Author Topic: Looking for general advice on Kumata E3/6  (Read 1524 times)

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Sharky_McSharknose

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Looking for general advice on Kumata E3/6
« on: June 02, 2019, 05:49:24 PM »
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I've purchased a Hallmark/Kumata E3/6 A-B set and am waiting for it to ship. These will be my first-ever brass locomotives. I have read the Spookshow review of these locos. Of course, I won't be able to give any specifics on how they run or if they've been modified until they arrive (and it may be a while), but aside from the Spookshow assessment, what else can you all tell me about these locos? What should I be prepared to look for when they arrive?

spookshow

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Re: Looking for general advice on Kumata E3/6
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2019, 07:14:12 AM »
+1
Paging @u18b  :D

-Mark

altohorn25

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Re: Looking for general advice on Kumata E3/6
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2019, 09:33:08 AM »
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Paging @u18b  :D

-Mark

Yes - he did quite an extensive review of them/how to get them to run better. 
Nate Pierce
Modutrak - Wisconsin Division
www.modutrak.com

daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: Looking for general advice on Kumata E3/6
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2019, 10:47:21 AM »
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Isn't Ron working on a brass n scale book?
Dan's Train Company
Forcing grandma to make my trains since 2019.

central.vermont

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Re: Looking for general advice on Kumata E3/6
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2019, 10:47:58 AM »
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Did just a quick search of TRW and have found two links,

https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=29832.msg324242#msg324242
https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=29600.msg319223#msg319223

Apparently he has not done one of these but was looking for one. You may be a candidate for him!!  :D

Jon

Sharky_McSharknose

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Re: Looking for general advice on Kumata E3/6
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2019, 02:25:23 PM »
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It looks like Mr. Bearden already acquired one of these. Chrome-plated, too!

https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=42045.msg528939;topicseen#msg528939

He mentions shoulder washers in the gearbox mounting can be perished on the E3/6. I'll def. inspect those once I get my grubby hands on the engines.

spookshow

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Re: Looking for general advice on Kumata E3/6
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2019, 10:21:20 PM »
+1
This is like Waiting For Godot  :lol:

-Mark

u18b

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Re: Looking for general advice on Kumata E3/6
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2019, 12:38:54 AM »
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Sorry guys.... been out of town.
First time on Railwire in several days.

Was I missed?   :trollface:

What to expect on the Kumata E units.

On a relatively new units (not well worn, even after 30 years), you have a 20% or less chance that they might run excellently IF you have exceptional trackwork.

If they are average, expect.....

cracked u-joint sockets, one or more  - probably 85% chance
wobbly wormshafts - thus loud 85% chance
rusty screws 20% chance
electrical shorts so that they run poorly/inconsistently 95% chance
Sometimes gearbox screws are too long and trucks can hit them.   
Loose lead weights  50/50 chance
bad gearboxes (rare on these but common on the ALCOs)
Bad solder joints to the motor.

If the unit has been disassembled in the past, possible problems include:
damaged shoulder washers that insulate one gearbox
damaged headless screws that retain the trucks in the gearboxes.

These can be made EXCELLENT runners if....

--You eliminate electrical shorts (mostly by insulating the mainframe from the wheels- I do this by disassembling and adding clear packing tape stuck to the underside)
--you reduce the wobble of the wormshafts
--add new u-joints.  I add flywheels with hex holes from Atlas or Kato and then SD40/U30C etc Kato U-joints.

Good ones are out there.   I bought an E3/6 chrome plated set that is excellent.  And for some reason the E5 sets tend to be better (I have no idea why).  But the problems I listed above are common.

I shared a lot of my work with Spookshow.  He had a horrible opinion of KMT locos.   He still does in unmodded condition.  But I showed him that almost all of them can be drastically improved.





Ron Bearden
CSX N scale Archivist
http://u18b.com

"All get what they want-- not all like what they get."  Aslan the Lion in the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S.Lewis.

u18b

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Re: Looking for general advice on Kumata E3/6
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2019, 12:45:13 AM »
+1
And yes.... I do hope to write a definitive guide to Kumata brass in N scale one day.
About 75% written at present.

But my EP-2 project derailed me a bit.

I originally hoped/planned to give it away for free as a PDF, but it will eventually be well over 100 pages with hundreds of photos.
Takes a lot of computing power to edit it.

So I'll probably need to charge something and have it printed.

I'll keep everyone posted.

But it will probably be a long time.

(my son might have to publish it posthumously)   :trollface:
« Last Edit: June 05, 2019, 01:29:13 PM by u18b »
Ron Bearden
CSX N scale Archivist
http://u18b.com

"All get what they want-- not all like what they get."  Aslan the Lion in the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S.Lewis.

