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Bill Fornshell
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Restored McKeen:

http://aroundcarson.com/2009/02/04/mckeen_motor_car_progress

Pictures posted with permission.

1.


2.


3.


4.


5.


The power truck is still being built and the inside needs to be finished. The completion is scheduled for sometime this summer.

rich
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All I can say is nice and well done.

rich

Herb Kephart
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Hi Bill

What type of drive are they going to re-install?

Almost a given that it isn't going to be original- but the outside looks great!




Herb:old dude:

ytter_man
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She's beautiful! :thumb:

Bill Fornshell
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ebtm3 wrote:
Hi Bill

What type of drive are they going to re-install?

Almost a given that it isn't going to be original- but the outside looks great!

rb:old dude:


Herb,

No power trucks survived over the years. They will use a CAT Diesal that was donated to them but from the outside they will make it LOOK as close as possible to the orginal.

In talking to the museum "Curator of History" he said they may not use it for people to ride. The steps into and out are tricky and several workers have fallen going in or going out. It also may be to fancy to let people use.

If they do use it for rides I would go for the ride.

I am going to call and find out the paint numbers for the body and top and paint one or more of mine those colors.

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oh my , oh my, now they are talking about McKeen stuff on the yahoo group on30.......is there no escaping it ????????.

Oh, if your restoring something, you use the ORIGINAL DRIVE TRAIN, not some catapillar diesel thingie. They are HOT RODDING  it, not restoring. The original acf hall scott motor has parts available for it.  They are just taking the cheaper easy way out. 

Also whats the sense of restoring it to running condition if you cannot drive it ? May as well save more money by not puting the motor in it.

The body panels on this restoration leave a lot of wondering as to what level of poorness to grade this....that thing has so many waves down the side of it, should be hooking at hollywood and rodeo drive in LA >>>>>>>LMAO

pass the bondo they say, we will make her straight, bloop & more bloop + air powered belt sander......think am gonna hurl at the thought.

mike

W C Greene
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Well, since they ain't gonna install the original motor/drive...then maybe they should just set fire to the thing & have a bbq. I had an MG Midget like that once, I installed a Datsun 4 banger & transmission when the old MG motor crapped out. Yep, I sure should have kept the blown out motor in her, maybe getting a mule to pull me around in it. What was I thinking?

          Boudreaux

teetrix
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I found this on the linked homepage:

All that time it's been hidden away from public view in the shop, and work has been very slow as they've only been doing it as money allows.
So maybe is no other way out as the cheap way?
The points I see are: At first the railcar wasn't scrapped in 1996. The work, which is done until today, is suitable and save it for a lot of years. And a wrong motor can be replaced later.
So I have enjoy the pics and think, they are not on the perfect way, but on the right way for the possibilities they have.

cheers
Michael

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W C Greene wrote: Well, since they ain't gonna install the original motor/drive...then maybe they should just set fire to the thing & have a bbq. I had an MG Midget like that once, I installed a Datsun 4 banger & transmission when the old MG motor crapped out. Yep, I sure should have kept the blown out motor in her, maybe getting a mule to pull me around in it. What was I thinking?

          Boudreaux


If they are not putting the original acf hall scott motor in the McKeen, then they are not restoring it, they are hot rodding it. May as well leave the motor out and just pull it around for tourista stuff with a small diesel switcher.

No they will not pull the cat diesel out and replace it with the original later. Just doesn't happen.

Lets see you had to pull the MG motor and trans. Purchase and Adapt the datsun to its MG chassis  with new fabricated motor and trans mounts. Cobble up some kind of exhaust pipe to exhaust pipe mish mash. Cobble up the positive ground electrical system. Get a new driveshaft cut to mate up to the rear end.  install a new shifter mechanism. plus more work.

You could have bought new rings and bearings and a gasket set, maybe a set of 10 thou over pistons to fit into the bored out cylinders. rebuilt the motor for less agro.

