelhouse at this time. 

A photo and drawing of the “Coermotibo” from Wazim Mohammed on the http://www.clydeships.co.uk/ website.

The history of Moengo and nearby Paranam mirror our own Rust Belt in America.   The industry pulled out, and the towns went into a slow downward spiral.  Alcoa/Suralco closed the Paranam refinery in 1999, and the smelter in in 2015.  Alcoa was by far the largest employer, as well as owning a good portion of the area including company housing projects.   The Bauxite mine in Moengo would operate until 2015 as well, however I can’t find out if they were still shipping by ship, barge or whatnot.   At one point Alcoa even sold tickets aboard their ships to visit Moengo.  

A fantastic read on the fate of the town of Moengo: https://newsinteractive.post-gazette.com/suriname/economy/

As well as a story on Paranam and Alcoa in Suriname:
https://newsinteractive.post-gazette.com/suriname/overview/

At the end of the day, I can’t find a peep on what happened to the “Tamarin” or the “Coermotibo/Wana”. I regret not talking to Joe Hack about them.   Quite a few former American tugs are working nearby in Guyana, however its unknown what became of these sister tugs.   I suppose they COULD still be running around somewhere down there…

If anyone happens to know what became of them, shoot me a message!

1960’s postcard? of Moengo, with one of the sisters. Note that the little overhang on the stern is gone now. From the Moengo Facebook group.

Some additional reading:
Railways of Surinam – http://www.internationalsteam.co.uk/trains/surinam05.htm
Alcoa –
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcoa
I cant read it, but this is a great gallery of a trip down the Cottica-
http://hrmsdubois.weebly.com/dias-vd-commandant.html

Missing Parts…

Several years ago, we were doing a gasket kit on a power pack on the Cornell. We had it torn almost all the way apart and I had a “brilliant” idea… Lets see whats in the exhaust.

So… I reach in….expecting some carbon chunks..

Huh..there’s a pile of something… I don’t think its carbon.. Its just this one pile..

There’s a lot. Huh. Lets see if I can get it out.

What the hell!

Click for larger.

Sure as shit, it was a pile of bolts. They were totally caked into the oil and carbon in the bottom of the manifold. Turns out – Once upon a time, somebody doing the same thing many years ago, must have pulled the exhaust jumper off, and stuck the bolts in the manifold so they don’t get lost. Because that seems like a great idea..

The exhaust jumper is held on with 12 bolts, 6 on top and 6 on the bottom. The kicker is the top ones are fine thread, but the bottom is coarse thread, so you cant mix them. In-between is a set of asbestos-copper gaskets between the elbow and the head/manifold.

We did not feel the need to put them back in.

A look into the manifold. Not bad considering the engine does not get worked hard at all. Click for larger.

Its been a busy holiday season. Hopefully I can get back on track soon with a weekly advertisement as well as getting some more in depth write ups done.

Seeking out leaking liner O rings. The Cleveland 278A uses a water deck style liner, somewhat like the early EMD’s. Yes, that is a piston by the stairs. Makes a great step stool. Click for larger.

Tugboats and Submarines

In 1948, the Lehigh Valley Railroad put in an order for a quartet of tugboats.    The tugs, designed by TAMS Inc. Naval Architects under Richard Cook and Joseph Hack, were a typical 106’ harbor tug.  I will get into this more in a future topic (or whenever I get my damn book finished!).   The Diesel-Electric tugs were powered through a package put together by General Motors Diesel – Cleveland Diesel main engine, Detroit Diesel generators, Allis-Chalmers main generator, Westinghouse propulsion motor, and electrical gear provided by Lakeshore Electric.   Construction of the tugs began in early 1949 at Jakobson Shipyard in Oyster Bay, Long Island.    The tugs would be named the “Wilkes-Barre”, “Hazleton”, “Cornell”, and “Lehigh”.   The 4 tugs were identical, with the exception that “Cornell” and “Lehigh” had wheelhouses slightly lower than the other pair for serving the isolated terminals on the Harlem River. 

The tugs were powered by the typical Cleveland Diesel Navy Propulsion Package.   A 16-278A engine, rated at 1655HP driving an Allis-Chalmers 1090kW DC generator, mounted on a common base.   In turn, this powered a Westinghouse 1380HP propulsion motor, driving a 10’ propeller through a Farrel-Birmingham 4.132:1 reduction gear.   At the time, WWII surplus equipment was vast.   Cleveland Diesel was acquiring little used engines from various craft and giving them a complete rebuild to as new condition, complete with new serial numbers.   The main generators and propulsion motors were both surplus Destroyer-Escort surplus equipment as well.

