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GE 7FDL 16 Book

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GE 7FDL 16 Book
Posted by VGN Jess on Friday, June 25, 2021 12:22 AM

Is anyone aware of a book that outlines the development of the 7FDL 16 and how they kept getting more HP from this same engine from the U25 to the Dash-9s? Sorta like Dick Dillworth's treatise on the 567.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, June 25, 2021 8:05 AM

To my knowledge there is not, although I think I remember seeing a paper on the engineering of the GEVO that has considerable detail discussion of the Cooper-Bessemer derived architecture.

One key piece of evidence, which was or is documented on the Web although I don't remember where, is a note circa 1956, as the second-generation 2400hp revolution (first pioneered with the Alco 244H - not F as I mistakenly typed) was getting under way, from someone at GE who realized the large-bearing-area Cooper-Bessemer 'master and slave' conrod arrangement could be good for tremendous unit horsepower gain -- something of course borne out in the evolved 7FDL.

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Posted by SSW9389 on Friday, June 25, 2021 9:31 AM

Overmod

 

One key piece of evidence, which was or is documented on the Web although I don't remember where, is a note circa 1956, as the second-generation 2400hp revolution (first pioneered with the Alco 244F) was getting under way, from someone at GE who realized the large-bearing-area Cooper-Bessemer 'master and slave' conrod arrangement could be good for tremendous unit horsepower gain -- something of course borne out in the evolved 7FDL.

 

Alco's entry into the 2400 horsepower field was with the 244H engine in 1954. This engine was first used on the RSD-7 demonstrators. 

Ed in Kentucky 

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, June 25, 2021 9:48 AM

Thanks, Ed.  That was a dumb finger slip.

If anyone needs a print reference confirming details of the 244H they are in the volume of Yanosey's Pennsy Diesel Years volume that contains the RSD-7.

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Posted by M636C on Friday, June 25, 2021 5:39 PM

I would start looking in an English magazine "Diesel Railway Traction". I think there is an article on diesel locomotive development in the USA reproduced on the Utah Rails website which has been quoted in these forums.

https://utahrails.net/loconotes/diesel-traction-development-in-usa.pdf

It should be remembered that the single engine 70 ton locomotives used Cooper Bessemer FWL-6 engines that used the same crank and bearings as the FVL-12 which was a predecessor of the FDL.

The Queensland Railways obtained ten hood units for 3'6" gauge in November 1951 fitted with the FVL-12 that had a lot of characteristics later seen in the early export Universal line and eventually in the UD18 and U25.

The early FVL-12 was also used in a group of shovelnose units for Artentina on the metre gauge, which looked a lot like the later White Pass and Yukon Alco-engined units. The FVL-12 topped out at about 1200HP, while the Alco 244 was rated at 1600HP, so later Argentine units had the Alco 244.

It was at this stage that GE realised it needed to break the link with Alco for its own locomotives, and seriously looked at increasing the power output of the Cooper Bessemer engine. These were tested in the four unit cab booster set and the UD18 demonstrator before the U25 demonstrator arrived.

But the FWL-6 was in use from 1946 in the 70-ton switcher, so it was contemporary with the early Alco 244 engines. As noted earlier, it had greater potential for increasing power than either the Alco 244 or 251.

A feature of the FWL, FVL or FDL was the use of a cast crankcase in place of the fabricated crankcases in contemporary Alco and EMD engines. This means that repairs can't be made by welding, as is possible with the Alco and EMD crankcases.

In very heavy duty use, as in the Pilbara iron ore networks in Western Australia, many of the FDL-16s in the Dash-9s had to be replaced after ten years of operation. The power assemblies and crankshafts could be re-used, it being just the basic crankcase casting that needed to be replaced. This did involve a complete rebuild including all of the fuel system and turbocharger.

I think this process, or a complete new engine, was required by most of the DC to AC rebuilding of Dash 9 locomotives in the USA.

Peter

(edit: link added)

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Posted by VGN Jess on Friday, June 25, 2021 9:21 PM

Overmod: Thanks; no other posters are aware either. After reading Dillworths paper a few years ago on the 567, it just struck me yesterday that a similar 7FDL 16 book/paper, etc..would make for an interesting read. Of course, I had previously checked the internet, but found nothing. I thought perhaps that a still living GE employee in that area might see and respond.

