Old Advertising IX

I seem to be on a Fairbanks-Morse kick lately, so I will run with it.

Doing some research for my book the other day, I came across this one from F-M in the brochure for the 1953 NYC tugboat Races.

Something F-M touted for quite some time was that their engine powered the winner – Which was Reading Railroads RTC Built, Tom Bowes designed “Shamokin”. She had a WWII surplus, factory rebuilt 10 Cylinder 38D 8 1/8th engine. Unfortunately, Reading did not seem to have much luck with them. Shamokin lost a rod bearing bolt on her trial run, and Tamaqua blew up her engine in 1962 and they would have to replace it. Shamokin also got a new OP, but not until the 1990’s. “Shamokin” would go on to win the 1953 race as well. She is still running today, as Blaha Towings “Alfred Walker”.

The specific engine depicted in the advertisement is a 10 Cylinder direct reversing OP that was used in US Navy LSM class landing ships. The lower engine, F-M’s 5 1/4″ bore OP, is something I will make a more in depth post on down the road.

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. 

Click for Larger

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..

Click for Larger
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.

Historic Tugs I – Luna and Venus

In early 1930, the Mystic Steamship Company sat down and had the firm of John C. Alden Naval Architects of Boston design them a pair of tugboats for their Boston Tow Boat operation.    Built by M.M Davis & Sons Shipbuilding of Solomons, Maryland, they would be powered by the then growing in popularity – Diesel Electric Drive.   While steel shipbuilding was gaining traction, the twins were both built out of wood.

Click for larger. From “Floating Power Plants”, June 1935 Diesel Progress.
Click for larger. From “Diesel Electric Vessels powered by Cleveland Diesel”
Click for larger. From “Diesel Electric Vessels powered by Cleveland Diesel”

The duo would go on to become flagship tugs for the company, and were used in a number of advertising for Winton, Cleveland Diesel and General Electric. By the late 1930’s, Boston Tow Boat would be reorganized as the Boston Towboat Co., now under parent company Eastern Gas & Fuel Associates, and ultimately falling under the Midland Enterprises banner, parent company to numerous inland tug and barge companies.

Luna and Venus team up to help dock an Amoco ship in Boston.
Unknown photographer/collection of VDD. Click for larger.

Luna and Venus are each powered by a pair of Winton 6 cylinder, 335HP/300RPM model 129 engines. Each engine drives a General Electric 213kW, 250V DC generator, with a 25kW exciter/generator mounted behind them on the same shaft.   A single GE 516HP, 500V double armature (think of it as two 258HP motors together on a common shaft) electric propulsion motor would spin the prop at up to 125RPM.   A battery bank was provided in the fidley to power the compressors and other auxiliary as needed. A major change bought on with Diesel Electric drive, now the Captain had full control of the propulsion right in the wheelhouse, and he did not have to rely on the engineer downstairs through a system of bells to control the engine. The Luna is often credited with being the first Diesel-Electric tug, however this is not true. That honor goes to the Pennsylvania Railroad #16, built in 1924. Luna may have been the first Diesel Electric tug in Boston, or even the first Diesel-Electric Ship Docking specific tug, but she was not the first overall.

Engine shipping dates for Luna and Venus. Click for larger.

The Luna and Venus, now painted in Boston Towboats deep red, with a silver stack band (its no varnished wood, but it was one of the authors favorite color schemes for a tug company) were working alongside the rest of the Boston Towboat fleet providing mainly ship docking work in the Boston area. Unfortunately, tugs grew quickly, so even by the 1950’s they were rather outdated and very under-powered. Luna and Venus were both retired in 1971 and languished around Boston for several years. Venus was owned by Bay State Cruise Co., and used as an office at Long Wharf. Luna was planned to become a reef. Boston Towboat itself would not be around much longer either, they would become part of Boston Fuel Transport in 1985.

Venus in 1992. Unknown photographer/collection of VDD. Click for larger.

