Author Topic: Will Intermountain(IM) F7 shell fit on Kato early F3 mechanism?  (Read 2522 times)

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mmagliaro

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I searched this forum and the old Atlas archives, but couldn't find this addressed in the past.
Will a current era Intermountain F7 shell fit on an old (late 1980s) Kato F3 mechanism? (A units)

How about putting the IM "A" on the old Kato "B"?

Thank you.

sizemore

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Re: Will Intermountain(IM) F7 shell fit on Kato early F3 mechanism?
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2013, 01:26:58 PM »
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While I havent done this specific operation, what I do know from the IM carbodies is that you will need to trim the guides to start. You'll also have to compensate for the lack of Kato full body window glazing assuming the IM shell fits over the Kato chassis without issue. You'll have better chances of mitigating height clearance issues on the latest Kato frames which have a lower height due to their DCC readiness. Older "full body" frames might have an issue. When you compare the shell height versus Kato, the Kato carbody is slightly taller IIRC.

Personally I like the IM mechanism better for DCC with its own drop in decoder. I did a picture writeup of lowering the IM shells on the IM chassis.

IM F-7 Project Pt. I
IM F-7 Project Pt. II
IM F-7 Project Pt. III

Most likely you picked up the NP shells from "Theresa's Stuff" didn't you?

HTH,
The S.

mmagliaro

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Re: Will Intermountain(IM) F7 shell fit on Kato early F3 mechanism?
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2013, 01:53:49 PM »
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While I havent done this specific operation, what I do know from the IM carbodies is that you will need to trim the guides to start. You'll also have to compensate for the lack of Kato full body window glazing assuming the IM shell fits over the Kato chassis without issue. You'll have better chances of mitigating height clearance issues on the latest Kato frames which have a lower height due to their DCC readiness. Older "full body" frames might have an issue. When you compare the shell height versus Kato, the Kato carbody is slightly taller IIRC.

Personally I like the IM mechanism better for DCC with its own drop in decoder. I did a picture writeup of lowering the IM shells on the IM chassis.

IM F-7 Project Pt. I
IM F-7 Project Pt. II
IM F-7 Project Pt. III

Most likely you picked up the NP shells from "Theresa's Stuff" didn't you?

HTH,
The S.

Thanks! 
No, these aren't for NP.   I am looking at GN shells.
A smattering of GN equipment would be appropriate for my Pacific Northwest locale-themed layout, so I thought
I'd make use of my old PRR F3's by putting GN shells on them (hopefully without having to modify the frames, so I
can put them back to PRR if I want to).


sizemore

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Re: Will Intermountain(IM) F7 shell fit on Kato early F3 mechanism?
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2013, 01:57:56 PM »
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Thanks! 
No, these aren't for NP.   I am looking at GN shells.
A smattering of GN equipment would be appropriate for my Pacific Northwest locale-themed layout, so I thought
I'd make use of my old PRR F3's by putting GN shells on them (hopefully without having to modify the frames, so I
can put them back to PRR if I want to).

As long as the frame height/shell depth passes, you only need to fill the space between the frame/shell. Then create new catches on the IM shells. that would leave the frames intact to convert back. I actually have some Kato F-7's in the mothball fleet and some IM F-7 shells waiting for some IM F-7's to be acquired/repurposed. I can take a look tonight.

The S.

Lemosteam

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Re: Will Intermountain(IM) F7 shell fit on Kato early F3 mechanism?
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2013, 02:30:55 PM »
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Dibs on the PRR shells!!! :trollface: :D :D :D

mmagliaro

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Re: Will Intermountain(IM) F7 shell fit on Kato early F3 mechanism?
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2013, 04:09:25 PM »
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Dibs on the PRR shells!!! :trollface: :D :D :D

Wow... that didn't take long.    :D 
 I do not expect to be letting go of them, unfortunately.
I may want to put them back one day.

sizemore

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Re: Will Intermountain(IM) F7 shell fit on Kato early F3 mechanism?
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2013, 09:12:13 AM »
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Max,
I left work at the ol'e lab very late, forgot to test after I made it home. Will have time to check tonight.

The S.

sizemore

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Re: Will Intermountain(IM) F7 shell fit on Kato early F3 mechanism?
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2013, 08:38:05 AM »
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This wont work without significant milling of the Kato frame. Surprisingly, in addition to being shorter in height the shells are also thinner in width.

