Remotoring--I need a translation is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.


Fun Lover
I want to immediatley get a remotor and regear kit from NWSL for my MDC Climax A and regear kits for my MDC 0-6-0T kits. I wrote the following letter to NWSL

"Last week I went to Timonium because I heard you guys go there. I want to order some things but I can't sort through your catalog to figure out what it is I need. So I'll ask here.
The first thing I want to make run better is an MDC Climax A. I'm told I should both remotor and regear it.
I have 2 MDC 0-6-0 kits that I would like to regear. These have open motors.
I have a MDC 4-6-0 with a can motor I would like to regear.
I have 2 Mantua 2-6-2s that I would like to remotor and possibly regear.
What parts do I need?"

They replied back.

Information from the
NorthWest Short Line model maintenance shared information databank

MDC HO locomotives
The first step to improvement of the operation of an HO MDC locomotive
is replacement of the gearing. The NWSL re-gear kits #180-6 thru 183-6 fit the newer "step gear" (or compound gearing) design MDC mechanisms.
Older design (phase I) MDC HO gauge locomotives (gearing of worm direct to axle gear - approx. prior to about 1970) would have to be repowered using the idler or non-idler style gearboxes in the 0.3mod gearbox series (#139-6 thru 154-6, 1/8" axle sizes).
The step or compound gear phase II (circa 1970+) design kits used a Sagami open frame motor that provides excellent operation comparable to a can motor and therefore it is rarely beneficial to replace the motor.
A 1630 size motor can be used in some locomotives when space permits if desired (select the 180-6 or 181-6 to get correct worm bore if using the 1630 motor; or the 182-6 or 183-6 if using a 2032 or 1833 motor).
More recent (phase III) MDC locomotive kits (apparently released circa 1987) reportedly eliminated the compound gear, but apparently retained the same idler gear spacing which may permit installation of the #180-6, et al kits.
A later modification (phase IIIb) changed the chassis, eliminating the required idler gear shaft holes - while an attempt to drill this hole in proper
location may be successful, installation of an #142-6 or #153-6 gearbox kit
is the solution more likely to provide satisfactory operation. The 0-6-0T
(and possibly others) with instructions dated 9-87 or later CANNOT use the
#180-6, et al, series re-gear kits.
A recent redesign (circa 1998 - phase IV) changed to a small motor with 1.5mm shaft and flywheel on one end and moved the compound gear forward of the driver axle but retained the original compound gearing concept - has a ratio of 66-1. Any of the #180-6/183-6 series can be used here except that the proper bore worm (#10400-6) must be added in order to fit the 1.5mm shaft of the new motor (or use the new #178-6, 179-6 kits).
See also: MODEL RAILROADER, Dec 1985, pp 94+
See also: MODEL RAILROADER, May 2002, pp 58+

HO 2-8-0
Installation of 18337-9 size motor cut speed by half (now too slow with original gearing, need 45-1 #183-6 regear set) unk telecon
Installation of either gearing choice above requires replacement of the driver axle gear with new gear included in regear kit.
If the driver is in 'quarter' with the balance of the set, then a quartering tool is not necessary. Just mark the axle end and driverwheel hub scribe a straight line slightly off-center to avoid re-assembly 180 degrees off) before removing the wheel. Do NOT remove an axle insulated wheel if at all possible, they are more difficult to reassemble satisfactorily (they tend to subsequently work loose). Re-assemble by aligning your marks and pressing together.

The PULLER (#45-4) is useful for removing driver wheels and gears and can be used (tricky, but with great care it is possible to re-assemble the parts squarely - keep parts stay 'square' as you press them together) to re-assemble the parts.
The SENSIPRESS+ (#50-4) provides the capability of more reliable and quicker assembly and dis-assembly for modelers whose upgrading activity justifies the cost of this versatile tool.

HO 0-6-0 (circa 1940's) gearing
Worm - .254" OD (1/4") x .265 face x 3/32" bore
Wormgear - .462" OD x .118 face x 1/8" bore 35T 80DP
Replacement choices: 0.3mod gearbox, idler style recommended - your choice
of 28-1 or 36-1 ratio (#142-6 or #153-6) or worm #10000-6 and wormgear
#12130-6 (require slight adjustment of motor mount to achieve proper mesh).
Installation of a gearbox requires filing the "gear slot" slightly wider and longer to accept the gearbox. A gearbox provides more reliable mesh, better operation and life.

12mm is largest motor diameter that can fit into existing boiler cavity - see the #12270-9

note: the open frame motor used circa 1986-1996 was a fine running SAGAMI which operated comparable to a can motor, no need to replace it.

MDC HO & Hon3 locomotives SPECIFICATIONS change ALERT!!!
The "pre-1998 can motor" (ie. Circa 1995-1997) was a special Sagami single shaft (sealed design, armature cannot be changed to make it a double shaft) 1630 motor of 16,500 RPM and 0.6 oz-in torque (the NWSL #16306-9/#16307-9 has the same RPM and a torque of 0.8 oz-in).

