Friday, September 25, 2009

Improving the MDC Climax

I'm currently working on an MDC Boxcab for my layout, and as you may know, it uses the same chassis as the MDC Climax. The original MDC chassis left a lot to be desired, and usually required quit a bit of work to get them to run well, if at all. Fir my Climax, I have modified a Bachmann Spectrum 44 ton locomotive to use as a chassis. I modify the 44 ton shell, so the Climax shell will fit OVER the 44 ton shell. The advantage is you can use the stock 44 ton shell couplers as is. The Bachmann chassis runs nicely and of course is DCC ready (requires soldering). I purchased two Bachmann locos from a Ebay vendor for $38.00 each.

First lets modify the Bachmann shell so the Climax shell will fit over it.
(Sorry for the crude pictures, I neglected to properly document this process)

Here is the 44 ton chassis with the decoder installed.
UPDATE: I went back later and installed a Tsunami sound decoder, for instructions,  click this link.

Here is the Climax shelling fitted over the modified Bachmann 44 ton shell. Notice how I trimmed each side of the shell down so the climax shell will fit over it completely.

Fitting the shell(s) onto the Spectrum 44 ton chassis.

Install the factory screws into the shell(s)

The finished project.

I have had some modelers tell me that the MDC Climax is a fantasy locomotive and no prototype ever existed. Well, I disagree as you see below, a Class A Climax with "that silly high boiler".

Here is a video of my MDC Climax/Spectrum 44 ton operating. I'm sorry for the video quality.

1 comment:

  1. Good Morning. I followed your directions & fitted a 44 tonner under my Climax. The mechanism runs really smooth. I did some mods to the MDC shell. I found an article in the December 1982 issue of Model Railroader on how to make the Climax more presentable. I lowered the boiler & extended the front pilot. Also I cut out the wood load & put in a coal load. It looks much more presentable now.

    Ed Radz