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 What to do with an old cast 0-4-0t dockside? Dcc?
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Crew Chief

Premium Member

Posted - 09/16/2020 :  10:54:37 PM  Show Profile  Visit tct855's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi all,
Thought I'd post a new project build for those who might be interested.

pic 001 Those of us who are old enough most likely have an old cast dockside sitting in a box somewhere that's worn out from miles of DC running, but what to do with it in today's world of Dcc? Well lets Dcc upgrade it.

The inspection process is first order of beeswax.

Pic 002 At first glance the model doesn't seem too bad, right? except for a couple wires?

Pic 003 A loose pilot foot board, some chipped paint some tarnished drivers?

pic 004 Ah, on the engineer side I see part of the slide gear rod is broken and interfering with operation.

Pic 005 This is where the rod should be positioned. I see a hole from a previous repair attempt (however this is not the proper repair to be used in this instance.

Country: USA | Posts: 552

Crew Chief

Premium Member

Posted - 09/16/2020 :  10:59:02 PM  Show Profile  Visit tct855's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Pic 006 One note before the proper repair is made is to note the lower slide pivot rod should never hang lower than horizontal.

pic 007 The problem is at the top of the main support rod (this part should be soldered back near the guide slide support bracket near the top. (sorry for the out of focus shot here).

pic 008 Now inspecting the bottom of the model a little closer I notice the usual paint chipping and the gearbox axle gear cap is really low and scraping things on the rail like switch frogs and road crossings etc. (this will need to be addressed in the future.

pic 009 The front of the loco looks to be normal with just the usual paint chipping (of course those front running step boards need proper attention.

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Crew Chief

Premium Member

Posted - 09/16/2020 :  11:05:13 PM  Show Profile  Visit tct855's Homepage  Reply with Quote
pic 010 The rear of the loco has the same rear pilot step board issues and the tank ladder needs to be unglued and separated from right up against the body.

pic 011 Whoa, I guess we found where the mouse is living? (bad joke) This is normal for a first time Dcc install (except here the customer was troubled with the motor over heating for some reason) (we'll dive into that soon enough).

The inspection is over now the disassembly of all parts.

pic 012 The first thing we need to do is remove all parts and any loose parts, any glued or epoxied parts and get down to the core of every part. So the next step is to grit blast everything to see what's broken, cracked and first prep stage for painting.

After the grit blasting and brass parts are properly soldered on, we make a final pre paint inspection of everything.

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Crew Chief

Premium Member

Posted - 09/16/2020 :  11:11:28 PM  Show Profile  Visit tct855's Homepage  Reply with Quote
pic 013, 014, 015 & 016 Everything looks clean, in place and ready for primer.

pic 017 We see the rear ladder is now soldered and set away from the body. Note: the slide gear rod is now soldered and hanging properly so as not to interfere with any track side equipment (like crossings, switch motor castings etc.).

pic 018 Here we note that the brass cab hand railings are now positioned away from the side of the cab and look better (this is why we cut off the molded grabs and install separate ones).

pic 019 Part of bringing an older cast model into today's higher quality modeling standard is to cut off molded on dull parts and replace them with nice brass detailed parts. *Don't you agree!

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Crew Chief

Premium Member

Posted - 09/16/2020 :  11:20:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit tct855's Homepage  Reply with Quote
pic 020 & 021 Now looking at the pilot running step boards (the brass castings that were originally epoxied on and are now properly soldered on. (if you look just behind the cast part of the pilot you'll notice a small piece of brass plate which is where you solder the cast parts on with a brass rod drilled and connected through to).

