Monthly Archives: January 2015

1-28-15 Busy, Busy, Busy

It has been a very busy week on the business front. The season has picked up the volume in sales. It does tend to be cyclic. The issue is time to model and do the testing. So far it is all getting done. Just not as fast as I would like.

The total unique engines tested has reached 120. In addition the five engine Life Like P2K tune up activity has proceeded through the fourth step.

Well not quite. The plan was to split the truck lubrication into two steps. That was done on the BN GP30 and the NP GP7. The drives in these are the later DCC ready vintage with sufficient wire to allow the weight to be moved enough to easily get to the motor or trucks. This allowed the oiling of the top truck tower gear bearings and the lubrication of the internal truck gears.

The two GP18’s in the study are of the early vintage drives, to do this with them would require unsoldering and resold eating some of the wires. Because of this, the two later drive engines were tested through step 3 and 4 to see the benefits. Depending those results, the soldering activity would be done if the benefits warranted it. The impact of the solder changes could over shadow the results.

On both of the engines step 3 turned out to be a step back. Which means that the tower truck bearings were not restricting the drive shaft. Adding the oil actually increased the resistance slightly resulting in a slightly negative performance impact.

Step four restored the performance to be better than step two. Because out this and the problems associated with step 3, the plan for the other three engine was modified. Step 3 was dropped all together. Step 4 was modified to be done from the bottom. These trucks do no have much dried lube, so the cleaning was minimal. The gear sides were oiled and the gears greased.

The NP GP9 and Seq GP18 both showed a good benefit from this modified step four. The NP GP18 showed a slight benefit. Much like the first two engines that saw step three and four.

All engines are now in the good to very good zone. Two, the GP30 and the GP9 are in the exceptional zone.

Surprisingly, the starting voltages are all still higher than desired and the 12 volt scale speed is 70 or slightly below. This tune up activity has not resolved those two parameters.

The plan for these engines will continue with the wheel change tests. The Athearn RTR wheels are next and the NWSL wheels will follow.

The BN GP30 is no longer available for testing. It’s test results will be included in the sunup mary posting.

The question of starting voltage and 12 volt speed is still a question. There are two spare P2K drives, like the GP18 engines. Some additional work needs to be done to better understand why they won’t start at a lower voltage.