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  Weaver RS-3's were produced with at least three different drive trains.  The first version featured a single horizontal Pittman motor with a center center tower in the fuel tank. Shafts went out from there to each truck.  The second version also had a single horizontal Pittman motor with a delryn chain tower on one truck.  The second truck was connected to the tower truck by a long prop shaft that passed through the fuel tank.  The third and I believe last version was powered by two vertical motors (a.k.a. China drive).

   The horizontal motor drive Weavers were generally smooth runners until as sometimes happened an axel gear or chain sprocket cracked.   I had at least 5 axel gear failures on RS-3 and ALCo FA-2/FB-2 Weaver diesels over a span of several years.  Back in the Bob Weaver era he'd send out replacement parts  at no charge.  Today replacement parts manufactured to a higher standards are available from P&D and possibly NWSL.

Usually you can tell if a Weaver horizontal motor drive has a split gear or chain sprocket by if it runs smoothly at at very slow speed.  Without a test track you may be able to spot problems by rotating the lower drive shaft with your fingers.  If there is a split part you should be able to feel a slight "hitch" at a point in the rotation.

 

The single motor drives are very easy to repair.    P&D hobbies has replacement drive train parts.   NWSL has geared axles with different gearing.   Not sure if they have other parts.    P&D does mail order.

My suggestion is if you like the single motor drive, and find one with a broken gear or sprocket, don't turn it down.    Make your purchase offer accordingly knowing you will have to do some repairs.

Also P&D has other Weaver parts such as hand rails and windows.    I think they also have brass replacement detail parts for railing stantions and whatnot.

Ed

Thank you for that info: I now know my example is the second-run. It came to me as a three-rail model, so changing out the wheel sets, etc. was a "no brainer". Also fairly easy to do. I found the most difficult part was popping off the side frames; it takes patience (and don't force anything...) 

I would suggest that any time one purchases second-hand a Weaver of this type, (or one of the Austrian-built Atlas diesels), changing out the wheel sets (with gears) should be pretty much automatic. At around $50.00, (from NWSL) it's well worth the time and $ involved.

Mark in Oregon

 

May be the last issue of Weaver RS 3's, there was no cab detail.  Some came with EOB electronics, (3 rail China drive).  Some of the very early models would have better hand rail detail.  Other issue is that the overall body width was altered to accommodate electronics.  Some of the  modern RS 3's un-sold at Weaver may have been sold to Atlas along with the molds. Foggy head thing, I could be wrong, and often.  Atlas had offered RS-3 in their Trainman Line.  IMO   Mike CT.

Mike CT's photo of his  dual motor RS-3  provides the opportunity to point out an easy spotting feature of China Drive Weavers - side mounted handrail posts.  The single motor Weavers had somewhat fragile plastic handrail posts that mounted to the top of the walks like the ALCo prototype.  Coincident with the adoption of the dual motor drive,  Weaver revised the RS-3 body tooling to use more rugged side mount handrail posts.  

A large number of parts are available to upgrade the body details on Weaver RS-3's  from P&D, Bowser/Cal Scale, and  Precision Scale.  These parts include cab interiors, hand rail posts, fan loovers, horns, markers, bells,  headlights, and even PRR train phone antennas.

IMO used Weaver single motor RS-3's offer a lot of modeling potential at a relatively low price.

 

Last edited by Keystoned Ed
A large number of parts are available to upgrade the body details on Weaver RS-3's  from P&D, Bowser/Cal Scale, and  Precision Scale.  These parts include cab interiors, hand rail posts, fan loovers, horns, markers, bells,  headlights, and even PRR train phone antennas.

IMO used Weaver single motor RS-3's offer a lot of modeling potential at a relatively low price.

Yes.  A very reasonably priced entry to O scale that can be modified and detailed with a very large array of parts.  One of the great counters to the oft times presented myth of O scale being too expensive.

I came to the right place to ask. Thanks, everyone.

When Matt Forsyth told me that it was a horizontal drive Weaver RS-3 he was using for his decoder demonstrations .... I saw what I liked .... and I immediately started looking for one. I'm glad I asked here before buying this 2-Rail on eBay last night ......

weaver

 

 

mwb posted:
A large number of parts are available to upgrade the body details on Weaver RS-3's  from P&D, Bowser/Cal Scale, and  Precision Scale.  These parts include cab interiors, hand rail posts, fan loovers, horns, markers, bells,  headlights, and even PRR train phone antennas.

IMO used Weaver single motor RS-3's offer a lot of modeling potential at a relatively low price.

Yes.  A very reasonably priced entry to O scale that can be modified and detailed with a very large array of parts.  One of the great counters to the oft times presented myth of O scale being too expensive.

Yes .... that is exactly what I want to do.

Matt

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A  Bowser PRR Radiophone Antenna set added to a Weaver U25b.  Also electronics upgrade with marker lights added. 

Another Bowser  PRR antenna add to a set of Weaver E8's.   Windshield wipers and front lift rings also added.

Weaver Pennsy U25b was $100.   The Pennsy E8 set was a little over $200.  Both wonderful projects.  

 

 

Last edited by Mike CT
prrhorseshoecurve posted:

....... If your purchased unit looks like this photo then:

  • is the later production Weaver RS3 with "china drive". 
  • the pilots are separate from the body[ not color variation of pilot and body

Just pointing this out to you

The earlier shaft drive version would have looked like this: ......

Yes ... that's what I was trying to say. Thanks to you folks .... I realized that the eBay RS-3 I posted had the "china drive," so I did not bid on it last night.

(BTW, it sold for $178 after 12 bids)

Thanks, again.

Last edited by Matt01

Matt

You done good!

I think I paid around $100 for mine; once again, it was set up for 3 rail, but was/is an earlier release with the horizontal Pittman motor. After spending an additional $45 (+/-) on a set of NWSL 2 rail wheel sets, and about 2 hours time, it runs very smoothly, and "looks the part", too!

IMG_20161231_144333535

My point is, after all that, I still came out ahead ($ wise) of the example you didn't bid on. So perhaps you shouldn't limit your search to strictly 2 rail examples...

Mark in Oregon

PS: I also did this with a Weaver GP38-2...and with the same results! 

IMG_20161231_144655647

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Last edited by Strummer

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