EXAMPLE INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE SIMPLE CONVERSION OF A PROTO 2000 SW1200 OR SIMILAR KATO TRUCK STYLE LOCOMOTIVE CHASSIS TO PROTO:87 WHEELSETS
Illustrations and original text kindly contributed by Doug Menke.
It is recommended you read these instructions all the way through first, before starting the conversion
With the Loco chassis bottom up, familiarize yourself with the construction of the unmodified truck The sideframes are held on by clips at the end of each sideframe. These will have to be removed to free the wheels for replacement.
Gently use a small probe or watchmakers screwdriver to pry the sideframes off, one end clip at a time. Here one sideframe end clip has been pried off. Be extremely careful, as the sideframe clips can break easily.
This is the truck with the first sideframe completely removed Here you can clearly see the clip on each end of the sideframe.
A copper bearing strip behind the sideframe, both supports the wheel, and supplies power. It has a wire connected with a plastic clip, and does not need to be removed, but lowered gently down out of the way.
The bottom gear cover will need to be removed next. It is held on by four little clips.
Take great care in prying the gear cover clips loose. A good way is to hold one side of the gear cover up with the small screwdriver, while prying off the clips on the other side with fine tweezers
Here we see the gear cover off, and the side bearing strips moved down out of the way. The inner gears are captive between the inner frame sides, and the frame sides are held together with fine screws. Do not undo these screws or disassemble the inner frames
Lift the original geared wheelsets out of the frames. Using just your fingers, remove the wheels from the center plastic geared axle with a pulling and twisting motion. Do not use of any tooling, as it will damage the gear teeth
Place the new wheels into the geared axle with the same twisting and pushing motion that was used to remove the old wheels. Here we see a geared axle both before and after wheel replacement. Be sure to set your back to back clearance with a gauge, and make sure the gear is centered between the wheels.
Put the new wheels back into place.
Snap on the gear cover, swing the bearings into place, and replace the sideframes.
Repeat for the other truck so that now you have both trucks completed. It is a good idea to re-check the back to back dimensions of the all the new wheelsets before refitting the body and placing the loco back in service.
Congratulations! You now have a locomotive simply converted for Proto:87 use on good quality, flat trackage. If you have bumpy track, you may need to add further mofications to incorporate some form of working suspension. Watch the Proto:87 Stores WEB site for future developments in working suspension systems for locomotives.