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Parts,.....this is the challenge facing the hobby....whether it be parts in short supply, or companies closing up, parts and repair solutions will be the next frontier in this century.......here’s one fairly easy DIY project for the repair of broken, or cracked articulated steam ( mostly found on scale models) .....I have this MTH Y3 test mule that sees a lot of duty testing motors. The nylon slip yolk double jointed shafts have been hanging on with hopes and dreams,...busted u joint ends, cracks and splits everywhere,.....both mfr.’s utilize the same design,.....the OE repair would consist of purchasing the affected entire worm shaft, which is fine, providing you can still get your paws on them, now or in the future.....I’ve seen quite a few of these models with at least one crack somewhere in the nylon shaft system,....glue isn’t an option,....trying to get glue to stick to self lubricating plastics is shouting at the rain, and beating a dead horse,....enter a solution first brought to my attention by Lou ( Lou1985) when discussing motors and platform options one evening, I had mentioned this test mule’s driveshafts were just waiting to explode...Lou sent me a link asking if I thought these RC car world telescoping driveshafts would be good replacements or not,....these are straight from China, so I was a little skeptical on the quality, and the fit, but the price point made it easy to order a few for application testing,.....I was impressed when I opened the box....these are turned solid steel shafts. Very well made, u joints are solid, snug, but articulate very smoothly. The telescoping section is very smooth, with a good snug slip fit. A tiny dab of grease on the telescoping section makes it even better,....these can be purchased in a variety of lengths and end bore configurations, I opted for the longest 60-80 mm length, and 4mm end bores. .....that’s what most scale steam worm shafts are,....the longest shaft gives the ultimate flexibility to trim back to the correct length needed for a specific application,....in the case of the Y3, I had to trim back about a 1/16” off both ends,.......the results, absolutely phenomenal. Very precise operation, dead silent with no noise, no vibrations even at speed,....the telescoping section is square drive, so us OCD mechanical engineers can “ phase” the joints as we’ve been taught to properly do,.....phasing universals brings the ultimate smoothness to any driveline,....this is a very doable DIY project with minimal tools. Cut off the old busted plastic shafts, remove any trapping pins, measure & trim the new shaft for the best articulation, and install the new shafts with the provided set screws and provided Allen wrench,......this Y3 chassis is now back in R&D duty with no fear of an exploding drive line,....I’m not going to post any links on here for parts, but anybody can contact me and I’ll be happy to provide the links....Pat..BEEE0C14-26E7-4FD1-99D8-2AB2F8BCC2D79686CE19-558B-46AE-8AEF-AA69A878D808CD61E2BB-2C89-47A6-806C-7EC4F55864A54EE378F8-7E65-4DF4-902A-602C0F63CACC

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Last edited by harmonyards
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Sure thing John,...and here’s a video with the new driveshaft in place, doing as it should on curves....I’m totally impressed with the ease of installing, and the effectiveness of the repair,...total job time was less than an hour, .....all around win considering some of these models might have been condemned to shelf duty given the unavailability or high costs of OE replacement parts,.....this job checks all the boxes, ...very inexpensive ( under 20 bucks)  easy to do, and a 10 fold upgrade,...

Pat

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@Strummer posted:

Awesome! Way above my "pay grade", but still great to see.

"Shouting at the rain"? I'm familiar with the "horse" analogy, but the "rain" is a new one to me...🙂

Mark in Oregon

Next time it’s raining Mark, go outside and scream at it and let me know what results you get!..😆😆😆😆....bout’ the same results as trying to glue together oil laidened plastics,..😉.....nothing,...

Pat

Last edited by harmonyards

I think I'm gonna do this upgrade to my articulateds just as preventative maintenance. Not that I'm having an issue with the stock shafts but these steel shafts are 100 times stronger. I like my stuff bullet proof. Just pop it on the track and go. I doubt these shafts will ever fall apart.

Only reason I can think that the factory shafts were nylon is cost. Perhaps for quiet operation as well. Nylon doesn't need a shot of grease every now and then.

@Lou1985 posted:

I think I'm gonna do this upgrade to my articulateds just as preventative maintenance. Not that I'm having an issue with the stock shafts but these steel shafts are 100 times stronger. I like my stuff bullet proof. Just pop it on the track and go. I doubt these shafts will ever fall apart.

