Athearn engine shells

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by oldtanker, Mar 2, 2006.

  1. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    I have an Athearn F-7 engine. I'm not overly fond of the F-7 style (and this is worse it's a John Deer). I did find out that the Athearn GP-38-2 shell will fir the running gear. Now living out here in the sticks like I do I'm looking for a hobby shop that I can get just the shell from. I would like to find a shop that I can walk into and buy but would consider mail order as a last resort. I live in west central MN. I can get to the twin cities or Fargo Nd. Any suggestions on where to go?

  2. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Unfortuneately you can't swap them out. You might as well buy a powered GP38. While the motor and trucks are the same, the drive shaft/ transmission is to short on the F7. Then you will have to order the correct parts. Also, the GP38-2 shell will not fit on the F7 by a longshot.

    If you don't mind ordering parts ( VERY few people carry Athearn parts in the store) you could order a GP38-2 Dummy kit. You'll get the Chassis, and you will be able to swap most of the parts out of the F7. you could try the F7 Drive shaft, but it looks to short to me.

    Just know that you need the Chassis, not just the shell. you also need the detail parts. buy a Dummy kit
  3. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    Ok thanks, I was just trying to find some way to use the engine without having to put up with a F-7.
  4. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    You can always repaint the F-7, so its atleast not a john deere painted loco.
  5. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    HMMM never tried painting an engine before.....wondering if the SW's are about the right size????

  6. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    The F unit Chassis was mad specificiclly for F-units. In the Case of SW locos, The drive assembly of the F-unit is way to big.

    Painting is also easy and fun with an aribrush. You can get a Testor's double Action Airbrush for about $20, and it comes with everything you need, even some paints, ( although they aren't railroad colors). I got one for christmas. they are definitely worth it.
  7. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    If you aren't modeling a specific prototype, you might do the f-7 as a Pennsy or NYC lightning stripe scheme. Both are basically "dip" jobs (one color) with lettering and stripes done with decals. Some of the more imaginitive schemes used by various railroads can be a pita to mask.
  8. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    Check the part lists on the HO-Seeker site to see what parts interchange and the part #s for the parts you will need.
    As said , with the complete correct driveshaft set. and a 4 axle dummy with plastic side frames(SW excuded) you can have a different loco.
    Here's Athearn's parts page.

    Speeking from experience, If you have to pay retail prices for the dummy and the driveshaft parts, you might be further ahead buying a new loco. If you can find the dummy at a show for $5 or so and the drive shafts from a vender or an LHS that will sell you the individual parts instead of 6 of each part you need, it would be worth while.
  9. ross31r

    ross31r Member

    well there are several uses for F7s, one of which ive covered in a thread.

    I would suggest if you dont like the F7, either try and sell it or if you want to keep it repaint it in some "flashy" private owner scheme and say its the power for a diner train (also give you a good excuse to have a compact, flashy passeneger train on your layout)
  10. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    OK thanks...guess I'll just hang onto it for the time being. I have to go to Fargo tomorrow and I'll see what engines are available there.
  11. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    so what the santa fe did - rebuild to a to a CF7. A CF7 shell by railpower or athearn should fit... I think. Back before RTR CF7s I think rail power made a shell to basically drop on the F7. But I have been out of the standard gauge loop for a few years, and out of thei diesel loop even longer, so I can't remember what is required.

  12. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    I have a RPP CF7 shell. according to the instructions the frame must be milled or filed or the shell will sit to high. After taking measurements it seemed to me that after the specified amount of material was removed the frame would be weakened considerably so I have designed a frame from brass and plan to use the drive components from a Con/Cor GP38.
  13. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    Ray, thats a little bit more than I can do...LOL. I haven't done anything with trains sence 1983 due to the many moves that go along with being career Army. Now I'm retired and I'm just starting again. The F7 was part of a John Deer set that I was going to give to my oldest son (he collects JD stuff) for Christmas we found a better gift for him and we decided that I would keep it. Presto! Instant renewed interest in the hobby! I then bought a discounted LL (the engine is a piece of junk) set mostly for the cars as a quick cheap way to get rolling stock. I'm planning on a 12'x8' L shaped layout in the basement and I'm starting the benchwork on Monday.

    Any one interested in a JD logo F7?????

Share This Page