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Discussion Starter #62
I am on the home stretch now with this 336 restoration. My replacement parts from Port Lines will be here tomorrow and after my 24 hour COVID package quarantine I will have everything I need to polish her off.

My biggest feat diving into the American Flyer world has been paint options. I have been blasting this forum with paint questions and I can finally say….I found the perfect formula for refreshing old paint! I stole a chapter out of my plastic modeling book and used my favorite black paint, Tamiya TS-14. This paint is thin, sprays out of an airbrush beautifully, and hardens like a rock in under 10 minutes. This paint comes in a spray can and in order to use it in my airbrush I "degass" it. I spray the paint through a straw into a mixing jar. I then let the paint sit for around 8 hours with the cap loosely placed to let the gases escape. Without letting it breath you could potentially create a mini paint bomb with the build up of aerosol gases. I heavily thin it with a ratio of 40% paint to 60% Tamiya Lacquer Thinner. Below is an example of how the paint looks and I think it blends with the old paint beautifully. I also repainted the white stripes by masking them off and spraying them with an airbrush.

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I came up with a method for the front markers that I love. I sanded out the recesses until the metal was shiny. I then painted them with Tamiya Clear Green X-25. This paint is very translucent so when painted over the shiny metal it almost looks like reflectors in a headlight.

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WOW!!! She is looking great. Nice job. Your green markers do look good. And of coarse the
white stripe. You do have a skill. It will be a thing of beauty when done and all back together.
I paid a bundle for my 336 but it did not need all the work you have done. Where did you get
the black and green paint from. I have some green jewels to put on my 336 but I like your
green paint.
 

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Discussion Starter #64
WOW!!! She is looking great. Nice job. Your green markers do look good. And of coarse the
white stripe. You do have a skill. It will be a thing of beauty when done and all back together.
I paid a bundle for my 336 but it did not need all the work you have done. Where did you get
the black and green paint from. I have some green jewels to put on my 336 but I like your
green paint.
Thanks!

The paint I get is from either Amazon or eBay. If you can wait, which I know you can't :sneaky:, the cheapest place for the green paint is eBay but it comes from Taiwan, so it's anyone's guess on those shipping times.

Green Paint: Tamiya - Clear Green X-25

Cheapest: Click Here (eBay) - From Taiwan
Amazon: Click Here

Black Paint: Tamiya TS-14

Cheapest: Click Here (eBay) - From US
Amazon: Click Here
 

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Discussion Starter #68
I don't understand the concept behind the 5th wire. Could someone explain the need for it? I dislike the idea of the permanent connection between the tender and engine. I remedied this by using 2.8mm spade connectors as a quick disconnect.

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I think the 5th wire is a pain also. Here is what it does. The headlight and smoke unit wll be powered in the neutral position. A 4 wire only powers headlight and smoke unit in forward or reverse position. Not that big of deal. I don't leave my engines in neutral position. Watch your wiring. It is different between 4 and 5 wire. On a 5 wire, if you don't hook up the 5th wire, you will not have headlight or smoke. I put a disconnect on my 5th wire on my 336 also.
 

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AF started the 5 wire in 1953. The inside of smokestack was painted white and AF called it
glowing smokestack. And they started using the red plastic smoke tube out of smoke unit.
My 336 really glows. Kinda cool.

The headlight lights the red tube and it reflects off the white paint and smokestack glows red.
 

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Discussion Starter #72
I repainted the inside of my smoke stack and had to buy another red smoke tube. Mine was melted to the the side of the smoke stack and in the removal process it ripped off a bunch of the original white paint.

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I think older locos could glow with the white paint and red smoke tubes.
At one time I thought about making all my locos 4 wire. So I could just
unplug the tender. LOL, still might. The quick disconnect works.
 

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A couple of months ago, I added a smoke unit to my 'June 1950' 307 from my spare parts. I had everything but the short stroke piston lever. At that time I painted the inside of the stack white and added a red tube. It turned out well. I too like that effect.
 

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Gilbert steam engines, unlike most other manufacturers have track power pickup only from the tender wheels. In the prewar 3/16th scale engines that was no problem because there was no smoke and the chugger was in the tender if one was present. Post war in 1946 and 1947 there was still no issue because the smoke and Choo Choo unit was in the tender, of course the smoke tube had to be separately disconnected to separate the engine and tender. Beginning in 1948 the smoke unit had to be powered in the engine with the reverse unit in the tender. Gilbert chose to use only 4 wires (less cost) so to power the smoke unit it was wired in parallel with the field. Not the ideal way but it worked. Had Gilbert chosen to separately power the smoke unit back in 1948 they would likely have designed a 5 pin plug rather than the 4 pin.
To improve smoke production and headlight brightness Gilbert added a 5th wire and revised the remaining 4 connections. This allowed the smoke unit to be powered directly from the tender pickups at all times.
 

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Some of you might remember last year or so I was making a small 5th wire harness that you could plug directly into the back of the female connector.. There really wasn't much of a interest so I quit making them.. I do have several left over from that time.
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Discussion Starter #80
Well, it's official....my first American Flyer Restoration is complete! I couldn't be happier with it! I want to thank everyone on this forum, your knowledge is invaluable and without you guys I couldn't have pulled it together. I will upload some more pictures soon. It's time for some celebration drinks!

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