Thursday, September 4, 2014

My K4 is Back and It's Better Than Ever

 As some of you may remember, back in May I sent my Minitrix K4 off to noted locomotive tuner Max Magliaro to be re-powered. I got back today. Unfortunately, due to some difficulty in obtaining parts, the project took a bit longer than both of us anticipated. However, the project was a complete success and couldn't be happier with it. It was totally worth the wait.

The re-powered locomotive sporting a Faulhaber 1319 coreless motor and a new 4:1 gear set.
As I've mentioned previously, out of the box these locomotives suffer a myriad of ailments.. The stock motor and gear set simply doesn't allow any kind of decent slow-speed performance. Max replaced the stock motor with a Faulhaber 1319 coreless motor and the stock gears with a new gear set with a 4:1 ratio. Max was able to creep the loco around a small test loop at about 5 scale miles per hour. I was able to get similar performance out of it on my layout.

In addition to the re-powering job, Max also fixed a rather nasty bind in the drivers, blackened the wheels and running gear and installed a new bright-white LED headlight. He also rewired the tender pickup and added weight to the tender to improve its power pickup efficacy.

"How does she run?" you ask. Well, performance is, in a word, breathtaking. Slow speed creep is awesome. At it's minimum speed, this loco would take over an hour to circumnavigate the layout. The top-end speed is quite reasonable at around 80 SMPH. The locomotive runs very smoothly with absolutly no jerkiness or hesitation.

So that's about it for this project. Back to building mountains.

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