Is the humble GE -8/-9 7FDL16 rebuildable or what ?

 
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
This thread doesn't necessarily relate to Australian built Dash 8 and Dash 9 era locomotives but it could one day for the ADM and USDM ones in Australia .
By chance I was reading about NS SD70ACu rebuilds and followed a link to them rebuilding Dash 8 40C and possibly Dash 9 44CW units . What caught my eye was conversion to AC drive ie basically re creating AC4400 CW units from the DC versions .
Obviously if going to that much trouble and expense they wouldn't bother if their pre loved 7FDL16s were basket cases .
I have a link to some discussion and in this note the saving of used FDL "engine frames" and something like $155,000 in what I assume is block replacement costs .
More reading to do and back with that link soon .

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  BDA Chief Commissioner
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

This thread doesn't necessarily relate to Australian built Dash 8 and Dash 9 era locomotives but it could one day for the ADM and USDM ones in Australia .
By chance I was reading about NS SD70ACu rebuilds and followed a link to them rebuilding Dash 8 40C and possibly Dash 9 44CW units . What caught my eye was conversion to AC drive ie basically re creating AC4400 CW units from the DC versions .
Obviously if going to that much trouble and expense they wouldn't bother if their pre loved 7FDL16s were basket cases .
I have a link to some discussion and in this note the saving of used FDL "engine frames" and something like $155,000 in what I assume is block replacement costs .
More reading to do and back with that link soon .
BDA
The NS Dash 9 rebuilds have been running for some time now complete with a new paint scheme. They must think the re-builds are worthwhile.
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
This thread doesn't necessarily relate to Australian built Dash 8 and Dash 9 era locomotives but it could one day for the ADM and USDM ones in Australia .
By chance I was reading about NS SD70ACu rebuilds and followed a link to them rebuilding Dash 8 40C and possibly Dash 9 44CW units . What caught my eye was conversion to AC drive ie basically re creating AC4400 CW units from the DC versions .
Obviously if going to that much trouble and expense they wouldn't bother if their pre loved 7FDL16s were basket cases .
I have a link to some discussion and in this note the saving of used FDL "engine frames" and something like $155,000 in what I assume is block replacement costs .
More reading to do and back with that link soon .
The NS Dash 9 rebuilds have been running for some time now complete with a new paint scheme. They must think the re-builds are worthwhile.
nswtrains
They just sold off all the Dash 8-40's C'a and canned the 8.5 rebuild program.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
I didn't follow up on the 8.5 rebuilds but there seems to be more differences between the -8 and -9 USD units than I thought .
Maybe the -9 44s are more straightforward to refurbish as AC4400 type units . Maybe the supply of used -9s is too good to bother changing more parts out on a -8 .
The point is mainly that to take this conversion on the original 7FDL16 can't be as bad as some would have you believe .
If NS were serious enough to spent the money on machine tools capable of line boring the main bearing tunnels in an FDL block there must be many reusable blocks going in for rebuilds .
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
I didn't follow up on the 8.5 rebuilds but there seems to be more differences between the -8 and -9 USD units than I thought.
BDA
Being rather different, yes there was some differences. Might have something to do with Dash 8's being rough riding, slow pulling piles of crap according to the drivers.


However, the
AC44C6M's are technically just rebuilding Dash 9's into a better AC4400CW's, which have worked quite successfully for yonks.

Ps, Out of all the NS rebuilds apparently the SD70ACU rebuilds are apparently crackers.
  GT46C-ACe Assistant Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
A Dash 9 and AC4400CW are the same thing except between the cab and engine compartment and traction motors (to be very simple). Turning Dash 9s into AC44s is relatively easy compared to their Dash 8.5 program.

Doubt we'll see NRs becoming C44ACis.
  M636C Minister for Railways

I think all the recent DC to AC conversions in the USA used new FDL 16 engines fitted with electronic fuel injection.

I don't know if this is true for the NS "Dash 8.5" conversions, but I understand that program has been given up, at least for the time being according to the quoted thread in the "Trains" forum. I know one of the first conversions was derailed and badly damaged after only a couple of weeks in service.

Line boring is usually carried out on EMD crankcases after they have been welded to ensure every thing is still aligned properly. Since GE crankcases are cast and cant be welded, line boring is not required for them.NS have been rebuilding a lot of EMD 710G3 engines.

I'm pretty sure all the NRs got new engines, again with a later system of fuel injection.

Peter
  t_woodroffe Assistant Commissioner

Why are you welding an EMD crankcase during overhaul?
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
If an SD70ACu operates like an SD70ACe then yes it would be better . Only thing is that the 9043 version of the 710 16 isn't the same as the 70 ACe and from memory is down a couple of hundred horsepower .

The rebuilt NRs got different computers injectors and screen displays . From memory the original displays were based on late Dash 8 . I wouldn't be surprised if some of the retrofitted electronic equipment was borrowed from the Evolution parts bins .
93s are electronically different to 92s , and I suspect AC4400s , so using the most current gear makes sense .

