MTH GS-4 Repair/Modifications page:

 

 

 

MTH Product page:  http://www.mthtrains.com/content/70-3006-1 - GS-4 (American Freedom)

                                  http://www.mthtrains.com/content/70-3005-1 - GS-4 (Daylight)

 

 

 

07/21/11

MTH GS4 (Daylight & Freedom Train) - Motor Cooling Modifications:

If you run your GS-4 under very heavy load conditions, up steep grades and at higher speeds for longer periods of time the motor may get overly hot.  This is in part due to the fact the motor on the engine is mostly encased in plastic which does not allow the motor to breathe and dissipate heat. 

To resolve this, you will want drill breather holes and cut off excess plastic from around the motor. 

You will first want to drop the drive train from under the boiler.  There is one screw at the front above leading truck, and four at the back above the trailing truck.  Once the drive train is separated, remove the screws holding the top motor shell.  Next unscrew the two screws from the bottom holding the motor in place and remove the motor.  Next, cut out some of the excess shell supports and drill out large holes in the bottom of the engine as seen in the photos.  Reassemble the engine and you're done.

Here are some post modification photos:

Post modifications, the motor will stay nice and cool.

 

 

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01/27/07

MTH GS4 (Daylight & Freedom Train) - Adding additional power pickups: 

 

Replacing the GS-4 Trailing truck wheels with Accucraft 1:32 Ball Bearing power pickup wheels

 

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Different engines and trailing truck wheel replacement info:

MTH Challenger/BB lead truck wheels=1.07-1.08 (Replacement would be Accucraft BB 1:32=1.03-1.04 BUT I don't think they are really feasible with the axle shroud they look to have.)

MTH Challenger/BB trailing truck wheels=1.25 (Replacement would be LBG Ball Bearing wheel=1.22 OR Accucraft BB 1:20.3=1.182 OR Aristo BB blackened wheels=1.175)

MTH GS-4 or GS-2 lead truck wheels=.968-.978 (Replacement is unknown.)

MTH GS-4 or GS-2 trailing truck & tender wheels=1.04-1.05 (Replacement would be Accucraft BB 1:32=1.03-1.04 and should work great. Axle end length would be be the only outstanding question.)
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For the GS-4, the Accucraft 1:32 Ball Bearing wheels could be used as a direct replacement as they are identical in wheel diameter.  

The axle ends need to be filed down in order to fit and may require one or two small washers on the axle end on each side to limit the side to side play of the truck frame on the axles.

The photos below show what was done.  I simply soldered wires (with a detachable connector -> http://www.allelectronics.com/cgi-bin/item/CON-240/189/2-CONDUCTOR_LOCKING_CONNECTORS_W__LEADS_.html ) to the ball bearing power pickup tabs then tapped into the left and right power pickup wires coming from the drive block. 

To protect against shorts, I added three of these auto-resetting solid state fuses in each wire lead:  http://www.allelectronics.com/cgi-bin/item/RXE-065/search/RESETTABLE_CIRCUIT_PROTECTOR_0.65_-_1.3_AMP_.html 

 

 

 

Installing MTH inside power pickup assemblies on the tender trucks

Each MTH One Gauge GS-4 and Hudson tender is already setup to accept 1 MTH wheel power pickup assembly.   The following pictures show how I installed mine. 

First, this is what the trucks look like and where the pickup assembly goes:

 

Below shows the modifications made to the pickup assembly in order to fit correctly and also be removable later to allow easy replacement.  The white substance on the back of the connector on the wheel pickup assembly is hot glue to ensure the wires stay put and don't bend and break off in the future.  Part # for power pickup assembly and screw is ZZ0000001 Power Pickup assembly screw, BD1500000 Power pickup assembly.

 

I next drilled a hole for the new pickup wires to route them in the tender.

 

Here is the new assembly installed.

 

Inside the tender I soldered a set of three solid state resetable fuses on the end of each power pickup wire to protect against any type of short.  I then soldered the left wheel wires to the existing tender tether wire (large red one setup for lights, but was not utilized)  and the right wheels to the unused black tender tether wire.

