QUARTERER 2

My apologies for how long this post has taken to be written.  Being new to this, there were some small parts that I needed, but didn’t know about them until after I had the Quarterer 2 in hand.

The Quarterer 2 is a tool used to ensure that steam locomotive driver wheels have their crank pins properly positioned when the drivers are assembled onto the axle.  The prototype steam locomotive has the crank pin positioned one-quarter of a turn away on one wheel in relation to the pin on the other wheel on the same axle.  The reason why one-quarter pitch is used is to avoid having both crank pins in the horizontal position; in this position the piston in the cylinder cannot push to make the drivers turn.  If at least one crank pin is 90 degrees away from the other, the piston cannot stall and motion is guaranteed.

Besides quartering drivers while being assembled, the Quarterer 2 can be used to check the quartering of an already assembled driver.

The picture below is scanned from the instruction sheet showing the Quarterer 2 parts along with some optional parts.

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Below is the source of the delay in making this post – I was waiting for these crank bushings and screws.  The screws are 1.4mm and are typical for the metric Chinese-made locomotives I have (Broadway Limited Imports, MTH, Life-Like/Walthers PROTO 2000).  The bushings simply screw into the threaded holes where the side rods were attached on the model.  As an option, Index Pins are available as well.  They are essentially the same in function as the crank bushing and screw except that the thread is part of the pin (a one-piece design).

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This picture shows the movable body plate.  Note that while the instructions show “L” & “R” engravings, the current part does not have this.  This is for left or right lead with respect to where the quartered pin is positioned.  According to the NSWL instructions, most US locomotives have a right hand lead (the right-hand driver crank is 90 degrees forward of the left driver crank).  Apparently, the “L” & “R” engraving was eliminated as it was confusing to users.  The best thing to do is note on the driver wheel set which way the lead is before dismantling it.  A quick photo with a cel phone can document this quickly.  The centre cone is sprung.  It centres the driver axle hole initially and retracts as the wheels are pressed together.  Both body plates have this feature.

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Here is the fixed body plate with 3.0mm axle carrier plates installed.  The fixed body plate has the two pins for mounting the movable body plate.  I applied a light amount of automotive axle grease on the pins to make the axle carrier plates slide more freely (they were quite tight otherwise).  Note the orientation of the semi-circular centre cut-out on each axle carrier plate.  The driver wheel axle rests in these cut-outs.  The Quarterer 2 comes with two sets of axle carrier plates: .125” and 3.0mm (they are stamped with this identification).  The drivers I have have 3.0mm diameter axles.

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This picture shows a driver – a traction tired main driver with gear from an MTH NYC 4-8-2 L3a Mohawk that is surplus and I will practice on.  It has crank bushings installed and is mounted on the axle carrier plate cut-outs.  One crank bushing is already located inside one of the indexing slots.  The other crank bushing should fit into the diagonally-opposing slot on the movable plate while making sure the axle is resting on the carrier plate cut-outs.  If it does not fit into the other indexing slot while the axle is in the cut-outs, it is out-of-quarter and is in need of quartering.

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Here the driver wheel assembly is inside the Quarterer 2.  The bronze-coloured blocks are the bearings that slide into slots in the locomotive frame.  Note the crank bushing orientation.  The verdict?  This wheel set is good!

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When quartering/assembling wheel sets, the Sensipress+ is used on the Quarterer 2 wheel press covers as shown below.

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In the last post in this series, I’ll dismount wheels and a gear and re-install them quartered on the axles.

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