Shay kits anybody\?

Is anybody aware of any Shay kits that one can actually build in either HO or HOn3? jim

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On 4/13/2008 6:41 PM jimbol51 spake thus:

Do you mean available, or being made now? If the former (but not the latter), then yes, you can still get the old MDC/Roundhouse Shay kits on eBay and such (that's where I got mine), and you can actually build them, though actually *running* them may be another matter altogether.
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David,
As someone who has never built one of the MDC Shay kits what is the primary problem with 'getting them to run right' or is that too simplistic a question? Along that line do 'all of the Shay gears actually function assuming that you can actually build one'? Thanks for your input, jim

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jim, Please go re-read all the answers you received when you asked the same question in February. Geezer
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jimbol51 wrote:

The "primary problem", once you get over all the faults of the poor quality/badly engineered mechanisim, is that there is a mechanical drive train to every axle along the centerline intended to drive the loco and a parallel prototype/cosmetic drive mechanism on the outside. The two drivetrains are built to different tolerances but at times when the axles get out of step the outside drive train can be taking the motor torque from one end of the loco to the other. As it was never intended for that task the loco binds. The "cure" is to cut the cardan shaft at one end or the other and introduce a slipping joint so that the Shay drive no longer connects both ends mechanically. That still leaves you with the problem of sorting out the proper drive mechanisim.
Regards, Greg.P.
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Another way to do this is to arrange for all the line (cardan) shaft gears except one to turn freely on the shaft.
You still have the noisy drive mech to deal with. I also had to put blocks of wood under the frame that ride on the top of the truck frame on the boiler side in order to get it level from side to side. That fix was described in some article on the engine (I don't remember where).
If you have difficulty with fussy mechanical systems this engine isn't for you.
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My experience was apparently different than most... mine did take quite a bit of work to assemble properly but when it was done, it did run well. The biggest modification I had to make was to use thin wire to wire shut the drive trucks. They kept popping open with disasterous results.
Once assembly of the cylinder assembly was complete, I coated all of the moving parts with toothpaste then set the loco on a box, conected power with alligator clips and let it run about fifteen minutes in each direction. I then completely tore it down and thoroughly cleaned all of the parts. I lubricated everything with a thin coat of plastic compatible oil once I got it put back together. It honestly ran like a fine watch. At one time, I had a video of it taking over four minutes to run it's own length. You could actually see the motor in the cab turning... now THAT is slow speed.
My Shay is currently out of service. I believe the small universal fixture on the motor's drive shaft has slipped. The motor still runs but nothing else happens. I suspect that a drop or two of CA cement will remedy that and it will be ready for service once again. I've not really done much with it for several years as my modeling interests have changed. It would probably take about an hour for it to navigate one lap on my much alrger layout today.
dlm
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Do you still have that video somewhere of the Shay running Dan? jim

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No, I don't think so. I wish I did. It was shot on old VHS video probably about a year after the Shay was intoroduced. But I'll look around and see if by chance it might still be somewhere.
dlm

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jimbol51 wrote:

Keystone Locomotive Works makes an unpowered model of a Shay in both HO and HOn3. The HO version: http://www.walthers.com/exec/productinfo/395-105
Northwest Short Line used to have a kit to power these but a check of the web site indicates that it's not currently available: http://www.nwsl.com/pdf%20prod%20list/pdf%20prod08.htm
Perhaps one can still be found in stock someplace. I have not built on of these, but I have built some of Keystone's other kits and they are pretty nice for craftsman kits. NWSL is nearly always a good buy.
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