Kitbashing or headbashing!

Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)

#1
Several weeks ago I was at a swap meet, and there was a Mantua Mikado for sale. This was one of the real old zamack models with the gearbox and a large open-frame motor (Pittman xxx ?) Took it home and put it on my layout. First thing I noticed was it required almost 80% of the throttle to get it moving at all. Current reading was about 1-1/2 amp! The engine (lead) truck kept derailing, no matter what I did to it. Looking carefully, I discovered the radius of the truck frame was much shorter than all I'd seen over the years. Pivot bolster corresponded with the length of the truck frame! :( No way to mount a long-radius truck. Decided to turn it into an 0-8-0 by removing the lead and trailing trucks. (The Burlington did this on one of their mikes.) But, what about that high current drain? Decided to change the motor and install a can motor I happened to have laying around. Got that done. Same thing! High current and high throttle setting required to get it moving. Decided to check the running gear. Then the "fun" began! Turns out whoever assembled the valve gear got those tiny rivets too tight on the righthand gear. (I've assembled these from basic kits without problems, but you have to be very careful not to peen them too hard!) It is very difficult to un-peen those rivets! I used an Exacto knife blade and was able to loosen them up...a bit. Not sure if it is enough. Another problem: the main rod bushing was missing on one side. Ordered a set of Pacific gear, which had both bushings, although one is a bit loose. Decided to change out the main driver with one of a bunch I have from previous projects. Picked the wrong size gear! A problem with this model is that the driver cover plate is one piece with the part of the frame that supports the cylinder. Remove the cover plate and the cylinder gets moved, which detaches the crosshead guides from the support bracket cast into the frame. Aligning the pistol rod, valve rod and the crosshead guide on each side and then aligning the rear of the guides with the bracket is a bear! You basically have to disconnect the screws holding the main rods to the bushing, and two connecting rods! Putting them back together is enough to drive you to drink! And I don't drink! Decided to take a break. Not sure if the valve gear is loosened enough. Stay tuned! :(
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
#2
I have run into a lot of these situations regarding vehicles. Sometimes you just stare at them and wonder "What were they thinking???!!!" I hope you get it figured out.
 

wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#3
From someone who is scared to death of messing around with engines it does sound like an exercise in head bashing.
 

Sirfoldalot

Plucked Tailfeathers
Staff member
#5
One of those was my very first build somewhere back in the early 60's. I still have the loco, but have not tried to run it in over 30 years. I have got to get myself some sort of layout going.
Good luck with the repairs ... The one I have will/did pull a long string of cars.
 

NP2626

Active Member
#6
You just need to be patient and fix one thing at a time. There certainly can be times when problems can overwhelm. At those times, I step back and give things some time to sit, while I reconnoiter the situation. Good luck and don't be afraid. Hopefully you didn't pay too much for the old loco and if worse comes to worse, pitching the whole thing; or, using as a stationary scene may be a better choice!
 
#7
Update: Well, after much tinkering, reassembling the thing, finding out what didn't work, taking it apart again...tinkering with it some more, and repeating the process for about eight times, I have gotten the thing running with the powerpack at about 40 percent...held in my hand....haven't put it on the track yet. Next thing is to tackle the tender. Instead of using the original Mantua, completely cast zamack tender, which is pretty hefty (even if it were plastic) for a switch engine, I have a shorter "tank" but the chassis is plastic, so I have to figure some way to get the "juice" from the trucks to the engine's wire. Got that figured out, but the tender's trucks are sprung and I think I am going to have to make some wipers to get better contact. I have looked on ebay to see if anyone has a separate Mantua tender for one of their smaller engines, but so far it is only with the engine and tender, and I really don't want to spend any more money on this project.
 
#8
Next thing is to tackle the tender. Instead of using the original Mantua, completely cast zamack tender, which is pretty hefty (even if it were plastic) for a switch engine, I have a shorter "tank" but the chassis is plastic, so I have to figure some way to get the "juice" from the trucks to the engine's wire. Got that figured out, but the tender's trucks are sprung and I think I am going to have to make some wipers to get better contact. I have looked on ebay to see if anyone has a separate Mantua tender for one of their smaller engines, but so far it is only with the engine and tender, and I really don't want to spend any more money on this project.
Could you cut one of these down?
https://www.trainworld.com/manufact...ng-tender-dcc-ready-painted-unlettered-89831/
 



ModelRailroadForums.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com