By the early 1980’s, plans were in place to save the Luna. She was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. She and sister Venus were back together in the Charles River Basin, and Luna was being used as an office for the Terra/Marre Research & Education Society, her then owners. The Luna was under restoration and open for tours, and was still operational with one engine running, although she still sat unused. By the late 1980’s, the tug was now owned by/under control of the Metropolitan District Commission.

The inevitable finally caught up with the 60 year old tugs. Luna was beached and awash, with sister Venus next to her sunk by the bow. A plan was finally in place by the MDC, and Luna was raised in the summer of 1992 and towed to Jay Cashmans yard. Luna was being kept afloat with a 6″ pump running around the clock, and one night the pump ran out of fuel, and down she went at the dock.

Towing the Luna out of the Charles River. Pat Folan Photo.
Luna sunk at Cashmans pier. Click for larger. Pat Folan photo.

Luna was finally raised, again and towed into the drydock at the former Bethlehem Shipyard in East Boston in December 1993. Fate would not be as kind to Venus, and she was broken up. Luna languished in the drydock until mid 1994 when the Luna Preservation Society was formed. The new group took over the project from the MDC, and was able to get the Luna stabilized by wrapping the hull in PVC roofing material, which kept her floating for the next 5 years. In 2000 the Luna was towed to Sample Shipyard in Maine, and underwent a 2 year long hull restoration.

Luna today in Boston. Click for larger. Will Van Dorp Photo

Volunteers have since done an amazing job returning the Luna to her 1930’s appearance. The current plan is for her to become a new centerpiece at Pier 3, in the Boston Navy Yard. Unfortunately, having been submerged for so long, Luna will likely never run again. There were some plans to possibly install a small diesel engine in the back of the engine room so she could do some light cruising in the Harbor – Boy how I hope this does not happen. She serves her purpose well as a stationary vessel, a testament of 1930’s tugboat technology.

https://charlestownbridge.com/2018/07/21/tugboat-luna-on-its-way-to-pier-3-in-the-navy-yard/

Looking aft at the Starboard Winton 129 engine. Click for larger. Will Van Dorp photo.
Outboard side of the engine. Click for larger. Will Van Dorp photo.
Looking forward at the Port Winton 129. Note the large flywheel, and the GE 213kW generator. Click for larger. Will Van Dorp photo.
What is interesting is that the propulsion motor in Luna is mounted on the very forward end of the engine room, between the forward two fuel tanks. A long shaft spans the entire length of the engine room. Click for larger. Will Van Dorp photo.
Looking down at the rockers on the top of the engine. Click for larger. Will Van Dorp Photo.
The galley of the Luna, with some gorgeous wood paneled walls, not something you see on tugs today! Note that the shaft for the steering, as well as the duplex propulsion controls (linked together) run right through the galley table! Unfortunately Will was not able to get a photo inside the wheelhouse on his visit. Click for larger. Will Van Dorp photo.

Here is hoping for a bright future for the Luna in her new home at the Navy Yard. Unfortunately the Luna Preservation Society’s website has not been updated in 17 years. http://www.tugboatluna.org/

Many thanks to Pat Folan and Will Van Dorp for use of their photos, and of course J. Boggess for scanning the Winton records and Cleveland booklets. Thanks to several of my Boston area tug friends for help with clearing up some details.

Be sure to check out Pat’s website Pelican Passage for some fantastic tugboat shots – http://www.pelicanpassage.com/

And of course Will Van Dorp’s blog Tugster (who was the initial inspiration for making this blog!) – https://tugster.wordpress.com/

Fairbanks Morse Engine List

Unfortunately due to travel, I have not had nearly the time I would like lately to sit down and type up another article. This week however, I will provide some interesting reading. This is a Fairbanks Morse bulletin from 1958, that details every diesel engine model they ever produced. The one downside, is that it only covers the model, and not the cylinder arrangements offered for each one.

