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Monday, August 08, 2011

Niles Project ~ Gurzelin'

Installing a Hollywood Foundry Gurzeler on Niles #105.
The Gurzeler is the second mechanism that I'm trying out on these Niles cars. #107 got the half floor which has worked out just fine. And now #105 will get the Gurzeler. Each mechanism has it advantages.

This is the city. Los Angeles, California. I belong to a club here. The Southern California Traction Club. I'm a traction modeler.
Sunday, 2011, a club member who goes by the name, interestingly enough, of Fred Gurzeler, approaches me. Fred, a man of a few words, reaches into his pocket and pulls out a small object. Its an etched plate. He hands it to me explaining that its a mounting plate for mounting the Gurzeler mechanism to Suydam PE 414 cars. No mention of where it came from, or what those mysterious markings mean. Just a well manufactured mounting plate. That's how Fred operates. Who am I to argue or ask questions? Its exactly what I need. Thanks Fred. I owe you one.

Exhibit A.
The mysterious Gurzeler mounting plate.

While soldering the mounting plate to the floor, I managed to unsolder one of the seats. And maybe some underbody details. No matter! Easily fixed.

I wasn't able to get the opening for the belt exactly centered because the plate has to fit between the interior bulkheads that the floor screws into. Even if I did, it later proved to be a problem. The opening needs to more towards one end or the other so that the motor is centered inside the car because the flywheel protruded into the interior bulkhead base. (Edit: Turns out that if I had ordered the Gurzeler Motor Package, I wouldn't have had this problem! DDS 10-11)

The Gurzeler is a simple yet brilliant design. The motor is mounted in place with double sided tape which also acts as a sound barrier. The belt (not an O ring, but an actual belt made to withstand the tension) replaces the noisy gear tower and also pulls down on the motor, helping to keep it in place.

Under floor view. I chose silicone tubes to transfer the power to the LowBoy trucks. Seems to me silicon tubes would be the easiest to replace should they fail after a while.

With no giant motors under the floor and those silicone drive shafts, these cars should be able to negotiate some crazy radius curves now!

This all went together easy-peasy (except for the off-centering of the motor. See below). The motor and silicone drive shafts are nice and level. I added a Miniatronics 2 pin Micro Mini Connector socket by soldering the leads to the motor and gluing the socket to the top of the motor. The other plug will connect to the decoder. This makes for a convenient way to separate the floor from the body for maintenance.

(Edit: Turns out that if I had ordered the Gurzeler Motor Package, I wouldn't have had this problem! DS 10-11) I had to cut a notch in the base of the bulkhead so that the flywheel on the motor will clear when attaching the floor to the model. For the folks who don't have their own mysterious Fred Gurzeler and have to fabricate their own mounting plate at home, the openings for the belt drive and screws need to be closer to the end of the mounting plate. We could all use a mysterious Fred Gurzeler in our lives, couldn't we? Yes sir! We could all use a mysterious Fred Gurzeler in our lives.

Its in there! The motor does sit slightly above window level. But models are very seldom viewed from this angle. All motors would be visible from regular viewing angles. So that's where populating the model comes in. Putting folks in the seats will take the attention away from the motor as was done with Birney #301. The only thing guests will notice about the motor after that is the smooth quiet operation of the model around the layout. Now if I could just get to building that layout. Yes sir! If I could just get to building that layout!!!