Super detailed Santa Fe E6 converting to 2 rail wheels with narrowed side frames: FINISHED !

Year or so ago I acquired two Lionel Milwaukee E6s and re-shelled them for the Santa Fe. I lowered them and super detailed the trucks and fixed the pilots then weathered them for the early 50s.

Love the sound of these and the detail, but I want to go a step further.

E 6 weatheredE6 ATSF

However, because of the big and thisk pie plate 3 rail wheels the truck side frames are just too wide under the body.

E 6 truck out too far

So, I've ordered scale wheels from Jay Crisswell which will allow me to reduce this width to more scale dimensions.

36 inch wheels 136 inch wheels 2

Also going to add sunshades, wind screens and other detail on the car bodies.

So,,, if you like, stay tuned. I think these will be stunning, at least, I hope so.

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Original Post

Okay - I see the progression.  It will be Proto-48 in 2022.

The wide sideframe business bothered me over a half-century ago, and I converted a bunch of stuff to 1 1/8" gauge.  That brought sideframes in where they were supposed to be, but it was 4'6" gauge.

Then I found out about Q gauge.  Too late!

in all seriousness, Proto-48 is probably too persnickety in terms of operational reliability, but it is the ultimate in realism in 48/ft.

Bob2,

I didn't really get it until I awoke this morning,,,,,but you are absolutely right. I am being snookered.

However, for less than a 16th inch in track gauge I will not commit to rail repositioning,,,,,, but prototype wheels,,ummmm.

When you're right, you're right Bob.

Ron

Today started to install the new 2 rail wheels. The axles are smaller, so I had to use brass tubing to fit the axles and their respective truck bushings.

new wheel 1new wheel 2Finally I can't believe I LOST one of the sideframes on my dang work bench. Maybe it will show up in the morning. You know these things are alive.

 

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I can lose a huge spool of solder on my workbench.  The next day it will be the first thing I see.

Glad you saw the humor in my comment.  You do very good work, and it will not be long before you succumb to the desire for truly accurate models.

Of course on the other hand I am usually bedeviled with short circuits that you would never experience.

Bob,

I think the latest PA bodies are as good as they get, except I had to make my own ATSF specific pilots out of brass and add period antenna. Haven't corrected the windshield wipers yet. Also need to make  better fuel tank steps.

atsf pa

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Me too. How did you do the anti-climber?  Stevenson Preservation Models has Dennis Mashburn's molds, and PA steps in lost wax brass are in there somewhere.  They are exquisite.

Yes, the Lionel PA (most recent run) is the most accurate I have seen in O Scale.  Imagine one die cast and nickel-plated for your Warbonnet!

bob2 posted:

Me too. How did you do the anti-climber?  Stevenson Preservation Models has Dennis Mashburn's molds, and PA steps in lost wax brass are in there somewhere.  They are exquisite.

Yes, the Lionel PA (most recent run) is the most accurate I have seen in O Scale.  Imagine one die cast and nickel-plated for your Warbonnet!

Bob, you being a PA expert, I'd be interested to know where you put Sunset's latest PA release and why. 

Not really an expert - just opinionated.  I have not been privileged to study the Sunset.  I have an Overland set of PA/PB, and reworked a pair of Lionels.  The Lionels were better than the Overlands, but plastic (ugh).  I also have metal MTH PAs, and they are quite good.

I suspect that Sunset ranks right up there with Lionel.  I have studied the earlier Key, and remember them as quite accurate as well.

Ron,  Super-nice work!!!  I'd like to follow in your footsteps with my MTH E6 beauties and will have to revisit some of the OGRF posting that provide the methodology.

Meanwhile, I've been edging into 3RS ("S" for "Sort of") for several years but it wasn't till I saw Rich Battista's "Its All About The Trains" (http://www.toytrainsontracks.com/), that I was all IN!  The video is worth a watch just for the trains, 1:1 and 1:48.  However, his tips and tricks for added realism are worth twice the price.

SIDEFRAMES: Rich simply uses a Moto Tool to egg-out the truck sideframe mounting holes in order to move them inward and the results are quite amazing - even with "pie plate" O Gauge wheels.  The results with scale wheels are truly amazing.  I don't want this to be a spoiler, so, please get the video.

Take a gander at these photos to see some results of what Rich has been up to:

http://www.toytrainsontracks.c...8_40C/PhotoPage.html

For new acquistion diesels, Rich now confines himself to MTH "scale wheel" models, almost exclusively.  By adding Kadees and moving the sideframes inward, he achieves remarkable realism.  There is another very simple trick that adds even more realism but I'll remain silent just to tease you into buying the video.  He's also done some amazing things with Lionel models that you'll find inspirational.  I'm no match for you, Rich or your ilk but I know a simple solution when I see one.

With all due respect and deference to Bob2, I must agree with you regarding 3 rail reliability.  I tried 2 rail HO and N, years ago, and spent most of my time cleaning track and giving trains a little nudge to get the engine(s) over a molecule of dirt.  Phooey, I want to run trains not fiddle around endlessly trying to get them to move.  Things may have improved in 2 rail, if "DCC" operates on high fixed voltage, but I'm happier with 3 rail because, among other things, I can use the Atlas O 21st Century Signal System in a prototype manner, relying simply on shut the way 1:1 railroads do.

