Con-cor J3A 4-6-4 Shells

Reaper_Tech May 15, 2019

  1. Reaper_Tech

    Reaper_Tech TrainBoard Member

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    Is there any good places to find steam locomotive shells or someone that makes them?

    I got a couple Con-cor J3a 4-6-4s id like to swap the shells on to make a bullet nose and a shovel nose loco. One is a china offering the latter a kato 2nd gen I know the shells are all interchangeable for the most part but havent had any luck tracking them down. Figured I would ask the community so no rock goes unturned as I keep my eyes on ebay to see what I can find.
     
  2. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    Con-Cor probably sells them. But their website is so kludgy I don't know how anyone would ever find them.
     
  3. Reaper_Tech

    Reaper_Tech TrainBoard Member

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    I already asked them directly they told me they don't have them since the last run was so many years ago. Then again they also said they didnt have any extra motors but they do.. So who knows?
     
  4. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    Their site is so kludgy they don't know what they sell?
     
  5. Reaper_Tech

    Reaper_Tech TrainBoard Member

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    Yeah basically I have the messages and the paypal invoice to prove that lol
     
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  6. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Despite their age, the Con-Cor Kato J3as are still prized, with the shovel nose and bullet nosed variants being the most treasured. Working models of the shovel nose and bullet nosed models often sell for $100 to $175 depending. With some patience, hopefully you'll be able to find a shell or two at a more reasonable price.
     
  7. Reaper_Tech

    Reaper_Tech TrainBoard Member

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    Well i got what i wanted.

    So a different Con-cor rep got back to me and they did have Bullet and Shovel nose shells. So i have 1 of each on the way. Talk about running in circles.
     
    Hardcoaler likes this.
  8. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    Don't you just love coporate supply chain, and not just in the MRR industry?!
     
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  9. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Staff Member

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    I got spoiled years ago when Charlie Vlk worked at Con Cor. I could call him up and he knew what they had.
     
  10. Reaper_Tech

    Reaper_Tech TrainBoard Member

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    Yeah i went through facebook one of the reps was great the other seemed a bit brusque and just wanted me to go away via boilerplate excuse

    Patrick was the reps name was really cordial and got things done.

    Other rep just gave me the its an old engine, tooling would be $100,000, blah blah no plans to rerun.
     
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  11. Charlie Vlk

    Charlie Vlk TrainBoard Member

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    1. I got spoiled years ago when Charlie Vlk worked at Con Cor. I could call him up and he knew what they had.

    Russ-
    You are going back a few years!!! I worked at JMC International (the wholesale distribution business) from 1993 to 1995, doing new dealer development, backup dealer sales representative, the "What's New" dealer newsletter, Con-Cor repairs, and a little bit of R&D work for Con-Cor.
    AFAIK all the repair department material got transported to Tucson when JMC closed down. Because of the reliability of the J3a Hudson there were very few repair parts in inventory....about the only thing that would go wrong with them is somebody would yank the tender pickup wires off the motor soldered connection on the engine.
    The very first run of China-built Hudsons did have a couple of quirks though....the factory molded the driver center/axle stubs out of slippery engineering plastic....not good for what was supposed to be a force fit into the gear to keep the wheels in gauge. So some of the early engines tend to work themselves out of gauge. Properly made though, the Kato/Con-Cor J3a Hudson is still probably the best designed N Scale mechanism and is worthy of being copied (as has Micro-Ace in their Japanese JNR steam line). Low parts count, simple rugged mechanism that pulls very well. Not much to go wrong and easy to maintain over time.....
    Charlie Vlk
     
  12. Reaper_Tech

    Reaper_Tech TrainBoard Member

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    Well one of the ebay hudsons had a dead motor. Got the old motor out but theres not much holding the new motor in place. So it doesn't like to mate the rest of the drive shaft. Previous owner looks to have tried a make shift repair using a whole lot of caulking. (bad wiring job lots of caulk) trying to rebuild this thing is gonna be a nightmare. That said I got a wheel assembly and a motor. the real question is to get the motor to stay put.
     