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Posted by Erik_Mag on Friday, June 25, 2021 11:25 PM

Dilworth? I have an electronic copy of Kettering's paper on the 567, but this is the first time hearing about Dilworth writing a paper. N.B. I don't make claims about omniscient, so can't claim that Dilworth didn't write about the 567.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, June 25, 2021 11:35 PM

Pretty sure he meant this:

https://utahrails.net/pdf/EMD_567_History_and_Development_1951.pdf

Dilworth as I recall wrote about the locomotive design as a whole, within which the light and effective two-stroke engine was a part.

Someone with a copy of Taylor's The Internal-Combustion Engine in Theory and Practice can look in its bibliography and see if a reference to the C-B design is there.  Heaven knows there's plenty of interesting stuff...

... ditto SAE Mobilus.

 

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Posted by M636C on Saturday, June 26, 2021 3:11 AM

I can be a bit more specific:

Diesel Railway Traction for November 1956 is a good place to start.

On page 413 (the whole year is numbered consecutively) there is a well illustrated article on the then contemporary FWB-6 and FVBL 8, 12, and 16 cylinder engines. The cross section of the FVBL engine on page 414 is excellent for those who like such things. This article only briefly covers earlier C-B engines but gives a good idea of the engines sed in the export Universal units prior to the introduction of the U25.

Only a few pages further on on page 433, is an article on the export Universal line, entitled "GE Standard Locomotives" which opens with a photo of the UD18B, as sold to NdeM. The full range is listed in a tabulation, but the only export unit illustrated is a side elevation of the U18C which is described as being for metre gauge. I saw a number of these U18Cs on broad and standard gauge in Argentina in 2003. (The locomotive repair facilities all had a number of abandoned 8 and 12 cylinder FVBL crankcases witth varying degrees of cracking). This is only three pages, so a total of seven pages in that issue, but well worth reading since it predates the recognition of GE as a majpor locomotive builder in the USA.

Both these articles had a marker inserted in my bound edition of 1956, and it fell open at the right pages...

Peter

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, June 26, 2021 10:45 AM

M636C can likely be a great deal more specific in 'late' development of the higher-horsepower "7HDL" engine that was a joint development with Deutz-MWM.  This, like the EMD 265H, suffered some unexpected engineering difficulties that I think were related to the higher specific power per cylinder.  It is difficult for me to distinguish how much of the problem with the 6000hp locomotives as marketed was due to cavitation and leakage issues or wall thicknesses in the cast block and how much with unpopularity of the 6000hp 'form factor' in actual service -- notably, none of the difficulty at even the highest tested power density was a 'bottom end' concern with bearing integrity or crank strength.  Deutz decided they would stop trying to solve the issues; GE sued for $80 million, got $20 million and the rights to all the HDL designs, and incorporated much of the knowledge into the development of the GEVO engine (much as EMD developed the 265H into the strategically-'rebranded' 1010J).

As a case in point, several Australian 6000hp locomotives were remotored with GEVO-16s in 2008, after which they apparently ran satisfactorily until scrapped in 2014 for competitive rather than technical reasons.

I do remember a GE technical paper about the detail design development of the GEVO series engine -- this could be Flynn's ASME paper, but I think I remember something later -- and will see if I can find an online-readable reference.  In the meantime, as with the COMSOL paper that apparently is the principal surviving technical reference for the original GE hybrid locomotive design, here is the FEV discussion of the early design of the GEVO:

https://www.fev.com/fileadmin/user_upload/Media/Spectrum/en/Spectrum_25_A4_eng.pdf

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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Saturday, June 26, 2021 6:08 PM

Overmod

Pretty sure he meant this:

https://utahrails.net/pdf/EMD_567_History_and_Development_1951.pdf

Dilworth as I recall wrote about the locomotive design as a whole, within which the light and effective two-stroke engine was a part.

Someone with a copy of Taylor's The Internal-Combustion Engine in Theory and Practice can look in its bibliography and see if a reference to the C-B design is there.  Heaven knows there's plenty of interesting stuff...

... ditto SAE Mobilus.

 

 

That link would have helped with the discussion of the Flying Yankee and whether a faithfully historical restoration to an operating -- was it a 201A? -- was in the cards.

