Old Kato N-scale GP9's - what to do?

I have three Kato GP9's that I bought around 1990 at Kato's main store in Tokyo (you should see their layout!). 1 in CN green, 2 in Pennsy
black. I didn't notice at the time, but apparently they are riding on RS-1 (?) mechanisms, which have a shorter wheelbase. A bit of corner-cutting on Kato's part, apparently.
The difference is fairly obvious - too much setback - the truck mounted coupler boxes were extended to fit the longer GP9 frame. If I'd been paying attention I probably wouldn't have bought them, but I was in a big hurry, and they hadn't been released in Canada yet, so I just had to have them.
They've been sitting in boxes all these years, but they still run fine. Not bad workmanship, but of course they've since been surpassed. They don't fit what I'm doing now, and I don't feel like repainting them since they have the above mentioned (to me) flaw. I don't need RS-1's either, even if the shells were available, but I guess someone might want to attempt that. What to do... what to do....
Any ideas? Anyone want them? I'd consider a trade.
They run fine on code 55 BTW. 40, I'm not sure.
Mac B. Vancouver BC
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JnJ sells a correction kit for this unit.
I do not have those ones but a friend does and it puts everything in the right spots and look just like my newer Atlas units. RS-11 earlier ones had the same issue. Not as bad IIRC
--
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Thanks Allen (or is it Allenby?)
It looks like a possible solution, but I'm not sure. It might be too tough for me. I've had HO locomotives apart before, but never an N-scale one, and I'd be doing three of them.... strewth! I'd have to repaint the two PRR units as well. Lots of work there. Maybe I'll just do the CN unit and see if I can unload the PRR's.
Still, at least it's an option. Maybe even a selling point if I can find a buyer. I'll start with my LHS. They're starting to warm to me, now that I'm actually spending money. Maybe I can do a trade?
Thanks!
Mac. B
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lol it is Allenby ..{ last name} First name is Clare.
IIRC from talking with my buddy it is pretty easy. the kit is this.. http://users.dwx.com/~jnjtrains/products_%20frame.htm the Atlas GP7/GP9 comes apart easy
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OK, Clare <g>. Thanks a lot. For me, everything comes apart easy. It's getting it back together where I usually have problems.
I'll try the CN unit first and see how far I get.
Thanks!
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See if you can find some of the HOn30" folks; they are always looking for Kato running gear on which to construct HO scale narro w auge "critters", rail buses, faux Climaxes, etc.
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Jim McLaughlin

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"Jim McLaughlin" <jim.mclaughlin> wrote:

Thanks Jim. Hadn't thought of that. A trip to the LHS bulletin board is definitely in order here.
Mac B.
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It is amazing to see the difference between the older Atlas/Kato loco design and the current low-friction trucks, solid electrical pickup drive they are all currently using!
The older units were quite nice mechanically (compared to the contemporary Bachmann, Model-Power, Life-Like, AHM, etc, etc. drives).
Their main problem was electiceal pickup. There isn't a solid connection either between the wheel and truck or between the truck and chassis (both depend on the contect on bearing surfaces). This becomes a problem when the chassis metal oxidizes or when the locomotive is going through an uneven section of track (which tilts the trucks a bit and contact is lost). The traction tires also don't help in electrical pickup.
But if you keep the bearing areas clean and lightly lubed (to prevent oxidation), the loco can run quite well. If you could come up with a scheme which would solidly connect the truck metal sideframes to the chassis, the loco woudl run very well.
As you mentioned, the proportions are quite a bit off (loco is way too long). But when you use the JnJ kit to extend the wheelbase, it doesn't look all that bad. If you search this group (going back to when the JnJ kit was first made) you should find some tips on making the loco run better. I would say search this group (using http://groups.google.com ) for: jnj atlas gp9 (or something similar). There should be plenty of messages on the subject.
Peteski
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OK, great information Peteski! Saved to desktop, and from there to my files!
Mac B.
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I'm glad that I was able to help! Sorry for all the speeling mistakees... :-) I hit the "Post" button before fully proof-reading it.
I still have several RS-11, RS-3 anf GP7/9 with those mechanisms. I don't run them much lately. I should dig them out and bring them back.
Peteski
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