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Re-motoring a United UP 2-8-0

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Re-motoring a United UP 2-8-0
Posted by Nevin on Tuesday, January 09, 2018 8:17 AM

Anyone here with any experience or suggestions concerning the addition of a can motor and a sound decoder to a brass United PFM Union Pacific 2-8-0?  I found websites for re-motoring lots of other engines but not these.  A bit surprising considering how many were made.  Any pointers would be welcome before I start the project.  Getting access to the Vanderbilt tender is another challenge! Hmm

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Posted by 7j43k on Tuesday, January 09, 2018 10:06 AM

No experience here.

Suggestions:

Visit the site of Northwest Short Line.  They've got lotsa stuff you might need:  shaft reducing bushings, universals, motors........

Some people just mount their can motor with silicon caulk.  If I were to do that, I'd consider gooing it onto a mounting plate, and then attaching THAT with screws.  Myself, I would try to design a goo-less mount, first.  Then go to the silicon method if that wasn't working out.

Getting into a Vanderbilt is negatory.  I've heard that sometimes the ends come off. I've got lots of those tenders (Great Northern!).  My ultimate solution is to destroy the oil bunker with a Dremel for access.  And rebuild it later.  BUT.  Your loco is coal, I believe.  You can work through the coal bunker!

You can also consider putting your speaker(s) in the loco, instead (and decoder?).  I'm assuming you are talking about speakers and decoders, by the way.  Otherwise, why be concerned about getting into the tender?  Anyway, the speakers in the loco have a couple of good points:  no opening up the tender, the sound comes out of the loco.  And a couple of bad:  you have to find space for it/them, there's less room for weight.  Oh, yeah.  The wiring connection back to the tender is simpler--fewer wires--if you have both the decoder and speaker up front.  In a little critter like a 2-8-0, losing weight space is VERY irritating.  To me.

 

That's what I've got for now,

 

 

Ed

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Posted by dknelson on Tuesday, January 09, 2018 10:59 AM

A good article in the Feb 2008 issue on repowering old brass might be useful (it also has a list of other related articles) although it does not deal specifically with this locomotive, nor with opening up a brass Vanderbilt tender, which would take nerves of steel.  But what one person soldered together can presumably be unsoldered by another person (although the wedding phrase "... let no man put asunder" does come to mind).

Dave Nelson

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Posted by snjroy on Tuesday, January 09, 2018 11:45 AM

I have also read that many of these tenders can be opened from the end (coupler side) using a blade.

As for help in general, most brass engines are set up in a similar way, so advice you will find on other similar brass engines will likely apply (e.g., how to disconnect the old motor, how to choose the new motor, how to isolate the motor and tender, how to install the decoder and the speaker, etc.). Non-articulated engines with the motor in the boiler are all very similar in brass, from what I have seen. You could remove the boiler, take a picture of the powertrain arrangement and post it here for advice. 

Simon

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Posted by Nevin on Tuesday, January 09, 2018 6:25 PM
Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. This has been helpful .
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Posted by dti406 on Wednesday, January 10, 2018 7:17 AM

Nevin I suggest looking into the repowering group on Yahoo, they have a number of people who have done extensive remotoring and adding sound to old brass locomotives, and have links to their own websites where they have instructions on how to do so.

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/repowerandregear/info

Rick Jesionowski

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Wednesday, January 10, 2018 9:12 AM

Last time I linked to another forum it got deleted so here is the the way: Go to Big Blue Trains forum, to Scratchbuilding and Kitbashing. There is a thread about rebuilding a Santa Fe 1480 class 4-4-2 at the bottom of the first page. 

All you see there fits to the 2-8-0. When remotoring take the largest motor that fits.

The Vanderbilt tender can be a problem. If you are lucky you can prey open one end cap. With today's low current can motors a mini-decoder might fit into the locomotive cab or boiler. A speaker might fit into the tender's coal bunker if it is a coal tender.

Some Vanderbuilt oil tenders have removable oil bunkers in the coal bunker (especially SP locomotives).

As a last resort you can cut open the bottom of the tender where it is not visible.
Regards, Volker

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Posted by 7j43k on Wednesday, January 10, 2018 3:44 PM

The PFM/United model under discussion is made with a coal-style tender.  So, not only can you get inside the tender by opening up the main underframe, you can go in through the coal bunker.  And then cover the hole with coal or convert to oil.

 

The size of the hole you can make by coming through the underframe is .3" x 2.0".

The size of the hole you can make in the coal bunker is .8" x 1.2".

You can also open up a hole underneath the tender walkway at the front of the tender.  It's pretty much invisible when a locomotive is attached.

So there's a lot of access to the tender insides.

 

The motor goes back into the cab.  In choosing a replacement, you can decide whether you want the new motor to show, too.  On the real locomotive, it appears the firebox goes back into the cab about 2/3.  So having a round motor in the front 2/3 of the cab is very appropriate, especially if you cover it with a fake bit of boiler.  With DCC these days, it appears that a flywheel is unnecessary.  I think I would leave that item out.

 

Ed

 

 

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Thursday, January 11, 2018 4:27 AM

I finally found the photo I've been looking for. As I said in my previous post, as a last resort (whwn everything else fails) you can cut a slot into the tender bottom:

http://us-modelsof1900.de/wp-content/gallery/loco-sp-a6/sp-a6_13k.jpg

Regards, Volker

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Posted by Nevin on Thursday, January 11, 2018 5:28 PM

VOLKER LANDWEHR

I finally found the photo I've been looking for. As I said in my previous post, as a last resort (whwn everything else fails) you can cut a slot into the tender bottom:

http://us-modelsof1900.de/wp-content/gallery/loco-sp-a6/sp-a6_13k.jpg

Regards, Volker

 

That is really a nice slot.  If I can get the base off I may try to go that route.  

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