This is my first model train I have built,(and maybe my last McKeen Car) and I would like some help with Ideas on how to power it.  I purchased a motor used in the engine in the starter sets made by Lionel.  I thought about buying a worm gear and mounting the motor vertically, but I have never done this sort of thing before and  one problem I have is that it has to be able to run on 036 track.  Currently it does, but I don't know the best way, because of no experience in this field of model making.  If I have to, I can cut out the sheet metal around the front king pin, and add a support to hold the king pin, but I am trying to stay away from that.  As you can see I experimented with a rubber band drive, yes I made that up, but sometimes as the train hit a curve, the rubber band would come off. 

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I don't think I would want to do that, I built the truck, since the original ones were custom made, so I would like to keep my truck.  I would not mind adding a bracket or something to be able to house the motor to the truck.

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Getting/fabicating the correct front truck has to be one of the peaks to be surmounted with these cars..great that you have done that.  Maybe a Marx mechanism that, as in

their cabbed diesels, turns with the front truck is workable, after engineering a gearing to drive the front axle.  Or possibly powering the rear truck, where complete mechanisms, with truck frames that can be modified, can be used.

 

 

??Another one of THOSE!!??  What you want to sell is not what I want to buy!

I meant to add...since you have the difficult to form body and unusual front truck

fabricated, you are over the big humps.   I hope others on here with more experience

powering creations, can offer mechanical suggestions.  An old choice for rear truck

power was that chain driven truck offered by Walthers for their gas electric kits.  There

must be something more modern than that, and applicable to three rail, out there.

??Another one of THOSE!!??  What you want to sell is not what I want to buy!

Very good to see you making the attempt to create a reasonable representation of the unique drive truck of the McKeen car.  Just plopping a body on a diesel drive is really an visually unsatisfying compromise.

 

I'll reinforce the the Old Goat's suggestion that you look at the NWSL and Q-car for powering ideas.  From NWSL you could get a Magic Carpet drive unit that might be built into that same truck w/o taking up excess space that would also fit under the floor neatly.  From Q-car you might be able to get a geared axle transmission unit with can motor that you might ber able to build into the truck.  Whether to put these into the power truck vs. the trailing is another decision to be pondered.


There are many mysteries in this universe, big and small. Like, why do clowns make us laugh? Why do we love puppy dogs? And why, why do little blue midgets hit me with fish?

My only problem is the price, I don't want to spend that much money, is there a worm gear I can purchase that, with a vertically mounted  motor, I can run the train at regular speed?  Also, I want this to be able to run on 036, so I have to have a motor less then an inch wide, an inch and a half long, with the axle one C.M. in from the back and height doesn't matter so much.  All I need is either a worm gear that works with the starter motor, or a gear box.  I tried making a gear box out of sheet metal but it didn't work well.  If you have any ideas about making a working gear box, I would like your idea.

 

 

Does Hollywood Foundry sell powered o scale wheel sets?

 

 

HF does not sell O scale trucks...it was just a suggestion for ideas.  You could contact him and inquire about a custom drive.

 

Also, check the Grandt Line Products website.  They offer transmissions that might work for your project. 

 

One of the direct style gearboxes from NWSL should work.  Dave at NWSL should be able to help as long as you provide him with all the details and measurements.

I looked at Q Car, NW Shortline, and Hollywood Foundry (which last went up to, but not beyond, S scale) websites, and nothing much has improved in the decades I have been looking for power for 1/4" 3 rail creations. (when I began, I was blown off by one of the above, which is now under new ownership, for wanting a three rail drive train)  On this site I have learned I am most certainly not the only person with such interest.  Bowser was only the source I found, for single and two truck traction chasses I could modify...(I am not sure they are still available from Bowser).  Q

car had one, that I saw, truck side frame stated as used by gas electrics.  (Walthers

and American Car Co. have made O scale gas electric kits....Walthers did provide

a power train).

There is no model train show that approaches the size of the three rail dominant York

meet, so....why is three rail ignored by these manufacturers?