This would have been a heck of a lot cheaper and less work than butchering up a good MG midget.

madmike3434

Last edited on Sun Feb 8th, 2009 10:34 pm by

ytter_man
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Hey, dont be so hard on em. Not enough historical railroad equipment gets restored AT ALL, let alone in 100% original condition. Whatever they decide to do is just fine in my book, they've done quite well with what they've got.

Bill Fornshell
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===============
Mike said:
"If they are not putting the original acf hall scott motor in the McKeen, then they are not restoring it, they are hot rodding it. May as well leave the motor out and just pull it around for tourista stuff with a small diesel switcher."
===============

Mike, this is one of those times when you don't know what the Thong you are talking about. The original #22 V&T Motor Car had the standard McKeen gas motor / front truck. The Hall Scott what ever were much later. None of the original Motor / Truck units survived over time. Remember WW II and all the scrape drives. They have done what they could. I was told it will look like the original from the outside when they are finished.

Works for me.

Last edited on Mon Feb 9th, 2009 12:33 am by Bill Fornshell

madmike3434
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seeing as how i am not a McKeen expert nor do i want to be. It sounded to me from past postings like these things were hall scott equipted as i remember it was posted............but seems there are multiple varieties of these things.???????

So, if the motor was yanked out of this V & T one for ww2 scrap drive...question....what was put in here to motivate it until it was parked? And when was it parked. ??

What other info do we need to know to be up to date.

mike

 

Bill Fornshell
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madmike3434 wrote:
seeing as how i am not a McKeen expert nor do i want to be. It sounded to me from past postings like these things were hall scott equipted as i remember it was posted............but seems there are multiple varieties of these things.???????

So, if the motor was yanked out of this V & T one for ww2 scrap drive...question....what was put in here to motivate it until it was parked? And when was it parked. ??

What other info do we need to know to be up to date.

mike

 


Mike,

Here is a time line of sorts for the #22 V&T McKeen:

Built in 1910.

1. Early McKeen Motor and front truck.


Taken out of service by 1945 and both front and rear trucks were scraped. The body was turned into a diner.

2. #22 McKeen as a Diner #1



3. #22 McKeen as Diner #2


4. How it looks today.



5. Eveything you needed to know could have been found in the first link if you had looked. That means following a couple of links within that link.

6. The gas electric power trucks were a late modification and only went into a few of the 70 foot McKeens. The number with that power truck may have been 10 or 12 but I don't have the count. The 70 foot - Brass - un-painted model I have uses that type of power truck.

Herb Kephart
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Mike-
 I am reasonably sure if ANY of the original Mckeen power trucks had survived they would have done everything that they could to get it back in action. The fact is that the McKeen truck/engine had a lot of problems and none survive. should the Smithsonian junk the Wright flyer because it has the engine from Bergdolls Wright plane?


Herb:old dude:

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Is it the same motor type ?

 

mike

Bob H.
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What a cherry loooking piece of work ! Very nice !:thumb:

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Bob Hitchcock wrote: What a cherry loooking piece of work ! Very nice !:thumb:
your specifically referring toooooooooo ????? mike

Herb Kephart
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Mike-

Same type, just a few years later "production" one. The original plane was cannibalized by the Wrights, to make following experiments. Years later, they scraped up all the old parts that they could find, and used them to "recreate" the plane, and sent the result to the Science Museum in England, because they were mad that the Smithsonian wanted to give Langley credit as the first. The plane came back to the US and went to the Smithsonian after WW2, only after the Wright heirs extorted an agreement from the Smithsonian, that even if other evidence came to light the question of the Wrights being the first would be supported by the Smithsonian

Read "History by Contract"  O'Dwyer & Randolph


Sorry, Hotshot, I know that this is off railroad topic.


Herb:old dude:

Bill Fornshell
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It is really to bad that the person who starts a thread can't delete replies.

If I could Mike, I would delete you out of here.