The HO "1998 release versions" locomotive kits with their square 1.5mm shaft motor require the #178-6 and #179-6 versions of the normal #180-6 thru #183-6 MDC regear kits.

The 'new' motor(s?)that appeared late 1997, early 1998 can be identified rather easily - they are double shaft with a flywheel mounted on one shaft, square shape and with exposed armature. We suggest you watch them carefully for overload/overheating - NWSL has concerns that they have inadequate power for these model locomotives.

HO 2-6-0; 4-6-0; 4-4-2 regear project by Otto Brunke 4/2001
Start with NWSL #16306-9 motor
Replace stock worm with NWSL #10500-6, install on 1630 motor shaft.
Build idler with two NWSL #12524-6 (72DP 24T WG) pressed together on shaft
Install NWSL #14136-6 (72DP 36T RWG) on driver axle.
Remove lateral play from geared driver.
"..gears mesh well, speed is perfect"

Information from the
NorthWest Short Line model maintenance shared information databank

See MODEL RAILROADING magazine May/June 1984 issue for an excellent llustrated article on regearing/remotoring the Mantua 0-4-0 using the 16307-9 motor and either the #142-6 (28-1 ratio) or #153-6 (slower, 36-1 ratio) gearboxes plus a #482-6 Universal Coupler Set (or use the single shaft #16306-9 motor and mount the gearbox directly on the motor shaft). See the enclosed Master Product List for current product listing and prices. This motor and gearbox selection is also appropriate for the 2-6-6-2
The above article illustrates upgrading procedures and techniques applicable to all Mantua/TYCO and other brand cast frame HO steam locomotives.

MANTUA 2-8-2 4-6-2 4-6-4
For larger Mantua/TYCO locomotives such as the 4-6-2/2-8-2/etc., select the
#2032 size motor and the above noted gearboxes. The procedures noted in the above mentioned article can be applied to the larger locomotives also. The 1836 size motor with 28:1 (#142-6) results in about 45 SMPH - good for drag freight, too slow for most passenger.
Old "open gears" versions "second choice (an enclosed gearbox is first
preference)" for regearing is the NWSL #320-6 or NWSL 72DP (0.35mod) worm #10000-6 (or appropriate bore to fit motor shaft if not 3/32" or 2.4mm) and axle gear #11140-6 (brass) or #12140-6 (delrin, a better, longer lasting choice).
See also: MODEL RAILROADER, Dec 1985, pp 94+

Modeler Feedback Letters:
"I purchased a SAGAMI #1630 (motor) for my (Mantua) 2-8-2 Mikado. It was a fine motor and the engine runs like a dream." R E Walker, Venice FL 4-4-89

"Incidentally, the 20324-9 ... is working very nicely in my Mantua Mike mated to the 40-1 gear set" (#320-6; ie. #10000-6 & #12140-6 or #11140-6) LKJ Raleigh NC 1-23-83

"...#16306-9, #142-6 and #164-6 to 2mm shaft adapt kit for repowering the
Mantua Goats.....excellent results.." EG Ephrata PA 9-92 (note: this information is applicable to all the small Mantua HO locomotives from 0-4-0 up - 0-6-0, 2-6-0, 2-8-0, 4-4-0, etc.)

Steam loco tender trucks (some, maybe all??) use wheelset with 1/16" axle
journal - can use NWSL HO shouldered axles. (#37107-4 for 33"; #37108-4 for 36")

Steam switcher re-gear (build compound gearing arrangement using #180-6,
16203-9). Also illustrates simple motor mount adapter fabrication. NWSL recommends 1630 size motor, the 1620 motor shown in the article has inadequate power for satisfactory operating performance in our opinion.
MODEL RAILROADER Jan 93 pp 134-136

Mantua HO 2-8-2 (1994)
Sagami 1630, 34-1 gearbox, motor and gearbox fixed position therefore tube "u-jt" can be replaced with #491-6 12V NL speed 76SMPH (RMJ 9406P48+)

Mantua replaced their original open frame motor, in at least some locomotives including the 2-6-6-2, in the mid to late 1980's with a Sagami 1630 size motor. This unit was sold separately also for conversion of older locomotives with a stock number of M-90 (or similar). Production of locomotives since 1993 has been moved to China and has used a Mabuchi(?) type "small flat side motor" reports a modeler in New Jersey. The NWSL #16306-9 (single shaft) or #16307-9 (double shaft) are appropriate replacements.

16000-9: N, HO, S, O, #1, Large scale (10203-9) Pages/broch 160009 Motor.htm
12270-9: HOn3, N, HO Pages/tt20 29Jan05.htm


F R Martin, NWSL
206-932-1087 fax 206-935-7106 Office hours: 8am-4pm PST M-F

I don't have a clue what to order.

Anyone care to help me guess.


Registered Member
Staff member
Hi Chip sorry I can't help, you've certainly done your research first. The only Tyco/Mantua I have is an old 0-4-0 shifter the rest are all Bachmann and a Lionel. Should be someone who knows about thosethough. Hang tight some one will know.


