HO Conversions

Balboa and Custom Brass SF 4-4-2 and "1800"2-6-2 (Kumata). Simple conversion is a RM-1630 motor but you have no flywheel, the speed is too slow and the original gearbox is marginal. A new PSC 4018 28/1 gearbox and Glide Drive B-22. is a much better conversion. (see Trick #5).

Balboa SP MK-5 2-8-2 (Katsumi)(also Westside). Remotoring suggestion is the Glide Drive B-19. A very tight fit lengthwise but you do have room. T&NO version (brown box label) will require a PSC 4018 28/1 gearbox. A good conversion.

Balboa S P B-1 2-8-4 (MicroCast) A simple Glide Drive A-25. conversion, open up ashpan slightly and put extra weighting or springing on the trailing truck and in boiler.

Balboa (see also Westside) SP GS-4 4-8-4 (Katsumi). The Balboa has a non idler geaarbox, motor can be angled or idler gearbox installed. Glide Drive Glide Drive A-22. siliconed to the frame does it all. Runs quieter and smoother than a Kato diesel.

Hallmark AT&SF M-160, M-190 doodlebugs (Rock Am). These were very nice looking models with horrible drives. One Proto 2000 EMD SW-8/SW-1200 will give you the parts for 2 conversions. Salvage the trucks, flywheels and motor. Remove the HM power truck sideframes and route out the back sides until you can fit the P2K axle mounting pick up strips into the back of the sideframes then solder them in. Solder a 1/16" brass or steel shaft into the hole in the strip to mount the sideframes to the gearbox and file a notch in this where the coverplate fingers hold the sideframes on (see old plactic SW sideframes). When the truck is together file a hole in the brass floor for the truck to pivot on and glue some plastic to the floor so the worm cover ears hold the truck to the floor, you may have to cut back in the floor on each side of the truck and bend up this tongue so the body rides level. Mount the motor with one P2K flywheel on the brush end of the motor and a FW-221020 flywheel on the back end and silicone to the frame at a slight angle (rear flywheel is larger) with the motorshaft aligned to the worm. On the M-190 I used the second LL truck and flywheel/universal on a Mashima FM-1824 with another FW-221020 on the back to power the second model, the installation was the same. I believe in all wheel pickup so attached wipers to the second and third truck insulated wheels and ran wires up to the motor. On the M-190 I soldered a spring wire to the middle truck drawbar (to guarantee electrical contact to the pin on the front unit) and ran the wires from the insulated wheel wipers to an insulated strip with soft wires making spring contact to the floor of the front unit which was wired to the motor. Add weight.

Hallmark AT&SF 2507 2-8-0 (Goto) The firebox is much wider at the front. By mounting a custom FW-221020(Output)flywheel and the UDS-1 drive shaft on the front of the FM-1824 can motor. a bigger flywheel is practical.

Hallmark Colo. Mid. older 4-6-0 & 2-8-0 (Kyong Dong) This factory was set up by Jim Findley for Bobbie Hall and closed when these models were shipped. In spite of these being novice models and showing quite a bit of redesign in final assembly, I have never seen a bad runner. The two upgrades needed is to replace the soft brass worm that wears out fast with a NWSL #10500-6 steel worm and a flat surface must be pounded/filed on the bottom of the gear coverplate to clear uncoupling ramps. I recently rebuilt one for a customer and used a Faulhaber M-1 motor with flywheel. To fit the longer motor I cut off the back of the gearbox (where the motor mounting plate attaches) up to the back of the idler gear and cut a piece of K&S #185 channel to fit the new back surface. I soldered the motor plate to the channel then super glued the channel to the gearbox. The new motor/flywheel now mounts further in the boiler, leaving room for a backhead and it is a quieter running model with flywheel smoothness.

Hallmark Colo. Mid. #200 2-8-0 (Vauclain Compound)(Ajin). Nice model by Ajin with little gear reduction and a VERY COGGY Sagami 1425 motor. Take the gearbox out and find a (discontinued) NWSL #103-6 gearset (37/1). Install NWSL axle gear on the axle (don't reassemble wheel yet) and open up idler gear hole in gearbox into a figure 8 shape (bigger gears require a wider shaft spacing). A small hole in the side of gearbox will allow you to see when gear mesh is correct. Tack solder the idler gear bearings in the gearbox sides and install the idler and pivot shaft, test the gear mesh. If OK, remove the idler and solder enough to hold the bearings in place, reassemble idler and re-test gear mesh. Reassemble driver and assemble mechanism. Bend motor mount trailing arm down so that gearbox rotates forward about 30 degrees from vertical. This allows the length to mount a RM-1630 can motor in the boiler with the NWSL worm mounted on the motor shaft., The Faulhaber M-1 motor would be even better and fit with less gearbox angling required. Expect a 300% improvement in operation.

