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Originally Posted by bob2:

...

I know you did not specifically ask about steam, but I have a J1e Hudson that ran on my 2- rail track right out of the box.  I was not happy with its appearance, so replaced drivers, cylinders, main frame, motor, gearbox, and all wheelsets.  All I have to do now is get a factory reset.  It is a very nice piece, rivalling the 700E.

 Bob. E-mail me off-list regarding resetting that Hudson.

Bill, if you're doing an MTH enigne with the 3/2 rail option (all newer engines) it is a breeze- you can swap wheelsets out very easily by taking out the 4 small screws on each truck block, lifting off the cover and removing the axles/wheelsets. Next you drop in the replacements and put the cover back on- as easy as that.

 

Not sure about other manufacturers' engines as they are not made to do it quite as easy--

Here are a couple of my MTH engines that I converted to fixed pilots and full length handrails, an SD70ACe and AC4400. There are also step backs inside each area where the steps are- . I also changed out the sill stripes to a yellow that Microscale is selling that is close to reflective as I can find. I've done my fleet using these... more pics of a how-to coming as I do the next set. Although these are on 3-rail track, I also have the 2-rail wheelsets to run on 2-rail.

 

 

 

sd70

AC44

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  • AC44
I had to do the same thing on my conversion, or the plow would interfere with the kadee staying coupled on start/stops.
 
Originally Posted by Jeff78rr:

Clem, I do use the plows- what you'll need to do though is drill another hole close to the existing hole, then countersink it for the screw. Since it is going to create some overhang on the back side, trim off about 1/4" of the ends with a Dremel to prevent the truck sideframe from catching it.

 

I have the talent to make that end look like the real thing, but I would rathr work on steam models.  When this powerful locomotive is hauling a string of cars around the test loop, I do not notice the flaws in the pilot.

 

On the other hand, that Kadee mount is carefully machined from brass to completely fill the giant hole originally designed for lobster claw couplers.  These plastic models can be taken to any degree of realism an owner could want with minimum effort.

 

The MTH trucks that are redesigned for drop-in wheelsets are a great idea - just make sure your favorite Diesel or subway car has those truck blocks, and not the older ones.  The replacement of wheelsets on the original axles is not trivial.  It requires special pullers.  Drop-in is the way to go.

@Jeff: The drop in wheel sets sound great. I can work with the pilot. How hard is it to remove the lobster-claw couplers from the truck-pilot assembly? Is it screws or does it require some metal cutting with a Dremel?

 

BTW the part # for the 4-axle trucks is MTH part 20-89008 and its features are listed by MTH as:

 

  • (4) Scale Wheel Wheel Sets
  • Insulated Axles
  • All-Metal Wheels & Axles
  • Fully Assembled, Ready-to-Drop-In

Bill, the coupler is super easy- remove the shell, then remove the pilot. Next, turn the engine upside down. Remove the c-ring for the coupler with pliers, be careful with the spring popping- hold it securely. The coupler comes off the truck assembly. You'll need to follow the plug to the harness and unplug it. It comes out at that point, pigtail and connectors. Just follow the leads to unplug.

Thanks, Jeff. This sounds actually do-able!

 

I have had no reason to remove the shell on my MTH PS3 scale-wheel engine (but I should to do something about the red marker lights which look cool but are always on when the rest of the lights are on). I hope this is easy, too. I have found Atlas has too many screws, that seem to be in inaccessible places, to get their danged shells off. The first time I did an Atlas dis-assembly I think I unscrewed 1,000 screws. Of course, only 6 held the shell on.

 

 

 

Originally Posted by Bill McBride:

@Jeff: The drop in wheel sets sound great. I can work with the pilot. How hard is it to remove the lobster-claw couplers from the truck-pilot assembly? Is it screws or does it require some metal cutting with a Dremel?

 

BTW the part # for the 4-axle trucks is MTH part 20-89008 and its features are listed by MTH as:

 

  • (4) Scale Wheel Wheel Sets
  • Insulated Axles
  • All-Metal Wheels & Axles
  • Fully Assembled, Ready-to-Drop-In

Bill, I am looking at my MTH catalog right now and no offense but that is not the correct part number for a 4-Wheel Truck Scale Wheel kit, The correct part number is 20-89005. I recently put in an order at my LHS for the 20-89005 kit and after seeing your post I thought I ordered the wrong kit.

 

The 20-89008 is a 4-Wheel Truck Hi-Rail Wheel kit. These are the wheels that would come with a locomotive that has moving pilots.

 

Jeff, your conversions look awesome. There doesn't seem to be a lick of difference between your conversions and the factory MTH installation. Can't wait for the how-to!

Last edited by Hudson J1e

Not exactly on topic, but, I successfully ran my PS3 scale wheeled Rio Grande GP-35 on our club 3 rail layout pulling a short string of reefers.

 

I really didn't expect a scale flanged engine to take the curves on TUBULAR track.  But, it was no problem.  Ran fine for quite a while at a decent speed.  No sweat.

 

 The club layout has K-Line Shadow Rail TUBULAR track.  That particular loop of track has 120 inch diameter curves which I'm sure helped.  Also it behaved on our Ross numbered switches as I expected it would..

 

This means I can run it at home on my 2 rail layout in DCC and on the 3 rail club layout in DCS.  Awesome!!

Last edited by Austin Bill

@AustinBill,  that is great information and I think it is totally on point.  While this thread started as a 3 to 2 rail conversation, the performance of the PS3 is a key component of that.  The main reason I am looking as these Protoscale 3-2 and Protosound 3 engines is because they can be 2 railed and run on either DCC or DC for my home and club. 

 

Great experiement, thanks for trying that out.  I think the combined flexibility built in to these engines in Protoscale and Protosound systems is a key selling point and makes them adaptable to many different situations, without "open heart surgery" if you will.  

 

Chris

Jeff,
 
The locos look awesome!  I do think you need more BNSF hoppers!
 
Originally Posted by Jeff78rr:

Here are a couple of my MTH engines that I converted to fixed pilots and full length handrails, an SD70ACe and AC4400. There are also step backs inside each area where the steps are- . I also changed out the sill stripes to a yellow that Microscale is selling that is close to reflective as I can find. I've done my fleet using these... more pics of a how-to coming as I do the next set. Although these are on 3-rail track, I also have the 2-rail wheelsets to run on 2-rail.

 

 

 

sd70

AC44

 

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