Large Scale Central

More Bachmann Spectrum 4-4-0/2-6-0 stuff

I think I am getting side-tracked too often by ‘interesting projects’. Guy on FB was selling his whole collection, and at the end of page 6 he listed a Bachmann Spectrum 4-4-0 and a 2-6-0 as ‘projects’. He sold the collection and kept back the projects, so I bought them to give my pal Tim something to do.
Here’s the ‘before’ pics:

The 4-4-0 was supposed to be complete except for the cow-catcher and a bad gear; a new gear was in the box. The 2-6-0 however - well, what can you say . . .

A little soapy water cleaned up the 4-4-0.

The tender was interesting, as it had wires both ends, and someone had removed the axle wiper pickups.

When I looked inside, it was empty. :roll_eyes: (We can always hope for a decent sound system.)

The back has a connector like the Aristo multi-units, so maybe he had a battery car for it.

I wasn’t planning to do too much to the 2-6-0 as I have other fish to fry (Aster C&S #22, extended Sierra coaches, etc.) But the motor and gearbox were a mess. There was a bag of goodies (parts) and this is what I got:

Lots of things you’d hope to find, like a gearbox with gears! even a small piece of rod that fits inside the gearbox, and 1 wheel/axlebox spring (6 would have been nice.) So I unhitched the center wheels and motor so I could see if it really was all there. Seemed to be a complete set of gears except the broken axle gear, for which I already had a spare.

But no axlebox or eccentrics on this side. Not good.
So I dug through my junk, as I knew I had a few bits from older 4-4-0 fixes. Lo and behold - a plastic bag with eccentrics, screws, springs and 2 axleboxes!

So I went ahead to reassemble the motor+gearbox to see if it worked. All went well with putting it together and filling it with newer grease, no missing parts. In went the new axle and power was applied.

OK. [That’s a 1.1Mb video dragged directly into the thread. Impressive.]
So on with the wheels. One side had already been on, so I refit it to the new axle. To my surprise, when I pushed the wheel on to the end, the axle popped out completely, leaving the new gear inside!

You may recall the gears are on a “D” shaped axle so they don’t rotate until they crack [still waiting for that,] but they aren’t as well attached as I had assumed.
No problem, just support the end while pushing, and the axle went back in.

I added the spare eccentrics, and noticed they are set up as 2 pairs with their axle slot at 90 degrees. Makes sense, if you want it to look prototypical. I noticed because the reversing slot guide was exactly the same on both sides, so I checked the hole alignment, and chose the other pair of eccentrics for this side.

Finally, I tried to install an axlebox from my stash, but it turns out this loco has 10mm wheel hubs and the 4-4-0 that supplied my bearing is 9mm. I wonder why Bachmann switched to a bigger size?

So that’s today’s story. Now I have to find a 10mm drill or a 10mm reamer - maybe the local machine shop can help.

So in sorting through the parts, I found the spare axlebox and bearing - just as my 25/64ths drill turned up from HD. I don’t know where it was hiding - it should be on the pic of the parts.

One thing that is on the pic of parts is this little device:


It is available in the B’mann eStore as a “Guide Plate” for the 2-6-0.

For the life of me, I can’t find it on the exploded diagram. Can anyone enlighten me as to where it fits and what it does?

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I learned more today, trying to fix a broken whistle on the 4-4-0. They break off the minute you turn the loco over to fix the cracked gear, and I had both halves of this one. The conventional solution is to drill a hole in both parts and add a metal rod to hold them together.

I got out a 3/64ths drill and tried to make a hole. Turned out the whistle isn’t plastic as I thought, but pot-metal. With a little cutting oil it drilled the hole and then I inserted a brass nail and started on the top of the dome.

More oil and a careful re-install had the 2 pieces back together.

Incidentally, on this loco the top of the dome came off easily, which is something anyone should do before handling the 4-4-0 or 2-6-0, to preserve these parts.

A flash of recognition. It’s to keep the center wheels from falling down off the rails

Today I got a shipment from Bachmann, as I needed more gears!
Tim & I picked up a couple of 4-4-0s from an auction in like-new pristine condition. One, the SPC version has a bad gear (no surprise there.) It’s so pretty I got it out and put it on my display shelves below my 2-6-0. [It will be for sale when we have installed the gear.]