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Well, since that McKeen has been "degraded" by the use of a different motor, I suppose most of my locomotives are unworthy also. Most have Sagami motors and my Garratt has 2 motors from an old word processor. It is such a shame that I followed the examples set forth by the McKeen's restorers. I will just have to be content with my poor stable but realize that there are many others in the same situation. Shame on all of us for our transgressions.  On the flip side, the McKeen restorers did a great job and even if the car is "substandard"...at least it IS RUNNING and looks good. There are many pieces of old equipment with their original motors just sitting in a park rusting away. Maybe that's what it is all about-if it can't be "pure", then it must be destroyed! Hmmm...didn't Uncle Adolph promote that "belief"???

                   Nitpickers uber alles!

                                        the mayor of Mogollon 

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Lets not forget that the Great Wall of China isnt really all that great, one Emperor just decided to link all the existing sections of protectionary walls together. :old dude:


madmike3434
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gardenville wrote: It is really to bad that the person who starts a thread can't delete replies.

If I could Mike, I would delete you out of here.


so Gardenville, you wish to be the dictator, el presidente like Joe Stalin. Ya need to loosen your thong strap.

As an American citizen you wish to go against your own first amendment?  Freedom of speech.  The right to assembly ( me in here ).

For your information .  A correct restoration is that which restores the item to the exact same way it appeared and functioned AS NEW. Using the original motor design.

A cosmetic restoration is one that makes the item look as it did originally.

mike

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ebtm3 wrote: Mike-

Same type, just a few years later "production" one. The original plane was cannibalized by the Wrights, to make following experiments. Years later, they scraped up all the old parts that they could find, and used them to "recreate" the plane, and sent the result to the Science Museum in England, because they were mad that the Smithsonian wanted to give Langley credit as the first. The plane came back to the US and went to the Smithsonian after WW2, only after the Wright heirs extorted an agreement from the Smithsonian, that even if other evidence came to light the question of the Wrights being the first would be supported by the Smithsonian

Read "History by Contract"  O'Dwyer & Randolph


Sorry, Hotshot, I know that this is off railroad topic.


Herb:old dude:
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxThe only way anybody can 100% dispute the ''''who was first'''''' arguement is to hop into their time machine and record the actual event with their time linked camera. This could also apply to the one loaf and one fish bible claim , he fed a multitutude of people. And did anybody really rise again on easter monday .????Only time machines can answer this and many many other questions about history.madmike3434...........the whitby GRAND  thongmaster

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All restored machines have certain flaws. Anyone attending a true classic car,aircraft, tractor, or other "machine" show with some amount of knowledge must realise that the restored versions look many times better than when the "machine" was first produced. The #22 V&T McKeen I'd be sure never had a straight body panel from day one. The metal riveted construction certainly would not have allow for temp changes and the plate production then was nothing like todays modern sheet metal mills. We know from historical text that the original drive lines were replaced quickly after delivery as they were underpowered, fragile, tempermental to operate, and very undependable. Technology at the beginning of the last century was progressing at such a rapid pace that there was no reason to "store" the old. This was very true of the railroad era, the 5 masted skooners, the motor car, clothing, and just about any other element of the past. We seldom see gas powered refridgs, hit and miss powered washing machines, we don't shave with straight razors, technology has moved on new and....well......improved. We can be thankful that private donations, charities, persons,  and other organizations have kept many aspects of the past surviving. It would have been a shame if someone didn't at least attempt to "restore" not only in this case the #22 McKeen, but many of the relics of the past that otherwise would just be a fading memory of mans past. Many materials available at the time of production simply do not exist anymore, knowledge has also been lost, never to be revived. The Statue of Liberty was "restored".....but not using the same old materials as it was first constructed.....is that less of a "restoration"? Is the paint used on a classic car restoration make the car not original because the paint was not the cars original finish? Some things just didn't last or can't be produced today, so we have to .......overcome and improvise to the best that can be.

I'm glad for one that the past is "preserved" in many forms. Oddly enough; a benefit for all mankind, interested or not by all.

James

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Steamie.........a correct restoration done properly will duplicate the fit and finish of the vehicle. In true restorer circles, OVER RESTORED has points deducted .

