Author Topic: You think I'd know better - Trix 2-10-0 rebuild  (Read 17886 times)

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randgust

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You think I'd know better - Trix 2-10-0 rebuild
« on: November 30, 2022, 08:55:55 AM »
+3
Back at Altoona I made a deal and snagged a pair of used Trix 2-10-0's for next to nothing.   

A couple things drove this, one being that in my territory, the 2-10-0's working coal trains were standard, and my uncle had a brief on-day stint as a fireman trainee on one and walked off the job at the end of the day.   And the survivor 2-10-0 isn't that far from me, either.  Just massive.

As a model, it kinda sucks by today's standards.   As a mechanism though, it's about as tough as it gets; all geared drivers, metal rods, and non-fussy laterals that will take about anything.   That's offset with legendary bad electrical pickup.   I've read Mark's (Spookshow) reviews, knew what I was up against, but decided to give a run for it anyway, and if I thought it wouldn't work after testing, I'll just sell them.

The whole steam chest/cylinder thing appearance is impossible to me, that's gotta go.  But what I was amazed with was in my PRR I-1 drawings (Kalmbach steam locomotive plans) the driver wheelbase, even the pilot truck spacing, were spot on.  So the basic design is actually solid.

Test running proved everything Mark said.   Pickup abysmal for so many wheels.  Tender axle drags, erratic, and because of the 4 traction tires, really only one lead driver is touching much.   So step one was to junk the tender frame and start over with a stretched Kato caboose frame and trucks to get me end-axle pickup and 8x8.  I'll add the Shapeways sideframes like I did on the 4-4-0.  That was so effective on the 4-4-0 I didn't even bother with locomotive pickup.

Step two has been Marks suggestion to slide the boiler back 4' so that things actually line up.   Did that on one of them by sawing off the headlight holder casting and the front frame, and instant presto-chango, wow, what a difference in appearance.   And last night, junked the pilot truck spoked wheels and put in a solid replacement set with 'normal' flanges.  Appears that will work too.

I got a hold of Bruce Monroe to see if there were any of Marshall Thompson's leftover GHQ L-1 pewter detail parts still, he made me a deal for an entire sack of them - I've got cabs, doghouses, all the detail parts you could want.   Hmmmm.....

I think I can turn the flanges on the drivers, the tender is now 8x8 Kato, and I'm replacing the motor with....something.   Several might work.

I'll document this thread if there is any interest.  This is intended to be a runner, not a show pony, something I can throw on the T-trak shows of my PRR modules and just let it run, and run, and run without worrying about failure.   Because so many really beautiful steam models are relatively fragile for sustained hard running, this one (with lots and lots of parts babies out there) is a lot more expendable in the basic mechanism area as well as repairable.

Those of you that have seen my Hickory Valley module in operation and projects here know that although I've scratchbuild a PERFECT model of HVRR #5 off of an Atlas 2-6-0 frame, when I'm running hard at shows I still fall back on my oversize but rebuilt Rapido 0-6-0 to a 2-6-0 that is far less fragile, now on its third motor, and has been running since '76, although equipped with 8x8 tender pickup also.   Same philosophy here, I need a beater.

Now, here's the other catch.   I've got two of them, I really don't need two.   If somebody gets interested enough in this that they want me to build a mate, I've got enough parts to do it.  I'll be doing as much as is reasonable to do it justice including scratching the front air tanks, etc., but I 'think' the basic plastic Trix boiler stays with detail changes, and the tender shell, everything repainted and those chrome rods and drivers get Neolubed at the minimum.   PM me if you're serious.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2022, 09:22:07 AM by randgust »

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: You think I'd know better - Trix 2-10-0 rebuild
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2022, 10:19:31 AM »
0
There was, many ages ago, a conversion kit for these that fixes many of the boiler issues (including the fact that the Trix one is FAR too light).

I think I might have one somewhere. I'll see if I can find it for you.