F-M was another one of those companies that seemed to have a new “model of the week” engine. Its impressive that quite a number of these engines survived, both as museum pieces, as well as a fair bit still in service today, unlike Winton and many other early diesels.

Keep in mind, this is a 1958 list, and does not cover the later engines that popped up when Colt took over, such as the 38A20, or any of the Pielstick engines.

Click each photo for a larger version.

Old Advertising V

Click for Larger

This week, we have one of the many George Drake designed, Gulfport built 102’2″ tugs for the Navy. In the early 1940’s, Cleveland Diesel began building tugs on spec. for the upcoming war. The design was a simple harbor tug, with 4 state rooms, large crew fo’c’sle, central galley and a single head. Under the hood, the tugs had a Cleveland 12-278 engine driving an 800kW generator, powering a 1000HP propulsion motor. The design was later revised with a slightly different interior arrangement, and the wheelhouse raised up a bit. Quite a number of these tugs were built for the Navy as YT’s, and after the war, the design became one of Gulfport Shipbuildings “stock” designs. At some point TAMS Inc. acquired the design from George Drake, and kept it in the catalog so to speak. A large number of these tugs – essentially all the same, in cookie cutter fashion, were built for the commercial towing industry into the 1960’s.

The tug in the advertisement, is the YT 174 “Allaquippa”, built by Gulfport in 1941. She was struck from the Navy in 1969, and apparently sunk in the mid 1990s.

From “Diesel Electric Vessels Powered by Cleveland Diesel”

http://www.navsource.org/archives/14/08174.htm

Fixing a Bearing.

Ill start with a bit of prequel to this story with some history.   The Tug Cornell is powered by a Cleveland Diesel “Navy Propulsion Package”, which consists of a Cleveland 16-278A and an Allis Chalmers 1090kW, 525V DC Generator, mounted on a common base.   In turn, this provides power for a Westinghouse 1350HP electric propulsion motor, driving a Farrel-Birmingham single reduction gear.   Except for the gear, all this equipment is reconditioned WWII surplus, Destroyer-Escort equipment.   Lots more to come on this equipment in a future post. 

Both ends of the main generator, as well as the forward end of the propulsion motor are supported by large, oil fed babbit pedestal bearings.    The generator ones are fed by the main engine lube oil system, and the propulsion motor one is fed off the reduction gear oil system. The motor only has a single support bearing on the front, as the rear is supported by the reduction gear.   In April of 2012, we burned up the aft support bearing on the generator; however, I will save that for later, as I documented this instance better.

Destroyer Escort propulsion motors, were used in pairs on the ship. When resold for commercial service, they were split into single units.

In September of 2015, on a Sunday afternoon, we were just leaving with the tug to head down river, with another small tug (Pilot, Dave’s tug) alongside. The plan was to drop off the Pilot in Verplank, head to the city to pick up a barge, and then back to Kingston as we had training class days later in the week in Kingston.  About 45 minutes out, just at the Esopus Meadows light just South of Kingston, I go down and do my engine room checks.  I have my routine, I go down the stairs, around the front, back, around, back to the gear, and back up…so, coming around the front, I smell burning.  The best way I can describe it is a burning electrical smell.  I remembered the smell from when we burnt up the generator bearing.  So, I kind of figured it was THAT bearing acting up again, I run around back looking for the thermal gun, and in the process put my hand on top of the motor bearing (part of my routine..), and yeah, at that point I knew what was really happening! 

