I'm new to S Gauge and am interested in getting a book to help me maintain and operate Postwar American Flyer S Gauge trains and accessories, and do light repairs on them.

I did a quick Forum search and could not find the answer to the above.

Next, I did a Google search. That indicated the book of choice to be Gilbert American Flyer S Gauge Repair & Operating Guide (Color) by Thomas B. Barker. Do you agree? If not, what would you recommend?

Arnold

 

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

Original Post

The Barker book is an excellent choice. There are online resources as well. The complete Gilbert Factory Service Manual is online at myflyertrains.org. Port Lines hobbies has many repair clinics posted on their website. There are also how-to videos on Youtube for almost all common repairs. Just search on a key word for what you want to fix.

There is also a K-Line American Flyer Manual that is long out of print but worth having . These can be found for sale online.

Tom

AmFlyer posted:

The Barker book is an excellent choice. There are online resources as well. The complete Gilbert Factory Service Manual is online at myflyertrains.org. Port Lines hobbies has many repair clinics posted on their website. There are also how-to videos on Youtube for almost all common repairs. Just search on a key word for what you want to fix.

There is also a K-Line American Flyer Manual that is long out of print but worth having . These can be found for sale online.

Thank you, Tom. I will probably get the Barker book and take a stab at the repair. 

I also saw a very good clinic on YouTube that was very informative.

If I get in over my head down doing this repair, is there a reputable AF repair shop or person that can be recommended to me? 

My preference would be to go to some store or person in the NY area where I live and hand deliver the locomotive, and pick it up when the repair is done, to avoid possible damage during shipping. On the other hand, this Postwar steamer looks pretty sturdy, so I could package it carefully and ship it to a distant location, if necessary. Arnold

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

I live in Southern California so I will not be much help on repair resources local to you. I do all my own repairs on Gilbert items since with a bit of experience they are not hard. I do have professionals work on my new AF Lionel Legacy engines. I pack them up and send them to repair people in the midwest. These service people do not work on original Gilbert items.

Hopefully someone local to the NorthEast will reply and help.

Tom

MELGAR posted:

Arnold,

Good to see you getting back into S gauge. Maybe I should do likewise.

MELGAR

Melgar, soon after I recently found the several boxes of AF trains, track and accessories in my house, I thought of you. It's because of your love of the New Haven Railroad, and New Haven, CT, which I believe was the home of the Gilbert Company.

The Postwar AF stuff I have is very appealing. One of my AF  locomotives is a NH Diesel, which looks great pulling a set of AF passenger cars. I also have 3 AF steamers, 2 of which run fine, and a bunch of freight cars and accessories. Love the smoke and the Choo Choo sound of the steamers. These trains are very easy to fall in love with.

A scenicked AF S Gauge layout would look great with its 2 rail track and scale, or near scale, trains.

If we do something with AF S Gauge, biggest issue for both of us would be space. I also love my O Gauge layout and trains, I believe you feel the same way, so AF would be an addition to, not a replacement of, our O Gauge layout.

One possible solution is to keep it small and portable, so that after an operating session, you can disconnect it and stand the board up on its side against a wall. This would be a very challenging project.

Another solution would be a small AF layout in a spare unused room in the house, while keeping my wife from serving divorce papers on me! LOL.

Another possibility is to put a 2nd level of AF trains on top of the lower level of O Gauge trains. My wife would have no problem if I did that, but this would also be a very challenging project for me. Also my layout is too narrow for this option to be ideal. However, it might work well for you, Melgar, because your layout is wider and you can have a mountain division of AF trains further away from the viewers, and above your O Gauge trains.

What do you think? Arnold

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

If I may...

Yes, post-war Flyer is very "sturdy" and "easy to fall in love with". For whatever reason, 1/64th scale just looks "right".

I've found that Flyer steam is easier to work on than similar era Lionel (which is also awesome). The rear-mounted motor is easy to get to, and I think that the worm-type gearing makes for a slightly quieter and smoother drive than the Lionel spur gearing: just my opinion.

The only advice I might give is to consider substituting the old Flyer track for Gargraves: as I've post here before, it looks much better, seems to conduct electricity much better, is made in the US and the staff there is available and helpful.

Mark in Oregon

Arnold D. Cribari posted:

If I get in over my head down doing this repair, is there a reputable AF repair shop or person that can be recommended to me? 

My preference would be to go to some store or person in the NY area where I live and hand deliver the locomotive, and pick it up when the repair is done, to avoid possible damage during shipping. On the other hand, this Postwar steamer looks pretty sturdy, so I could package it carefully and ship it to a distant location, if necessary. Arnold

If you plan to have someone repair your item, please do them the favor of not attempting to repair it yourself first. Most things that break can be repaired UNLESS someone has gone inside with more enthusiasm than skill and damaged them beyond repair or rendered them FUBAR.

RoyBoy

Arnold,

I might suggest that you attempt to locate an S gauge club in your area, many club members are well versed in repairs and may well give you guidance.

Ray

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