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  • Topic: Aristocraft Dash 9

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    • February 2, 2018 3:13 PM EST
      • Papineauville, QC
         
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      Aristocraft Dash 9

       Hi,

      I bought a few year ago a brand new Aristocraft Canadian Pacific Dash 9. I used it only a few time (2 or 3 time). I use the Revolution 2 transmitter and a in board receiver on all of my loco. I run on battery power (battery car 18.5 volt). When i used the dash 9, i away receive a no link message on the transmitter after a few minute of running. Loco was stopping, unplug the battery car, plug it back and it was running for a few meter, stop again with a no link message. Someone told me to change the receiver (might be defect). So I was working on my Aristo Dash 9, I changed the receiver and it did the same thing. Put the power on (battery) put it in forward or reversed and it chow sometime No link on the transmitter and stop. One time i saw the front wheel turning (trunk) and the rear one not turning (trunk). So i unscrew the rear trunk (motor bloc) and jump it whit a battery pack (12 volt). One of the 2 motor came hot. Can't  touch it with my finger. The other one was cold.

       

      Do you think that one motor is gone? Need to replace it. It is hard to change?

      Thank you to help me.

      Francois

       

    • February 2, 2018 3:30 PM EST
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      So, with the one motor block completely detached, powering it makes one motor hot and the other cold. Yep, something is wrong.

       

      I would remove both motors, and check them individually.

       

      Now to fixing, the easiest way is to get a replacement motor block, Try Navin at Precision RC, http://www.revoelectronics.com/   and I recommend to call over email.

       

      Regards, Greg

      ____________________________________

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    • February 2, 2018 6:47 PM EST

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      Put the Plug back in, Put the Dash -9 on rollers. Hook up to power transformer. Crank it up full speed and let it run for about 30 minutes. Put Revolution back in and try it again ! I have had to do this with every Dash-9, I have installed a new Revolution in to get it to work !  Thanks, Rex

    • February 3, 2018 12:14 PM EST
      • Papineauville, QC
         
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      Thank you for your advice. Yes with the motor block completely detach from the loco and only on 12 volt battery. After a minute or so you head the wheel changing speed and one motor coming hot. If i let it running, the motor come so hot that i can't hold my finger on it.

      Ok Greg, can you tell me how you undo the motor from the motor block if i want to check them individually. They look very stuck in the motor block. Gear box want to come off but the motor stay in. What i do to find out what in rung with the motor.

      For the running procedure, it what i did. Not to full speed, but with the 18.5 volt battery pack. Put the loco on a stand and let it run maybe at 50% of the full speed until the battery pack was completely discharge. It that way that i notice that one trunk was not working well. For the other motor block every thing seem all right. Run perfectly whit out coming hot.  

    • February 3, 2018 4:15 PM EST
      • San Mateo, California
         
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      Francois,

      To be illustrated below is an example later production Aristo-Craft SD45 3 axle motor block removed from the loco. This type block is also used on the Aristo GE Dash-9 and E8/E9 locos.


      Though the illustration below describes repairing a bad solder joint, it does show how the motors are soldered in. If you remove the middle wheels (don't just pry them off, use wheel puller) you can access the "U" slotted areas in which to insert a soldering iron to heat up the solder joint in order to extract the motor. Both sides of a given motor would have to be done, and there are two motors in the block. Maybe some type of solder wicking could be inserted in the slot with the soldering iron.  It's likely to be a very difficult task.

      Aristo 3 axle motor block

      I hope this if of help to clarify how the block is configured.

      -Ted

       

       

    • February 6, 2018 4:47 AM EST
      • E. Helena , Montana
         
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      Hi,

      I posted some information in regards to this kind of issue some time back due to a motor failure on our Dash 9.

      Here is that link,

      https://www.largescalecentral.com/forums/topic/27326/aristocraft-bnsf-dash-9-motor-failure?page=1

      What I have found is motors with bent shafts or bad bearings in some Dash 9's get hot and are usually not fixable (without expertise) and should be replaced.

      The best way is to remove the 4 screws holding the drive block inside the truck frame.

      Remove the motor block and the wheels.

      Then remove all of the screws holding the top plate on.

      Remove the top plate and unsolder the 4 contacts located in the U shaped holes on the side of the block as Ted described above.

