Modelworks Likamobile Kit's One and Two.
The first installment, kits 1 & 2, arrived on July 7, 2005. The box was quite abused, opened and retaped shut. My first thoughts were I'm guaranteed to be missing parts. Upon opening the box, all the ties to keep the parts from flying were cut, all the plastic parts bags were opened and all the hardware was loose and rolling around. I was quite upset and concerned about missing parts. Obviously, US Customs wanted to make sure there wasn't any contraband, or components of mass destruction. Maybe I should be thankful for their diligence. I started to inventory all the parts against the parts lists. Nothing was missing or broke or bent. Now I have a smile on my face and can't wait to assemble. Here in lies my problem, I'm a hands on type, and slowing down to take pictures and document everything is a task for me, but I will do my best for everyone's benefit.
Time: 1 hour
July 8, 2005
Started trial fit of chassis components. I'm quite impressed with the quality of the components and the welds are even and penetrating. During the assembly, I chose to use standard M10 nuts and save the nyloc locknuts supplied for the final assembly. A drop of light oil (WD 40) on all the threads will help ease the assembly. The tube connectors for the rear axle were interfering with the welds slightly, so I ground the inside of the connectors for clearance instead of grinding away at the welds, the welds were too nice to degrade.
Upon tightening the chassis nuts the long chassis runner tubes were bowing quite a bit, almost 1 ¼ inches. Upon relieving the tension on the stay nuts the chassis runner tubes straightened out. There was an average of ½ inch clearance between the stays and the axle housing boss, front and rear. I showed my friend Gil this problem and he agreed this doesn't seem correct. I sent off an e-mail to Steve in tech support with some pictures, asking if this is an engineered bow.
Steve did get back to me a few days later, stating that the stays were manufactured incorrectly, too short, and that there should only be about ¼ inch clearance. He said the new stays would be shipped with my Kit 3. I left the stays loose so as not to have a permanent bend in the chassis runners.
Time: 2 hours
July 10, 2005
I set the chassis on jack stands w/ dolly wheels, so I could push the chassis out of the way when not working on the car. I layed out the components for Kit 2 and familiarized myself with where everything is supposed to go. The king pins had a lot of metal shavings in the holes, wash and blow these holes clean with air pressure. Trial fit the pins to the front axle and the spindle; mine required just a little polishing and then slide into place with a little effort. I used just a little oil to help things along, I then fit the spindle bearings and the washer and cotter key, I only used oil at this time because I knew I was going to completely dismantle the entire chassis and its components for powder coating later on. The steering shaft required a slight burnishing of the end so as not to score the brass bushings. When I determined which end would be the top of the steering tube I drilled a small hole (1/8 inch) in the side of the tube and the brass bushing near the top of each bushing for future lubrication. Also, I filed the edges on the steering tube caps slightly as they are knife sharp. This will aid in ease of cap alignment around the steering tube as well as help with paint adhesion later on. Regarding the steering tube lower tube clamp, I found that the 8 X 35 hex bolts provided are a little short, as there were only 3 threads holding this clamp. I replaced these bolts with 8 X 40 bolts for more thread retention.
Time: 3 hours
Other than those items I have addressed the parts and components are of high quality and the machining is right on.
Now that I have assembled the first 2 kits, the wait was worth it, Modelworks is producing a high quality kit and everyone involved should be quite proud. Keep up the good work.
Hopefully the next installment will arrive as scheduled without a lot of the Customs red tape.
Looking forward to the next Kits. All I can do now is sit back with a cold beer and admire the fruits of my labor.
The fellow with the white beard is my friend Gil Harris, He's a boiler engineer with the Pine Creek Railroad, Allaire, NJ. This is one of the oldest continuous running steam railroads in the USA. He's my steam "go to guy".
Click here for almost complete picture
Update 2010: Modelworks are now Steam Traction World their website can be found HERE
Go to page:
Kit One and Two.
Kit Three and Four.
Kit Four B and Five.
Kit Six and Eight.
Addendum Kit Ten.
Kit Seventeen and Eighteen.
Leaf Spring Modification.
Brake Pedal, Brake Line, and Throttle Pedal Installation
Fuel Line Pickup Modification.
Super Heater, Hand Pump, and Plumbing.
Some Final Assembly and First Time Steam Up.
Road Test and a few Modifications.
Locomobile Cylinder Drains July 2009.