 

??Another one of THOSE!!??  What you want to sell is not what I want to buy!

I would suggest a north west shortline gear box on the larger wheel axle...under drive and the motor in the floor with a flywheel. Being that the front truck wheels are different sizes you'll probably never be able to drive them both the same speed.

An amusing totally old school idea...and this is waaaaay left field, is the old athern HO scale rubber band drive system. You'd need a drum nearly as large as the large drive wheel and a front to back running shaft to drive it off of- a slightly twisted band connecting them together.

You know its a good kit bash or build day when there's alot of plastic shavings under the workbench - or- that I really need to clean up the floor again.

-Bob

Originally Posted by Old Goat:

One of the direct style gearboxes from NWSL should work.  Dave at NWSL should be able to help as long as you provide him with all the details and measurements.

This is probably your best bet in getting a gearbox that will fit into your drive truck powering the front wheel.

 

You might be able to use this from Q-car but it will take work and it's ~$100

You'll have to change the wheels - Q-car does not have anything to do with 3-rail - no interest in that market and has more than enough business; there's currently at least a  3-6 month wait for a drive truck and trailer.


There are many mysteries in this universe, big and small. Like, why do clowns make us laugh? Why do we love puppy dogs? And why, why do little blue midgets hit me with fish?

I don't know, most of these items will not work, although the Q-car one looks plausible, I think the 3-6 month wait is not the best.  I find it hard to believe that the part is so expense, considering that all there is a brass gear box, motor, and an axle.  I think I might try a Marx motor.  Precision scale should have a free downloadable catalog, if they want business like me.

 

I wonder if a belt drive could be rigged up from an old VCR drive?

Have you looked at all the drive parts available for RC cars?

 

Awesome job on the McKeen car so far BTW.

Andy

 

When they were passing out brains, I thought they said trains and I asked for a slow one.

I had an idea by the cylinder drive.  I would have a small pipe that is above the front axle, and would be powered by a motor width wise in the engine.  By doing that, the rubber band would always say vertical.  Although it would take some time to build, I think that is the best bet.  I have pulled apart both a VCR and a R.C. Car, but I don't think either have a good gear system.
 
 
Originally Posted by handyandy:

I wonder if a belt drive could be rigged up from an old VCR drive?

Have you looked at all the drive parts available for RC cars?

 

Awesome job on the McKeen car so far BTW.

 

Very nice job. If it were me i'd let the front truck be the dummy and consider powering the rear one which from the photos i've seen appears to be of a more traditional configuration with equal diameter wheels. Depending on the wheelbase needed i'd consider the power trucks used by Lionel on their RS-3's or the ones used by KLine on their S-2's. If either of those were of the correct wheelbase  you could simply grind or sand the side existing plastic side frames flat, and then using scraps of plastic and brass build up the detail of the side frames to replicate those on the McKeen cars on the flat surface you just created. If neither of those offered the correct wheelbase i'd search for an existing truck of the right wheelbase(probably from a passenger car with plastic side frames), and use the same treatment as above for side frame detail; then get the keyhole style can motor mount and motor assy. from any small "China Drive" loco; then send the truck and motor assy. to Frank Timko for gear installation on the axle. A piece of sheet brass with a key hole cut in it  and then screwed to the floor will serve as the mounting plate for the vertical can motor. I've scratch built a few projects using both these techniques. The drive of any project of this sort is always a problem, but why compound it by making that unique front truck the powered one, and why try to "re-invent the wheel", so to speak, if you can use and existing drive unit? Finally, i've tried the Magic Carpet and similar HO intended drive units and found they lacked the power needed to handle the weight of an O gauge loco.

Good luck and feel free to contact me by email if you have any more questions.

jackson

 

I just checked Fleabay - search motors under O Scale trains, pages 1 & 2 have some possibilities --this is what i'm thinking of http://www.ebay.com/itm/LIONEL...;hash=item232ea0da92 - Found on the second page.

