To paraphrase Vane Jones, "Knowledge is of little value until shared with others."

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The 3 Ways to Install a Power Truck In a Model

It's time to re-energize the blog. For a myriad of reasons I had stopped posting new material. They range all the way from work which had been put off on the house finally caught up to me and had to be done, to a model has to be done to show a way to install a power truck "system" the model.

During the time material was not written and posted, new and different items revolving O scale traction has happened. Therefore a change in the direction of this blog is required.

As the title of this post states there are 3 ways to install a power truck in a model. The 3 ways are:
  1. under the floor of the model,
  2. inside the floor material of the model, and
  3. on top of the floor of the model.

The ways both sound and are easy to do. The 1st method has already been explained with the building of AEFRE #49 published from April 22, 2012 to August 29, 2013. This was an under the floor installation.

If you are new to this blog, I tend to refer to past post instead of rewriting a topic. This saves space within the blog and time. Plus it gives you an idea of both an overview the installation and how it was done in an actual model.

The second method may sound strange. How is a power truck installed inside the floor material. This happens when the floor is made up of 2 or more different levels and/or materials. What can be called the power truck's body bolster, normally a dimensional piece of brass, is installed in between the layers of material making up the model's floor.

An in the floor style of power truck installation was done in the rebuilding of the Sunset Silverliner Replacement Electroliner 3-Car Train Set. These were post published from January 14, 2012 to April 3, 2012.

Which reminds me I finally found power and trail trucks to match those used in the Sunset Silverliners. These will be installed in my Sunset Silverliner 415 conversion into coach 409. This is a topic for future posts.

What has not been covered is an above the floor power truck installation. As a way to introduce a NEW O scale kit for the CRT/CTA "Baldies", a Q-Car 4000 "Plushie" was unearthed.

To start out, the CRT "Baldies" had an iron roof. Trolley poles could not be installed on them without great difficulty. The CRT "Plushies" were manufactured with trolley poles. On a layout without 2-rail operation it's important to have models with trolley poles.

If one goes through numerous photos, eventually a photo will be found with a CRT train composed of both "Plushies" and "Baldies". Normally this did not happen in CTA years but it did.

My layout is dated, as far as the CRT/CTA ownership change is concerned, for the months before the CTA took over the operation of the "L".

I firmly believe at least 2/3 of all models, power/trail trucks, etc. sold have not been assembled and finished. They are in someone's drawer or shelf neatly tucked away for the future. Nothing has been done to them and/or little has been started. Some models may be found in a partially completed form when the modeler found out he was unable to complete a particular step and/or paint the model.

The word had been put out I was looking for power/trail trucks and the body of a Q-Car CRT 4000 "Plushie" in an uncompleted form. Unknowingly in obtaining the power/trail trucks, the correct design and wheel size was in my hands.  The wheelbase was longer than required by just a scale 6". In my collection of truck parts were the correct sideframes. A quick substitution was made.

Let's start with the power truck. It's an older Wagner with an open frame motor which I prefer. These power trucks have a robust power train. The gear box, gear, and worm are fantastic. The open frame motor to me, at least, is more powerful than the newer can motors. Pittman knew what they were doing when they engineered their open frame motors! About the only thing missing were ball bearings in the motor.

As the sideframes were changed on the power truck 2 other modifications were made. The magnet end of the motor stuck out over the end cross piece of the frame. This cross piece had to be bent to accommodate the motor.

The piece of brass under the truck's motor can be seen bent to clear the motor. Square brass tubing was used. The pencil mark on the motor was not done by me, therefore I don't know what it means. To shorten the wheel base the piece of brass holding the motor to the brass truck bolster was unsoldered and re-soldered. The spring belt had to be shortened by about 1/8", then re-hooked together, and stretched over the brass pulleys.

The other modification to the power truck was to re-direct the wire from the motor to the trolley power. I like to have any wires coming out of the power truck follow a direct path to prevent kinking. The wires are then secured to the power truck to prevent the wire from breaking off of the motor due to rotation of the motor during curves. This series of photos will show what was done:
The trolley power wire can be seen coming out from the bottom of the power truck.

The wire comes out from under the power truck.

The red arrow points to where the wire is soldered to one of the brushes of the motor.

The red arrow, again, points to where the piece of wire was redirected using a 15 watt soldering iron. The wire now comes directly out the back of the power truck. The blue arrow shows where the wire was secured using black thread and a layer of ACC.

In the photo above you can see the power truck has been installed in the floor of the model. All the steps to install the trucks on the floor will be covered in the next post.