Hallmark Katy 4-6-2 (Fujiyama). Great model with an open frame motor and too high a gear reduction to run at passenger speeds with a can motor. To cure the speed problem I installed a PSC #4018 gearbox. This got the worm up to allign with a motor near the center line of the boiler. With needle nose pliers grab the frame cross plate with the motor mounting screw holes and carefully wiggle it up and down until you start breaking the solder joint to the frame rails. Continue until you get the plate loose. The frame has plenty of strength to handle this. We need to remount the motor plate level with the rails so mark a line on the frame rails from the front top corner of the motor mount area straight back to the back edge. Cut off the top portion with a jewelers saw. Scrape the motor mount plate and frame side plates clean of any paint, lacquer or solder where they will be resoldered and test fit the plate just below the edges of the frame. Since we don't need support in the flywheel area, 1/3 or the motor plate should stick foreward of the frame sides. Resolder the motor plate, clean up any flux and silicone cement a Glide Drive B-19 to the frame and hook up included drive shaft universals and gearbox stabilizer.

Hallmark T&P 4-8-2 (Dong Jin) Simple Glide Drive B-22. conversion, open up ashpan slightly. Check gearbox, I did one that had very little mesh between the worm and idler gear. I opened up the worm shaft bearing holes in the gearcox halves downward and shimmed the bearings down to good worm mesh. A new gearbox is better but requires changing the axle gear.

Key AT&SF #1050 2-6-2 (Samhongsa). Has the same gearing problem as the Sunset G. N. O-1 (see below). The gearbox fix is the same as the O-1 but this worm is cut differently and does not need the idler gear to be modified (thankfully). The new motor is a Glide Drive C-19 and by slightly bending out the bottom of the boiler just in front of the firebox (and resoldering at the firebox I was able to slip the motor up into the boiler enough to add backhead detail. It runs as smoothly as a Kato diesel.

Key AT&SF #1226 4-6-2 (Samhongsa). Good loco but 39/1 gearbox and large (and slow can motor) produces a 45 MPH passenger loco. Install PSC #4018 28/1 gearbox (always save the old gearbox) and now speed is right. While the old motor is perfectly OK, I think the added smoothness and coast of a Glide Drive B-22. is worth the extra $40.

Key AT&SF #3751 Samhongsa) original (spoked drivers). Nice big loco, too small a motor. Glide Drive B-22 works here and makes this loco a smooth strong puller.

Key D&RGW K-59 2-8-2 (Samhongsa, last model made with open frame motor) Glide Drive B-22. conversion, add floor plate to frame to silicone motor to. The Sellers cold water pump under left side of cab should be lower if your radius will allow.

Key S P M-21 2-6-0 (Samhongsa)(worlds largest 2-6-0). Way too fast, a Glide Drive B-19. works here.

Overland C&O F-15 4-6-2. (J P Models) Zamac gear box cracks. Install the Samhongsa 39/1 gear box from the Santa Fe #1226 conversion (it fits the existing axle gear with just a little axle slot filing). Done.

PFM shays (United). Biggest improvement is adding wipers to give electrical pickup on all 8 wheels (see HOn3 conversions page for complete description). NWSL offers slow speed gear conversions. Can motors don't make as much improvement as these other 2 simpler modifications. The later run small shays with the motor enclosed in the tender often have motor failure. See Namiki Motors for solutions.

PFM AT&SF 2-8-0 (United) Simple Glide Drive C-19. conversion.

PFM D&RGW P-44 4-6-2 (Samhongsa). Nice model, too small and weak a motor. Add Glide Drive B-19. on its side (its a tight fit, put brush leads to front (see Trick #4).

PFM AT&SF 4-8-4, 2-10-4 (United). Glide Drive A-22. , same as PFM U P FEF-1. Also see Maxon 1640 Motors for an even quieter and smoother conversion.

PFM GN R-2 2-8-8-2  (maybe other articulateds) (Tenshodo) Ones with cast brass gear box covers (3 flat faces). "Very noisy" Remove rear gear box and install a 37/1 PSC 4018-1 (the old KTM made one, the new Korean made 4018-1 has reverse cut gears and won't work) on the existing axle gear (it is a perfect fit). Eliminate the central transfer gear box and couple worm shafts with a UDS-4 (see Trick #4). Now you have a low - high gearbox that eliminates virtually all gear noise.Add a positioning (trailing arm) to the front gearbox. Add Glide Drive A-25. plus a custom FW-221020(Output)flywheel to the front of the motor and you have a quiet, smooth, strong loco.

PFM Omaha 0-6-0 (United) Simple Glide Drive C-16 conversion.

