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Class 20 chassis for C class or MIR 121

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enniscorthyman
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Just wondering has anyone used a class 20 for a C class or MIR 121.I know a bit of work would be involved to get this to work.I have 2 Athearn SW1500 chassis for the 121 but are not good runners.

 

One thing you can do Eamon which would be a cheaper option is replace the Athearn motor with a kato one. Really simple to do, direct fit, and they transform the running qualities. You can buy them direct off the katousa.com website usually and cost about 45 dollars including shipping. I have a number stock piled for my Athearn locos. Just a thought.

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One thing you can do Eamon which would be a cheaper option is replace the Athearn motor with a kato one. Really simple to do, direct fit, and they transform the running qualities. You can buy them direct off the katousa.com website usually and cost about 45 dollars including shipping. I have a number stock piled for my Athearn locos. Just a thought.

Cheers Fran, will check it out.

I bough that class 20 about 10 years ago

and thought it might work for my 121.

All I did was butcher a nice model.

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Warbonnet is right in that a new motor would be best but there is a lot you can do to improve the running of older Athearns.

 

Firstly take the motor out and clean the commutator (this is the exposed brass piece that you can see turning when the motor is running.) Just apply some power to the motor and polish the commutator with either a very fine file, sandpaper or a glass fibre pen. The commutator should sparkle after cleaning it!

It's a good idea to take out the brushes (careful not to lose the springs) and clean off any dirt or grime. Some modellers also cut about 1/3 of the springs away to lessen the pressure on the commutator and allow the motor to turn easier.

A tiny drop of oil on the motor shaft bearings is also a good idea, but don't over do it or allow any oil to get on the commutator.

 

That takes care of the motor but most of the noise from an Athearn loco comes from the drive shafts and gears. Take these apart and check for any flash on the plastic that might cause friction when the parts are turning. Pay attention to the brass worm gear on top of each bogie. Take them apart and clean away any grease and grime them re-lubricate and reassemble them.

 

Lastly, disassemble the bogies and take out all the gear wheels. Check again for flash in and around the centre hole of the gears also between the gear teeth. I take a small triangular file and file between each tooth (a couple of strokes is all that is necessary, don't over do it!). Again clear out any old grease and grime.

 

The loco can then be reassembled with some lubrication and then ran in for about a hour or so but I prefer to add one more step: Lubricate the gears in the bogies with some graphite powder, reassemble and run the loco at medium speed for about 1/2 hour in each direction, preferably not on your layout! This polishes the gears and reduces the friction even more. You can then lubricate the loco as normal after cleaning away any surplus graphite around the bogies that may have been forced out by running it in.

 

I know this sounds like a lot of work, but I do it with all my Athearns and it really improves the running.

Also, if you run DCC the choice of decoder is very important with these old locos. I've settled on Lenz Standards which give fantastic slow running and control.

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Warbonnet is right in that a new motor would be best but there is a lot you can do to improve the running of older Athearns.

 

Firstly take the motor out and clean the commutator (this is the exposed brass piece that you can see turning when the motor is running.) Just apply some power to the motor and polish the commutator with either a very fine file, sandpaper or a glass fibre pen. The commutator should sparkle after cleaning it!

It's a good idea to take out the brushes (careful not to lose the springs) and clean off any dirt or grime. Some modellers also cut about 1/3 of the springs away to lessen the pressure on the commutator and allow the motor to turn easier.

A tiny drop of oil on the motor shaft bearings is also a good idea, but don't over do it or allow any oil to get on the commutator.

 

That takes care of the motor but most of the noise from an Athearn loco comes from the drive shafts and gears. Take these apart and check for any flash on the plastic that might cause friction when the parts are turning. Pay attention to the brass worm gear on top of each bogie. Take them apart and clean away any grease and grime them re-lubricate and reassemble them.

 

Lastly, disassemble the bogies and take out all the gear wheels. Check again for flash in and around the centre hole of the gears also between the gear teeth. I take a small triangular file and file between each tooth (a couple of strokes is all that is necessary, don't over do it!). Again clear out any old grease and grime.

 

The loco can then be reassembled with some lubrication and then ran in for about a hour or so but I prefer to add one more step: Lubricate the gears in the bogies with some graphite powder, reassemble and run the loco at medium speed for about 1/2 hour in each direction, preferably not on your layout! This polishes the gears and reduces the friction even more. You can then lubricate the loco as normal after cleaning away any surplus graphite around the bogies that may have been forced out by running it in.

 

I know this sounds like a lot of work, but I do it with all my Athearns and it really improves the running.

Also, if you run DCC the choice of decoder is very important with these old locos. I've settled on Lenz Standards which give fantastic slow running and control.

 

Brilliant, thanks.

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Replacing the metal clip that connects the gear towers to the motor with wire also helps.

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]18093[/ATTACH]

 

Yes. For DCC I also solder feeder wires directly to the side plates on the trucks on both sides. It's best not to rely on the metal chassis for picking up power.

I also switch the older sintered metal wheels for the newer nickel steel type when they're available.

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Eamonn i followed the destructions in this book to tame my athearns, i ll give you a loan of it if youd like 20150307_211309.jpg . As for the class 20 its possible to use it for a c class but theres a lot of work involved with the chassis as its too long as is. If it was me who had a spare cl 20 chassis on the go id use it for either a silverfox hunslet kit or if i was feeling adventurous id get the shapeways 1101 kit.

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