HP 4-6-2 project

HP 4-6-2 project

Postby dileTTante » Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:15 pm

This HP Pacific locomotive I got through ebay. The seller cleaned it up before sending it, but the model was still in sorry shape. My first impression was that with models like this it's easy to see why TT scale had been left behind. I resented that the loco cost so much when for the same money a new first rate TT model could be bought from Europe. I bought it just to have a N. American steam locomotive to run at train shows.

In order to run it at our shows using DCC, I put a decoder in the tender and covered it up with a load of coal. The decoder wires go out through a hole drilled in front. One wire goes straight down and is soldered to the brass strip to get power from the wheels. Three other wires go to the loco, two to the brushes and one to the loco frame for electrical pick-up from the drivers. I put clips on the motor wires so they can slip over the brush springs. The wire for track pick-up has a pin at the end made from a resistor lead. It plugs into a clip which is fastened to the frame. In this way the tender can be disconnected easily and detached from the loco. If a collector of HP TT locos is horrified by these changes, well, too bad -- but they can all be removed or covered up.

Other remedies included shimming up the rear of the tender by a millimeter, replacing the twisted HP coupler at the rear with a kadee, unbending the pilot, replacing the broken tie bar between the loco and tender (used a piece of nylon wire tie for that) and most important of all - bending the motor back into shape. I spent hours trying to get the loco to run. The motor turned freely and so did the wheels, but every time the motor was secured it would bind. I found the frame of the motor, the metal stamping at the front, had been distorted by over tightening in its mount, or something like that. It pressed the worm too much against the driver gear. I bent the metal back using needle nosed pliers and the loco immediately was running.

The seller's photos and the photos on TTNut in the reference area show the left side of the locomotive. It would be greatly appreciated if some one posted a photo with the loco headed to the right, to show details of the pipes and the reverser. .

I tried covering the brassy spots with some flat black, but the result was glossy patches. If it runs well at our next show, I'll take it apart for re-painting. That also will be a new experience.

-TerryC
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Re: HP 4-6-2 project

Postby areibel » Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:44 pm

Interesting build Terry! I know Chris Happe was experimenting with DCC in HP locos, but it scares most guys off! They are very prone to shorting (and frying decoders in the process), but the way you've done it by separating the pick ups is smart- I had thought about trying a set of cast resin cylinders to isolate them but didn't get past casting them up.
The motor should have had a thin piece of card stock under the motor originally, you could use them to adjust the mesh or even stack them for more clearance but I've seen a lot of locos that some "restorer" had tossed it and cranked the screw down tight. The DC60 motor will usually run fairly smooth with just a little attention, they draw a little more amperage than a can motor and they can be a little balky at low speeds but they're tanks when you get them running well.
I'll see if I can get to one of mine, the reverser is on the other side (a cast piece and a piece of wire), the only thing to watch is for the small fiber pivot on the valve gear hanger- at their age they will break if you looks at them sideways. Some guys have taken the valve gear apart and soaked them with paint or ACC to make them a little sturdier, or Elmer McKay made a resin one that cures the problem.
Nice job!
Al
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Re: HP 4-6-2 project

Postby ctxmf74 » Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:52 pm

"My first impression was that with models like this it's easy to see why TT scale had been left behind"

Back in those days HO engines weren't that great either. TT America steam could be made to contemporary standards if some company wanted to do it.......DaveB
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Re: HP 4-6-2 project

Postby areibel » Tue Mar 07, 2017 7:19 pm

ctxmf74 wrote: Back in those days HO engines weren't that great either. TT America steam could be made to contemporary standards if some company wanted to do it.......DaveB


All you have to do is put a 1950's Varney "Economy" Pacific next to an HP Pacific and you can sure tell a difference in detail. And the Varney kit cost 27.50, you could buy RTR cars and track- the HP Pacific kit was the same price or more (29.95, a pretty good difference back then) and you had to build all the cars, fight with the HP ribbon rail track , etc.. Don't get me wrong, I love HP but other than claiming the smallest operating title for the time I think the craftsman label applied back then. I've got a couple old builds on HP locos that are beautiful but there's a lot of work in them.
I often wonder what would have happened if Gordon Varney or Irv Athearn decided to try TT back then...
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Re: HP 4-6-2 project

Postby ConducTTor » Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:37 pm

While loco rebuilds can be frustrating they are actually my favorite part of the hobby. Getting something subpar to run well is a pleasure. I hope it's more pleasure than frustration for you.
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Re: HP 4-6-2 project

Postby ctxmf74 » Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:56 am

"but other than claiming the smallest operating title for the time I think the craftsman label applied back then. I've got a couple old builds on HP locos that are beautiful but there's a lot of work in them.
I often wonder what would have happened if Gordon Varney or Irv Athearn decided to try TT back then..."

In those days size mattered more as components were a lot larger than they are in the digital age. HO trains were better than TT trains and O scale trains were better than HO trains, due mostly to the size and it's effect on construction. Guys like Athearn or Varney could spend more and probably could have made a bit better TT stuff but no where near as nice as could be made today. The difference between a 1957 Athearn diesel and the newest Athearn diesels shows the progress manufacturers have made. The recent SazModel TT switchers compare quite well to the average HO scale diesel (I'd love to be able to buy a ready to run TT scale GP9 made to the same standards). It would be great if someone made a new modern line of USA steam engines so the old HP engines could be enjoyed for what they were with no pressure to be anything more. ......DaveB
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Re: HP 4-6-2 project

Postby dileTTante » Wed Mar 08, 2017 6:42 am

Thanks for the comments. Hoping for a photo or two for arranging the pipes and linkage. I guess I can fake it for now and try to get things right when it gets repainted.

I enjoy working on the models. My frustrations are mostly from being old.

Still think Mark's a hero for what he did for TT.

-Terry
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Re: HP 4-6-2 project

Postby Rob M » Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:02 am

dileTTante wrote:Thanks for the comments. Hoping for a photo or two for arranging the pipes and linkage. I guess I can fake it for now and try to get things right when it gets repainted.

I enjoy working on the models. My frustrations are mostly from being old.

Still think Mark's a hero for what he did for TT.

-Terry

No pipes but here is a photo showing the linkage,
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Re: HP 4-6-2 project

Postby ConducTTor » Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:04 am

dileTTante wrote:Still think Mark's a hero for what he did for TT.


100%, without a doubt, absolutely.
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Re: HP 4-6-2 project

Postby Bernd » Wed Mar 08, 2017 2:51 pm

Nice steamer. Makes me wonder what I have. A 4-6-0, 4-6-2 or a 4-6-4. I'll have to dig through my old magazines and see if I can find a prototype for more info.

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