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Central Locomotive Works made a kit that used their Alco side frames.  They show up occasionally at train shows and auction but it's really hit and miss.  I have two of those and they run well, but they do have the Alco trucks. Not really practical to use flywheels on the motors, too little room.

I have modifed one using a Weaver drive (the P&D is basically the same if you get one without sideframes).  You have to figure a way to use the Rivarossi side frames off the trucks.  They are plastic not delrin like the Weavers were so you really need a bearing or it is going to wear out.  I have tried a lot of different things, currently I am using 3/32 brass tube as a bearing surface.

I did another one with Mashima motors replacing the Rivarossi motors.  I powered both trucks.  That works OK and was the easiest of the modifications.  I plan to sell that one as it doesn't match the others.

Finally, what I am using now and I really like is the I use an All Nation drive with Lionel FM truck side frames.  I made a drill template out of styrene and put NWSL brass bearings in the trucks.  You could also drill a slightly larger hole and use the ball bearings that the RC car folks use.  I made the truck bolsters from styrene and used all wheel pick up.

I've posted some of this on the forum, it never attracted too much interest.  I expect there are others who have more experience than me.

Feel free to contact me (my email is in my profile) if you have questions.  Good luck!

This is the All Nation.  The ones I've seen have the wrap around pick ups like shown in the first picture although that one has slipped off.  They use the stock sideframe.  The frame was extensively modified and had an aluminum angle for weights.  I replaced the weights it came with and used the stick on type.  I wonder is this was some type of 3rd party kit.


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As I remember, or if I remember correctly there used to be adds from ALL Nation for a kit for this convertion. Ive also seen the AHM C-Liner converted with the three wheel or C truck at the rear by modifying the original AHM plastic side frame and using the ALL Nation kit. This could be done with Centrals Alco PA trucks as well and Central had a kit for that too. I would show pictures but alas....           cTr.... ( Choose the Right )

I debated with myself about adding the photos of how I repowered an FM C- Liner since mine was for 3 rail but a friend pointed out the China Drives are available in two rail also so I'm adding just the photos without any explanations.  I think the photos answer most questions however if anyone has questions feel free to ask.          j


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@Greendog posted:

John, I am actually trying to do a three rail version. If you can tell me whose China Drives you used and what is the metal chassis piece taken from??? Thanks...Your photos are great!!! Greendog/Pete

Greendog -- Using the China drive would make it easier since the side frames aren't bearing surfaces.  I could never find a drive like that with the correct wheel base, but they exist from looking at these pictures.

Good luck!

@Tom D. posted:

Greendog -- Using the China drive would make it easier since the side frames aren't bearing surfaces.  I could never find a drive like that with the correct wheel base, but they exist from looking at these pictures.

Good luck!

Tom, Greendog,   that's a good question,  about three years ago I bought six powered chassis off ebay and the trucks that I used for the C-Liner mod were Lionel Alco AAR trucks but I am not sure what the loco was that went with that chassis. Another issue I pulled all the trucks off the stamped frames when they arrived so I am not absolutely  sure what the frame I used was from.  If I had to guess I would guess that both the trucks and frame were Lionel.  Something else that may work is Weaver had some locos with china drives in them that also had Alco AAR type trucks and if I had to bet I would bet they have the right wheelbase for the Rivarossi FM side frames because the Weaver chain drive AAR trucks are the correct wheel base (photo).  Before I found the china drives I considered sanding the detail off a Weaver AAR side frame and gluing the C Liner frames over them.          j


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