Alco Models "Jawn Henry" on eBay

NW Modeling List nw-modeling-list at
Tue Sep 13 09:36:04 EDT 2016


Excellent point.

The reason Lynn’s and Kurt’s approaches interested me so much is that the Alco Models approach of using a plastic sleeve to transmit power between longitudinal shafts just above the axles was causing poor tracking—even fresh plastic seems to have too much stiffness in bending, and it also tends to creep off the shaft of one truck and onto the shaft of the other over time—eventually causing massive friction losses between the end of the plastic and the surface of the truck gearbox it creeps toward.  Sort of a modeler’s analog to a miserably inadequate feedwater pump.

The approach I had tried to take was to get 4 sets of Atlas Trainmaster trucks, and substitute them for the Alco Models trucks.  I had heard that N&W specified “the same trucks as used under the Trainmasters” because they wanted parts and maintenance commonality with diesels in their fleet, and wanted the lugging capability of the Westinghouse traction motors rather than their GE or EMD counterparts.  My intent was to use the Atlas truck towers, gears, bearings, bushings, and universal parts, and cut shaft stock to suitable length.  The Atlas gear towers are shorter fore-and-aft than Alco Models’ truck gearbox, allowing for a short intermediate shaft and universals between the captive shafts in each tower.  I would also have had to fabricate a bolster and bolster pivot that would be housed (unobtrusive, I hoped) up in the body of the model.

I ran into two issues.  The first is that the Atlas and Alco Models trucks have some significant visual differences.  It would have been straightforward to eliminate the extra truck-mounted brake cylinder on the Atlas trucks, but the real issue was that the journal details are also different.  Another surprise was that the shapes of the drop equalizers is different.  After comparing both to photos of the real JH, I have to say that Atlas got the drop equalizers significantly right(er) than Alco Models did, whereas Alco Models got the single brake cylinder and journal ends right(er).  BTW, the dual brake cylinders per truck side of the Trainmaster trucks look significantly smaller in diameter than the single cylinder on the sides of the JH trucks—so both of the Atlas cylinders would have to go, and a new (larger) cylinder added.  That didn’t seem too hard, but the Atlas dlesel journal cover differences to the real JH journal covers would probably have to be tolerated, given my modeling skills.

The second issue (the one I am embarrassed about not anticipating) is that the Atlas gear tower, pivoting about the bolster center, would have contacted the inside of the body at depressingly large track radii.  And this takes me back to Jerome’s point:  All 4 of the trucks on the Jawn Henry were oriented with the close axle spacing to the rear.  (I’m curious whether this made good engineering sense.  Maybe it improved traction a bit in the forward direction at the expense of tracking quality in the reverse direction?)  The net impact to my hoped-for drive system upgrade was that the Atlas truck-mounted gear towers at one end of the bolsters would have impacted the inside of the body at much larger track radius than the gear towers at the other end of the bolsters.  Eyeballing the situation indicated that I’d be lucky to get the beast to track a 36” radius—sort of a Pyrrhic victory.  I set this idea aside pending winning the lottery and buying a 3-acre building to house a new layout.

Kurt’s approach is thoroughly elegant in comparison, and has the significant virtue that it’s “no regret” (i.e., doesn’t require any irreversible mods to the model.)  And I’m not facing Lynn’s problem of trying to negotiate 18” radius trackage and #5 switches with a JH.

But someday I may have to pull out the spare Atlas trucks and consider whether to try to mod their sideframes to JH appearance and graft them onto the Alco Models trucks.

-Eric Bott

From: NW-Modeling-List [mailto:nw-modeling-list-bounces at] On Behalf Of NW Modeling List via NW-Modeling-List
Sent: Monday, September 12, 2016 20:13
To: nw-modeling-list at
Cc: NW Modeling List
Subject: Re: Alco Models "Jawn Henry" on eBay

The wheel spacing on the trucks is not symmetrical - so 'reversing' trucks to align the gear towers results
in a visually incorrect locomotive ?
Jerome Crosson;  NWHS residing in St. Peters MO.

-----Original Message-----
From: NW Modeling List <nw-modeling-list at<mailto:nw-modeling-list at>>
To: NW Modeling List <nw-modeling-list at<mailto:nw-modeling-list at>>
Sent: Sun, Sep 11, 2016 7:49 am
Subject: RE: Re:Alco Models "Jawn Henry" on eBay

Great info, Lynn. Much appreciated!

-Eric Bott

-----Original Message-----
From: NW-Modeling-List [mailto:nw-modeling-list-bounces at<mailto:nw-modeling-list-bounces at>] On Behalf Of NW Modeling List
Sent: Saturday, September 10, 2016 6:03
To: nw-modeling-list at<mailto:list at>
Subject: Re:Alco Models "Jawn Henry" on eBay

I took a relook on my Jawn, I used the 2 side prong universal joint. The ball joints were just too big. Lots of shortening, cutting / filing to fit. I put a -small- dab of superglue to hold them on the shafts, never over use it or it may get into the washers.

I also ended up reversing 2 of the trucks to get the gear towers to fit so the towers were centralized and didnt move around much which keeps the main power shafts from floating around too far.

I tried 2 small can motors directly mounted to the tower gears but just too much (too little) side room for the body for the motor to move around. It ran, but body off, body on, nope. Why I went single motor, moving the gear towers.

The body is -Live power- shorting to the tender, so I isolated the frame using modded kadee coupler boxes, it works! I had to isolate it because of DCC as well.

I had to do some frame modding to get the towers to work and at a sharper radius. Brass aficiandos would go WHOA!!! but had to be done.
It took me about 4 months of tedious work to try/fail/try/success this project.
All this chat on the Jawn is making me give it some running workevers and recheck it out. Thew engine is what I call a HUGE brick when it runs.

N&W used it in pusher work and one story was pushing a train it smashed the caboose into the train. They cut the Jawn in before the caboose later after this. The engine was a powerhouse and was really a success except for some technical repair issues, so it just really didnt work out.


On 9/6/2016 1:37 AM, nw-modeling-list-request at<mailto:request at> wrote:
> From: NW-Modeling-List [mailto:nw-modeling-list-bounces at<mailto:nw-modeling-list-bounces at>] On
> Behalf Of NW Modeling List via NW-Modeling-List
> Sent: Saturday, September 03, 2016 20:03
> To: NW Modeling List
> Cc: NW Modeling List
> Subject: RE: Alco Models "Jawn Henry" on eBay
> I used NWSL universal couplings on mine and they work very well, kept two motor drive. I have not converted to DCC yet.
> Kurt S. Kramke
> --------------------------------------------
> On Fri, 9/2/16, NW Modeling List <nw-modeling-list at<mailto:list at>> wrote:
> Subject: RE: Alco Models "Jawn Henry" on eBay
> To: "NW Modeling List" <nw-modeling-list at<mailto:list at>>
> Date: Friday, September 2, 2016, 9:40 AM
> Lynn:
> I am very interested in what universal joint parts worked in this application-- especially between the truck pairs on each bolster.? Did you keep a parts list of the stuff that finally worked?
> Thank you!
> -Eric Bott

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