Next, I proceeded to tap the connectors on the engine's tender plug to finish routing the power to the engine pickup wires.  You will notice that the ones used were #7 & #8.  #8 already had a wire soldered to it going to the electronics board, so I disconnected it and insulated the end.  I then soldered my new power wires to the board.  Remember red is for the left wheels and black is for the right.  I then tapped (soldered) into the existing motor assembly power pickup wires that plugs into the top of the motor block (red and black).

Here is the result with the sliders removed.  In the end I chose to keep the additional power pickups and add the sliders back.  The Accucraft ball bearing power pickup wheels were not reliable in picking up power.

 

 

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11/18/2013

Engine rocking side to side / Stability issues at speed *Fix*:

One thing you may find with the GS-4 is when running at certain higher speeds and pulling a heavy load, the engine may experience some side to side rocking.  The solution to this is to remove some material off the rear body to frame connection point so the rear of the body and frame are snugly fit together.

First remove the engine drive-train by removing the front screw at the front of the engine and the four screws at the rear that hold it to the upper boiler suspension.  Then note the pictured suspension component.  Remove the screw and washer and note how far the tab sticks up from top of the rear support bar.  You will need to file that tab down so it is slightly recessed below the top portion of the rear support bar.  When that is done put the screw and washer back in place and tighten so the pivot assembly is snug (but not too tight) and lubricate the contact points.

The tab has already been filed down some in this photo. Yours will stick-up out of the hole more noticeably.

 

Side shot of the top tab you need to file down and what it should look like filed down so it does not stick above the support bar and is actually recessed some.

Reassemble the engine.

That is all that is required.  Your engine will now run far smoother like it should.

 

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03/04/2009

Power Pickup Sliders getting caught in switch frogs (Particularly #6 switches)

For those having problems with their engine having a slider that dips in the frog which causes the engine get hung up or jerk, you will need to modify the slider just a bit. 

In some cases, the slider screw hole was not drilled perfectly straight up and down.  This results in the slider being tilted a bit front to back.  With the one end of the slider tilted down, that end will have a tendency to drop in the frog as it passes over and get hung up. 

The solution I came up with for this was to take and bend the slider pad to compensate and ensure the slider sits level on the track.

I first check to see if the slider is level front to back.  (The one in the photo here is already level)

Based on which end is dipped down, I know which way to bend the slider head to compensate. 

One way to fix is to take the slider off the engine and then use two pairs of pliers to bend the slider shoe pad so it is oriented correctly against the rail.   After you bend, reinstall it and check.  You may have to repeat these steps a few times to get it just right.  To speed this process you may be able to bend the slider with it on the engine by hand.

 

The other thing to check for is to make sure the outside edge of the slider is level as well.  If the outside end is dipped too far down it can get caught as well.  To tell if it's level, put the engine on it's side and look down the bottom of the drivers and see how the slider looks in comparison.  The slider inner to outer level should match.

This is level

This isn't.

 

If you still have a slider getting caught in a #6 switch frog, it's probably with the engine entering the main from the siding.  (see photos below)  If this occurs, you will need to take (likely with a pair of pliers) and bend the end of the slider that's dipping down in frog out just a tad.  So in this case below, the left side of the photo is the front of the engine, you need to make the front end of the slider bend out further to the left some. (Assuming the slider is already flat and level from the checks above).  Don't bend it too much and remember you are bending it out on the horizontal axis, you want to keep it flat and level.   Also, make sure the slider screw is fairly secure in the hole you may need to tighten it down some.

(Note: you may read where some have gone with the method of bending the outside edge of the slider way up to prevent it from getting caught.  This is not necessary if you go through these steps noted above.  If it's getting caught it's just out of adjustment by likely just a little bit.)

 

Once you have your sliders set right they will work reliably from then on, it's just a matter of getting any trouble sliders properly set which really doesn't take too much time.

 

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07/21/11

Polarity switch location:

This is the location of the polarity switch on the GS-4.

 

 

 

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