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Dateless Mantua 2-6-2T Conversion (Eventually)

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Dateless Mantua 2-6-2T Conversion (Eventually)
Posted by SpaceMouse on Saturday, September 26, 2020 11:08 AM

Answer: Not even a liberal court would allow it. 

Seriously, I found this in with my stuff when I was looking for parts. I got it at a Timonium train show 20 years ago and according to the box "Doesn't Runs Great". (Italics mine.) So it sat on my shelf. 

My books don't quite cover it. I only have decent records on Pennsy and SP. I'm guessing it was built in the late 1890s, but it is a guess based on similar structures on ten wheelers. Any idea when the prototype was built (and I know it is probably not a true prototype of anything.

It's made by Mantua. So the second question would be, is it worth salvaging? It's not getting power, but that might have something to do with the broken wire between the loco and the tender. 

And I only run DCC.

Chip

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Posted by Trainman440 on Saturday, September 26, 2020 11:20 AM

https://www.hoseeker.net/mantuainstructions.html
This model shows up to be from around 1980s. The engine has no prototype, Mantua/TYCO just used an 0-6-0 and added a leading and trailing truck wheels.

The mantua 0-6-0 was an elongated 0-4-0 switcher, which I believe is VERY loosely based off of the PRR A5 class. 

It is a very simple model, worth between $20-30. Because of the fact that it is such a simple design, I would recommend restoring it just for fun, and learn to take apart and maintain your models, with no worry of possibly damaging it. 

Yes, the wire between the engine and tender is likely the cuprit. The engine picks up track power with its 3 driver wheels only on one side of the track. The 4 tender wheels pick up power from the other side of the track. That single wire brings track power from the tender to the engine motor. 

Charles

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Posted by dknelson on Saturday, September 26, 2020 11:44 AM

The Mantua Prairie 2-6-2 was reviewed in the June 1967 Model Railroader's "Trade Topics."  (This does not mean your model is 53 years old - it was in the Mantua/Tyco catalog for a long time). 

 The review noted that the model had no particular prototype but that it followed general steam locomotive characteristics and "from different angles it resembles motive power  of several different roads."  They also noted that the boiler seemed large in diameter compared to the small 51" drivers.  The 30" pilot wheel flanges were deeper than NMRA standards and I suspect Mantua took them from existing stock.  The drivers were slightly narrower than NMRA standards, as were most drivers on brass steam back then.  This improves appearance but can cause issues on selected crossings and turnouts,  in theory (few ever report actual problems however). 

They suggested snipping off the pointed axle ends on the pilot and trailing wheels.  They also suggested a full width switchng type pilot and a smaller tender to change the appearance.

Minimum speed was 7 to 9 mph which was about average back then.  Top speed 150 mph which was also average.  Minimum radius 15".  10 or 11 freight cars could be pulled.  They had a reservation about the match of metals used for bearings and axles.   Ready to run it was $14.98.  

All in all they did not gush in enthusiasm but they did not trash it either.

So this was more or less upper end train set quality for the time.  To me it resembles some logging locomotives, where small pilot and trailing wheels are more to guide the engine around sharp curves forward and reverse than to balance overall weight on drivers.  Except for the size of the boiler it somewhat resembles a compact little 2-6-2 that the Illinois Railroad Museum used to run, and presumably still has in their collection, which was from the famous Tuskagee Institute, probably to haul coal to a powerhouse.  

If it was my engine, I think I'd see if the motor works and the locomotive runs smoothly and quietly - and if it did I'd scour the swap meets or my own junk boxes to find a different boiler that would fit over the motor for a more probably looking little 2-6-2.  It may well be that this is the best bet for a boiler that fits however - the review noted that there was very little room available to add weight for better traction.  I have a collection of small tenders that would look more probable for an engine of this size.  

Dave Nelson

 

 

 

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Posted by doctorwayne on Saturday, September 26, 2020 1:19 PM

Once you fix that issue with the wire, and are able to see how it runs (or doesn't run) there are options for improving its performance. 

Replacing the magnet in the existing motor with rare earth magnets will lower the required starting voltage and improve low speed operation.  It will also increase the loco's pulling power...

A friend gave me this brass 0-6-0, as it wouldn't pull enough cars for his requirements...

...but after I changed-out the magnets (and added a little weight) it can easily handle 20 cars on level track.  I offered it back, but he declined, as I had already modified two much larger and heavier brass 0-8-0s for him, using the same upgrades...