The S.

mmagliaro

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Re: Will Intermountain(IM) F7 shell fit on Kato early F3 mechanism?
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2013, 12:13:59 PM »
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This wont work without significant milling of the Kato frame. Surprisingly, in addition to being shorter in height the shells are also thinner in width.

The S.
Thank you for checking this!   I could mill the frame, but it is not worth it to me on this little project, since I'm just looking
for a way to make use of 2 locos I have sitting in the drawer.  I'll just hunt around until I can find some Kato
F7 shells in GN.  I don't think they made an F3 in GN, but that's okay.

sizemore

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Re: Will Intermountain(IM) F7 shell fit on Kato early F3 mechanism?
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2013, 01:48:48 PM »
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Thank you for checking this!   I could mill the frame, but it is not worth it to me on this little project, since I'm just looking
for a way to make use of 2 locos I have sitting in the drawer.  I'll just hunt around until I can find some Kato
F7 shells in GN.  I don't think they made an F3 in GN, but that's okay.

Might be cheaper to find IM F-7's on that auction site. I'm actually watching a couple right now going on the cheap, less than 40 samoleans.

T

johnh35

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Re: Will Intermountain(IM) F7 shell fit on Kato early F3 mechanism?
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2013, 02:44:35 PM »
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Thank you for checking this!   I could mill the frame, but it is not worth it to me on this little project, since I'm just looking
for a way to make use of 2 locos I have sitting in the drawer.  I'll just hunt around until I can find some Kato
F7 shells in GN.  I don't think they made an F3 in GN, but that's okay.

Yes, the F3 was made in GN by Kato. There was a paint problem with early releases so they re-did the shells. If you buy a shell, look at the paint in the nose area for paint color consistency.

johnh35

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Re: Will Intermountain(IM) F7 shell fit on Kato early F3 mechanism?
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2013, 03:00:58 PM »
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Thank you for checking this!   I could mill the frame, but it is not worth it to me on this little project, since I'm just looking
for a way to make use of 2 locos I have sitting in the drawer.  I'll just hunt around until I can find some Kato
F7 shells in GN.  I don't think they made an F3 in GN, but that's okay.

As a metter of fact, Kato does still have a stock of the "imperfect" shells on their website:

N7-A1132 F3A Phase II Bodyshell, GN #353 (1 HL, w/ Steam Gen - Imperfect paint, no glass), 1 ea

mmagliaro

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Re: Will Intermountain(IM) F7 shell fit on Kato early F3 mechanism?
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2013, 11:34:38 PM »
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Thanks.
 I know Kato has "imperfect paint" GN shells on their site.  I called them and they were vague about what the nature
of the imperfection is, and would not send me a photo.  They say that one side is painted heavier than the other, and
they are only good for stripping and repainting yourself.  I wish I had some way of knowing if they are really
that bad, or if they could be weathered a little and would look fine.

peteski

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Re: Will Intermountain(IM) F7 shell fit on Kato early F3 mechanism?
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2013, 11:41:27 PM »
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Thanks.
 I know Kato has "imperfect paint" GN shells on their site.  I called them and they were vague about what the nature
of the imperfection is, and would not send me a photo.  They say that one side is painted heavier than the other, and
they are only good for stripping and repainting yourself.  I wish I had some way of knowing if they are really
that bad, or if they could be weathered a little and would look fine.

And $15 plush shipping cost for one of those is too much to pay for that info?  :|
. . . 42 . . .

mmagliaro

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Re: Will Intermountain(IM) F7 shell fit on Kato early F3 mechanism?
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2013, 12:05:46 AM »
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And $15 plush shipping cost for one of those is too much to pay for that info?  :|
Well, in a word, "yes".  $15 plus shipping, for two of them would be about $37.    I could buy one,
and if it's good, buy another, and now it costs me $45.  (Their shipping is high).   
That's a good deal
if the shells are usable, but it's lousy if I end up with two shells I can't use.  Remember, if I really
wanted to expend the effort, I could strip and repaint or buy undecs and do it.  I was hoping this
would be a simple "drop on" task.
$37 or $45 isn't a "fortune", but it's enough that I would at least like to see what I'm ordering before I pay.