Well I finally encountered an old motor that I'm not going to use. After completely rebuilding the motor, which came from a Tyco C430 built before the metal pancake motors came out, I decided that this one wasn't going to be worth the payoff.
Now I know what I said earlier, and it is really hard for me go back on my own promise to myself to make this thing work. But here's what I found: this motor is a 5-pole super smooth runner. But it has a worm gear on each end that goes directly to the axle of the power trucks. This would be great if the wheel sets had traction tires, but none of them do.
The real issue is power transmission from the rail to the motor which has to pass through a brass fitting that doubles as the housing for the axle. This makes the power truck extremely unreliable. That plus the fact there are no traction tires means this project is over. The finished product just wouldn't have any actual utility on an operating layout.
This is one of those very rare cases where the piece of equipment is ultimately not usable. The other 2 prime example of locomotives that I have that will not be brought up to DCC are an Athearn rubber band drive GP9 which is too weak to be of any use and my Athearn Hustler diesels which are interesting, but not really usable. All of them are in perfect working order, but just not really good enough for service conditions.
This brings me back again to the case for pancake motors. Just like a GP9 in the real world, these locomotives actually work and are still useful to be put in service. Plus I still like rebuilding them. I like adding as much extra power pickup as I can and some heavier weight to really let them lug.
In my collection I recently found an Athearn dummy GP9 that I added a Bachmann plastic pancake motor to the front truck. I don't remember doing this and it looks so convincing that I didn't realized what it was until I weighed it. It was over the weight my scale could measure. That's when I noticed the traction tires.
I'll post some pictures of this thing pretty soon....