      Then carefully and gently wiggle the ENTIRE 2 motors and 3 gearboxes, evenly, (without force so as not to bend or damage any motor shafts or parts) and pull the whole assembly out of the block making sure to keep the whole drive next (parallel) to your locomotive.

      Then mark one side of each motor and gearbox so when you reassemble everything, the polarity will be accurate. This is very important so you don't reassemble the whole motor block and drive assembly backwards, causing short circuits and electrical problems from reversed polarity. Then after marking F for front motor (toward cab) and R for rear motor, simply slide the 2 motors out of the gearboxes, keeping everything still aligned next to the locomotive as it was when removed. Test your motors for excessive electrical draw and heat. Once you have found the defective motor, you can get a replacement from Navin as mentioned above or find them on Ebay occasionally.

      This is his number 201-565-6069.

      When you receive the new motor, make sure you reassemble everything exactly as it came out and that your polarity matches on both motors. Also, some people say to resolder the forks back to the motor contacts, however I left mine unsoldered on all my dash 9's because if the motors and gearboxes are not lined up exactly and seated properly in the plastic block it can cause binding and damage another motor or shaft. This process is somewhat difficult to get exact and I have never had a problem with electrical pickup or any motor moving or being damaged in 14 years due to not resoldering the motors. I have placed grease holes in the bottom of all my gearboxes requiring removal of all my drives on every dash 9 we own.

      If you feel better resoldering the motor clips, then go ahead but make sure to seat them all the way down in the plastic block and test the fully assembled drive block for excessive amperage draw and heat for 10 minutes on medium power outside the locomotive to be sure there is no drag, binding or excessive heat or noise. If there is anything that doesn't appear right, correct it by unsoldering, realigning, resoldering and then try it again. Not soldering, at least to me, is safer and less stress on the motors and shafts but that's only my opinion and experience. Replace wheels and cover.

       

      When you reassemble the completed, whole drive block back into the locomotive truck frame, test the locomotive first, upside down to ensure both drives and all wheels are running the same direction.

      If they are operating in opposite directions, you may have the drive block you just repaired in backwards, requiring removal, reversal and remounting. If you still have a problem, you will have to go back into the drive and reverse (turn over) the motors.

      Here are some photos of our Dash 9 block disassembled that may help. This procedure is a much, much, much cheaper way to repair your drive than replacing the whole drive which can cost $150.00 or more plus, once get into it, I think you'll find its really quite easy to do.

      Good luck with your project!

      Hope all this helps.

      Ken

       

      PS I believe we posted another highly detailed, previous post about disassembly and repair of these drives earlier. Check out all our other posts for that particular one. I know it's there but I have trouble finding these things sometimes. If someone else finds it, maybe they would be willing to post the link. Not real sure how to locate my own previous posts. Had to find the one above on the Internet.

       

       

      This post was edited by Ken Mathews/Imagination Station Kids On Track at February 6, 2018 8:53 AM EST
    • February 6, 2018 8:53 AM EST
      • Papineauville, QC
         
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      Thank for the info. So far i contact Navin and he told me to undo the motor block and check the gear in the gear box. He told me that he have gear box parts but he is not sure to have replacement motor for the motor block. This morning i undo the motor block and check every thing. Gear box look ok, but like i said one motor came pretty hot when it was plug to the battery pack with no load. I'm pretty sure that motor is no good with no reason.

      By the way Ken, what kind of plug you use on your gear box to block your hole?

      Francois

    • February 6, 2018 12:57 PM EST
      • San Mateo, California
         
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      Francois,

      With the motor now fully removed from the block and separated form gearboxes, apply power across the motor's leads and see how the motor works or gets hot before making final judgement if it's bad.

      -Ted

    • February 6, 2018 1:18 PM EST
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      Yeah, getting hot under no load is a clear indication once it's out and binding is not an issue.

       

      Ken, you say "unsolder the 4 contacts located in the U shaped holes " .... and subsequent to that you say you can just lift the motors out.

       

      I agree if you completely remove all the solder, then the motors can be lifted out. But how do you personally remove all the solder? I have solder wick and a vacuum desoldering station, but this is not something most people have or can do.

       

      Normally you heat the tabs alternately and "work" the motor out.. and then after it's out you can "clean up" the leftover solder.

       

      So, I really would like the details of how you remove all the solder so that the motor is free to lift out.

