Keystone Shay NWSL upgrade

Discussion in 'Logging, Mining and Industrial Railroads' started by camelot, Dec 28, 2003.

  1. camelot

    camelot Member

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    Has anyone done the NWSL upgrade to the Keystone dummy shay ?

    How hard is it ?

    If someone has a scan of the NWSL intruction sheet it would be appreciated.

    Also i am a little confussed about what you get in the NWSL upgrade , i presume its a motor but do you get all the gearing as well?

    Cheers

    Ian:confused:
  2. krokodil

    krokodil Member

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    Hi camelot


    I did it about 4 years ago, and my little shay works excellent (the yellow one on my layout pictures).
    The work is not easy, you need to do lot of fitting type jobs, but the result is excellent. I have got two set of upgrade boxes, the gears and the motor and in extra box the replacement boogie parts. (the whole boogie is new from NWSL)
  3. marc gast

    marc gast Member

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    Keystone Shay

    I have built several and also bashed one into a Dunkirk. (The Dunkirk bash is great). This kit is not for the faint at heart, let alone powering it. NWSL has a nice kit for powering, however, i would suggest adding a 10 x 20 mm motor with a flywheel. The newer motors supplied with the kits are an open frame cheap motor. To bash into a Dunkirk, you will need two more non-beveled axles from NWSL, two plain side frames from NWSL and then another side cab from Keystone (nice guy there at Keystone, he should supply one at no charge).
    These are very heavy white metal castings, and will pull its weight in "GOLD" LOL!
    Don't expect to have one of these built over a weekend, it will take time and patience, however, well worth the investment.
    Marc
  4. camelot

    camelot Member

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    Thanks for your replies ,

    Krokodil , i like your little yellow shay very much i hope mine turns out as good as yours look.I like the look of the smaller 2 valve shay to go with my MDC 2 truck and Spectrum 3 truck.I have made enquires from NWSL about the powerkit and am awaiting arrival of the shay kit before ordering that.I originally got the kit for use as a dummy or double heading but after exploring the NWSL power kit i think i might get it running as well.


    Marc, i have done a little kit and kitbashing in both N scale and
    HO scale , i am looking forward to doing this kit.Hopefully it will turn out good. I intend to order the can motor with the kit as it is only $10 extra.Do you have any picture of these or the Dunkirks , i might just order another if this works out ?

    Question for both of you or anyone else

    Does anyone know if the motor is isloated or can it be , for future DCC instalation , if room ?
  5. marc gast

    marc gast Member

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    Keystone Shay

    The motor is isolated. You will have to run lead wires to the +/common brushes on the engine. There is not a lot of room in the tender for much more than the can motor. I am not sure whether you will be able to fit a DCC unit in the engine. I was only able to fit a very small bridge diode in the tender for constant lighting.
    I sold most of my HO logging stuff last year, so, no photos of the finished dunkirk. There should be some photos of a small Dunkirk, in the Shay Website. Shay Locomotives.com
    As a note, when installing the NWSL power kit, be very carefull when cutting out the frame for the gear box, it has a tendancy to bend very easily until the gearbox is installed.
    Also, as a note, you may want to also order another NWSL gearbox (the one that comes with the Keystone power kit) and replace the Bullgear assembly in your MDC shay. I have done this on a many MDC shays, it is much smaller, quiet and also can be enclosed with a firebox. It also affords the opportunity to eliminate the bulking MDC center drive lines with 1.5mm shaft.
    Good Luck!:thumb:
    Marc
  6. krokodil

    krokodil Member

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    I always prefer complete isolation from the frame (my frames are neutral, so I do not have problems with KADEE couplers). I also rewired my MDC SHAYs and achived full isolation from the frame.
    The open frame and the can motors from NWSL can be installed isolated from the frame.

    :eek:
  7. marc gast

    marc gast Member

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    Motor Isolation

    Hi,
    Stay away from the small open frame motors, these are not can motors and do not work well. If any of the NWSL Keystone shay power kits include the small open frame motor, order a small can motor. NWSL and A-Line once again have the small 10x20/12/20 motors which are needed to power the shay.
    Most motors are isolated from the frame, less the earlier MDC shays which the + lead was the frame mounted motor.
    Good luck,
    Marc
    :thumb:
  8. Jeff Law

    Jeff Law New Member

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    Keystone/NWSL Shay

    I've completed one of these Shays, and am working on a second which I'm building as a T-Boiler.

    In my experience, the open-frame motor is quite adequate. I ran my first Shay for all of a two-day show recently and it just got better and better.

    As to DCC, I've fitted DZ123 decoders inside the boiler casting with no problems. Both locos have front/rear lights, and the second one has a 'flickering firebox' as well.

