Having practiced on some larger locos of late, it was now time to get some DCC Decoders into some of my little N-Scale shunting locos - the EMD SW1200 and SW9 Yard Switchers. In real life these little beasts were built in the early 50's and 60's and had 12 cylinders giving them 1200 horses under the bonnet.
My little fellas are all Life-Like brand and are almost two decades old now. They run well on DC, so time to get them into the computer age I reckon. So a Digitrax DN126M2 decoder fits - just. At 10.63mm x 15.79mm x 2.72mm it gets me my motor control and lights. Mind you, only the front lights are functional on the model, but given time, I might just be able to get a small SMD LED in place for the rear light, as the decoder is capable of driving it :-)
The first order of the day was to get the bogies off. With some research I found that they just twist to about 80 degrees and then unlock and fall out - nifty. The fuel tank just is a press fit and pulls off easily.
But after mucking around and breaking a few off on a loco or two, I eventually had some luck with research on the PC with good 'ol Google. Shims ! That's the answer - shims.
You get some really thin brass and cut it about 3 or 4 mm wide and insert it between the body shell and the loco mechanism where these pickups are. This then allows the shell to come off without ripping these pickups off ! But I didn't have any! BUT, I don't throw things out and remembered I had some HO scale loco parts from an old disgarded loco I had turned into a dummy. Yep, the bogie pickups on it had plenty of thin brass for me to work with - four or so snips and I had my shims.