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    • April 9, 2019 3:42 PM EDT
    • OK, since it stopped raining in Kalifornia, and after 2 weekends of spraying roundup and killing all the weeds on the right of way, I started going through locomotives on what needs updating, decoders, speakers, gauging, etc.

      Got through all the USAT F3's, all run great, all have dual speaker stereo sound, all have new centerset CamPac coupler boxes...

      Got throught the GP7's, same all run great, dual speakers, coupler mods.

      Made a note that I need decoders in the S4, NW-2, and 44 tonner..

      What was last in the cabinet? My old Santa Fe RS-3... and my database had a note about it running poorly and derailing.

       

      Well, apparently I had put replacement motor blocks, the short-lived ones from Aristo that came with the stainless steel wheels. The flanges are too low, but heck, my trackwork is good, right?

       

      The loco ran backwards, hmm, oh, I guess I swapped the motor blocks 180 degrees in the A frames, to put the floppy axle outboard... the loco derails on an S curve, wow, even the E8's and SD45 run through it.

      Check the track, dead level both directions... hmm... look at it more closely, on the lead truck, the 2nd axle is now the fixed axle. As it comes from the left turn to the 1 foot straight and then starts the right turn, the right wheel on the second (rigid) axle lifts as the loco swings to the left, comes up just enough to derail.

       

      OK, so maybe it needs more weight, throw a couple of pounds on the top of the loco... WRONG! loco tilts to the left more, lifts the inner wheel on the lead truck more, worse derailment.

       

      I'm stumped, dead level, and with a 1 foot straight, and no other locos derail there.

       

      OK, so undo what you changed, put the trucks back with the floppy axles outwards, now no derailing in the S curve... yay, oops derails on a curve... ahh, next to a palm tree and a hump and crosslevel. OK, I can fix that, now it runs.

       

      But here's the point of the post: why is this thing so darn sensitive? I realize the RS-3 is a pretty long wheelbase, and perhaps 9.5 pounds overall is too light??, but why is this loco such a pain in the butt? Clearly it will now be between my RDC and RS-3 for the most picky on trackwork, but what have you guys learned about this loco and "rules" on the location of the floppy axles? These are latest gen motor blocks, BB and no lash screws. I just realized I did not check gauge, but this is happening on a curve and no issues through WR switches, so does not look like gauge issue.

       

      So I'd like to hear experiences with the Aristo blocks and/or RS-3

       

      Greg

    • April 9, 2019 12:08 AM EDT
    • standard 2 axle motor blocks, proven reliable, though there were about 4 or 5 versions... look for one with ball bearing axles (the axle tips are flush with the wheels)

       

      Greg

    • April 8, 2019 1:48 PM EDT
    • Were these locomotives, when available, dependable ?

           Are they standing up well over the years ?

        Does anyone on this list have one in reasonable shape for sale ?

            Fred Mills

    • April 8, 2019 9:59 AM EDT
    • Eric, I'm sure that if it went to some reputable repair facility with a good explanation of what has been previously done and the problem you are currently experiencing, that is the side frames were worn or damaged that I would hope that the would let you know before repairing, and it is certainly easy enough for you to pre check the engine before shipping as to slop in the axles and gears, good luck, Bill    

    • April 8, 2019 2:42 AM EDT
    • Bill & Joe,

      Thanks for the input.   Is there a go / no-go telltale I should look for in the structure of the locomotive?  Clearly, if there is something worn out that holds axels or motor in place, then no amount of part swapping will help.  No point in sending Gustav to TrainLi only to find he's beyond repair.

      This spawned a more philosophical internal debate about whether I should take this as a warning my other old iron horses may be approaching "end of useful service life" and should be consigned to special runs on special days.  Of course, this would mean I have to buy a replacement or two.  I do try to rotate my locomotives for this reason to ensure equal wear, but with few exceptions, all of them are 30-35 years old.

       

      Some hard thinking ahead...

       

      Eric

       

       

    • April 7, 2019 10:39 AM EDT
    • Eric Mueller said:

      Glitchy Gustav happily circled the Triple O today for about two hours, delivering beverage to the grill master...Naturally, just as everyone sat down to eat, I heard the wonderful sound of a gear train eating itself...Sure enough, both the fore and aft idlers have no teeth about 1/3 the way around the circumference.  I'll post pictures later.

       

      I am at a loss.  The motor works.   I have electrical continuity,   I've replaced all the rods. I had him professionally serviced. Now, I am back where this thread began with a beautiful model sitting on a motor block containing a stripped gear train. About the only thing left I can think of is that the motor shaft might be a hair out of alignment, and maybe a new motor - and now new idlers - are the last link in the restoration / preservation chain.   

       

      Is it time to stop throwing time and money at this old fellow and retire him to the shelf?  I hate to do it, as he just looks so good lumbering about the loop.

       

      Eric I would say if you really wish to keep it and have it run, bite the bullet and send it to trainLi for repair I know they are good, as long as there is no slop in your axles and or motor there is no reason for anything to be out of line, Bill 

       

      Back to the shelf he goes as I ponder my next move.

       

      Have a great weekend,

      Eric

       

    • April 7, 2019 7:33 AM EDT
    • At this point I would stop beating myself up and retire that loco.

