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!

Proto 2000 geared axle questions

2670 views
15 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    September, 2010
  • 184 posts
Proto 2000 geared axle questions
Posted by Mister Mikado on Saturday, May 06, 2017 3:46 PM

Hello everyone,

I noticed Walthers sells two different types of geared axles for the Proto 2000 and 1000 locos.  One is for "Early Proto 2000 (R) E6/7/8/9" and the other is for "Early PROTO 2000(R) BL, FA, GP7/9/18/20/30/60 & PROTO 1000(TM) F3,RS2,RSC2".

Will someone explain what's different about the two?  I always thought those cracked axles got replaced with one type, your standard Athearn geared axle.  Which leads into my next question:

I replaced the cracked geared axles on a Proto 2000 FA1/FB1 set.

I never operated them on parallel tracks before the change, but they run at different speeds at the same voltage (one power pack running both simultaneous). Can someone explain this?

Thanks to all,

Rob

 

  • Member since
    January, 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 3,188 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, May 06, 2017 4:25 PM

Wierd.

.

I have a set of Walthers Mainline FA's that ran at the same speed until I installed American Limited diaphrams. Maybe this is a problem with Alco cab unit models.

.

Probably not. Most likely just a weird coincedence.

.

-Kevin

.

Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

  • Member since
    January, 2010
  • From: Chi-Town
  • 7,335 posts
Posted by zstripe on Saturday, May 06, 2017 4:45 PM

One probably has a different gear ratio than the other. A lot of older Athearn, some Life-Like and others had a 12 to 1 gear ratio which would make it faster than a now gear ratio standard of 14 to 1, running at the same voltage/rpm. They did that because most Modelers wanted better slower speed control/ better pulling power verses fast.

Take Care! Big Smile

Frank

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 8,920 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, May 06, 2017 4:51 PM

Hi Rob: 

Frank is right. I believe the E6/7/8/9 gears had fewer teeth (12 I think but I could be wrong). EDIT: Mister Mikado has done the tooth count and there are 11 teeth in the E6/7/8/9 gears.  The number of teeth really doesn't matter, but gears with the wrong number of teeth won't run properly.

Dave

  • Member since
    August, 2003
  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
  • 6,803 posts
Posted by gmpullman on Saturday, May 06, 2017 4:52 PM

Hi, Mister Mikado

The exact specifics escape me but I can look it up. In short, the Life-Like manufactured E- 6, 7, 8s had a separate journal box on the truck side frame and the axle had a small nub that engaged this journal box. That nub sticking out will not fit into the Geep sideframe.

They became troublesome and when Walthers re-tooled the line after they purchased Life-Like this setup was eliminated.

https://www.walthers.com/replacement-geared-diesel-wheelsets-fits-early-proto-2000-r-e6-7-8-9-pkg-3

The E series gears had fewer teeth (11 instead of 14 IF I recall?)

For the Geeps, FA's etc. the Athearn 60024 gears or the Walthers wheelsets will work fine.

https://www.walthers.com/replacement-geared-driver-assembly-diesel-wheelset-pkg-2-for-early-proto-2000-r-bl-fa-gp7-9-18-20-30-60-proto-1000-tm-f3?ref=1

 

 

 

Good Luck,

Ed

  • Member since
    September, 2010
  • 184 posts
Posted by Mister Mikado on Saturday, May 06, 2017 11:09 PM

hon30critter

Hi Rob:

Frank is right. I believe the E6/7/8/9 gears had fewer teeth (12 I think but I could be wrong). The number of teeth really doesn't matter, but gears with the wrong number of teeth won't run properly.

Dave

 

Dave, I just inspected some of my Protos. My P2K E8 axles have 11 tooth gears and slightly larger wheels. Sounds odd but I checked 3 times by marking a block. My Proto 1000 Erie-built has a different kind of gear--it's offset toward one end, 12 teeth.  My FA/FB1 set has the familiar 12 tooth animal and  all 8 match, so I still don't know why one runs faster.

