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Off center Accucraft Shay

3367 Views 18 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  GrizzlyFlatsFan
I was adding Kadee couplers to my Accucaft Shay #5. I noticed the loco was not centered on the track.   /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/crazy.gif 


Looking at the relationship of the foot board to the tie it is apparent how far off center the engine is.

Measuring the upper bolster the hole is off set toward the drive line side.

If I can reverse the upper bolster it would center the loco. 
Using a 3 mm nut driver and a #0 philips screw driver. Remove the bolts next to the upper bolster. And two of the small screws that hold the brake hanger to the archbar frame on one side.
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I was not sure how to take the truck apart so I removed the short 3 mm bolts from the bottom bolster that was not needed.
At the factory they must use the hole in the upper bolster to drill the clearance hole in the lower bolster.

Here you can see the bolster screw is up to high.    
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I placed the upper bolster upside down to see how far to move the hole in the lower bolster. 


Using a Dremel tool carefully grind or file the hole over to the new bolster screw location.  

(Wear safety glasses when using power tools:cool: )
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With the truck reattached the loco is now centered.  


View from the front the boiler is now off center.     :D
It looked like these could have been assembled either way at the factory. If your Shay if off center this is an easy fix. 
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This is a known issue, though I thought it had been corrected in later runs. I know at one time they made corrected bolsters available free for the asking.
The Shay boiler is supposed to be off-center to offset the weight of the engine. This is true to the prototype.
Don't shoot me Terry... I'm just the messenger.  :D  Besides, look on the bright side - it gives you something else to gripe about.  hehehe /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/laugh.gif;)
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Not bloody likely!  /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/sick.gif
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Posted By Dwight Ennis on 03/27/2008 9:14 PM
This is a known issue, though I thought it had been corrected in later runs. I know at one time they made corrected bolsters available free for the asking.


It wasn't known to me (not surprising...).  Now I will have to head over to the office and check my Shay.  If it is off, I'll make a visit over to Union City and see if they are still free.  Of course, everytime I go there, I don't get away free.  I spend several declining US $$$ before I'm out the door.   /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/sad.gif
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Is that how I come over? 

Shhheeeeshhh. I liked to think that I had something positive to offer every now and then.

Just show how deluded a guy can be, eh?

I was only teasing you Terry. :) That's what friends are for. hehehe

George - the bolsters were available for a short time some years back. I suppose it's possible that they still have some, but it would probably be worth a call before running up there. :)
Tac, this web site (and others) would not be nearly as good without you.  I'm sure that Dwight feels the same as I do.  Keep posting!

Dwight, I'm afraid to give them a call.  They'll say, guess what we just got in that you might want!   I'll give C. a call if I need a bolster (right after I hide my credit cards).  :D

Have you been upstairs to see the museum?  I go up there and drool.  Then I come downstairs and ask if they have any more xxx.  There goes the credit card.
Its my understanding that the boilers on real shays are off-center to accommodate the piston cluster. That's certainly true on my B'mann 38 ton 2-truck...
I did not take any before photos but the boiler was closer to center on the track. Which as has been pointed out is not correct for a Shay.
I looked for a number on it and found 071 on the under side of the tank top.
I bought it off Ebay. I think it was only on display. It was quite stiff when I first ran it on steam. With some oil on the moving parts it now runs fine. It did not come with the fake whistle and pop valves on top of the dome.
If memory serves, the first batch of #5's were shipped with incorrect bolsters which centered the boiler - not the frame - on the tracks. Free correct bolsters were provided early on for the asking, but I seriously doubt these are still available. Still, I do not know this, so a quick call to Accucraft would probably be worthwhille.

Several people back then fixed theirs by reversing the incorrect bolsters, which made them more or less correct. :)
My early #2 MiCal had the same problem with the bolsters.  The bad trucks were sent back to Accucraft and hand carried to China and returned fixed in less than two weeks.
Weeeeel. I initially thought I'd solved the problem by off-setting all my track 3/8" to the right, but for some reason it still didn't work out...:confused:

...I then realised that running the loco in reverse would simply exaggerate the problem.../DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/whistling.gif

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Dear Mr Steamlogger - I hope you oil up the loco all-round EVERY time before running and while the boiler builds up pressure.  This is recommended practice with ALL live-steam locomotives of any gauge and scale, up to and including 12 inches to the foot. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/ermm.gif

tac the griper
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My #5 is certainly an early one. It has a very low serial number.
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