So, I get on the horn to the wheelhouse (we have a radio from the engine room to the wheelhouse) to go all stop, GET THE PILOT RUNNING!, and GET DOWN HERE!, I run for the hose to start getting water on the thing. (270 degrees on the shell right now).  Dave starts steering, Don runs over and gets Pilot running (This is after we drained the fuel tanks this week, leaving only 50 gallons on the day tank…) Matt runs down and helps me start cooling this thing down with just water and rags.  By now, we are just hanging out in one of the wider parts of the river.  Pilot is running and ready to go alongside and holding us.  Me and Don start tearing the oil lines apart to the bearing.  We put air to it, and it shot a solid slug of crap out…  

  Now, the forward support bearing, is pressure fed from the reduction gear.  Its a very simple system.  There is a suction line from the sump of the reduction gear with a check valve, this goes to the pump driven off the main pinion.  From the pump, it goes through a cooler, strainer, then T’s off.  One line goes up to the support bearing on the motor, and the other goes to the gearbox, for the top spray line, and the pinion and thrust bearings (which are SKF ROLLER BEARINGS!) in the gearbox.  All the oil is crystal clear and looks fine.  it was just that one slug of shit, in the lowest part of the system.  The system is only supposed to run at 110 degrees, at 5-8 psi. 

So, we get this thing cleaned out, Pilot is holding us so we don’t drift all over the place ( Dave’s friend managed to see this from shore!) we get it back together, but we can’t get the pump on the gearbox to reprime quick enough to cool the bearing and get some oil to it.  We thought we might have caught it before it went nuclear, but when we turned the excitation on (When you turn it on, the motor creeps sometimes), we got the nail on chalkboard sound

Ok, Time to have Pilot turn us around, and tow us back to the dock. Nothing we are going to do out here now. 

Click for larger.

With the upper half of the pedestal removed, and the upper shell removed we saw the damage was done. All of the babbit melted out and then reset when it cooled off. What looks like scoring on the armature shaft, is actually just streaks of babbit.

Upper half of the shell. Click for larger.
Lower half of the shell. Click for larger.
Both halves of the bearing. Click for larger.
Both halves of the bearing shell. Click for larger.
Click for larger.

In removing the lower half of the shell, we made the observation that this has happened once before. Notice on the upper lip where it has been built up with brazing from where the shaft dropped and wore out the shell. Note the two oil drain holes in the center. Also, note the heat distortion. This shell got to over 500 degrees to melt that babbit in that fashion. Luckily, the shell was not warped.

So, a few years ago our fellow engineer friend Tim Ivory built a centrifugal bearing machine, to re-pour the main bearings in the tug “Spooky Boat”s Fairbanks-Morse 35F10M engine.   Well, it turned out we were the first to make use of it two years prior when we cooked that generator support bearing.   Since then Tim has made several bearings for various projects. 

  The barge in the city can wait until next week, but the class days Wednesday, Thursday and Friday can’t be rescheduled.  Sunday night we got the shell apart.  It is only 4 cap bolts, 4 shell bolts, and a pipe fitting into the shell for the oil line.  After we got the motor armature shaft supported, the lower shell just spins out. 

We were not able to do anything Sunday night.  It turned out, Tim already had the bearing machine off the storage rack, and had one of the small, 2″ bearings for Spooky boats 1 Cylinder FM generator mounted in it to re do.  We took care of that on Sunday to get it out of the way.  

Monday, Matt (Owner of Cornell), had to go to the city and take care of a few things.  Great, we found a foundry down there that has the babbitt in stock (Belmont Metals), and we can pick it up.  Next, we need gaskets, The bearing mounts to the table using 4 studs and a plate.  The shell needs a gasket where it meets the mounting plate, or the hot liquid babbitt just pours out all over.  It is a 4″, ring style flange gasket, rated for hi-temp, usually graphite based, 1/8th” thick. We can’t source them locally.  I found a place in Brooklyn that has them, I call them, tell them exactly what I need. Ok, fine no problem, 6 in stock.  While this is going on, we prep the shell.  Simply, melting the old babbitt out.  

Melting out the babbit using a roofing torch. Click for larger.
The shell, now cleaned of all old babbit and tinned. Click for larger.

