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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Railtruck, 27" gauge
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 5:22 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2675
Can anyone more familiar with the transmission tell if it's been modified at all?

It looks like maybe he took the transmission, bolted the wheels onto that, and used the result as his gauge? If you're building your own line for fun, why bother modifying it to be, say, 24" when you can simply lay the rails to 27" and call it good. It's not like you ever plan to interchange or use other equipment if you're just making a backyard train.

Once the transmission determines the gauge, you simply cut the speeder axles to match, much easier than modifying the drive unit.

Purely a guess, but I wonder if that's the story?


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Railtruck, 27" gauge
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 11:51 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:33 pm
Posts: 443
Location: Oroville, CA
JR,
That's a standard Model A transmission, the interesting detail would be the back of it where the rear axle driveshaft goes into it.
Interesting doodle bug!

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David Dewey
Hoping for the return to the American Rivers of the last overnight steamboat, Delta Queen!


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Railtruck, 27" gauge
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 12:05 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:33 pm
Posts: 443
Location: Oroville, CA
I think what Bob meant was the Differential, not the transmission. The T differential uses straight tubes for the axle housings, so it would be easy to cut them down to whatever gauge you want. Uncut, they are pretty close to standard gauge. The model A axle tubes are a complex tapered shape, more difficult to work with when narrowing it.
One thing, if your friend is going to run it much would be to take the differential apart and replace the babbitt thrust washers that hold the ring gear in place. These are known to disintegrate (because they don't age well) and are replaced nowadays with bronze ones; they're about $16 at the T parts houses.
I can't tell what the outer bearings are, they could be almost anything since it's modified!

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David Dewey
Hoping for the return to the American Rivers of the last overnight steamboat, Delta Queen!


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Railtruck, 27" gauge
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 7:53 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:18 am
Posts: 595
Location: Wall, NJ
David:
Many thanks for the data on the Model T rear axle. I’m more of a steam guy, and then have old MGs in my garage, so anything Ford is “foreign” to me. Your input has been quite helpful.

I have a hunch, and its only a hunch, that there may be spacers between the rear wheels and where they bolt to the end of the axle assembly. In other words, someone took this from 24” gauge to 27” gauge. I hope to check that on Saturday.

Alternatively, its interesting that you used the term “doodlebug.” In the antique tractor world, a doodlebug is a tractor built from Model T or Model A parts. Usually fairly narrow and which may explain the odd gauge of the rear wheels. Perhaps this is just a home built rail truck using an old tractor doodlebug kit for the power train.

Anyway, lets see what happens on Saturday. I’ll post an update then.

J.R.


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Railtruck, 27" gauge
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 11:56 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:33 pm
Posts: 443
Location: Oroville, CA
JR, Yes, I'm aware of the "doodlebug use for tractor conversions--I don't have one, but they are interesting "things"--but I've also heard the term used for homemade rail rigs built to haul loggers out in the woods, or supplies to logging camps. MGs are not totally "foreign" to me, as I used to work in a restoration shop where we worked on English made cars (albeit a bit more "high class" than MGs--RR, etc.) and I used to own a Nash Metropolitan! (wish I still had it, would be a great little commuting car to go into town (20 miles away)).
Looking forward to more reports, BTW I helped build the 1923 T railcar that's at the Portola RR museum.

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David Dewey
Hoping for the return to the American Rivers of the last overnight steamboat, Delta Queen!


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Railtruck, 27" gauge
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 10:01 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2675
David Dewey wrote:
I think what Bob meant was the Differential, not the transmission. The T differential uses straight tubes for the axle housings, so it would be easy to cut them down to whatever gauge you want. Uncut, they are pretty close to standard gauge. The model A axle tubes are a complex tapered shape, more difficult to work with when narrowing it.


Yep, you are correct and that also answers what I was asking about.


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Railtruck, 27" gauge
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 1:58 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:57 pm
Posts: 5
It would be neat to return it to 24" gauge and take it up to Maine to visit the WW&F or the Maine Narrow Gauge Museum in Portland.

Murphy Jenkins


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Railtruck, 27" gauge
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 5:46 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:05 pm
Posts: 1048
If it was built as 27" gauge how can you "return" it to 24"?


