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 Post subject: AZL GP-7 CB&Q
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 1:20 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 10:50 am
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The new AZL GP-7 is out with the CB&Q Chinese Red Scheme. Road numbers are 208, 210, 218, and 226. AZL produces a number of high quality Z scale locomotives and rolling stock. This one is an upgrade of an earlier release. The frame has been standardized to easily allow installation of a Digitrax DZ123Z0 Decoder. The engine picks up using all eight wheels. traction tires are installed on one on each truck limiting their electrical pickup a bit, but adding a lot of pulling power. 20+ cars on level grade is no problem. The couplers are AZL's Autolatch ones. These couple fine, but have to be manually uncoupled.

I ran my engines 20 minutes in forward and reverse to break them in. They now creep along at a snails pace. My layout is mainly DCC, so I installed a Digitrax 2 function decoder in with no problems. A TCS can be installed, but not without some soldering. The motor is a coreless with dual flywheels driving a worm gear that meshes with the truck gear. Truck assemblies are the same ones used on the GP-38 and GP-30.

Detailing is really nice for Z scale. Handrails are relatively thin, and fan and grills are nicely molded with the latter having nice chicken wire grill detailing. Cab windows have silver frames that almost looks like you could open them.

AZL has done a good job of matching the prototype overall. The painting and markings are well done. Logo is properly placed on the cab sides and there is a nice builders model marking on the front of the battery covers. One thing that does stand out to me is headlight locations. On the Q, these were moved down and a Mars dual beam light assembly was installed in it's place. See this example.
For detail nuts, this is a pretty simple fix which I will attempt to document later.

The Engine come securely packed in the typical plastic case with everything nicely wrapped up.
File comment: In it's package
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File comment: Extra parts
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If you don't like the look of the open pilots, you can cut off the truck mounted coupler and insert the included pilot inserts in the opening. Dummy couplers are included, but you can enlarge the opening and insert the one you just cut away or an MTL assembly.

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A single horn is included. There should be a second one just like it mounted facing the rear. Locations varied from top and side of the hood mounting. #208 had a top mounted second horn. #210 had the second horn mounted above the B in Burlington on the fireman's side of the long hood. It would be nice if AZL had included the second horn lose in the package. That way we could mount them to match our specific prototype. I'm sure all of them had two horns.

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The Burlington GP-7's lacked dynamic brakes and had a winterization hatch covering one fan.
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Photos of the prototypes can be found here: CB&Q #208, #210, 218, and 226.

As far as details go, some of these engines has steam generators. These could be simulated with plastic rod cut to length and glued on the top of the short hood. Refer to your specific prototype for placement.

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GP-7 operating on R195 track.
File comment: CB&Q #210 running on MTL 195R track.
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Coupler swing on R195 track.
File comment: Running on MTL 195R track
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For those of you that like to do mods, here are some other views. The underside showing trucks and fuel tank. The fuel tank is plastic and snaps together in the middle.

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Light pipe locations.
File comment: Look inside the shell
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Inside the shell showing close up of front and rear light pipe.
File comment: inside showing light pipes
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If you are going to make your unit match the real prototype, these will have to be moved down to make room for the Mars light that would typically occupy this spot on the Burlington Geep 7's.

GP-7 Frame shown next to the typical GP-38 Frame. The GP-7 frame is actually closer to the GP-30 style, but slightly shorter.
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File comment: Frame off
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DCC board installed.
File comment: frame off
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File comment: DC and DCC board comparison.
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You will have to thin the two soldered tabs down slightly to fit under the frame clips. Also bend down the motor contact tabs to match those on the PCB board. A pretty simple install.
File comment: DCC installed
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Frame views showing the decoder installed.
File comment: DCC installed with inside shell view
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The loco has an MSRP of $169.00 and was released June 2014. It should be available in your favorite Z scale store now.

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