HO Repower question

I have a 1960 Akane EM1 that I would like to repower and make DCC. The drive train is flat and I would not like to take the drivers apart to put in
a gear tower. There is no motor in it now. I looked at the NWSL site and came away even more confused than when I started. Space inside the loco is not really a problem, but, the armature shaft has to be as close to the bottom of the mount as possible, or there will be a very sharp angle to the worm shaft. I would also need some way to connect the motor to the worm shaft. I tried fuel line and it didn't work well. The worm shaft has very little clearance underneath it. Does anyone have any suggestions, or is more info needed?
Failing that, are there any 're-power' people out there?
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Frank;
NWSL is a good source for just about any adaptation. The web site is a little confusing as far as specifications and it only shows a fraction of what they have available. If you do a lot of this upgrading, I would recommend ordering their $9.00 catalog as there are a lot of helpful hints also.
It includes a lot of gear towers of many ratios and can solve your clearance problem.
The catalog is worth the price even if just for reference.
David J

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Thanks fo the response David. I hope that this is a one off conversion. I thought about buying a gear tower for it, but I really don't want to dis-mount the drivers, the EM1 is an articulated. I was hoping for a relatively simple motor replacement. Still, it may come down to buying gear towers.

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Frank,
The gear towers I referred to are surface mount, fed down vertically into existing arrangements, no driver disassembly required. It's a bit difficult to explain all the options available including universals and drive line adaptations. They have excellent offerings.
And this may come as a shock, but, they will even communicate with you!!!
DJ

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That's North West Short Line in case you didn't know...
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Frank Rosenbaum wrote:

Without seeing it, it sounds a lot like an VGN "AE" 2-10+10-2 I repowered some years ago.
This job is a 'can of worms'. Flex shafts just won't cut it, as you've already discovered. With these low wormshafts, you really only have three options.
1) Install new idler gearboxes (NWSL or PSC). Thuis does involve 'pulling' the geared drivers, an dpressing on the new gear and reinstalling the driver. Proper "quartering" is essential. This may be the best solution, overall, and no special tooling is often needed other than a NWSL "quarterer".
2) Widen the rear frame, and drop the motor down between the frames, over the trailing truck. This MAY be an options, depending on how the loco is configured. Sometimes it can be nearly invisble, or may look just awful. Such work normally involves careful soldering, and some good engineering.
3) Build an 'offset' gearbox to lower the driveline down to the height of the wormshafts. This is what I did on the "AE", and it works well, but it HAS to be done PROPERLY, or it won't work well at all, and may be very noisy. First, you need to get suitable gears. Such gears are not as easy to obtain as it sounds. They need to be finer pitch than the typical NWSL gears if you want quiet operation, and this implies very precise control of the shaft separation, and good bearings. To do this right you almost need machine shop capabilities.
Dan Mitchell ===========
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Two things... One repowering is not difficult, but the amount of equipment and parts available may be a little daunting. Don't know why you are hesitant to take the drivers apart... That is a simple job, and NWSL's gear towers are superb! I can help you through this if you'd like... Two, if all else fails. I do repowering...

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I bought a used Akane EM-1 several years ago that had the original motor, but was missing the worms. I found substitute worms as an intermediate step to eventually doing the full NWSL drive treatment. As possible helps to you:
1) The original open frame motor is mounted 90 degrees to the usual to mode so it lies flat and closer to the frame. This suggests you should be looking for a flat can motor rather than a round can motor so you can similarly mount it. I always try to avoid using spur gears "upstream" of the worm and worm gear in a drive train as high speed spur gears are almost always an unpleasant noise source. Bends in a drive train are also undesirable, but in this case I think they are the lesser of two weevils (oops- bad joke - reading too much Patrick O'Brian.)
2) I try to avoid using fuel line in drive trains, and NEVER use it in anything but a straight alignment. ALWAYS use a U-joint when there is a bend in a drive train. Again, I admit to working "on-the-cheap" with stuff in my parts box, but I found that Athearn Diesel drive train components would fit the Akane shafts, and used Athearn U and slip joints for both the connections from the old motor to the rear engine worm and from the rear worm to the front engine worm.
My EM-1 ran well (for an open frame motor lokey) with these changes. Hope this helps. Geezer

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Thanks for the thoughts, Geezer. Now for the hard question. Do you remember or have the numbers for the gearboxes? Or any way to help me with that. I am not a 'numbers' person and all the choices that there are confuse me.
If I have to take it apart, I will. I just don't want to.

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Sorry, I haven't gotten that far. Mine was missing the original worms and shafts, and I lucked into two suitable replacements from a junked off-brand Diesel in the hobby shop's old parts bin. These, plus the Athearn driveline parts, seem to work well enough that the bigger NWSL job has dropped way down on my to-do list. Geezer

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Frank, Take a look at Mark Schutzer's web site, he has lots of remotoring examples and one is an Akane AC-12 articulated. I believe it has a drive train similar in concept to the EM-1 http://www.markschutzer.com Two area have some good general and detailed info, look under "Brass Clinics" and also "Cab Forwards" Hope this helps! PeteC
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