MDC HOn3 2-8-0

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Model Railroading' started by Glen Haasdyk, Apr 16, 2006.

  1. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

    I am currently building up the MDC HOn3 2-8-0 (outside frame)but have run into a few problems. First I'm building it out a a large collection of parts that I got from a fellow modeler but I have no drivetrain assembly instructions. I'm trying to figure out which side the insulated driver wheels go on. I've also trying to install the NWSL re-gear kit but I can't figure out how to remove the old worm gear off the motor, does anyone have any ideas?
    Any help in greatly appriciated.
  2. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    For the worm gear, is it soldered on, or is it a plastic gear? A plastic gear should pull off easily, but if it is a brass gear on an open frame motor, it may be soldered on. I believe mine was brass and soldered on - I heated it up with a 40 watt iron and it slid right off. the insulated side of the drivers goes on the firemans side.

    A few more tips - if you don't already, a set of tiny files will come in handy. the side rods and counterweights sometimes bind, and a little carefull filing in this riight places may be needed to get the mechanism to run smoothly. If binding occurs, check the crossheads for burrs. check the back sides of the counterweights for burrs. These kits are a load of fun to detail, and I wish they still made them.

    oh, and if you havent found it yet, check this:

  3. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

    Sorry for my ignorance, but which side is the fireman's side, looking forward from the cab? (airpump side or air tank side?)
    I'll try the soldering iron trick, I've got a small 30 watt that should to the trick.
  4. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    fireman would be in the "driver's seat" if a locomotive was a north american automobile. If one was in the cab looking forward, the fireman would be on the left.

    take a look at that motor on the website I linked to. there is a blob of solder on the end of the worm gear. Yours shold have the same. If the worm is pressed on the motor shaft, removing it may be tough. NWSL probably sells a tool for this.

  5. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

    I've already linked to the site and am using it to help me with the assembly. Unfortunetly I dom't have a worm that is held on by solder so I'mm make a stop by a persision machine shop tomorrow to see if they have something small enough to pull the gear.
    Thanks for the help.
  6. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    If you are thinking "more tools", NWSL had the Puller and the Quarterer, both of which might be useful in your case.

    yours in loco kit building
  7. Bob Orlando

    Bob Orlando New Member

    HOn3 MDC 2-8-0

    Glen I am building one also. I have had it for a few years and finally started the kit. It is also an outside frame. Files are definitly a usefull tools during assembly. If you have any problems just reply at Zealot.
    Bob Orlando
  8. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    what vintage?

    These were sold for quite a few years with some changes is the parts over time. The first ones made had brass driver tires, open frame motors and gears that needed a lot of work.

    I built one of the early units, and used a NWSL regear kit. and after a lot of work got an ok running unit. unfortunately I loaned it out, and lost contact with the individual who had it, it is out there somwhere, with a cabbage stack, and lettered for the state line RR.

    I built another that was a later version of the kit, and had nickel silver driver tires. by that time the stock gearing was much improved, and a much better motor was provided. I built the second one with the stock gearing, and it runs as well as any HOn3 rod engine I have ever seen, very smooth. I did some surgery to it to lower the boiler, which improves the look of this locomotive, Mechanically the only alteration I made was to add electrical pick up to the insulated drivers and the insulated tender trucks, which made a big improvement in the locomotive's.

    Building from piles of parts, one might get pieces from each version, and might have compatibility issues.

    I looked through my pictures and didn't see a picture of this massive beast, I'll have to fix that.

    there are some photos of my 2nd MDC 2-8-0 on page four of my Hon3 locomotive shops thread, which covers some of my modifications, and painting techniques.

    Bill Nelson
  9. NWPhil

    NWPhil New Member

    I realize this thread is older but I thought I'd chime in in case it's still an ongoing project.

    I would suggest scrapping the MDC gearing and possibly the motor and replace it with an NWSL motor and gear tower.

    Take a look here for a current project which is essentially the same as yours:

    I used NWSL 1630-D motor and 146-6 for the 28:1 gear tower. This is basically what it looks like: [​IMG]

    This setup would cost $24.95 for the motor and $34.95 for the gearbox. I don't know which motor you got with your MDC kit(s) but if it's the later open frame motor, I wouldn't replace it. If you got the worm off you can use a NWSL universal connector to go from the motor shaft to the gear tower. I don't recall which one I used on mine but it was either 482-6 or 483-6. Either way, the universals are $2.95 for a set which gives you more parts than you need. If you couldn't get the worm off, you could actually cut the motor shaft as long as you have enough left on the motor to slide a universal cup or ball on. It would be better to use a NWSL gear puller to get the worm off though.

    before I got a puller, I used to take a nut the approximate size of the gear etc. and cut a notch out of one side. That allowed me to slide the nut over the shaft of the gear/wheel etc. Once the nut was on the underside of the gear/wheel I would clamp it in a bench vice and use a finishing nail with a small hammer to drive the shaft through the gear. It's not the best because if you slip or mess up you'll probably damage something but in a pinch it worked.

    A puller is much better though.

    Hope this helps. Curious how you made out on this project.
  10. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    That is an interesting conversion, and should make for a smooth running behemoth. that huge water tank should allow plenty of weight.

    The NWSL stuff is always good, and would be a definate improvement over an early kit's gearing. My current locomotive, built stock from a late kit, runs so well, I doubt any improvement is possible.

    Thanks for sharing this interesting project.

    Bill Nelson
  11. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    Typically, the right hand ( engineer's ) side of the loco are the electrical pickup, so the insulated wheels go to the left ( Fireman's ) side.
    That said, as long as the loco wheels, and tender wheels are opposite, it really doesn't matter.
  12. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member


    Mine has the insulated drivers on the firemans side (Left side of the locomotive viewing the locomotive from the rear of the cab.

    If you hunt around there are some notes on this locomotive somewhere on Zealot. the locomotives were sold for a long time, and the quality of the wheels motors and gears improved over time. the first one I got was an early version, it had brass tires on the wheels, lower quality gears and a poor motor. It got a repalcement motor, and the NWSL regear kit. If I remember the regear kit took some fussing with to get it right.

    The second one I got , was a late model, it had a good quality can motor, better gears, and I built the mechanism up stock, except for adding electrical pick up to the insulated side of the locomotive and tender. Cosmetically, I shortened the extended smoke box, and lowered the boiler by altering the cylinder saddle

    in spite of being built mechanically stock the second unit performed better. any queations, feel free to ask, and check out my HOn3 engine shops thread, as most of my tricks are documented in there.

    Bill Nelson

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