  • Member since
    August, 2003
  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
  • 6,803 posts
Posted by gmpullman on Saturday, May 06, 2017 11:27 PM

Mister Mikado
My FA/FB1 set has the familiar 12 tooth animal and  all 8 match, so I still don't know why one runs faster.

Sometimes there isn't an obvious reason. When I ran these Proto engines, or many other manufacturers for that matter, back when my layout was DC it was not unusual to have some engines running faster. I would put these in the lead so there was a slight tug on the drawbar when running multiple-units.

With DCC decoders, of course, you can fine-tune (speed-match) the engines to follow the same, or close, speed response curve.

Some locomotives, Kato and Atlas come to mind, seemed to be built to closer tolerances and the speeds were more constant between locomotives.

How much of a difference are you talking about? There's no harm in rinning engines that are slightly off in the speed range.

Good Luck, Ed

  • Member since
    January, 2010
  • From: Chi-Town
  • 7,335 posts
Posted by zstripe on Sunday, May 07, 2017 2:09 AM

You just said in Your reply.......(wheel size) the one with the slightly larger wheels should run faster. That also has to do with the gear ratio. Why do You think a Steam engine used for passenger service with larger wheels will out run a steam engine used for freight service. Your Auto is the same way. Two exactly the same autos, same engine, everything the same, but one has larger diameter tires....that one will have a higher top end speed then the other at the same RPM. In the steam Locomotives, they did not have to pull as much weight as the freight , they wanted them to be faster so they had larger drivers, but could not pull as much as an engine for freight with the smaller drivers. Look at the size of the drivers on a Pacific verses a Mikado.

Take Care! Big Smile

Frank 

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 8,920 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, May 07, 2017 3:15 AM

Mister Mikado
Dave, I just inspected some of my Protos. My P2K E8 axles have 11 tooth gears and slightly larger wheels.

Hi Mister Mikado:

I got my tooth count wrong. Thanks for correcting me. I was working from (very) vague recollections. Good thing I'm not a dentist!Laugh

Dave

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: Good ol' USA
  • 9,245 posts
Posted by AntonioFP45 on Sunday, July 09, 2017 3:18 PM

Guys,

thanks for the info. I'm tuning up a number of my older run 4-axle P2K diesels for DCC operation, so I definitely want to have a batch of replacement axles on hand. I've replaced axles on two units, so far.  Although most of my P2K's are currently sitting inside of their boxes, l learned from experience that axle "dry-out" can still occur in storage!

Interestingly, although they're 15 years of age (and older), none of my P2K E-units have had the axle issues yet.....but I still plan on being prepared.

"I like my Pullman Standards & Budds in Stainless Steel flavors, thank you!"

 


  • Member since
    January, 2010
  • 2,164 posts
Posted by peahrens on Sunday, July 09, 2017 3:34 PM

AntonioFP45
Interestingly, although they're 15 years of age (and older), none of my P2K E-units have had the axle issues yet.....but I still plan on being prepared.

My first LL Proto 2000 purchase was a NOS E6A with dummy B.  There was one or more cracked gears, the telltale (besiders operating observation) being much too easy to twist the wheels.  As noted above, the Athearn gears were the wrong number of teeth.  I even tried replacing all 6 axles with the Athearns and, while it may just change the ratio and run ok if lucky, mine did not run or sound right.  The Walthers fellow told me the meshing was likely not quite ok.  If you have trouble finding the right geared replacment wheelsets, one solution (if you are lucky) is Walthers may have (ask the Tech guys, not sales) a replacement truck from which to glean the wheelsets.  That solved my problem when they did not have the E6 wheelsets stocked a few years ago.

Plus, I encourage taking better notes than I have.  If you disassemble things (as I do when converting DC items to DCC), document the teeth count, note the wheel diameter and which axle gears (if not all) have been replaced.  My batting average, if I checked, is probably about that of a pitcher. 

