n scale SD 7 shell swap

RGW1 Jan 3, 2014

  1. RGW1

    RGW1 TrainBoard Member

    312
    106
    12
    How much work is it to put a LL SD 7 shell on a older Atlas SD 7 (Japan) frame? The LL runs good,however I need a little more pulling power.
     
  2. Kevin M

    Kevin M TrainBoard Member

    1,227
    0
    32
    I am pretty sure the LL shell is to skinny for the Atlas frame. Maybe someone with both can check for ya before you buy another engine.
    Kevin
     
  3. Logtrain

    Logtrain TrainBoard Member

    2,035
    17
    33
    I had both new and old version Atlas SD 7 as well as a LL SD 7. Unfortunatelly, I sold the LL and the old Atlas version about 6 months ago.
     
  4. atsf_arizona

    atsf_arizona TrainBoard Supporter

    1,817
    118
    35
    I believe that that Kevin M is correct, although I also don't have a pair of these two different shells handy for me to check (they're packed away in a moving box).

    However, RGW1, you will also have an issue in that the LifeLike SD7 shell is not a one-piece shell as expected by the older Atlas/Kato (Japan) mechanism or the current
    Atlas SD7/9 mechanism. Instead, the LifeLike SD7 uses a three-piece assembly (short hood, cab, long hood) all latched onto both the walkway and plastic LifeLike SD7/9
    mechanism. See my photo album here for what the LifeLike SD7/9 shell assembly looks like:

    http://www.pbase.com/atsf_arizona/lifelike_n_sd7_shell_removal__renumbering

    Here's a couple of pictures from the above photo album:

    [​IMG]

    Note that the walkway itself has a rather unique way that it is latched onto the LifeLike plastic mechanism:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So, even if the LifeLike SD7 shell turns out to be fittable (or if you grind down the sides of the Atlas/Kato mechanism), you will also
    need to figure out how to attach the three different LifeLike SD7 shell pieces and walkway onto the Atlas/Kato mechanism.

    The pictures in the above photo album should help you assess what is involved. Not impossible, but not a easy snap on either.
    Just trying to be helpful to you in letting you know what you're signing up for sizing the work effort involved, is that worth it or not.
    The pictures in the photo album should explain a lot and hopefully save you a lot of time.

    (Getting the LifeLike SD7/9 shell off isn't obvious or easy, that's why I had to make pictures to remind myself what I'd done several
    years ago).

    Hope that helps!
     
  5. Logtrain

    Logtrain TrainBoard Member

    2,035
    17
    33
    If the walkway from the LL would fit onto the Atlas mechanism there will be nothing to worry about. As far as the LL being casted in 3 pieces vs Atlas being in one, I have 4 words of advise............................. Model Masters liquid cement.
     
  6. johnh

    johnh TrainBoard Member

    1,061
    1
    32
    Going back to the reason behind the question, I am surprised there is that much of a difference between the Kato and the Life Like pulling power. I haven't owned one of these in ages, but when I did they pulled very well. Are your weights still in the Life Like?
     
  7. RGW1

    RGW1 TrainBoard Member

    312
    106
    12
    I own both of these engines. The reason for my question is I have Atlas C&NW RSD 4 dummy and just got a LL C&NW SD7 that struggles with this dummy and train on my grade. I model the Milwaukee Road but also have a pair of RI engine and this pair of CNW .I do not plan and adding more CNW engines at this time. I have a spare Atlas(Japan) SD9 mech in parts, but no shell. My Atlas SD7s seem to pull better than the LL, of course the LL is only 4 wheel drive.
     
  8. Spookshow

    Spookshow TrainBoard Member

    1,516
    3
    27
    This is kind of ironic, what with the other current thread ("my Atlas locos don't handle grades as well as my Life-Like locos").

    Cheers,
    -Mark
     
  9. johnh

    johnh TrainBoard Member

    1,061
    1
    32
    LOL! Yeah, it certainly is. Those old Life Like engines with the weight blocks were certainly pullers.
     

Share This Page