Sharky_McSharknose

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Re: Looking for general advice on Kumata E3/6
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2019, 02:31:25 PM »
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Thank you for the advice, Ron! I will post about the engines more when I receive them. I now also have a Kumata Santa Fe E1 A-B set on the way too. Am I right in assuming the same pointers apply to the E1 besides the offset motor?

u18b

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Re: Looking for general advice on Kumata E3/6
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2019, 04:41:37 PM »
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No!!!!!!!!

There is potentially a HUGE difference.  It all depends if it is the first run or the second run.
Check Spookshow to see which you have. 

The second run is more like the E3/6.

However, the first run does NOT have a headless screw.
It has a knockout pin.  And you should never mess with it and pray no one else has either.  I’ve seen some in terrible condition which almost ruined the running of the loco.

This will only apply to the A unit.  B unit is safe.

If you have the first run, ask for help before you do anything.

Best wishes.   They are gorgeous models.
Ron Bearden
CSX N scale Archivist
http://u18b.com

"All get what they want-- not all like what they get."  Aslan the Lion in the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S.Lewis.

u18b

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Re: Looking for general advice on Kumata E3/6
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2019, 08:23:05 AM »
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Looking forward to hearing what you found.
Ron Bearden
CSX N scale Archivist
http://u18b.com

"All get what they want-- not all like what they get."  Aslan the Lion in the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S.Lewis.

Sharky_McSharknose

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Re: Looking for general advice on Kumata E3/6
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2019, 01:51:11 PM »
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I'll post here when they arrive. I'm still waiting on them to ship from Japan. It'll be a while, I think...

Nato

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Re: Looking for general advice on Kumata E3/6
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2019, 01:21:21 AM »
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              :|These wonderful looking models are a mixed bag. I have the first run Santa Fe Powered A unit Dummy B mine when I ran them always had electrical contact problems,even after messing with the fine wires that connect the trucks. I also have a set of Plated E-5's A-B  both locomotives powered. I ran them on the old Utah N Rail Layout( now Wasatch N Scale), set up at a local hobby shop for a holiday display. They ran flawlessly for hours on end for close to a month pulling a short train of foob articulated cars that a company "Golden Era Model Trains" sold cobbled together from Trix  fluted side coaches and and observation car. There was never any electrical issues or gear problems, but now having been in long term storage perhaps drive train ageing issues may have occurred. Nate Goodman (Nato).  :|

Sharky_McSharknose

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Re: Looking for general advice on Kumata E3/6
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2019, 02:26:09 PM »
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The E3/6s and E1 A-B set arrived yesterday. I took some pictures, but I didn't have a chance to upload them. I'll add them tonight.

The Santa Fe E1 A-Bs are the second-run models with both units powered by centrally-mounted motors and threaded truck pins (phew!). Unfortunately, the A unit is an unhappy camper on my Unitrack test loop. It could barely move without stuttering and stalling. When it did run it made a lot of gear noise. I lubed the trucks with CRC 2-26 (plastic-safe conductive oil) which helped it with pickup. It can now do laps around the loop. However, it's still balky at low speed. The CRC only slightly reduced the gear noise. The B unit runs a bit better- it's less noisy and less balky at low speed, but it also has a significantly lower top speed than the A unit. Visually, both engines are in fair shape. Some of the ladders are bent or hanging on by one leg, and there is a slight bit of paint and plating chipping. Definite 10-footers.

The E3/6 A-B set are unplated brass. The A unit has a slot cut in the bottom of the pilot that goes up to the coupler pocket, which I don't think was how it came from the factory. Both are showing some dullness and tarnish, but aside from the A unit's pilot the bodies and details are all intact. The E6s run WAYYYYY better than the E1s. They have the black can motors instead of the E1s' open motors, which I'm sure makes a difference in their running characteristics. They're much quieter, they run smoother at low speed, and the A's and B's speeds are better matched. I haven't tried to lube them aside from some Labelle 108 on the worm gear bushings, and I'm not going to mess with a good thing!

Some of the U-joint sockets are cracked on all of the units. The E6A has a styrene plate under the pilot for mounting the coupler, which is a nice touch. A previous owner added a LED to the E1A. The wiring job is sloppy, but it lights up and doesn't interfere with the model working.

How can I fix wobbling worm gear shafts? The E1s might have this problem.

I'm not sure how far I want to go down a rabbit hole with the E1s. I'll likely keep the E6s longer and make the flywheel/U-joint mods Ron posted. Maybe even give them a lick of ACL Champion paint!