 

Hope this reference doesn't violate any Forum rules

jackson, CEO, Not-So-Great Eastern RR, aka The Never Done Line

          Division of the Southern Adirondack Railway Cartel

 

 

Because the real McKeen Cars almost never hauled more than one trailer, ever.  So I don't need any more then the power to get it up a fair grade.  Also, it would be a lot harder to power the back truck rather then the front.  I have a exhaust pipe which was such a tight fit in between the wheels, that to make the 036 curve, I had to pinch the pipe in able to make the turn.  I don't think I can power the back wheels. 

In the photos i've seen the only part of the exhaust pipe that's visible is from the rear. Sometimes in modeling we have to make compromises and eliminating an almost never seen piece of underbody detail in favor of a simplified reliable power unit is common sense to me. Those HO power units will NOT work. If i can find the one with NWSL gears, etc. in my junk box i''l sell it to you for $10 so you can see for yourself!

jackson

jackson, CEO, Not-So-Great Eastern RR, aka The Never Done Line

          Division of the Southern Adirondack Railway Cartel

 

 

With the Bowser street car truck, and a whole lot of diesel trucks, street car trucks, etc., available,  I would think, in a DIY project, that powering the rear truck/finding a power truck, if you have the front one free-rolling, is  gonna be a whole lot easier than powering the unusual front one, compounded by the constraint of a sharp radius.

??Another one of THOSE!!??  What you want to sell is not what I want to buy!

Originally Posted by Bobby Ogage:

Consider coupling a powered passenger car behind the McKeen car.

Good call Bob, but that's if he runs a 2nd car...if he does want a 2nd car- that would be the way to go!

You know its a good kit bash or build day when there's alot of plastic shavings under the workbench - or- that I really need to clean up the floor again.

-Bob

I don't always want to run a second car behind, and the only trailer I would use for that, is a trailer that I already bought the trucks for.  I was looking at a k-line locomotive I have, and I noticed the worm gear has the same gear spacing as Lionel, so I think I will purchase a k-line replacement worm gear, and mount the motor vertically.  I would have enough room for the motor inside the hole in the floor.  I would have to then make an arm attachment from the top of the truck around the king pin, and up inside, enable to hold the motor.  Doing that, I would power the motor car like every other, and I would have not compromised any detail. 

 

What do you guy think?  Is there any problems you guys could see?

Yes, three immediately come to mind: 1) The tolerances between a vertical pinion gear and a horizontal ring gear are quite critical; do you have the tools to properly align these and are you familiar with the use of Prussian Blue and lapping compound? 2) The vertical play becomes more important with a leading truck opposed to a trailing one in the prevention of derailments, are you planning on building in a means of adjustment to get the amount of play exact? 3) The entire motor/drive/truck assembly will need to be mounted in a way to swing to horizontal tolerances of 1/32" or less (while holding this tolerance over all vertical motion) to prevent derailments (esp. through turnouts and while reversing). Do you have the tools to accomplish this?

I simply don't understand why you seem to want to further complicate this project by powering the front truck!?!?! if the reason is to adhere to the prototype then power it with a miniature gasoline engine!

jackson

 

jackson, CEO, Not-So-Great Eastern RR, aka The Never Done Line

          Division of the Southern Adirondack Railway Cartel

 

 

I do have the tools that can allow me to create a strong metal arm to hold, and adjust the position of the motor.  This arm is only attached to the truck, and will move freely up to down and side to side.  I don't want to compromise the back truck because the motor in the front allows for a partly lit interior, and the fan and smoke unit could be moved to the baggage section.

 

I pushed the motor car around curves and on a 036 curve, it works fine.  I will have to add a little weigh for added traction, but what I wanted to ask on this post is if there is journal box or something like that would make completing this easier.     

Madison, did you follow mwbs suggestion of looking up nwsl.com under drive units/carpet drive yet?..the flees aren't ready for release and haven't been for a while{darn it}.

