AHM Casey Jones issues

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by gbwdude, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. gbwdude

    gbwdude Member

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    I have two AHM Casey Jones 4-6-0's and I'm looking to upgrade them for a future conversion to DCC. First off I want them to run great on DC and run at reasonably realistic speeds. I'm just wondering if it'd be better to put a regearing kit in them or a new motor with a gear head kit on it, and if all fails to build a new chassis. I've read on another website that the work involving modifying them to be mediocre runners is almost not worth it but I like a challenge!
  2. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

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    Start with electrical pick up!

    Tyler,

    With locomotives that have the standard electrical pick up for steamers, One rail picking up on the tender, and the other on the locomotive, the best improvement for the buck comes from improved electrical pick up. I use phosphor bronze wire on little pads of PC board which I fasten to the frame with epoxy or Walther's Goo. Picking up from the insulated side of the drivers is the easiest modification. the insulated side of the tender trucks is a little trickier, but well worth it. The old AHM locomotives have decent gears, and their motors were very good for the 1970's; but much better motors are available now.

    Getting into the gearing on a steamer can be a real ***** due to quartering issues, so My approach would be to do electrical pick up first, and then go with a good quality motor, On that locomotive a gear reduction motor might make it to slow. that would be acceptable if it was a switcher, but that locomotive looks like a thoroughbred, and should be able to get up and run when given the chance.


    Let me know if I can help, or if you would like to use my shops. I have an AHM Genoa that needs the electrical pick up and motor treatment, so perhaps you could follow along.



    Bill
  3. gbwdude

    gbwdude Member

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    Bill,

    Unlike your Genoa the motor is in the locomotive facing downwards and directly goes to a worm gear and then to the rear-most driver. Here's the picture on the directions: http://www.hoseeker.net/AHMRivarossiassembly/ahmcaseyjonespg1.jpg

    That is the main reason for the longest time now I've been considering building a custom underframe for both locos. Also by building my own frame I can have pickups on both sides of the frame, have a good motor and ease the process of adding DCC. I can also use the original drivers and worm but I'd have to switch the wheels so the middle axle would have the heavy counterweight and the drive gear. And unfortunately I have the wrong NWSL Quarterer, I need to get the next up size. The whole frame concept sounds easy enough but we'll see. I do have MR's book on detailing and doing whatever to steam locos which has a section on scratchbuilding a steam locomotive which I've read over numerous times.

    On Monday I'll bring in a few more of my toys to the choo choo club to show off, including my potential headache.

    Tyler
  4. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

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    That set up is actually much better than the set up in the Genoa.


    The first thing to do is to clean up the motor with tuner cleaner. Then using Jumper cables to eliminate the rail contact issues, run the locomotive upside down in a cradle, checking for binds, and see how the motor and gears do when they are hot wired. If I'm mot mistaken these mechanisms are actually respectable, suffering more from pick up issues than anything else.


    Bill
  5. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

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    Measure those motors!

    Tyler,

    Measure the motor's diameter, length, shaft diameter, and length. I was playing with a Sagami motor of that approximate size, and at the start up speeds I could count the rpms, so I think motors like that, while they may cost more than you paid for the locomotives, could give you extraordinarily good runners with just the motors and some electrical pick up modifications.


    Bill Nelson
  6. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

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    Tyler,



    I put a Sagami motor in the AHM tender behind my Mantua general. that went well. digging through my motor supply I found three GM surpluss motors scrounged when I was a GM mechanic, which appear to be the right size for AHM tender drive locomotives, so I may do some work with those for a Genoa and a Bowker.


    I also found three very odd small can motors which I believe I scrounged from a tape deck. I'll test them to see if they work, and I'll let you see if they will work for your projects, and if they will you can have them.


    Bill
  7. gbwdude

    gbwdude Member

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    After quite a bit of brainstorming and a generous donation from Doc Tom, I've decided that I'm going to attempt to take the underframe from a IHC 2-6-0 and transplant it under the body of Casey. The drivers won't be the same size and the spacing of the wheels won't be right, but it's my railroad. ;) I'll keep you guys informed how the surgery goes...

    Tyler
  8. gbwdude

    gbwdude Member

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    The Swap

    This is what I've found so far...

    The IHC 2-6-0's underframe is a great candidate for the swap. The frame is made of plastic so there is a north rail/south rail pickup with wires running directly to the motor and tender pickups, which makes this great for a future DCC conversion (which all my locos will eventually have). The AHM's underframe is stamped metal with only one wire running from the pickups on the tender directly to the motor and the frame picking up current on the loco from one side of the drivers.