A local fellow here has a 1964 mustang convert and him and i have conversed many a cruise nite evening . His is a HI 90'S POINT correct restoration with the exception of the quality of the topcoat black paint. Its too smooth not enough orange peel in it.  But everywhere else, there are 5 different shades of black used on various parts of the cars chassis and underhood area. He showed them too me !!!!!!! more than once.

Its gotten to the point that you have to have all the correct chalk & grease pencil marks on the floor and firewall pans. The correct paint stick marks on various components. In a nutshell its absolutely ridiculous, but let em say this, its their bag, not mine.

A friend lent me a book once about correctly restoring a 1963--1967 chevrolet corvette. The books attention to details was MIND BOGGLING. I read it once cover to cover and vowed i would never get into that trap.  Did not matter because i was building a street rod anyway.

When you see those 60..70 hi dollar resto's cross the block at barrett jackson, you know they have been done right.  But shouldn't an untouched original 5,000 mile z28 1969 camero 302 cu in 290 hp fetch significantly more than a restored one.???  Its always an arguement that can go on infinitum.

mike

Bill Fornshell
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Ready to roll.

Herb Kephart
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An accomplishment that the group can be very proud of!



Herb:old dude:

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madmike3434 wrote: W C Greene wrote: Well, since they ain't gonna install the original motor/drive...then maybe they should just set fire to the thing & have a bbq. I had an MG Midget like that once, I installed a Datsun 4 banger & transmission when the old MG motor crapped out. Yep, I sure should have kept the blown out motor in her, maybe getting a mule to pull me around in it. What was I thinking?

          Boudreaux


If they are not putting the original acf hall scott motor in the McKeen, then they are not restoring it, they are hot rodding it. May as well leave the motor out and just pull it around for tourista stuff with a small diesel switcher.

No they will not pull the cat diesel out and replace it with the original later. Just doesn't happen.

Lets see you had to pull the MG motor and trans. Purchase and Adapt the datsun to its MG chassis  with new fabricated motor and trans mounts. Cobble up some kind of exhaust pipe to exhaust pipe mish mash. Cobble up the positive ground electrical system. Get a new driveshaft cut to mate up to the rear end.  install a new shifter mechanism. plus more work.

You could have bought new rings and bearings and a gasket set, maybe a set of 10 thou over pistons to fit into the bored out cylinders. rebuilt the motor for less agro.

This would have been a heck of a lot cheaper and less work than butchering up a good MG midget.

madmike3434
For the record fitting a Datsun transmission into an MG would have been a doddle. Check any early OHV Datsun and notice the similarity to a BMC engine. Datsuns made Austin A40 under license after WW2, including the engine.
Someone who worked in Africa once told me that they used to put Datsun engines intp old Austin bodies. The Austin bodies were tougher than the Datsuns, but the Datsun engines were better. The gearboxes bolted straight on. No extras needed.

For the record. Early Toyotas have a passing resemblance to Hillmans - for the same reason post WW2 license building.

PS Like the Keene Railcar. That shape.

On the topic of 'original' engine. There is a railcar locally from early 20th century being restored. It had a petrol generator unit. Even if they found one they could not use it. Objective is to get it running.

Was not the motor on the Keen a direct drive, and reverse was by reversing the motor?

Last edited on Mon Dec 7th, 2009 05:19 pm by wahiba

Herb Kephart
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Wahiba wrote--

Was not the motor on the Keen a direct drive, and reverse was by reversing the motor?

That's correct, but since that was very common marine practice back then and for many years after, it probably wasn't the problem area in the McKeen drive. The clutch, which McKeen pattented and called the "octoroon" (sp?) seems to have been the downfall of the drive by reports written at the time. Single axle drive, with it's accompanying lack of traction didn't help either.

Finding (impossible?) or recreating (more likely) a original engine, drive, and front truck would probably have increased the cost of restoration by a factor of ten at least. Remember that there undoubtedly are no drawings, or existing pieces to reverse engineer from.

How much of this additional money would you have been willing to cough up Mike?

And even if this happened, the spark plugs, the wiring, the lubricants and countless other items would not be original.


Herb:old dude:

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There can sometimes be other reasons why a different engine might need to be used in a refurb / restoration job.

