| ShadowNix wrote:|
Sometime in the next year or two I am hoping to build a HO shay... I have heard about all the difficulties with MDC/Roundhouse shay's, but I know less about the Keystone's. I know the NWSL motoring kit for Keystone's is hard to come buy. Anyway, here are my questions:
Building difficulty: Any difference?
Component quality: Any differnence?
Post-build running quality: Any difference (with or without remotor)?
Just wondering. I appreciate any input... I know there are some MRR articles on this, but they are before my subscription time!
I have both to build so I cannot comment 1st hand. But my research and looking at the kits shows the following:
Keystone is a non-motorized kit. My castings do not look crude at all. You must have the NWSL motorizing kit from the beginning to substitute key parts as you build. NWSL advertised the kit as "...not for the faint of heart..." Motorizing kits are no longer in production because NWSL could not get sufficiently hard frame pieces from Keystone, and motor availability has also become a problem for NWSL. They will sell you the motorizing kit less those pieces. Reading between the lines and after a Google search, the Keystone will last a lot longer and do better if you make new frame pieces from brass or nickel silver.
The other typical wear area on the Keystone, according to my Google searches, is the crankshaft and piston rods for the Shay engine. Again, making your own replacement pieces out of something better wearing than pewter is advised.
The pewter casting makes the Keystone very heavy, and a great puller for its size (again, according to reports).
As far as the Roundhouse Shay goes, (according to the book and other construction articles) it is fairly finicky to get running well with stock gears. The gears need to be carefully cleaned of all casting imperfections. The motor varies with year of manufacture. Early versions had an open frame motor; later versions came with a decent can motor.
There is a tutorial on assembling the Roundhouse Shay started at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mdcroundhouse/?yguid=229245731 Membership is free, but I believe you have to join the group to browse the messages.
With both Shay kits, the drive train needs to be assembled one step at a time, and thoroughly tuned and tested for smooth running before proceeding to the next step.
Both Roundhouse and Shays use a center drive shaft system similar to diesels. With the the right side lineshafts geared to the same axles on both trucks, you will eventually have a mechanical lockup (which will break something) if slippage is not provided for. One method of providing slippage is to let one of the telescoping square line shafts rotate inside the other. Then only one truck is driving the line shaft system, and you shouldn't have the lockups.
The binding problem apparently occurs in some of the Roundhouse RTR Shays as well. It seems not all the assemblers knew to provide slippage.
The biggest difference between the various Shay models is the size. The Bachmann represents an 80T Shay. The 3 truck Roundhouse is close to a 70T, and the 2 truck is about right for a 50T Shay. The Keystone is modeled after a 20T Shay. All except the Keystone are pretty big for narrow gauge, although the Roundhouse was offered in HOn3 in both 2 and 3 truck versions.
Hope this helps