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California's Railroad to the U.S. 1861 - 1996

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Model Train Help EBook

Hints and Tips for assembly of DA3507 FB-2 Phase II Sideframes


All these lessons were learned the hard way.....

I'll describe a blow by blow method of assembling these, as while the included instructions are adequate, there are some traps for young players....

I'll also use the DA terms for the components, to maintain some sort of continuity.


  1. Remove the sideframes from their sprues, either with a sharp knife or flush cutters, and clean off all flash, sprue remnants and parting lines.
  2. Notice in the instructions, it says there are two holes on the lefthand side of the sideframe, and also says further on that the right one can be filled if you want. Well now is the time to do it. I found some 40 thou. styrene rod that was a good fit, but you will notice that the hole is fairly well countersunk, here is how to overcome that.
    diagrammatic visualisation of the effects and requirements of heating styrene rod
  3. Very carefully hold the styrene rod near a heat source, ie match, candle or heaven forbid a cigarette lighter, and turn it slowly. Too close and the rod will catch fire, but you will soon get the hang of it. You will notice that the end will bell, and look like a rivet head. When it cools (which won't take long) take a file and file off the round top, you should end up with it looking like a very small countersunk screw. Cut it about ¼ inch long, and glue it into the righthand hole, on the lefthand side of the sideframe. If it all works out, you shouldn't need any filler at all. When the cement hardens, trim the excess off the back of the sideframe. Repeat for the other three sideframes.
  4. Inspect the sprues containing the journal box covers and wheel dampers (snubbers), clean off any flash on the journal box covers. Look carefully at the journal box covers, and notice their are two types, one has bolt heads all the way around, and the other has a bolt head missing opposite where the snubber attaches. This is important, the one with bolt heads all the way around goes on the righthand side of the sideframe (yeah, I got it wrong once).
  5. Remove the journal box covers one at a time, and fit to the sideframes, bearing in mind Point 4. and fitting one with the snubber mounting up and one down - left side down, right side up.
  6. If you intend to fit a Speed Recorder eg DA 2808, take one sideframe, and drill a 1/16 hole in the middle of the righthand journal box cover, then assemble and ACC glue in the Speed Recorder Drive. You can fit the cable now or later, I fit mine just before painting.
  7. Remove the wheel dampers (snubbers) from their sprues (one at a time - so you don't lose them) and glue them to the journal box covers and wherever they fall on the sideframe. I had to file a bit off the end of the one that goes behind the Speed Recorder Drive.
  8. Take the sprue with the brake cylinders and pistons, and inspect for, and clean off any flash. While the cylinders are still on the sprue, drill them out with a Number 67 drillbit, else you will never get the pistons to fit.
  9. Choose a piston, and remove a bit off the end of the actuating bar? (the square bit), I found mine wouldn't lay parallel to the sideframe, if they weren't trimmed. Then cut it off the sprue and fit it into a cylinder, then remove the cylinder/piston assembly and glue it to a sideframe - repeat for the other three sideframes.
  10. Add any other detail you feel necessary, ie brake lines, sandlines etc.
  11. That should complete the assembly, except for the Speed Recorder cable, you can do it now, so it gets a coat of primer, or after the sideframes have been painted - your choice.

As usual, this took longer to write up, than it did to assemble two sets of these things, but I hope you get some use out of this. Let me know if you do, Richard Percy espee@railfan.net, it will encourage me to write some more of these types of pages.

btw: similar steps to the above are also required for other ex Train Station sideframes ie. DA3504, DA3506, DA3515.


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This document © 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008. Richard.A.Percy

Thursday, January 01, 1998 00:00:00 AM