Adhesive for holding wiring inside an Engine Shell.....

Hi All;

I completed my first WBB conversion to Proto Sound 3. The engine (a GP-9) was running well then started acting weird. The engine developed a shudder as it ran down the track.

After taking the shell off I found what the culprit was. I had carefully routed the wires up onto the top of the inside of the engine shell using dabs of clear caulk to hold the wires in place. What I discovered was; there must be very little clearance between the top of the flywheel and the top of the inside of the engine shell because the flywheel had burned through the insulation of the front marker lights and number plate lights; shorting them out.

So now I'm in the processing of removing all the wiring for the lights from inside the engine shell (and held in place with dabs of caulk) and rerouting them around the two motors.

As you can guess, removing the wiring from the dabs of caulk is challenging. The caulk really holds the wire well!

I'm sure you're thinking "why in the world would he use caulk as an adhesive to hold the wires?!" Well....I was looking for an adhesive that was 1) safe to use with the engine's plastic shell, 2) safe with the wire's insulation,  3) would hold the wire well without coming loose over time and 4) would be easy to remove the wires from (like in my current situation). Caulk seemed like a good solution...at the time.

This finally brings me to my question. Do any of you have any ideas or suggestions about an adhesive or maybe a better approach to hold the wiring in place inside the engine's shell? I'm at a loss right now.

Junior

A DCS Operator

Original Post

I've done this exact same conversion and had a similar problem with the flywheel.

I used a low temp hot glue for keeping the wires in the shell and away from moving parts. When I had to come back in and move a wire, a small screw driver could break the glue free from the shell and it removed from wiring rather easily when needed.

 

H1000

Hey H1000! Thanks for the idea. Question re. the low temp hot glue/gun. Is the glue stick itself considered "low temp" or is it the glue gun itself that's set at "low temp'...or maybe both? As you can see.....I don't have much experience with low temp hot glue. The only stuff I've ever used was the "normal" (I guess in this case, "High Temp") glue gun/sticks. In fact (don't laugh), the hot glue gun I use was made my Craftsman (ie. Sears) .

 

Junior

A DCS Operator

I believe the answer is both. The glue sticks I have are labeled as Low Temp or Cool Melt. The Gun is a generic brand but the power draw is only 10 watts. I know the tip get hot to the touch but not hot enough to burn anything or melt wire insulation.

 

H1000

Excellent! I will have to pick a low temp glue gun and some low temp glue sticks ASAP.

BTW....would you mind sharing how you routed your wiring to avoid the motor/flywheel. I'm thinking if I route the wires via the inside corners of the shell's ceiling (where the shell wall meets the roof) and not directly over the motor/flywheel itself I'll be in good shape.

The flywheel diameter is 29.33 mm and the body shell opening over the motors is 33 mm. So...."plenty" of room :-).

Junior

A DCS Operator

I use hot glue on shells all the time.  An O-gauge shell is way too think for hot glue to cause a problem.

You must clearly always be mindful of where the flywheels are, adjusting clearances is one of the primary issues in wiring a shell.  Keeping the wires from getting pinched between the shell and the frame is also pretty high on the list.

Bondic

Cures in 2 seconds with the attached blue light.  You squeeze a little liquid on where you want it to be and hit it with the light.  Can be pried loose easily with a screwdriver.  Easy to reach tough spots.  This is the entire kit pictured here.

41ofV5dj8oL

 

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Here's a non-glue/caulk alternative.  These are self-adhesive (peel off the backing) wire holders.  I've used them on the top inside of diesel shells to route small gauge (or should that be large gauge number) wires to LED headlamps (~18 to 20 gauge).  What you can't see in the photo very well is that one side does open up - with some difficulty, so I've found it easier to pry it open and insert the wires before sticking it down to the inside of the shell.  In some cases, I ran the wire(s) along the chassis instead.  Not sure how many wires you are talking about, nor how 'stiff', but for a few wires (especially if they are stranded and thus more flexible) these seem to work ok.

I think I got these at my local ACE hardware store...

IMG_1704

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Soo Line posted:

Bondic

Cures in 2 seconds with the attached blue light.  You squeeze a little liquid on where you want it to be and hit it with the light.  Can be pried loose easily with a screwdriver.  Easy to reach tough spots.  This is the entire kit pictured here.

41ofV5dj8oL

 

+1 on the Bondic!   I us this when adding LED's to 1/43 scale police vehicles.   It's great for securing the tiny wires but the area has to be clean or it will not bond.   I normally use 70% rubbing alcohol and a "Q-Tip" cotton swab. 

Chief Bob (Retired)

Junior posted:

Excellent! I will have to pick a low temp glue gun and some low temp glue sticks ASAP.

BTW....would you mind sharing how you routed your wiring to avoid the motor/flywheel. I'm thinking if I route the wires via the inside corners of the shell's ceiling (where the shell wall meets the roof) and not directly over the motor/flywheel itself I'll be in good shape.

The flywheel diameter is 29.33 mm and the body shell opening over the motors is 33 mm. So...."plenty" of room :-).

Junior, this thread excited me to tear into this GP-9 and fix the marker lamps, so here are some pics of my install:

The rear motor in the narrowest part of the shell. I have tether that runs to a dummy unit where additional lighting and a large speaker reside. The wiring harnesses for the pickup rollers and tether run beside the motor, not above it. It's tight back by that rear motor, the connection leads for the can motor rub slightly on the shell sidewalls.