Only reason I can think that the factory shafts were nylon is cost. Perhaps for quiet operation as well. Nylon doesn't need a shot of grease every now and then.

And that’s the only thing I see needed with the steel driveshafts, ....they’ll have to be added to the preventive maintenance routine,....probably a good idea to add a very small hole to the tube section to stick a syringe of grease in there,....that would eliminate the need for dismantling, and most likely make servicing a running repair, ..ie; no need for a tear down to grease components,.....

Pat

@harmonyards posted:

And that’s the only thing I see needed with the steel driveshafts, ....they’ll have to be added to the preventive maintenance routine,....probably a good idea to add a very small hole to the tube section to stick a syringe of grease in there,....that would eliminate the need for dismantling, and most likely make servicing a running repair, ..ie; no need for a tear down to grease components,.....

Pat

Doesn't even need to be a precision hole. Anyone with a small drill bit and a drill should be able to do it no problem.

Depending on the grease used it might be a long time before the shaft would need to be greased again. Put some Mobil 1 synthetic grease on the shaft and it would probably go years in between needing attention.

@Lou1985 posted:

Doesn't even need to be a precision hole. Anyone with a small drill bit and a drill should be able to do it no problem.

Depending on the grease used it might be a long time before the shaft would need to be greased again. Put some Mobil 1 synthetic grease on the shaft and it would probably go years in between needing attention.

You’re probably right buddy, .....but a tiny hole would make PM work a breeze,....that’s part of the allure, ....no??...working on them, maintaining them,...maybe only you & I need a serviceable part,...😉.....we do tend to extract every ounce of enjoyment out of them!....I’ve beat the H-E- double toothpicks out of this Y3 all last night and today,....not so much as a whimper,.....I mashed the throttle as far as it would go for testing,,...no dice, she’s sturdy as a rock,....

Pat

@harmonyards posted:

You’re probably right buddy, .....but a tiny hole would make PM work a breeze,....that’s part of the allure, ....no??...working on them, maintaining them,...maybe only you & I need a serviceable part,...😉.....we do tend to extract every ounce of enjoyment out of them!....I’ve beat the H-E- double toothpicks out of this Y3 all last night and today,....not so much as a whimper,.....I mashed the throttle as far as it would go for testing,,...no dice, she’s sturdy as a rock,....

Pat

I think you and I are among the few who actually don't mind taking these things apart to lube and tweak them. So a drive shaft that needs a little maintenance doesn't bother me. I'd probably forgo the little grease hole, as I wouldn't mind popping the shaft apart to grease it. Gives and excuse to go in and grease the worms as well.

As long as the shaft is good for sustained 50 scale MPH running it's good enough for me. I'll usually stick my SP AC6 Cab Forward on the point of a PFE train, set it to 50 scale MPH, and let it go for a few hours.

@harmonyards posted:

...these are straight from China, so I was a little skeptical on the quality, and the fit, but the price point made it easy to order a few for application testing,.....I was impressed when I opened the box....these are turned solid steel shafts. Very well made, u joints are solid, snug, but articulate very smoothly. The telescoping section is very smooth, with a good snug slip fit.

No surprise really. The RC hobby is much more popular than ours, and RC vehicles are designed with abuse in mind.

If only O scale manufacturers could contract with the RC factories. Of course its a bit of an apples an oranges thing.

Having said that, I'll bet theres rarely a time when and RC car comes out of the box with parts falling off.

Another interesting thread Pat. Something else thats wayyy above my skill level, but at least I have the peace of mind knowing where I could have it done should the need arise

Last edited by RickO
@RickO posted:

No surprise really. The RC hobby is much more popular than ours, and RC vehicles are designed with abuse in mind.

If only O scale manufacturers could contract with the RC factories. Of course its a bit of an apples an oranges thing.

Having said that, I'll bet theres rarely a time when and RC car comes out of the box with parts falling off.

