During the past week, I disassembled and cleaned the 2 red Mars lights that Jim Evans gave to the project. After working on the mechanisms, I understand why Mars lights were thrown out in favor of those manufactured by Pyle National. All of the moving parts in the Pyle lights have sealed ball bearings while those in the Mars lights are nothing more than a stainless steel ball moving in a bronze shell. The Mars lights would (will) require periodic lubrication and if left alone, will no doubt seize up and stop working. This is just what seems to have happened to one of the lights. Ultimately, the motor vibrated so badly that its mounting screws shook out of the housing, leaving the motor to flop around in the case. It must have been an interesting sound. Having the Mars lights on the locomotive will be a great cosmetic addition but the lubrication can be a future problem.
The Mars housings use knurled knobs with 5/16" threaded studs that hold the lens cover on the base. Don MacPherson made a couple of knobs for me so we would have 8 that look correct. Once again, Don came through with his machinist skills and shop equipment.
Luckily, EMD (actually Rail Systems Inc.) was still able to supply the rubber glazing for the Mars headlight housing I have that has bad glazing. It was a lot of fun getting the glazing and glass in the housing but after several false starts, the assembly was complete and ready for paint.
Later in the week, after work, I primered and painted all the Mars lights parts and the replacement Mars headlight housing. Now, we have Mars red lights and original type Mars headlight housings for both ends of the locomotive.
The goal for Saturday was to needle gun the area of the long hood near the red light as the paint is really bad and the surface quite rusty. Once this was done, I installed the left side number board sockets, then wired and tested them. In addition, I wanted to sand all of the number board area and primer all the cleaned metal. This way, when the number board glass shows up, I can install it with the rubber glazing sitting over clean and primered metal. As it turned out, I ran out of time and did not get the primering done. That will have to wait for next weekend.
Phil Orth was kind enought volunteer his help today so he set to work on the cab doors. Both of them were quite hard to open or close so he spent most of the day cleaning and grinding and creating a good fit between door and jam. Now, there is no chance of a dislocated shoulder when attempting to open the engineers side door.
We still don't have replacement rear class light housings and I am not sure what to do about this. I am only going to give this another couple of weeks and if nothing turns up, I will make patches, screw them in place and paint the whole thing. There are too many other things to do to wait on this problem much longer.
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