    • April 7, 2019 2:25 AM EDT
    • Glitchy Gustav happily circled the Triple O today for about two hours, delivering beverage to the grill master...Naturally, just as everyone sat down to eat, I heard the wonderful sound of a gear train eating itself...Sure enough, both the fore and aft idlers have no teeth about 1/3 the way around the circumference.  I'll post pictures later.

       

      I am at a loss.  The motor works.   I have electrical continuity,   I've replaced all the rods. I had him professionally serviced. Now, I am back where this thread began with a beautiful model sitting on a motor block containing a stripped gear train. About the only thing left I can think of is that the motor shaft might be a hair out of alignment, and maybe a new motor - and now new idlers - are the last link in the restoration / preservation chain.   

       

      Is it time to stop throwing time and money at this old fellow and retire him to the shelf?  I hate to do it, as he just looks so good lumbering about the loop.

       

      Back to the shelf he goes as I ponder my next move.

       

      Have a great weekend,

      Eric

    • April 5, 2019 8:47 AM EDT
    • YAY!!!

    • April 5, 2019 4:05 AM EDT
    • Bringing a thread back from the dead here...

       

      I had intended to get a new motor, but the funds went elsewhere to things like food and stuff.  Anyway, I took Glitchy Gustav down to ensure he was ready for a new 5 A power source this weekend to see if power, not parts, was the issue.  After poking and prodding, I touched all the wheel sets with some test leads.  Everything was good until I touched the leads to surfaces that actually contact the rails...Nothing!  Some work with a greenie-weenie, a bit of reassembling, and the old boy motored down the test track.   Hmmm....That only took four months of head scratching, ignoring the issue, and pretending the problem would go away.

       

      Keeping my fingers crossed for Saturday!

       

      Eric

    • April 7, 2019 2:18 PM EDT
    • Mark,

      I converted a Bachmann Davenport to battery/RC with everything on board. It was a harrowing experience, but that little switcher is my main freight yard engine.

    • April 7, 2019 2:15 PM EDT
    • I used to have one engine with a trail car and it was connected using a JST style 5-wire connector.  I used silicone wire since it is much more flexible and stands up to more abuse than regular wires but they are a bit thicker than normal insulation for the same gauge.  Don't remember where I got the pre-wired connectors and have since sold the engine; it was a Bachmann Davenport.

    • April 7, 2019 12:10 PM EDT
    • Jon and Mark, Thank you both for responding.

      I don't want to mount everything inside the Shay. This will be my 9th conversion to battery power and they all are Revo's inside the locos. I'm tired of buying new Revo RX's so this conversion is to be a trail car that I can use for future locos (steam sound, but diesels can be run too but without sound).

      Jon,

      I am familiar with your Shay work as I was following as you did it. Very well documented and interesting to follow.

      Mark,

      I've read George's tips many times. I intend to remove the track power pickups just as he has outlined.

    • April 7, 2019 10:34 AM EDT
    • Here's my Shay restoration thread: http://www.largescalecentral.com/forums/topic/18097/restoring-a-1st-gen-bachman-shay?page=1

       

      Of course, if you want to control lighting, etc. you will need to extend at least two more wires to the trail car and do some more detailed work in the Shay.

    • April 7, 2019 10:26 AM EDT
    • Joe - For a trail car I would just lift the power pick ups from the rail contacts and then extend that pair of wires out the back of the tender and put on a connector of your choice.  The Shay will then perform exactly the same as it did on track power, except maybe a little smoother. Lighting will be directional and firebox flicker will be controlled by the the original switch.

       

      Like Mark, I did on-board Rail Boss and Phoenix in the tender with batteries in the boiler and air tank. I completely re-wired the entire Shay.  My re-build log is here somewhere

    • April 7, 2019 9:59 AM EDT
    • I don't have any experience with the Revo system as I mounted everything in the Shay itself using a RailBoss 4.  I suggest that you review George Schreyer's Bachmann Shay Tips, assuming that you haven't already done so.

    • April 7, 2019 9:00 AM EDT
    • I am planning to convert my Shay to run on battery power and a Revo 2 control system from a trail boxcar. What is the easiest way to wire in a connector to power everything after deleting the track power pickups in both trucks? All suggestions will be appreciated.

    • March 30, 2019 8:15 PM EDT
    • Stan Cedarleaf said:

      Great find, Jerry.   A really great find...   Congrats..  

      Yep !

    • March 30, 2019 1:18 PM EDT
    • Bob is an interesting guy to chat with.  I talked with him over email back and forth for a while last year about what he offered and talked about buying some of his molds to start reproducing some stuff, but couldn't afford it at the time.

       

    • March 30, 2019 10:57 AM EDT
    • 26" long. It is 1/32nd scale. So it seems right on, according to my fading math skills! Wonder why he made the F40 so short? Sure looks weird. Of course the E-7 is longer than the coaches!! May try to make a B unit, a guy I know is talking about it also, maybe if I procrastinate(good at that!) he will do it before me.

       

      Bob Thon(Robert's Lines) has the Standard Gauge (great Trains) brochure and did pick up a A&B unit years ago that he has displayed in a local museum. He goes back a long way, did the Pioneer Zephyr and lots of Standard Gauge kits/cars/engines, always in metal. Interesting guy.  I'm trying to get him to write a book about his company and maybe include his knowledge/pictures of some other obscure small train companies from the 70-80's that made limited numbers of cars/engines that few know about.