Author Topic: Atlas/Kato RS-3 and RS-11 Shells on Atlas/China Drives?  (Read 2521 times)

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BCR 570

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Atlas/Kato RS-3 and RS-11 Shells on Atlas/China Drives?
« on: July 11, 2014, 10:28:20 AM »
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I would like to know if anyone has successfully mounted the deck/sill assemblies and shells for the old Atlas/Kato ALCO RS-3 and RS-11 locomotives onto the newer Atlas/China mechanisms?  I know that the manufacturer has stated that parts between the two versions are not immediately interchangeable.  The newer mechanisms are more friendly to DCC conversions and as one begins to contemplate sound installations, that becomes more important.  I have a fair amount of kitbashing, painting and decaling invested in my RS-10 and RS-18 units converted from the old RS-11 decks and shells hence the reason for contemplating the transplant.

If you have done it with either the RS-3 or RS-11, I would be interested to hear exactly what modifications wee required and how successful it was.  Pictures would be great if you have them.

Thank you,

Tim
T. Horton
North Vancouver, B.C.
BCR Dawson Creek Subdivision in N Scale
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bbussey

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Re: Atlas/Kato RS-3 and RS-11 Shells on Atlas/China Drives?
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2014, 11:23:28 AM »
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I haven't migrated entire Made-In-Japan bodyshells to the Made-In-China mechanisms.  But when Atlas released the New Haven "New Image" scheme on the MIC RS-11, I replaced my old custom-painted MIJ units which had replacement RSD-12 fuel tanks to match the prototype.  I did swap in the MIJ RSD-12 fuel tanks, which needed modification to the snap-on tabs to hold it in place because the MIC and MIJ tooling differs slightly in that regard.  So I assume the RS-11 fuel tank mounting tabs also differ between the two versions.  I doubt that any visible modifications would need to be done to the MIJ shells to have them mount on the MIC mechanisms.
Bryan Busséy
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BCRail720

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Re: Atlas/Kato RS-3 and RS-11 Shells on Atlas/China Drives?
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2014, 11:39:31 AM »
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Tim, if you find a resolution to this off the board, can you make sure to post it?  I have the exact same problem sitting on my desk in front of me... been puzzling over it for a few weeks now.

mecgp7

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Re: Atlas/Kato RS-3 and RS-11 Shells on Atlas/China Drives?
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2014, 06:44:16 PM »
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I've done it a dozen times for the same reason. I wanted my custom shells to ride on a better chassis. There is very little to it. The RS11 fits right on the Chinese RS3. The fuel tank snaps right on. The only modification on the Kato made RS3 shell is to remove some of the tabs from inside the cab which allows it to sit lower on the chassis. The cab stays in place just with friction.
One modification might need to be made on the Chinese chassis. There are little nubs on the sides and on each end. They held the original shell on with friction. Sometimes they need to be filed down a little.

It is nice to have the old "girls" running smoothly.

bdennis

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Re: Atlas/Kato RS-3 and RS-11 Shells on Atlas/China Drives?
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2014, 04:37:25 AM »
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Im with mecgp7.. I hvae done both RS3 and RS11. It was a complete shell and sill move from the old Mech over to the new mech. I dont have then handy (as Im away on holiday) but I would agree that only minor internal shell modification was needed per the above.

The old girls run so much better on the new mech's
Brendan Dennis
N scale - Delaware & Hudson Champlain Division

johnh35

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Re: Atlas/Kato RS-3 and RS-11 Shells on Atlas/China Drives?
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2014, 09:10:00 AM »
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The LL/Walthers RS-2 mechanism is a better choice if you plan on DCC. It will also fit directly in place and provides simple conversion to DCC. You will have to modify the fuel tank to fit properly, but that is small potatoes

brokemoto

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Re: Atlas/Kato RS-3 and RS-11 Shells on Atlas/China Drives?
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2014, 10:12:58 AM »
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I have done both.  There are two things that you must do.

