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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
The new Davenport gas mechanical arrived on the Shasta Pacific rails today. It was delivered on a Southern Pacific flat and off loaded at the transfer shed tracks.
It was taken directly to the engine shed/shop and given the once over by the shop crew. a couple of things were listed for change without much conversation.
New headlight, we just want to see down the track not light up the mountainsides. Coupler change to home road standard (KD 820). move the handrail stanchions
to the radiator shell instead of the core.

Future plans. Battery, sound and RC.


For actual review.
This is not official or scientific but my first reaction is "I like it" and this is from a dyed in the wool steam loco guy.
Wife says when I letter it it has to be named after her. I think she likes it also.

Cud o's to Ridge Road Station. Fast, fair, and friendly. couldn't ask for better service.
Arrived very well packed and protected. Smoke fluid, extra set of gawdawful couplers, complete
parts diagram, but no indication at all of what I'm supposed to do with all those circuits that I don't want or need.

Ran like a jeweled watch right out of the box even though the brass track hasn't been cleaned in months and months.
ran through the switches with no problems even though they are Sunset valley # 6 and 8 plus a couple homemade ones that are longer.
no stalling on the isolated frogs which I thought was pretty amazing as most of the shorter wheelbases have some issues on them.

Anyway the boys couldn't resist taking her out for a little spin and I was able to catch a couple pictures. That flat she is pulling
weighs about 6 and 1/2 pounds, didn't even know it was there.












Thanks for your time
Rick Marty
 

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Hi Rick, just in time for Saturdays club meeting. If you want, I will bring it in and nobody has to know you own a DIESEL........................ See you saturday, Randy
 

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Rick, the siderods make it an honorary steam engine. 
 



On the couplers, you're going to have some troubles fitting the #820 on. My suggestion would be to get the #822 straight-shank coupler and splice it onto the stock Bachmann arm. The die-cast frame is going to make fitting the stock pocket a bit difficult. 


The Kadee #830 (G-scale) coupler will work with the existing pocket, though you need to sand off the lug on the bottom to get it to fit in from the front. You may also want to sand off the little tab on the back end, too. It helps with centering.


If you're using the Accucraft coupler--again--you may be best served to splice the coupler onto the Bachmann arm. 

Later,

K
 

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I just got my Davenport back from Sam Clarke at Kadee, with 830 mounted. I am sure he will have a conversion sheet up soon.
 

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I'd like to see more photos of that building.. Have I missed a thread on it???
 

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Okay, this is what Sam wrote to me about the conversion:

"I have the #830 couplers working on your Davenport but they need a lot of testing to see if what I've done will last. I'm shipping it back to you today and I'd like you to give some good running time with a few cars attached then let me know how it works for you.

I trimmed the 830 box to fit where the original fit and I trimmed the coupler to slip into the pocket then I CA glued two "O" scale springs on the sides of the shank for the centering action. I'll send some extra springs in case they come loose. The coupler pivots on and is held in with a single 1-72 screw so I need to know if it will hold. I've held the loco up and shook it by the head of the coupler so it seems good for now."

And here are some photos of the conversion. I have not yet run the train as i need to set up a temp track power loop.
http://www.mylargescale.com/1stclass/nkelsey/facing%20front.JPG

Facing Front http://www.mylargescale.com/1stclass/nkelsey/front%20from%20above.JPG




Front from above

http://www.mylargescale.com/1stclass/nkelsey/front%20underside.JPG


Underside front http://www.mylargescale.com/1stclass/nkelsey/rear%20facing.JPG




Facing rear http://www.mylargescale.com/1stclass/nkelsey/rear%20from%20above.JPG




above rear http://www.mylargescale.com/1stclass/nkelsey/rear%20underside.JPG
 

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Here's a simpler solution--two, actually.

First:


In this installation, the lug on the bottom of the #830 coupler is sanded off so it can fit in through the front, and the little tab on the back of the coupler is also removed. The original spring is set in as it would be on the regular pocket. The trick here is that you need to compress the spring against the back of the coupler because the pivot post is on the cover. This was my first installation, and it works reasonably well. The coupler centers by pushing against the back of the stock cover plate. It's a bit stiff, but works. This installation has the advantage of using just the bits that come with the coupler itself.

Second:

The same bits are sanded off (though you don't need to sand off the rear tab if you don't want to). A hole is drilled midway through the open part of the shaft, and some spring wire gets inserted through the hole, and bent into a "V" shape. (Very similar to the arms on the original Bachmann coupler.)


The coupler gets slid in the front. The pivot post sits just in front of the spring wire, which keeps the coupler from pulling too far out. It may push in, but will be stopped by the coupler itself against the frame's cast coupler pocket.