  13. Reaper_Tech

    Reaper_Tech TrainBoard Member

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    So i am at wits end with this J3a 4-6-4 I have. Not sure what is left that i can do to fix it.

    Frame doesn't support the motor it basically just flops around. Forward works reverse doesn't engine winds up but nothing happens. My guess is the worm gear isn't engaging. Only way it got this far was a bit of hot glue to hold the motor in place for testing.

    Has power issues from the tender the weight of the tender isn't enough to press the wheels onto the wipers to pick up power reliably. A good cleaning and checkup would likely fix that.

    Honestly I got way to much money tied up in this hudson. Something I never would have bought if the ebay seller was in any way honest.

    I am half tempted to just junk the thing (give away for free to a forum member) I already bought the new motor, new wheel assembly, with some soldering and a steadier hand i am sure someone could fix it. But its unlikely to be me. I dont have the eye sight or patience to repair something that obviously abused.

    When i got it the underside was not pictured which should have been red flag number one to me. Once the shell was removed the motor and the previous repair job was done via acrylic caulking everywhere and the engine didn't run at all should have been red flag #2 telling me to just walk away.

    I guess this is what I get for buying on ebay. I would stick to local train shows but there is basically only 2 per year here and well almost 0 n-scale to speak off.
     
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  14. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Staff Member

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    Well, after selling me the mechanism and shell, I modified the motor mounting, put some thrust washers on the worm gear shaft, replaced the drive shaft coupling, added a flywheel, replaced the traction tires and added a head light. It runs super nice now. I am still waiting on some parts from Con Cor to replace the missing side rods. I kit bashed an old Rowa/MRC Y6b tender shell with a frame from an S2 Northern to hang behind it. Also ordered a decoder for it. Still some details to add like number boards, change the smoke stacks, file off the feed water heater and replace it with the appropriate type. Still not sure if I want to replace the sand dome with a larger one farther back. At first I was going to leave it a stock NYC J-3a but then I would have to get some NYC passenger cars to pull. I have a ton of Santa Fe so went that route.
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Nice conversion. Though growing up riding behind J-2s I'm somewhat disappointed to see this one leave the Central's rails.

    I'm curious about the boiler shape. Didn't the 3400 class have more of a tapered boiler? The NYC J class has the parallel boiler typical of later ALCO built heavy locomotives.
     
  16. Reaper_Tech

    Reaper_Tech TrainBoard Member

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    Well shells arrived got both locomotives running after a quick teardown, clean and lube job.

    Now to pick up a new airbrush, paints and get things moving along.

    r_i_shaw did a great job! my $100+ loss is his gain, nice to see the locomotive returned to life.

    20190530_122402.jpg
     
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  17. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Staff Member

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    I am not sure about the 3450 class but the 2460 class had a straight boiler. The largest boiler on a 4-6-4. Along with the Milwaukee Road F7 Hudsons it had 84" drivers, taller than any other Hudsons out there.
    [​IMG]
     
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  18. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

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    I have one of the Con Cor Kato 4-6-4 in NYC and it is still running like a champ! It has a decoder in it. And it pulls like crazy!
     
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  19. Reaper_Tech

    Reaper_Tech TrainBoard Member

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    Well been tinkering in photoshop using rough reference to figure out possible paint schemes for my 4-6-4s.

    One is a Palette swap of the Blue Goose to something less... terrible. Another idea was to do a Warbonnet Style but painting that would likely be a nightmare. Last option is model a more local railroad "Boston and Maine" (could do Maine Central but its a bit too small I feel.) The shovel nose shell would lend itself well to the Boston and Maine makeover. Keep in mind these are just rough ideas.

    Untitled-1.jpg warbonnetATSF.jpg shovenose-BM.jpg
     
    r_i_straw likes this.
  20. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    I'm digging that B&M Hudson
     

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