Author Topic: Overland Models AMD-103, original drive - worth Resurrecting?  (Read 1615 times)

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nickelplate759

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I have an old Overland Models AMD-103 that I'm considering for my next resurrection.

It has the early mechanism in the trucks, shown here in this photo from the Spookshow site:



It runs, but whines/howls while doing it.  My hunch it's the overly complex gear train.  There are a few other issues to address as well, but I don't want to invest in addressing them if the mechanism is inherently bad.    The other things I'd do are:

1. Add DCC
2. Add LED lighting (controlled by DCC)
3. Improve tractive effort.  This is easy, because the're plenty of room to add weight, and if I glue some lead sheet to the shell might also quiet things down a bit as the hollow brass shell vibrates quite a bit.


Anyone have any experience with these?  Would you fix it up or just use it as a display piece?
« Last Edit: June 02, 2019, 11:34:31 PM by nickelplate759 »
George

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I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

peteski

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Re: Overland Models AMD-103, original drive - worth Resurrecting?
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2019, 12:39:27 AM »
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I bought one of those when they first came out. That was, at the time the only available N scale model of those (then new) Amtrak locos. I added strobes and constant headlights and ran it on the NE-NTRAK layout pulling Bachmann Amfleet cars.  I'm not sure of you were still a member at the time or already left the club.

Yes, that drive train is overly complex and it whines, but it was a big hit at the time.  I think I did mess around with the mechanism to get it running reasonably well(but still whining). I don't remember what modifications I made.  I still have that model (in a display case), and just recently was thinking of bringing it into the 21st Century (like I need another project).  :facepalm:

If I were you, I would keep it (and possibly bring it to the current standard). After all, it is still the only N-scale model available of that loco (AMD-103 is different than P-42).  Mine has the original paint scheme with the fading stripes which supposedly, on the 1:1 loco would produce an illusion of waving as the loco zipped by.
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tehachapifan

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Re: Overland Models AMD-103, original drive - worth Resurrecting?
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2019, 01:04:18 AM »
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...Mine has the original paint scheme with the fading stripes which supposedly, on the 1:1 loco would produce an illusion of waving as the loco zipped by.

While a nice thought, I always thought it made the stripe look as if it was obscured by grime.
Russ

ChristianJDavis1

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Re: Overland Models AMD-103, original drive - worth Resurrecting?
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2019, 01:33:23 AM »
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I have one, and like everyone else indicated, it does make some noise (but not enough to be a distraction to me). It runs well, but one thing I noticed on mine was the mounting pad (?) where the screw connects the shell and frame was too low, and when I tried to straighten it, it busted off. I just CA'd it back on and added a washer and everything was much better (didn't want to get too involved with it). Another thing to watch out for is the windows; they like to fall off with handling (admittedly, I am a bit of a fumble-fingers). Also of note, the sideframes seem to pivot on their mounts a tiny bit, so make sure they aren't touching the wheels.
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peteski

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Re: Overland Models AMD-103, original drive - worth Resurrecting?
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2019, 01:47:38 AM »
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I have one, and like everyone else indicated, it does make some noise (but not enough to be a distraction to me). It runs well, but one thing I noticed on mine was the mounting pad (?) where the screw connects the shell and frame was too low, and when I tried to straighten it, it busted off. I just CA'd it back on and added a washer and everything was much better (didn't want to get too involved with it). Another thing to watch out for is the windows; they like to fall off with handling (admittedly, I am a bit of a fumble-fingers). Also of note, the sideframes seem to pivot on their mounts a tiny bit, so make sure they aren't touching the wheels.

Good advice (you refreshed my memory - the sideframes were problematic on mine too).  The windows are just thin pieces of clear plastic with the frames printed on them.  I lost couple and I ended up contacting Overland for replacements (which they provided).
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nickelplate759

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Re: Overland Models AMD-103, original drive - worth Resurrecting?
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2019, 09:09:09 AM »
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Thanks all - I'm going to give it a go. 

