Kit 17 Belly Tank - More Info

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Kit 17 Belly Tank - More Info

Post  bjwlancashire on Sat 11 Feb 2012, 5:49 pm

I decided to share my experiences with the belly tank after taking advantage of some of the earlier information posted and discussions I have had with other builders in the hope it helps those who are just starting out or have not yet begun what is percieved to be a daunting task.

One of the things I did not want to do is start buying sash clamps and squeezing eveything into line. Once I had opened the kit and looked along the lenght of the front and rear panels I noticed that they were bowed and the bottom flanges were not bent at 90 degrees. I accept that the manufacturing process will not be perfect and that there is some fitting to be done.

Check out the amount of bow that would need pulling into place if assembly was attempted in this condition.


This would not help when fitting the rivet bolts as they are just long enough to get the nut on fully and no more. Also from a tank sealing point of view this would make it more difficult.



First I got two pieces of wood to protect the surface and laid the front and rear panels on their edges, outer face upwards. I then carefully put weight on in the centre with my foot and in fact it eventually took my whole weight and the panel was straightened. I built up the amount of weight used checking each time - this gave me a more or less flat panel. Sorry but I did not photograph this bit as I was too busy trying not to over load the panels.

After that I then put the panel edge in the vice in soft jaws and proceeded to push down on the panel until it was horizontal (thanks to Declan our Steam Apprentice for modeling this action). This was repeated all the way along the panel until the full length was done checking that the edge was straight and even all the way along.


Once this was done the panel edges were straight and the fold angle was 90 degrees.


Before proceeding any further the bottom, rear and front and end panels were then dressed on the corners to smooth all the welds and the surface was keyed all over with emery cloth like I did with my tender for those that saw it. This is because once all the rivet bolts are in you cannot easily prepare the flat surfaces around the rivet bolts. I did not do the top panel at this time due to the fact that the curvature meant you could not hold it in place very well to do it. The inside surfaces were also keyed using a coarser grade of emery cloth in preparation for the POR15 tank sealer. Now we have most things shiny!!!

The instructions say start with the bottom panel and the rear panel and this I did. I assembled these base and rear panels and all the brackets inside and out. The hole alignment betweent the bottom panel and the rear panel flange was just about perfect, no clamp needed to pull the hole alignment along the length of the panels, all rivet bolts were able to be pushed through by hand.

All the bolt heads I put inside the tank so that all the nuts were outside. This was after seeing some of the problems other builders had come accross when having to swap the hornplate brackets when the design changed. I actually fitted this assembly to the horplates while the hornplate brackets were still loose and then tightened the nuts. This ensured the brackets were set at the correct position before proceeding further.

DO NOT FIT THE BALANCE PIPE ELBOW AT THIS TIME, IT SEEMS TO BE CAUSING DIFFICULTY FOR THOSE BUILDERS AHEAD WHEN TRYING TO FIT THE BALANCE PIPE ITSELF. AFTER POR15 IS USED IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO REMOVE OR LOOSEN IF YOU DO NOT FANCY TRIMMING THE LENGHT OFFFTHE PIPT TO TRY AND MAKE IT FIT WITH EVERYTHING IN SITU. THE ELBOW CAN BE FITTED AND SEALED USING CONVENTIONAL PLUMBING METHODS AT THE TIME THE BALNCE PIPE IS FITTED .

It was at this stage that I realised I had the dummy bolt to put in the upper hole of the hornplate bracket. Rather than gluing one in a took a different approach. I drilled through the tank using the dummy bolt hole as a drill guide. I then proceeded to make a filler piece from the redundant hornplate bracket so that I could but a nut and bolt properly though the bracket and tank.


Now here is where I deviated from the build plan slightly. First I used the POR15 fuel tank sealer to paint the inside of this assembly but keeping away from the front edge of the base panel where the front panel flange would go. This idea I was given by Tim Watson when discussing his build some time ago. I did two good coats to protect the metal surfaces plus additional coats across the joints and the bolt heads. Not a lot got through as the edge seal was quite good due to the squareness of the flange, just a couple of areas around one of the brackets were some seepage occured which means it does penetrate very well as there did no look to be any gap at all - clever stuff this tank sealer.

So we now have bottom and rear panel assembled, hornplate brackets set and everything liberally coated with PRO15.

Next is where I deviated further. The instructions say to fit the top panel by putting bolts into the centre holes in thre curved section and work out. I looked at the job and realised I had two datum points in the holes for the breather tubes. I therefore started the top panel by putting two 6mm bolts through these holes and bolting the top panel to the rear panel. After that most of the holes in the vurved section lined up apart from 4 or 5 clsoest to the 6mm bolts. I put a couple of the countersunk bolts in the centre and then a couple were used to fixed the outermost ends of the top panel. Now I was able to fit all the countersink bolts working from centre out. I had to use a small brass mallet to gemntly ease the curvature where the radius starts from the flat surface near the 6mm bolts. Then the last few countersunk bolts could be fitted after drilling out the few holes that did not line up.


