Athearn SD40-2 shell fit SD45 chassis?

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cncproadwarrior

North of the 49th
I have a few Athearn SD40-2 shells lying around and I can pickup an SD45 powered chassis. Just wondering if the SD40-2 shells will fit this chassis.
 

el3637

Member
I have a few Athearn SD40-2 shells lying around and I can pickup an SD45 powered chassis. Just wondering if the SD40-2 shells will fit this chassis.

Nope. Wrong wheelbase, wrong trucks, and the chassis you are showing is for the old widebody SD45. The frame grooves are too wide to fit in the SD40-2 shell, and there's no room for the porches. One of the significant obstacles to Athearn or anyone doing a decent looking SD40-2 back then was to re-engineer the frame and trucks to make room for the porches. It would be a lot of work and not look right or even close.

One thing I haven't tried is putting an SD40-2 shell onto Athearn's Genesis SD45-2. Right wheelbase, right trucks, narrow body, correct height (the SD40-2 still sits tall even after the other revamps)... just don't know if it has room for the porches. But it *should* clear the trucks - as they are the same trucks as the SD40-2. Just not sure about the frame. Possibly a cutaway.

Andy
 

kjd

Go make something!
Nope. Wrong wheelbase, wrong trucks, and the chassis you are showing is for the old widebody SD45. The frame grooves are too wide to fit in the SD40-2 shell, and there's no room for the porches. One of the significant obstacles to Athearn or anyone doing a decent looking SD40-2 back then was to re-engineer the frame and trucks to make room for the porches. It would be a lot of work and not look right or even close.

One thing I haven't tried is putting an SD40-2 shell onto Athearn's Genesis SD45-2. Right wheelbase, right trucks, narrow body, correct height (the SD40-2 still sits tall even after the other revamps)... just don't know if it has room for the porches. But it *should* clear the trucks - as they are the same trucks as the SD40-2. Just not sure about the frame. Possibly a cutaway.

Andy

There is 3ft difference between a SD45 and SD40-2. If you could get them to fit and shortened the porches you could make SD40s.

SD40-2s on a SD45-2 frame, I would guess not because the Athearn steps are all wrong and the trucks will hit them. I have corrected the wheelbase and changed the steps on an SD40-2 so it will work but won't do 18"rad curves any more. The rear truck barely fits too. I had to take some off the inside of the shell and some off the back of the truck but got it to fit.
 

el3637

Member
There is 3ft difference between a SD45 and SD40-2. If you could get them to fit and shortened the porches you could make SD40s.

You mean like this?

nw1599.jpg


Andy
 

kjd

Go make something!
You mean like this?

...

Andy


Just like that. Nice job! I see the dynamic blister, radiator grills and nose length are different between the two but theose are fixable and you would end up with a model that looks a little crisper that the RPP.
 

el3637

Member
Just like that. Nice job! I see the dynamic blister, radiator grills and nose length are different between the two but theose are fixable and you would end up with a model that looks a little crisper that the RPP.

Long hood length, back porch, cab and sub base, all that stuff had to be changed. I built this model in 1988 - it was my first non-widebody SD40. A couple years later, Kato's SD40 came along and rendered it obsolete. It's the first model I put treadplate on (Bilger peel n stick X-plate from Walthers). I also filleted my thumb while cutting the chassis when a Zona saw blade came apart. Got 5 stitches and came home and did the treadplate with my right thumb taped up.

It's actually #3 in my "five generations of SD40".

#1 blt 1974 (1591) was a widebody SDP40 kitbash, with no end details. Horrible...
#2 blt 1975 (1597) was another widebody that used GP35 ends (high nose)
#3 blt 1988 (1599) is the SD40-2 modified shell on an SD45 chassis shown above
#4 blt 1992 (1617) is a Kato with a Cannon nose and cab, unfortunately wrong# for phase
#5 blt 1997 (1609) is a Kato with lots of Cannon parts, right# for phase

#6 will be most likely derived from an Atlas GP40 long hood, or scratchbuilt long hood. It will be a late (1971) model with extended taper, long hood brake wheel, and triple clasp trucks in the N&W 1610-1624 series.

Andy
 

kjd

Go make something!
How much different is the long hood length, I always thought they were the same length from the back of the cab to the end? So far I have done two SD40s. I was going to go the shortened SD40-2 route but then RPP came out with the SD40. I couldn't afford the Katos. I did MRL 261 and NS 3182. I'd really like to do a model of MRL 290, an SDP40. Here is the 3182:
ns3182.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

el3637

Member
How much different is the long hood length, I always thought they were the same length from the back of the cab to the end? So far I have done two SD40s. I was going to go the shortened SD40-2 route but then RPP came out with the SD40. I couldn't afford the Katos.

The difference in total length between an SD40 and an SD40-2 is 65'8" to 68'10". This extra length is due to the HT-C trucks being a foot and a half longer than the Flexicoils, in part because their traction motors all face the same direction hence the overhang on the inboard motor. To accomodate the trucks, the bolsters were moved outward, so the 4000 gallon fuel tank would still fit between. For whatever reason EMD decided to leave the front end offset the same as an SD40, so virtually all of the extra length wound up on the long hood end giving the distinctive porch easily large enough for a 4-man poker game if not a pool table.

The SD40-2's long hood door arrangement is the same as the GP40-2s. The SD40 is the same as a GP40. The door pattern under the radiator is different between the straight 40 and the -2, although most of us who kitbashed probably didn't pay any attention to this. I ignored it when I made an Athearn SD40-2 into an SD40, and also ignored it when I made an SD40-2 out of an SDP40 (yep!!). There is a small difference in the long hood length, and IIRC it's all in the clean air compartment - it's visible in the distance from the back of the cab to the inertial screen.

I guess I need to find my wacky SD40-2 kitbash. The main thing I did wrong with it was that I painted it N&W blue hamburger... it's a low nose representing a unit delivered in 1974. N&W had already switched to the 13-dip NW black scheme in 1971, covering the last SD40 order, the 11 high nose SD40-2s 1625-1635, and all of the subsequent low nose SD40-2s.

I have been working on another project for some time, it's kind of stalled out while I try to find a source for better EMD handrail stanchions. I decided to build N&W's last high nose, SD40-2 #1635. And it's mate #1636, which was the first low nose EMD ever ordered by N&W. They actually received 3 U30C low noses in April of 74, so they were the first.

nw1636-24.jpg


My rather outdated web photos are here:
http://www.gp30.com/models/nw1636

The 1636 is farther along now, but not painted. It's one of those projects where I decided to push the envelope but at the same time ran into some issues that don't have ready solutions. I don't want to use delrin handrails on an SD40-2. They are too floppy. I don't want to use Smokey Valleys because they are oversize. PIA makes a more scale stanchion, so I hear - once every 10 years or so. My attempts to get them have been futile. I probably could keep at it and eventually get them but I don't want to support or deal with a manufacturer that can't fill orders, so I'm hoping for a better solution. I'm *really* hoping that something is forthcoming from Railflyer in this regard - something I could really use.

Andy
 




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