Another option, if the original motor doesn't perform all that well, is to replace it with a can motor.

To get rid of the pointy-tips on the lead- and trailing-wheelsets, a cut-off disc in a motor tool will work well, or you could get similar results with careful use of a mill file. 
However, since the wheel flanges are overly large, you might wish to replace them with better wheelsets, which don't come with the pointy tips - just make sure that the axles are the same diameter as those on the original wheelsets.

As for dating your locomotive, I've never cared for the look of Prairie locos...that naked-looking trailing truck always looks to me to be an unnecessary add-on...like false eyelashes or other false appurtenances to which some past-their-prime gals might resort, so I'll pass on the offer of a date.

However, a somewhat smaller tender and a decent paint job could at least make the whole thing look a lot better.  As shown above, most steamers aren't just all-black.  (Click on the photos to enlarge them.)

Wayne

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Posted by tstage on Saturday, September 26, 2020 1:21 PM

Chip,

As far as the actual prototype is concerned, my guess would be the 1890s or 1900s...

Tom

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, September 26, 2020 2:45 PM

This has details of an older prototype that was periodically 'modernized' over the years: cab and headlight, and perhaps some of the auxiliaries.  As noted it's something of a foobie in being small with leading and trailing trucks crammed in -- there were plenty of 2-6-2s 'in practice' but I think they tended to be more like 'lighter Mikados' in design, with a deep firebox over a smaller trailing wheel that helps to support it instead of one over the driver height as in a wide-firebox 2-8-0 variant (which can be thought of as being like a 2-6-2 with a driver pair instead of the trailing axle).

Part of the 'secret' is that switcher designs got bigger and more modern right along with road power, so you wouldn't make a modern branch-line 2-6-2 by sticking trucks on a modern switcher. (In fact it was not uncommon to see trucks lopped off sometimes quite large road engines to make yard power...)

There is nothing really wrong with the boiler size but you could 'pad out' the water legs of the firebox to take advantage of the trailing axle 'weight bearing capacity' and lengthen the smoke box slightly if the front stubbiness is distracting.  The engine might have a surprising number of modern appliances on it ... tax laws being as they were when it would have been running.

There have been recent threads on 're-magneting' the motor and tuning its attachment and 'fit' to the drive.  I would follow those here in conjunction with wiring, especially as some of them recount how to make the locomotive safe for DCC, for example with judicious use of Kapton tape.

At this point I would speculate that the best alternative would be to put the decoder in the tender with a disconnectable harness, and use one of those cab-roof curved speakers if you want sound.  There are people here who will guide you definitively to either that or a better solution.

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Posted by selector on Saturday, September 26, 2020 4:10 PM

One of the first things I look for is whether the model/real locomotive has slide valves or piston valves.  This has piston valves, which are modern (post-about 1906?).  So, I think it's a model of an upgraded prototype which had significant modifactions to, or an outright replacement of, the cylinder saddle, or perhaps just new cylinders mated to existing blast pipes and smokebox..not sure, Overmod would have a much better grip on that.

The other thing that dates it is the Whyte configuration.  A 2-6-2 would not have been made in numbers beyond maybe 1910 (??), but special orders would have been filled.

Chip, I would be inclined to treat this as a winter project, sort of like how I deal with the brass-works of a couple of ancient clocks we keep in the house.  When the mood strikes, maybe a Sunday afteroon when the light near a window is good, take it apart, look at it closely, and begin to restore it.  If you can, check the motor's status via temporary power and see if it moves when you dial up the voltage.  I think you'd be mighty proud if you got it running, but not only that....running very nicely on DCC/sound.

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Saturday, September 26, 2020 6:18 PM

Charles
https://www.hoseeker.net/mantuainstructions.html This model shows up to be from around 1980s. The engine has no prototype, Mantua/TYCO just used an 0-6-0 and added a leading and trailing truck wheels.

Thanks. Those instructions will most likely be invaluable. Do you think I could run it as an 0-6-0. If I get it working acceptably, it would only be doing light switching, mostly single cars.

Dave
Minimum speed was 7 to 9 mph which was about average back then.  Top speed 150 mph which was also average. 

Yeah, I'd have an issue with that. 

I agree that the tender is Ginormous.

Doc
Replacing the magnet in the existing motor with rare earth magnets will lower the required starting voltage and improve low speed operation.  It will also increase the loco's pulling power...

Another option, if the original motor doesn't perform all that well, is to replace it with a can motor.

