Author Topic: a strange locomotive  (Read 3365 times)

Ben Gottfried

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a strange locomotive
« on: January 09, 2014, 10:38:16 PM »
Hi Everyone,

We sent our locomotive out for some needed work on the drive assembly. I was wondering if anyone here has experience with a unit like this. It's a Plymouth with some kind of Oldsmobile or maybe Pontiac motor in it. The odd thing is the tranny which turns the power around from the back to an output shaft that ends up coming out around the number 2 and 3 cylinders at a 90 degree angle to engage the drive sprockets.

Is this a usual thing for these sorts of engines? Maybe it's homemade setup.

Please let me know if you have any thoughts.

Thanks,

Ben

Wayne Laepple

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Re: a strange locomotive
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2014, 02:34:19 AM »
Hello Ben --

I am not intimately familiar with Plymouth locomotives, but I think I can safely say this is some sort of homemade arrangement. As built, Plymouth locomotives of this vintage had Climax or Buda gasoline engines with a manual transmission fitted with a transfer case in the drive train that allowed full-on reverse operation. It looks to me like whoever replaced the original engine also had to make some sort of modification to the way it was mated to the transmission, so they included this extra shaft and chain drive. If your locomotive now has an automotive-type automatic transmission, I'll bet that's the reason.

Cheers -- Wayne

Mike Fox

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Re: a strange locomotive
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2014, 12:10:20 AM »
While being no expert in Plymouth either, I do know they did make several variations of smaller switching locomotives. The set up does look factory, with the use of that transfer case. Much like one in a 4-wheel drive vehicle. They used commonly manufactured automotive parts, to save money most likely, perhaps even contracting with suppliers for the various parts.
Mike
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Ben Gottfried

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Re: a strange locomotive
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2014, 06:34:14 PM »
Mystery solved!
The motor is an Oldsmobile Toranado which explains the unusual drive train setup since those cars were front wheel drive with a conventional inline motor. It's a 426cc I am told.

I guess when we rebuild the cab we'll have to install an 8 track player and vinyl bucket seats!

The boys got the thing to run so that was a good sign.

Ben

Bob DeWachter

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Re: a strange locomotive
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2014, 09:25:32 PM »
  That is what it is.  1966-79. Big block 455 cu in, 375-250 hp depending on the year. TH425 3 spd transmission.  Stout and near bullet proof.  Compact power package used in some light military armor and on those sleek looking GM motor homes of the 70's.
   I have this setup adapted to a Small block Chevy in a rear wheel drive mid engine 70's kitcar.
 The transmission is essentially a TH400 alongside the block.  Torque converter on the flywheel driving a 2" silent chain on 11" sprockets.  The differential is mid engine and has two flanges on either side against the pig.
  Easy enough to adapt any shaft you want.
 I bet it pulls pretty well if it's in good tune.

            Bob D.

Ben Gottfried

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Re: a strange locomotive
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2014, 02:17:07 PM »
Thanks Bob, I'll pass along this information to the guys working on the motor assembly.

Ben