Treading on insanity maybe, Kato GS-4 Drivers

DCESharkman Oct 6, 2019

  1. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

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    Hello,

    Well I purchased several GS-4's when they first were available. Then came the replacement drivers with the metal axles to replace the plastic axles.

    Currently, the locomotives run fine, am I tempting fate by replacing the drivers with the metal axle replacements?

    In addition to that, I am not a steam mechanic, I can handle most diesel locomotives, but I have never disassembled a steam locomotive.

    Perhaps there is an expert on here with the skills that might like a little side money for their efforts?

    Or do I leave well enough alone and worry about the metal drivers when there is an absolute need?

    Insanity either way?
     
  2. Maletrain

    Maletrain TrainBoard Member

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    I'm from the "Don't fix it if it ain't broke," school of thought. Unless there is something unsatisfactory about how it is running right now, I would just stock the replacement parts (which might not be available in the future, if you ever need them), and then run the loco normally on my layout.
     
    acptulsa likes this.
  3. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    This! So why mess with it????? :)
     
  4. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

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    It was a thought about future proofing the locomotives
     
  5. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Dave, unless / until they crack, I would not take them apart. I had to replace one set, but that unit also had significant other issues (it had fallen to the floor -- not mine) but my 10 year old GS-4 is still original, replacements in tool box, awaiting the dreaded day when I do have to do this surgery.
     
  6. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    Sounds like future-proofing the engine to me.

    Murphy's Law says the original axles will fail the week after the metal ones become unavailable. If you stash a set away, they never become unavailable.
     
    BarstowRick likes this.
  7. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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    I'm really not a player in this game, but from everything I've read about this supposed "issue," the root cause is user error (i.e. folks who abuse the engines by sticking them on the track and shoving them back and forth to verify "railment," while simultaneously stressing the heck out of the hubs/axles due to the traction tire equipped drivers). The vast majority of reports of "no issues," likely come from the vast majority of N scalers who don't abuse these precision mechanisms.

    Yes, I likely did coin a new word there......
     
  8. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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    Read through the procedure in this link: https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=35636.0
    Then decide if you want to perform the driver replacement proactively now, or to wait and do it later, only in the event that axle failure occurs sometime in the future.

    If you want to subcontract the task, the author of that tutorial is also a member of this forum.
    You could inquire as to whether or not he'd be willing to perform the service you need for a fee.
     
  9. Randy Clark

    Randy Clark TrainBoard Member

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    I have thrown many a side rod over the years with the 2 that I have. It's really not that bad working on the Kato Mechanism. I would suggest a good magnifying lens or magnifying glasses.

    YYou will certainly find the second most popular ese for Bull Frog Snot....holding wunning gear pins on the head of a toothpick wile reassembling the running gear. I cannot count the number of traction tires I have replaced over the years.

    At minimum get yourself the spare parts while you are thinking about it and if they are available. I have quite a supply for the GS4 and FEF.
     
    BarstowRick likes this.
  10. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

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    I have a set of replacement drivers for all of my Gs-4's already and they are in a safe place.
     
    BarstowRick likes this.
  11. bill pearce

    bill pearce TrainBoard Member

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    I think it's a good idea to order the parts as they are available, as Kato isn't good about keeping spares in stock. I would wait till you need to replace them, though, as there's no guarantee the loco will run as well as it does now when you're done. Don't accelerate the arrival of the future.
     
  12. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    David,

    I've never known you to be afraid of anything.

    Or to not know how to fix something or create something new.

    You'll manage when the time comes.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
  13. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

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    Well Rick,

    I hate to let you down, but I am not what I call competent with steam locomotives. There is a reason I hardly ever run them and I do not have but a few of them so there is no experience developed. As Clint Eastwood said in a movie a long time ago "A mans got to know his limitations".

    I will run them as is until I have a problem.

    Thank you everyone!
     
    mtntrainman likes this.
  14. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    David,

    Knowing your limitations.

    You aren't the only one. I have a roster of steam locomotives but I don't let them out of the stall very often. Why? Maintenance issues can be a bear. One of the reasons I hate traction tires. They are high maintenance. So, I will have a steam day when they come out of the roundhouse but only for a short run around the layout and then back in, safe and sound ready to do it again another day.

    Right there with you.
     
  15. woodone

    woodone TrainBoard Member

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    David, I have had this locomotive torn down to the bare frames. Replaced drivers and such.
    I work on STEAM N scale locomotives.
    I am not cheap but my work is GOOD !
    Send me a PM if interested.
    Jerry AKA Woodone
     
    BarstowRick likes this.
  16. Maletrain

    Maletrain TrainBoard Member

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    Well, many of us have done that. :whistle: It's just that too many of us have not gotten it back together in a fashion that runs as well as before we took it apart. Your tear-downs run well after reassembly, right? :cautious:
     
  17. woodone

    woodone TrainBoard Member

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    You bet! Otherwise it will never leave my workshop.
    I have done over 100 sound installs into this locomotive, plus working on several that were in pieces.
    The little pins on the drivers are the most trouble, they are so small they are very hard to handle.
    I have made some special tweezers to work with them.
    To date I have only lost one. I do keep spares in case one goes into hiding.
     

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