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Fairbanks Morris

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Posted by Autonerd on Thursday, January 03, 2019 9:48 PM

Funny I should see this -- I just bot some F-M models and was reading up on them.

The April 1987 issue of Trains Magazine has an article called "Train Master triumph, Speed Merchant flop, OP paradox", the second part of a two-part article written by Robert Aldag, who joined F-M in 1946 as a sales engineer and ended up heading the sales department until they quit the biz in 1961.

In this article, he goes into great detail about the problems the OPs faced in railroad service, and why they did so much better in navy ships. Among the issues:

- Higher power demands in railroad service than in marine service

- Engines operating at peak power for longer (think of a loco slogging up a hill, with a heavy demand for torque at maximum engine speeds)

- Navy engines operated on the sea, with a supply of cool, dense air; railroad engines had to deal with higher air temps, lower pressure and lower humidity

- Lower pistons dealt with excessive heat, as the exhaust ports were at the lower end of the engine, so they didn't get the same cooling benefits from intake air as the upper pistons. The lower pistons would fail, often damaging the liners and sometimes setting off a crankcase explosion.

- Dirt! Working out on the plains, FM locomotive engines injested all sorts of dirt and grit that the Navy engines didn't have to deal with.

- When a lower piston or liner failed, changing out the power assembly required removing the upper main bearing caps, crankshaft, rods and pistons -- all of them, even if only one piston went bad. The locomotive had to go under a crane. IIRC, changing a power assembly from a traditional engine is a much simpler job.

I highly recommend this article, along with Part 1 (March '87), which talks about the business challenges faced by F-M: The Beloit strike that allowed EMD Es and Alco PAs to get a foothold before the Eries could be delivered; the high cost of building the units; the early road failures experienced by influential roads like UP; t the choice to build C-Lines as cab units as the industry went to road switchers; the lack of a short hood for dynamic brakes or steam generators on the H-20-44. I highly recommend both articles.

Another good one, which I can't put my hands on (and in fact I just ordered a copy from eBay; also avaialble from Kalmbach) is the January 1986 issue, which has an article by a NYC road foreman of engines, and all the issues he delt with keeping these engines going on the NYC.

I'm not sure what the legality is of scanning the article; perhaps a forum mod can tell me. The April 1987 issue (FM part 2) is sold out at Kalmbach. Contact me via PM and I'll see what I can do.

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Posted by drgwcs on Thursday, January 03, 2019 10:20 PM

Autonerd

 

- When a lower piston or liner failed, changing out the power assembly required removing the upper main bearing caps, crankshaft, rods and pistons -- all of them, even if only one piston went bad. The locomotive had to go under a crane. IIRC, changing a power assembly from a traditional engine is a much simpler job.

 

In comparison to an EMD or Alco maintainace for this reason was much more extensive and took about three times as long from one book I read. A lot of railroads concentrated the FM in one area because of the specialized maintainance needs. Rio grande concentrated them in Salt Lake City for example. Jim

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Posted by 7j43k on Thursday, January 03, 2019 11:20 PM

Autonerd

- When a lower piston or liner failed, changing out the power assembly required removing the upper main bearing caps, crankshaft, rods and pistons -- all of them, even if only one piston went bad. The locomotive had to go under a crane. IIRC, changing a power assembly from a traditional engine is a much simpler job.

 

Please examine the picture of the F-M diesel being installed in the submarine that I posted earlier.

Just how did that engine "go under a crane", since the engine looks to have been permanently installed inside the shell of the sub.

Am I missing something?

 

Ed

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Posted by gmpullman on Thursday, January 03, 2019 11:37 PM

Autonerd
When a lower piston or liner failed, changing out the power assembly required removing the upper main bearing caps, crankshaft, rods and pistons -- all of them, even if only one piston went bad. The locomotive had to go under a crane.

Here's a couple of pages describing the fun of removing the pistons. A relaxing way to spend the day Whistling

 IMG_FMOP-1 by Edmund, on Flickr

 IMG_FMOP_Z by Edmund, on Flickr

 IMG_FMOP-3 by Edmund, on Flickr

 IMG_FMOP-2 by Edmund, on Flickr

Add to this the previous diagram of the vertical connecting shaft and timing chain and you can see where an F-M mechanic earned his or her wage.