If you're going to do the work on this, you should involve one if you can.

mike_lawyer

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Re: You think I'd know better - Trix 2-10-0 rebuild
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2022, 10:28:37 AM »
0
I am obsessed with PRR I1s like you are, and am currently building a PRR Middle Division layout.  I previously made an I1 out of a Kato Mikado mechanism with the GHQ shell, which worked well.   I have a couple of Kato Mikado frames that I plan on working on once I have my layout set up to create several more.

One big hole in the N scale steam lineup is a good 2-10-x mechanism.  We have the old Trix mechanism, but it is ancient and noisy.  One possibility for a modern donor chassis is the Fleischmann SNCF 150X, which is based of the BRG Class 44.  Here is a link to it:

https://www.reynaulds.com/products/Fleischmann/714407.aspx

The nice thing is it has black drivers, unlike the red on the German locos.  The only issue I see is that the driver size is slightly smaller than an I1 (I think the BRG 44 is 55 inch drivers vs. the I1 with 62 inch drivers), and also I am not sure about the spacing between the drivers.  It might be that the Fleischmann loco has the drivers a bit more spaced out between them.  The reason I am suspicious of that is that the middle driver is not blind on the Fleischmann.

I any event, I might be interested in trying to build one with the old Trix mechanism, but I don't have any on hand.  I'd like to take a look at the internals and see what is there.

Mike

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Re: You think I'd know better - Trix 2-10-0 rebuild
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2022, 10:41:31 AM »
0
The photo on Reynauld's page is of H0 model.  While I don't have that particular model, I have another Fleischman N 2-10-0 loco. They probably share the same mechanism.  The inner 3 drivers have very small flanges (but not blind) to allow for prototypically close driver spacing and likely close to prototypical drive diameter.

These are tender-drive locos with multiple traction tire tender wheels and free-rolling loco which picks up power.  I doubt they will pull a typical length train that a PRR loco would pull.
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randgust

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Re: You think I'd know better - Trix 2-10-0 rebuild
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2022, 10:49:17 AM »
0
I have a GHQ L1 conversion on a Kato mike, been there, done that.   It's a massive puller with the traction tire, to the point that it actually can overheat.  And the massive weight of it has been enough to chew through it's own traction tires, now on it's third set.    It's good, but it's not a beater like this would be.   It has, however, established the tractive effort record for steam.  But I'd never let it just run on a show, I'm sure it would overheat.

I really admire the Kato 2-8-2 to 2-10-0 conversion, looks great, but now that I've already got the pair of 2-10-0's, I proceed with this.   Bruce did not have any remaining cast pewter GHQ boilers, I checked.   No point in going Shapeways.    I don't like the Trix cab, will probably replace with GHQ parts.   I thought about buying an entire conversion kit again, decided not to.   I do have cast pewter cylinders AND Shapeway cylinders for the 4-6-2, haven't checked that yet.

While the drivers have fat flanges and are too small, the astounding part is the wheel centers and wheelbase are actually spot on.  I've turned flanges before, did that on the Rivarossi 4-6-2 drivers to make the 4-4-0.  At least I don't have to swap axles on this one.

I've got a collection of decent 5-pole motors to tinker with here.   Moving the boiler back also leaves a lot more room for a motor.

I really want something where the entire drive system is maintainable, replaceable and repairable.  That's one huge advantage of these when so many are still out there on Ebay.  I've got too many beautiful steamers already that are relegated to limited use - if something wears out or breaks, they are done.   Not after perfection here for appearance.  I had Trix back when I started N in '72, and they were really well designed battle-hardened mechanisms under a somewhat clunky shell.

Like the title says, I ought to know better, but I'm doing it this way anyway.   I'm convinced that the biggest problem is what Mark identified, the botched design for the electrical pickup.   This will be my...hmmm.... sixth tender rebuild with Kato trucks to get 8x8, and I've also rebuilt seven Centralia ATSF cabooses to improve the pickup to the marker lights the same way.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2022, 11:12:28 AM by randgust »

mike_lawyer

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Re: You think I'd know better - Trix 2-10-0 rebuild
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2022, 10:51:50 AM »
0
The photo on Reynauld's page is of H0 model.  While I don't have that particular model, I have another Fleischman N 2-10-0 loco. They probably share the same mechanism.  The inner 3 drivers have very small flanges (but not blind) to allow for prototypically close driver spacing and likely close to prototypical drive diameter.

