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Model Railroading > FrankenShay- It's ALIVE!


Date: 01/09/22 12:03
FrankenShay- It's ALIVE!
Author: BoilingMan

Mr Samhongsa, meet Mr Bachmann.

About a million years ago (1980-ish) I bought a Key Imports Feather River #3, a 3 truck 90 ton Shay. I can't say I really needed it- more, I just really wanted it!
I mean, who doesn't love Shays?
Well, it sure looked great, but it ran only so-so. Typical of the era. After I'd reassembled it after painting, it was only worse! I messed with it but could never really sort it out. So it ended up, mostly in baggies, on the Purgatory Shelf of Near Death.
For 40 years.
About a year ago I started building an 8ft x 22in switching layout, designed as a Shay playground. I'd heard good things about the HO Bachmann 80 Ton 3 Truck Shay, but damn- I sure liked the look of that Feather River #3.
Soooo... why not bash 'em?

Gotta say- once you fire up the ol' Dremel, there's no going back- NOT for the faint of heart!

Photos 1&2. I cut the motor & drive out of the Bachmann intact, and therefore unmodified. At the same time I cut through the brass frame and made a same-sized hole in it's deck.

Photo 3. Some stock aluminum, cut to size, was epoxied in to hold the motor & drive in place.

Photo 4. I cut out the rear frame of the Bachmann, including the center truck's bolster, and grafted it into the rear of the brass frame. I'm using the Bachmann's tender's coupling and frame, as is, to keep the relationship of the tender's drive train articulation exactly as Bachmann designed it.

Photo 5. I cut the front bolster out of the Bachmann's frame, filed it into submission, and epoxied it into the brass frame. By using all 3 original bolsters I preserved Bachmann's electrical pick-up points (to be re installed after painting).

Photo 6. I had to cut out the bottom of the brass boiler further forward to clear the motor. The Backmann system powers the drive train through the crankshaft- like a real Shay. The original Samhongsa system had the motor more to the center and drove the drive train through the center truck. An added benefit of this conversion is that it opens up a lot more room for DCC and a sound system in the cab/oil bunker area.

Photo 7. Ta-da: FrankenShay! The only change to the Bachmann drive is a very slight shortening of the linkage to the 1st truck- the Feather River Shay's “wheelbase” is a little shorter than the Shay Bachmann modeled, and only forward of the piston/crankshaft assembly.

Bachmann's drive & trucks are somewhat different looking than the Feather River #3's, so it's no longer a accurate model of #3. But my RR is fictitious, so no worries. I haven't run it yet (I'm going to add DCC & Sound first) but there's no reason to suspect any problems- I didn't really change anything. The Bachmann's boiler, cab, and tender tanks are cast metal, so I might need to add weight to my finished locomotive. But my switching layout is so tight you can never move more than 2 cars at a time, so I'm not too concerned.

My Feather River #3 was very close to the dimensions of the Bachmann, even closer than I'd expected- a nice surprise! And, as I said, I don't need it to pull or push too much. My goal was simply a better running Shay. So I don't know how useful this whole endeavor is to the TO community at large... but here it is.
SR








Date: 01/09/22 12:05
Re: FrankenShay- It's ALIVE!
Author: BoilingMan

,








Date: 01/09/22 12:05
Re: FrankenShay- It's ALIVE!
Author: BoilingMan

.




Date: 01/09/22 14:12
Re: FrankenShay- It's ALIVE!
Author: Super-C

LOT of work but it looks great !  Thanks for sharing your project.  Chris



Date: 01/09/22 14:44
Re: FrankenShay- It's ALIVE!
Author: LarryDoyle

I LOVE IT !!!!!!!!



Date: 01/09/22 16:15
Re: FrankenShay- It's ALIVE!
Author: BAB

Nice work looks great.
 



Date: 01/09/22 19:24
Re: FrankenShay- It's ALIVE!
Author: Betsy

BoilingMan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> but there's
> no reason to suspect any problems

Famous last words. Ingenious kitbash SR!  At the end of the day, the only evidence of something going on (aside from the naked frame that is) is the different shade og black on the drive train.

Elizabeth



Date: 01/09/22 23:53
Re: FrankenShay- It's ALIVE!
Author: SGillings

A question from the uniinformed.  I have no models, so I am not clear of some of their workings.

In picture six, the worm gears from the motor and from the pistions do not appear to mesh.  My guess is that at the end of the bottom worm gear (to the pistons) on the left (underneath the motor worm gear, not showing) that there is a worm gear attached that meshes with the motor worm gear.  Correct or not?  Thanks.

Steve.



Date: 01/10/22 15:16
Re: FrankenShay- It's ALIVE!
Author: BoilingMan

Betsy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> BoilingMan Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > but there's
> > no reason to suspect any problems
>
> Famous last words. Ingenious kitbash SR!  At the
> end of the day, the only evidence of something
> going on (aside from the naked frame that is) is
> the different shade og black on the drive train.
>
> Elizabeth

Ha! Knock on Homasote.

The frame and piston assembly have since been painted to match. I’ve ordered the Northwest Shortline replacement gear set, so I’ll paint the trucks when I do that work.
SR



Date: 01/10/22 16:09
Re: FrankenShay- It's ALIVE!
Author: BoilingMan

SGillings Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> A question from the uniinformed.  I have no
> models, so I am not clear of some of their
> workings.
>
> In picture six, the worm gears from the motor and
> from the pistions do not appear to mesh.  My
> guess is that at the end of the bottom worm gear
> (to the pistons) on the left (underneath the motor
> worm gear, not showing) that there is a worm gear
> attached that meshes with the motor worm gear. 
> Correct or not?  Thanks.
>
> Steve.

The worm gear on top (on the motor’s armature) meshes with a gear directly below it. That gear is on the same shaft as the 2nd worm gear you see. THAT worm gear meshes with a large (plastic) gear below IT. (You can just see it in the photo). And, finally, that gear turns a small gear on the drive train’s crank shaft. So 5 gears, all probably sized to get a substantial reduction for the Shay’s prototypical crawling speed and torque.
SR



Date: 01/10/22 18:10
Re: FrankenShay- It's ALIVE!
Author: funnelfan

That is a great project! Glad to hear you are putting in the NWSL beveled gears on the trucks. That was the achilles heel of the bachman model.

Ted Curphey
Cheney, WA



Date: 01/13/22 07:14
Re: FrankenShay- It's ALIVE!
Author: BoilingMan

Yes, I knew about that going in- it’s a well documented problem & fix. I ordered the NorthWest gears the same day I bought the donor Shay. Good thing too- at least 2 of the plastic gears are already bad (slipping on their shafts).
SR



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