    Jeff
  9. camelot

    camelot Member

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    Thats great Jeff , any chance of any pictures if you have any ?

    cheers

    Ian
  10. Jeff Law

    Jeff Law New Member

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    Keystone/NWSL Shay

    I've completed one of these Shays, and am working on a second which I'm building as a T-Boiler.

    In my experience, the open-frame motor is quite adequate. I ran my first Shay for all of a two-day show recently and it just got better and better.

    As to DCC, I've fitted DZ123 decoders inside the boiler casting with no problems. Both locos have front/rear lights, and the second one has a 'flickering firebox' as well.

    Jeff
  11. marc gast

    marc gast Member

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    Keystone Shay

    The T-boiler sounds good. Then try a Dunkirk bash with one.

    I tried one of the little open frame motors and was not pleased with the performance.

    I filled my boiler with malable lead for more weight, so no room there for any type of electronic module. I ran a piece of brass tubing through the lead for the headlamp and side markers.

    Marc
  12. Jeff Law

    Jeff Law New Member

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    Keystone/NWSL Shay

    I guess there are 'good' and 'not so good' open-frame motors - so far mine seems very good.

    I'm surprised that the Shay needed more weight - mine are both quite heavy and the one that's finished has excellent traction.

    I like the idea of the Dunkirk - maybe I'll add it to the growing list of future projects, such as my scratch-build of a Class C Climax!

    Jeff
  13. marc gast

    marc gast Member

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    Keystone Shay

    Jeff,

    Yes, the small open frame motor that came with the power kit from NWSL seemed to be no more than the little motor used by Heljan to power one of their small animations. Not much power or torque.

    I bashed a Keystone into a small Dunkirk. The owner of Keystone was nice and sent me a new cab side and a set of non-geared side frames. I sold the "Kirk" last year. Added brass domes, new stack, etc. to it.

    Yes, they are very heavy without the extra weight. I have 6 & 7% grades on a couple of switchback, so, a little extra weight doesn't hurt. Most of my grades on the logging layout are between 3 & 5 %.

    Marc
  14. camelot

    camelot Member

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    Well i have my Keystone Shay kit , a few questions to those who have made and motored the kit sofar.....

    I read somewhere on the web that they suggest that gettings the cylinders to go up and down are near impossible and it is a nightmare to get this parts all synchronized , especially due to the play in the soft white metal , is this true ?

    They go on to recomend making the cylinders fixed and maintaining the revolving action on the cranks only.

    I must admit that i only really look at the cranks on my MDC and Spectrum shay , i hardly notice the cylinders going up and down.

    If this does produce a better running model i would consider this action but i thought i would ask for opinons first ?


    Cheers

    Ian:confused:
  15. Jeff Law

    Jeff Law New Member

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    Keystone/NWSL Shay Cylinders

    With my first Shay, I carefully drilled holes in the crankshaft and installed crankpins. Then I test-fitted the rods and discovered that there was very little of the rods to view anyway. So I removed my crankpins and left the rods static as suggested by the plans.

    The second Shay I'm building at present will have non-operational rods from day one.

    In my view, it's just not worth the effort.

    Jeff Law
  16. marc gast

    marc gast Member

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    Shay

    I had operating cylinder rods on my shay. None of the models have actual operating cylinders. Just the cylinder rods.

    I used the Keystoner crank, etc. as the model, then crafted crank out of brass, inserted brass bushings in the bottom of the cylinders and it works like a champ. With the small design of the crankshaft , with a little patience, this can be accomplished giving nice results. Also, the u-joints, etc. can be fabricated out of brass which will match up with the NWSL upgrade. I've never had fondness of pewter or white metal for drive mechanism or trucks. Even on the large 1:20.3 casting, they still bend and ar fragile.

    Good luck!

    Marc
  17. Jeff Law

    Jeff Law New Member

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    Keystone/NWSL Shay

    I'd never thought of replacing the supplied universals, etc, with brass. Maybe I'll do that on the second unit that I'm building, now that I have a Clisby Lathe and Milling Machine!

    I wonder if I can make a crankshaft as well - hmmmmm!!!

    Now you've really got me thinking!

    Jeff Law
  18. camelot

    camelot Member

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    I have got both the Keystone shay kit , shown on left , and the NWSL motor kit , shown right, its time to start............

    I will post some pictures as i make the kit , they may be far between them though , this will probably be the hardest kit i have tried to date,

    Ian

    Attached Files:

  19. camelot

    camelot Member

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    First job was to mill a T-shape opening to allow the NWSL gearbox to drop through the floor to drive the trucks

    also drilled two holes for the kingpin sockets also supplied in the NWSL kit.....

    Attached Files:

  20. camelot

    camelot Member

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    The boiler casting had to be machined to fit over the drive gear box . That took about 1 hour for me to do with drill bits and a grinding tool in a dremel.

    Also the King pin sockets have been installed in the main frame with epoxy for the trucks.

    Attached Files: