Older Athearn units.

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by NIevo, Feb 3, 2008.

  1. NIevo

    NIevo Member

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    Does anyone know of a way to lower the older Athearn engines body's? I just bought my first new engine in years and noticed how high in the saddle the older Athearn's are in comparison, makes them look kinda top-heavy. Look really bad coupled together. Not sure if theres a way to do it or if I should just sell all my older stuff and get some new engines.
  2. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

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    You peaked my curiosity.
    So I went and looked for my self.
    I have both the older Athearn GP-35, and the newer one released a couple of years ago. At a distance, the height is barely noticeable.

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  3. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

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    But after looking closely, I did notice that the older GP35, sat higher.
    You can see that the bottom of the sill is much higher on the older Athearn than the newer one. This exposes some of the truck tower.

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  4. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

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    Taking the shells off, I think I found out what MIGHT be an easy fix.
    You can see that these lugs, molded into the shell, slide into slots in the frame.
    maybe, trimming these lugs a little will make the shell sit lower.
    The newer shell, which is a modified RPP shell, dosen't have them.

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  5. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

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    You'll have to work on the shell details a little.
    First(#1), you'll have to grind back the locking lugs on both sides of the frame. Which means, you need a new way to secure the shell to the frame.

    Second.(#2)You may need to trim off the "locking tab", and fabricate a new one without the hole.
    And last(#3). Trim off the air tank. But this can be replaced with one from either Details West, or Details Associates.

    Hope this helps.
    Now, that you pointed out the differences...I may have to try it myself.

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  6. NIevo

    NIevo Member

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    Lol...thanks. Im glad I wasn't just seeing things:mrgreen:. The biggest obstacle I see is the air tanks in the way.
  7. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    geez. There was an article in MR back in the early-mid 90s that described modifying the trucks. At least I think there was an article. Maybe I am thinking of a different brand of loco, but it seemed complicated.

    Kevin
  8. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    The problem is not that the body sits too tall, rather the frame sits too high on the trucks. A friend of mine who used to do custom painting before he went to work in quality control for Athearn, found a tool for a mill that he could put in a drill press. It was a surface cutter with a hole in the center that would fit over the pins in the Athearn frame. He chucked it in his drill press, and milled a few thousandths of an inch off the frames around the pins that locate the trucks. When he put the locomotives back together, the frames sat down on the trucks prototypically and the everything lined up like it was supposed to. He may have made the change in the production frames when he went to work for Athearn.