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Author Topic: Fitting battery/switch operated lightbar to Dapol Autocoach  (Read 222 times)

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Offline Phoenix

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Hi All  :wave:

First off, please let me emphasise this is definitely NOT a "how to" guide  :no: it is a "how I did it" guide,  and a bit of a botch up, but most importantly it works for me, so hey ho, lets get on with it  :D .....

I bought the whole kit from "Layouts 4 u" . Price is 4.25 and everything here is included, along with simple instructions that are easy to follow. There is a choice of white or warm white, and I chose warm white.

Firstly, I very carefully took the roof off by sliding a scalpel blade between roof and carriage sides, being so very careful not to scratch any paintwork. Then I painted the floor and seats, and put some little people in. As the windows are quite big, and the station is right at the front of the layout, I wanted nice figures, not the Chinese "hundred for a quid" ebay type ones. They certainly have their place, but not here  ;)

I used these figures .....


The undercarriage is held on by two screws, one in the cab end, and one in the other end. These are unscrewed to separate the coach body.

The glazing panels are really thick, so the battery holder does not quite fit. I used a dremmel to grind a curve in the plastic and that lets the battery holder sit nicely. Also to give more room I ground the screw housing at the bottom of the compartment down, and used a countersunk screw. I also bent the battery contacts inwards rather than them protruding over the edge of the case.

Ideally I would have taken out the glazing, and cut the ends off replacing the windows with the stuff from Metcalfe kits. The glazing looked to be just clipped in, but I tried really hard to unclip it, and was in severe danger of braking something  :worried: so did not pursue that course of action. If I was doing it again perhaps I would persevere and do that

Next up was to cut a hole in the undercarriage for the switch. Before gluing it in, I held it in with blu-tac and ran it round the track to check it would not catch on anything.

With it glued in place, I soldered the wires on, and bent the terminals flat. The switch terminal area would not sit as flat as I would have liked, so out came the dremmel, and I made a hollow in the bottom of the coach body for it to nestle in. Even then there was a very slight bulge when the body was screwed on, as the screws were only at the ends, so I decided to glue it together for a tighter fit, which was great. It also meant that I did not have to use the countersunk screw, which was catching a bit on the wheels at that end where it came through the bottom.

On this photo you can see the clips for the glazing panels I could not unclip. Also to get the carriage body off you need to unclip the handrails from the bottom of the steps on both sides. I kept them clipped to the body so I would not loose them.  :thumbsup:

Then with the coach and undercarriage now together, The light bar (self adhesive) was fitted onto the roof, and the battery wired in. I used a bit of glue to the wires where they were soldered to the lightbar just for a bit more security.

When everything was clipped together, there was a bit of light leaking through the join of the roof and coach body. That was easy to fix though, with a couple of lengths of 3mm angle glued along the inside of the roof, with the outside faces painted black. The bulkheads in the carriage needed to be cut a bit to accommodate this. Sorry this pic is a bit blurred

And here we have it ..... project completed ........ :claphappy:

As I said before this is just how I did it ..... not how it should be done  ::) but I hope it may be useful for someone. There are lots of things I would have done differently.

One idea I had was gluing the battery case to the coach roof so it is more of a fixture, and there will be less trailing wires to come adrift. When the battery needs changing I may well do this ......for now though, I think I will leave it alone  ;)

All best wishes


« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 01:29:21 pm by Phoenix »

Online daveg

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Re: Fitting battery/switch operated lightbar to Dapol Autocoach
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2018, 07:33:11 am »
 :thankyousign: Kevin

Really easy to follow info and very helpful photos.

Something else to add to my 'I Like That' list of projects!

Dave G


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