It's been a fantastic journey- which is sort of the point I guess. It isn't a museum quality restoration or even close, but it's mechanically solid, looks pretty and makes me happy!!
Again- without the resources present in this forum I never would have been able to get it to the point of being officially finished. A special callout to Doug at Portlines for some brief but critical help. (And four cows!!)
So thank you all again for your help and a special shout out to Ken for getting me the originals upon which the final unit is based!!
Here is the path that I stumbled through. This picks up after I first thought I was in the home stretch.
- Create Smoke Tube out of used IEC electrical cabling after failing to find anything locally.
- Disassemble, clean and change a few wires in the tender. Reassemble, bench test, runs and smokes. Yay!!
- Set up basic test track in living room, place locomotive and… Runs for like five seconds and stops. Ammeter pegs. Leading to:
- Completely disassemble to track down short. Turns out solder has dripped from one of the fingers in the reversing unit. Cleaned it up, tested, all is good. Reassemble, head upstairs and… More or less the same thing happens. Sigh in disbelief, start process again.
- After complete disassembly- especially examining the repaired wheels I find a little piece of wire sticking up from the solder joint on the left top finger. Clean that up, decide to dress the wires a bit more as everything is very tight with the smoke tube I am using and… The wire from the coil in the reversing unit to the solder joint breaks.
- After looking at it carefully I decide to use another reversing unit that is in good condition rather than mess with the one with the broken lacquered wire.
- Put that unit in, test, and go figure the drum isn’t spinning properly.
- Pull the drum out, pull the reversing unit apart and break one of the finger boards in the process. Take it apart and clean everything, including lightly wire brushing the drum before a light polish, at which point I lose control of it and it gets flung to lord knows where. I eventually find it after an hour of searching- I could have used one of the others I have but that one was in the best condition. Replace the broken finger board with another that is in good condition.
- Put everything back together, try to insert the mechanicals into the shell but they won’t go. Figure out it is the baseplate of the reversing unit. Remove it, bend some metal until it is in the right position and try again. Works!!
- Reassemble the entire works, head upstairs to try it out. Every time it hits a curve the unit derails and also it loses power pretty frequently, again ending in a short. ARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!
- Back to the workbench to see what is going on with the loco and tender being so close. That is because I used the tender base with the short coupled piece on it instead of the one that had the long coupling strip. Drill out the one in use and the long one and replace on the new tender. Root through the hardware box and come up with a short screw and nut that replace the dead rivet.
- Back upstairs, holding my breath this time. It doesn’t derail!! Great!! But it also shorts out again almost instantly.
- I trace the short while it is on the track to the tender’s front truck.
- Back to the workbench, poke and prod and it appears the insulating materials (whatever they are) are shot in the front truck. Pry it off and yes, the center bushing has disintegrated. Head to hardware store, find appropriate materials and once again reassemble. While bending the truck I get over-enthusiastic and break it, requiring a sub from the other tender and yet another painting job. I also rewire the entire tender (and I did the locomotive too earlier in the process as the solid core wire I used just wasn’t working well.)
- Reassemble the whole thing yet again. Back upstairs…
- Finally it runs!! But it still derails whenever it hits a corner at speed. I figure out that the tube I used is to stiff and instead of allowing the nose of the tender to turn is holding it straight. So… Disassemble again!! This time I polish all the rods and screws because, why not?? I mean my couple day project has turned into a month-long odyssey whats another hour making things pretty??
- I find a softer plastic tube at Home Depot and install and reassemble again. Home stretch now!!
- Put it on the track,hols breath, it runs great. Time for the decals I ordered and… The tender has a run in the paint where I put it on too thick. Strip it again, reshoot, let dry for a couple of days. Put the 322 transfers on the Locomotive and wait a day before putting them on the tender. Chose white and silver because I like it.
- Finally yesterday evening the completed engine ran as it should (It’s kind of a rocket- the pulmor works well) and I can call this fun two-day project complete.