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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have many older athearn loco's and some newer atlas and some life like PK2 like the Fa's and a GP 9 and have put the PK2 drive in a roundhouse RS-3 and in a atlas RS-11 from a used FA-1 since I had the shell kit and not an atlas drive or frame .

I noticed on a few later Life Like PK2 loco's such as the GP-20 and later GP-30's which I have to sell that the u_joints where improved where they used to be like the ones Athearn always used and A-line has as replacements .

One the older FA's I noticed the drive shaft couplings were warped or with broken tabs so replacing them with A-line or athearn parts improved the running on the loco's .

What happened to Life Likes site where you used to be able to but these parts ? The newer u-joints were much like a new design like a cars U-joint and workes very well but now I can't find them .

What are the options availabel now days, I have been out of the hobby for 6 years and a lot has changed .

I have all sorts of atlas and proto units of all sorts but sold most other than a few and many are rebuilds from bodies sold to fit athearn chassis from rail power . I have a good set of athearn Trainmasters and GP-38-2's I built into high hoods and a GP-30 from an old front range shell on a modified athearn chassis and a GP 38 rail power shell that I modified into a high hood and used cannon high hood parts just to replace the horrid rail power hood ends .

I am not up on all the new stuff and all the changes . i have no layout just a loco buff here .

I have atlas S-2's and S-4's one S-2 is the chinese model and the 2 C424's are old yellow box made in japan units .

I even built a Baldwin /EMD out of a stewart AS-16 nose and Life like GP9 long hood on an AS616 6 axle trucks and stewart frame and have two stewart AS616 athearn powered units .
 

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What happened to Life Likes site where you used to be able to but these parts ? The newer u-joints were much like a new design like a cars U-joint and workes very well but now I can't find them .
LifeLike was bought by Walthers. Try them for LifeLike parts.

http://www.walthers.com/

It sounds like you're an exceptional kitbasher. I hope you'll be posting some images and details about your modeling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
LifeLike was bought by Walthers. Try them for LifeLike parts.

http://www.walthers.com/

It sounds like you're an exceptional kitbasher. I hope you'll be posting some images and details about your modeling.

I tried Walthers site but could not find any listings for parts .

I have been at this for quite some time . I used to get any railroad magazine if there was a kitbashing artical in there I was interested in .

It began with one about a Norfork and /western High hood GP-38-2 using an cannon high hood kit and a GP-30 from an older body from the GP 30 without the rivets on the hood .

Then I saw an artical on Buffelo's using a low hood and an EMD long hood then saw the Alco/EMD anb Baldwin EMD's used by C&NW .

Before Stewart came out with the VO 1000 I built one using a athearn baldwin and used two bodies , cut them down the middle to get the proper hood width and then cut these to make the proper hood length and extended the frame . then Stewart came out with one .

Same thing with the FP-7 where I used two athearn F-7's as per an old artitical .

The GP-35 high hood was a rail power shell that i used the cannon high hood ends only and just cut the low hood top off and built new sides and added the fronts to each end because the body had horrid number boards and detail . I fitted a athearn frame into the shell , I forgot which athearn frame it was. Same with the GP-30 .


I had three life like PK2 GP-30's but sold them since I needed the funds along with many other Proto PK2 models . The SD-9's and GP-20's and FA-2 and FA-B .

I have two atlas FP-7's SOO Line with the newer drives and I built a Pennsy FP-7 out of a atlas shell and built the frame from brass and used Kato trucks and atlas Kato motor .

And since at the time there were no C420's out there I used a model power C420 shell on a roundhouse RS-3 frame which was a good fit , it was an older roundhouse RS-3 with the metal trucks and low gearing .

I will get photo's as soon as I get my computer back with the downloads . Alot of the kitbashes I did I sold and all the photo's went with my dead hard drive , you know computers and i never backed up anything . But I have many that I listed here .

I used to built one loco at a time and complete it then I got into building to the point of the fine details and began another and have many unfinished .

I did build a alco HH ? high hood on an atlas S-2 drive , I made the entire shell from scratch and made the doors and all , I used the hood from a body section left over from a Model power C 628 when I built a high hood C628 out of two model power low hood shells .
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think I found what you're looking for. We carry 13 different drive shaft couplers. Let me know if I missed it, but I think these are the parts you need.

i used to use NWSL drive parts . i always had a problem with the plastic couplings splitting on the gear box shafts . This happened on most , not all the loco's I used them on .

Since there is nothing showing from Life Like I will use either Aline which are a lot like athearn or athearn which are better than PK-2 old style parts . the newer PK-2 looked real good but ai don't know if they last .

It appears that life like used exact copies of athearn motors and trucks , the are interchangable even down to the gears and Kato on PK-2 6 axle trucks also very much like carbon copies .

I have one later athearn SD 40-2 undec with the plastic handrails and also the option of the included metal ones . It has the newer drive shaft which is a octagon at each end but now I see they have a different drive on the newer models at a higher price .

I always had good running old style athearn's , even my old trainmasters ran very well . The bachman spectrum trainmaster I have and the spectrum GP-30's I had ran well , they run perfect with the atlas FP-7's . Too bad they paint is so thick on Bachman spectrum , the only one fact painted is the spectrum trainmaster NH scheme .

I do my own air brushing and found the H-2 external mix single action works best even when I used scale coat II . I have a bunch of better air brushes all internal mix and some dual action but they require a lot of time to clean and do not produce a better job . You add in the new accu flex water base paint and you really have trouble if you don't clean them right now . That paint is great stuff once you get the hang of seeing it flow on since it does not flash off quite the same . One coat and you have it with that paint .
 
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