 

You will note that the carpet drive is really 2 rail friendly, but that hardly limits it to 3 rail useage by using another truck as pick up leads for powering it.

 

You could get lucky and mesh the gears correctly as you last mentioned, but you could easily not get it right and toss you time and investments away in a few laps...it's a fairly precise thing to set gear mess and gear load correctly...bachmann has been trying to get it right for years{lol....oops}. If money is tight for you, do it right the 1st time even if you have to save for it. This carpet drive is truck hung, meaning you will need to support it via the truck side frames.

Another source sans motor is here-

http://www.protocraft.com/category.cfm?ItemID=168&Categoryid=16

You could mount that verticle with a motor depending on given height or lay it horizontal and use universal couplers to a motor.

If the 2 above don't appeal to you go with using a power truck assembly for the rear truck with the same axle spacing.

 

I admire your tenacity so far, but the "how do I set my own gears" thing might leave your engine sidelined.

 

I have used twin magic carpet drives on a G scale{boo-hiss, wrong site, I know} electric engine and it went along very nicely, but don't expect more than 1 spare car attached after that - and you'll want to keep that trailing car light just in case.   

You know its a good kit bash or build day when there's alot of plastic shavings under the workbench - or- that I really need to clean up the floor again.

-Bob

Madison, i too admire your tenacity, but.....

Did you check out Ebay and view the listing i referenced last night - only $16.00 delivered.

As far as lighting the interior goes, LED's attached to the roof will do the trick, and can be installed only over the area you want lit.

How does the smoke unit compromise the back section which is the passenger area?

When i built my first scratch built loco (a PRR O-1) i found out very quickly that gently pushing it around the track and through a few curves was a lot different than running a powered unit over several hundred feet of track and through a few turnouts. This was a reality check and resulted in me sending the chassis and power truck to Frank Timko for proper re-powering.

 

jackson

jackson, CEO, Not-So-Great Eastern RR, aka The Never Done Line

          Division of the Southern Adirondack Railway Cartel

 

 

Originally Posted by modeltrainsparts:

...Did you check out Ebay and view the listing i referenced last night - only $16.00 delivered.

 

jackson

Hey, hey, hey...don't hold out on the rest of us! A McKeen is on my to-do-list too.  

You know its a good kit bash or build day when there's alot of plastic shavings under the workbench - or- that I really need to clean up the floor again.

-Bob

I have bought Lionel trains from the EBay guy before, but I don't want to have to cut a truck in half, rather then just buy a gear box, like Burlington Route added a link to.  I think however, I would not have enough room for the gearbox the B.R. told me about, because it would have to turn it 90 degrees.  I think that that would be my best bet, but a little modifications.

 

I do think however the truck could make it work, but I don't know how to interchange the gears on a truck.

 

Bob - Burlington Route: This is the reference to a truck assy. i made earlier --

"I just checked Fleabay - search motors under O Scale trains, pages 1 & 2 have some possibilities --this is what i'm thinking of http://www.ebay.com/itm/LIONEL...;hash=item232ea0da92 - Found on the second page."

This was made with the understanding that the rear truck would be powered. i have a feeling the wheelbase would be pretty close to the rear one on the McKeen cars; unscrew and remove the coupler assy; grind flat the plastic side frame detail; build a prototypical looking side frame detail out of scrap plastic and brass and glue it to the power truck. Job done!

 

Madison -- The truck i referenced on Ebay was meant to be used as a complete assy. for the REAR. But you seem to like doing things the hard way in spite of the decades of scratch building experience that myself and others here have offered you in the way of suggestions. In the same search on Ebay on either page one or two were some gearboxes similar to NWSL ones; did you bother to look at those?

jackson

 

jackson, CEO, Not-So-Great Eastern RR, aka The Never Done Line

          Division of the Southern Adirondack Railway Cartel

 

 

Originally Posted by Madison Kirkman:

I have bought Lionel trains from the EBay guy before, but I don't want to have to cut a truck in half, rather then just buy a gear box, like Burlington Route added a link to.  I think however, I would not have enough room for the gearbox the B.R. told me about, because it would have to turn it 90 degrees.  I think that that would be my best bet, but a little modifications.

