Hey Ray M...

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Gary S., Feb 7, 2006.

  1. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    After seeing your project list, and then the statement that you buy junkers, and considering that I might want to do some diesel loco projects at some point, what kind of advice would you give a guy?

    Go to a train show and buy some junkers?

    What all do you replace on older diesels?

    Where do you buy the parts?
  2. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    bump for Ray...
  3. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    Hi Gary,
    Sorry it took so long to respond.
    The first thing I would do is to decide what locomotive you want to model.
    Do some research of the prototype and what models of the loco are available.
    Decide what model you would like as a starting point and the modifications that you would like to make.
    Research how these modifications can be made.
    You don't have to start with junkers. I do because I enjoy piecing things back together. If you feel you want to practice, sure, buy a few Tyco, Life/Like or Bachmann junkers to practice on, they can usually be found for a few bucks.
    If you plan to detail and repaint an undecorated model will save time as you can skip the stripping process.
    On the older locos, Cosmetically I try to improve the detail, Pilot detail, hand railings, grab irons and windows.
    Mechanicaly I will upgrade the drive, regear and/or remotor or replace the whole chassis add better electrical pickup and better lighting.
    New parts are becoming scarce. Thus the reason I look for junkers.
    I also scratch-build or modify parts from other locos to fit.
    I use detail parts from Detail associates, Details West, Cal-Scale and precision Scale.
  4. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Thanks Ray,

    I will be going to a show this saturday, will keep an eye out for some cheapies so I can get started. If I ruin something, it will be good experience and I won't cry over a few bucks.

    Where do you get motors and flywheels and universal joints and trucks? Can you buy those things, or is it pretty much a scavenger hunt?

    And the last question: I feel that there would be great satisfaction seeing a nicely rebuilt engine pulling cars smoothly around the layout, an engine that I brought back to life. But as far as money goes, there probably isn't much money to be saved going this route versus buying new?
  5. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    Look around at the show for boxes of parts also. Sometimes I find motors and driveline parts that way. Also look for locos with nasty paint jobs. I have gotten some deals on them and either stripped and repainted them or partsed them out.
    I have used motors and gears from VCRs, tape decks and CD players, gears from old mechanical toys, old alarm clocks also.
    As for new motors I have bought some cheap can motors from All Electronics.

    Some new trucks and U joints can be bought from Athearn, Atlas or Kato but are getting pricey.
    NWSL and Bear locomotive also have driveline parts.
    It is very satisfying to see your loco completed and in action.
    If you get deals on all the components you will save money. It will most likely cost as much or more than buying an RTR loco if you pay normal retail prices.
  6. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Great info Ray, I appreciate it. I am just itching to get to the show this weekend to see what kind of bargains I can find, and then start tearing into them!

    And this is just great, as if I didn't have enough to do, right in the middle of getting my layout off the ground, still have a thousand trees to make, weather the freight cars, build up my industries, laying track, wiring the DCC, putting in the terrain, etc, etc, etc, ad infinitum and now I want to rebuild some locos too???

    :) Gary
  7. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Well Ray, I bought some junkers, paid anywhere from $2 to $12 bucks each, fiddled around with them, took them all apart, cleaned them, put them back together, mostly just using it as a learning experience. Great stuff.

    Attached Files:

  8. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    #2418 looks like an Athearn, those don't need a lot to make them great. If it has the original Athearn drive with the original steel sliders, you can do a lot to improve them by just hardwiring the connections. Go to www.trainweb.org/ocmr/ Click on "links to member pages" and then click on "Jim Furhman's home page" and if you look at his contents page you will see "Tuning up Athearn and other ho locomotives." Click on it and he gives instructions on how to make an Athearn run like it has a can motor. By the way, used Athearn drives are readily available at train shows and swap meets. They make a great drive system to use with bodies from toy locomotives like Tyco, old Bachmann, Life Like, and Model Power. If you want an Rs 11 Alco for instance, nobody that I know of ever made a good one in plastic, but one can be built using the body from one of the many cheap toys and an Athearn drive with GE "B" trucks.
  9. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

  10. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Thanks for the link Ray. I am going to make some of those mods on the locos this weekend.

    Here's a question: Would it be feasible to install a sound decoder in one of these older "blue box" kits? These engines typically have noisey mechanisms, right? Would the noisey mechanism drown out the sound of the decoder?

    Or should I be able to get the mechanisms running fairly quietly?
  11. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Oh, and I must compliment the entire "2 guys" site. Extraordinarily great tutorials. I love the idea of using legos as forms for casting plaster.
  12. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    An Athearn mechanim can be tweeked and tuned to run quietly.
    Some would say it isn't worth the effort.
    I am not familiar with how loud sound decoders are or how quiet a loco has to be to have it sound right.
  13. knudsen

    knudsen New Member

    On behalf of the 2gyz people, thank you for the kind words, Gary. Much like the-gauge, the members make it what it is.
  14. GearDrivenSteam

    GearDrivenSteam New Member

    Indeed, thanks for the kind words gentlemen. On the Athearn noise issue, I have tried with great success using automotive valve grinding compound to reduce and in some cases all but eliminate the gear whine these locos are so famous for. True enough, it takes some effort, but the end result is well worth it. I got an Athearn F7 chassis to run quieter than a E7 Proto 2000. All you have to do is pop the top cover off each gearbox, pack them with the compound, and run the snot out of them. Usually an hour or so of varrying speed will do. After that, just disassemble the trucks and gears and rinse the compound off. It works like a charm. Now it won't quiet a noisey motor, but the majority of Athearn noise comes from the gearboxes. I've heard of toothpaste being used, but somehow, toothpaste and gears just don't sound like they should go together. I've actually tried both, and the valve grinding compound works much better. Give it a try. You won't be disappointed.


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