Dots - Sign

However, since the wheel flanges are overly large, you might wish to replace them with better wheelsets, which don't come with the pointy tips - just make sure that the axles are the same diameter as those on the original wheelsets.

It seems to me that replacing the motor with a can motor is the logical way to go. I'll probably have to isolate it from the frame. But I wouldn't begin to know how to figure out which one to get.

I expect to have flawless track, but it wouldn't hurt to have more standard wheels. I wouldn't know where to look for this either.

Tom
As far as the actual prototype is concerned, my guess would be the 1890s or 1900s...

I'm going with 1895 until proven otherwise.

Overmod
Part of the 'secret' is that switcher designs got bigger and more modern right along with road power, so you wouldn't make a modern branch-line 2-6-2 by sticking trucks on a modern switcher. (In fact it was not uncommon to see trucks lopped off sometimes quite large road engines to make yard power...)

I'm considering converting it to an 0-6-0. SP SP had a switcher with a sloped-back tender back then.

Overmod
There have been recent threads on 're-magneting' the motor and tuning its attachment and 'fit' to the drive.  I would follow those here in conjunction with wiring, especially as some of them recount how to make the locomotive safe for DCC, for example with judicious use of Kapton tape.

I'm pretty comfortable with converting engines where you have to isolate the motor. I agree about using the tender for the decoder harness. I'd put the speaker there, too. I don't hear well enough to tell the difference of a few inches.

selector
The other thing that dates it is the Whyte configuration.  A 2-6-2 would not have been made in numbers beyond maybe 1910 (??), but special orders would have been filled.

The first tender 2-6-2 was made in the US in 1900. You're right. THe Whyte did me in. So converting it to 0-6-0 is looking better and better. 

 

Chip

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, September 26, 2020 6:27 PM

selector
A 2-6-2 would not have been made in numbers beyond maybe 1910 (??)

I believe ATSF might quibble with this date.

Of course the Russians made the most of this wheel arrangement, and it's useful to look at the proportions of what they did, but that job was better done here by Mikados in most respects... note what was different for the Santa Fe...

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Posted by snjroy on Saturday, September 26, 2020 7:38 PM

The Thurso and Nation Valley RR in Quebec had a very similar engine. It was a Baldwin and it was  used for their logging operation. For that reason, I bought a used one a few years ago. I put a can motor in it, installed DCC and sound. I also added all-power pickup on the tender, which made a big difference. It runs OK... The motor was installed using silicone. It does not run as well as my Mantua Mikado, but I keep it because it is very close to the prototype I was looking for. But if you are looking for a 0-6-0, i would recommend a Rivarossi or even better, a Life-Like.

Simon

EDIT: the TNVR 2-6-2 was built in Montreal by MLW in 1927

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Saturday, September 26, 2020 8:52 PM

snjroy
But if you are looking for a 0-6-0, i would recommend a Rivarossi or even better, a Life-Like.

I have a Bachman 0-6-0T that I think I like well enough (I've only tested it on a 3% incline.) It's DCC. I'm interested in this one because I already own it and money is a big issue. 

Good tip on wiring the tender.

Chip

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Posted by snjroy on Saturday, September 26, 2020 10:52 PM

My Mantua has a rubber tire, which makes it a decent puller. I have a Bachmann saddletank... a cute little engine, but a poor puller.

Simon

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Sunday, September 27, 2020 1:07 AM

snjroy

My Mantua has a rubber tire, which makes it a decent puller. I have a Bachmann saddletank... a cute little engine, but a poor puller.

Simon

 

I need two engines, but I can make due with what I have. I need a road engine and a yard switcher. I was hoping the 0-6-0T could be the yard switcher. I would have to 8-10 36' cars and smaller on flat ground. If it can't, I can have it trade places with my Heisler which is switching my lumber mill. The mill switcher would need to occasionally need to pull 4 cars. It mostly would move single boxcars to specific locations for loading.

The 0-6-0 tested the worst hauling cars up a 3% grade at one car.

My Climax A tested the best pulling 6 cars. 

I have 3 road engines, but 4 staging tracks. The 3 are Roundhouse SP 2-6-0s. The last must be able to pull 3 55' passenger cars on flat ground. SP road name would be a bonus.

THen is the matter of the yard switcher.

I can do this several ways.  

I can get a geared steam locomotive. That can take over mining duties from my Climax A. The Climax can switch the yard or the mill.

I can get 2 road engines and one of the SP 2-6-0s can switch the yard.

I can simply get a switcher. 