Paul

Modeling HO with a transition era UP bent

  • Member since
    October, 2001
  • From: OH
  • 16,468 posts
Posted by BRAKIE on Sunday, July 09, 2017 3:59 PM

Mister Mikado
I never operated them on parallel tracks before the change, but they run at different speeds at the same voltage (one power pack running both simultaneous). Can someone explain this?

Sure,that was caused by Life Like's "Gear of the month" policy.

Why LL didn't use the industry standard 14:1 ratio remains a mystery to this date.

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
  • Member since
    November, 2015
  • 1,093 posts
Posted by ATSFGuy on Sunday, July 09, 2017 7:33 PM

I'm bidding on a Proto 2000 ACL GP9 (Purple/Silver) on evilbay, Will I have to worry about the gears cracking?  How long will the locomotive last before the gears crack?

  • Member since
    January, 2010
  • 2,164 posts
Posted by peahrens on Sunday, July 09, 2017 7:54 PM

A suggestion.  Expect at least some of the gears to be cracked.  Or take the approach that they will soon crack and just replace them.  So I'd order the Atheran 60024 gears (works on a LL GP) and get them on the way.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Athearn-Blue-Box-Loco-Parts-1-6-Pack-Loco-Drive-Axle-Gears-Stock-60024-/371995313283?hash=item569ca60483:g:IAQAAOSwJ7RYUxBe

It's easy to pop off the bottom truck cover and lift out each wheelset.  Twist the wheels with your fingers to remove the gears from the 1/2 axles.  (Any cracked ones will be easiest.)  Add the new gears (reasonably centered) and use your NMRA gauge to adjust the flanges to the exact center of the gauge slots.  That ensures no problems tracking and provides a small electrical gap in the middle of the two metal 1/2 axles.

I've acquired a number of P2K and P1K DC locos to convert to DCC/sound so I had to get into them.  While in there, I disassembled the trucks, cleaned everything of old lube and lubed the gears and motor bearing.  You should consider that, as the factory grease has a tendency to set up into a sticky mess, plus eventually the motor bearings deserve a drop of oil.  You will have to do it eventually anyway.  It's not that hard once you get the shell off.  Ask questions as needed. 

Paul

Modeling HO with a transition era UP bent

  • Member since
    June, 2005
  • 4 posts
Posted by alzcmf on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 3:23 AM
Kay-Rect-A-Mundo, Frank! :)
  • Member since
    June, 2005
  • 4 posts
Posted by alzcmf on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 3:47 AM

On the issue of the P2K Geared Driver Assembly (Cracked axle gears)...Just prior to Life-Like Trains in Balt. MD. selling-out their entire inventory to Walther's - I recall Life-Like mailing-out these axles by the thousands! Unscrupulous people, got huge amount's of new axles, FREE, just stating they had X am't of the LL P2K loco's or similar stories. IIRC, this was around 2002? I saw hundred's of the new P2K axles at various train shows for sale by dealer's who typically stated "You can't get these anymore" (various prices). Life-Like finally "got wise" & asked how many loco's you actually owned, and how many had the problem. I truthfully told them "twenty" They mailed the new axles (Gear Driver Assembly), to me, NO charge! YAY! However...on close inspection to all the packaged new axles, almost 95% were cracked! The problem was the metal half-axles, when inserted in to the plastic axle, cracked the plastic, because the metal half-axles, were a bit too large, for the axles, or the axles holes too small... We're talking thousand's of an inch...but that's why there was always an issue with these. When Walther's took over, & the dust settled, they would send only a few new ones out, and eventually, you had to purchase them. That was fine too! Go with the Athearn #60024's for the four-axle units. (FA's BL's GP7s/9's/18's/20's etc.), NOT the "E" units. Make certain when you drop the new geared ass'y into the metal frames, that the square bronze nut piece is aligned with the frame. As stated, use an NMRA wheel set gauge for the correct width, & if you din't have one, just be absolutely certain that the metal half-axles don't touch! If you see arcing when running - they are shorting out! Cheers! AL

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!

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!