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Thread: Modernizing old brass?

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    Default Modernizing old brass?

    Hi everyone, Iím new here

    i have a concor wartime GS-4 and a hallmark Atsf 4-8-4. Both seem to be pretty horrible runners, and Iím trying to figure out if itís possible to make the perform better on small layouts with 11Ē radius curves.

    I also have a Kato GS-4 which performs great on 11Ē curves.

    im looking to have the converted to DCC and perhaps remotored so they are closer in performance to the katos. Iíve never done anything like this before but was hoping someone can give me some advice or steer me in the right direction of what is possible.

    thank you!

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    The Con-Cor is not brass though correct?

    I'd suggest starting with Spookshow's site for reviews. Not sure these 4-8-4 were designed for 11" R though.

    http://www.spookshow.net/loco/concors2.html
    http://www.spookshow.net/loco/hm484.html
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jugtown Modeler View Post
    The Con-Cor is not brass though correct?

    I'd suggest starting with Spookshow's site for reviews. Not sure these 4-8-4 were designed for 11" R though.

    http://www.spookshow.net/loco/concors2.html
    http://www.spookshow.net/loco/hm484.html
    They may or may not work on 11," but the only way to know for sure is with some testing and tinkering. I got two Key Imports PRR I-1 decapods that are covered in Spookshow's encyclopedia, and while his guide is fantastic and great for research before buying, I think there is some variability model to model and production run to production run, especially with brass. He mentions that his I-1 instantly derails on 11" curves. I found that while one of mine does just that, the other seems to take the curve without issue (as long as you use the second hole on the tender drawbar and the short tender) and runs great on 11". I've found other little differences as well, like how one of them fits a Microtrains coupler just fine on the pilot with no problems, while the other doesn't have enough room for the coupler pocket and the leading truck collides with it the moment you go up even the slightest uneven rail causing the drivers to lift off the track and lose traction. There was some sloppy soldering in the coupler pocket which I filed down, but I still have issues which I'll have to do some more tinkering to fix.

    Either way, that Hallmark 4-8-4 is a fantastic looking piece! Hope you get it running good. Are your locos horrible runners all the time? Or just on small radius curves?

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    Thanks everyone, yes. The concor GS-4 I have is not brass, however the the problems are pretty much identical. I think I’ll need to consider building a new layout with 19-22” curves. I have primarily been a collector so I have lots of rolling stock and motive power. However I never had an issue with diesels. I’ve always been a steam fan and it looks like there will be some challenges just given the sheer size of the locos.

    I’m spoiled and used to Kato power. my Kato GS-4 runs like a champ. This is why I’m trying to figure out if it’s even possible to get my brass and rigid plastic models to perform closer to the katos.

    I want to stop looking at these steamers in a box and getting them moving.

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    The hallmark 4-8-4 has a lot of room inside for a better motor it currently is a 3 pole., a kato 5 pole 6-axle motor with one flywheel removed would be perfect and you can reuse the samhongsa universal joints. Kato aux water tender trucks should work to get better pickup but you need to mount them.

    the concor 4-8-4 mechanism is pretty lame it does have a 5 pole motor already but no room for a flywheel at all. It could be a good runner if you use a supercapacitor with the dcc board you choose though.

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    I don't know these engines, but, I wonder how close the tender wheelbase is to a kato RSC2 diesel. maybe power the tender and gut the loco drive?
    Cheers,

    Russ

    CEO of Devil's Gate Mining Co.



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    I've had a con cor gs4. Had to modify the front chassis blocks to allow the front 2 drivers more side to side movement. I improved its minimum radius to run consistently on 15.5 and to manage an s bend between 2 peco medium size turnouts at slow speed. If your game enough you could mill out the rear rear block chassis too and see how that goes. But you don't want to much side movement where the gearing is to the motor. I ended up selling it and the new owner was very pleased with its performance.
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    Thanks everyone for your pointers. I’ve never really gotten into modifying my locos to such an extent. But I’m just at home now so why not take some time to mess with it?

    I definitely want to get my hallmark 4-8-4 running. Need to see if I can get some more Side to side movement in the drivers and add a 5-pole and flywheel.

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    Anyone know if something like this would work for a hallmark 4-8-4? I’ve never done any customizations before and would love some pointers on what types of tool kit and things I’d need to get started. Thanks for your help!
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/283902655247

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    Quote Originally Posted by BF3751 View Post
    Anyone know if something like this would work for a hallmark 4-8-4? I’ve never done any customizations before and would love some pointers on what types of tool kit and things I’d need to get started. Thanks for your help!
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/283902655247
    Anything can work with enough time and modification! ...but that's not a very helpful answer.

    Judging by how the Hallmark internals look, I doubt you'd be able to work that Kato mechanism in there without extensive modifications. I wouldn't even attempt it unless you're brave and willing to risk a very nice looking model; I sure wouldn't. Your best bet if you're dead set on swapping the mechanism is to go to a show where you can actually see the parts and get a hands on look to see just how big they are and make sure they come close to fitting. Of course, most shows have been cancelled due to this whole pandemic scare everyone seems to be gripped with. Also, you're probably better off just remotoring it rather than trying to work all that extra stuff in there.

    Here's a pic of the 4-8-4's internals. Not much at all like the Kato mechanism in that Ebay ad. Unless you're looking to make your loco into a tender drive, this probably isn't going to work:



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