Kato GS4!

Discussion in 'N Scale' started by Run8Racing, May 25, 2013.

  1. Run8Racing

    Run8Racing TrainBoard Member

    Just ordered a Kato GS4 from a TB advertiser, because the price was right !!! I admit I'm a "steam rookie" (only own one !!!) and I'm wondering what I should expect when I finally get my grubby mits on this thing. Is there anything specific I should do before break-in ??? With Diesels, I can usually toss 'em on the rails and let 'em go. It just seems that there might be more to the steamer, ya' know ??? Any advice ??? Thanks !!!
  2. FloridaBoy

    FloridaBoy TrainBoard Member

    you may not know it, but you just started World War III

  3. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

    Other than watching the fingers and thumbs on the valve gear and drive rods there isn't much else. Unlike diesels those moving parts need to be gently handled. Put her on the track and let her run slow speed for a while and keep watch on the drive rods to make sure all the pins are secure. Try not to drool too much on the loco or track, causes shorts.
  4. papahnash

    papahnash TrainBoard Member

    The only problem I have encountered with the GS-4 is with the traction bands. Be careful not to push the loco on the track, it will stretch the bands and they will run off.
    You may want to pick up a package of replacement bands while they are available for future use.:)
    Happy railroading.

  5. kmcsjr

    kmcsjr TrainBoard Member

    Definitely agree on the drooling, but there is room for everyone, in less than a centimeter!

    The traction tires are definitely the weak spot. Someone will hopefully mention the adhesive they found that a dab under the tire, fixes the issue. I want to try it next time mine blows off. When you find yourself changing the tire, Treat the pin like gold. They are rare.
  6. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I use a little bit of Bullfrog Snot to secure the traction tires.
  7. papahnash

    papahnash TrainBoard Member

    Someone mentioned thin CA so I tried a very SMALL drop after replacing the tire. It seems to be working well.
  8. 8man1320

    8man1320 TrainBoard Member

    I have 3 gs4 locos, all great runners.

    I use floquil engine black to secure traction tires.
  9. Carl Sowell

    Carl Sowell TrainBoard Supporter

    For sure, the traction tires are the problem to watch for. In my case, when they came off, I did not replace them. Instead I turned the loco upside down and ran at a slow speed and carefully applied 2-3 coats of BF snot into the tire grooves. Works well and loco runs well.

  10. garethashenden

    garethashenden TrainBoard Member

    I'd go with "Place gently on the track" rather than "toss in the general direction of track" myself. but each to their own.
  11. CBQ Fan

    CBQ Fan TrainBoard Member

    I love mine! I do have a small white spot on the tender that I need to look at closer. I need to figure out if it is something on the paint of something under the paint that I need to touch up. Then I need to figure out a good color match if I actually need to touch it up.
  12. Traindork

    Traindork TrainBoard Member

    Great loco, I have a couple myself. I used flat black paint to keep the traction tire on, seems to be holding on pretty well.
    Hopefully we'll soon have a UP 844 to keep the GS4 company. :)
  13. Run8Racing

    Run8Racing TrainBoard Member

    COOL !!! So far, so good !!! I will be ready for the tire issue. Doesn't sound like an "if", but more of "when" !!! I will be extra careful with side rods and watch the pins. GF is going shopping today and she already stated that she will get me a bib with a "choo-choo" on it !!! THANKS !!!
  14. robert3985

    robert3985 TrainBoard Member

    My son has three GS-4's (he's the SSPF in the family) and I get to work on 'em. The traction tire phenomenon is a problem, but if you know about it, it's an easy fix.

    I've also found that you need to handle the engine and tender carefully as the tender connections are easy to "pop out", and repeated poppings will make it necessary to re-bend the wire contacts.

    Although I have not had the problem, I have at least one buddy whose GS-4 cracked a driver (on the inside) which is a press-fit on the skinny Kato GS-4 axles. Did I mention it's the driver which has the main driving cog on it? After reading about others who have had this problem, it appears it's usually caused by pushing the engine while pressing down on the traction-tired driver.

    So, as has been written before, do not push this engine.

    One of my son's wobbles, and I assume it's from a slightly out-of-quarter driver. I haven't attempted to fix the problem yet, but if anyone else can tell me what needs to be done, I'm sure I'm not the only one who'd like to hear about an easy fix to that problem.

    All in all, they are beautiful engines, both in Daylight colors and "wartime" black. I'm converting one of my son's into a GS-3 and I'm about ready to re-build the tender. It'll also get DCC/sound.

    I agree with Traindork and hope the rumors about a Kato FEF3 materialize.

    Bob Gilmore
  15. Run8Racing

    Run8Racing TrainBoard Member

    WOW !!! Cracked a driver ??? Sounds like there was more than a little pushing going on, but I will heed the warning. Good info on tender connections !!! i'll watch that,too. Thanks !!! BTW, mine will be the Freedom Train !!!
  16. WPZephyrFan

    WPZephyrFan TrainBoard Supporter

    While I don't have a Kato GS4 (do want though), I do have a couple of Kato Japanese prototype steam locos, a JNR D51 2-8-2 and a C62 4-6-4. Both run like Swiss watches. Both of mine have tracion tires, but I haven't had a problem with them so far. Admitedly, I haven't run them as much as I like.
  17. robert3985

    robert3985 TrainBoard Member

    Nope. Just a little pushing. There's a whole thread on therailwire.net about how to reinforce Kato GS-4 axles on the power transfer driver, because sometimes they'll crack by just throwing a traction tire, which jams the driver, then the torque from the stalled motor will crack 'em.

    Bob Gilmore
  18. Run8Racing

    Run8Racing TrainBoard Member

    I see !!! In other words, design flaw + weak link in the chain = cracked driver !!! Haven't received the engine yet. I think they sent it in the wrong direction and it's coming to IL via the South Pole !!! This is the kind of info I was looking for. When I receive the engine I will dig in to that thread. If this happens, better pray for Kato. Schaumburg isn't that far from Joliet !!! Thanks for explaining and not bashing an engine I haven't even seen yet !!!
  19. Eugen Haenseler

    Eugen Haenseler TrainBoard Member

    I had the same problem.

    Don't force the engine to much.
    The traction Tires will com of.

    So I had to order 4 spare Set's.

  20. RWCJr

    RWCJr TrainBoard Member

    Thanks for posting that photo, Eugen!!! Your model building is so well done, and your terrain composition and hue always blow me away!!

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