Purchasing any engine is out of the question right now. That's why making this Mantua work is so inviting. I almost traded for a road engine earlier this month. Then I find this Mantua in an MDC box mixed in with my Roundhouse Kits. Something will come up. 

Sorry, I guess I was writing this more to clear my thoughts than answer you. 

Chip

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Posted by fiatfan on Sunday, September 27, 2020 5:58 AM

Title  "Can you date this loco?"

Answer - I dunno.  Is it married?

 

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Posted by dehusman on Sunday, September 27, 2020 8:02 AM

Why do you have 3% grades in your yard?

 

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Posted by snjroy on Sunday, September 27, 2020 8:14 AM

Any of these engines could be used as switchers, in my opinion, including the 2-6-2. I just think that the latter would look funny without its pilot and training wheels.

And I see that your climax has its original trucks and wheels. No wonder its a good puller!  Does it have its original motor? 

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Monday, September 28, 2020 12:02 AM

dehusman

Why do you have 3% grades in your yard?

 

 

I want to see if my switcher can juggle.

I don't have 3% grades in my yard--only on the climb to the mine and logging camp. (Actually I haven't layed any track yet. I start that this week.) When I started testing the geared steam on a 2x4 for my layout planning, I thought I'd test the other locos for laughs and giggles. This is the one and only time I've run the 0-6-0T.

Chip

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Monday, September 28, 2020 12:04 AM

snjroy
And I see that your climax has its original trucks and wheels. No wonder its a good puller!  Does it have its original motor?

I sent it away for a tune-up. I believe part of that was a new can motor and gearing. I haven't had it apart since then. 

Chip

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Posted by Da Stumer on Monday, September 28, 2020 11:31 AM

I've got one, these locos can be pretty smooth runners. Mine has some motor bearing noise that goes away after it runs for a little bit. These are really easy and fun to work on, and very reliable. The most work they usually need is some cleaning and pickup enhancement. In the tender, power is picked up through the axle points into the truck frames, and that doesn't always work very well. I added some brass wipers to the axles and that solved the pickup issues I had. I think a Mantua/Tyco is always worth fixing up just for the fun of it!

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Monday, September 28, 2020 6:04 PM

Da Stumer
I think a Mantua/Tyco is always worth fixing up just for the fun of it!

I've just converted my dining room from structure production to Fast Tracks turnout production. Part of that set-up is the Mantua, a piece of track, and a transformer. When I get bored, I can see what I got.

On a differnt note. Ferns line the bottom of a redwood forest. They are everywhere, thick in places. How easy would it be to get a 3D file of a fern? How easy would it be to write? I have zero knowledge of 3D printing, other than a few YouTube vids. 

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Posted by Da Stumer on Tuesday, September 29, 2020 10:06 AM

SpaceMouse

 

 
Da Stumer
I think a Mantua/Tyco is always worth fixing up just for the fun of it!

 

I've just converted my dining room from structure production to Fast Tracks turnout production. Part of that set-up is the Mantua, a piece of track, and a transformer. When I get bored, I can see what I got.

On a differnt note. Ferns line the bottom of a redwood forest. They are everywhere, thick in places. How easy would it be to get a 3D file of a fern? How easy would it be to write? I have zero knowledge of 3D printing, other than a few YouTube vids. 

 

 

I took a quick look around and I found a couple that might be of use. If you want to find a model to print, your best bet would be to find a file in a .obj or .stl format. Thingiverse is the site I use the most to find files, it's a place where people upload and share 3D models they've made.

This would probably be the easiest one to use: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2346296

Some others that may be helpful:

https://cults3d.com/en/3d-model/art/l-system-2d-3d-collection https://cults3d.com/en/3d-model/game/openfoliage-stump-40-mm-base https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:637164

You could make one yourself, unfortunately I can't really help with that. Modeling organic shapes is a fair bit different than modeling hard mechanical edges. I would reccomend looking at the programs Blender or ZBrush and corresponding tutorials for guidance on that. However, if you just want to cobble some simple shapes together, Tinkercad is very easy to use.

For printing, I would reccomend getting such a part printed in resin. If you don't have a printer, there are plenty of places you can get a print from. Shapeways does a little resin printing, makexyz is another service. If you search around for resin printing service, you can find quite a few options. I found a local guy on craigslist for my resin printing needs, scout3dprinting.com, who I am very happy with.

Hope that helps!

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, September 29, 2020 11:06 AM

Northern Pacific ran 2-6-2 engines into the 1950's, they were fairly common around Duluth/ Superior for example. They were powerful enough that in the early 20th century NP even used them on iron ore trains.