I doubt very much anyone would try an AC conversion on an NR , they may look similar to a 92 or 93 but way too much is different and probably not cost effective . I reckon the best you could do to an NR would be to retrofit some kind of non pedestal bogie and if possible higher capacity traction motors .  

M I'm not prepared to say you can't weld an iron engine block because it happens reasonably often on automotive blocks if they're rare and expensive enough . Exotic materials and techniques yes , impossible no .
I'd still like to see pictures of FDL blocks with fatal fatigue cracks in them because you are the only person I've ever heard mention this . I've searched quite a few times over the years and come up with zip . I can understand locos getting engine exchanges to make the process reasonably quick but I don't know where UGL would have 120 in theory dead FDLs stored .
  GT46C-ACe Assistant Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
They wouldn't need 120 dead FDLs stored somewhere, GE still makes the FDL for export market (like EMD with the 710).

And the SD9043MACs give away their HP in the name, 4300hp like 2003-2011 SD70ACes. 2012 on ACes were rated 4500hp.
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
They wouldn't need 120 dead FDLs stored somewhere, GE still makes the FDL for export market (like EMD with the 710).

And the SD9043MACs give away their HP in the name, 4300hp like 2003-2011 SD70ACes. 2012 on ACes were rated 4500hp.
GT46C-ACe
Wasn't this the case for the C44ACi's since they also 7FDL's as well?

On this side note I can't wait for the SD80ACU rebuild program.... 5500hp 20-710's!!!
  fzr560 Chief Train Controller

They wouldn't need 120 dead FDLs stored somewhere, GE still makes the FDL for export market (like EMD with the 710).

And the SD9043MACs give away their HP in the name, 4300hp like 2003-2011 SD70ACes. 2012 on ACes were rated 4500hp.
GT46C-ACe
I think the point being made is if you put 120 new prime movers in the NR's, the used bits would need to be dumped some-where. Has anyone sighted a mountain(hill) of pre-loved 7FDLs at Broadmeadow?
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Obviously they would have gone back to GE in the US , being limited to 4020 hp they would not have had a tough life anyway . And again it's in the name CV40-9I .

As is now history the SD90MAC 43 was always going to be a good basis for a rebuild , much of the servicing would be similar to SD70 ACEs so easy to live with . Fitting the later cab and electronics in the nose brings it all together .
  QES111 Beginner

Why are you welding an EMD crankcase during overhaul?
t_woodroffe
EMD engines usually receive some welding during overhaul. Common areas of wear on the crankcase are the cylinder head seats, main bearing bore if it does not meet spec and numerous other areas that are familiar to EMD maintainers. the welded areas are then machined to standard size. You can keep an EMD crankcase going for decades unlike the GE which usually gets one overhaul before condemning.
  Radioman Chief Train Controller

Hello All ,

I get the impression from this thread that GE FDL engines are both cast iron and rebuildable like EMD's all welded steel fabricated engine blocks , is this correct ?

I am also under the impression that earlier GEs were not viable for rebuilding, at least in North America . If this is correct what did GE do with the FDL design to make rebuilding viable ?

Curious,

Regards, Radioman
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Why are you welding an EMD crankcase during overhaul?
EMD engines usually receive some welding during overhaul. Common areas of wear on the crankcase are the cylinder head seats, main bearing bore if it does not meet spec and numerous other areas that are familiar to EMD maintainers. the welded areas are then machined to standard size. You can keep an EMD crankcase going for decades unlike the GE which usually gets one overhaul before condemning.
QES111
I thought that we were talking about engine crankcases/blocks rather than engine parts?
(Or have I missed the point ?)
Either way this is not a subject on which I would wish to argue any aspect with T Woodroffe
  jmt Deputy Commissioner

Bit of heat on a 16-645 crankcase, illustrates EMD's welded fabrication

Sorry re the Spanish



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I44qjA_1mEA

Loco is an ex South African GT26C on broad gauge bogies with D75 traction motors

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_African_Class_34-600

ALL had 5, 9401-9405, transferred to Trenes Argentinos following ALL's Argentinian assets being seized by the Peronist's in June 2013
  QES111 Beginner

Why are you welding an EMD crankcase during overhaul?
EMD engines usually receive some welding during overhaul. Common areas of wear on the crankcase are the cylinder head seats, main bearing bore if it does not meet spec and numerous other areas that are familiar to EMD maintainers. the welded areas are then machined to standard size. You can keep an EMD crankcase going for decades unlike the GE which usually gets one overhaul before condemning.
I thought that we were talking about engine crankcases/blocks rather than engine parts?
(Or have I missed the point ?)
Either way this is not a subject on which I would wish to argue any aspect with T Woodroffe
YM-Mundrabilla
I am talking about the crankcase. The head seat is where the cylinder head sits in the crankcase. It has a bronze head seat ring that fits between the crankcase head seat and the cylinder head.  The head seat area of the crankcase wears if the power assemblies are not kept torqued to the correct specs at the appropriate maintenance intervals.
  NorthWest Locomotive Fireman

I can't seem to determine whether or not the AC44C6Ms have new FDLs or not, but I suspect that they do, or completely upgraded and rebuilt ones. Whatever was cheaper... These conversions are expensive, up to half the cost of a new-build AC4400CW, as NS is expecting to get another 20+ years out of them.

