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Monday, February 11, 2013

The Diablo Comes to Diego

Building the Hollywood Foundry "Diablo" mechanism for the car #426 project.

 The Hollywood Foundry "Lightning" Trailing Truck on the 426. (I know, I have the side frame installed upside down! I've since fixed it. Thanks Charlie Pitts)
Embolden by the successful (and easy!) build of the Lightning trailing truck, I have the confidence to take on the Diablo. I suspect that, though more involved, it should be just as easy to build.

Southern California Traction Club setup at Red Car Days at Orange Empire Railway Museum, Fathers Day 2012 with visiting dignitary Bill Bolton.
Actually, forgive me my dear followers, but I'm way behind with my blog posts. Not only has this Diablo been successfully built and installed, it has performed beautifully on the Southern California Traction Clubs modular layout and has put in some serious miles around that layout at several shows. I tells ya, these Hollywood Foundry products are what the dames call quality!

 Introducing the Diablo

My full photoset of the construction of this Diablo is posted below. But because it took me so long to write this post, Hollywood Foundry has since posted two, crystal clear videos introducing and a step-by-step build of their Diablo mechanism. And that's on top of their already clear instructions!

Diablo Assembly

So the above videos and instructions should be everything you need to build your own. But if you want some supplementary photos, well then, here ya go:

This is everything, all contained in a simple pouch. Brass etched parts, wheel sets, drive shafts, and hardware. Doesn't look all that intimidating. Yes sir! Not that intimidating at all!

The Xuron Photo-etch Scissor # 9180ET is an excellent tool for cutting the etchings from the fret.

I want trouble free operation so I will take the time to file the sprue nubs off nice and smooth. They file off easily enough.

Just remember that the etched fold lines go to the inside of the fold. This makes sense right? Yes sir! This makes sense.

Here I place my pliers aligned with the fold line and apply even pressure with my finger to bend the part into position. Easy-peasy lemon squeezy.
The Main Frame requires a few folds.
The ends are bent up the same way, making sure everything is nice and square.

Hollywood Foundry recommends using the Wiha Phillips #00 Screwdriver for their parts, and I'll tell ya, its a very useful tool. Especially since many of my cars will be sporting these mechanisms, such a tool will get a lot of use. And nothing beats the right tool for the job. Yes sir! Nothing beats the right tool for the job!

The "keeper", which will keep the wheel sets in place,  has a couple of  tabs that the side frames will attach to that need to be folded into place.

The bearings slide on the axles, so make sure they seat properly into the Main Frame and against the wheels.

Now screw in the Keeper Plate trapping the wheel sets into place.

The wheels should spin very freely. Here I'm holding the wheels and spinning the assembly around.
 If not, make any necessary adjustments to the squareness of the frame.

Pulley Frame...



Install layshaft...

Flip over and place rubber drive belt...

Slide pulley assembly into the main frame and proceed to feel giddy with excitement that all this is coming together so easily.

A screw in the front...

And a screw in the back, and we're all good and screwed.

The mechanism is so resistant free that suspending the truck from a pencil you can rotate the pencil and the wheels will turn freely.

Now we're ready to build up its truck mounting assy.

1st. Place the black Derlin plastic washer...

Then the Truck Mount of your choice (see instructions)...

The second black Derlin plastic washer...

Nickel Silver plain washer...

And screw it all together with a 4mm silver screw.

 Now the Upper Mount needs some bending...

Bend, bend...
 bend, bend.
You know... Its time like these that a bending robot would be really useful!

 The Upper Pulley Frame also needs a couple bends.

 Bend... bend.
 Then these two parts are screwed together.

 At this point, insert the Diablo through the car floor opening...

 And place the Top Mount frame around it. Mine was painted with the car floor.

 The Upper Mount and Pulley Frame assembly is inserted through the drive belt.

 I added a washer at each end and screwed the assemblies together to the top mount frame.

 Now comes the Top Pulley and Drive Shaft.

Four phosphor bronze washers are inserted onto the drive shaft, two on each side of the pulley.

Then the ball bearings are slipped onto the shaft, one on each side of the pulley.

Lift up the drive belt so that the pulley and drive shaft assembly can be properly seated into position.

The tension of the belt actually holds the pulley and driveshaft in place!

And its in there! But, as you can see, some adjustment is needed. I need to level things out a bit.

Adding washers to the Diablo lifts the truck up. Here, the thickness of two washers between the upper mount assembly and the mounting plate brings the wheels closer to the floor. So close that the worm gears are almost touching the bottom of the floor!

 But with the Lightning Truck, adding washers lowers the truck. Here I added a washer at each screw mount.

 And reassembled the truck.

 So by lifting the Diablo and lowering the Lightning, the floor leveled out really nicely.

Next comes installing the motor. But I'll leave that for the next post.

So that's the Diablo truck assembly. Nothing to it! Building this took less than a Sunday afternoon and I was stopping to take photos every couple minutes! Yes sir! I was stopping to take pictures every couple minutes!


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