Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Life Like B unit shell removal

694 views
12 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    February 2020
  • 26 posts
Life Like B unit shell removal
Posted by Llenroc fan on Monday, June 29, 2020 3:51 PM

I need to remove the shell from a Life Like B unit to lubricate it and possibly add flywheels.  Any references for YouTube videos, etc. would be appreciated.

Thanks.

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: St. Paul
  • 719 posts
Posted by garya on Monday, June 29, 2020 4:08 PM

Llenroc fan

I need to remove the shell from a Life Like B unit to lubricate it and possibly add flywheels.  Any references for YouTube videos, etc. would be appreciated.

Thanks.

 

What B unit?  That is, what model, what scale?  

If, say, a Proto 1000 F3B, just getting your fingernails under the shell near the fuel tank and widening it should work...

Gary

  • Member since
    February 2020
  • 26 posts
Posted by Llenroc fan on Monday, June 29, 2020 7:11 PM

It's HO and I'm not certain which release as I just picked it up used.  I tried the widening the shell technique and that did not seem to work at all.

  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Kentucky
  • 9,815 posts
Posted by Heartland Division CB&Q on Monday, June 29, 2020 7:26 PM

Are you sure it is Life Like?

Some other manufacturers have screws from the bottom to hold the shell on. 

GARRY

HEARTLAND DIVISION, CB&Q RR

EVERYWHERE LOST; WE HUSTLE OUR CABOOSE FOR YOU

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: St. Paul
  • 719 posts
Posted by garya on Monday, June 29, 2020 8:12 PM

Llenroc fan

It's HO and I'm not certain which release as I just picked it up used.  I tried the widening the shell technique and that did not seem to work at all.

 

What model?

Gary

  • Member since
    May 2019
  • 79 posts
Posted by FlyingScotaman on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 2:17 PM

As others have said it should be a case of easing the sides above the fuel tank and it should just slip off, however, sometimes those shells can sit at a bit of a slant and may for that reason - or some other- have had a bit of glue added to tighten things up. In that case something very thin between the frame and the body and feel gently for any such thing.

I have a vague memory of a B unit that had a tab protruding from the end of the frame just where the diaphragm is. Same drill in this case.

  • Member since
    June 2020
  • 56 posts
Posted by Lastspikemike on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 6:44 PM

You mean a link like this:

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/88/t/203797.aspx

 

??

  • Member since
    June 2020
  • 56 posts
Posted by Lastspikemike on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 6:50 PM

Sorry, maybe this:

 

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/88/t/200240.aspx

  • Member since
    May 2002
  • From: Massachusetts
  • 2,694 posts
Posted by Paul3 on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 6:55 PM

If this model is an P2K FB-1:

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=3022389

The trick is that you have to remove the plastic fuel tank.  It's only held on by friction, so it should come off pretty easy.  You do have to watch the slack adjusters on the truck sideframes, but the tank should come off with some wiggling around.  Under the plastic tank, you'll see four Phillips head screws in the corners.  Remove all four, and the shell will lift off (no other tabs).  When putting it back on, watch out for the corner stirrup steps on the rear (the fan end).  They tend to hang up on both the large weight and then the frame.  A little nudge with a screw driver will get them past.

If it is an P2K FB-2:

https://dieselshop.us/Burst-9.HTML
You don't have to remove the tank.  You'll see the 4 screws around the outside of the tank and just do the same as above.

  • Member since
    February 2020
  • 26 posts
Posted by Llenroc fan on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 6:40 AM

Thanks for all the suggestions.  I'll report on the results when I get the time to work on it again.

  • Member since
    June 2020
  • 56 posts
Posted by Lastspikemike on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 7:13 AM

I find these TCS DCC decoder installation instructions handy for disassembling locos:

https://tcsdcc.com/installation/ho-scale/1384

  • Member since
    December 2015
  • 7,125 posts
Posted by BigDaddy on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 8:41 AM

Mike to make a click linkable, that is not on the Trains or MR website, use the chain icon link.

https://tcsdcc.com/installation/ho-scale/1384

For MR links, I've gotten lazy and use the Tiny.url add on or extension (depending on your browser.  That copyies the link in to a shorter HTML address

https://tinyurl.com/ybqvkhp

The other option is to type (using brackets, not parenthesis) and don't use the link icon.

(url)http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/88/p/283017/3255189.aspx#3255189(/url)

 

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/88/p/283017/3255189.aspx#3255189

 

That usually, but not always works.  Editing the post can somehow break the link

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

  • Member since
    June 2020
  • 56 posts
Posted by Lastspikemike on Thursday, July 2, 2020 7:24 AM

Thanks. Every site seems to use a different technique. 

I also meant to add that the most important part to lubricate can be accessed without removing the shell. Lifelike and now Walthers Proto trucks (and Athearn from which this excellent and now pretty standard truck design originated) can be adequately lubricated by carefully flipping off the plastic axle retaining  clips, a tricky but manageable job. This exposes the plastic gears and axle bushings that require the most frequent maintenance (and if suspected to be at all original need to be replaced, likely, with the axle or gearsets available from Walthers or Athearn). Indeed, a little plastic compatible oil added to these gears and the square bearing blocks will migrate nicely "up" to the worm drive right from there without any need to remove the shell at all. Replace the plastic axle clips and run  trucks for a short while with your locomotive still upside down and the oil will rejuvenate any grease on the worm drives that may have got a bit dry. A few laps on the track not hauling any cars will finish up that lube job nicely. 

Of course if you suspect that the grease on the worms has gone hard you should access them from the top after removing the shell but some proto models also retain the worms with plastic clips more difficult to remove than the axle retainers. 

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Users Online

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!