You guys are waaay out of my league but your work is an inspiration and I'll keep trying.

GENERAL NOTICE - Safety is of the first importance in the discharge of duty.  Obedience to the rules is essential to safety.  To enter or remain in the service is an assurance of willingness to obey the rules.

I keep predicting inexpensive battery/RC operation.  It has happened with toy cars and trucks, but not yet with trains.  I agree - 2-rail can give you fits if you do not know how to spot "shorts".

I think I predicted battery/RC five years ago, and said it should happen within five years.  Wrong again.  But it is coming.  Then the center rail will be for nostalgia.

I have found the trucks are still too wide to be scale. This means I must hog out the frames ALA, Batista. Good close ups of the real locomotives shows the brake cylinders are just inside the vertical car body line from the sides to the ground. Have started the process.

I should just leave well enough alone. The tough part is to make the mods while insuring everything still rolls freely.

Yeah - I see it coming!  Perhaps I should send you a Proto-48 wheelset.

Difference between scale .172 and "Proto" .115 is .114", or just slightly more than 1/16" per side.  Difference between 1.177 gauge and O Scale is .073", or about 1/32" per side.

Remember, this 3/32" difference is on top of the reduction you get by ditching the pizza cutter wheels.

That said, I really do not recommend going quite that far -  I had lousy luck with .115 freight car wheels.  My trackwork demands at least .155 width.  But when side frame width really becomes an obsession (it is for me) your choices do not include Hi-Rail or 3-rail scale.

Good trackwork IS INDEED essential. I use NMRA gauge everywhere and make minute adjustments to the track as it is laid and ballasted.

The rub for me is the modification of the ScaleTrax turnouts I use to maintain 3 rail. If there is going to be derailment problems this is where it occurs. I tried to convert 2 rail switches to 3 rail, but failed to achieve satisfactory electrical results. I needed to have them custom made, but could not find anyone with the expertise to combine the electronics.

Again, my ultimate solution is RC.

Today I can maintain 40 to 70 scale mph track speed straight through the switches, but speed is very limited through the divergence. If there is any slight rail height differences at the rail joints, scale wheels bump off to derail. Also, in all cases, cars need to be weighted on the heavy side. Another problem is the spring tension of the third rail pickups.

But, it's a challenge and therefore fun .

Ron

I'm finally done.

These trucks are so fiddily I will not do the other A unit. They turned out great, but not as big a deal as just lowering and fixing the pilots mounting steps and other scale items.

But, here are the results.

E6 fin1E6 fin 2E6 fin3E6 fin4As you can see here the side frames narrowed to scale leaves plenty of room for electrical conduit, sand lines, etc. to be added under the frame.

I hope ya'll enjoyed this little project.

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E6 fin movie

It is individuals like yourself that painstakingly do this work that eventually leads to better and realistic products from manufactures'..  Not to mention educating your fellow O Gaugers on what the possibilities are for realistic and prototype operations.

Congratulations on a seriously fine re-scaling project'..

Ron, did you fabricate the coupler doors or does Lionel include them with the engine? Also could you please measure the height of the pilot in the vertical plane.

I am redoing a pilot on an MTH E6 and find it sits well above the rails when fixed to the body. I can lower the body some more but a taller pilot would help.

 

Pete

Quarter Scaler 48, thank you for the kind words.

Norton this is a Lionel pilot. Lionel pilots are an open one and a closed one. I'll get you a measurement tomorrow.

Fortunately I did not have to make these pilots as I did on the Alcos, but I had to lower these locomotives.

Norton,

Here are the measurements; The  E6 car bodies were lowered to 1 and 1/16th inches over the rail. Due to the anticlimber lip of 1/16th inch or so, the pilot is 1 inch over the rail where it meets the anti climber. The bottom of the pilot will be a scale 4 to 6 inches over the rail. Adjust lowering  the Mth body to yield this result with whatever pilot you use.

Be advised I had to bend the cast Lionel pilots to configure to the anticlimber. 

On the Lionels, rather than cutting the body posts only, I ground the height lugs on the trucks and trimmed the body posts.

So, it is a little involved. Hope this helps. any other questions you have, just post em.

Ron H posted:

Norton,

Here are the measurements; The  E6 car bodies were lowered to 1 and 1/16th inches over the rail. Due to the anticlimber lip of 1/16th inch or so, the pilot is 1 inch over the rail where it meets the anti climber. The bottom of the pilot will be a scale 4 to 6 inches over the rail. Adjust lowering  the Mth body to yield this result with whatever pilot you use.

Be advised I had to bend the cast Lionel pilots to configure to the anticlimber. 

On the Lionels, rather than cutting the body posts only, I ground the height lugs on the trucks and trimmed the body posts.

So, it is a little involved. Hope this helps. any other questions you have, just post em.

Thanks Ron. I will compare with the MTH pilot. Right now the body has only been lowered .100" by shaving the mounting posts and smoke unit legs.

Hadn't considered modifying the trucks but will take a look.

Pete

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