 

"Rookie"...I'm pokin fun at ya here...yes, the gearbox will have to be 90 degrees...now whether you put the motor facing straight up or on its side is up to you and your projects clearances...going to left field and splitting the difference you can 45 degree the motor too.  Your chassis/floor will need a hotdog type of cut out to clear the gearbox swing whatever it's orientation/angle and a strong pivot point from the opposite end of the gearbox...trolley guys do it all the time...{with their pole sticking up though}.

The easier way would be to find a twin axle power truck and put it on the rear truck, then all you'd need would be a single pivot point and a hole for the power leads{"most" have a center rail roller to tap off of}. You'd just have to find one with the same, or close enough, axle spacing.

You know its a good kit bash or build day when there's alot of plastic shavings under the workbench - or- that I really need to clean up the floor again.

-Bob

Originally Posted by Madison Kirkman:

... but I don't know how to interchange the gears on a truck.

 

"Don't" unless it's to a matching gear replacement. "Tolerances" change with different gear sizes! A given power truck is manufactured with the needed gear tolerances for what it came with from the factory...it's not so easy to just change gearing in any power truck unless it's the same thing as it came with...or I would've changed mine eons ago for slower running!

 

BTW- what is the rear trucks axle spacing- center to center...just curious?! Scale feet or real time inches- either measurement is fine. 

You know its a good kit bash or build day when there's alot of plastic shavings under the workbench - or- that I really need to clean up the floor again.

-Bob

MTP, you know the saying..."you can lead a ..."

Thanks for the lead, I've been avoiding that place for a while...it costs me money! I have the other sideframe version{and in grey}, but one of these days another one to power a weinermobile engine will be needed{I have alot of to-do projects}...those do tend to run on the wide side though since the drive motor is sideways.

 

Hey, I was once young and headstrong...now I'm not young anymore and cut the head strong to only days ending in "Y".

You know its a good kit bash or build day when there's alot of plastic shavings under the workbench - or- that I really need to clean up the floor again.

-Bob

Well, to answer B.R.'s question, the spacing is to scale, and the axles, center to center is right at 1 3/4", and the front on is 2 and 11/16".  The smaller wheels are 33" in real life, and the larger front wheel is 42". 

 

The only way I could use a powered truck for the back would mean I would have to cut a hole in the back or I find a motor truck that is skinny enough to fit the motor and  the gearbox.  I would have to have the truck about and inch or less in height, no more.

 

And one more thing, I may want to power the flywheel, so I ma at some point buy a small motor, like a small 1/2 long motor.  But for know I just want to get the car moving.

 

 

Madison, you can raise the truck bolster higher in the frame to account for any given drive truck you might find if that's an issue for use of it. Width of any power truck is something to consider too.

That auction you were shown- the power truck in question is the same as the one I have here; axle spacing at 2 1/4"...close! The motor though sits out nearly a 1/4" from the outside of the wheel due to the nature of its design.

 

I'd truely suggest the gear drives I showed you...I doubt highly that your going to find any other easy way aside from another type of power truck power truck{mth/lionel?}...sometimes things are close to scale for the sake of the finished project...rivet spacing and patterns, windows, trucks, body scuplting...how exacting to scale is in the eye of the builder.

 

You know its a good kit bash or build day when there's alot of plastic shavings under the workbench - or- that I really need to clean up the floor again.

-Bob

Is that O scale, or 2 rail O scale?  I like the 243HF, but at $120, I don't think I will get it.
 