Later Mantua engines (staring c.1988) used a Sagami can motors, and offered a retrofit kit to add the can motor to their earlier engines. Even if you can't find that kit, I suspect the can motor is still being made(?) As noted, you do have to isolate it from the chassis but that isn't hard. Just need some electrical or other tape and a plastic/nylon 2-56 screw.

These Mantua engines, like most steam engines from 'the olden days', only picked up power on the drivers on one rail, and from the tender wheels on the other rail, so they are a good candidate for a decoder with some type of "keep alive" to they can keep going through turnouts or crossings.

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Tuesday, September 29, 2020 10:49 PM

wjstix
Northern Pacific ran 2-6-2 engines into the 1950's, they were fairly common around Duluth/ Superior for example. They were powerful enough that in the early 20th century NP even used them on iron ore trains.

My lumber mill is based on the Union Lumber Company in Ft. Bragg. Their operation looked like this. Be sure to click and scroll.

Anyway, their company owned railroad was the California Western and the backbone of their fleet was 2-6-2Ts. The RRRR is kinda sorta based on the California Western. The CW just came to the SP mainline about 12 years after the date of my layout.

I've thought long and hard about bashing a 2-6-2T.

wjstix
Later Mantua engines (staring c.1988) used a Sagami can motors, and offered a retrofit kit to add the can motor to their earlier engines. Even if you can't find that kit, I suspect the can motor is still being made(?) As noted, you do have to isolate it from the chassis but that isn't hard. Just need some electrical or other tape and a plastic/nylon 2-56 screw.

I'll no doubt be into this thing soon. I'll see what's in there. I keep nylon 2-56 screws in stock.

wjstix
These Mantua engines, like most steam engines from 'the olden days', only picked up power on the drivers on one rail, and from the tender wheels on the other rail, so they are a good candidate for a decoder with some type of "keep alive" to they can keep going through turnouts or crossings.

The dead zone in my turnouts is about 1 3/8". If I put wipers on both tender axels, it might solve that problem. We'll see.

Chip

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Thursday, October 1, 2020 5:20 PM

Engine works but whines and moans. Doesn't start moving until power is about 20%.

It didn't run by fixing the broken wire to the tender. Upon examination after I pulled it apart, the pilot and trailing wheels seem to be the source of power in the engine and they were cruddy.

No can. And it only got it to turn when I clipped the transformer leads right to the engine. 

  Yeah, the motor ran, but only when I hooked the power directly to it.

SpaceMouse
Anyway, their company owned railroad was the California Western and the backbone of their fleet was 2-6-2Ts. The Rock Ridge RR is kinda sorta based on the California Western. The CW just came to the SP mainline about 12 years after the date of my layout.

I've thought long and hard about bashing a 2-6-2T.

 

So here's the plan as I see it. 

Get a can motor and make it work.

Isolate the pilot and trailer and use them for both pick-ups. 

Wire an 8-pin harness that feeds through a hole in the body, changing out the headlamp with an LED and adding a rear light.

Build side tank, leaving the bottom removeable and store decoder, keep alive, and speaker in the tank.

Paint and decal. Add details.

Now, where the heck will I find the right can motor for this thing, and where do I get wheels that are isolated side to side?

 

Look, I know this loco is 12 years to young for my layout, but with the coolness factor of a 2-6-2T, I might let it stay. 

Chip

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Posted by Trainman440 on Thursday, October 1, 2020 6:15 PM

That's odd, power pickup on that engine should be very simple. Make sure that only one side of the wheels are picking up power on the engine(including non drivers), and only one side of the wheels are picking up power from the tender. 

-------------------

You got a few option for remotoring the engine.

1. Mantua used to sell some can motor upgrades, these go for $$$ on ebay these days. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Factory-Mantua-Mc-94-Can-Motor-Wired-For-DCC-Or-DC-Tyco-Mikado-2-8-2-Pacific/324304050572?hash=item4b8207198c:g:VaIAAOSwkold87yd

2. You can do a manual motor replacement. Terrifyintexas7, a member who used to be on here, upgraded all his mantua engines to can motors. Basically find any can motor on ebay that fits, and use silicon glue to mount it in place. There are literally thousands of motors to choose from, the common one people use (bachmann engines used these for a period of time is the FK-130 motor. These go for like $2 per. 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Original-Japan-MABUCHI-FK-130SH-Motor-for-Four-wheel-Car-drive-Robot-DIY-Hobby/302488988022?epid=0&hash=item466dbfa976:g:zrQAAOSwEnlZ43Mr

