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Thread: BLI NW2/SW7 Atlas MP15-1 swap

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    Default BLI NW2/SW7 Atlas MP15-1 swap

    I am thinking about adding sound to my Atlas MP15-1ís . Doing this I was thinking about doing an frame swap with the BLI and using the shell, and trucks from the Atlas. Because I donít have the skills/ equipment to paint an undecorated BLI unit to my liking. Plus I am on a tight budget for now. If anyone knows if this is possible for the swap, let me know.
    Cheers!
    Clayton

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    BLI doesn't make an MP15 that I'm aware of......... which it looks like you are already aware of. Not sure if the wheelbase is correct for the Atlas shell (I don't have any MP15s to compare), and you cannot use the Atlas trucks. BLI wires their trucks, vs the wiper used by Atlas. I guess you could cut the wires off the BLI trucks and solder them to the Atlas trucks, but I'm not sure there wouldn't be other mods required to make the swap. Not sure the truck towers are compatible either, but the wiring issue sort of makes it a moot point.

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    I don’t care if BLI has wires to the trucks, as long as the Atlas trucks are fitting in the BLI frame it will be okay. I can find a way to make the trucks send power to the board. I just want to know if the atlas trucks will fit
    Cheers!
    Clayton

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    I looked on Spookshows site, and now I'm a bit puzzled.........the loco he shows in his evaluation has wipers and contact strips, mine has wires. He says he evaluated the Paragon 4 version (what I have) and didn't mention any changes. But mine DEFINITELY has wires. It looks like you might have a shot at a truck swap with the version he shows.

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    I highly doubt this is going to work. To begin with, the chances the trucks will swap is slim. Even if they mount the same the worm gear would likely not mesh correctly or be of the wrong pitch. Beyond that, is the shell for the MP15 going to fit the NW2/SW7? Both the NW2 and SW7 are about 44 feet long but the MP15 is about 48. Also, the side sills and end steps on the NW2/SW7 are part of the frame and on the MP15 they are part of the shell.

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    My BLI SD40-2’s paragon 4 locomotives also has wires attached to the trucks. To me this is a simple thing to undo with an soldering iron. I believe that I can change out the wiper’s they should be able to swap. Just will have to resolder the wires to the frame. I am just wondering if the shells are still an even swap.
    Cheers!
    Clayton

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    Again, I don't have any MP15s for comparison......but the more I look, the less likely your swap appears. As CSXRobert says, the SW has the walkways and fuel tank as part of the chassis.......there's also a wide section for the cab on the BLI that is wider than the chassis on the Atlas. Not sure on the length of the MP15 trucks, but the clearances for the trucks on the SW are pretty tight both to the coupler and to the fuel tank, plus the fact that the fuel tank on the SW is totally wrong for an MP and can't be changed easily. Was there something specific about the BLI chassis you wanted...........It looks to me like putting a sound decoder into the Atlas MP would be way easier than what you are trying to do. Don't get me wrong, the BLI is a great loco, but it looks to me like the swap would be really complicated.

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    Only thing is that adding a sound decoder to the atlas locomotive is easy, but adding a speaker to fit in the small size space is not. Yes, this was my goal. To add an sound decoder system to the atlas.
    Cheers!
    Clayton

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    Quote Originally Posted by MRLdave View Post
    I looked on Spookshows site, and now I'm a bit puzzled.........the loco he shows in his evaluation has wipers and contact strips, mine has wires. He says he evaluated the Paragon 4 version (what I have) and didn't mention any changes. But mine DEFINITELY has wires. It looks like you might have a shot at a truck swap with the version he shows.
    I just took a closer look at my Paragon4 NW2 and it looks like BLI now has the axle wipers wired directly to the decoder board (same change they made to their SD40-2). I've updated my web page.

    Thanks,
    -Mark

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    Thanks Mark! Can you please answer some of my questions? Can the Atlas trucks fit on the BLI NW2 frame? Also can the Atlas MP15-1 shell fit also on the NW2 frame? Will there be any modifications needed? Reason why I am asking is I am wanting to piece together an MP15-1 with sound. Without modifying the frame of the Atlas. I was guessing since the two locomotives are similar in size they could be somewhat a swap with little to no modifications to the frames.
    Cheers!
    Clayton

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    Sorry, I don't have an MP15.

    -Mark

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    A thread on putting a LokSound v5 Nano in an Atlas MP15 was recently posted on another board. The 8x12 speaker enclosure was put in the cab. Two 330uf caps were used as 'keep-alives'. Not sure if I can post a link to that board here or not but if someone is interested PM me and I'll send the link.

    Clayton I'll probably assume you might not be interested as it did involve removing some material from the front of the chassis and thinning the shell a bit. I don't believe you want to go that route, at least at this time, but thought someone else might want the info. I'm thinking along the lines of some of the others that the chassis and truck differences might present maybe more problems than a small amount of milling on the chassis and thinning the shell a bit.

    Sumner
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    I'm not sure if this matters or not, but I've got an MP15 (LEF&C) and while it actually runs well, it sure is a lightweight in terms of pulling power, comes in at only 3.5 grams against 50.6 grams of body weight (Atlas hard/slick wheel syndrome), less than a third of what a similar-weight Kato NW2 pulls. So reducing weight any more.....
    All depends on what you want to do with it. I'm sure the sound will be awesome, but if you want to pull much of a train it's a big investment. Mine's a display case queen. I almost ended up working for LEF&C, it's a sentimental favorite.

    PM me if you need any mechanism or part dimensions of that mech. I'm doing an experiment right now on swapping Atlas wheels with Kato to improve the adhesion factor on some of these problem Atlas diesels.

    But the good news is that the cab is empty, and a lot of people have managed to get a sugar cube speaker stuffed in there on similar-sized switchers.
    Last edited by randgust; 2nd Jun 2022 at 09:01 AM.
    Randgust N scale kits web page at www.randgust.com

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