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South Jersey S Scale Modelers

PRR E7B 5864


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This is Overland Models E7B 1799 made in 1984. At 1 time I had 14 brass E units so I sold a A B A set of E7 in 2012. I currently have 3 Overland E7a, 3 Overland E7b, 1 Overland E8a, and 3 River Raisin E8a. The E8a is the only S Scale model to be made in brass twice.


The original thought was to make a A B A set of E7 in Brunswick Green 5 stripes, a E7 A B A set in Tuscan single a E8a E7b and E7a set in Tuscan 5 stripe, and a E8a E7b E8a set in Tuscan single stripe. That is a lot of E units and why I sold a set of E7. I am not sure how the mix will come out now, maybe 1 in Brunswick green but the rest are going to be Tuscan.


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I get the windows do not match up perfectly to the PRR E7b. There is only so much I can do.




I have been running a Overland E7a and E8a for a while. The rest are unpainted for 20+ years. I am trying to get those long owned locos out of the boxes. It was time to get at least 1 B unit running.



This is their typical “tank drive” of that era. The first photo is stock right out of the box. It is a small wonder that they ran at all with this drive. Only 3 wheels per rail pick up that would make it stall easily. The motor and tower are not perfectly aligned with a piece of rubber tubing for a motor coupling. That all had to go and get upgraded.

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The truck gearboxes had rubber tubing connecting them together. The shafts just butted up to each other. There was not mechanical joint. I HATE tubing on a model. It can slip on the shafts. On newer loco releases the shafts were longer and cut in half so they keyed to each other in the 3MM sleeve.


This is what I did to get rid of the tubing on the trucks. I made 3MM sleeves x ˝” long. A 3MM drill is PERFECT. I cut slots in the shaft ends with a Dremel cut off wheel, and inserted  brass flat bar. It all still floats and adjusts with zero chance of slipping ever. I have done 2 units so far. It is working well. The black truck is done with the upgrades.


I have also backed off to making just 1 pick up per truck for the insulated side. The decoder capacitors do a great job of keeping the loco running.

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I was trying to get this loco running on the cheap. I usually would get the same decoder for all 3 locos so I don’t have to get involved in speed matching.  The E7a has a original Tsunami I added a keep alive to. The E8a has a 2 amp Tsunmi2. They ran perfectly together without any extra programming. I bought a 1 amp Tsunami2 for the E7b. That turned out to be a ROCKET. I have never seen a brass loco run so fast. I set CX 5 to 52 and CV6 to 32. All is better.


This is the drive after my upgrades. Note the new NWSL dogbone motor coupling. I usually have all the electronics up in the shell roof. There are no headlights so I used a Miniatronics 2pin plug for the speaker. Note I do not use the truck screws at all for pick up. There are 2 pin Miniatronics plugs for each truck for direct power pick up.


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This is a mix of about 2/3 Scalecoat Tuscan and Scalecoat Oxide Red. I think the Tuscan is too dark right out of the bottle.

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Caught in 1 of my obsessive “I have to have it” moods in 2008 I contracted with Microscale to make single stripe E unit decals. Microscale had no interest in stocking them so I had to buy the minimum run of 300 sheets – easily enough for decaling 150 locos for $350.00 (I think). It has been 12 years now. I have not used ONE decal set yet. That was another reason I wanted to get a E7b running.

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Updated 7-31-20

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