The 3/E's counter argument - Ships Nostalgia
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The 3/E's counter argument

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  #1  
Old 14th January 2019, 16:56
Tim Gibbs's Avatar
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The 3/E's counter argument

I was 2/E on a 12 cylinder Sulzer RSAD 76 and we were pulling No.5 unit. I had the head off and the lifting spider on the piston and the 3/E called from the crankcase that the piston nut was off. After a number of attempts, the crane failed to move the piston so I told one of the engineers to double check with the 3/E that the nut was off, make sure everyone was out of the crankcase and then turn the engine to lift the piston a few mm. He wasn't gone long before there was much shouting from below; the 3/E had taken the nut off No.7. It wasn't that he couldn't count- he had forgotten that on this engine the units were numbered from aft.
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Last edited by Tim Gibbs; 14th January 2019 at 16:59..
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  #2  
Old 15th January 2019, 11:14
skilly57 skilly57 is offline  
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Nothing worse than getting the numbers on your nuts mixed up!!
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Old 15th January 2019, 14:41
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More common than might be assumed! I am surprised it was a "backward" Sulzer. It is generally the german engines that are numbered from the shaft end forward. This causes all sorts of problems when it is a Vee engine!

Nice story!
Rgds.
Dave
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  #4  
Old 15th January 2019, 15:35
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More common than might be assumed! I am surprised it was a "backward" Sulzer. It is generally the german engines that are numbered from the shaft end forward. This causes all sorts of problems when it is a Vee engine!

Nice story!
Rgds.
Dave
Actually Dave,it was neither German or quite Swiss - it was a built by Alex Stephens, I believe as an experimental 12 cylinder project on behalf of Sulzer. It was a horror to get spares for it; we found a fracture a keyway in the camshaft and were quoted 10 months delivery for a replacement so we cut a new keyway 90 deg. round and drilled and reamed new coupling bolt holes to suit. Lloyds were very reluctant to accept it but as far as I know it saw the ship out.
About the same time a fractured liner resulted in No.11 (or was it No 2.?!!) getting hydrauliced and bent the crank a few degrees.Memory has faded on this but I think it was left and the fuel pump retimed to suit which was q.e.d as the cams were located on a serrated carrier
As I write this, seen from today and looking back >45 years ago, these things seem quite improbable. I'm fairly sure I haven't been dreaming but must admit to having a glass of wine at lunch time!
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Old 15th January 2019, 18:19
OilJiver OilJiver is offline  
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…..This causes all sorts of problems when it is a Vee engine!.....
Used to try & stick to Class notation to sort that one out Dave.
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Old 15th January 2019, 18:25
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Hey Tim,

But you got to practice absolute, pure Marine Engineering! Lots of knowlege, practical skill and maybe a little risk which turned out (based on best knowledge) OK.

Rgds.
Dave
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Old 16th January 2019, 14:54
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Hey Tim,

But you got to practice absolute, pure Marine Engineering! Lots of knowlege, practical skill and maybe a little risk which turned out (based on best knowledge) OK.

Rgds.
Dave
Didn't see that that way 40/50 years but looking back we used to get a huge amount of "experience" but not a lot of it directly applicable in later years. Guys who came along 20/30 years after didn't believe some of the stuff we had to do. It was long before SSB and sat. telephones and it was a case of self help 'cos the only help available was already onboard . I was only towed once but I think a broken crankshaft is an acceptable excuse!
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Old 16th January 2019, 17:09
saudisid saudisid is offline  
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Originally Posted by Tim Gibbs View Post
I was 2/E on a 12 cylinder Sulzer RSAD 76 and we were pulling No.5 unit. I had the head off and the lifting spider on the piston and the 3/E called from the crankcase that the piston nut was off. After a number of attempts, the crane failed to move the piston so I told one of the engineers to double check with the 3/E that the nut was off, make sure everyone was out of the crankcase and then turn the engine to lift the piston a few mm. He wasn't gone long before there was much shouting from below; the 3/E had taken the nut off No.7. It wasn't that he couldn't count- he had forgotten that on this engine the units were numbered from aft.

Tim

Would the 12 Cyl Sulzer have in the City of Melbourne by chance ??

Rgds

Alan
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Old 17th January 2019, 23:29
dannic dannic is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Gibbs View Post
I was 2/E on a 12 cylinder Sulzer RSAD 76 and we were pulling No.5 unit. I had the head off and the lifting spider on the piston and the 3/E called from the crankcase that the piston nut was off. After a number of attempts, the crane failed to move the piston so I told one of the engineers to double check with the 3/E that the nut was off, make sure everyone was out of the crankcase and then turn the engine to lift the piston a few mm. He wasn't gone long before there was much shouting from below; the 3/E had taken the nut off No.7. It wasn't that he couldn't count- he had forgotten that on this engine the units were numbered from aft.
Taunton, P&O Bulk, 6 RLB 80 Sulzer all cylinder covers were stencilled "1-2-3...Lloyds" from forward to aft and the opposite "Sulzer 1-2-3 aft to fwd"! Was/ could be confusing!!
Dannic.
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  #10  
Old 19th January 2019, 16:55
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Tim

Would the 12 Cyl Sulzer have in the City of Melbourne by chance ??

