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Walthers SW1

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  • Walthers SW1

    Well, to start with, I used to work on the now defunct EJ&E Railroad (Eljin, Joliet & Eastern). I want to make a wall display of one of the loco's I used to ride and a few cars fromm the same railroad.

    To start, the cab from the Walthers SW1 is perfect, and some engines even hat just the one stack, but none of the "J" engines had the tool box on the front. I needed to change that. I picked up a cheap Athearn SW1500 because of the double stack and no tool box.

    For comparison:

    This is close to prototype, but -

    The SW1's frame is all one piece metal and would require a ton of "milling" to make it all work.

    Sooooo-o...I will just buy a powered SW1500, which has a different cab configuration, and swap cabs.

    Now - If you have a SW1 and are thinking "DCC", here is what you are up against:

    The motor and wiring "DC" are easy to remove in preparation for the decoder. See two following pictures:

    FIrst, I marked the "hoggers" side frame and pick-up wires with red. I have a tendency to forget something I did 3 minutes ago! Then, I lifted the motor out (Lift the end with the tube joiner first. The other end has a universal joint.) You can see the bottom motor contact, and the respective place for it on the SW1 frame. Put some tape or what ever you use on this spot on the frame. I soldered some gray & orange leads to the motor, and red & black lead to the track pick-ups. Put this aside.

    The next pictures show what is in store if you want to remove the trucks in preparation for painting the frame:

    Remove the two small screws on the ends of the retainer..

    This is what you see:

    The above step is good, if you are planning to paint the side frames. Now, you have to remove each set of wheels/gears and gently lower the driver housing out the top of the frame.

    Be careful not to lose the spring between the driver housing and the retainer part of the frame!

    Also, notice the two locating holes for the pins on the side frame housing, they only allow replacement of the side frames in one direction. Dont try to force them!!

    This post is just a little bit of information I wanted to share with the membership. I will post some follow-up pictures later, showing the progress. I hope this helps anyone looking to convert the Walthers SW1, or use the works for a kitbash of some sort.

    All comments welcome.

    The Geezer

    "Of all the things I have lost, it's my mind I miss the most"

  • #2

    Looks like a very interesting project .. great start with a good tutorial of what you have done ....
    Tom M.


    • #3

      You are more of man than me, taking that apart. I think there is some possibilities that may help your ON30ing of that beast in the future. YOu might see at the Mid Hudson Meet. Don Kralik and Allan Carrol have been working on d-cells.



      • #4

        Part 2, thinking while walking the dog, inbetween paint sessions hour number 3. What is the end goal? using the mech, or using part of the superstructure, converting it to ON30? and having a diesel bash? If the bash is desired, and You want to use the hood or parts of the hood..check with Dallas for cab materials and other thoughts.



        • #5
          Thanks guys!

          Les - End goal is to have a d-cell that looks as close to proto of the ones I used to ride on.

          I really like the walthers frame and mech. Its clean, heavy and easy to DCC. I am really looking forwayr to the meet!

          I will figure out the surgery and buy a throw-away on ebay or somewhere. I think If I bite the

          bullet & remove the drives, I wouldnt be too afraid to try it. I can manage the removal of the front "box" on the frame, that's easy. But the part of the frame (3rd pic) in the area of where the tubing is, will require some serious thought.That is where I have to cut to move the hood back twards the rear.

          I will also need schooling on the Zephyr....I put sound in a Forney today, works great, but need to see how to change the chuff rate...Forney sounds like an articulated monster! LOL!

          The Geezer


          • #6
            I found the drive noisey. I tried a lot of things and then gave up and used a Kato NW2 drive. I don't have any photos of the chassis machining but it was very complex. I did manage to get LokSound in it too. Unless you are a machinist or own a milling machine, I wouldn't attempt the conversion, but they sure look, run and sound nice.


            • #7
              I know Doug...But I got this soft spot for the ol "J" locos. I spent near 18 years banging around in them. There are a ton of "J" rolling stock around, and I have a few, but not many of the switchers. You can get the road locos easy enough, but I never worked the transfer jobs. I was a dirty necked switchman.

              I will post any progress made or if I find a suitable frame for the conversion.

              The Geezer


              • #8

                I used the Kato NW2 frame and drive along with the Walthers chassis. I machined both frames and screwed them together so the body would fit back on just like it did on the Walthers frame.

                Here is a pic

                I model steam in the 1920s but have a soft spot for these early diesels. I run them when nobody is looking. (wink)


                • #9
                  Goug - Thanks for the picture! If it had the double stack & was brown, I would send

                  the "J" Police after you! Your work is right on - and the cab is correct! I cant machine anything, but I will try to come up with something. I hear the Proto drives are nice.

                  Thanks again.....(I am a steam nut too, but I will always have a place in my heart for the D-cells!!

                  The Geezer