 

The Life Like Erie-Builts and C-Liners are some pretty decent locomotives in HO. They can still be found at auction sites and train shows for a reasonable price. Plenty of room for a decoder and speakers in there, tooYes

 NYC_Erieblt by Edmund, on Flickr

Cheers, Ed

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, January 04, 2019 7:35 AM

 Only thing you might be missing Ed, is that in marine service there was a far less likelyhood of such failure happening. Better cooling, more coontrolled conditioons, cleaner intake air - and running full poower for extended times was strictly reserved for emergencies. Few if any ships would ever routinely run at all out maximum speed under normal operations. There are usually two top speeds - top speed the engines can handle for any amount of time, and the REAL top speed after which you may or may not have an engine left. AIrcraft engines, civilian and military, operate in a similar manner. 

                          --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by 7j43k on Friday, January 04, 2019 9:22 AM

rrinker

 Only thing you might be missing Ed, is that in marine service there was a far less likelyhood of such failure happening. Better cooling, more coontrolled conditioons, cleaner intake air - and running full poower for extended times was strictly reserved for emergencies. Few if any ships would ever routinely run at all out maximum speed under normal operations. There are usually two top speeds - top speed the engines can handle for any amount of time, and the REAL top speed after which you may or may not have an engine left. AIrcraft engines, civilian and military, operate in a similar manner. 

                          --Randy

 

 

 

Quite true.  In addition, the guys on the failed F-M locomotive get to climb down, smell the fresh air, and stroll around until someone comes out to pick them up and take them home.  That ain't happening in wartime sub service.  Kinda inspires high quality on-board maintenance.

Also, there were four engines in most American subs.  Mighty handy, having four......

 

Ed

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, January 04, 2019 11:52 AM

 Good point - also Navy maintenance was probably a lot better - as in getting done on schedule EVERY time, the only possible exception being some emergency condition preventing an engine from being shut down for scheduled checks.

                                      --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by Autonerd on Friday, January 04, 2019 6:55 PM

7j43k
Just how did that engine "go under a crane", since the engine looks to have been permanently installed inside the shell of the sub.

I can't speak for the submarines, Ed; I was talking about the locomotives. :) The crane thing is a direct quote from the article. 

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Posted by Autonerd on Friday, January 04, 2019 7:01 PM

Autonerd
The crane thing is a direct quote from the article. 

Here's the passage:

"The problem was that to change a power assembly--that is, to replace a cylinder liner and its two pistons--it was necesasry to remove the upper crankshaft, To do that, the maintenance people had first to move the locomotive so that it was under an overhead crane, Next they had to remov the roof hatch, and then they could proceed to remove the entire upper crankcase of the OP engine. After that, the mechanics could then remove all of the main bearing caps, all of the connecting rod caps and the camshaft drive chain, and then htey were ready to lift the crankshaft out of the engine. Having done all of that, they were then ready to begin to remove one or more power assemblies and install the new ones. And then they faced reassembling all that they'd disassembled."

Sounds like a fun few days at work. :)

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Posted by Autonerd on Friday, January 04, 2019 7:07 PM

rrinker
Better cooling, more coontrolled conditioons, cleaner intake air - and running full poower for extended times was strictly reserved for emergencies.

From the Aldag article, it sounds like the locomotive versions were tuned for more power. He cites BMEP (Brake Mean Effective Pressure, a measure I don't understand 100% for comparison. He says the navy-service OPs were running at a BMEP of abotu 85 psi, while the 10-cyl OPs in the Erie Builts were running at 95.2 psi, an 11.8% increase. For comparison, he cites the BMEPs of the EMD 567 in the E7 (77psi), FT (77.9) and F3 (86.6). He mentiones that the 567C of 1954 finally approached the BMEP of the Erie's OP, but that was nearly a decade and a lot of R&D later.