    While it'd be obvious to immediately snag the underframe from the Mogul and boiler swap it, there's one big drawback: the driver spacing. I thought it wouldn't be an issue initially for aesthetic reasons, but further review showed me that the surgery required would be quite difficult since it would involve cutting the plastic frame to get it to fit right under the boiler of the 4-6-0. So I'm at a crossroad here; do I have two handsome but crappy/ non running locos or should I just scrap this whole headache? Or jump off the deep end and go with my idea of building underframes for both of the 4-6-0's?

    Tyler

    Attached Files:

  9. gbwdude

    gbwdude Member

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    Off the roster

    Well more brainstorming on these locos wound up to me having a headache, so I did the most rational thing I could. Both of the AHM 4-6-0's are off the roster now. Not like the WRRy needs more motive power in the first place, but the 2-6-0 that Doc Tom donated to the WRRy will be used instead of being chopped up. It should be nice to see both of the 2-6-0's double heading with a long freight train.

    Tyler
  10. puddlejumper

    puddlejumper Member

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    What will happen with the 4-6-0s? I am shopping for a clerestory cab and tender from the AHM Casey Jones loco for a kitbash project. Interesting in selling any of the parts?
    Dave
  11. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

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    Dave, he cut the celestory portion of the cabs off in order to normalize them. The rest of the parts for these he left with me , to see what I could do with them. Tyler is currently in Afghanistan with the 101st Airborne. I intend to study them to see if I can find an improved motor, but the driver quarter issue remains. If he wants to part with a tender (tenders are very handy things to have around, I will follow his instructions.


    Bill Nelson
  12. puddlejumper

    puddlejumper Member

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    Thanks for the reply Bill. I wish Tyler a safe return.
    Dave
  13. gbwdude

    gbwdude Member

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    Puddlejumper and Bill,

    One cab has been modified, the other is stock but it is painted and decaled. I have no issue with Bill selling you a tender and a cab at all.

    Tyler
  14. puddlejumper

    puddlejumper Member

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    Thanks Tyler, that's great news. I figured I would never find one of those cabs, I can only find complete locos, overpriced at that.

    Bill, let me know if you decide to sell, my PM is open as well.

    Tyler, take care over there, and thanks for your service.

    Dave
  15. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

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    Dave,


    This stuff is Tyler's, and I'm just holding it for him,. You'll have to negotiate with him. and pay him, on his Ok I will mail the goods to you. I will cover the postage and handling.


    I'd be no good at negotiating, I keep everything I really like, and more often than not give away the rest. I have a huge scrap pile, and if you look at my stuff over in the logging section, you can make out the impossible clutter in the background of my awesome RR shots.


    I will try to pull the pieces out of the zip lock bag and get a good photo of the cab and tender, so you will have good info about condition.


    Bill Nelson
  16. puddlejumper

    puddlejumper Member

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    Understood Bill, no problem.

    Tyler, I sent you a PM.
  17. gbwdude

    gbwdude Member

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    Well I've decided what to do with the leftovers from my attempted project. As a sad sight for real railroaders, seeing a steamer go off to scrap is never good. It should be also a interesting piece of rolling stock, one that was not exactly common but was seen nonetheless. Since the WRRy is a smaller railroad it had to have a good reason to scrap a lokie, as most were rebuilt and put back into service. It could also be from another railroad and the WRRy bought it to fix up. So it has a dual function. In any case, I'll have to modify the pilot like I wanted to in the first place to have a coupler.

    Tyler

    [​IMG]
  18. gbwdude

    gbwdude Member

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    To scrap or not to scrap...

    As much as I like the "scrapped out/possibly reborn" idea of my 4-6-0 for parts, I may give it a new life after all. I was cruising eBay for lokies and ran into someone's rendition of a rebuild, which wasn't for sale if you're wondering. It looks like someone took a AHM/Rivarossi American underframe and transplanted it under the boiler of the 4-6-0. I like it and may do that instead. I'd like some feedback on this if anyone has done something similar or even upgrading the mechanism of the existing lokie.

    Tyler

    Attached Files:

  19. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

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    that will work

    That will work to produce a larger more modern American. not only that, but I might have an AHM American frame in one of my junk drawers the beauty of this would be the ease that a really good motor could be installed in the tender.


    I will have the boys at the engine shops look into it.



    Bill Nelson
  20. gbwdude

    gbwdude Member

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    Bill,

    I can't remember what I all left you with and what you have in my bag of goodies. Did I leave you with a small motor to possibly squeeze into the boiler? I think I left the brass pilot and some details in there too, maybe I took just the details home with me. Either way if the foreman thinks it'd be relatively easy to do the swap that'd be great. Also if you need parts I can try to source a AHM 4-4-0 on eBay, I had one but it got away from me.

    I appreciate the work!

    Tyler