Old school Bowser K4...

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by shaygetz, May 21, 2006.

  1. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    I'm finally starting a long waiting project, a Bowser K4 4-6-2 Pacific aquired as a cast-off freebie. Started by the original owner but never really worked on, I stripped his paint job off with a overnight dip in Pine-Sol.

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  2. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    I picked up an old Bowser Reference Guide in a magazine boxlot I was given and found it quite helpful to do the hardest part of the kit---the drive gear linkage. I am so looking forward to running this puppy on the club layout, it easily pushes 2 pounds. One can only imagine what the final drawbar pull will be.

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  3. brakie

    brakie Active Member

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    Bob,Back in 1966 I saw one those K4s pull a 22 car passenger train across the Columbus,Oh HO Gauge club..This was no easy feat seeing these cars was a mixture of Walthers(remember those?) and brass passenger cars.Of course these cars was heavy and not exactly want one would call free rolling.
    At that time the K4 was produce by Penn-Line and had brass wheels running on brass track which IMO added tractive effort to the K4.:thumb:
    Besides the K4 I also built 2 L1 kits and 3 H9 kits..I doubt if I could build one today.Not bad for a teenager.I spent 6 months building those engines.sign1 In contrast my Dad could have built those 6 engines in as many weeks..He was more EXPERIENCED then I was you see..sign1
  4. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

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    fine kits they are :)
  5. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    It was a great kit, Jim, almost as easy as a shake the box Athearn freight car. Had her assembled in about 6 hours.:thumb:

    Larry, the soldered brass frame, "Penn Line" on the tender shell and Muncy, Penn. address on the box date this kit to just after they aquired Penn Line in '63 but before their move to Montoursville in '65. They went to diecast frames in '88 and I don't even see the K4 on their kit kineup anymore, making it a special kit as I've always wanted one.

    Once the drive train was assembled, I hooked it up to a 9v battery and broke it in for a half an hour in each direction, checking for binds and loosening screws as she went.

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  6. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    They're fun kits to build, Bob. I built a Bowser K-11 for my son: remotored it with a Sagami and added a gearbox from NWSL. It pulls well and runs smoothly. Don't have a photo handy, but I used a tender from a Tyco Mike, and added an Elesco fwh and a scratchbuilt all-weather cab...sorta looks like a cross between something CPR and NYC.

    Wayne
  7. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Then I popped the sheel and tender on and applied power again to ensure no bindings were introduced by the new shell and that there were no shorts between the engine and tender. Because I enjoy model trains as miniature machines as well as models, I plan on leaving it unpainted for the foreseeable future, adding K4 details as time and finances allow.

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  8. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Thanks, Wayne, I'll have to catch up with you on the relotor as I'd like to make her DCC---even without the paint as, at almost 2 pounds, it has to be one potent beastie for pulling.
  9. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

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    Magnificent! :thumb:
  10. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

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    Bob a place called yard bird trains has a remotor kit call helix humper havent used one but its a nice looking .
  11. brakie

    brakie Active Member

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    Bob,Imagine toting a locomotive carrying case with 7 or 8 of those Penn-Line engines inside..:D
  12. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    Thanks, Miles.

    Could you imagine? I'd love to couple her up to 6-8 of these sissy Spectrums or BLIs just to see what she could do:D :thumb:
  13. ed acosta

    ed acosta Member

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    Bowser K-4 Pulling Power

    Alright guys! You are talking about the amazing pulling power of the Bowser 4-6-2, well I have a Bowser 2-10-0 that should pull the pants off of the 4-6-2 except for the fact that only four drive wheels actually make contact with the rail. Since I don't own one, are all six drivers on the K-4 touching the rail or are the center pair off the rail? Was this a Bowser concept that was used throughout all of their locos? I recall that Bowser sold a frame and drive wheels to replace the faulty frame and drive wheels in the early Bachman 4-8-4 locos. I was about to buy one until the hobby dealer pointed out that the four central drivers did not have wheel flanges nor did they even make contact with the rail.

    Honestly, I am at the beginning of overhauling and repainting this decapod and I really appreciate that you have shared this info with the rest of us.
    -Ed
  14. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

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    I was also curious about these bowser kits. are the dificult to build?
  15. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    I've owned the kit for over a year and the only reason I took so long to get a round tuit was the valve gear linkage:oops: . Having to assemble it myself was intimidating but actually turned out to be quite easy. You just have to carefully note which side the rivet head goes on and the proper side each piece goes. After only three mistakes that were easily corrected, I had the drive train up and being bench tested in two and a half hours. The kit was finishedn less than six hours and that includes an hour and a half of breakin time. All in all a sweet kit:thumb:

    Ed, all six wheels touch on the K4. What you're experiencing was a concession made in the early daze of our hobby to get large steamers to go around the tight curves on most folks layouts. Flangeless drivers (blind drivers would the correct term)were used on real railroads for the same reasons modelers use them. Some model makers even gave you both blind and flanged to give you the option to chose yourself. That they don't touch was another concession---you usually had to file the blind drivers with a slight bevel on both sides. This because the drivers would go past the rail, then drop down. When the loco started coming out of the curve, the driver, being lower then the rail, would derail the loco unless the bevel was there to help it ride back up the rail. To avoid this, model makers would simply make the center drivers slightly smaller so that they wouldn't touch the rail at all.

    Make sure you keep us posted on that Decapod:thumb:

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