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Individual Jordan Parts Individual Jordan Parts
On each Spreader, there are a number of parts that help the machine function properly. Here is a listing of those different parts and a description of them. See individual photo pages to see some of these parts on machines.

Telescoping Wing Braces & Air Locks

   When Jordan introduced the Standard and Type A lines in the 1920's, they also introduced new telescopic wing braces. These wing braces were a simple telescopic tube, with a gear rack on the top (or in the case of the hydraulic friction type, were a simple tube inside of a tube). On the Standard models, a rotating gear was mounted in front of the lock itself to keep debris off of the gear rack on the brace, used in conjunction with an air line to blow debris off. A modified version of this was used on the Type J Spreaders, which put the gear rack on the bottom side, thus using gravity to keep it clear. Both these Type J and the Hydraulic brace locks used an adjustable piece of Teflon on the top to wipe any debris off as the brace came in. Jordan wings, used with these brace locks were designed to work at an angle between 25° and 45°.    

These braces used a locking mechanism to hold the brace out and steady at the desired angle. Over the years, there were 3 main types of brace locks used.

Hydraulic Friction Locks- These locks used a simple friction block, powered by hydraulic to push down on the brace and keep it at the desired angle. Originally (on Type A machines, these were not used on Standards) this hydraulic pressure was furnished by a 17” air cylinder, which pushed a piston into an oil filled cylinder, thus creating 4,000PSI of pressure. One of these mechanism's were used for each side, and were mounted side by side in the read of the car under the deck. These locks were used for the braces only. These hydraulic locks were an option on Type J spreaders, but it seems only Southern Pacific was a user. Instead of an Air cylinder, they used a smaller hydraulic cylinder to push on the fluid chamber to create the pressure. In the recent Union Pacific rebuilds, they reproduced these locks for use on all of the machines. It seems these were better for use in snow service, thus allowing for faster wing operation under a load.

A close up view of one of the Hydraulic lock's. The original patent for the Hydraulic lock.
Click for larger view

Pneumatic Gear Rack Locks- This style of lock was the most common used between the Standard, Type A, and Road Master models. The pneumatic lock used an air plunger, which pushed down on a gear, which engaged the actual locking motion. These locks had a spring mounted inside, so the lock was always locked until air pressure was put to it and the plunger raised. This style of lock was the most common used on all Standard and Road Master machines, as well as most Type A's. These air locks were also used to control the locking on the Diagonal Bracing, some nose plows, and the bank sloper.

Side view diagram of the pneumatic brace lock
with gear assembly.
The same as viewed on a machine. Cut away view of an air lock. An air lock used for locking a bank sloper.
Click for larger view

Sliding Gear Rack Lock-The newest style lock was used only on Type J models. This lock uses a simple sliding key, which is attached to the lock that engages into the inner tube. A small hydraulic cylinder pushes this key to lock. The noted downside to this is that the wings can not be easily adjusted while moving.

A view of one of the newer hydraulic locks
on a Type J.
Cut away view of one of these locks.
Note the adjustable block on the upper Right.
Click for larger view

   The locks mentioned above were a remarkable step up from Jordan's original wing brace design. The original design used on the “Boxkite” machines used a gallows frame to raise and lower a fixed, telescopic brace that clipped onto the wing. The angle was thus adjusted before working by unbolting the brace, and sliding it in or out to the proper length. This was modernized slightly on the Knuckle Braced spreaders with the knuckle action, which still used a fixed angle, but the brace itself folded in the middle, allowing much quicker operation of the wing. More on this will be described in the “wings” chapter below.

Main Wing Diagonal Braces
The main connection holding the wings up is the Diagonal Braces. These braces run from the vertical posts to the wing ends. The braces on the original spreaders were small, steel beams with the only adjustments being manual (removing bolts, resetting). They were later revised with an air cylinder on the inside of the brace, which was used for movement, and a small air lock built into it. Some of these have reversed cylinders on the outside of the brace for an unknown reason.

On the Standard and Roadmaster line of Spreaders, the brace was built around the air cylinder. The brace also had the gear rack built into it with an air lock on the top. The air cylinder did not use any pressure to push the wing down, as it was pulled via the shear weight of it. The only pressure needed was to raise the blade and to power the air lock.

On the Type A spreaders, the diagonal brace was built on an A frame, and used a similar air cylinder to the standard models but it was a tube with a plunger, instead of the box like construction of the Standard line. However, this was revised into the same styling as the Standard line, with a more box like construction.

The Type J diagonal brace was similar in appearance to the Type A, being it was built off an A frame. However the Type J used all fabricated box tube construction with the cylinder mounted behind the brace.

See each models photo page to see photos of the different types of diagonal braces.

>Nose Blades
Jordans had a wide range of nose blades, each could be used for a different application. There was the low, ballast blade which was used for ballast work and can be used in ice service. This blade was very short and came to a small point. This blade was offered on the early models, the Standard 2-180 and 2-150 models as well as some roadmasters. An extension was avalible to spread material to each side.

One step up was the Low blade, which was triangular shaped, and one half could be swung forward at a time, allowing for moving material to one side at a time. This was also good for moderate snowplowing. This blade was offered on all Type A, Type J and some Roadmaster models. Some railroads often put flairs on the tops of these to deflect snow better.

A larger blade that appeared on some Roadmaster units and Type As was a medium height plow blade, which has all the features of the low plow but has a larger upper half and can handle more snow. The upper half of this was removable in the summer and offered a double track extension to interested railroads.

With the introduction of the front cab, a new set of blades came. One that was carried over from previous models was the low blade, which still offered one to move one half foward at a time. All machines with the front cab were based off this design. The other blades were a medium height blade which offered the user to swing an entire half foward at a time, not just the lower part. The final type of blade offered on the front cab machiens was a high blade, based off of the same low blade. This blade was capable of 16' drifts.

The other style of high blade was on the Standard Series 2-200 and 2-210, and was a large wedge plow. This was a fixed wedge, laid back at a 60° slope. Railroads had the option to remove the upper portion for summer time work or install a double track snowplow extension.

All blades wrapped around the front trucks and had doors that would open for inspection of the truck journals, with the exception of heavy duty constructed nose plows and early Type A's, which lacked these doors. The entire side half would be hinged out. Behind these side blades, were another small end wing. This was spring loaded and protected the area between the front plow and the main wing. The small ballast blade did not have this.

The blades were raised and lowered by means or either an air of hydraulic cylinder. On the early models, as well as the 2-180 and 2-150s, the side wraparound wings had a chain leading to the rear corners to make sure the entire assembly lowered evenly. This was replaced by a steel cable on everything else. These chains/cables were attached to a cross head at the cylinder so everything worked in unison. On the 2-200 and 2-210 models with the large angled blades, the cylinder was also angled back.

On all models, the nose plow featured adjustable shoes to allow the nose blade to cut below the railhead. These were able to be adjusted in 1" adjustments. On either side of the adjustable shoes were steel cutting blades. Early Type A machines lacked both of these as the front plow halves were single castings.

A note: Often railroads took it upon themselves to customize there blades to individual needs.

Carrier Wing
Another feature of the Jordan was the carrier wing. The carrier wing enabled the user to swing the Bank Sloper portion of the wing (On broken wing units only) to be swung forward and attached to a brace. This could be used to form a pocket and drag material along when ditching allowing fill to be spread in low areas. On the early spreaders, it was a simple beam attached to the front, and had limited adjustable points. On the Standard line, the new brace was air operated and allowed the user to set up the wing in different angles. This brace featured an air lock to hold it, and was a simple tube like construction. The upper portion of the blade was attached to the Vertical Post and stored on a bracket on the Diagonal Brace when not in use. A similar setup was used on late Type A and Roadmaster Spreaders. On the Early Type A machines, The carrier wing was mounted on a large framework in the front of the car. This limited ditching as it would get in the way and many roads removed theres. On the Type Js, the carrier wing is used in the same way, although the brace is now attached to the top of the wing instead of the Vertical post, and also uses the hydraulic cylinder usually used to control the bank sloper, moved down to seperate brackets instead.

