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61568124421__708E0017-F365-4EC1-8C30-3627224C52FC61507588410__65F981A2-AD55-4C30-BCAD-E63DA797B2447AD09056-E7A8-4307-BC13-B97D05084B1EI picked up a Wolfer brass E44 model from a friend, that was in pieces. In planning a restoration of the model I decided to re-motor the drives in addition to a repaint, decaling and detailing.

The drives were truck mounted small open frame Pittmans, which were replaced with can versions. Additional pickups are being added to the trucks.

The body was stripped for proper repainting and a decal maker contacted about correct decals.

Here are a few progress photos of the project thus far. Which I am doing on spec.

Will add more as I progress

 

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Last edited by PRR Man
Original Post

Those motors look like Pittman 8000’s, most likely due to space constraints of the E44 otherwise I’m sure Bill would have used the 9000 series as he did in the GG1 and FF2 of which I have several versions.  I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the Pittman motors in my models were ball-bearing equipped and assume yours are too, pretty forward thinking for that era.   My Uncle was an engineer for the PRR and while the GG1 was his favorite, he once told me that the E44’s were very reliable motors but that during the winter months, the cab heater wasn’t worth a hoot.   Looking forward to seeing more brick pics.

Last edited by PRR 5841
@bob2 posted:

I think he said they came with open frame.  I knew Bill, but never owned a complete Wolfer anything.

I used to use 9000s, always with ball bearings, but now exclusively use rare earth bb 8000s - in everything right up through giant cab forwards.

I started a new thread about Bill Wolfer so as to avoid thread-drift here.  Please contribute if you’re so inclined.  

Considering all the negative comments out there about 2 motor drive setups (as in China drives) as opposed to single motor horizontal drives, how did these perform? I've never heard/seen anyone comment on the Wolfer drive. Obviously it was done to improve running. I guess the question is, why were two motors better back then and not now, and are you staying with the two motor drive to stay true to the original spirit of the loco?

I remember seeing Ed Duddy (very nice man) with them over at York. Any idea if anyone took over the line after Ed passed?

Not a well known fact, but Ed was the guy behind ME code 148 flex. The earlier pieces were stamped "House of Duddy" on the plastic ties.

I don't recall CB doing these locos....was the body done by Alco?

Looking forward to more on your project.

Simon

Simon, I cannot speak to why Bill Wolfer used a twin motor-in-truck design. The E44 is a long engine with a narrow body. Getting a single horizontal drive and towers in the body probably would not work. I suppose a single drop-down tower and 'tank drive' shafts could have worked. I have no idea.

As can be seen in the photo above, I only changed motors, not the driveline.

@PRR Man posted:

Simon, I cannot speak to why Bill Wolfer used a twin motor-in-truck design. The E44 is a long engine with a narrow body. Getting a single horizontal drive and towers in the body probably would not work. I suppose a single drop-down tower and 'tank drive' shafts could have worked. I have no idea.

As can be seen in the photo above, I only changed motors, not the driveline.

I believe post CB, Ed Duddy (House of Duddy) picked these up along with the EL-C/EF-4/E-33, he would offer them both as kits and assembled; this Duddy built example sports a single can in the car body driving CLW towers. For me the knock against the older Wolfer Chain drive is the fiber axle gears would get brittle and break teeth.

A late colleague of ours, Eddie Chamber's did some of the painting for Ed on these, as I recall he used the Champ Blue Ribbon sets for the E-44's, the lettering and heralds both are unique to the E-44 size and color-wise, so I get why you want to have them custom printed. As an aside, according to Eddie the Virginian scheme was the most popular on the E-33 in terms of orders.

 

 

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Last edited by atlpete

I put the engine's driveline together in the body along with a NCE decoder and tested the setup on my test track last night.

Here's a quick and dirty phone video of it running on rollers. Sound gets very amplified from rollers, the hollow body (without the bottom piece), the hard wall surface and wood rack above. The engine is not that noisy.

I went to the Cherry Valley club today to run it around the layout. Teaser: I'm very pleased. Videos to come!

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Videos (1)
E44 roller test
Last edited by PRR Man

I went to the club, Cherry Valley, today to run the engine around the club layout and test it's pulling power.

Wowee! I had no idea the engine would perform so well. I had a coal train in the yard, it's regular power units in the shop for upgrades. I attached the E44 to it and I was surprised with its pulling. The club has a 2.8% ruling grade of 30+ feet. Plus a 12' diameter helix of similar grade. It handled them with aplomb.

When I went looking for Pittman can motors, I needed smaller cases. The new motors happen to be 24V. The layout is between 17v-18v. It appears at the reduced voltage the engine is in a higher torque band compared to top voltage in a 12V motor. An aspect that seems to contribute to drawbar pull.

Another video:

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Videos (1)
E44 club 1
@atlpete posted:

I believe post CB, Ed Duddy (House of Duddy) picked these up along with the EL-C/EF-4/E-33, he would offer them both as kits and assembled; this Duddy built example sports a single can in the car body driving CLW towers. For me the knock against the older Wolfer Chain drive is the fiber axle gears would get brittle and break teeth.

A late colleague of ours, Eddie Chamber's did some of the painting for Ed on these, as I recall he used the Champ Blue Ribbon sets for the E-44's, the lettering and heralds both are unique to the E-44 size and color-wise, so I get why you want to have them custom printed. As an aside, according to Eddie the Virginian scheme was the most popular on the E-33 in terms of orders.

 

 

Pete,     There is a picture of Bill Wolfer and Ed Duddy shaking hands to mark the sale of Bill's stuff to "House of Duddy" in an old issue of  the late "O Scale News". As I mentioned earlier in this thread, I remember seeing Ed at the TCA York meet and he had ALL the stuff he had gotten from Bill there, and a cast  Aluminum shell GG1, which I think was an Alexander. Guessing the Bill had sold all of his Custom Brass GG1's before the transaction. 

Love to be able to go back and speak with Ed knowing what I know now, as  I was just starting out in O back then.

Simon

Sorry I'm late to this thread.  I also cannot see your first picture, it says "Image not found."

Yes, my experience agrees that 24V motors usually perform better than their 12V counterparts, especially if the drive isn't geared super-low.  The reasons are complicated, but you're definitely not imagining it.

I'm guessing that you transferred the worm gears from the original open-frame motors to the new ones.  This could be tricky- one could easily damage the worm or bend the new motor shaft trying to press it on.  Any tips?

Great job, thanks for sharing!

Last edited by Ted S

The missing image of the bare body is shown further down in the thread.

I reused the original worms and had Joe Foerhkolb drill them out for me. His equipment is a bit more accurate than mine. They are a slight friction fit and held fast with Loctite. After I got them back I needed to drop the worm down the shaft a bit. This was accomplished by applying some heat to loosen the Loctite. Once it cooled it held fast.

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