1.  Remove one pair of retaining clips that hold the cab to the rest of the body.  I forget which one it is, but a test fit will reveal the answer.  As another has posted, the friction and the remaining pair of clips will retain it on the rest of the body.

2.  The China made RS-3/RS-11 has body mount couplers.  Thus, you must buy the MT conversion kit.  MT made kits specific to these locomotives.  The Japanese made walkway assembly will go with the Japanese made shell onto the Chinese made chassis.  I never tried to fit the Japanese made body onto the Chinese made walkway.  I seem to recall that the RS-3 conversion kit will go onto the RS-11 walkway as well as the other way around.  One might not look quite right on the other one, but it will go.  As these locomotives are long out of production, I suspect that there are not too many of these conversion kits running around.  Thus, you might be able to find only one or the other.

I have never tried putting the LL chassis under either the Atlas Chinese made shell or the Atlas/Kato shell.

skm

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Re: Atlas/Kato RS-3 and RS-11 Shells on Atlas/China Drives?
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2014, 11:45:19 AM »
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I have put Japanese-made RS3 body shells onto Chinese-made mechanisms with no problem. The newer sill assemblies work just fine with the old shells too. I seem to remember that the tabs that hold the bodies onto the mechanisms are about the only differences.

I also purchased some of the newer sill assemblies with closed pilots and put them onto the Japanese-made mechanisms; easier and cheaper than the MTL pilot conversions! You need to file the frame edges a little to get it to sit at the correct height, but easy enough to do.

IIRC: Worth remembering that the Chinese-made RS11 has a longer wheelbase (read: prototypically correct) than the Japanese made version, which used the RS3 mech.
Cheers,
Scott

atsf_arizona

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Re: Atlas/Kato RS-3 and RS-11 Shells on Atlas/China Drives?
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2015, 02:19:44 PM »
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Hi Tim,

I just recently finished successfully putting my old Atlas/Kato RS-11 SP Black Widow shell along with the Atlas/Kato sill/walkway, on the new RS-11 DCC friendly mechanism. I took a bunch of photos in the process (so that I could remember what I did in future years).

As stated above, I needed to do some simple (once I figured out what and where) grinding and cutting procedures, to allow the Atlas/Kato cab and the Atlas/Kato shell around the cab, to fit.  I also needed to use the newer numberboard glass that came with the new DCC-ready RS11 that donated the mechanism - the old A/K numberboard glass would hit the new mechanism's lights.  Some light grinding on the Atlas/Kato cab window glass was needed to clear the mechanism.  One pair of the set of "nubs" on the underside of the Atlas/Kato sill, needed to be ground down flat, so that the shell would sit nicely level and at the right height. 

Removing the Atlas/Kato shell is nicely described here:  http://n-scale-dcc.blogspot.com/2012/01/tcs-z2-in-older-atlas-rs11.html   - that is the key to getting the A/K shell off.    The new DCC-ready Atlas RS-11 shell doesn't have to be removed that way, you can just safely pop the new DCC-ready Atlas RS-11 shell off using the "tap-the-end-sill-on-tabletop" method.

Once you know all these little easy things to do, it will be fast - my next Atlas/Kato RS-11 shell will go a lot faster.  And yes, using the body-mount Micro-Trains coupler adapter #1150, fits and clears the DCC-ready Atlas RS-11 mechanism and it's trucks with the proper RS-11 wheelbase, with no problems.   

While the amount of time spent above wasn't a lot,  as stated previously I could have been able to just put my Atlas/Kato shell on a Atlas RS-3 mechanism and be done with it, if I'd wanted to dispense with doing the various (minor) A/K RS-11 shell modifications and didn't care about the 1 scale foot wheelbase difference (between the incorrect RS-3 wheelbase and the correct RS-11 wheelbase).