The reasons behind these conversions are twofold. The first was to ensure that if Tier IV locomotives were unworkable there would be a supply of effectively new power. This was the reasoning behind the Dash-8.5CW program, and when they were successful and the rebuild program suffered still-unknown teething issues, NS killed the program and bought ET44ACs.

The Dash-9 series is when GE finally matched the quality of EMD, so they are getting the first major successful GE rebuild program. GEs have not been rebuilt in quantity in the past because of quality issues in the early years, and a differing philosophy than EMD. GEs are cheaper, but are much less backwards-compatible with earlier models than EMDs. Furthermore, GE has been much more protective of its parts supply. EMD willingly licensed more of its technology away, to the point where (via M-K/Wabtec) GE builds/built EMD 645s in Poland! GE, though, made sure that they were the only ones to sell their parts, and when they stop, most of the models needing them die. The remaining Dash-7s on Class Ones all were retired within a few months in 2007 because of this. With the Dash-9 line this is different, and BNSF is also rebuilding their earliest Dash-9s as AC power. The AC44C6M program is a major life-extension program somewhat similar to what NS has done with SD50s (SD40E) and SD60s (SD60E).

GE has apparently picked up an ex-NS GP38-2, rumored to be used as the Erie shop switcher. Not sure that I believe that!
  NorthWest Locomotive Fireman

I know that this is tangential to the thread, but a few notes on the EMD rebuilds:

The SD90MACs' (710-powered, the 265H-powered ones were the SD90MAC-H and SD90MAC-H IIs) major struggle was the electrical system, which was substantially different from any 70 series model due to their building as H-engine convertibles. On the UP, Roseville and Hinkle hated them enough to always try to shove them onto the other shop's territory. The cab was replaced as the rubber gaskets in the originals were aging badly.

The SD80MACs are slated to become regular 16-710 SD70ACus, unfortunately.
  GT46C-ACe Assistant Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
The SD80ACUs will be keeping their 20-710s.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
NorthWest the thing with Dash 9s and AC4400s is that they can't be made new for use in the US and NS would have looked at the cost of upgrading Dash 9s vs the cost of new Tier 4 locomotives . Wonder what the upgrade cost looks like compared to a new ES44AC or SD70ACE-T4 .
From what I read the conversion is pretty straightforward compared to some . Obviously GE knew the production reality of having AC and DC versions of basically the same thing .

The 80 and 90 MACs were unique compared to any other EMDs , longer frame , larger capacity fuel tank , long wheelbase HTCRII trucks and from memory the biggest diameter traction motors .  
The problems with the 90MAC-H was not just the wiring , the history motor had plenty of its own woes . Plus cooling issues and a few mods to keep the fuel tank under the frame .

With Dash 8s I think the basis of an AC4400 wasn't really there . Shorter frame than Dash 9 with different bogies and I don't think they got the split cooling system . They may have had very early or even non electronic brake racks as well .
I did read about cab differences in the wide cab versions , it may not be practical to graft a currently certified crash worthy cab on a Dash 8 frame . Given enough time and money many things are possible but the operators are probably not short of tired easier and cheaper to rebuild Dash 9s .

At the moment the unknown factor is how well the Tier 4 units will stand up to long term use and remain emissions legal . No doubt maint costs will be higher with them .
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
NorthWest the thing with Dash 9s and AC4400s is that they can't be made new for use in the US and NS would have looked at the cost of upgrading Dash 9s vs the cost of new Tier 4 locomotives . Wonder what the upgrade cost looks like compared to a new ES44AC or SD70ACE-T4 .
From what I read the conversion is pretty straightforward compared to some . Obviously GE knew the production reality of having AC and DC versions of basically the same thing .

The 80 and 90 MACs were unique compared to any other EMDs , longer frame , larger capacity fuel tank , long wheelbase HTCRII trucks and from memory the biggest diameter traction motors .  
The problems with the 90MAC-H was not just the wiring , the history motor had plenty of its own woes . Plus cooling issues and a few mods to keep the fuel tank under the frame .

With Dash 8s I think the basis of an AC4400 wasn't really there . Shorter frame than Dash 9 with different bogies and I don't think they got the split cooling system . They may have had very early or even non electronic brake racks as well .
I did read about cab differences in the wide cab versions , it may not be practical to graft a currently certified crash worthy cab on a Dash 8 frame . Given enough time and money many things are possible but the operators are probably not short of tired easier and cheaper to rebuild Dash 9s .

At the moment the unknown factor is how well the Tier 4 units will stand up to long term use and remain emissions legal . No doubt maint costs will be higher with them .

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