Pete, I do remember your model with the lights and strobes - I was indeed in Northeast N-Trak at the time.  I remember being amazed by the strobes, because you had to drill out the oval (I think) lens openings to do it.  Also, you did it all pre-DCC, so you couldn't just select a "strobe" function. Nice work!

George

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I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

peteski

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Re: Overland Models AMD-103, original drive - worth Resurrecting?
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2019, 04:08:42 PM »
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Thanks all - I'm going to give it a go. 

Pete, I do remember your model with the lights and strobes - I was indeed in Northeast N-Trak at the time.  I remember being amazed by the strobes, because you had to drill out the oval (I think) lens openings to do it.  Also, you did it all pre-DCC, so you couldn't just select a "strobe" function. Nice work!
Thanks!

Yup, that's it!  You remember it well!  I had to mount the brass shell on my Sherline mill (back then it was actually a lathe with a milling column attachment), and very carefully mill those oval-shape openings on the  angled surface of the nose, hoping not to damage the paint.  I lucked out.

And yes, I designed and built a DC-based constant lighting and strobe flasher circuit to light it all up. I used Miniartonics 1.2mm 1.5V bulbs and I gave the ones for the strobes a thin coating of transparent blue paint to make them look like a Xenon strobe (what we now call "cool white").
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VonRyan

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Re: Overland Models AMD-103, original drive - worth Resurrecting?
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2019, 10:36:31 PM »
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I used Miniartonics 1.2mm 1.5V bulbs and I gave the ones for the strobes a thin coating of transparent blue paint to make them look like a Xenon strobe (what we now call "cool white").

Fun Fact: The US Army Corps of Engineers had the same thing done to the incandescent bulbs in the large lighting kits. So even in 1:1 scale the effect works very well.
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Re: Overland Models AMD-103, original drive - worth Resurrecting?
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2019, 12:17:33 AM »
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What are the differences between an AMD-103 and a P42?

peteski

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Re: Overland Models AMD-103, original drive - worth Resurrecting?
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2019, 01:21:43 AM »
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What are the differences between an AMD-103 and a P42?

This write-up describes the different variants of this loco: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GE_Genesis

Visually, there are 3 openings over the windshield which house the strobes and the brake dump emergency lamp (red).  At least on the Amtrak version that I have. There might also be some differences in the grille arrangements. Not sure.  Heck, for all I know, that AMD-103 model might be depicting some prototype unit which never made it to production.
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nickelplate759

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Re: Overland Models AMD-103, original drive - worth Resurrecting?
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2019, 10:40:27 AM »
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The most obvious difference is that the AMD 103 had a rear hostler  cab.
George

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I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Overland Models AMD-103, original drive - worth Resurrecting?
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2019, 11:30:51 AM »
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What about swapping in a Kato mech?

nickelplate759

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Re: Overland Models AMD-103, original drive - worth Resurrecting?
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2019, 12:50:25 PM »
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What about swapping in a Kato mech?

That's my solution of last resort.  Too easy :)
George

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I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

ChristianJDavis1

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Re: Overland Models AMD-103, original drive - worth Resurrecting?
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2019, 02:38:03 PM »
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That's my solution of last resort.  Too easy :)

Not to mention it kind of takes all of the fun out of it. It's like people who repower classic cars with a modern engine/drivetrain. Sure, it's more reliable and drives better (debatable), but it takes all of the character and fun out of it. And in this case, the original mechanism is pretty good to start with so replacing it just seems like a lost opportunity for tinkering.
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johnb

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Re: Overland Models AMD-103, original drive - worth Resurrecting?
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2019, 03:15:46 PM »
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Not to mention it kind of takes all of the fun out of it. It's like people who repower classic cars with a modern engine/drivetrain. Sure, it's more reliable and drives better (debatable), but it takes all of the character and fun out of it. And in this case, the original mechanism is pretty good to start with so replacing it just seems like a lost opportunity for tinkering.
you obviously have never been on the side of the road working on a 60 year old carburetor...but honestly,  I am trying to convince my dad to keep a Ford flathead in his 1940 Ford Coupe...he plans to swap in a 327 Chevy