If you or others are still interested in the photos, let me know and I'll post them here.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2015, 10:22:25 PM by atsf_arizona »
John Sing
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Modeling the Santa Fe's Peavine Line (Ash Fork -> Phoenix, Arizona) during the 50s and 60s

BCR751

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Re: Atlas/Kato RS-3 and RS-11 Shells on Atlas/China Drives?
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2015, 03:05:40 PM »
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Tim, if you find a resolution to this off the board, can you make sure to post it?  I have the exact same problem sitting on my desk in front of me... been puzzling over it for a few weeks now.

Me too !!  Looking forward to some solutions for this.

Doug

drgw0579

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Re: Atlas/Kato RS-3 and RS-11 Shells on Atlas/China Drives?
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2015, 09:54:16 AM »
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Many years ago I had found a source of Kato RS-2 mechanisms that ended with my old Atlas-Kato shells on them.  Then when I decided I wanted to have 3-unit sets, but only needed 2 powered, the old frames came out of the scrap bin, and new shells were purchased from Atlas.  The old trucks don't roll very well, but I found that Intermountain FT trucks are free-rolling and fit in the old frames.  With the side frames filed down and grafted, that makes a great unpowered unit.

Bill Kepner
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BCR751

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Re: Atlas/Kato RS-3 and RS-11 Shells on Atlas/China Drives?
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2015, 02:59:58 PM »
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If you or others are still interested in the photos, let me know and I'll post them here.

I, for one, would like to see those photos.

doug

strummer

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Re: Atlas/Kato RS-3 and RS-11 Shells on Atlas/China Drives?
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2015, 10:25:53 AM »
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Me too...

Mark in Oregon

atsf_arizona

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Re: Atlas/Kato RS-3 and RS-11 Shells on Atlas/China Drives?
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2015, 07:04:17 AM »
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Hi, all,

I just uploaded this Pbase.com album with the photo essay showing the modifications, following the tips and
instructions that others have shared and posted here.  Thanks, all, you got me started  :)  :

http://www.pbase.com/atsf_arizona/atlaskators11shellondccmechanism&page=all

Several sample shots:





















Comments welcome.

BTW, Comcast finally, after 12 years, discontinued their personal webspace hosting and my ATSF_Arizona website URL  "home.comcast.net/~j.sing" in my signature below has gone "poof".  I still have all the material and will (someday) reload it all somewhere else.   Especially the ATSF Trainmaster story.

In the meantime, my Pbase.com albums will have to suffice:

http://www.pbase.com/atsf_arizona

All the best,

John Sing
« Last Edit: November 03, 2015, 07:11:57 AM by atsf_arizona »
John Sing
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Modeling the Santa Fe's Peavine Line (Ash Fork -> Phoenix, Arizona) during the 50s and 60s

Mark5

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Re: Atlas/Kato RS-3 and RS-11 Shells on Atlas/China Drives?
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2015, 10:06:43 PM »
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Great stuff there!

When the Atlas RS3 came out back in the 80s, I picked up one and painted it for N&W (the factory paint jobs back then were ok at best).

Early this century, I picked up an Atlas China RS3 with a view to swapping the chassis. Although I used the Kadee pilot conversion back then, when evaluating the upgrade I decided to swap the handrails/sill from the China unit since the pilots were tooled into the model instead of being open like on the Atlas/Kato model.

I still have a bit of work to do on this model. I removed the horns as they are incorrect for N&W - I'll put the right ones on when I get back to this loco. I'm not going to obsess as the Atlas unit is the wrong phase for N&W anyway.

When using the new handrails with the old shell, there is one problem that I have not addressed and that is the the stanchions on the steps won't fit into the Atlas/Kato holes - so I'll have to open those holes up slightly.

The original model was dullcoated after I painted and decaled it. So now the sill, hand rails, tank, and trucks all look shiny while the body is "weathered". :facepalm:

I also need to add the yellow paint to the end hand rails like N&W started doing in the mid 60s.

I'll fix that when I finish this loco sometime in the future (too busy with other crap to mess with the trains for a while).

Cell phone pics (my cell has better depth of field than my old digital camera!):





Mark