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Monday, June 27, 2011

Niles Project ~ Motorin'

Installing a Hollywood Foundry Half Floor Motor Mount and Level Shifting Gearbox on Niles #107.

Right out of the box the mechanism is a pretty good fit. This is going to work just fine.

The immediate problem that presents itself is that the mounting holes don't line up with anything to screw into. The second problem (that I wish I had taken a picture of) is that the gearbox is too low. The drive shaft to the truck is on an angle. And while that would still probably work, it seems to me a level drive shaft would be the most efficient and problem free.

Both issues are easily remedied in one fell swoop by soldering a length of 1/16" x 1/4" brass bar stock to the frame.

Fortunately I have the good folks at the Southern California Traction Club (and their drill press) to help me drill and tap the holes for the screws. The motor also came with a silicone mounting pad to absorb the noise. I cut it to size and placed it between the new brass bar and the half floor mount as seen in the photo above.

Between the new brass mounting pads and the silicone pads, they lifted the motor to just the right position for the drive shaft to the new LowBoy Trucks to be perfectly level. And the motor is still below window level. All thats left now is to transfer the sideframes from the old truck to the new truck and wire the motor to the decoder. Then this car will be ready for a spin around the test track. Yes sir! All ready for a spin around the test track!


Monday, June 13, 2011

Niles Project ~ New Mechanisms for the Old Girls.

Looks like Hollywood Foundry has two mechanisms that will potentially fit the old Suydam Niles cars. The Half Floor Gearbox or the Gurzeler, both used in conjunction with the BullAnt LoBoy Trucks.

Both mechanisms have their advantages and disadvantages of course, but really, the disadvantages are very minor. So either mechanism should work just fine for these models. Therefore I have ordered one of each to try them both out.

Also worthy of note, I'm very impressed with the Hollywood Foundry's new Diablo mechanism. The Diablo could be used with these cars, but not without some major modification to the interior bulkheads that separate the enclosed center and the open ends. If your okay with hacking away at these bulkheads then the Diablo might be a good choice. But I'm not so much, so I won't (But I am excited by the possibility of using the Diablo to remotor my Pacific Traction, San Diego 400 series, class 5 cars in the very near future!).

LinkAccording to my calculations, the 10 Series Half Floor Gearbox with a 1024 Motor will fit below window level of the car, maintaining that realistic see-through look (unlike Birney 301 which has a big ol' motor blocking the windows). The only downside is that the gearbox is a little noisy. I only say that because we are spoiled these days. The Gurzeler is very quiet and the Diablo is practically silent. The Half Floor Gearbox is noisy only in comparison to these. But really, its not all that bad!

The Gurzeler (also with a 1024 motor for consistency) will sit slightly above the bottom of the windows, but not by much. But instead of a gearbox, the Gurzeler uses a belt drive (with a real belt, not an O ring!). Therefore, as I mentioned before, this mechanism is very quiet.

#105 will be fitted with the Gurzeler and #107 with the Half Floor. After living with these for a while, I will decide which mechanisms to use for #109 and #110.

All the cars will be fitted with Hollywood Foundry's LoBoy Trucks. From what I understand, Geoff Baxter (of Hollywood Foundry fame) designed these trucks to directly replace the old Suydam trucks that had a bad habit of splitting their plastic gears, rendering them all but useless. Kudos to Mr. Baxter for this. Because of his efforts, these 40 year old Suydam cars can be built into fine models that can finally perform every bit as good as they look. Cheers to Mr. Baxter. Yes sir! Cheers Mr. Baxter!