Here's his channel, although he's sort of dropped off the face of the earth. But he's done a LOT of remotors and decoder wiring. You could probably get in contact with him for help. 

https://www.youtube.com/user/TerryinTexas7/videos

3. Last option, and probably the best overall, would be to replace the gears and motor with NWSL gears and motor. Conveniently, they have a kit just for you: 

https://nwsl.com/products/repower-kit-tyco-mantua-0-6-0

It includes motor, motor mount, drive gear and worm gear to make your engine run a whole lot better. While I haven't bought this set yet, I do plan to get it someday to upgrade my Mantua 0-4-0. 

Good luck!

Charles

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Friday, October 2, 2020 5:45 AM

Trainman440
That's odd, power pickup on that engine should be very simple. Make sure that only one side of the wheels are picking up power on the engine(including non drivers), and only one side of the wheels are picking up power from the tender. 

There was caked on crud on both the pilot and trailer wheels. I'm going to clean them up and see if I can get it working.

I've ordered an FK-130 from China so I should have it by Christmas. In the meantime, I'll look for wheels that can pick up power from both sides of track.

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

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  • From: Berwyn, PA
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Posted by Trainman440 on Friday, October 2, 2020 10:08 AM

1. make sure the motor you use has the same axle diameter as the worm gear(whether you use a new NWSL worm gear or the original plastic one)

2. as I said, all the wheels on the engine can only pickup power from one side, or else it will short the engine out. Make sure the leading/trailing/3 main drivers are all in the right polarity. If you want the engine to pickup from both sides of the track, you can install isolated wipers on the insulated wheels. Buying wheels that pickup power from both sides of the track is really counter intuative. 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Modeling the Santa Fe & Pennsylvania in HO

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Posted by snjroy on Friday, October 2, 2020 10:12 AM

Chip, that is quite the project... You will problably need to change the pilot and trailing wheels (I think they are plastic), and isolate these trucks from the frame if you get rid of the tender. Not an impossible task. It might be a challenge to find room for a decoder in that tiny engine though. 

I know that it's not an option for you, but I was looking at the picture of the 2-6-2T, and I was wondering if someone ever tried to convert the Mantua 2-6-6-2T into a 2-6-2T. The same challenges would apply with respect to power pickup, but the engine is a bit bigger and the body is easier to adapt. I actually did the opposite, I added a tender to my 2-6-6-2T for added pickup. Runs better than my 2-6-2...

Simon

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Friday, October 2, 2020 7:33 PM

Simon
1. make sure the motor you use has the same axle diameter as the worm gear(whether you use a new NWSL worm gear or the original plastic one)

I got one that came with a worm gear. Another listing with the same motor said that it was specifically for repowering locomotives (and charged 5 times as much.)

But I know it's a crapshoot that the gears mesh. 

2. as I said, all the wheels on the engine can only pickup power from one side, or else it will short the engine out. Make sure the leading/trailing/3 main drivers are all in the right polarity. If you want the engine to pickup from both sides of the track, you can install isolated wipers on the insulated wheels. Buying wheels that pickup power from both sides of the track is really counter intuative. 

I was hoping there was such a thing as picking up power from the axle with an isolation gap in the center. Haven't started looking for such a thing yet.

snjroy

Chip, that is quite the project... You will problably need to change the pilot and trailing wheels (I think they are plastic), and isolate these trucks from the frame if you get rid of the tender. Not an impossible task. It might be a challenge to find room for a decoder in that tiny engine though.

The plan is to wire a harness and push it through a hole in the boiler into the new side tank. The bottom will be removable with screws and I'll fit the decoder and speaker in there. 

I know that it's not an option for you, but I was looking at the picture of the 2-6-2T, and I was wondering if someone ever tried to convert the Mantua 2-6-6-2T into a 2-6-2T. The same challenges would apply with respect to power pickup, but the engine is a bit bigger and the body is easier to adapt. I actually did the opposite, I added a tender to my 2-6-6-2T for added pickup. Runs better than my 2-6-2...

Simon

We'll see how this one comes out. I might start building custom traction out of the small diesel frames I have.

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 11,146 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Tuesday, October 6, 2020 6:51 PM

Off TopicOff TopicOff Topic

More like a tangent really. 

Is there any reason I couldn't make an old jalopy geared engine by using powered trucks and maybe building the boiler and cab myself?

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

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