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Railtruck, 27" gauge
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 8:58 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:18 am
Posts: 595
Location: Wall, NJ
I really could not say what gauge the rear axle may have been built for originally. Could it have been 24" originally? Or always 27"? I want to see if there are any spacers between the wheel and the axle hub. I might be able to have a look tomorrow if its been moved to our work site. See what happens. Stay tuned!


J.R.


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Railtruck, 27" gauge
PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2020 9:48 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:18 am
Posts: 595
Location: Wall, NJ
Thought a short update might be of interest. We started the Model A engine for the first time today after extensive work on it and even tested the clutch and drive train, all with positive results. Plenty more to do, but would probably be interested in passing it on to a new owner as we would prefer to keep our focus on the N6b caboose and Trenton 288 trolley. Do have some video of the action but too large to post here.


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Railtruck, 27" gauge
PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2020 11:42 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:33 pm
Posts: 443
Location: Oroville, CA
Neat-O. I see you "improved" the front treatment with a model A radiator shell and hood. Now that I'm looking at the other pictures (for some reason tonight the dial-up is loading the pictures) it looks like he just jammed the T driveshaft into the A transmission. Usually their is a two-piece cap that bolts on there, providing a seal so you don't loose lubricant out of the U-Joint. That is a T driveshaft end. Think if I were going to make this a usable rig, I would look into putting an A torque tube end on the differential so it could be nicely sealed up. This, of course, would take a little "shade tree engineering" but not really difficult.
I would imagine changing the gauge shouldn't be too difficult, and it WOULD look neat on the WW&F.

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David Dewey
Hoping for the return to the American Rivers of the last overnight steamboat, Delta Queen!


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Railtruck, 27" gauge
PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2020 11:48 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:33 pm
Posts: 443
Location: Oroville, CA
PS, the reason the hood and radiator shell don't match up is that's a '28-29 shell and a '30-31 hood.

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Steamcerely,
David Dewey
Hoping for the return to the American Rivers of the last overnight steamboat, Delta Queen!


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Railtruck, 27" gauge
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 9:21 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:18 am
Posts: 595
Location: Wall, NJ
> PS, the reason the hood and radiator shell don't match up is that's a '28-29 shell and a '30-31 hood


Actually we do have the proper radiator shroud for the hood, but it was the wrong shroud for the radiator that came with the unit. A new radiator is probably in order at some point and would be purchased to match the later shroud/hood. The real purpose of the hood it to offer some weather protection for the motor, we were not overly concerned with fit at this point.

In truth, the goal has been to stabilize the car, protect it from the elements, and to get the motor running. Quite happy with our progress to date keeping in mind our focus is on an N6b cabin car. We have not looked at all into how the drive shaft was installed, but would like to learn more about the rear wheels which are rather hard to study. We can read “Works” and Baltimore, Maryland on them. They are a beautiful cast wheel.


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Railtruck, 27" gauge
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 12:10 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:33 pm
Posts: 443
Location: Oroville, CA
Well, it's just my opinion, but a 28-29 hood (used) would probably be cheaper than a new radiator, and would visually look more "Period" on the Railtruck. (you could probably sell the '30-31 hood to help finance the swap--yes, I am CHEAP!)
Can't help you on the wheels, but they do look neat.
The neat thing about it being a Railtruck is that the radiator shell could be painted, as the commercial shells were. Big savings over nickel plating it ( the car shells were nickeled). '30-31 commercial shells were usually painted, but some were stainless steel for the fancy trucks, and the cars were all stainless steel. (Well, except for the painted inserts on the '31 shells)
Get back to that caboose! :) BTW, you know that no matter how great a restoration you do on the "cabin car" it is just a "Crummy" restoration. (It's a JOKE son, I SAYS a JOKE!)

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Steamcerely,
David Dewey
Hoping for the return to the American Rivers of the last overnight steamboat, Delta Queen!


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Railtruck, 27" gauge
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2020 2:19 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:18 am
Posts: 595
Location: Wall, NJ
David:
In truth, it needs a new radiator anyway, so that is the direction we figure on going. The current radiator is only on a temporary support. The proper steel cross member is not yet installed but will be once we have the correct radiator in hand.

We have been focusing on the motor, so have not really looked at much else. Unless it finds a new owner, we plan to do some incremental improvements but then probably replicate it, although not sure if it would be 2’ or 3’ gauge. Whatever the case, it is a longer term project.

J.R. May


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