GP-38 Question

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Ho Modeler, Aug 30, 2004.

  1. Ho Modeler

    Ho Modeler Member

    Ok now this is a question that i need answered as soon as possible. I recieved an early Birthday gift this year. And would like to display it for my birthday today. It is a set of Union Pacifics, A Powered GP-38, a non powered GP-38 and a caboose. It is a Life-Like set

    First Question- The powered locomotive's drive trucks will not pull the engine!!!! They did for about the first two days of test runs and then it just didnt. :( :eek: :oops:
    The drive trucks just keep spinning out of control and wont even pull the locomotive. :cry: All of the ballast plates are over the power trucks and there is nothing over the drive trucks can anyone help.

    Second Question- The caboose has those dumb truck mounted couplers and the are the wrong kind. :mad: :mad: Now a kind ole geezer (lol) :D from my Hobby Club gave me a box of all metal trucks that I am placing on all of my cars. :thumb: the problem is the trucks that come with the caboose have a very large socket they "plug" into on the caboose. How do i create a maller hole?

    If any one has encountered such a problem please post :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:
  2. mykroft

    mykroft Member

    Can't really help with your loco problems, but I can with the caboose.

    The trick is to fill the hole with some 1/8" Styrene tubing (Glue it in), then mount the better trucks to the tubing.

    The other possibility is to simply cut the coupler mount off the trucks, replace the cheapo wheels with Intermountain 33" Wheelsets, and then bodymount Kadee #5's.
  3. NYC-BKO

    NYC-BKO Member

    As far as the engine goes, if I recall correctly those engines have traction tires on the drive truck. From what you describe it sounds like you lost both of them, that type of loco is so light it won't pull anything without them. Check where you have been running it for them along or in the track but if they fell off they should be replaced. They are either stretched or dry rotted. If all else fails take it to your club and have someone look at it for you.
  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I think those Life Like gp38's will fit an Athearn "blue box" gp38-2 or gp 40-2 chassis. Check out model railroad swap meets or sale tables at a GAT show, and put an Athearn chassis under them.
  5. Ho Modeler

    Ho Modeler Member

    I checked the wheel and it seems it has grooves for them but they arent there. And i dont think i could hae worn them down. How would i go about replacing them?

  6. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    If your track has been cut and the burrs not filed they will quickly cut traction tires off as will one rail being higher due to it not being in the jointer. Loose track where there is a gap between sections will also cut them off, just a bit slower. They are hard to find and hard to put on. Sound like a job for the local hobby shop, or order some blue box Athearns loco from Walthers while you can, they are on fire sale. Fred
  7. petey

    petey Member

    I thought it was missing drive bands, from your description. Three fixes are available. Call Life Like and have them mail you replacement bands. Order diesel drive bands from Stewart/Virnex, or quickest fix---go to your dentist/orthodonest/dental supply firm, and get some of his specialty bands. Remember these must fit fairly tight. Get several sizes, one of them should fit.
  8. Drive bands / tires should be readily available at any hobby shop, specify for diesel and not steam as steam would be bigger.

    A word of caution on swapping wheels and couplers, you will soon have more $$ than this set is worth once you start buying metal wheels and Kadee couplers. If you swap trucks on the caboose do you then plan to body mount the couplers? or does the trucks given to you have truck mounted couplers?
    If you start body mounting knuckle couplers, the cars will be ok to do but you may find it is more trouble than it is worth on these locos, check it out before you consider doing this, is there something there to mount the coupler draft gear box (box the coupler fits in) and have it at the correct height. This could be a lot of work.

    My son had this set and it ran well for several years, once we started switching to body mounted couplers on all rolling stock we left these locos alone and moved them to the shelf.

    Good luck.
  9. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Normally I would agree with you, but he said he received them as a birthday gift. Whoever gave them to him probably doesn't know good models from poor quality ones, and probably won't know the difference if they have an Athearn drive under the body. If he puts an Athearn drive under it, everyone is happy and no one feels bad about the gift.
  10. Good point Russ, gifts always have to be treated different.

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