       

      Thanks, Greg

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    • February 6, 2018 3:49 PM EST
      • E. Helena , Montana
         
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      Francois,

       

      I don't currently use a plug but there is room for one in the outer plastic block only. I have been meaning to get one from a company that makes them but there is only room for a plug in the outer plastic block. The gearbox doesn't have room between the plastic casing and the gear on the bottom. I have been using black electrical tape on the outer block only, up till now. However, when I find a correct plug for the outer block, I probably won't have to worry about the gearbox as it seems to stay greased for a long period of time, even under heavy operation and it's pretty well sealed from dirt. I have disassembled various blocks and gearboxes at different intervals and have yet to find dirt or discoloration.

       

      As soon as I find the correct plug, I'll post that information in another post. I'll do that as soon as I can here, since it's been too long. Guess I gotta stop being lazy on it.

       

      Greg,

       

      Removing all the solder is actually kind of simple after you remove the motor assembly. What I do is heat up one motor contact on one side at a time while gently prying up on the motor with a small screwdriver quuckly, (wiggling it up and down only a tiny, tiny bit until the contact releases. I then do the rest of the contacts in the same way. I then check to see that all the contacts from both motors are loose and if not, I redo the one that isn't, however, most of the time they are. Incidentally, before I pry on any motor, I make sure the gearboxes are loose enough so as not to bend a shaft. You will find there is enough play in the full drive to compensate for the motor loosening movement without bending a shaft or damaging a gearbox if you don't over pry. The key is only pry as far as is necessary to release the contact fork from the moter contact lead.

       

      I have a new second way of removal by using 2 soldering irons in a holding bracket adjusted the correct distance apart to release both contacts at the same time. This way solder can be removed enough to loosen both motors at the same time but this is very tricky because you have to be even quicker at prying them loose.

       

      I like the first way better. To me it's safer and easier but that's just me.

       

      After removing the motor/gearbox assembly it's fairly easy access to remove all the solder, if you even need to. Sometimes I have found the build up actually helps conductivity (if your not resoldering on reassembly) as long as you don't have any resistance in reassembly and everything seats properly in the plastic block.

       

      I don't know, crazy ideas? It's only the way I do it.

       

      It seems to work well on on all the dash 9's I've done in the past.

       

      Between ours and other people I've helped repair or add grease ports, I would guess I've done it this way on 35 plus Dash 9's, Sd 45's, and E8's at least so far. 

       

      I wouldn't call myself an expert but it's fairly simple for me to do now and I kinda enjoy it. I guess, actually, it's kinda like the same way you do it, I've just gotten use to working on these things, I guess.

       

      Hope that isn't too confusing and helps some.

       

      Ken

      This post was edited by Ken Mathews/Imagination Station Kids On Track at February 6, 2018 4:02 PM EST
    • February 7, 2018 8:04 AM EST
      • Papineauville, QC
         
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      Yesterday i receive new from Navin:

      {Francois, I will check to see if I have any motors in stock, if I do I will conform.} 

      So if some one have a Aristocraft dash 9 motor for sale i'am a buyer, or if some one know where to find some motor let me know. Thank you.

      Francois

    • February 7, 2018 10:39 AM EST
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      Ken, I guess you misunderstood my question, or I misunderstood your post.

       

      I asked how you removed all the solder BEFORE you removed the motors? But I see upon re-reading you said to remove the motors as Ted suggests. I swear it was written differently when I posted, but oh well!.

       

      In any case, since I have been doing this probably as long or longer as you have, I'm very curious, since there was a lot of controversy about this. I see you do not re-solder the motors. Yes, solder wick, or compressed air will help you clean the "forks", I'm well aware, been soldering since about 1957.

       

      But not bragging here, trying to learn/understand/help. The reason that the forks are soldered to the motor brushes is that Aristo themselves found that the motion of the motors torquing in different directions "opened" the forks and eventually resulted in poor electrical contact between them and the "motor brush tabs". The motors always try to rotate in the block a bit.

       

      The original design was indeed to leave the motors "floating" as you prepare them - no solder. But the complaints of intermittent operation were so great Aristo started soldering them.

       

      So, leave them unsoldered and watch for power problems, but normally enjoy quieter running or solder the forks and enjoy better power/operation but you might have alignment problems, which are usually solved by realigning the motor.

       

      Since you have been doing this for a long time, I have to respect that you have had success with the motors "floating". Perhaps Aristo "jumped the gun" in soldering them. Certainly it has produced some noisy locomotives, but in  all cases I have been able to quiet them to an acceptable degree by realigning the motors.