These are tender-drive locos with multiple traction tire tender wheels and free-rolling loco which picks up power.  I doubt they will pull a typical length train that a PRR loco would pull.

I see Trix also makes a new 2-10-0 loco, maybe it is a new mechanism.  The web page states that the motor is boiler mounted:

https://www.reynaulds.com/products/Trix/16442.aspx

Maybe that would be a better mechanism for pulling power?

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Re: You think I'd know better - Trix 2-10-0 rebuild
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2022, 11:01:53 AM »
+3
The conversion kit in question is the Camden and Amboy cast resin kit.  It's basically a slightly modified boiler shell, it has air pumps and other jewelry appropriate to the i-1 that aren't on the K4 shell) and the screw mount is moved to allow the factory mount to secure the shell in the correct position.
You have to fab a new drawbar to get the proper clearance, and it also includes an extended tender.  I'm not sure if the tender is accurate at all, but it looks "right".  (It's obviously a cobbled together stretch of the Trix tender... you can see some of the kitbash seams in the resin casting.)

As for motors, @Lemosteam redid the drive for me using the good old Lifelike 5-pole skew wound guy found in junk drawers all over America from their train set GP38-2 and F units from the 80s.  It runs really well.  He also provided a cast weight for the boiler, which provided the necessary heft.

While it's presently back in his hands to correct a minor short from my hatchet work in the tender, it had been, and will be again be, a very reliable runner.


Lee
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mike_lawyer

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Re: You think I'd know better - Trix 2-10-0 rebuild
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2022, 11:02:31 AM »
0
I have a GHQ L1 conversion on a Kato mike, been there, done that.   It's a massive puller with the traction tire, to the point that it actually can overheat.  And the massive weight of it has been enough to chew through it's own traction tires, now on it's third set.    It's good, but it's not a beater like this would be.   It has, however, established the tractive effort record for steam.  But I'd never let it just run on a show, I'm sure it would overheat.

I really admire the Kato 2-8-2 to 2-10-0 conversion, looks great, but now that I've already got the pair of 2-10-0's, I proceed with this.   Bruce did not have any remaining cast pewter GHQ boilers, I checked.   No point in going Shapeways.    I don't like the Trix cab, will probably replace with GHQ parts.   I thought about buying an entire conversion kit again, decided not to.   I do have cast pewter cylinders AND Shapeway cylinders for the 4-6-2, haven't checked that yet.

While the drivers have fat flanges and are too small, the astounding part is the wheel centers and wheelbase are actually spot on.  I've turned flanges before, did that on the Rivarossi 4-6-2 drivers to make the 4-4-0.  At least I don't have to swap axles on this one.

I've got a collection of decent 5-pole motors to tinker with here.   Moving the boiler back also leaves a lot more room for a motor.

For the Kato Mikado conversion, I used a Faulhaber 1016 and would run it for hours at shows without overheating, and it would pull like crazy.  I agree that the stock motor would overheat in that scenario, but a good coreless motor works really well in that situation.

I wonder if the Kato Mikado drivers would fit in the Minitrix frame?  That would give you nicer drivers that more match the size of the I1 than the Minitrix drivers.  Either way, it is worth a shot to make the Minitrix into a great runner!

BTW, do you have any tips on adding the fifth driver axle for a Kato Mikado I1 conversion?  I want to get back to building them, but I remember having a hard time getting it just right when I did it years ago.  And I forgot to document everything I did over ten years ago to refer to!

Mike

randgust

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Re: You think I'd know better - Trix 2-10-0 rebuild
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2022, 11:24:52 AM »
0
That C&A job is really nice, but man, it really needs the drivers and rods painted or neolubed, and generally, I-1's were gray filthy beasts.

