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I am working on a Sunset Model engine for a friend. The issue he had with this engine is it would not seam to go very far, it would stall. I concluded that it was most likely binding up. The traction tires are old and need to be replaced I figured that’s all it was. Still need to find tires if anyone has recommendations. But when I put it back on my rollers I noticed that it wobbled quite a bit. Figured it was my rollers then it bound up and I started looking elsewhere. What I finally noticed is the riser from the frame to the bronze bushing on Fireman side of the locomotive was missing in both the rear and front drivers. The two middle ones have springs. Is there anyway I can get something to replace them with?

Also if anyone could guide me as to how to remove the shell from the frame that would be appreciated. image


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You could probably put anything in there as long as the heights match. Brass or even styrene rod would work. I have a few 3rd Rails where the front drivers have solid spring substitutes. Be sure to look in the packaging for a baggie of spares.

Most of these engines have a long screw through the steam chest and two screws under the cab opening. The steam chest screw is between the cylinders accessible from below. The cab screws will be looking right at you if you are looking into the cab, sometimes hidden by the deck plate if it has one.

If it is still binding up, I’d check the driver quartering. You can isolate the driver sets by pulling the rods. You will probably need a 3mm socket. You’ll actually see the rods at odd angles if you rotate the driveline manually.

Zach, maybe more photos would help. I’m no expert on the model in question. On some engines the smokebox details can get hung up a bit during disassembly even with the steam chest screw out.

Mike, thanks man, glad you can put up with my unpolished droning. Someday I’d like to have a fully fitted model machine shop with proper quartering abilities. The most common quartering jig I know of is the NWSL one:

Not sure there’s much of a diff between brass and diecast quartering other than diecast drivers being ‘captured’ in a rigid frame.

"Quartering" is not for the casual hobbyist.  There are a number of ways to do it, but you cannot successfully do it on the kitchen table.

My method is described in an early '90s issue of OGR (no, I don't remember which one).  Joe Foehrkolb had a different scheme.  Never tried the NWSL unit -

You need at a minimum an arbor press or substantial cast iron drill press and a special steel fixture.  Cheaper to let an expert do it.

Unless a Sunset driver is loose on its axle, it should not be out of quarter.

Wonder if that slotted brass bushing up front there is holding you back. It’s slotted for a reason.

Looks like the chuff switches and selector switch is intact, but bypassed in the tender? Should be easy enough to restore.

Still a bit curious about what you described as ‘binding’. I would assume something mechanical as in the gearing/rods/drivers.

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