It was at this stage that I dressed the top panel prior to putting all the rivet bolts in along the left and right hand side top edges. We now have 3 sides together and it is time to put mor POR15 on the undeside of the curved panel plus additional coats along the joins.


The front panel was then fitted and we do not have any breather tube holes to use as locators so I used the holes on the flat areas at either end and near the start of the radius to locate the panel. Ths panel lower flange was again in perfect alignment with the bottom panel holes. The top holes were slightly out in the curved area because I had aligned the holes in the flat areas. However, I was able to start fitting the countersunk screws at the top of the curve and work my way to the centre by putting using a small allen key as a tommy bar through the misaligned holes to pull the panel to align the holes. No real effort required but I would say the holes in the bottom centre were almost one hole diameter out of alignment suggesting that panel was twisted slightly along the top edge. Something that was not totally solved by putting my weight on this particular panel although I had tried at the time. That said, no big clamps needed so overall the assembly was a lot easier than I initialy thought I would be with some good preparation.

So now we have four sides and it was again time to apply the POR15 in the ususal manner decribed above.


TO BE CONTINUED!!!!!






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Re: Kit 17 Belly Tank - More Info

Post  lynnr on Sat 11 Feb 2012, 11:36 pm

Nice how to.

One question. Whats the thinking for 2 rows of bolts and plates?

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Re: Kit 17 Belly Tank - More Info

Post  Kevster on Sun 12 Feb 2012, 1:13 am

Thats a good guide for those that have their tanks to do.

Thats more or less how I put mine together,I also used the breather holes as datums and it all went together without too much fuss.

My front and back plates were not ninety degrees either.

As for the dummy rivet I just rivetted it into the bracket and filed the back flush.

I thought I would have trouble putting it together at first but I didnt ,I enjoyed putting the kit together

Its the painting of the stuff im having trouble with not getting the finish i want, lots of rubbing down and trying again !

Kev

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Re: Kit 17 Belly Tank - More Info

Post  craig@STW on Sun 12 Feb 2012, 2:39 am

good guide. thank you Cool

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Re: Kit 17 Belly Tank - More Info

Post  Robfishman on Sun 12 Feb 2012, 3:01 am

Thanks Brian this is really useful, picked the kit up on the way to the office yesterday and will start this afternoon. Also it's made me realise I dont take many photos of the steps as I put the kits together something we will be doing going forward.


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Re: Kit 17 Belly Tank - More Info

Post  bjwlancashire on Sun 12 Feb 2012, 6:03 am

Lynn

Not sure what you mean by your question "Whats the thinking for 2 rows of bolts and plates?"

Are you talking about the hornplate brackets?

Brian

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Re: Kit 17 Belly Tank - More Info

Post  lynnr on Sun 12 Feb 2012, 6:14 am

bjwlancashire wrote:Lynn

Not sure what you mean by your question "Whats the thinking for 2 rows of bolts and plates?"

Are you talking about the hornplate brackets?

Brian

Sorry yes.

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Re: Kit 17 Belly Tank - More Info

Post  highpressure on Sun 12 Feb 2012, 7:37 am

Thats because they are the second, extended version of the brackets, the dead space being hidden by a second row of dummy bolts. Otherwise they do not give enough clearance for the washout plugs. I hope you have these on yours, your question indicates perhaps not Question Question Hope not otherwise it belly tank off and brackets off too.... Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad

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Re: Kit 17 Belly Tank - More Info

Post  lynnr on Sun 12 Feb 2012, 8:06 am

Hi Brian

I have the brackets on so that the single row is on the belly tank and the double row is in line with the hornplates to push the tank forward and down.




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Re: Kit 17 Belly Tank - More Info

Post  highpressure on Sun 12 Feb 2012, 9:13 am

Thats right Phew!!!! No further action nessecary

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Re: Kit 17 Belly Tank - More Info

Post  bjwlancashire on Sun 12 Feb 2012, 5:48 pm

lynnr wrote:Hi Brian

I have the brackets on so that the single row is on the belly tank and the double row is in line with the hornplates to push the tank forward and down.


Me too so all is well.

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Re: Kit 17 Belly Tank - More Info

Post  Robfishman on Sun 11 Mar 2012, 3:04 pm

Thanks again Brian the above was very useful, hope you dont mind but I copied your idea to drill through the dummy bolt and actually fit one. Another few hours should see this done and in the paint shop (AKA the old shed). Pictures to follow in the photos section.

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Re: Kit 17 Belly Tank - More Info

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