KIMG0556KIMG0557

Here are some interrror pictures of the shell and cab lighting. I keep the wiring tight to the roof and as close to the side as possible. At the top of the picture you can see the now removed marker lights. They are wired in series and the wire between them was rubbed by the motor. Time to replace the LEDs!

KIMG0558

I kept the wires tight to the roof until mid body to ensure they won't tangle with the motor or anything else when I b\put the shell back on the frame.

KIMG0559

Interior Cab lights:

KIMG0561

KIMG0562

Hope this helps! If you have any questions, please let me know!

H1000

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Wow Guys.....these are all great suggestions! I never realized there we so many options.

And you're right GRJ.....never in my wildest....would I have thought there was such little clearance between the top of the fly wheel and the inside roof of the engine's shell. But it was well worth doing this project just from what I've learned and from all the help I received from all you guys on the forum.

You guys are the best !

Junior

A DCS Operator

Junior,

Here is a picture of the dummy unit fully assembled. I upgraded this engine early last year as it was one of my favorites growing up. I was pretty well convinced that nobody else would ever make this paint scheme again which was my motivation.

KIMG0566

The shell is Lionel MPC, the frame / running gear is Williams (Rock Island GP9-217D), and the electronics are MTH PS3 (upgrade kit).

Last fall MTH introduced this in their 2019 Volume 1 catalog:

Oh well, it was still fun and even though mine won't look as good nor have all of the same features, I still like mine a bit more!

H1000

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H1000.....pictures sure are worth a 1000 words......Thanks for sharing!

Your work looks nice and neat! And I totally relate to the shell's tight fit over the motor on the rear of the engine. With that tight of a fit; I'm surprised that truck rotates as well as it does!

I can relate to your "eaten" LEDs.....I have at least 3 wires I need to cut, solder and insulate with heat shrink tubing; where the flywheel "ate 'em" . I just have to remember it could've been worse....i.e. a dead board!

Junior

A DCS Operator

H1000....there's nothing like having personal pride and knowing you did the work and did it well. Sure MTHs version might have a few more options but......yours.....you did yourself AND I'm guessing even with the cost of doing the conversion it came in quite a bit less that MTHs asking price. Plus......can anyone really tell the difference when your engine is running down your main line?  And I have to tell you....the paint schemes look darn near identical!

Junior

A DCS Operator

H1000 posted:

Junior,

Here is a picture of the dummy unit fully assembled. I upgraded this engine early last year as it was one of my favorites growing up. I was pretty well convinced that nobody else would ever make this paint scheme again which was my motivation.

KIMG0566

The shell is Lionel MPC, the frame / running gear is Williams (Rock Island GP9-217D), and the electronics are MTH PS3 (upgrade kit).

Last fall MTH introduced this in their 2019 Volume 1 catalog:

Oh well, it was still fun and even though mine won't look as good nor have all of the same features, I still like mine a bit more!

Nice work!

Sean

 

TCA 14-6985#

 

Buy me a ticket on the last train home tonight


I've tried Museum Wax, but it's not sufficient to insure long term security.  I've found that using fine wire, #28 or #30, and keeping it in the corner of the shell along the side clears the flywheels.  When I put my spots of hot glue, I just make sure I don't put one lined up with the flywheels to avoid any issues of the flywheel hitting it.  Also, if you're worried about the possibility of the flywheel rocking and touching the wires, just put a small section of heatshrink on that part of the wiring.

Another option that is less bulky is CA adhesive, but you want to be sure the wires are in the right place as it's harder to remove.

There is no "one right way", or one technique that always works best, usually there are different solutions depending on the situation.

I have enclosed part of our pavilion a few years ago and used a ZIP System for the walls.  It consisted of a green plywood sheet afterwards enclosed with a special tape.  The ZIP tape is one of the best holding powered tape I ever used in construction or for anything else.  It will stick to just about anything.  I have used small pieces of this stuff for holding wires  in the engines of my fleet.  Really holds but it is expensive.  If you know a contractor ask for a small bit and try it.  I have used this on my treadmill because the rubber was starting to split.  Wrapped it around the entire length and it still in use for over three years.   Here is a video for the stuff.

Stay frosty my friends,

laz57

TCA 03-55991

Two sided tape. More tape of any kind over that if needed.

Hot glue. Silicone/caulk. 

Elastic to pull slack out of the way like a screen door chain's spring?

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





   String looped strategically, to be pulled on, maybe even out by one end later, is a other installation trick from home/industry wiring runs we can put to good use if we remember to.   Wire pulling uses loops and thier gripping dynamics as tools as well.  Automotive/mechanical repair/assembly it has many applications as well.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





gunrunnerjohn posted:

I've tried Museum Wax, but it's not sufficient to insure long term security. 

I to have tried the Museum Wax with less than desirable results. After a few years it can become dislodged from the shell. I've also seen it leave a greasy residue on some surfaces.

H1000

Hi All......

I decided to go with the low-temp hot glue approach for fastening the wires inside the shell.

My technique seems a little lacking but the results seem pretty good....20190317_164331

20190317_164259

The pencil marks are about where the flywheels will be when the shell is put back on the engine's frame.

Thanks again for all the help and great suggestions. I'll post a video once I have everything buttoned up.

Junior

A DCS Operator

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Thanks GRJ! And as promised.....attached is a quick video of the finished upgrade. Now I'll run the engine a while, pull the shell off and make sure nothing's pinched or rubbing. I swear....the hardest part of the upgrade is gathering, organizing and tucking all those wires up under the shell without causing any problems!

Junior

A DCS Operator

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Videos (1)
videocompress-096-20190318_130838

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