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Stripping the Gears - 21 September to 3 October
Brian Wilcockson, Jon Crocker and Steve Broadhurst, set about opening the right-hand side gear box first.
The gears were inspected. The wear on the gears from the first 23 years (middle image) is still evident as a groove along the full length of the teeth. The wear on the reverse side (next two images) is obvious with severe pitting of the teeth.
The gears were then removed.
The bearings on the new gears were put in place.
Robert Semlitzky, Senior Project Engineer from SKF Australia, supervised the bearing replacement.
The new gears were then put into the gear box. Ollie Dowd, from Narrabri, was present to give a hand.
Next, the left-hand side gear box was stripped. First, the resetter box was carefully removed by Andrew Hunt.
The gears were removed. Some rust damage on the bearings was evident.
Before the lid was placed back on the right-hand side gear box, oil was pumped over the gears.
The gears were then run for several hours. A drill was used to turn the gears.
Next, the same was done on the left-hand side gear box.
Jon Crocker painted the gear boxes prior to them being re-installed on the telescope.