The July 2009 edition of Railway Modeller contained a detailed article about efforts to revive a 1903 North Eastern Railway petrol-electric railbus.

It turns out that the group doing this work would not be allowed to use an original spec engine, even if they could find one:

http://www.electricautocar.co.uk/progress.html

This is probably just as well - as the engine  bay is combined with one of the driver's cabs, I'm sure the health and safety lot would have had plenty to say.

Whenever any new (or restored) traction is introduced onto British metals, it needs to undergo a strict licensing procedure. The people behind this rebuild want the railcar to do more than just sit in a museum - so they can't afford to mess around.

Regards,

Huw.

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After conferring with Herb (the resident expert) on the McKeen drive, I can understand why nobody would want to duplicate this nowadays. OK, if they want to run the car, that's cool. I would like to see a "prototype" truck sideframe and by gosh..that large front driver! But whatever gets the job done is OK by me.

      That old car looks pretty cool!   Woodie

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Hi Woodie,

Unless you are just having A play on words when you are referring to the front truck not being like the prototype, you might want to have a look at the last picture I posted.

Maybe (the resident expert)?? needs to take a close look and explain to you what he see.

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Bill-sorry, but I would have to see a side view of the truck. I imagine that the thing is OK, I just would like a better view. I know that ain't something that you could come up with, however. I will just have to go to Nevada and see it in the flesh! I would love that.  Woodie

 

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From my private stash.

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So Bill, what exactly is the drive arrangement now? Did a traction motor get put on the forward axle? Possible, but it would require changing the axle, as to accommodate the motor requires not only a machined area for the gear, but a keyway for the same, and also two machined journals for bronze bearings to hang the traction motor from. Not sure what the McKeen axle configuration is, but there isn't enough metal in a "normal" axle to do this. This would be assuming that the drive was diesel-electric.

If it is now diesel-mechanical, the mechanical McKeen drive had to be replaced with something else- something with a decent clutch, forward AND reverse capabilities, and a number of speeds- if anything over yard speeds would ever be contemplated. Diesels have a very limited operational range- probably 1800-2300 rpm for a Cat of the size that would physically fit into the car, so with mechanical drive a number of various ratios would be needed. This is why over the road trucks had 13 speed transmissions, before Allison automatics became common.

Do you have any info on this?


Herb  :old dude:

Bill Fornshell
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Well Herb,

I could make it easy for you and show you a few picture taken during the construction of the power truck but then you would know as much as I do.

Maybe when I am in a better mood.

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Bill-don't let us get to you. From the photo, it looks like the truck sideframes are right, I am just a nut for that big old front "driver". Over the years, I have seen some McKeen models built on diesel chassis and while they looked OK, they didn't have the big ol' wheel in front and that sorta disturbed me.

Now, if the shop crew would just get a big can of Dullcote and hose the car down, it would look more like the "real thing"...it's a beauty even with glossy paint.   Woodie

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Save yourself the trouble Bill- I found photos on the web (obviously taken by someone in a good mood) that show that they have gone with a hydraulic drive



Herb :old dude:

Bill Fornshell
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Hi herb,

It would not have been any trouble as I have 5 or 6 picture taken during the construction and of the finished motor truck combination.

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A seller on eBay has this picture of a wrecked McKeen Motor Car.

This is the first picture of a wrecked McKeen I have seen.

http://tinyurl.com/yck4kxp

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A number of McKeen cars were imported into Australia. Two went to the Victorian Railways and I think 3 went to the Queensland Railways. The VR ones were 5' 3" gauge, and the Queensland ones were 3' 6" gauge.

The Victorian ones were a little different because the VR used platforms at all its stations, not ground level access as in the USA, so the centre door had to be raised with a corresponding 'bump' in the roofline to give enough height.