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Posted by Autonerd on Friday, January 04, 2019 7:09 PM

gmpullman
The Life Like Erie-Builts and C-Liners are some pretty decent locomotives in HO. They can still be found at auction sites and train shows for a reasonable price.

Hence my reading! :) I have an A-B set of ERies, I am waiting on a trio of C-Liners with a couple extra shells (NYC CFA-16-44s in black and 20-44s in lightning stripes), and I'm looking for another Erie A-unit.

THanks for posting those pages from the maintenance manual. Great stuff!

Aaron

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Posted by jjdamnit on Friday, January 04, 2019 7:50 PM

Hello all,

Not what I was imagining at all!

Interesting how the pistons are also the valves.

Thanks for the clarification.

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by 7j43k on Saturday, January 05, 2019 11:05 PM

PLEASE FIX THE TITLE OF THIS TOPIC.

Ed

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, January 05, 2019 11:12 PM

7j43k

PLEASE FIX THE TITLE OF THIS TOPIC.

Ed

 

.

I second this motion. Please make the repair.

.

-Kevin

.

Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by gmpullman on Saturday, January 05, 2019 11:30 PM

SeeYou190
7j43k

PLEASE FIX THE TITLE OF THIS TOPIC.

Ed

I second this motion. Please make the repair.

-Kevin


 

The OP has made only one reply since starting this thread. I would say he pretty much orphaned it. Still, it was interesting to share the information so it wasn't a total waste. I appreciate the input from all the contributors.

Regards, Ed

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Posted by BRAKIE on Sunday, January 06, 2019 6:55 AM

If it is ok with MVSRR I would like to share a story of a engineer,a yardmaster and a FM10-44.

Larry

SSRy

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“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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Posted by mbinsewi on Sunday, January 06, 2019 8:59 AM

gmpullman
The OP has made only one reply since starting this thread. I would say he pretty much orphaned it. Still, it was interesting to share the information so it wasn't a total waste

Yes, lots of information and a learning experience for me.  Maybe it quickly escalated beyond what he could contribute.  I know that I know nothing about OP egines, but it was interesting reading what you guys were sharing.

Mike.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Sunday, January 06, 2019 12:54 PM

BRAKIE

If it is ok with MVSRR I would like to share a story of a engineer,a yardmaster and a FM10-44.

 
Well, Larry, he no longer seems to be participating in this thread, and I wouldn't mind reading your story.  I'd also guess that a few others here might enjoy it, too.
 
Wayne
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Posted by mbinsewi on Sunday, January 06, 2019 12:59 PM

Yes Larry, please, tell us more! 

Mike.

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Posted by drgwcs on Tuesday, January 08, 2019 7:03 PM

About a year ago I bought several engineers manuals including two for Fairbanks Morse (got a Baldwin sharknose too)

Inside is a diagram of the engine- lets you know how complicated it was to get into everything-

Compared to an EMD or anything else- vastly more complicated- Jim

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Posted by BRAKIE on Thursday, January 10, 2019 5:39 PM

 Ok,you ask and here it is.

In '66 I hired on the PRR and spent my first few training days working in the AC&A yard which is part of the Cleveland Ave yard complex in Columbus,Oh.

We had FM10-44 9090 as our yard engine which had been pulled from storage and every time the engineer open the throttle blue smoke would spew forth from the exhaust holes.

As we neared the yard office my training  brakeman said "Watch this Larry" so I did and was horrified  when the engineer open the throttle under a open window and the blue smoke spew forth and in my student mind I thought man,we all catch it for that!

I notice the engineer did the same every time we passed the yard office and I turned to my instructior and ask why the engineer do that?

His reply was several years ago when the yardmaster was a conductor him and old "Pete" was wooing the same gal and "Pete" lost and every since then he smokes up the office every chance he gets when "Pete and "Bill" is on the same shift and he has a smokey locomotive.

When "Pete" stood before the man explaining why he was smoking up the yard office old "Pete" would reply there's a slight grade just beyond the yard office and I need to apply power to get up the hill.. "Pete" was told to be more careful where he choose to open the throttle.Nothing more ever came of it and old "Pete" continued to smoke up the office until the day he retired.

