Chassis width

Members Forum Kit Building Locos Chassis width

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    • #240689
      Phil Ottley


        I have had a search of the manual, but I can’t spot the answer, what should the width of the chassis be over the frames?

        Many Thanks


      • #240902
        David Franks

          Hi Phil, sorry no-one has answered your query yet but if I can help with my experiences, the chassis width can vary a bit depending on the loco wheelbase and the radius of your curves. most people including me usually go for 14.5mm over the chassis frames, I make my frames from 0.5mm brass so the stretchers (spacers) would be 13.5mm. Nice and easy to work with and strong enough for big locos if you fit the frame stretchers in the correct places, I have a few locos with 15mm over the frames but found it doesn’t leave much room for plunger pickups that I like to use but they do go round my minimum 4ft radius pointwork in the fiddleyard. I have one loco, a J39 which is a long wheelbase and that very occasionally causes bother by shorting as the centre wheels are so close to the frames which are a smidge over 15mm so that one is only used on the outer circuit of the layout, a scratchbuilt chassis for an 8F which is 15mm overall works perfectly and both are sprung.

          Hope that helps.
          Just noticed that the info says ‘member since April 2011’ that should read ‘1985’…..

        • #240903
          Bob Allison

            Hi Phil.
            Guy Williams recommends 15mm for EM in his book on 4mm scale locos. I have used that on an LMS 4F which has an 8ft+8ft 6ins fixed wheelbase (it doesn’t get much worse) and it goes round my 3ft radius curves without a hiccup. The built-in 0.2mm gauge-widening with Gibson wheels and standard EM gauge track no doubt helps.

            With 0.5mm frame material you can use Eileen’s 14mm x 0.5mm strip as spacers – but be warned they don’t take it to exhibitions unless you have ordered it in advance.


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