       

      Have you ever had a "floated motor" locomotive come back with poor running issues caused by poor contact between motors and forks? It seems that with all the locos you have worked on and the time elapsed this issue should have surfaced a few times.

       

       

      Regards, Greg

      This post was edited by Greg Elmassian at February 7, 2018 10:52 AM EST
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    • February 7, 2018 2:48 PM EST
      • E. Helena , Montana
         
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      Greg, 

      No I have not had floating motor contact issues although I know Aristocraft has in the past. What I do to avoid this issue is put some double stick puddy tape (easily removable if necessary) on each side of and below the motor, applied to the bottom if the plastic block, like a sticky cradle, so to speak. I then bend the forks on a slight angle to create some good resistance and a tight fit. The reason I didn't mention this is, all of this has to be done precisely to avoid alignment issues with the other motors and gearboxes and i wasn't sure if anyone really wanted to go to that level as it can be tricky and the normal procedure works fine by narrowing the forks slightly. When done correctly this seems to prevent motor movement better and still allow easy removal when necessary.

      I have 10 locomotives that we dId not do this to and they have run this way since they were new without contact problems.

      If they ever do have the problem that you mentioned with contact, then of course I will solve it in the above manner.

      One important note is, even if you don't do what I suggested above, just narrowing the forks to a size that will still allow full insertion of the motor lead (snug) will definitely help prevent motor movement. I just like going the extra step, plus it allows for a bit quieter operation.

      So to answer your question about having locomotives come back due to motor contact issues, not to date, so far, knock on wood. The only problem I have ever had is the one dash 9 with a bad motor getting hot like Francois which I to had to replace.

      Also, I'm not sure I'm understanding what you mean by removing the solder in advance as all I do is unsolder and loosen and remove the motors. I don't remove solder in advance or even after. I just melt and clean it up and leave it as extra conectivity. Seems to work ok.

      Ken

       

      This post was edited by Ken Mathews/Imagination Station Kids On Track at February 7, 2018 2:54 PM EST
    • February 7, 2018 3:49 PM EST
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      Yes, I misunderstood what you wrote, somehow interpreting it as being simple when you have to basically work the motor out a bit at a time with an iron, or having a third hand for 2 soldering irons and pulling on the motor at the same time.

       

      Now your method makes sense to me, you stop/minimize the motor rotation that causes the contacts to loosen and open up. Further, "narrowing" the forks helps too. The only thing I wonder about is your "double stick puddy tape"... my guess is that it's sticky enough to minimze motion, but flexible enough for the motor to "self align" / "seek alignment" so the geartrain is quieter and no binding.

       

      So, do you put this tape between the bottom of the block and the motor (which is really the top when in situ), or the cover and the motor? Since I have found that the best alignment with soldered motors is usually with the motor recessed as fully as possible into the block, I'm curious.

       

      Greg

       

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    • February 7, 2018 6:13 PM EST
      • E. Helena , Montana
         
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      It's actually 2 pieces, 1 on each side that allow a cradling of the motor but they are cut under the motor at 45 degree angles on each side, which is actually the top as you mentioned. This allows the motor to sit as far down as possible but still contact the tape well enough to stick firmly to it.

      It also allows to position or reposition the motors and drive to the best location possible without excessive force. I haven't put anything under the cover or on the opposite side of the motor yet because I have never, to date, found it necessary as non of the motors I have done this with have ever moved. You are right about one thing, you do have to make sure the whole motor/gearbox assembly sits as far down as possible into the plastic box and this application allows for that. It also helps quiet some of the noise, but not all.

      Some of it is design flaws. Once again, only my opinion. However over all, I really think this is a great drive and they have provided years of durable, trouble free, powerful usage. I really have no complaints. A little extra work (and grease ports) and they are as near perfect as you will get.

      Ken

       

    • February 7, 2018 9:37 PM EST
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      Happy that we agree about "bedding" the motors all the way down.

       

      Do you fill the gearboxes fully with grease? What do you like? A good lithium wheel bearing grease with moly works well.

       

      Also, keeping the gearboxes full of grease should avoid this problem:

       

      ____________________________________

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    • February 8, 2018 1:14 AM EST
      • E. Helena , Montana
         
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      No I don't fill the gearboxes because it's not necessary due to my added grease ports on each gearbox. It allows me to grease the gears anytime it is needed without disassembly.