This web site has an on-line copy of the operating manual for the McKeen car, and also shows photos of the cars in VR service. They did not last long with the engines installed as they were horrendously unreliable. The VR removed the motors and used them as locomotive hauled cars in suburban service

http://www.hobbiesplus.com.au/temppics/mckeen.htm

Oh, and Hello to Bill, I seem to encounter you whereever I go...:)

Geoff

Last edited on Tue Feb 23rd, 2010 02:29 am by HollywoodFoundry

Bill Fornshell
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HollywoodFoundry wrote:

Oh, and Hello to Bill, I seem to encounter you whereever I go...:)
Geoff


Hi Geoff,

Nice to see you on this forum. I do belong to a few Train Forums and a bunch of yahoo groups.

If their is a McKeen Motor Car section on a site I am sure to join.

I even noticed a McKeen Motor Car with a Passenger Trailer in the gallery part of your web site tonight. I think the picture must be sort of new as I was looking there not long ago and don't remember seeing it.

I have plans to build at least 4 HOn3 McKeen Motor Cars and have been looking at your power units that are available in HOn3. The company that casts the resin McKeen Motor Cars are going to try and modify a mold to turn the HO McKeen into a few HOn3 McKeens for me.

I have been working on "Kit Bashing" two K27 Steam Engines and have been working on a Slope Back Tender for one of them. I have the Tender about finished and now I am waiting for detail parts that I have on order.

Tomorrow I start taking my Illinois Terminal Class C apart. I need to workout a new chassis and how to install a new motor drive system. All the original parts get sent off to be used as a casting masters next week. We will make a Resin Kit for the Class C and then use the main cab part and make a Resin Kit for the Class B. The Master will also be used for at least two other kits for a total of 4 new Resin Kits based on the Class C. The kits I build will all need chassis and power drives. Have you done any work on your Class C yet?

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HollywoodFoundry
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No Bill, I am just trying to keep my head above water with orders at present. But I have received back the brass etch that will make up the 'Spring Belt Drive Replacement' trucks. It is those trucks I will be using to replace the inner ones on the IT Class C. Then I will use a pair of LoBoys as the outer trucks, coupled to the inner ones.

Time, I need more of it......

Geoff

 

Bill Fornshell
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The Nevada State Railroad Museum has created a page of pictures showing highlights of the restoration of the #22 V&T McKeen Motor Car.

http://dca.nevadaculture.org/pressgallery/mckeen/

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Today was the day. Check out the video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=267bRZRgv08

This video shows the McKeen during restoration:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kV6Dv5pw0w&NR=1

HollywoodFoundry
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That looks superb. I would have given up one of the family jewels to be there on the day and see that!

Geoff

 

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A few more:

1a.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rw-ws6UtW5Y

1b.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0H6UF78_ec

1c. Toward the end of the pictures. McKeen on the new TT.
http://www.nsrm-friends.org/gallery_turntable/index.html

Herb Kephart
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For anyone wanting to build a gallows frame turntable, that last link has many valuable detail shots of how the real one is built

Thanks, Bill


Herb :old dude:

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Great info and thanks for posting. Need to get to Reno and check it out this summer.

rich

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I just thought that I would share some information about the McKeen cars.  A few years ago, I researched McKeen cars for a presentation to the Northern Colorado Model Railroad Club.  I  also had an opportunity to see and photograph V&T #22 in 2008 during its restoration.  I have purchased several books on McKeen cars including "McKeen Motor Car #22 Restoration Feasibility Investigation".  All of these books shed a lot of light on V&T #22 and McKeen cars in general.

First, the front truck, engine and drive system were extremely unique.  W.R. McKeen Jr. insisted on a mechanical drive system and would not even discuss hydraulic or electric drive.  Gasoline engine technology was in its infancy at this time.  The engine was a marine style distilate engine complete with exposed connecting rods and an open oil pan.  It was actually two 3 cylinder engines that shared a common drive shaft.  One half of the engine would be run with compressed air while the other half of the engine would be fed fuel and started.  Once one half of the engine was running on fuel, the other half would be switched over to fuel and started.  The engine did not have a carburetor but used a fine screen to atomize the fuel.  It was often necessary to heat the screen in a gasoline fire to red hot, replace the screen on the engine and then the engine might start.  It is no wonder that railroads that owned McKeen cars were forced to store them in heated car barns in the winter. 