“Cornell” was launched on April 4th, 1950.   After launching, diver Edward Christiansen went down to remove launching timbers.   One of the large pieces of wood broke and not only pinned him against the tug, but also pinched off his airline.   His son Norman led a rescue effort, and in 21 minutes were able to get him back up to the surface after using a yard crane to roll the tug slightly.   Once on the surface, firefighters were able to revive Edward, and he was taken to the hospital. 

The “Four Aces” was a publicity photo arranged by Cleveland Diesel. This was used, both colorized and Black & White, in several publications of the era.

Cleveland Diesel order #5782 consisted of the following engines:

“Wilkes Barre”– Original engine #55341, installed in US Navy “LSM-277”, shipped 9/5/1944.  Engine removed upon decommissioning, factory rebuilt, and assigned new engine #55944 upon being shipped 5/13/1949 for use by LV.

“Hazleton” Original engine #55342, installed in US Navy “LSM-277”, shipped 9/5/1944. Engine removed upon decommissioning, factory rebuilt, and assigned new engine #55945 upon being shipped 5/13/1949 for use by LV.

Cornell”– Original engine #12001, installed in US Navy DE-526 “Inman”, shipped 10/15/1943.  Engine removed upon decommissioning, factory rebuilt, and assigned new engine #55946 upon being shipped 8/29/1949 for use by LV.  This engine was replaced 12/1950 with factory rebuilt engine #55956 (engine only, less base & generator, shipped 12/15/1950), originally from “LSM-184”, engine #55347, shipped 9/7/1944.  

“Lehigh”– Original engine #55654, installed in US Navy “LSM-436”, shipped 1/23/1945.  Engine removed upon decommissioning, factory rebuilt, and assigned new engine #55946 upon being shipped 3/21/1950 for use by LV. In the early 1990s, while owned by Moran Towing, the “Lehigh” (then called “Swan Point”) received the engine from the scrapped NY Cross Harbor tug “Brooklyn III”, the former New Haven tug “Cordelia”, which was a WWII surplus engine like all of the rest, originally in Navy DE-259 “William C. Miller”, which is ironic, as the Bethlehem below, also received one of her engines.

Lehigh Valley would return in 1951/53 for two more tugs of the same design, with some slight differences.   These tugs were powered by the same propulsion package, of WWII surplus equipment. 

Cleveland Diesel order #8112:

“Capmoore” Original engine #11734, installed in US Navy DE-259 “Wm. C. Miller” , shipped 5/1/1943.  Engine removed upon decommissioning, factory rebuilt, and assigned new engine #55964 upon being shipped 4/19/1951 for use by LV.

Cleveland Diesel order #314

“Bethlehem”– Original engine #11736, installed in US Navy DE-259 “Wm. C. Miller”, shipped 5/1/1943.  Engine removed upon decommissioning, factory rebuilt, and assigned new engine #55966 upon being sold for commercial use.  Original order canceled, reassigned engine #55991 upon being shipped 5/8/1953 for use by LV. “Bethlehem” was re-powered by an Alco 16-251 in the early 1990s, and is the only other surviving LVRR tug, now working in Guyana.

Naturally, with the downfall of the railroads maritime traffic, the railroad would start selling the tugs off starting in the early 1960s.   “Cornell” would last until 1970, with Bethlehem being the final LV tug, sold off in 1976.  As noted above, for an unknown reason, the engine in the “Cornell” failed almost immediately after delivery and the bare engine (no base or generator) was replaced by Cleveland.  

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The US Fleet Tug “USS Cabezon” – SS 334, slid down the ways of Electric Boat in Groton, CT on August 27th, 1944, sponsored by Mrs. T. Ross Cooley.   “Cabezon” was on the tail end of WWII sub construction, specifically part of the 120 boat Balao class.  Construction started with her keel laying on November 18th, 1943. She was placed into service on December 30th, 1944, and after training went on to Pearl Harbor in April of 1945, under the command of George W. Lautrup Jr., making this his 10 WWII patrol.

Launching of the fleet sub “Cabezon” at Electric Boat. USN photo # 80-G-448206 from National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert via Navsouce.org. Click for Larger.

