Saturday, June 27, 2015

Update of Heljan B807 Brewery

So I put two Heljan B07 breweries together for my massive Apollo Brewery complex and here is a little update on what the look like without the side buildings...

Piko BR 55 and electrical shorts've got a Piko BR 55 and it doesn't run, in fact the red light on you transformer comes on anytime you try to apply power to it...

This is the model we're talking about:

This thing is a bowl of spaghetti when it comes to electrical.  If you fix anything on it you will cause a short in the main pickup underneath.

I've just recently repaired a number of these locomotives and have found them to be advanced projects.  Getting the linkage right after quartering requires a hell of a lot of patience.  There is only one way it can be done, then you have to rotate the wheels to do the same thing on the other side.  Once you do that the previous side needs be done all over again.

Next, if you touch the linkage at all after you're done, you will be starting over, only this time you will notice that a couple bushings have come out forcing you to start again. Each time you get back together another bushing will come out.  Once you reach maximum frustration you will glue them all back in place permanently.

Finally you get it all together and then test it only to discover it shorts.  This short will be the toughest thing to troubleshoot.  And guess what? The first thing you have to do is disassemble everything.

After finally isolating the short, fixing it and putting it all back together - you will find that there is another short.  The last short is the toughest to cure.  You could hard wire everything, but that creates a problem with tolerances.  You can also insulate everything and that has its own problems.

Finally you choose a method of fixing the short and it works.  However all the linkage is hanging down and you back to step 1.

Have fun with this one...

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Small Plastic Gear Repair

I was working on a Piko BR 86 that had a worn out idler gear.  The locomotive could run forward, but not backward.  Upon inspection of the gear I observed that the teeth were worn away on the side engaged when going in reverse.

I researched everything I could find about methods used to repair, remake and fabricate gears.  I learned a lot and chose to try a method where I would use baking soda and super glue.  When mixed, these two products make a very hard cement like substance.

My plan was to carefully wrap the gear with foil and then apple the baking soda and super glue to the gaps.

Once I had the foil on I noticed that it was a lot more durable than I expected.  The method of making the foil fit the gear is to turn it with its mate.  While doing this I noticed that it actually worked pretty good.  There's a few rips and tears, but they don't matter because the gear is just slightly bigger now making for a deeper mate with the worm gear.

Another benefit is the fact that the torque of the metal worm gear is applied to another metal surface making for a smoother working part.  So I just added a couple drops of superglue to hold it in place and it works pretty good.  When it finally wears out, it's easily replaced.

Here's a picture:

Monday, June 1, 2015

Caring for and Quartering of Steam Locomotives

Caring for Liliput Class 91 2-6-0 Steam Locomotives

  1. DO NOT handle the locomotive by the drivers or they WILL bind and the locomotive will stall and need to be quartered.
  2. Use two hands to handle the locomotive and beware small details – one hand on the cab and one hand on the valve gear.
  3. A Rix Railer is a nice tool to have when placing locomotives and cars on the track.
  4. DO NOT run the locomotive at maximum power if at all possible – the locomotive has enough power to throw itself out of quarter even without moving a train.  Slow speeds will keep the locomotive from binding.
  5. If the locomotives stalls, expect there to be a bind in the drivers that requires quartering.
  6. To prevent binding, an eyeglass screw has been used on the fireman’s side front driver.  At high speeds or heavy loads you will throw this rod off.  Gently replace the driver back onto the screw and reduce speed or lighten the train.
  7. The main gears have been lubed with white lithium.  This grease is especially good at NOT spreading all over everything.  When cold, this grease is stiff.  A couple medium speed warm-up laps results in a very smooth and quiet operation.
  8. DO NOT perform a torque test. This is not a diesel locomotive.  The torque test will cause a bind and will require the locomotive to be quartered.
  9. Operate with small cuts of cars – this is a small shunting locomotive that was not meant to shove heavy trains.  Build trains a few cars at a time and leave the heavy work to heavy class locomotives.
  10. You can learn to quarter your locomotive.  First study the forums and all the advice you can get then apply this rule:

On the Engineer’s side all driving lugs are placed at 12 o’clock.
Rotate the loco as if on a turntable.
Now on the Fireman’s side all driving lugs need to be matched at 3 o’clock.

Think carefully before twisting a wheel into proper quarter.

One wheel at a time.

Have patience.  This skill is very hard at first, then very easy once you catch on.

After you fail 3 times, stop and goto a Yogi and have him slap you in the face 27 times then drink a 6 pack of beer and start over.