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  1. #1
    Forum Member EngineCO38's Avatar
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    Default Federal Q2B Maintenance and Wiring questions

    Alright so I have a few questions in regards to the venerable old Q that I'm hoping someone here can help me out with. I'll start with what will most likely be the more complicated question.

    Our new (To us) Ladder truck came to us without a Q Siren, unfortunetly its not in the budget to purchase the siren. The topic came up during our Association meeting about having the Association purchase and donate the siren to the Dept. However nobody knows exactly how to wire one of the damn things. That is where I'm hoping you guys can help. I know virtually nothing about electronics and the like. But exactly how difficult would it be fore us to mount and wire the new siren ourselves? If not too incredibly difficult, are there any guides or walk-through's you know of that would be beneficial to us?

    As for the second question, the Q siren on our first out rig has started to get a bit tired in its old age (Circa 1973) And I fear that the bearings are shot and contributing to the sirens quick coast down. I have this uneasy feeling that the siren which has gotten and continues to get a lot of use may fail if we don't do something about it. Are my assumptions right about the bearings? Or could it be something else? And if it is the bearings, how hard would it be to replace them in house?

    Thanks in advance for any help folks.
    Opinions expressed by myself here are just that, mine. And not that of ANY organization or service I am affiliated with.


  2. #2
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Yes. The bearings can and will have an adverse effect on the performance if left to continue on their path of wear and tear.

    If you don't have anyone in house that is familiar with starter motors and complete tear down and rebuilding, it would be very difficult for you to replace the bearings yourselves. You would also need some specialized tools such as a bearing press. This is not something I would want to "shade tree mechanic" and do on a workbench vise.

    There is an outift in Philadelphia that rebuilds starter motors, that also rebuilds Federal Q sirens for the Philadelphia Fire Department. I suspect that if you were to contact them, they might do yours as well. I have no idea what they charge. Now the trick is trying to figure out their name. Chiefengineer11, what is the name of that starter rebuilder on Sandmeyer Lane, back around the curve past Sandmeyer Steel????? I can't remember.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Yes. The bearings can and will have an adverse effect on the performance if left to continue on their path of wear and tear.

    If you don't have anyone in house that is familiar with starter motors and complete tear down and rebuilding, it would be very difficult for you to replace the bearings yourselves. You would also need some specialized tools such as a bearing press. This is not something I would want to "shade tree mechanic" and do on a workbench vise.

    There is an outift in Philadelphia that rebuilds starter motors, that also rebuilds Federal Q sirens for the Philadelphia Fire Department. I suspect that if you were to contact them, they might do yours as well. I have no idea what they charge. Now the trick is trying to figure out their name. Chiefengineer11, what is the name of that starter rebuilder on Sandmeyer Lane, back around the curve past Sandmeyer Steel????? I can't remember.
    I know the place you mean but I'm not bringing it up off the top. If I get a chance I'll look it up in the firehouse tomorrow. PBS was in love with them so they did some work for us on one of the ambulances. Don't even get me started on that subject. How about John Dorgan in Arizona. He works on them, too. I've dealt with him in the past, no problems. I got those Mars rebuild kits from him. I know I have his info in the station, too.

  4. #4
    Forum Member FIREMECH1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EngineCO38 View Post
    The topic came up during our Association meeting about having the Association purchase and donate the siren to the Dept. However nobody knows exactly how to wire one of the damn things. That is where I'm hoping you guys can help. I know virtually nothing about electronics and the like. But exactly how difficult would it be fore us to mount and wire the new siren ourselves? If not too incredibly difficult, are there any guides or walk-through's you know of that would be beneficial to us?

    Thanks in advance for any help folks.
    Check the pics below for wiring a "Q". I set this up for events for the FD. You will need a 200amp solenoid, 250amp circuit breaker (black box), momentary foot switch(s), momentary horn/starter type push button switch (siren brake), and 2 gauge cable (4 gauge will work ok).

    Run cable from the battery to 250amp circuit breaker, then to one of the solenoid studs. Then from the other solenoid stud, to the siren stud.

    Off any already serviceable power point with a circuit breaker, run 14-16g wire from there to the foot switch, then to the solenoid.

    For the siren brake, use another acceptable power point. Use 14-16g wire from there to the push button, then to the siren brake.

    I agree with FWD, don't take it to someone that doesn't have the experience with high torque/continuous load starter motors. Doing it yourself requires special tools and knowledge. I charge VFD's $300 to rebuild their mechanical "Q"s.

    If you need more or detailed instructions, let me know. Good Luck.

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Yes. The bearings can and will have an adverse effect on the performance if left to continue on their path of wear and tear.

    If you don't have anyone in house that is familiar with starter motors and complete tear down and rebuilding, it would be very difficult for you to replace the bearings yourselves. You would also need some specialized tools such as a bearing press. This is not something I would want to "shade tree mechanic" and do on a workbench vise.

    There is an outift in Philadelphia that rebuilds starter motors, that also rebuilds Federal Q sirens for the Philadelphia Fire Department. I suspect that if you were to contact them, they might do yours as well. I have no idea what they charge. Now the trick is trying to figure out their name. Chiefengineer11, what is the name of that starter rebuilder on Sandmeyer Lane, back around the curve past Sandmeyer Steel????? I can't remember.
    Stein's Generator & Starter Service 10069 Sandmeyer La. Phila. (215) 969 6900. www.steinsgen.com. Last time we dealt with them was 2002. They're still shown in yellowpages.com.

    John Dorgan does alot of rebuilding, including antique stuff. He's at 7831 E. Stella Rd. Tucson, Ariz. 520 790 0196 www.sirenman.com.

    And of course, you can always see if FireMech1 wants to do it.
    Last edited by chiefengineer11; 01-10-2011 at 12:13 PM.

  6. #6
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefengineer11 View Post
    Stein's Generator & Starter Service 10069 Sandmeyer La. Phila. (215) 969 6900. www.steinsgen.com. Last time we dealt with them was 2002. They're still shown in yellowpages.com.

    John Dorgan does alot of rebuilding, including antique stuff. He's at 7831 E. Stella Rd. Tucson, Ariz. 520 790 0196 www.sirenman.com.

    And of course, you can always see if FireMech1 wants to do it.
    I have heard that John Dorgan is frightfully expensive. And would you rather ship a Q to Arizona or Pa????
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    I have heard that John Dorgan is frightfully expensive. And would you rather ship a Q to Arizona or Pa????
    With UPS or FedEx, what's the difference? Dorgan isn't cheap, but he's good. At least, what I've gotten from him was right. I'll tell you about Stein's and the old 355-2 next time I see you. But they did identify a problem that eluded a bunch of other people.

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