Originally Posted by hobonorthern:

hi I don't know how far along this project you are right now ,But ETS trains in Czechoslovakia does make O gauge power trucks 

 

http://www.ets-trains.com/

 

Originally Posted by Madison Kirkman:

I don't know, most of these items will not work, although the Q-car one looks plausible, I think the 3-6 month wait is not the best.  I find it hard to believe that the part is so expense, considering that all there is a brass gear box, motor, and an axle.  I think I might try a Marx motor.  Precision scale should have a free downloadable catalog, if they want business like me.

 

The Q-car drive is the premier under the floor drive available - it's all hand assembled & tested and the demand for them is such that the wait is 3-6 months. 

 

Perhaps the challenges associated in your current project will put that into perspective for you.

 

As for PSC, I doubt that their gearbox would work in this application due to size constraints.  Some of the NWSL ones might be better suited.  I've built power trucks using their gearboxes where it did not matter to me if the motor stuck up into the the car body.  There was a good article about how to make those in OST a number of years ago, but I can't find it now.

 

I'll see if I can get a photo on a drive like that I have on my bench posted.

 

Another thought would be to adapt Weaver drive components into a drive unit.  That would be reasonably straightforward.

 

 


There are many mysteries in this universe, big and small. Like, why do clowns make us laugh? Why do we love puppy dogs? And why, why do little blue midgets hit me with fish?

Here's a possibility for you.

 

NWSL gear box and motor, Q-car pulleys and spring.  For a LWS kitbash of an MP-54 kit that I've been working on forever....


There are many mysteries in this universe, big and small. Like, why do clowns make us laugh? Why do we love puppy dogs? And why, why do little blue midgets hit me with fish?

Madison,

I have the following NWSL parts new (never run but test fitted):

#250-6, 25 to 1 Idler Gearbox, 3/16" axle

#251-6, 25 to 1 Gearbox, 3/16" axle

plus a few odd parts from a #495-6 universal coupler set

 

You can have it all for $10 plus $3.00 postage.

 

I'll be going into the hospital Monday 8/26 for a few days, and won't be able to respond after 12 P.M., but its not going anywhere. Let me know one way or the other.

jackson

jackson, CEO, Not-So-Great Eastern RR, aka The Never Done Line

          Division of the Southern Adirondack Railway Cartel

 

 

-mbw...nope, you can't 45 the motor....me, I woulda went with another 90 box and had the motor zip tied horizontal right over the truck..but I'm wierd so maybe thats not a good idea....doesn't that spring/belt rub on the truck bolster? 

 

Madison...dude, you should jump all over on that!

You know its a good kit bash or build day when there's alot of plastic shavings under the workbench - or- that I really need to clean up the floor again.

-Bob

I would like to know, out of curiosity, what an idler gearbox means.  And I like the Idea, although I will have to make it a 90 degrees to the truck, but otherwise, that is what I had as an idea from the beginning.  Thanks.

Originally Posted by Burlington Route:

-mbw...nope, you can't 45 the motor....me, I woulda went with another 90 box and had the motor zip tied horizontal right over the truck..but I'm wierd so maybe thats not a good idea....doesn't that spring/belt rub on the truck bolster?

Sure you can.  For the car that this is going into, I certainly can, and it's a pretty common practice for trolley freight motors where the motor won't be seen and it also lets you put a decent sized motor and flywheel in as well. 

 

Anyway, I just posted the photo to give an example of what might be doable.  I could have made the motor at 90 degrees, but then it's very unbalanced and front heavy limiting the traction efort from the second axle.  Horizonal over the truck presents some complications for mounting the drive to the car and making sure there's clearance and mounting space to the car bolster. 

 

No, the transfer spring clears, but just barely!  I made that bolster out of hte heaviest brass that would also work for that spring.

 

OTOH, the more I think about this though, the more I'd just adapt an old Weaver drive unit for this drive here.

 

I just got started on adapting a Weaver drive into the trucks for an IMP boxcab just to see if it could be done and to use the nice spoked wheels that IMP supplied with those engines.


There are many mysteries in this universe, big and small. Like, why do clowns make us laugh? Why do we love puppy dogs? And why, why do little blue midgets hit me with fish?

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