The drive system was a drive chain to the front axle only.  There was no reverse gear.  In order to reverse the direction of travel of a McKeen car, the engine had to be stopped and re-started running in the opposite direction.  Since it was a one axle drive, it didn't do well on steep grades.

Most railroads bought one or two McKeen cars to try them and never made a repeat purchase.  Due to the unreliable engine and drive system, most McKeens were converted to some other engine/drive by the railroads that owned them.  V&T #22 was very rare in that the original engine and drive were retained throughout its entire operational life.  It was retired in 1945, and sold in 1946.  According to restoration study, the master mechanic's last entry in the maintenance and repair book states "Sold to Mr. Deniss of Carson City, Nev.  Made a restaurant out of it.  Sold for $1000.  Motor car #22 was scrap and sold Aug. 26, 1946.  Ought to have been sold 30 years ago".  When V&T 22 was sold, both trucks and the engine were scrapped.

By the time V&T #22 was being considered for restoration, no original trucks, motors or drives were known to exist anywhere in the world.  An excerpt out of the Sage Headlight, newsletter of the Friend's of the Nevada State Railroad Museum, explains the use of a modern engine and drive for the restoration "It was suggested by more than one person that an old, or period, prime mover be used.  This was rejected out of hand.  If, for example, a 1936 Cadillac was being restored and a non-Cadillac replacement engine was installed, regardless of the year of manufacture, it would not be a Cadillac engine."  Basically, if you can't find the correct drive system, some other old drive system will not be accurate anyway so you might as well use a modern engine and drive system that works well.

Here are some pictures that I took of the drive truck as it was being fabricated.  Note that the final drive system is still a chain drive to the front axle only.  Bill Fornshell included a link that show the completed truck.





Darrel Ellis



Last edited on Tue Jul 12th, 2011 02:44 pm by CMmodeler

Herb Kephart
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Thanks for the info, and the great pix, Darrel.

I would be willing to bet that every McKeen was a little different that any other. Here is a shot of a motor truck, that shows, if you look carefully, gear teeth just showing on the center of the crankshaft. This would seem to indicate gear, instead of chain drive 


Herb 

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Herb,

That is an interesting shot - the only one I've ever seen where the 42" wheels did not have spokes.  Various details were different with every car body so it makes sense the power truck and engine were different on every car.  McKeen called that knife edge front end a "wind-splitter" and claimed that this design reduced wind drag.  Later wind tunnel tests showed that the car was more aerodynamic if it ran backwards.  In later years the front was more rounded - maybe McKeen also discovered that the knife edge front didn't do anything - especially at the speeds that they typically traveled.

If you have a copy of "the American Railroad Passenger Car" by John White, look in part 2, page 594.  There is a picture of a McKeen power truck and engine.  This looks like a later design with an enclosed engine and drive train.  The engines were called type A,  type C and type D (I assume that there was also a type B).  V&T #22 had an early type A engine.  The 200 hp type C and 300 hp type D engines came out about 1913.  One car even had chain drive to both axles of the power truck.  I wouldn't be surprised if they tried a gear drive at some point.  Whatever drive system was used, the engine and drive were mounted on the power truck and were subject to every shock and jar that the roadbed had.  This kind of vibration is not good for anything mechanical.

Another interesting note - there were no truth in advertising laws in the early 20th century.  McKeen made many claims about his motor car that were simply not true.  His first motor car traveled all over the country and he claimed that it performed flawlessly.  In fact, it had to be towed into many stations due to breakdowns.  He claimed that his cars would handle a 4% grade.  They struggled on any grade over 2%.  He claimed that wind-splitter design was the reason that the wind drag was less that a standard passenger car and ignored the fact that his car was 2 feet shorter than a standard passenger car.

All in all, every McKeen car is unique.

Darrel

Last edited on Wed Jul 13th, 2011 02:47 am by CMmodeler

W C Greene
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Love dem ol' McKeen cars! Good info here.
Woodie


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