The next issue at hand was that we needed a plug. On the after side of the bearing, the outer edge of the shell rides on the larger portion of the shaft forming a mechanical oil seal. Unlike the bearing on the generator which used a labyrinth cut into the babbit, this bearing just have a tight tolerance fit, and thus we need to keep this entire area clear of any babbit. Tim had the great idea to make a simple one out of the bottom of an old scuba tank!

Making the lower plug from a scuba tank. Click for larger.
Click for larger.

After the bearing is cleaned out and tinned, the halves are bolted together with an aluminum shim plate, which is sealed with hi-temp silicone. The shims create a space so that the shell can be split apart after the babbit is cooled, and the babbit wont stick to the aluminum.

The rear plug is centered up in the rear. Click for larger.
New 6lb ingots of babbit from Belmont Metals, in Brooklyn. The babbit consists of 78% Lead, 14% Antimony and 8% Tin. Click for larger.

Now, Matt shows up with the gaskets Monday afternoon…totally wrong thing.  Back to the drawing board.  I managed to find a plumbing supply house about an hour away.  We shoot down, and start telling them what we need, and comes the typical “What is the application..”  Our response, “Can you just take us to where you keep them, and we will get what we need?”  They take us to them, score! they had what we needed.  

Click for larger.

The shell itself is sandwiched into the machine using 4 studs attached to the bed plate, and a steel plate with the center cut out. After a few minutes getting the bearing centered and balanced, it is ready to go. Each of the 4 studs is wrapped in fiberglass insulation to help prevent the stud from stretching, and have stiff springs outside of the plate to take up and stretch while being heated, and even still they are periodically re-tightened. The gasket sits between the top plate and the shell.

Click for larger.

Next up, rotating the assembly down 90 degrees and preheating the bearing using the roofing torch to around 500 degrees. In the background the babbit is being melted.

In goes the babbit. Click for larger.
Click for larger.

We melted 12 pounds of babbit and poured in about 9. After pouring, the shell is immediately hit with water to cool it. This is so the shell cools and shrinks from the outside, so the babbit does not crack.

This is how the bearing looks directly after pulling off the outer cover plate. The green is the remnant of the gasket. Click for larger.
The bearing after being split apart. It can now be bolted back together without the shims, and be machined. Click for larger.
Click for larger.

With the new babbit poured, we went back and cleaned up the shaft. It had some very, very light scoring on it that we were able to polish out. We took a slew of measurements, and were now ready to machine it.

Mounted in the lathe and cut to final size. Click for larger.
Cutting the oil wedge’s out on the milling machine. Click for larger.
The finished bearing shells. Click for larger.
The propulsion motor, with the shaft supported from the overhead using a chain fall and sling. Click for larger.
Rolling in the lower bearing shell. Click for larger.

We put the thing back together about 11pm on Tuesday, figured out how to get the oil pump reprimed, cleaned all the lines out, and started the boat about 11:15.  We spent the next hour running it, getting it scrapped in with a razor blade and bluing dye (run for 25m, take it out, scrape…repeat..).  We used timesaver compound (an old timers trick for babbitt bearings, which alot of old manuals for big engines specifically say to use for this exact purpose), to help get it wore in.  

The class days we took it easy, no more then 100 shaft rpm (so about 400 on the motor).  We never seen more then 100 degrees on it.  Here we are almost 4 years later, and the bearing runs perfectly fine, and stays right around that 110 degree mark. For all intensive purposes, we were able to turn this repair around in around 48 hours, completely in house.

Since this happened, not only have we managed to acquire a spare support bearing shell set, but I even managed to find an original Cleveland issue manual, that covered the Generators, Motor and the pedestal bearings for both, with complete spec sheets.

Cleveland Diesel manual covering the Destroyer Escort’s propulsion end.
Blueprint sheet for the forward support pedestal bearings. Click for a larger version.