“Cabezon” was powered by 4 Cleveland Diesel, 1600HP 16-278A engines, driving 4 GE 1100kW DC generators, with 4 GE 1375HP propulsion motors, rated for 5400HP on the surface and 2740 submerged.    She had a single Cleveland 8-268A 300kW auxiliary diesel, and 256 Exide VLA47B battery’s. 

Order sheets for the 4 main engines in the sub “Cabezon”, part of navy order NOBs 214/CDED 5413. J.S. Boggess Collection. Click for larger.
Cleveland 16-278A located in the sub “Becuna”, SS-319. “Becuna” is one of the sisters of “Cabezon”. Click for larger.

After arriving in Pearl, “Cabezon’s” crew underwent more training.   During which an accident occurred.   The 4 outer rear torpedo tube doors were opened, while 2 of the inner doors were open.   The sub immediately began to flood.  Reid Harrison Peach Jr., TM1c, William Cliffard Markland, TM1c and Brownie Walter Szozygiel, TM1c were each awarded the Navy Marine Corps medal for their action in saving the sub. 

An interested experiement conducted by the “Cabezon” early into her first patrol. From “Cabezon’s” War Patrol Report. Click for larger.

“Cabezon” went on her first WWII patrol starting May 25th, 1945, in the Okhotsk Sea and Kurile Islands, operating in attack task group 17.15 with subs “USS Apogon”, “USS Dace” and “USS Manta” “Cabezon’s” war patrol report is fairly tame, being so late into the war.   On June 1st, they spotted a floating mine, which they sunk with the .50 caliber machine gun.  A second was spotted June 6th, which exploded after they hit it with the .50 cal.   On June 18th, “Apogon” made contact with a Japanese convoy, attacked and sunk 3 ships by midnight.  At 0130, another contact was made, in range of “Cabezon”.  After 30 minutes of pursuit, she launched 3 Mk. 18-2 torpedoes from 2250 yards.  Two hits were observed from the bridge, as well as 3 timed explosions, and the contact was reported sinking at 0223.  June 29th – Another contact made at 2145, lasting until 0025, when it was discovered a shorting out heater was the cause.   “Cabezon’s” war patrol ended July 10th, when she arrived at Midway.  

“Cabezon” would be credited with sinking one unidentified Japanese escort (Later identified as the “Zaosan Maru”), rated at 4000 tons.   103,485 gallons of fuel were used during the trip, which covered 10,275 miles.  She had 21 torpedoes, 32,510 gallons of fuel and provisions left for 15 days.   “Cabezon” went on to Pearl for her refit period and left for Saipan on August 4th.   Hours before leaving for her 2nd patrol, WWII ended.   “Cabezon” stayed in the area, providing targeting practice for surface ships, before leaving for the Philippine Islands in early September to become part of the new Submarine Squadron 5, with subs “USS Chub”, “USS Brill”, “USS Bugara”, “USS Bumper”, “USS Sea Dog”, “USS Sea Devil” and “USS Sea Fox”.   In December, Squadron 5 returned to Manilla, and joined up with the “USS Chanticleer” and Destroyer Escorts “Earl K. Olsen” and “Slater” (Now a fantastic museum ship in Albany) for training exercises.    “Cabezon” would go on to do a short stint in San Diego, and later Pearl Harbor, doing trips for the Naval Reserve.  In 1947, she took part in Operation Blue Nose, exploring under the Polar Ice Caps along with subs “USS Boarfish”, “USS Caiman” and tender “USS USS Nereus”.  “Cabezons” final trips would be in two reconnaissance patrols, one in March-July of 1950, and the 2nd April-October of 1952 between Hokkaido Japan, and Sakhalin, USSR. 

“Cabezon” would set out for Mare Island in April of 1953 where she was laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet. She was recommissioned in April of 1960 as a Naval Reserve Training boat in Tacoma Washington, and reclassed in 1962 as an Auxiliary Research Submarine, until being decommissioned in 1970. She was struck from the roster on May 15th, 1970, and sold for scrap to Zidell Explorations, of Portland Oregon in December of 1971, for $69,230. 

While on Patrol, “Cabezon” had a unique engine failure, as outlined in her war patrol report below.    #4 main engine, is one of the Portside engines on the sub, on the after end (#2 and #4 are Port, #1 and #3 Starboard). The port engines are both left hand rotation engines.  