      I tried filling the gearboxes a couple times in the past but I was unhappy with the results. It seemed to increase the amperage draw slightly and the motors ran hotter, especially in a hotter environment outside. It also decreased the pulling power.

      These are only my results, so I can't say all lubricants will act in this way. 

      I currently use the same grease that Barry (Barry's Big Trains) uses. It's called Super Lube Synthetic Grease and it sticks like glue to the gears and resists dirt. I use it on a multitude of parts and on all my gears on every locomotive. It's so good, I rarely have to re-grease gears even under heavy usage. It just lasts a long time. Another trick I learned from Barry.

      This grease is better for direct application and has fantastic longevity compared to the 22 other greases I have personally tried. I just wouldn't use anything else. 

      If a person wanted to fill the gearbox, my suggestion would be a plastic compatable gear oil, not a grease, however since the gearbox isn't 100% leak proof, this probably wouldn't work and that is the reason I went to grease ports drilled in the bottom casings of the gearboxes. This way you always know you have lubrication, kinda like Bachmann's lube ports under their steam engines which was Barry's invention and submission to Bachmann years ago. I have never understood Aristocraft's sealed maintenance free gearbox idea because the grease they used always seemed to be flung off the gears and plastered all over the side of the gearbox. Every locomotive I pulled apart was either completely dry (with grease everywhere but on the gears) or had so little grease that it wasn't going to be long before it was dry. I've even witnessed 100% dry gearboxes on brand new locomotives, right out of the factory, so it pays to check them out. I've also seen a lot of unnecessary premature gear wear as a result of a lack of proper lubrication.

      USA Trains, LGB, Bachmann, lionel, MTH, Accucraft, and Piko all have removable plates on most models allowing for periodic bottom plate removal and greasing. On these models, I simply drill a hole in the bottom plate directly in line with the gear/s to allow grease to be applied without having to remove the plate.

      On Heartland Locomotive Works/Kalamazoo 4-4-0's, 2-6-0's etc. it's a bit more difficult because you have to remove main rods, side rods, remove the mounting screws and wires, remove the drive block, remove the screws and nuts holding the two drive block halves together, remove all gears/axles etc., remount the two halves back together with nothing inside and then mark and drill your grease port holes. You then have to reassemble the gearbox and quarter the axles/wheels and put it all back together. It is worth it in the long run because once again, it just seems odd to say that a gearbox is maintenance free. I sure wouldn't try it with my car or truck.

      I just like to make sure my equipment runs as long as possible and is simple to maintain. So far it's been successful because we use our equipment a whole lot and I haven't had any major problems with exception of the bad motor we had in our BNSF Dash 9 some time back, however that was a factory defect and was repaired by replacing the motor. Some things are just unavoidable. 

      Ken

      Here are photos of the grease we use.

       

      This post was edited by Ken Mathews/Imagination Station Kids On Track at February 8, 2018 1:54 AM EST
    • February 8, 2018 2:35 AM EST
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      Interesting, I just bought a Sherline cnc mill and that's the lube they recommend, as well as the spray for places that would use oil. I have both the grease and the spray lube.

       

      I have not used it on trains, but if it's good enough for my mill, I guess it's fine for trains.

       

      So, when you make the holes in the aristo gearboxes, you still remove the bottom cover to get to them?

       

      Greg

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    • February 8, 2018 7:09 AM EST
      • Papineauville, QC
         
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      If you see his photos, you can see the hole in the bottom cover. That why i was asking what kind of plug he was using. He said that he was only using electric tape over the hole.

      Francois

    • February 8, 2018 2:54 PM EST
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      Yes, I see the one picture with the holes. There's no way to seal the gearbox itself, if you are also having holes in the bottom cover. Maybe I might consider holes in the gearboxes with tape over them and pull the bottom cover when lubricating. I personally would not be real comfortable with the gearboxes being open all the time, but realistically, other than grease coming out of the the hole, nothing is really getting inside as long as you tape does not fail.

       

      Not a bad idea for a gearbox that needs to be lubricated several times. I'm not sure I am 100% convinced that these gearboxes cannot be lubed only once in their life.

       

      But, once you invest the time to totally tear the loco apart to make the hole in the gearbox (take it apart to the point of opening each gearbox) then making a lube hole makes sense. I would make a much smaller hole and use a hypodermic to squirt in the grease.

       

      Greg

       

      ____________________________________

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