Remotoring a Bowser Birney...

While Bowser motors tend to be sturdy and long-lasting, if they fail in your single truck Birney you're up the creek as far as getting factory replacements, since Bowser doesn't make 'em any more...

 

Here is the Razorback Traction Co's Bowser Birney with two blown power trucks.  The DC65 (center) threw several commutator sections, while the open frame motor has a burned coil.  We'll be using parts from both trucks, as well as a 1960s Japanese slot car motor to make one complete working truck...

 

GEDC1041

 

Initial disassembly, showing the underside and the worm gear on the open frame motor.

 

GEDC1042

Most model train wheel/gear pullers are modified automotive battery terminal pullers, used when the battery cable on your car is corroded tightly to the battery terminal.  If you don't have a gear puller handy, a stock terminal puller will do the job (along with an appropriately sized piece of bar stock or a screw): 

 

GEDC1043

I experimented with a couple of different concepts to get the 1/8" bore worm gear onto the metric shaft: 

 

GEDC1044

Eventually, I wound up epoxying a commutator from one of the dismantled slot car motors into the worm gear. 

 

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Test fit using one of the red motors.

 

GEDC1046

 

After removing the open chassis motor and bearing, the floor was drilled out to accommodate the motor:

 

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GEDC1048

After some trial and error (mostly error), the final motor selection was mounted in place.  The top plate (sans top bearing) and assembly screws of the open frame motor were used to hold the slotcar motor in place: 

 

GEDC1050

A bottom view with the worm gear installed.  The ends of the mounting screws still need to be ground down so the gearbox will snap into place. 

 

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The wiring harness and gearbox from the DC 65 chassis, along with its rectifier bridge and lights, installed and ready for connection of the slotcar motor leads:

 

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And here's the completed Birney chugging along my test track! 

 

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After I took this snap, I wound up swapping in the gearbox from the open motor car (brass wheels, image rear) as it ran more smoothly than the iron wheeled truck...

 

And that's that!  The Birney now scoots about as enthusiastically (if not as quickly) as a slot car... 

 

Mitch

It's crackers to give a rozzer the dropsy in snide!

 

Remember, SCROUNGE!

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Originally Posted by RailRide:

Does it run smoother than the original motor?

 

Might have to call this the "Better Birney Bureau"

Hee!  Yeah, actually, it does, though I think part of that can be attributed to a cracked gear in the original gearbox that I found while cleaning it off with mineral spirits... which might explain why the DC 65 was throwing parts; vibration-induced failure! 

 

We'll just have to see how things shake out, longterm... 

 

Mitch

It's crackers to give a rozzer the dropsy in snide!

 

Remember, SCROUNGE!

I had to re-read the original post a couple of times before figuring out that you pulled a component out of one of the slot car motors to adapt the worm gear hole to the motor shaft.

 

So the donor motor and the actual replacement had the same size (metric) shafts, but the donor's commutator, minus the copper contacts actually fits inside the worm gear?

 

---PCJ

Originally Posted by RailRide:

I had to re-read the original post a couple of times before figuring out that you pulled a component out of one of the slot car motors to adapt the worm gear hole to the motor shaft.

 

So the donor motor and the actual replacement had the same size (metric) shafts, but the donor's commutator, minus the copper contacts actually fits inside the worm gear?

Pretty much, yeah.  The blue motor's shaft was a eensty bit bigger, but I drilled out the commutator to fit.  Now, how LONG this will hold, I dunno.  I can foresee having to put some brass tubing inserts into the worm gear long-term, but we shall see... 

 

-MMM-

It's crackers to give a rozzer the dropsy in snide!

 

Remember, SCROUNGE!

MMM

Very nice work.

I have a few of the Bowser scale cars w/overhead operation at NYSME.(ModelEngineers.org) I have been looking at replaceing the worm and worm gear to slow the cars down. The stock worm and worm gear are a double cut. I beleive a ten to one reduction. By changing to a single cut worm and worm gear the reduction would be twenty to one, cutting speed in half.

Does anyone know a source for worm / worm gears. Inquired at NWSL last year, was neg. Had the worm but not the right diameter for the worm gear.

Knowledge has no value unless shared with others.
Originally Posted by AndyB:
Does anyone know a source for worm / worm gears. Inquired at NWSL last year, was neg. Had the worm but not the right diameter for the worm gear.

Couldn't say, but Lee English does inform me that Bowser still has the original worm gears in stock if you want to experiment...

 

551-23009  $6.90 each.

 

Mitch

It's crackers to give a rozzer the dropsy in snide!

 

Remember, SCROUNGE!

Couldn't say, but Lee English does inform me that Bowser still has the original worm gears in stock if you want to experiment...

 551-23009  $6.90 each.

 Mitch

 =======================================
Mitch,
Contacted Bowser Last year. The older worm is a double cut also.
They were nice enough to send me the actual shop drawings of the
worm so I could research it.
Thank you for the research.
Andy
Knowledge has no value unless shared with others.

UPDATE:  The motor wound up lasting through three years of faithful service, finally succumbing to daily operation at the museum layout.  I've reused the gear adapter, fitting it to a former Lionel Polar Express motor with the flywheel removed and the top shaft trimmed down...  

GEDC0016

Mitch 

It's crackers to give a rozzer the dropsy in snide!

 

Remember, SCROUNGE!

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