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

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Model Train Help EBook

information page for modifying LifeLike HO Scale SD7 trucks for better tracking over less than perfect track

LifeLike SD7 truck fix

For those that have the new SD7's and have trouble with derailments due to the lack of side to side play (roll) here's a quick fix.

  1. Remove the shell and fuel tank overlay (pull tank off it's stuck on with 2 sided tape).
  2. Take four small Philips head screws out of circuit board corners.
  3. Pull two outer black plastic caps off of the forward (short hood end) of the circuit board (these hold the two black wires that get power from the forward truck).
  4. Turn engine upside down and remove two philips head screws from the forward end of the "fuel tank". These are two of three screws that secure the forward weight over the forward truck assembly.
  5. Turn engine right side up and remove the screw in the forward most part of the weight. The weight can now be slipped off. Note where the wires are routed.
  6. Remove the clip that secures the worm gear to the truck. Remove the worm and set aside. Drop the truck assembly off the chassis.
  7. On the left and rightside of the center pivot point on top of the truck are two little "ears" that stick up. These ears are what prevent the truck from "rolling" with track irregularities. Take an X-acto knife and slice both off.
  8. Reverse steps 1 through 6 to reassemble the engine.

Note that this allows the rear truck to remain stiff while the front rolls. This allows enough flexibility for the truck to track over minor irregularities on the rail. No soldering or major effort is needed. Overall this will take the average modeler 15-30 minutes to accomplish. I did this for a customer today and we were then able to run derail free over what had been "impassable" track.

Regards, Dave Henk,

Jacksonville, FL

SP SD7 page

SP SD7R page

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the text is © Dave Henk.
All Corrections, Additions and Flames should be aimed at Richard Percy

Wednesday, June 10, 1998 8:47:56 AM