The Roster

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Project 326 - Tear down and cleaning

First step was to disassemble the locomotive and clean off all the grime. The pilot removes with a single screw.

 You can see the accumulated dirt and grime. The rest of the locomotive was as dirty.

The running gear was dirty and had a bit of rust and discoloration.Nothing too bad, or unusual in a locomotive that's been sitting around for a few decades.

The underside of the smoke unit had a bit of corrosion. I had to remove the plate and take the dremel to it, but it cleaned up.

 The tender was just dirty, a good scrubbing with a toothbrush and soapy water cleaned up the dirt.

Here's a shot of one of the tender trucks. You can really see the dirt and corrosion on the truck.

I cleaned off the corrosion and dirt, cleaned the electrical contacts and reassembled everything. I fixed the binding issue. I think it was as simple as one of the running gear rods was not installed properly. After a few cycles of trial and error, I have the wheels turning with out binding.

Set the locomotive on the track and fired up the transformer...and it still does not run. The rectifier in the tender hums, but the motor does not turn and the headlight does not light. Time for some additional research and testing..

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Project 326 - The American Flyer 4-6-4 Hudson

At the recent World's Greatest Hobby show in Cincinnati, I chanced the opportunity to acquire a model of an American Flyer 326 Hudson steam locomotive. It wasn't much to look at, the shell of both the locomotive and tender were extremely dirty, the wheels were filthy, the locomotive didn't run and there was binding in the drivers.. Still, there was potential there, and the price wasn't bad, so I took the plunge.

Currently, the locomotive is being cleaned. I've disassembled it down to its base components. The shell and major assemblies have been cleaned with soap and water. Next up is the clean and oil the running gear. At some point, I'll need to overhaul the tender as well.

Here's my initial assessment;

- The binding problem appears to be due to how the running gear was installed in the steam cylinders. Once I'd removed the steam chest, the wheels turned easily.
- The smoke unit needs work. There was no smoke stack present with the smoke unit. Does not appear to have wick either. Bottom plate of unit has a fair amount of corrosion (i.e. rust).
- What grease there was on the main gears was old and waxy.
- The brushes are dirty and worn. Might need to replace.
- Brush springs might need replacement.
- Some of the wires between the tender and the locomotive are badly frayed.
- Wheels are in fair condition. Whitewalls are dirty and a bit worn.

I'll get some pictures posted soon.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

World's Greatest Hobby on Tour

Spent today manning the NASG booth at World's Greatest Hobby show in Cincinnati today. The show had great turnout with easily over 200 people lined up to get in when the doors opened at 10:00am.

The NASG booth was manned with a contingent from the Miami Valley S Gaugers  - Jon, Mike, Rich, Jack and Ray rotated duties answering questions about S Gauge and keeping two trains running on the MVSG layout. Rich's AF 300 performed yeoman service and ran most of the day pulling a consist of old AF cars and some new custom built flat cars that Rich constructed.  Mike and Ray split time on the outer loop with a mix of modern equipment. Mike's Trainmaster and Ray's GP-35 (both American Model) ran like champs, but Ray's Lionel U-33C kept stalling on the outer loop (It ran like gangbusters on the inner figure 8).

As you might expect the WGH show is a major regional event with advertised on television in the days leading up to the show. Several vendors with their S wares were present including Lionel, Pikeville Models and several hobby shops.

Big news of the show was Lionel's release of the new stand alone American Flyer catalog - not only new, but packed with surprises! New 2-8-8-2 steam locomotives and new road names for the U-33C and a bevy of NEW SD-70ACe in a broad cross section of road names. AND MORE! Lionel appears to be committing to American Flyer in a big way. 

The final day of the 2012 World's Greatest Hobby on Tour show Sunday from 10-5