Rgds

Alan
That's the one! Or was it the C/o Cape Town?!
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  #11  
Old 19th January 2019, 20:16
saudisid saudisid is offline  
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That's the one! Or was it the C/o Cape Town?!
Tim
Same ship. New name in 68 when Blue Star kicked Ellermans off the MANZ run and she went down the Cape until they sold her in 78.
Alan
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  #12  
Old 26th June 2019, 18:22
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I was involved with a similar "counting error" experience on a ferry with Blackstone ESL8 Mk. 1 engines. For reasons I can't recall now, the Super instructed the engineers to pull No. 4 unit overnight. They pulled No. 5 instead, having counted the cylinders from the wrong end, then realised their mistake and rebuilt it with new large end shells because they thought the old ones looked a bit tatty.
When they started the job up the large end failed and, typically for a Mk. 1 Blackstone, it killed the crank. When we checked the offending rod over it was found to be oval which was OK with its own worn shells but the new ones had tipped it over the edge.
Fortunately the boat was due into drydock for a engine work so it just jumped the queue a bit.
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  #13  
Old 26th June 2019, 18:36
Barrie Youde Barrie Youde is online now  
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These stories seem to be a mirror-image of the wonderful chandelier-episode in "Only Fools & Horses"!
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  #14  
Old 27th June 2019, 05:39
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The same thing happened regularly on the railway. Maintenance staff were used to counting cylinder numbers from the free end of the engine, traditionally "No. 1 end" of a loco is the radiator end. When they got Class 60 loco's with Mirrlees Blackstone 8MB275 engines, some of them grasped the fact that No. 1 cylinder was at the flywheel end and some of them didn't so we had to very circumspect when looking for faults reported under warranty.
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  #15  
Old 27th June 2019, 08:07
Engine Serang Engine Serang is offline  
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These stories seem to be a mirror-image of the wonderful chandelier-episode in "Only Fools & Horses"!
I'm sure Del was 2/E and Uncle Albert was Quartermaster on the Texaco Newcastle.
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  #16  
Old 30th June 2019, 11:51
sternchallis sternchallis is offline
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Originally Posted by dannic View Post
Taunton, P&O Bulk, 6 RLB 80 Sulzer all cylinder covers were stencilled "1-2-3...Lloyds" from forward to aft and the opposite "Sulzer 1-2-3 aft to fwd"! Was/ could be confusing!!
Dannic.
It doesn't matter what cylinder cover goes on which unit, but would be terribly confusing if this did happen and the covers were numbered rather than the entablature top.
I do remember when serving my apprenticeship and the fitters opened up a unit on a Stork Werkspoor TM410 or a Stork generator and used the Lloyds numbering from the NDE as usual, but it was a Dutch built engine and numbered the other way.
The work list just said Number # as thats how it was passed down. Needless to say they got two for the price of one but painted the numbers on, Lloyds and Makers after that
Would the US made engines have a different system to convention , perhaps using the firing order, as they like to do everything contrary.
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Old 30th June 2019, 13:24
OilJiver OilJiver is offline  
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.. they (US) like to do everything contrary.
Wonder when they’ll get the hang of the SI system??
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Old 30th June 2019, 16:05
sternchallis sternchallis is offline
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Wonder when they’ll get the hang of the SI system??
They tried it once, sold petrol by the litre and people complained as they thought they were being fiddled, they were being fiddled when buying by the gallon as it was, given short measures.
They don't teach it in the schools and their Maths was two years behind when my wife moved from Cuba to Florida.

When working for a shipyard in the US we had to bid on a barge for somewhere and the drawings were in metric, but they had converted the imperial to metric rather than size straight from metric.

I heard of another case that they made this patialy assembled unit (ie pump & motor and piping on a skid) that needed lifting off the ship with a crane and there where eye bolt holes for rigging. This unit had gone across to Saudi everything supposedly metric as per spec, come to fit the eybolts in and they were UNC. The Saudis told them to take it back.

In Canada, everything is SI more so than the UK. Very much doubt the US will change in our lifetime.
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  #19  
Old 10th July 2019, 06:13
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Years ago when the big swap over from British standards to SI standards in the pressure vessel field was being evalued , Babcock sent two observer engineers from Renfrew to a Californian venue to listen to the US argument and deliberation. Our good men found the US attitude to change so negative that they filled in the time with extended flights on to Auckland where they once served as commissioning engineers at Meremere power station.
They visited us, the power station , and spent a day collecting Toheroas , a NZ sea food delicacy now fully protected , which they had acquired a keen taste for earlier. A big party followed for sure .
Whether they got away with it we never heard.

Bob
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Old 10th July 2019, 10:41
shipmate17 shipmate17 is offline  
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Spent 2 yrs building the Mere Mere power station.

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Years ago when the big swap over from British standards to SI standards in the pressure vessel field was being evalued , Babcock sent two observer engineers from Renfrew to a Californian venue to listen to the US argument and deliberation. Our good men found the US attitude to change so negative that they filled in the time with extended flights on to Auckland where they once served as commissioning engineers at Meremere power station.
They visited us, the power station , and spent a day collecting Toheroas , a NZ sea food delicacy now fully protected , which they had acquired a keen taste for earlier. A big party followed for sure .
Whether they got away with it we never heard.

Bob
spent 2 yrs working on Mere Mere power station.1957/59.Babcock & Wilcox.

Last edited by shipmate17; 10th July 2019 at 10:43.. Reason: Spelling mistake
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  #21  
Old 10th July 2019, 21:08
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spent 2 yrs working on Mere Mere power station.1957/59.Babcock & Wilcox.
A mate of mine Yorkshireman Harry Dutton worked there as a rigger during those years shipmate

Bob
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