PFM UP FEF-1 4-8-4 (United) Simple Glide Drive A-22. conversion, open up ashpan slightly and angle motor to worm shaft. One I did had worm shaft out front of 40/1 gearbox that had to be cut off. If too slow, the solution is a PSC #4018 28/1 gearbox. Also see Namiki Motors for even more speed and coast.

PFM V & T 4-4-0 (motor in boiler). They grounded one brush to the motor case and screwed this to a plate that pivoted in holes in the frame rails. Loose fit of pivots causes intermitant conductivity so electricity sometimes flowed through the oil in the worm shaft bearings. This sparking eats away the shaft bearings and eventually the gears strip. Ground motor by wire to the frame and replace bearings if necessary.

Sunset D&RGW M-69, N&W K-1, W&LE "water buffalo" 4-8-2s. Models OK (crosshead guides need more support) but 1630 can is too small. Use Gyro's thin saw blade to widen motor slot in ashpans and glue in a Glide Drive B-22. .

Sunset SF #789 2-8-0 and #825 0-8-0 (Samhongsa) Glide Drive B-19. Conversion is simple and produces a great running loco.

Sunset GN O-1 2-8-2. (Samhongsa) Nice model but has an open frame motor and all brass gears. Challenging but great conversion. Disassemble gearbox and remove worm gear (idler) and bearings. Find similar gear removed from an On3 SS C-16 #278 conversion and mount on short piece of NWSL #2020-4 shaft. Gear valleys need to be flat bottomed to match shape of worm teeth so sit gear in a small bench vise with shaft on jaws and VERY CAREFULLY give a light stroke to each valley with a coarse X-Acto  #236 saw. Now take a medium blade in a jewelers saw, lay it in a valley sideways and give a couple even strokes to each valley. Reverse saw 180 degrees and do opposite side of valley.  With a little care and even strokes you will come out with a gear to perfectly match the worm and axle gear. Get 2 Atlas bronze worm gear bearings from any Roco diesel (SD24/SD-35, FP-7, S-1/2/3 or 4, #150-700142 is one number). Thin the heads of the bearings as necessary on a file so bearings and gear fit in gearbox sides and mount the idler gear on a piece of 2mm shaft and you have a lifetime version of the original gearbox. Add a Glide Drive B-22. motor flywheel coupled to the gearbox. Superb drive.

Westside D&RGW L-105 4-6-6-4 (Katsumi) I added a Glide Drive A-25. with a second FW-251020(Output) flywheel to the front of the motor and a second UDS-4 between the gearboxes. A small stabilizer arm was run from the front gearbox to the old drive shaft bearing bracket on the front frame. I had to replace the driver springs on the rear frame with NWSL "Medium" (1402-4)springs because the weight of the motor and flywheels was collapsing the original springs. It ran supurbly and performed like a million pound locomotive would.

Westside PRR D-16sb 4-4-0 (Samhongsa) A nice model but the Namiki Motor was weak and slow. Installing a Faulhaber 1319T17K motor and FW-131015 flywheel produces a perfect top speed and the power to pull a proper train.

Westside SP T-1 4-6-0 and Fire Train (first run)(Samhongsa). The motor was way too weak and failure prone, see Namiki Motors. With Gyro's thin saw blade widen out motor slot in bottom of cab floor to .635" to back of cab. Once you have clearance, just silicone glue a RM-1630 can motor. into firebox and use ST-15 tubing to couple to worm shaft. Add sheet lead to the inside of the boiler around the gearbox to give it the weight to pull well. A Faulhaber 1524T9.9 Motor and FW-160820 flywheel would be even better giving real flywheel coast and an easier fit.

Westside SP P-10 4-6-2 (Katsumi) Simple Glide Drive B-22. conversion. A great piece of machinery but even the last run with a Katsumi can motor will be greatly improved.

Westside SP GS-2/4/6 4-8-4 (Katsumi) Simple Glide Drive A-22. conversion, open up ashpan slightly.

Westside SP 5000 4-10-2 (Katsumi) Simple Glide Drive A-25. conversion. First run had undersize Worthington BL feedwater heater and air pipes misalignes to air compressors and the second run had these problems corrected.

Westside UP FEF-2/3 4-8-4 (Katsumi) Simple Glide Drive A-25. conversion, open up ashpan slightly.

Westside V & T #26 4-6-0, (Katsumi) nice model, horrible motor. Remove motor, bracket and sleeve on worm shaft. Shorten the worm shaft and FM-1224 can motor. shaft as desired. Bend out firebox sides to accept motor, directly couple shafts with a piece of ST-15 surgical tubing and "silicone caulk" the motor in alignment.

West Side Lu. Co. 3 truck and other shays (Nakamura). If the middle truck derails see the HOn3 page for a fix and photo.

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