View RSS Feed


An annual update and a tl;dr tale of my E-2A "SF-1"

Rate this Entry
I've begun adding buildings of all sorts to the Chicago Layout, concentration on the La Salle corner for the most part. Haven't ballasted an inch of track yet, but that will be one of the last chores to tackle. I've also been updating the power stable, running in some of the loco's that have been boxes for maybe a decade in some cases. Also testing different equipment on the complete loops, finding the 'gotcha's' of tracking issues.

Now, about that E-2A. It is a shell bought online perhaps 12 years ago, a one-of-a-kind offer I couldn't pass up. It's origin has been forgotten, but a short info insert says it was a product of Porthole Productions of San Jose, Cal. Single shells were $12, and A-B-B set would be $32. I only have a painted A unit decorated for City of San Francisco SF-1. Now, while going through the drawer full of loco's, I saw I had one Life-Like E-6A powered chassis, and another dummy E-6A chassis with no particular destiny. I fearlessly grasped the body in one hand and the powered chassis in the other, and mated the pair. Okay, so the bod won't sit all the way down...get the Dremel fired up and have at the exposed weights. A couple of times. Even the motor frame was not exempt from the grinder. At least I was clever enough to cover the magnets and such to keep them fairly clear of grind dust. About now I decided to check the chassis for proper drive, as I'd only tested the motor's reaction to a transistor battery's tickle. Hmm. Full throttle and it's very slow to start, and never gets up to speed. More like a Shay than a Life-Like racehorse. And the motor is laboring and hot. More study.
Well, I tried about every scenario I could think of to solve the speed problem. I pulled the drive shaft of one truck, then the other end, removed weight, loosened weight, loosed both weights, pulled worm gear off the seeming offending truck, pulled drive gear out, reversed drive gear, testing with one dummy truck, then other. You can see I was NOT gonna let this get away with abhorrent behavior without a fight. I ended up with one truck powered (and only two axles) and the second dummy truck, as the first dummy was not gauged correctly, causing derailments.
All in all, more than 6 hours of sleuthing and modeling fun. The shell still is just sitting on the chassis, but will now sit about where it should. Once I have a new coupler in hand to exchange with the dummy mounted on the chassis, I will figure a method to keep the body shell on. I've got EMC/EMD's E units pretty well covered with E-1 to E-9's in the stable, and back in my HO days, I owned a Santa Fe 'Bulldog' EA. Wish there was one in N!

That'll Do.
'N' Scale Related