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  • Topic: Which is the better engine? (Climax Vs. Forney)

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    • September 6, 2021 1:24 PM EDT
      • Columbia, Maryland
         
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      Which is the better engine? (Climax Vs. Forney)

      Which engine do you believe is better:

      The Bachmann Forney, or the Climax?

      I'm trying to decide between the two.

    • September 8, 2021 5:45 AM EDT
      • Tingewick, Buckinghamshire
         
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      I have had both on my roster for a few years now. Very different locos with very different purposes in real life. Build quality is good for both, check if the Climax you are looking at is the earlier version or the later Mk II. The later version is more desirable and will have pull off sand boxes at the rear that will reveal switches and there will the Bachmann PnP PCB under the coal load/oil tank cover. the earlier version does not. The Fourney was made with these switches and PCB from the start, both under the removable bunker coal load, it's inception makes it a later model in the Bachmann range. Level of detail on both is faithful and excellent. If complete, as new, both will come with a whole host of extra "detailing" parts to deploy, not just a 2 man crew. If you are thinking of converting to battery power both will probably need a trailer of some kind to house the batteries, space is tight on both. Although I have seen some clever conversions that use compact Li-Ion batteries, rather than the conventional NiMH, mounted in the cab roof. You might be able to squeeze some into the boiler of the Forney to help with its adhesion issues (see below).

       

      The Fourney does not have the levels of adhesion that either version of the Climax has. The Climax will cope with grades better and pull far greater loads in stock form. The Climax benefits from having both power bogies motored, resulting in better usable power with the weight distribution equally over all axles. The Fourney only has a single motor over the front power bogie. Both can deal with fairly tight radius curves as their power bogies pivot (not fixed in line with the loco frames). On the Fourney the rear trailing bogie both pivots and can slide side to side (or locked) to accommodate even tighter rail curvatures. Both loco types should have two knuckle coupler height options supplied, standard Fn3 and one to match the lower "Big Hauler"/LGB/USAT/Aristo', etc' standard. The Fourney's are body mounted at the rear and power bogie mounted at the front on a long shank. The Mk 2 Climax's are both body mounted, the Climax Mk I to the power bogies. The earlier Mk 1 though will need a body mounted Kadee conversion to match up to regular Spectrum/AMS Fn3 scale stock coupler height. The Climax also has multi height beam mounted pockets F&R for simple link and pin coupling. The Climax chassis's short overhangs F&R make the use of body mounted couplers less problematic on tight curves. Scale wise they are stated as being 1:20.3, the Climax is pretty much true however I have seen some debate about the Fourney being a bit over scale (up to 7/8th inch scale/1:13 in some cases !) as these were mostly seen on 2ft gauge systems rather than the 3ft logging lines the Climax is mostly associated with. But then again if you are not sure of the actual size of the prototype in relation to other stock then either will look good coupled up to Bachmann's Fn3/1:20.3 Spectrum range or AMS's similarly scaled items. The Fourney may look oversize with some "Big Hauler" scaled (around 1:22.5 - 1:29) stock based on standard gauge prototypes.

       

      Conclusion - both desirable well detailed locos, buy which suits your line's theme or heart's desire. The Climax shades it for me with its pulling power and ability handle grades and that it is a truer scale representation. Go for the later Climax model as the earlier may be old and worn and could have drive train issues and will not be as straightforward to convert for DCC or battery operation if required. Spares and repairs are always a hit and miss affair but the later Climax still features on Bachmann's spares site but weirdly not the Fourney. Full documentation is still available for both the Climax and Fourney. I hope this helps. Max

      This post was edited by Max Winter at September 9, 2021 9:09 AM EDT
    • September 8, 2021 7:37 AM EDT
      • Eastern Massachusetts
         
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      I have several of the LGB Forney/s and they are a great puller of cars and will run on 4 foot diameter.

    • September 8, 2021 11:40 AM EDT
      • Ottawa/Nepean, Ontario, Canada
         
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      Max...you provided a wise, thorough, and well thought out report. 

        We all can learn from your report.  Thank you.

        Fred Mills

    • September 8, 2021 11:40 AM EDT
      • Ottawa/Nepean, Ontario, Canada
         
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      Max...you provided a wise, thorough, and well thought out report. 

        We all can learn from your report.  Thank you.

        Fred Mills

    • September 8, 2021 12:58 PM EDT
      • Saint Johns, Florida
         
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      Max is correct. The Climax is an excellent loco. I use mine mostly with batteries, speaker and radio in a trail boxcar. The V2 Climax allows easy back and forth use of track or batteries with the on board track power/battery switch under a sandbox on the rear. It is a good puller, but not quite as good as my Shay.

      ____________________________________

       

       

    • September 8, 2021 6:58 PM EDT
      • Columbia, Maryland
         
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      Thank you Mr. Winter!!!

    • September 9, 2021 5:03 AM EDT
      • Tingewick, Buckinghamshire
         
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      Joe Loll said:

      Thank you Mr. Winter!!!

       

      Glad to be of assistance Joe. I think I got a bit carried away with your brief  Do let us know which one you bought. Both seriously nice locos. Max

       

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