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Oriental Limited Powerhouse 4-6-2 Tender Trucks Issue

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  • Member since
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Oriental Limited Powerhouse 4-6-2 Tender Trucks Issue
Posted by garya on Monday, June 29, 2020 6:38 PM

I recently acquired an Oriental Limited Powerhouse USRA 4-6-2, made by Samahongsa.  The mechanism is smooth and quiet, and the loco seems to run ok. It looks fine, though a bit plain.  The tender, though, has issues.  It doesn't quite match a USRA tender, but the big issue is with the trucks--they are very draggy.  While they look ok, the design is unusual, and they are not bolted or screwed to the tender frame.  It almost seems like they used cotter pins to hold them in place. And the pickup is a bit sketchy, too.

Others who have Powerhouse, what did you do with the trucks?  I was thinking of replacing them, and tapping the frame to take a 2-56 screw.

EDIT:  Added Pics

Gary

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  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, June 29, 2020 6:58 PM

I have three Powerhouse USRA Mikados, and one Powerhouse USRA Pacific, all four came with the same tender.

One of the Mikados received a "clear vision" oil tender from Tenshodo. That was an easy and perfect fix, but expensive.

On another Mikado, I used an Athearn tender from a failed Genesis USRA Mikado, and that was a great fix.

On the last Mikado, I replaced the trucks with a set from a BLI boxcar that were insulated on one side only. I added wipers and that worked out great, but the tender still looks poor.

For the Pacific... no repair has been made yet. I am hopefully going to find another Athearn Genesis tender for that one too. That seems to be a good fix.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, June 29, 2020 7:18 PM

If you have the trucks I dimly remember these engines had, my advice is to replace them.

I recall the construction involving thin dummy three-piece-truck sideframes, utterly non-structural, with the actual wheel bearings being machined grooves in fat axles which were clipped into plastic fingers.  If you wanted a design that was the moral antithesis of smooth free rolling it would be hard to beat.

If 'collector' resale value is not a major concern to you, I'd go a little further than just tapping threads: build up a proper bearing surface on the underside of the tender frame to suit the replacement trucks and to give the correct ride height and side-bearing action ... then drill and tap to take an appropriate shouldered screw.  (And use a truck tuner or equivalent for best action in actual axle running...)

I honestly don't know what the best lubricant for those plastic snap-tite bearings ought to be, if indeed any.  Anything with nominally better tribology between hard surfaces, like nanodiamond, would be wasted on the plastic.  Anything with better nominal hydrodynamic film generation fails on the large area and lack of 'crown' support... among other things.  Someone here, I hope, can tell me at least what Olympic would have thought they were thinking with such a design.

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Posted by snjroy on Monday, June 29, 2020 9:27 PM

I have a Mikado. Yes, the original tender and trucks are simply horrible. I swapped them out. The loco runs great otherwise...

Simon

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, June 29, 2020 9:58 PM

I have one of the Pacifics, it now has a Bachmann Spectrum tender.......

Sheldon

    

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Posted by garya on Monday, June 29, 2020 11:12 PM
I tried a spare 32' Bowser Tender with Cal-Scale trucks--it runs a lot better. I also have a Rivarossi USRA orphan tender I could try. At the least, I'm looking at new trucks for the current tender. OK, at least I know it's not just me...

Gary

  • Member since
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  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, June 29, 2020 11:15 PM

garya
it runs a lot better

That is great news. 

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

  • Member since
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  • From: St. Paul
  • 724 posts
Posted by garya on Monday, June 29, 2020 11:20 PM

SeeYou190

 

 
garya
it runs a lot better

 

That is great news. 

-Kevin

 

Yes, but the Bowser Tenders are a bit crude, too.  Then again, they have enough weight to track well and give good pickup...

Gary

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: St. Paul
  • 724 posts
Posted by garya on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 11:06 AM

As an update, I worked on the tender trucks some--I pried the wheelsets out, and worked on the prongs that hold the axles.  A little careful filing and spreading, and the tender rolls better.  Not great, but better.  Still looks a bit plain.

I'll see if I can find an Athearn Genesis or Bachmann tender for it, as it would be easier to add all-wheel pickup to a plastic tender.

Gary

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 11:21 AM

Keep in mind the old (1980's?) "Powerhouse" engine line was Samhongsa's budget line of engines, a mix of brass and plastic with IIRC die-cast boilers. They weren't intended to be 'brass quality level' engines; Powerhouse line was meant to be a good engine at a reasonable price, kinda in-between expensive brass and cheapo plastic.

Stix
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  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 12:48 PM

wjstix
Samhongsa's budget line of engines, a mix of brass and plastic with IIRC die-cast boilers.

I don't think any of mine have plastic parts. The boiler is solid cast and heavy, giving them more pulling power. A lot of the piping is etched brass rather than cast brackets and brass rod. The tenders are very crude. The smokebox cover is terrible with the cast on marker lamps.

I have only really upgraded one of them. The 4-6-2 was replaced with a Key import, but I guess I am keeping it. I will not replace the two stock Mikados if they fail. They will be back-up for my Sunset Heavy 2-8-2s.

The boiler lacks a lot of cast in detail that plastic steam locomotive boilers have. It is pretty easy to drill, and upgrades like checks valves, sand hatches, and sander pipes are easy to add.

The one I have upgraded is a keeper. Ths is the one that received the high-class Tenshodo tender.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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