Old Advertising IV

Click for larger

Farrel-Birmingham was yet another prominent WWII (and before) era manufacturer of reduction gears and the like. During WWII, Farrel-Birmingham would supply gears for hundreds of tugs, ships, ferrys and every many other pieces of floating plant. In the post war years, working with GM, thy would supply the reduction gears for almost every Diesel Electric tug powered by Cleveland Diesel right up until the 1960’s.

The setup shown above was originally used in the tug “Raymond Card”, a 95′ tug powered by a Cleveland 12-567, with a 615kW Generator. In turn, this powered the 750HP 600V DC propulsion motor, that fed the Farrel-Birmingham 3.75:1 reduction gear. This same setup would be used on other tugs of the same design later on.

Farrel-Birmingham would exit the gear market in the 1960’s. They still exist today as the Farrell Pomini company, specializing in plastic manufacturing equipment.

EMD 567 Spotters Guide

Something that I see quite often on various forums and the like, is misidentification of the early EMD 567 series engines.  Like all engine manufactures of the day, the EMD 567 line was under constant revision throughout the years.  This is not meant to be any sort of history of the engine,  just a simple way to differentiate the different types of 567 engines. 

The “Straight” 567

One of the first EMC 567’s built in July of 1938 for the “Thomas E. Moran”. While the base engine was built by EMC, it was then sent to Cleveland Diesel to be converted into a marine engine. Note that while the rectangular crankcase and airbox covers are the same, the crankcase ones are horizontal, while the airbox ones are vertical. These engines would be removed and replaced with a single 12-278A in 1944.

The first production model of the 567 was just that, the 567. Often people dont associate this engine, thinking the 567A was the original, but it was not. The first 567 engines used an interesting top deck design, with extended crab studs to hold down the covers, with a simple rectangular hatch over each injector. The first pair of production 567’s according to the EMD book “Diesel War Power”, were for the Moran Towing “Thomas E. Moran”, built by Defoe Shipbuilding in 1938. Ironically, an engine designed specifically for locomotives, would be first installed in a tug. The engines (one pictured above) were V8, 660HP/750 RPM engines that drove a 400kW generator, with a 24kW belt drive exciter above.

A spare 12-567 on a flat car at the Illinois Railway Museum

The first Railroad use of the 567 would follow in October of 1938, with a set of E4 Streamliners for the Seaboard Air Line railroad. Each E4 used a pair of 1000HP 12-567’s. The first and most obvious way to spot the straight 567, is the very wide housing for the blower drive gears, making the rear end of the engine rather wide. EMC/Cleveland would supply special versions of this engine to the USCG for use in a fleet of Icebreaking Tugs, with a narrowed version of this case, however all of the standard production engines used this wide case. By now, the engine also featured matching doors on both the crankcase and airbox, as well as a larger, removable cover that spanned the entire top deck.

Click for a larger version

Note the upper deck of the engine in the “U” (cast) or “V” (fabricated) upper portion where the exhaust coming out of the heads would mate up with the upper manifolds. The original EMC 567 design is well outlined in Eugene Kettering’s paper on the History and Development of the 567, which will be linked to at the end of this article.

The production EMC 567 would be offered in 6, 8, 12 and 16 cylinder models

567A

With the onset of WWII, the 567 by now was being refined into the 567A starting around 1942. What would put the 567 line on the map, would be the advent of the Navy LST program. The majority of the LST program would in turn use a pair of 12-567A engines (dubbed ATLP/ATLS for Aux. Tank Landing Port or Starboard), driving a 2.48:1 reduction gear through an air clutch. On land the 567A was being used in all of EMD’s line of locomotives from switchers to road power.

Click for a larger version

The 567A would take the idea of the narrowed blower drive on the USCG 8-567’s, and make it even narrower, thus saving crucial space in the engine room. Midway through the LST program in 1943, the two piece floating piston and carrier design was adopted. Also to note, is the entire upper deck was modified, and now the exhaust from the heads ran inside of a water deck. Note the smooth cast ducts for the scavenging air from the blowers into the airbox.

An early Cleveland 12-567A with a Falk clutch/gear drive. J. Boggess Collection.