But that's exactly what has to happen on the left side with the feedwater heater.  And it looks like the pilot air tanks were done right too.   Were the flanges turned on that one?

On this one I think I'm more obsessed with reliable performance than anything.   

The drawings I have show the Trix short tender, oddly enough.   The survivor that is up in Hamburg, NY isn't far away.
http://www.rgusrail.com/nyprr4483.html
http://www.trainweb.org/wnyrhs/4483Frame1Source1.htm

Just dealing with that driver and rod appearance will make a major difference, and whatever else I can use off of the parts pile I got from Bruce.  That included the switcher pilots, too.



« Last Edit: November 30, 2022, 11:30:11 AM by randgust »

wm3798

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Re: You think I'd know better - Trix 2-10-0 rebuild
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2022, 01:03:13 PM »
0
Thanks, Randy.
No, the flanges are in keeping with the current "Retro" mode of my modeling.  Not planning to make any further adjustments to the appearance.  I like 'em American Flyer Shiny!

It really is a good kit, overall, so if Ed has one in his drawer, take it.
One caution, the resin is pretty soft, so when you're putting that mounting screw through the top of the boiler, exercise care when tightening it.  Too far and it will poke right through.  I had to build a little reinforcement collar with a piece of wire insulation.  Works sort of like one of those drywall anchors... it spreads enough to snug the fit and fill the hole I made with my enthusiasm.
Rockin' It Old School

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

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Re: You think I'd know better - Trix 2-10-0 rebuild
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2022, 02:01:23 PM »
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I see Trix also makes a new 2-10-0 loco, maybe it is a new mechanism.  The web page states that the motor is boiler mounted:

https://www.reynaulds.com/products/Trix/16442.aspx

Maybe that would be a better mechanism for pulling power?

Yes, that is a new model, and it has a coreless motor in the boiler.  Will likely perform better than Fleischmann.  But it has deep flanges on all the drivers, so either they are more undersized than Fleischmann, or the spacing will be wider (or a bit of both).  Looking at the photo of the model, the drivers do look a bit small.
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Re: You think I'd know better - Trix 2-10-0 rebuild
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2022, 02:16:16 PM »
+2
One big hole in the N scale steam lineup is a good 2-10-x mechanism. 

Boy! Ain't that the truth!  B&O fans would would give their left one for a chance at a 2-10-2 S1 or S1a Big Six.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2022, 08:33:16 PM by TrainCat2 »
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Re: You think I'd know better - Trix 2-10-0 rebuild
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2022, 02:18:54 PM »
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This is the trix 2-10-0 from the Marklin Website. This is expensive, has DCC and sound. If you look at the spare parts download tab there's a pdf that shows the exploded detail.

https://www.maerklinshop.de/en/trix/minitrix/locomotives/steam-locomotives/62248/class-150-x-steam-locomotive

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Re: You think I'd know better - Trix 2-10-0 rebuild
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2022, 03:16:49 PM »
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Yes, that is a new model, and it has a coreless motor in the boiler.  Will likely perform better than Fleischmann.  But it has deep flanges on all the drivers, so either they are more undersized than Fleischmann, or the spacing will be wider (or a bit of both).  Looking at the photo of the model, the drivers do look a bit small.

Is there a way to make the Fleischmann loco powered via motor from the boiler area rather than tender-powered?  I would think doing that would make the Fleischmann mechanism a good puller, especially with a bunch of weight from a pewter boiler and two traction tires.

peteski

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Re: You think I'd know better - Trix 2-10-0 rebuild
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2022, 03:20:00 PM »
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Is there a way to make the Fleischmann loco powered via motor from the boiler area rather than tender-powered?  I would think doing that would make the Fleischmann mechanism a good puller, especially with a bunch of weight from a pewter boiler and two traction tires.

Not really. The frame is solid metal and the driver axles just go holes in it.  The drivers are free-spinning. No gearing or even openings for gear in the frame.  You would basically have to remake the entire chassis.
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