Stay off the tracks!
This is the only one that makes sense to me:

HO 2-6-0; 4-6-0; 4-4-2 regear project by Otto Brunke 4/2001
Start with NWSL #16306-9 motor
Replace stock worm with NWSL #10500-6, install on 1630 motor shaft.
Build idler with two NWSL #12524-6 (72DP 24T WG) pressed together on shaft
Install NWSL #14136-6 (72DP 36T RWG) on driver axle.
Remove lateral play from geared driver.
"..gears mesh well, speed is perfect"


NWSL #16306-9 motor
worm NWSL #10500-6 worm
two NWSL #12524-6 (72DP 24T WG)
NWSL #14136-6 (72DP 36T RWG)

I didn't see the word "Climax" in there anywhere.


Fun Lover
Thanks guys. Every time I try to find out something from this company I get information overload. Why can't they just answer the questions?


Fun Lover
I just sent the following email back to their tech.


Thanks for your reply. But I can't understand what I need to do. I even posted my original letter and your reply on a forum and with 34 people viewing it, no one else could tell me what I should do.

If I can figure this out I will order. Right now I'm interested in remotoring and regearing an MDC Climax A and regearing two MDC 0-6-0 kits that have not been built. Can't you just give me the part numbers I need?



Fun Lover
The part numbers and choices are in the material I provided. See also the NWSL catalog page 4-16a which describes and lists the kits choices. see:
page 4-16a:

NWSL does not manufacture an upgrade kit for the MDC Climax - the difficulty and cost make it impractical to provide a satisfactory kit at a reasonable price. Some modelers have repowered the unit with NWSL PDT trucks, but that is both expensive and tedious.


F R Martin, NWSL
206-932-1087 fax 206-935-7106 Office hours: 8am-4pm PST M-F
latest TimeTable product information newsletter, go to:
Box 16485 Seattle WA 98116-0485 USA
Email (or via fax, fone, or mail) orders accepted, VISA/MASTERCARD/Discover/AMEX accepted. Shipping - $5 per order insured, $3 not insured (to USA addresses, more to international addresses)
Full line catalog #0-1 (100+ pages) - $9 to USA addresses, $11 to mail addresses outside USA.


I like TYCO!
Are not the MDC Climax and the Boxcab the same frame and mechanism? Post your question to them using "boxcab" instead of "climax."


Fun Lover
Yes they are the same.

Progress I think. A guy in a chat room suggested a Sagami 16x31 can motor (16305-9) and a Universal and Bull gear upgrade kit. (188-6) I went to the NWSL sight and I still no luck. The Sagami motor is not listed. Neither is the U-joint Kit


Well-Known Member
Hi Chip,
How have you been, it's been some time since we've last talked.

I have an MDC track cleaner that runs flawlessly for me and has for years with just the standard motor and gearing and does not run jerky as you mentioned in a much earlier post that your climax was doing. It runs with smooth steady power for me.

Now, contrarly the MDC Climax I picked up in kit form last year does run jerlky as well as having trouble negotiating various areas and turns if they're just slightly too tight.

I corrected the limited truck pivoting problem by using a fine round jewelers file and releived the outer edge of the journal connectors where the truck drive conector hits when the truck is pivoted completely to one side or the other. This made a big difference in a smother running mechanism.

Also, ensure that the copper wipers are pressing against the contact screw heads firmly enough and that the wipers are also pushing against the insides of the drive wheels for good pickup.

Thats the only thing I did check last night as I was having problems with the Climax running without sometimes stalling on a 20" radius curve. As soon as I gave it a slight adjustment sidways off she went so I now realize it must be poor electrical pickup of the wheel wipers and I had just securely soldered feeder wires to the track almost right at the stall point too.

I'm going to ensure the truck wheel wipers are making good contact and I'll bet that will solve the problem. I usually bend the wheel wipers in a semi curve on the end to contact the inside of the wheels.

Also be sure to put a rounded bend on the end of the poortioin of the wiper that contacts the screw heads so they don't come in contact with the frame and short out.


Last edited by a moderator:


Fleeing from Al
David, you are responding to a message posted over five years ago. Space Mouse hasn't posted here since May of 2009. I don't know what has happened to him but I rather doubt he's still working on a five year old problem.


Well-Known Member
Say Jim,
Something doesn't quite make sense about how old the message is??

My join date, to MRF was 09-09-2007. So I had to have talked to Chip about this problem after time and he responded for some time after that on the forum even posting pictures of new switches for a Trolly type city scene he was planning as I recall.
Maybe around 2008?

I even had his direct email address but for some reason he stopped responding around the beginning to middle of 2008. I'm not sure just why? I know he was having money problems and had to move his health food business as I recall?

But all contact soon stopped after that point for some reason but I got very involved around here too so I kind of forget about Chip as well as everyone else on the forum.


Fleeing from Al
David, his last post here was May of this year, He used to be a pretty regular poster and his business move seemed to be going well. I just hope he's OK. :(

Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.