From “Cabezon’s” War Patrol Report. Click for larger.

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In 1970, Lehigh Valley sold the tug to Ross Towboat, of Boston Massachusetts, keeping her original name in the process.  Ross was actively engaged in Ship Docking, as well as barge towing in Boston, as well as all New England.   Ross would do some slight modifications to the tug, including adding an internal staircase to access the pilothouse, as well as add a full galley and staterooms to have a full-time crew on board, whereas the tug did only 8-hour day work for LVRR.    In early 1972 the tug had a catastrophic main engine failure. Thanks to my friend Douglas Della Porta of Eastern Towboat, he recounted the story of what happened.

Port side of the main engine in the tug “Cornell”. Click for larger.

While transiting the Cape Cod Canal, the tug lost oil pressure.   Unfortunately, they needed to keep moving, and thus at the end of the day, the engine was destroyed.   Ross found an engine out West – Engine 14974, and installed it in the tug as a replacement – The 3rd engine in the “Cornell” (same exact model every time).   This is the engine still in the “Cornell” today. Several years ago, my good friend J. Boggess presented me with the Cleveland records above, which is when we found out the engine in the “Cornell”, was actually from the “Cabezon”. There is a 50/50 shot that this is the engine that was almost destroyed while in the “Cabezon” as noted above.

This past July I embarked on a project I have been planning for some time – To repaint the engine finally. “Cornell” was a working boat – And shes a leaker (like all 278’s…EMD learned from this mistake, and put a box around them all!), thus painting was never a huge priority. Since being retired from towing service this year, and with some downtime, I got to it. The project commenced on the Starboard side, with 2 gallons of de-greaser, and lots of rags. I opted to paint her in Aluminum, the original color Cleveland Diesel painted all of their engines. Ill tell you – it was bright. Many years ago, one of the first things I painted on “Cornell” was the fuel lines on the block. Tugs typically have a good portion of the pipelines color coded for easy spotting of what they do – thus yellow for fuel. After repainting the fuel lines yellow, and the over speed trip line brown, I painted the hand hole knobs black, just to help break it up a bit, and give it a bit of her own character.

Original number stamping, found on the forward end of the block. Click for larger.
All done! Click for larger.
Still need to redo the blue on the water lines. Click for larger.
An individual pack. Click for larger.

Something on my wish list for several years has been a Cleveland Diesel issued 278A manual, specifically for a submarine. I was able to track one down earlier this year, and best of all, it is specific to the engine in the Cornell.

How the engine appeared out of the factory for the subs. Note it looks like the valve covers are actually polished! When put in the tug, the governor’s were switched over to Marquette’s, as well as the lay shaft arrangement to the more traditional, chest height one. Click for larger.
“Cabezon’s” insignia. At some point, I plan to paint this on the air intake.

“Cornell” spent the better part of the 1970’s for Ross, doing all kinds of odd jobs, including a long trip up to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin to pick up the Boston Aquariums new barge. Not long after the engine was swapped, the main generator, quite literally let loose while towing a barge, and was also swapped out. She would go on to work for Boston Fuel Transport/Boston Towing until being sold privately in 2003, and ultimately to Lehigh Maritime Corp. in 2007.

Ill close this post out with a photo of the “Cornell” at work. Now I just need to paint the other side of the engine…and everything else down there…

Click for larger.

A few sources:
Navsouce page on USS Cabezon
Wiki page on USS Cabezon
Wreck of the Zaosan Maru
Museum Ship “Slater”
“The Fleet Submarine in the US Navy” by Commander John H. Alden
USS Cabezon Report of War Patrol #1

Spencer Heads

A simple one for tonight – Spencer Heads.   

Spencer Heads Inc., devised a way in the 1960’s to “recondition” Cleveland and Detroit cylinder heads (Unknown if they did anything else).   I learned about these last year from one of Great Lakes Towing’s port engineers.  The Spencer Head, took a standard 278A/71 cylinder head and machined out the bottom of it, and inserted a new base and valve seat assembly.   The idea behind this was the help with heads cracking from around the valve seat – a common issue apparently with 278As when they are run hard for long periods or go through hard heat/cooling cycles.   

It does not seem like this style of head caught on all that much. From what I gather, the original style heads are preferred over these.

Follow the arrow to see the insert.