This is how you properly solder brass castings to a cast metal model. (I see said the blind man). Yes every part should be drilled and soldered to a brass sheet inside.

pic 022, 023 Show the end result. Much better than a big glue blob wouldn't you say?

pic 024 Now on to the drivers...

pic 025 When I clean up drivers I like to take them completely apart and polish up everything and closely inspect the insulated wheels closely and then requarter the drivers to make sure everything runs smooth. (in this case because the screws where side rod gouged and the side rods where so worn I had to build up the side rod holes and then left hand quarter the drivers so to begin a new where pattern.

pic 026, 027 & 028 So to catch up here, I've primed the model with metal etching primer. (note the side running gear though) (those rod parts I chemically blackened). I built a custom brass moto mount (no glued plastic blocks) the reason I used brass is to help heat sink the heat away from the motor.

Now onto the electronics.

Edited by - tct855 on 09/16/2020 11:48:25 PM

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Crew Chief

Premium Member

Posted - 09/16/2020 :  11:34:13 PM  Show Profile  Visit tct855's Homepage  Reply with Quote
pic 029 Here we see I've managed to install a micro decoder w/brass heat sink and installed a cap-pak and cell phone speaker (now we can use glue on the model).

pic 030 Note: when installing all electronics make sure nothing interferes with the motor, gearbox and allows for crew figures. This part takes a little thought usually.

pic 031 & 032 At this point I like to install the all wheel pickups. I use a component board and tap and screw it to the frame and then solder the custom made pickups to the board copper contacts. (having light power contacts on the inside of each tire is better than the original wire rubbing off the plating on the tread of the tire) (not good).

pic 033 As for the axle gearbox cap, this is really thick so I sanded it down to give plenty of clearance when going over switch frogs and crossings etc.

pic 034 Here we see everything connected together and I installed two simple micro connectors for track power and motor power (remember to mark these so not to misconnect these. (not a good thing).

pic 035, 035, 037 and 038 The finished model overall. (customer will finish model from here).

pic 039 & 040 Show the led lights. (I used a clear rubber glue for the lens') and kadee metal couplers adjusted to proper height w/two crew members finishes up this rebuild and Dcc upgrade...

To view the test light/sound video click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kup37BbG7M&feature=youtu.be

Hope this helps! Thanx Thom...

Edited by - tct855 on 09/16/2020 11:50:58 PM

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Bill Gill

Posted - 09/17/2020 :  08:14:13 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thom, Thanx! A very enjoyable, thorough description and photo accompaniment of this project!

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Premium Member

Posted - 09/17/2020 :  08:14:33 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Another perfect rebuild from you, Outstanding!


Take the red pill

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George D

Premium Member

Posted - 09/17/2020 :  08:31:36 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Beautiful work Thom. I have a Sakura 0-4-0t that's in great shape, but needs a can motor and DCC. Thanks for the inspiration.


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Crew Chief

Premium Member

Posted - 09/27/2020 :  4:41:58 PM  Show Profile  Visit tct855's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thank you all for the kind comments! This was an interesting and basic rebuild of an older cast model.

I love seeing older projects of all types (that are out of print) built and updated to today's standards.
Thanx Thom...

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Premium Member

Posted - 09/27/2020 :  6:24:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thom, excellent resurrection of this model.

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Premium Member

Posted - 09/27/2020 :  6:52:38 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Nice. Looks like the headlight is actually bright enough to illuminate the track ahead or behind.

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Posted - 09/28/2020 :  08:21:25 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Outstanding changes and up-grades Thom! That is an outstanding looking re-build, and great work with the electronic work and placement, as they say; you put "Ten pounds of s**t in a five pound bag".

Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast
Post count: 5000 posts added to below count.

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Premium Member

Posted - 09/28/2020 :  09:01:03 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great tutorial!


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

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Crew Chief

Premium Member

Posted - 10/29/2020 :  12:30:31 PM  Show Profile  Visit tct855's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks for all the great compliments everyone! I hope this pictorial gives some a few ideas to complete their cast Dockside. This was fun to give a new life to for many years to come.
Thanx Thom...

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Posted - 10/29/2020 :  1:52:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nice little guy! Looks like a fun unit to play with. Must have been a challenge running in DC, before anyone knew better, I guess...

Karl Scribner
Sunfield Twp. Michigan
Kentucky Southern Railway
The Spartan Line

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