Another interesting thread Pat. Something else thats wayyy above my skill level, but at least I have the peace of mind knowing where I could have it done should the need arise

Yep,...and the moral of the story is that there’s other avenues to repair these things as time goes on, and parts are either made out of unobtanium,  or simply so expensive it negates a repair. This repair should save somebody from having to make an expensive articulated locomotive a shelf squatter,....sometimes we’ll have to think outside the box to come up with a solution,....this one is definitely a winner,...Lou actually was the one to make the suggestion, I just so happen to be the one to put it into service,...😉....I think he likes to wait & see if my junk is gonna blow up before he attempts this crazy crap himself!...😆😆😆

Pat

@harmonyards posted:

...Lou actually was the one to make the suggestion, I just so happen to be the one to put it into service,...😉....I think he likes to wait & see if my junk is gonna blow up before he attempts this crazy crap himself!...😆😆😆

Pat

If I come up with a crazy idea I let you try it first. I figure that if something goes really wrong you have more machine tools than I do to correct the issue 😄.

Folks, I’m not going to put the link on this thread unless one of the moderators comes on here and says it’s ok,...stuff that’s not approved just gets the whole thread deleted, and then this valuable resource tool will be gone,....so, if you need the link, please feel free to click on my profile, grab my email, and drop me a line,...I’ll be more than happy to share the link,.....

Pat

@harmonyards posted:

Folks, I’m not going to put the link on this thread unless one of the moderators comes on here and says it’s ok,...stuff that’s not approved just gets the whole thread deleted, and then this valuable resource tool will be gone,....so, if you need the link, please feel free to click on my profile, grab my email, and drop me a line,...I’ll be more than happy to share the link,.....

Pat

Must be a EBay link?   Why that policy, I wish I knew.   When I have Bruk upgrade my challenger to Legacy this will be a nice addition.  Awesome job, it’s guys like you that are going to save this hobby from its own short comings.

@superwarp1 posted:

Must be a EBay link?   Why that policy, I wish I knew.   When I have Bruk upgrade my challenger to Legacy this will be a nice addition.  Awesome job, it’s guys like you that are going to save this hobby from its own short comings.

I can not confirm or deny those allegations Gary, .....however, if you or Bruk need the info, I’m easily found,....I’m sure master builder Bruk could do this swap with his eyes closed,....thanks for the kind words!..

Pat

@superwarp1 posted:

Thanks Pete, another thing I wish I knew is why MTH and Lionel thought using plastic drive shafts was a good idea?  Cost of production maybe?

Probably that, and for silent operation,.....before I posted my findings I did a bunch of testing and found the steel shafts to be just as silent as the nylon,...another theory is the OE shafts appear to be the self lubricating nylon, so maintenance free might have been another reason,....however, I’ve put a tiny dab of grease in the telescoping section of the steel shaft, and a drop of gear oil on the U joints and ran that Y3 for 7 1/2 hours straight,.....no issues Gary,....that was real world testing on a 25 car train,....

Pat

Last edited by harmonyards
@Norton posted:

Here is a clue. Search on "4mm to 4mm universal". That will bring up a long list some of which will be telescopic. Select the one good for 60-80mm lengths.

BTW Many of the hits for simple U joints can be used to upgrade the couplings in the CC Lionel NYC Niagaras.

Pete

Nice work Pat, As Pete stated above. I've used these RC U -joints on a ton of CC Niagara plastic driveshafts, they work great, pretty much bullet proof !

Alex

@SPFord27 posted:

Just for perspective, you don’t typically lube those in RC application either due to dirt sticking and causing premature wear. They make a splined version and those we do add a touch of grease to them. These should live a long happy life in a clean train with a touch of grease and a couple drops of oil.

Yep,....and with all the RC car stuff you do Sean, I’m surprised we never put the two and two together sooner,....we had to let that Cicero gangster Lou find it,...😆

Pat

@Alex M posted:

Nice work Pat, As Pete stated above. I've used these RC U -joints on a ton of CC Niagara plastic driveshafts, they work great, pretty much bullet proof !

Alex

Thanks Alex, ....I’ve punished my Y3 test mule to make sure this will be a job worth while of longevity......these shafts are bulletproof just like Pete’s solution on the Niagara’s,....hopefully this will become an inexpensive option to get some of the known repeated offenders like the notorious EM1’s back on the road again,....

Pat

Last edited by harmonyards

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