Question from a forum newbie

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by gcodori, Jun 30, 2004.

  1. gcodori

    gcodori Member

    Hi, this is my first post! Been lurking for some time.

    I have a few questions regarding the MDC 2 truck shay kit by MDC...

    Can anyone give me the length of the 2-truck model? I'm interested in the smallest turntable required to turn this loco (in inches).

    Next,what is the spacing between the axles of each truck? And what is the diameter of the drivers?

    Also, has anyone tried to re-power this NOT using the NWSL gear/motor combo, BUT using an n scale (or small HO scale) diesel mechanism to drive the trucks. Not using the center drive shafts under the shay, but have the motor in the shay driving the two power trucks via the flexible shafts to each truck. I'm thinking you'd have to channel out the boiler to allow the shaft up front. Atlas appears to power their n scale shay this way...

    I've searched the archives, and most deal with replacing the gears and motor, but leaving the center drive under the shay.

    Any thoughts?

  2. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Welcome to your first post then Greg. :thumb: Sorry I don't do Shay's, if nobody answers here in a day or two might try the logging forum as there are more of them Shay boys over there. Fred
  3. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    I measured mine at about 6 1/2" . You could squeeze it onto a 6' turntable if you don't mind the couplers overhanging.
    The axle spacing is 11/16" and the wheels are roughly 5/16" diameter.
    I wanted to repower mine using the outside driveline , but after I realized what I was getting myself into I decided to modify the MDC drive and Later on just scratch-build one that is driven in the same manor as the prototype.

    Here's a link to another MDC shay thread

    Using an N scale drive can be done. You might be able to hide the motor in the firebox and run the driveshafts right under the deck between the frame rails.
    You will still have to deal with timing the two drive lines.
  4. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Thanks Ray, Fred
  5. gcodori

    gcodori Member

    more on the shay

    Well, the timing issues would be the same as if you powered it normally. I would even go as far as having only one of the trucks synchronized and the other spinning freely (but still connected to the universal shaft) a-la Mr Rollins website .

    Now I would have to find a 2 axle diesel that fits the axle spacing of the shay. Does anyone know if the bevel gears on the shay kit are separate pieces, or if they are already attached to the drivers? 1/4 inch drivers would equal 40" drivers in n scale, not sure about finding that. BTW, this would still be HO standard gauge. My initial thought was to use the gearing from the diesel and transfer it to the shay axle.

    I've even thought about the old b-mann 44 tonner (the one with the self powered trucks) being the basis of powering the rear drivers and leaving the front unpowered.

    If anyone else has some interesting shots of their repowered shays, feel free to post or point them out.

    Great suggestions all around!


  6. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    The gear is molded into the wheel on the MDC shay.
    One idea I was tossing around was to power the rear truck then have the front truck powered by the outer driveline.
    I also considered cutting the stock wheel gears off and replacing them with finer tooth gears from an HO slot car.
  7. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Hi Greag! :wave: :wave: :wave: Welcome to the-gauge! :wave: :wave: :wave:

    I would check into an Athern SW unit, or maybe the newer bachmann 44 tonner for increased reliability. The old 44t power trucks are lovely for bashing, but just not very strong design. Athern's are commonly shortened or lengthened to suit. I would think changing the length of the chassis would be the easy part of this conversion :D

    Keep us posted on your progress, please!
  8. gcodori

    gcodori Member



    you wouldn't happen to have a photo or link to a photo of one of these sw units with the shell off?

    Would love to see the drive system used. I figure I'd need to find one of the "old school" drive systems...the ones with the flat frame, motor mounted to the center and the two universal shafts running from both side to the axles. The new systems with the split frames holding the motor and gearing would be too much work, and most don't have self contained axles.


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