Kato SD40 project

NW Modeling List nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org
Fri Jun 4 11:47:01 EDT 2021

I started a mini clinic on my RPM site,  https://groups.io/g/RPMclinics-JamesWall <https://groups.io/g/RPMclinics-JamesWall>
It involves changing the side frames on a Kato SD40 to the triple cylinder side frames from an Atlas SD35.
Here is the beginning:

So it has taken me awhile to put everything together for this mini clinic.  So let's begin!
I know many of you are discouraged that your Kato SD40 has the low cylinder brakes and you need High or Triple cylinder brakes.
Here I will show how to adapt the Atlas SD35 side frame with triple cylinder brakes,  do not think the SD35 side frame is a true triple clasp system but
it will give the N&W and NS modeler the look they need.

Here is our starting point the Kato SD40 truck with low brakes.
https://a4.pbase.com/g12/39/1314139/2/171678828.60oMpr2E.jpg <https://a4.pbase.com/g12/39/1314139/2/171678828.60oMpr2E.jpg>

The Atlas SD35 side frame:
https://a4.pbase.com/g12/39/1314139/2/171678832.pwxQjd4L.jpg <https://a4.pbase.com/g12/39/1314139/2/171678832.pwxQjd4L.jpg>

Those not familiar with disassembling a Kato truck there are 6 tabs to release from the gear tower/top of the truck.  A small screwdriver or blade is needed to hole the gear cover up as you release the tabs.
https://a4.pbase.com/g12/39/1314139/2/171678829.Eh9xTLKK.jpg <https://a4.pbase.com/g12/39/1314139/2/171678829.Eh9xTLKK.jpg>

https://a4.pbase.com/g12/39/1314139/2/171678831.wGiQ6gBI.jpg <https://a4.pbase.com/g12/39/1314139/2/171678831.wGiQ6gBI.jpg>

Next the gear cover has been removed and you can see the six tabs.  The other four hole the side frames to the truck gear box.
https://a4.pbase.com/g12/39/1314139/2/171678831.wGiQ6gBI.jpg <https://a4.pbase.com/g12/39/1314139/2/171678831.wGiQ6gBI.jpg>

Now look at the back of the atlas side frame and you can see the area and amount of material we need to remove.  Take the Kato pick up/wheel bearing guide and 
you can scribe the lines for the areas to be removed.
https://a4.pbase.com/g12/39/1314139/2/171678833.K1cmp4kg.jpg <https://a4.pbase.com/g12/39/1314139/2/171678833.K1cmp4kg.jpg>

The Kato gear tower and pickup:
https://a4.pbase.com/g12/39/1314139/2/171678830.K7qd2AVk.jpg <https://a4.pbase.com/g12/39/1314139/2/171678830.K7qd2AVk.jpg>
Note how the wire feeds thru a tab on the gear tower.

Here is the first area I worked on.  I used a small Hasegawa chisel and sharp/new X-acto blades.  And yeah some was done with a Dremel at low speed.
https://a4.pbase.com/g12/39/1314139/2/171678834.6ap6Wv0T.jpg <https://a4.pbase.com/g12/39/1314139/2/171678834.6ap6Wv0T.jpg>

With the remainder of the material removed and the Kato pick up plate fitted:
https://a4.pbase.com/g12/39/1314139/2/171678835.LwcVYlq7.jpg <https://a4.pbase.com/g12/39/1314139/2/171678835.LwcVYlq7.jpg>

Now this is where someone will balk.  To finish this job we need the tabs on the side frame that help lock the side frame to the truck gear tower.
Remember those four tabs from earlier?  Here is how we do it.  First take an old Kato side frame, you can use the ones you removed.  Using a thin blade saw,
saw the tabs from the Kato side frame.  Once removed fit them into the rectangular opening in the pick up plate.

Here are the tabs to remove:
https://a4.pbase.com/g12/39/1314139/2/171678836.ZbpgHIqA.jpg <https://a4.pbase.com/g12/39/1314139/2/171678836.ZbpgHIqA.jpg>

Questions on this first round?

Stay tuned and we will fit everything and glue it in place.

James Wall
Rural Hall, NC

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