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Removing Shells From Engine For Repairing Inside

Micky sent in this query:

“Is there an easy way or are there any clever tricks for removing engine shells. I want to do some repairs on two locomotives? The shells are only plastic and I want to avoid any damage.”

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To comment on Micky’s question about removing engine shells, simply click the COMMENTS link below.

9 Responses to Removing Shells From Engine For Repairing Inside

  • Sylvainsays:

    Hi Micki

    If you be in HO scale on some athearn and atlas , the locomotive shell is retained by the coupler box on the frame by a screw on the frame, what scale you are??????

  • Sheldon Clarksays:

    Some locomotive “shells” (or “bodies” as we say over here) are held in place with one or more fine screws or bolts; others are merely clip-on; still others may have a combination of the two, and yet others may have screws concealed under or within part of the under-body fittings (such as fuel tanks). The only sure way is to consult the manufacturer’s instructions, which may be available on-line or by direct application to the manufacturer. What ever you do, you must always:-
    1. Proceed with caution;
    2. Work over a wide container (such as a box file);
    3. Place all small parts & fixings you may remove into a marked container.
    It is advisable to work in an uncluttered environment, take photographs before you start and at each stage (to help you re-assemble your model) and NEVER to work over a carpet or rug – such beasties have a nasty habit of swallowing and never giving up any small components that you may drop or which may “ping” off as if by their own volition.

  • phil johnsonsays:

    Most shells are held on by 2-4 small screws accessible from the frame. Also, you must remove the couplers and their boxes. Manufactures vary as to removal of the shell. Some just lift off (easy), others require super strength to squeeze the shell and lift off. While others use a small flat blade screwdriver to lift the shell up and off. Recommend obtaining instruction sheets and exploded views of your engines.

  • David Stokessays:

    Micky, the operative word is “carefully’. Most shell are held in place with lugs that click into cavities. These can be in either the shell or the chassis. Place a thin, flat screw driver between the chassis and the shell and lever it out – you should then be able to see the lugs. Now slide a piece of plastic (plasticard or a credit card) in under the screwdriver and slowly wiggle that side apart until the lug and cavity no longer engage. Repeat for the other side. They should now seperate without issue EXCEPT there will be wires connecting lights, light boards, coupler shanks and other gubbins will get in the way.

  • Morgan F Bilbosays:

    Micky: It depends on the maker. Some are easier than others. Most simply require finger nails pulling the body away from the chassis until the little thingy is out and pulling up. But some locos have wires attached to the body and you must be careful. Hope this helps.

  • Sundaramsays:

    You can visit the manufacturer’s web site which would normally feature an exploded view of the engine. That would give some idea. If you could post a photograph of the loco’s side and bottom, then perhaps I could be of some assistance.

  • JACK LEMLERsays:

    Once the shell is off: Take frequent color pictures in the event wires should become detached.All the previous suggestions zshould be heeded

    • David Stokessays:

      Good advice

  • Fred Brookssays:

    There are a lot of “how to videos” on line. Put in the manufacture’s name and do a search. There are about as many techniques as there are manufactures. Also if you are near a good hobby shop or a train club those are a great help

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