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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Posted by mbinsewi on Thursday, January 10, 2019 8:19 PM

OK, Laugh  A woman involved,  who knew? Laugh  Great story.

Mike.

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Posted by dti406 on Friday, January 11, 2019 7:45 AM

I know this was about Fairbanks-Morse Diesels, but here is some information about the Auto Industry Involvement in World War II.

The pertinent points to our discussion would be the subheadings of EMD and Cleveland Diesel for engine's made for LST's, Submarines and other vessels.

http://www.usautoindustryworldwartwo.com/General%20Motors/cleveland-diesel.htm

Rick Jesionowski

Rule 1: This is my railroad.

Rule 2: I make the rules.

Rule 3: Illuminating discussion of prototype history, equipment and operating practices is always welcome, but in the event of visitor-perceived anacronisms, detail descrepancies or operating errors, consult RULE 1!

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, January 11, 2019 9:23 AM

 Just watched a few video tours of two of the remaining LSTs, as the first ship my Dad served on was ARL-21, USS Proserpine, a light repair auxiluary built on the same hull as an LST.  Soon as they went into the engine room, it was obvious they were EMD engines, 12-567's actually. The one guy said parts were hard to get, but I kind of think that woudn't be the case, I know they've been rebuilding the 16-567 in the GP7 we have at the museum, and various seals and so forth weren't too hard to get. On one video they mentioned the Bofors gun was built by Fisher Body, and on the other, they said Chrysler made the Oerlikon canon.\

 Now, if you think the FM opposed piston engine is complex, take a look at the Napier Deltic. Think 3 FM engines arranged in a triangle. Similar history - it was originally developed for marine power, and post war was run in locomotives, the first one was the English Electric Deltic.

                                            --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

NDG
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Posted by NDG on Saturday, January 12, 2019 1:52 AM

 

FYI.
 
Two 12 Cylinder OPs powering a hammer-mill in a scrap yard in Ottawa, Ontario.
 
 
 

Thank You.

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, January 14, 2019 11:39 AM

 Funny thing is, the guy in the video calls them "Fairbanks and Morris"

                     --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by IAFarmer on Thursday, January 24, 2019 11:24 AM

SeeYou190

Opposed piston, dual crankshaft engines will not work in today's world.

.

There are many other obsolete engine designs that are also just not going to come back, sorry.

.

There is always research continuing with these designs, and maybe a breakthrough will occur, but it would need to be big.

.

All things considered, a single crankshaft overhead valve engine is the best design.

.

This is especially true woth Tier 4/Stage 5 emissions. All combustion technology is based on conventional engine design. The additional particulate matter created by these engines would unleash havoc on catalyzed soot filters (DPFs) and require much more frequent regeneration, and therefor increasing fuel consumption.

.

I can imagine DEF consumption would be higher also.

.

-Kevin

.

 

 

To be fair, FM has a 2 stroke OP that meets tier 4 emissions, its not a bad design at all, very reliable and simple.  

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, January 24, 2019 3:38 PM

IAFarmer
FM has a 2 stroke OP that meets tier 4 emissions, its not a bad design at all, very reliable and simple.  

.

They have a 200 liter medium speed diesel that makes around 4,500 horsepower and is HUGE.

.

In the correct application, which is steady speed, constant prime power generation, it has some advantages.

.

Like all things, there is a hat for every head, and this engine has a market where it would be the correct choice.

.

The fact that Fairbanks Morse is still able to find a market for these engines to justify making them Tier 4 (F) compliant absolutely amazes me.

.

-Kevin

.

Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by gmpullman on Friday, January 25, 2019 10:17 PM

SeeYou190
The fact that Fairbanks Morse is still able to find a market for these engines to justify making them Tier 4 (F) compliant absolutely amazes me.

My nephew is in charge of maintaining a small fleet of MLW/Alco locomotives. His source for parts? Fairbanks-Morse.

 

https://www.fairbanksmorse.com/alco

Model 251? Yes, the design was finalized in Feb. of 1951!

Regards, Ed

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