Ditch Cutting Castings.
One of the summertime uses of the Jordans were to Cut Ditches. To do this, Jordan came out with custom castings would would be built to any railroads roadbed specs. These castings bolted right onto the main wing on the older series. On the Type A, the casting would be moved to behind the wing and the operator could now raise or lower the casting by means of an air motor driving an ACME screw connected to the casting. A similar settup was used on the Type J, however it was now a hydraulic cylinder providing the up and down movement.

Ice Cutting Teeth
One thing that has not ultimately changed on all Jordans were the Ice Cutter Teeth. The teeth were mounted in a solid steel channel, with many manganese teeth witch were adjustable. This casting bolted right onto the front blade. The teeth are able to rip out solid ice up to 24'' thick.

A close up view of Ice Cutters mounted on a Knuckle Braced machine. From the collection of John C. LaRue Jr.

Main Wings
The part that made the Spreader a Spreader was the main wings. Each wing features telescopic braces to hold it from behind, and to open and close them either an air cylinder or hydraulic cylinder to open and close them mounted behind the wing. On the early Type A spreaders, these cylinders were mounted in front of the verticle posts. On early knuckle braced machines, the wings were open and closed with an air cylinder pushing down on of the braces, thus folding them outward.

The two main types of wings are Broken and Straight. The straight wing spreaders are good for spreading large snow drifts, and also spreading large amounts of ballast or rip rap. Over the years, there were many different lengths of wings offered depending on the machine and owner. The broken wing spreaders could do virtually anything. The end section had the adjustable Bank Sloper which was adjustable in 6 different positions and an air lock in the rear to hold it steady. Articulation is by a air cylinder with a cable attached to it, or a solid mounted rod on later machines. The Type Js used a hydraulic cylinder instead. The bank sloper could be used in a wide range of duties including spreading snow and ballast, and cutting uniform ditches and roadbeds. At the front of the blade, was a fully adjustable ballast toe line cutter, and when lowered could cut ballast away to the end of the ties. Also a small ballast Carry Wing could be added so as to not disturb ballast when ditching. Ballast scarifying rods were optional on the rear side of the wing.

Operator Cabs
Jordan used a few different cab designs over the years. On the original spreaders, there simply was no cabs at all, and the controls were out in the open. Early Jordans were offered with a simple wooden cab. Jordan introduced a cab on the Standard series, which was a large box like structure. This cab was 3 feet above the deck, which increases visibility in all conditions. The cab is insulated, and all welded construction. Also featured are sliding windows on each side. The control manifolds were now protected from the elements and were neatly lined on each side. Select machines also have heating stoves in them. This cab was used on all Standard Series Spreaders, and Early Type A Spreaders. Later on, Jordan introduced the new Front Cab in 1955. This cab greatly increased visibility all around, and had the wing controls at each rear corner. This cab was used on later built Type As, Roadmasters and all Type Js. Original front cabs used fold out style windows, and look have more paines then the later ones with sliding windows. Since the cab was so spacious compared to the old ones, some rail roads chose to add control stands in them. A few railroads also built there own cabs for there Jordans. Southern Pacific added enclosures onto most of there Type A machines, and the Alaska Railroad added one to a Type J after a derailment. Often railroads customized there cabs with lights, horns, bells and windows.

Vertical Posts
On each Jordan, vertical movement of the wing is handled by the vertical post. This is mounted just in front of the cab. The up and down movement is controlled by a downward acting cylinder on early pneumatic machines, or an upward acting one on later models. The Type A machine used a tubular vertical post assembly with an upward acting cylinder. On the Type J the vertical post is square tube, with round bearing blocks on the top and bottom to provide movement.

See the Jordan photo detail guide for photos of many of these parts.