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I used the Weaver drive from my RS3 to power my 3D printed Seaboard Air Line motorcar #2028.

As a result, I had to make a new, longer drive shaft, over 7.5" long between couplings:


The front truck axle has the traction tires on it, I'm not sure they came this way or if they have been moved from the truck with the chain drive on it or not.

So I'm trying to cut down on noise/chatter and want to remove the drive shaft, and relocate the traction tired axle to the rear truck where the chain is.  Can it be just an easy swap of one axle for another, or is there more to it I don't see?

I feel the long drive shaft is the root of the noise I'm hearing, I was going to put a pillow block midway but it would have to be slotted from side to side to go around curves.

I had to put the truck with the chain on the rear due to space limitations in the front.  I doubt the traction tires are doing much good on the front anyway, engine is fairly light (prolly should add some weight inside).


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Last edited by Bob Delbridge
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I've played a bit with these drives, albeit in 3 rail. Should not be much difference, considering these were a 2 rail design to begin with. You should be able to swap the axels w/o the chain gear fairly easily. As I recall, the early Weaver GP-38s had an arrangement similar to what you are doing, with the drive shaft running through the fuel tank. I don't remember how long the shaft was. The best people I can think of to talk with are P&D Hobby. They have parts and the owner knows his stuff. Good luck, and let us know how you make out with your project!



It will probably take you longer to prepare for the job than to do it. All of those Weaver driveline components are easily changeable/swappable. Another thought; if the doodlebug will mostly be running light or maybe just pulling one coach, you will not need both trucks powered (or the traction tire); remove the driveshaft, remove the gearboxes (they disassemble easily), replace the geared axle back in the truck and you will be ready to go. It is hard to tell if those wheels are three-rail or two-rail; I have never seen tires on any of Weaver's two-rail stuff.

Thanks guys!  Dave, they're 3-rail wheels, I have the 2-rail set but being all my other engines are 3-rail running on code 148 2-rail track I decided to keep them 3-rail.

I was thinking exactly what you said, the motorcar didn't pull anything near a long train plus I don't run fast on my layout.

I'll swap them out and see what goes.  I have a decibel meter on my Ipad so maybe I can capture the sound level differences before and after.

Great advice in this thread!

Bob, one other thing you could try would be to put a larger bottom sprocket on the drive tower if there's room. The driveshaft will turn more slowly for a given motor RPM, hopefully reducing vibration.

You can get sprockets and chain from Serv-O-Link. Not sure it's OK to post their website here, but Google works.    

There are a few more areas where that vibration can be initiated, depending on which tower design your drive has.  See Bob Sobol's excellent work here:

FineScale360 also offers a tower upgrade with adjustable tension and ball bearings that could help if you have the tower where the top sprocket shaft boss is angled down slightly instead of parallel to the bottom one.  This angle causes the chain links to rub on one side of the sprocket as they enter and leave, adding to vibration.  The FS360 tower has parallel shafts.



Thanks Pete!

DONE...It did take longer to remove everything than I had planned, had to remove the shaft ends from each axle housing on the front truck.

Running fine (in my rush I forgot to take a decibel reading ) and pulling 2 Weaver Pullman-Bradley coaches (old file photo):


It's quieter and runs better in both slow and fast speeds.

If I have a pair of wheels I can use instead of the Weaver wheels w/housing I'll swap them out.  No need having that housing rumbling around underneath either, should cut down on the noise even more.


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Thanks Chris!

I didn't think I'd ever figure out what to do about that grille on the front top.  I ended up drilling holes around the perimeter of the opening and using bits of steel wire for the vertical bars and brass for the horizontal bars.  I tried brass for the vertical bars but it wouldn't hold it's shape like I wanted.

Have to give kudos to Zach Pabis and his 3D printing abilities or this would never have happened.  He's away at college now and has taken a break from 3D work, hope he climbs back in cause I sent him some nice drawings of stuff we all could use.

I said: "If I have a pair of wheels I can use instead of the Weaver wheels w/housing I'll swap them out.  No need having that housing rumbling around underneath either, should cut down on the noise even more."

What a knucklehead!!!  While I was going thru my box-o-wheels the light bulb came on...just remove the box around the gear/axle dummy!.  Of course the gear is out in the open but so what, I removed them and kept the original wheels in place, noise reduced even further.

Pete M, I ordered one of the tower upgrades from FineScale 360, hope to get it next week.

I'm happy with the way the 2028 turned out but if the new tower improves on it then WOW!

I can't thank Zach enough, I doubt there is a handful of these SAL motorcars around in O-scale, I've only seen 1 (scratchbuilt) and another that Zach made for another modeler.

@Brandy posted:

Killer job Ya did there Bob...With more of these Company's going out of business, there will no doubt be more individuals going to the #D Printing to basically get what they want.....

Yep, I just wish I had it in me to learn 3D drawing and printing.  I've had brass parts on order for 2 months now (and counting) that, if I knew how to draw them in something like FreeCad, I would have them made by now.

@Railthunder posted:

Great job.  That looks fantastic and ready to head up a Sarasota section!

Thanks!  I need to get off my butt and get to work on scenery and populating the businesses around the layout.  When I built the layout I said I would hold off doing scenery for a year, to see if I liked the trackwork.  I think I liked the trackwork too much...that was 3 years ago now and all I've been doing is running trains

All you need now is a model of Tampa Union Station with #2028 waiting for the Seaboard Silver Meteor to bring in a family or two from New York City enroute to enjoy lots of fun and sun in the sand on Florida beaches.

Thanks for sharing #2028 along with the memories too!

Now all I need is this to complete my SAL roster:

sal pacific 2


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Bob: SAL's shrouded streamlined 4-6-2 was gone by the time my stepdad moved my mom, me, and half bro and sis to Tampa from Dallas in June '59.  We took the train and rode the T&P, L&N and of course, SAL.  A fantastic journey for a kid just shy of his 13th birthday (DOB 7-4-46) and a sortta B-Day present you migfht say.

Guess you'll scrachbuild the pacific?  Please be sure and share the progress when you start the project.  Already looking forward to it!


Will do Mike.  I ordered it Nov 25, the last update was that a shipping label had been created on Nov 28 with a tracking number.  They're in MD so I should get it NLT this Friday.  Any delay is understandable with the holiday thrown in between.

I was thinking the other day...I hope it fits!  I have a bulkhead near the existing drive, but if it's a drop-in replacement it should be fine.

Came in the mail today, took about 45 minutes to rip out the old and put in the new.  Excellent workmanship on the parts, they fit very well.  Used a couple of the chain links they provided, due to the larger truck gear, man that chain is slippery.  I kept the old small top gear, there's was nothing wrong with it.

My layout is 3/4 mile around the mainline and at 90% throttle I timed it for a speed of approx 45mph, at 65% it was approx 32mph.  I doubt the original 2028 ran faster than that, maybe even less, so I'm pleased.  The slow speed is simply amazing now, it crawls around the layout slow enough I can count ties slowly as I cross them.

The sound is a bit quieter, and it is a different sound than before, sounds more like a well-built drive now than a box-o-rocks.  Down at the slow speed there's no sound at all other than the engine moving over the track, and that's minimal.

I'm very pleased and would not hesitate to recommend the drive that FineScale offers.

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