Following investigation in to recent issues with 55 022’s fuel strainers becoming contaminated far quicker than is considered normal, we have come to the conclusion that the fuel has the dreaded diesel bug algae. This is far more evident when examining the innermost filter media and a black gel type solution is found rather than gritty type particles as expected. Regular removal and cleaning of the strainer allows us to continue operating the loco, but it is becoming a bit of a pain!!
We plan to start attacking the fuel algae/diesel bug by mixing in a solution called Fuel Set, this is made in Australia and is apparently the market leader in treatment for fuel contamination. The 2 5 Litre containers arrived with us today and cost just short of £300.00!! Fingers crossed the addition of Fuel Set will eradicate the fuel strainer contamination, which can be determined when starting an engine and it does not fire immediately in the usual manner.
Pictured here is one of the Zwicky Type NZ Fuel strainer units that are installed on the engine room floor and strain fuel after leaving the tanks and entering the main electrical fuel priming pump. Due to the design, it is not possible to visibly see the filter media mesh on this type of filter and removal and replacement is a time consuming job. I am also investigating replacing the existing Zwicky units with an alternative modern design which would allow easy monitoring and replacement when required. Should anyone have great knowledge in this area, please get in touch, if you feel you could help or advise.
In addition to adding the Fuel Set to the diesel tanks, this coming Sunday should also see replacement carbon brushes installed on to the Number 2 Main Generator has the set currently fitted have pretty much had their use and are fast approaching minimum size. This is one of them jobs that simply cannot be ignored and action is required before it becomes too late. The potential costs involved following a main generator flash over do not bear thinking about. The cost of a full generator set of brushes is just less than £3,000.00, fortunately 3 out of 4 of our main generators have virtually new brushes and this gives yet another indication as to the true value of components in both 55 022 and D9016.