Part 1 – Chassis Mods

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01Sentinel Construction Part 1

A trip to Bramcote in Warwickshire took place at the end of January 2013 to collect the main chassis kit from the EE during some rather wintery cold and icy weather! Before going I had to make up a heavily constructed wooden ramp fitted into my car on which this kit could be carried safely back to Norfolk. A friend was organised to come with me to help which was just as well since we did experience some small problems at the time. Having loaded the chassis down the ramp it was secured using heavy duty tie down ratchet straps down to the floor of the car. I had also ordered a couple of extra buffer beams to be cut to my specification which could be added in order to extend the length of the engine to suit my requirements. Bringing it home
Although the traffic was heavy we trundled back at a nice steady pace ensuring that we kept plenty of distance from the traffic in front! Despite the zero temperatures many were seemingly driving without any concerns of the warnings of black ice!

Once back home the chassis was extracted from the car onto my heavy duty maintenance platform / ramp which I use to maintain my M7 locomotive doing bogie servicing and removal. This ramp can be raised from about 300mm height up to 800mm height to suit and clear the car boot ledge. Unloading it by this method made it safe for me to handle all this weight without any extra helping hands.


Four bits of mild steel “U” channel were obtained from a steel stockists at Grantham, being cut to order to the required size, these were then offered up to the chassis and marked out for drilling and fixing to the chassis plus the new extra buffer beams had to be fitted. The spare new buffer beams had been ordered with the engine chassis kit and only needed cleaning up drilling and fitting.

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The new buffer beams were marked out and drilled for 10mm socket head cap screws to fix onto the 100mm “U” channel extensions which would then bolt onto the existing buffer beam ends using 10mm hex.head bolts. This made the new chassis length (was 1170) an extra 220mm longer at 1390mm long. The bare steel “U” channels and plates were cleaned up and given an undercoat of grey enamel paint prior to marking out and drilling.

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The extensions were clamped onto the existing buffer beams and lined up square before marking through the position of the bolt holes.

  • 4 square blanks were cut to form the base of the buffer head stocks.
  • 4 buffer barrels were then cut and welded onto the base bits.
  • 4 blanks and 4 stubs were cut for the large buffers, these were then welded to form the heads which were turned in the lathe.
  • 4 short heavy springs were inserted into the barrels before fitting together and bolting onto the buffer beams.

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The process of making these fittings being to rough them out leaving a small amount of metal on them so as to tidy them up with a finishing cut. In fact some of the welds needed re welding and capping and cleaning up to give a better result to the finish.

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