The 567A package used in the LST would go on to be one of the most common repower package for tugboats in the 1950’s and 60’s, something we will get into more in the future.

567B

The 567B was introduced after the end of WWII. The 567B was very similar to the 567A, with one main spotting difference on the outside. The 567B now used a ribbed air duct casting from the blowers into the airbox.

Mechanically the 567B was essentially the same as the 567B, with the difference being the attached oil strainer housing on the front end of the engine.

567C

In 1953, EMD introduced the 567C. The C block engine was essentially an all new engine. The C blocks major change involved the elimination of the water deck liners, and the use of O rings to seal them. These O rings were prone to fail, and would thus cause water contamination of the lube oil system. The C liners used a bolted on water inlet type, completely eliminating the water deck.

A Cleveland 16-567C with a Falk 16MB reverse reduction gear. This was one of the more popular marine uses of the engine through the 1960’s. J. Boggess Collection.

The easiest way to spot a 567C – is that the block introduced a few new changes. First is the round inspection covers on both the airbox and crankcase. The fuel rails were moved to the inside of the upper deck, as well as an all new style of hinged upper deck cover, with snap latches. The thing about the 567C is that it is also identical to its replacement, the 645 series.

Click for a larger version

567CR

A short one here – the 567CR was only an 8 cylinder engine, that used a revised firing order, hence the “R”, to help with vibration issues. Externally it is exactly the same.

567D

The final installment in the 567 lifespan development is the 567D of 1959. The D line of engines introduced the turbocharger. EMD, unlike Detroit and Cleveland would develop their own turbo, that was driven off of the gear train through a clutch at low speeds, and would freewheel when the exhaust pressure built up. The 567D was only offered as a 16 cylinder engine, and topped out at 2500HP. Later on they would take the turbo off for a few select applications, and squeezed 1800HP out of it.

The turbo versions of the 567D while overall successful engines and were a major stepping stone to the 645 development, they were plagued with turbo issues. Several railroads choose to pull the turbos off and replace them with the traditional roots blowers.

567AC and 567BC

The AC and BC engines, from the outside are identical to their original counterpart. Internally, the engines were upgraded to use “C” power liners. The only way to spot one of these, would be to remove an airbox cover and see if the water manifold is present.

567CA

Not to be confused with the above conversions, the 567CA engine is its own beast. While it was not any sort of a new development, the CA engine was an EMD designed direct replacement for the 567ATL LST engines that by now were in hundreds of commercial boats.

12-567CA in the tugboat “Jupiter”

The CA engine used a new crankcase with “C” specs, however there were several recycled parts off of the original ATL engines. The smooth blower ducts, as well as the entire top deck assembly, complete with the external fuel lines and removable covers were recycled off the original engines.

The 12-567CA engines were developed in the early 1960’s as drop in replacements.

645C

Yes – the 645C is actually a 567. The 645C is a 567C that uses 645 power assembly’s. Again, like the AC and BC conversions, the 645C is not distinguishable from the outside.

Wrap up…

Please note, I wrote this simple as a way to try and help to visually distinguish each model of 567. One thing to keep in mind, is the 567 was a very modular engine at the end of the day, and quite a few components are interchangeable throughout the entire production line, some easier then others.

As mentioned previously, the 567 was an EMC/EMD design, and was built in the LaGrange shop. Between 1938 and 1961, both marine and stationary versions of of the 567’s were marketed and sold under the Cleveland Diesel banner, having been converted for such uses in their Cleveland shops. These engines carry Cleveland Diesel builders plates, and numbers.

Preston Cook, one of the leading authority on EMD, has a fantastic write up at the following link which gets a bit more into the technical sides of the model development over the production spans.

Preston Cook – EMD 567 in the 21st Century

Eugene Kettering’s paper “History and Development of the 567 Series General Motors Locomotive Engine” hosted over at Utah Rails.