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Shay Regear Project (steel gears)

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  • Shay Regear Project (steel gears)

    Good evening.... I don't know if anyone has started a thread on this or not...

    I have 3 Shay's that need gear replacement...

    Here's the front truck work on the first one:

    If you really read the instructions, you shouldn't (ahem!) have any trouble. This first picture shows the gear shaft removed, and the two tiny clips that secure it in place.

    The retention clips are really small, if you have fat thumbs like me, but not to hard to get loose, if you take your time. I used my #11 xacto knife to work them loose. Go slow, and watch what you are doing, and you won't break the little tabs off.

    Make sure you have a small box or baggie to keep things all know what happens to small parts laying in the open.

    Here's the gear shaft, with the universal removed - it's a press fit & can be removed with your fingers.....

    The gears are a little harder to get off, even when cracked, so I used a small gear press that I have.

    Instructions tell you to start with the gear located next to the small collar....

    Do NOT move the collar!! This collar is what keeps everything lined up.....If you move it, "You have just rained on your parade!"Don't ask......

    It's off - I tried to show the knurled part, but it's the only thing not in focus!

    Here's the culprit!!! Grrrrrr.......

    The other gear is removed much the same way....

    Above is what I devised to do to get the gears back on. Actually it's the plate from the gear press, I just drilled a hole in the wood that will clear the get the idea....doncha'?

    Here's the new steel gears installed, waiting for the clips. That's pretty much it, it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I have to give a lot of credit to the manufacturers (NWSL)

    not only for the gears, but for the excellent, very well detailed instructions.

    Disclaimer: No Shay's were injured or killed in providing this informative project.

    I'll be back, after I do the rear truck! :erm:

    Don't move the collar!id="size6">

  • #2

    Great tutorial. Pictures were a plus to understand what you did.
    Tom M.


    • #3
      Good job and interesting, informative SBS, Geezer. Should help people be less shy with this kind of work on their Shays.


      • #4
        Thanks for doing this Geezer. Much appreciated. I will probably be referring to it before long!


        • #5
          Thanks Guys! Appreciate the comments...I got the rear truck done now,

          its pretty much the same as the front. Only thing being different is

          the "button Collar" on the left end of the shaft.

          Both shafts are very similar, yet not interchangeable. The small button (top left)is only on the rear shaft.


          I have no special tools, other than the gear puller, but take heed: "The shafts are easily bent"...(Glad I had a "parts" locomotive.....)

          So, that's it...I hope I have helped in some feeble way, for those that wish to undertake the project, or that "Have to" (only 0ne Shay)

          Overall best advice:"Read the instructions before you start".......



          • #6
            Still have 3 shay with good gears for now, they didn't run much. Thanks fot the tutorial Bill....NSWL gears I pressume ??


            • #7
              Thanks Marty - you are pretty close "NWSL".....;-)


              • #8
                Whoa what's in a name mate ! Talking about these gears on the dutch forum, bit expencive to get them to Holland. Can I ask whats the US price for them?


                • #9
                  Nice SBS Geezer,

                  I have one cracked gear on a shay, which so far have been able to get around by simply removing the offending gear (now a 6 wheel drive instead of 8 wheel drive). Not the ideal solution, but I don't have the horrible crunching sound. One of these days though, I don't doubt I'll have to make the effort to do the NWSL change over, and you pics explained the steps fairly clearly.


                  Dan Pickard


                  • #10
                    Hi Dan...good to see ya around! ;-)

                    Marty - Best I can remember, they were near $30 a set -

                    I bought 3 sets....and a set of climax gears as well....

                    check out product 2801-6 over at

                    no affiliation, just friendly information.....



                    • #11
                      Great tutorial, may be time to pull the ol' Shay from the rip track-with pics like that even an old knuckledragger like myself could follow directions.


                      • #12
                        Bill, thanks for the great tutorial. Just a question, my shay is stil running ok, its my climax which appears to be bust. Do you think your tutorial will apply to the Climax? or be similar? Its the first job for me after the Holidays and I get back to Malaysia from the cPhilippines.

                        Keith Miller


                        • #13
                          Geezer...great job..and tutorial! I got my courage up to tackle this a few months ago with similar results...a parts loco missing a spare shaft to replace one I bent during the process, but a great running locomotive after some breathless moments pressing the gears on the shafts. One of the shafts isn't quite true so it adds a bit of character to my Shay's 'get along'. I have a second one to do, and I am asking my friend with the arbor press and machine shop experience to do that one for me!

                          Thanks for sharing, and bet the others go easier now you have this one under your belt.


                          • #14
                            Hi Keith - I have a set of climax gears, you can get them from the same source.

                            I will be doing the climax after the first of the year and will post it in a different thread.

                            Good to see you again, thanks for stopping by. ;-)

                            Verne - Yeah, they bend pretty easy, but I had a shay that I dropped and really bent the frame.

                            It is a good thing if you don't throw things away. Mine has a little "get along" as well, I don't

                            think we will ever get away with that one. But man, does she run quiet now, and will get better

                            after a while on the rails. No more "Clackey-Clack"....;-)

                            I did a little inventory a little while ago (can't sleep for some reason)and

                            I will have 2 BVM Sidewinder kits, and 5 OEM Shays....

                            Thanks for stopping by, always glad to see you ol cowboys.....;-)



                            • #15
                              Did anyone ever make replacement gears for the On30 railbus?