The stock cover is replaced, and you're all set. This installation centers a bit easier than the first one, but you've got to have some extra spring wire lying about. The stuff in this installation is the spring wire Kadee includes in with their #822 straight-shank couplers (#1 scale). I don't know if they sell it separately or not. Thin piano wire will work just as well, but I couldn't find mine immediately.

My thanks to Jim Agnew, who contacted me with a question about my review, which sent me back down to the workshop to refine things.

Later,

K
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi Kevin,

Thanks for the tips on coupler installation for the Davenport.

Jim,

Hope to see your pictures soon.

THanks all.
Rick Marty
 

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Jim, how easy is the frame to cut? I recall expanding my vocabulary significantly when I tried to cut the 2-8-0 frame. I'll be interested in seeing what you come up with, as I prefer the #1 scale coupler. I haven't looked to see how much one would need to cut out to fit the smaller #820 pocket in the opening, since I was just going to bite the bullet and splice something onto the stock Bachmann arm.

Later,

K
 

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Kevin, I'll have pictures tomorrow. It takes about an hour to mill and file the pocket. The metal appears to to zinc, the Dremel cuts it easily, but there's lots of cleanup work with a file and the file fills up quickly.
 

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Rick,
How do you think these locos will hold up to running on their own, with a few cars in tow, for an hour or two at a time?
 

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Nice job, Jim. Note that if you're one of the handful of people who set their #1 scale couplers higher than what Kadee recommends (to match a scale 24" coupler centerline in 1:20) then you'll want to do this install without the top plate of the coupler, and shave off the very top of of the screw mounts so they're flush with the pocket. You'll still be around 1/16" low, but that's passable on all but the most uneven track.

Later,

K
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Jim,
Very neat install and good alignment.

I will have to try for a little more height on mine, like Kevin, I run at 24" centerline.
THanks for the pictures.
Rick Marty
 

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Needing a break after a long day, I headed to the workshop to see what it would take to get a #1 scale coupler on the Davenport at a scale 24" centerline. Jim's efforts with the #820 coupler pocket come in low, so I figured there had to be another way.



This is the coupler pocket, showing the heights of the various pockets. (The lower two are dummy pockets.) For a 24" centerline in 1:20.3, I'd need the coupler to center at 1 3/16". Using Jim's method (described above), the coupler is centered at 1 1/16"--exactly what Kadee specs for their #1 scale coupler. I use the #1 scale couplers for 1:20 because they scale out to a 3/4-scale coupler used by many narrow gauge railroads (particularly eastern ones).

At first, I tried mounting the #820 in its coupler pocket, but without the top, which would give me an extra 1/16", leaving me just 1/16" shy of where I would ideally want to be. The good news here is that there's no milling to the cast frame necessary, and very little modification to the coupler. You have to lightly sand off the lug on the bottom of the coupler so it fits in, and cut the Kadee coupler pocket back to just forward of the mounting screws. Everything drops neatly in place.

With one problem...

That darned centering spring is a BEAST to set in place, even more so than on my #830 (G-scale) installation at the top of this thread. I think a "V" spring would be perfect in this instance (also shown at the top).

And, you're still only at 1 1/8". Now that should prove to be too much of a mismatch, but there had to be a better way.

That led me to the cheap #822 coupler, which is a coupler with a straight shank--no draft gear, nothing. It's as basic as it gets. I figured I'd try to splice one of them onto the stock Bachmann coupler arm and see where that would lead.

I found that if I flipped the Bachmann spring upside down, and screwed the Kadee coupler onto the pad (now on the bottom), that the centerline of the coupler would be 1 3/16". The catch is that you have to trim the top of the Kadee shank down a bit to clear the cast pocket.



Here's the coupler, after I cut the shank to length and trimmed the top.



Here's the Bachmann spring. I filed the pad flat, drilled a hole in the top of the Kadee coupler, and countersunk the hole so the screw would fit in the pocket.



Because I flipped the spring, I had to do some light sanding to get it to swing freely once installed.



The finished installation, with the coupler a scale 24" above the rail. At this height, the trip pin doesn't work with the automatic uncoupling, so it can be cut off.

A few side notes...

If you're planning on installing Accucraft couplers on this locomotive, your best bet is to do a similar splice with the stock Bachmann spring arm. My thoughts would be to cut off the spring anchors on the side of the Accucraft coupler, then screw some brass strips onto each side to splice onto the side of the Bachmann arm. I don't think there's enough material there to do a joint like what I've done here. The centerline will be at 1 1/8", which is a bit lower than a scale 24" (or the scale 26" used by the D&RGW), but with the larger size of the coupler, it should be more accommodating for uneven track.

Later,

K
 
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