That article goes a long way to one understanding the deficiencies of the 201A and how the 567 fixed them.  It is not that the 201A didn't run, but it was not nearly as reliable, and if a 201A failed in the restored Flying Yankee, this could have wrecked irreplaceble parts for which spares are not available?

If GM "killed the electric car", what am I doing standing next to an EV-1, a half a block from the WSOR tracks?
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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, June 26, 2021 6:59 PM

Paul Milenkovic
It is not that the 201A didn't run, but it was not nearly as reliable, and if a 201A failed in the restored Flying Yankee, this could have wrecked irreplaceable parts for which spares are not available?

Preston Cook has made that argument, better and with more specific detail than I could.  On the other hand, expensive as it was, the original restoration did get a rebuilt 201A, and with enough cubic dollars -- probably less than required for proper restoration of large truly modern steam -- most of the 'unobtanium' functionality of the design could be replicated with modern materials and fabrication technology -- Mr. Cook's arguments largely apply to shoestring museum operations, not engineering-savvy reproduction of GM-style development and production for the sort of reproduction that a multimillion-dollar Pebble Beach concours restoration could afford in the automobile world.

The chief issue with the 201A in the Zephyr is, of course, that there is no 567 alternative.  All 567s are of necessity V engines, and the Flying Yankee is not only an inline engine but an eight-cylinder inline engine.  By the time you cobbled up something with 567 parts you're talking all the work to do a 201A to get a kludge that isn't prototypical and wouldn't be fully reliable.  The engine now being considered is a 6-567 out of a switcher, and the problem is that preservation of the 'historic fabric' of the train rules out the very extensive engine-bay and connections changes necessary to fit the much shorter, wider motor in the space.  As I and others have argued, a very capable modern Tier 4 compliant large truck motor (with easy parts availability and a huge range of cheap repair knowhow) could be easily installed using the same 'sled' approach that EMD developed for some of its projects -- leaving the historic fabric and the expensively-restored Winton engine intact but giving reliable service as fast as the rebuilt trucks could safely be run.

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Posted by VGN Jess on Monday, June 28, 2021 9:46 PM
Mea Culpa! A thousand pardons-I knew Kettering and it came out Dillworth!!
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Posted by VGN Jess on Monday, June 28, 2021 9:47 PM
Overmod: Thanks; Kettering was who I meant to reference-the joys of being 70+
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Posted by VGN Jess on Monday, June 28, 2021 9:52 PM
Overmod: Thanks for the FEV/GEVO link.
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Posted by VGN Jess on Tuesday, August 24, 2021 3:23 AM

In researching on my own, I came across an excellent book on the development of the ALCO "251". It costs $42.50 and can be purchased by emailing macdermotC@aol.com or calling Chris McDermot at 518-355-3953. An absolute excellent chronology on the development of this prime mover-highly recommended.

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Posted by Backshop on Tuesday, August 24, 2021 8:04 AM

The "problem" with installing a diesel truck engine into a locomotive would be the sound.  The much higher RPM range just wouldn't sound right.

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, August 24, 2021 8:19 AM

Backshop
The "problem" with installing a diesel truck engine into a locomotive would be the sound.  The much higher RPM range just wouldn't sound right.

That's certainly a concern!  There is also very likely going to be turbo whine that is difficult to suppress; perhaps it could be explained as Roots wail but (to me at least) the quality of the noise is different.

As I recall one of the major points of choosing to adapt the switcher 567 was precisely that it would sound reasonably close to a 201A, and I would certainly not complain.

Really, the whole of the truck-engine argument presupposes that you'd be running the train, frequently and with at least fast dash capacity on demand, in a service demanding cheap reliability and ease of service. A 567 requires careful attention to stay right, and unless you have someone with The Knowledge, there can be problems.

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Tuesday, August 24, 2021 1:10 PM
 

Overmod

someone at GE who realized the large-bearing-area Cooper-Bessemer 'master and slave' conrod arrangement could be good for tremendous unit horsepower gain -- something of course borne out in the evolved 7FDL.

 
This feature right here is something I find intriguing with the FDL, its use of articluated conrods.
 
 
 
Rahhhhhhhhh!!!!

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