@Bruce: Thanks for the warning!
North Star was among a host of projects today. I took one of Dan’s donor chassis, removed its bottom plate, then turned to on the patient. Only my 1:24 crew joined this time.
This is the 4th or 5th time I’ve had to take this old loco apart for some sort of repair. Each time, I find something else has broken. The plastic post holding the bottom chassis plate to the smokebox, for instance, had snapped:
The crewchief to the left is pointing to the plastic post that used to connect to the smokebox. Maybe I overtorqued it when I reassembled North Star after fixing the broken solder joint?
More distressingly, the post that holds the screw for the brass bar that picks up electricity from the wheels broke:
I never touched this screw. I guess this plastic is just getting brittle with age. I am beginning to strongly suspect these models were never designed with repairs in mind…
Since Dan’s chassis had the pilot truck nicely wired in place, I decided I’d just swap out bottom plates, pilot and all. It turns out, however, that the older bottom plate lacks a slot for detail part that holds what I presume are drain lines. Yo can see the slot just above the crew chief. The team above him holds the part that fits in the slot, and the fellow in green is resting his arm on the drain lines:
I briefly considered modifying Dan’s chassis part to accommodate these parts, but I got cold feet. No one will miss them.
Reassembly went pretty smoothly, with the exception of the brake that decided to fall off…
…and the crew took time to pose with their new scrap parts as the JB Weld set:
After running an errand, I put power to the rails, placed North Star on the tracks, and…nothing. I replaced a fuse in my controller, tried again, and the old boy lurched forward…about an inch. I took “him” off the track, popped Kid-zilla’s Mack on the track, and Mack happily started circling the railroad. I took North Star back to the lanai, leaving Mack to happily circle (lucky Mack), and tried to put power to the wheels to see what would happen. Same thing. I got either nothing or lurch. It was then that I noticed that the donor bottom plate doesn’t quite align fore-and-aft with the original chassis, preventing it from closing properly. I suspect that this may be leaving something to rattle around and cause a short or simply keep the axels from sitting where the need to be when the motor applies torque to the drive gear. At that point, I had to break down the worksite and prepare for guests, which was probably for the best. It also started to rain, so Mack had to come in, too. Poor guy.