Rebuilding Peco Jubilees

All the discussion about Peco Jubilees caused me to go to the shed and dig my example out of the small box of "old and not working properly anymore"
where it has languished for many years.
A quick inspection revealed the reason it had been put in the condemned box; backwards not too bad, forwards hardly any movement. Upside down on the bench the mechanism runs both ways. Several examples advertised on Ebay have this description, so I suspect the problem might be common to all.
A closer inspection revealed the usual death of many Minitrix mechanisms also aflicted the Jubilee; the axles wear away the cast chassis to the point of non-running. The problem was particularly bad on the front tender axle which had ground its way into the chassis. In reverse the axle is propelled against the plastic keeper plate (hence runs backwards), but forwards it grinds into the chassis.
Can it be fixed ? Yes, though I have a small lathe. Should be possible with a minature pillar drill, but I think someone with only a hand-held minidrill might find this a bit challenging.
So, for those with a spare couple of hours, here's the repair description.
I decided to make new brass bearings, and enlarge the slots in the chassis to take these bearings. Measuring the axle, its a mixed diameter of 2.45mm and 2.9mm, with the smaller towards the outside. Measuring the chassis, its 1.8mm thick on each side around the front axle.
With a bit of 1/8" brass square bar (K&S Metal supplies), centred and faced off in the lathe, I drilled an axial 2.4mm hole. Then opened up the first 0.75mm of depth to 2.9mm. And parted off at 1.8mm thick (those with pillar drill; suggest sawing off at >2mm thick and then filing back to required thickness). Then made a second one.
Next file away half the material from the side with the 2.9mm hole (thus making a 180degree bearing at 2.9mm dia, and a 360degree bearing at 2.4mm). And finally, very carefully (its easy to splay or crush the bearing with too much pressure, thus ruining it), file the 2.4mm hole to form a slot: I initially slotted the bearing twice with a fine piercing saw and then used various flat and round files to finish. Use a round file to slowly open up the 2.4mm half-hole and slot to nearer 2.45mm and a nice sliding fit on the Peco axle.
Very carefully as the casting doesn't like filing pressure well, and using an old file (because the casting clogs files horribly!), open the front axle slot to 1/8" wide (about 3.1mm), taking material equally from each side. Check the bearings for depth, and if necessary enlarge the slot depth slightly. Fix the new bearings in place with either a spot of araldite or some superglue. Use a bit of 2.4mm round to ensure both are level and parallel whilst the glue sets. Check both give electrical continuity with the chassis.
When the glue has set, file the four tops of the bearings back flush with the chassis castings (only a tiny bit of filing required).
Result; one Jubilee which runs like it should. A drop of lubricating oil and its all finished. Jubilee promoted from the "cond" box to the "runners".
- Nigel
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Nigel Cliffe,
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wrote:

Ebay now? :-)
Jim.
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Jim Guthrie wrote:

Think I need to build a seller record first. Right, who wants an old bacolite Kodak Brownie 126 roll film camera with slight light leak when last used over 25 years ago.....
Anyway, don't Ebay buyers pay more for "original" rather than properly modified ? So, my fitting of a crew, repaint to LMS maroon livery and chassis mods will bring the price down :-(
- Nigel
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lovely article mate - nothing is unfixable!
thanks
Steve

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Ditto, what I like most though is not that folks are still capable of producing this kind of work but that they are willing to share the fruits of thier labours (don't go getting big-headed though Nigel).
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All the best,

Chris Wilson
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Thanks Nigel. The discussion on Jubilees got me thinking about perhaps acquiring some N gauge locos to brighten up the winter days, and I went for a browse on the Farish web site.
After ten minutes I had lost the will to live. Assuming the web site pictures flatter the real thing, they are joking, right? The Warship and the Western didn't look too bad, perhaps the Peak and the Class 40 would be OK, but all the others...
On the steam engines, I think it's the wheels on the leading bogies that make me shudder the most.
So I had a look at the Minitrix BR outline steam engines on eBay, and I guess this is the place to ask the experts. What is the story with Minitrix?
Thanks to Nigel, I understand the mechanical vulnerabilities, but what are the bodies like as representations? I'm thinking of the A3, the A4, and the Britannia. They look good in isolation in their eBay pictures, but did I pick up from here that they are a bit overscale?
I was thinking of running them with Farish Pullmans and MkI coaches. Would this work visually?
And what about running Farish, Dapol and Minitrix locos, Farish coaches, and Peco wagons on Peco code 55 track? Any likely problems?
Thanks in advance for any advice.
Cheers, Steve
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Steve W wrote:

Your opinions of most UK N locos is similar to mine. But that caused a row last time, so dig the archive rather than re-open the debate.
Minitrix potted history: Minitrix produced a number of UK outline locos (and rolling stock) in the 1970's and early 1980's, many badged as "Hornby Minitrix". In their day, they were much better runners than Farish, and still compare well with current Farish and Dapol running (which is more of an indication of the lack of progress rather than Minitrix' then quality). Production of UK outline stopped in the 1980's soon after Minitrix came under Marklin's control (though I think it was the unwilliness of UK buyers to spend as much per locomotive as typical German buyers than any hostility to UK prototypes which caused the end). Minitrix is still making rather nice models, but not for British outline. Visually, the Minitrix UK locos have compromises. The mechanical bits under their UK models are whatever German mechanism is approximately correct. The bodies are then stretched around to roughly fit. The results are variable, - some look quite good (eg. A4, A3), - others look not quite right, but somehow get away with it (Warship, and Britannia & 9F, though don't put them too close, or you realise the 9F has have too many body parts in common with the Britannia to be correct!), - others have the odd glaring error which could be corrected (eg. the 2MT's with the chimney in the wrong place. Though both of these have incorrect wheelbase, chimney excepted, they are amongst my favourites), - and others were just too wrong to really carry their shape (eg. Brush Diesel, being too fat and having spectacularly wrong bogies).
The A4 and A3 were amongst the last items produced, visually convincing and expensive when new (and thus British N buyers didn't purchase many), and fetches quite high s/hand prices. There were also some Gresley coaches to go with them, which also fetch high prices.
Visually, the Minitrix locos will be fine pulling Farish coaches, within the compromises outlined above, Minitrix UK stuff was 1:148.
Mechanically, I think the Minitrix stuff will be OK through Farish Code-55 turnouts, though visually, I don't really see much difference between the code-55 and the code-70 (due to the way the rail is really a fake code-70 set deeper in the sleepers, it still looks far to heavy). Either can be improved no end by careful painting of the rail a matt rusty colour on the non-running surfaces. A friend who has been doing some N modelling has been saying favourable things about Atlas code-55 turnouts, so you might want to look at those as well.
And, if you want some "not too expensive, but looks superb and runs properly" N, but are not too worried about which country of outline, then I suggest either Japanese or US outline. For US outline, a couple of Kato diesels and some Intermountain freight cars. Fit with Microtrain couplers. Cost comparable to, if not cheaper, than Farish (because of the bigger market for the models, the unit costs are much lower).
- Nigel
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Thanks for doing all this Nigel, you are a true gentleman. I'm very much driven by the nostalgia bug, and look for models that capture the "stance" of the locos whose pictures thrilled me as a nipper. So I doubt if there will be much room for Japanese prototypes.
OK, so it's off to find the newsgroup archive now.
Cheers, Steve
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