writing this while I have the time. Pics to follow!
I always liked the MTH and the Atlas MP15AC model switchers. I missed out on the Atlas and I run everything thru DCS so that's the engines I bought. Trouble is that all MTH RK models are 3 rail only. I considered swapping parts between the brands but never attempted it. I bought a couple of older Atlas 2 rail switchers and there's another story...
Sometime back I got my hands on a pair of MTH 3/2 2 axle trucks. At that time I didn't know what engine they had come out of. I put them on the shelf for future use. Our grandson inspects everything I do or will do in the future. He found the box with the trucks and asked what they were for. After telling him about the several MTH switchers that would get converted someday, he told me that day had come! He also decided we would 2 rail the newer PS3 SW1500 against my better judgement.
So with all the other projects going and ones waiting in line for attention, this is now my project. I got the trucks out and searched for how to connect power. I couldn't get any results from the MTH product locator for parts as it appears to be down again. I was thinking the trucks fit a GP style engine. Searching around the basement and comparing trucks, it appears these extras maybe from a U25B? or similar 4 axle MTH engine. I was surprised that each model I have may have different trucks.
So I made some mistakes comparing the stock trucks to these thinking they were the same, just set up for 2 rail. They aren't quite set up fully or correct. I got lucky in that they will work. For some reason each truck is different slightly. The lead or front truck (marked with a F sticker) had a removable three rail coupler tang! That will come in handy later for clearance body mounting couplers. The other "R" truck has that tang casted as part of that truck.
I also found out quickly that I didn't get any power transfer. To the point, there's no plunger assembly getting power from the wheels to the hot leads. They have 2 rail wheels but are actually set up for 3 rail! The red wire leads were dead. They were connected to where the roller pick-ups would be mounted in 3 rail.
With no parts available right away, I made my own plunger assemblies. I cut 2 short lengths of solid #12 copper wire a little longer than needed and soldered flex leads onto the sides of them. I slid them into the correct place so that they touch the trucks bushings on the insulated sides. I made a rectangle out of plastic and drilled two holes in it. One is for that wire lead and the other is where the mounting screw goes thru. I had to cut side notches to allow the motor mounts to fit by. I tighten down these plastic pieces to put tension against those solid copper wire pieces inside the trucks.
I put them on the engines and quickly wired it up. I made a mistake and didn't realize that one truck is reversed. After popping a breaker to the track, I rewired so that the pick-up wires on the front truck are reversed. Wham! It runs!!!
Next, fixing pilots and mounting couplers. I'm going to attempt using the Atlas electro couplers again, this time on this model. Our grandson wanted a dedicated yard switcher and I guess the four (road engines) I already have aren't to his liking.