How to replace cracked HO scale Proto 2000 axle gears
Have you ever owned a new HO Scale Proto blue box four axle locomotive that simply would not run well? You place it on the track and it goes bump bump clunk down the rails or may even lock up and not move at all. If so, you are one of the thousands of others who have faced the same dilemma.
The early original gears were made with a poor plastic composition that over time would allow them to shrink and split.
This is an easy fix and we will explain how step by step.
First, you will need to purchase 4 new replacement axles that come complete withe axle bushings and the drive gears ready to install which can be found here.
Foam cradles such as this one made by by Bowser are fantastic for holding a loco and protecting the chassis while you work on the running gear.
Now carefully pry the cover from the bottom of each truck. I chose to use a dull Xacto knife but any small flat blade tool or screwdriver will work.
Be careful not to let the cover pop off and go flying across the room.
Remove all four old axles. You might get by locating and replacing only the damaged ones but why not just do it once and be done with it.
Sometimes it is very difficult to see the affected gear without magnification so here we have a close up of one removed from this project.You can see the split that runs the entire length of the gear.
After setting the new axles in place , take the tip of any tool and gently turn or rock the square bushings on each side until both sides of the axle drop smoothly into place.
Snap the cover plates back on each truck.
You have now finished and should have a smooth running HO train locomotive!