Anyway, I ordered another gear+axle from Bachmann Parts, and noted there was also the spare gear: “Axle Gear G Scale /Universal/2-8-0/-2-6-0/4-4-0” (which sorta makes the issue of how many teeth a bit moot!)

I had thought it would be a spare version of the old gear for the splined axle. I have a few of the axles lying around, and I figured the gear would give them another 10 years before they split. Not so fast - the new gear turns out to be the new type “D” axle gear - you can clearly see the flat in this pic. (You can clearly see the “D” shape in the eStore pic too, if I had looked closely!)

So I will need the NWSL gear that fits the splined axles. Hmm . . I wonder if they are making them.

So is the gear replacement you got from Bachmann is the the same gear that originally split? Reason I’m asking is I have one of those SPC 4-4-0 that has very little run time on it since I bought it new (life seems to get the way). So I’m expecting it to have the gear issue. So in a preemptive manner, I bought one of the D axel with gear assuming that is what splits. Is it not?

No - see bottom photo in this post. You can’t get the original gear type to fit the splined axles these days, except from NWSL.

Mickey, the replacement axle and gear fits either a new type or the old ones. The actual axle and gear sizes are 100% compatible.
It is more likely that your split gear is the old type - on a splined axle. The new style “D” gear (which you can buy without an axle,) won’t fit unless you drill it out to 6mm. Here’s a splined axle and a split gear:

So, having several splined axles lying around, I emailed NWSL about the old replacement gear, and found they still make it.

(I have pointed out to them that Bachmann now agrees that the 25 tooth fits the 4-4-0 and 2-6-0.)

This gear is more expensive than the replacement and axle from Bachmann, but it is Delrin and may last longer!

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Thank you for the clarification.

As a side note, after reading several of your posts, I’m getting the idea that you buy these locos, fix them up and resell them. Is that correct? If so, I might be interested in a Heisler if you run across one that’s affordable.

Well, I fix them up for my friend Tim. I enjoy tinkering and fixing them, and he is a prolific eBay buyer/seller but not very mechanically minded. But when it is something I know just needs some TLC, I may buy it for myself, work on it and then resell it. I often see things on Facebook that just beg me to fix them.

Sometimes it works out - the Whistle&Stick 4-4-0 pictured in the top of this thread cost me $100+shipping, and I’ll be lucky to break even when Tim puts it on eBay. But the pristine new SPC 4-4-0 I’m working on today cost us $86 in an online auction that was not well advertised.

I’ll keep my eyes open for a Heisler. :face_with_monocle:

Back to the subject, as I took the SPC 4-4-0 apart to fix the gears, a strange thing happened - one of the bearings came off with the wheel.

Never seen that before. So I got an old splined axle, pushed it on and put it in the chuck of my drill. As it turned I smoothed off the end until the bearing fitted back on without too much resistance.

I did manage to lose another spring off that axle. The tweezers were magnetic, so when I dropped it into my removed-parts-tray it didn’t drop and it must have fallen off the tip somewhere. (I noted this when I took the second one out!)
I have a spare, so my next trick is to measure it and see if I can find a source. I always lose one . . .

The SPC loco is back together and seems to run smoothly. While I had it on the bench, I addressed this part which I found in the box:

In all the 4-4-0/2-6-0 locos I have fixed, I’d never seen one of these. [Raise your hand if your loco still has one installed!]

It’s the fall plate behind the cab that drops down on to the tender floor. Unfortunately it seems a bit fragile - this one is missing a peg. When I put it on the cab, it looks like this.

The brass rod in the foreground fits the pivots, so all I have to do is glue the fall plate to the rod. Easier said than done.

I fixed the plate this morning by drilling a #74 for a small pin, which I shortened when I inserted it with some acc. All is now done on this loco and it is ready for sale. (Msg me if you are interested. I think Tim is putting it on eBay.)

And while I said I had never seen one, I was testing a plug to see if it fit the 2-6-0/4-4-0 tender socket,


(it does) and I noted I have one on the 2-6-0 which is waiting for reassembly. Murphy’s Law.


(If you want to know the plug type, just ask. It’s unusual to need one, but someone cut the plugs off the Whistle & Stick 4-4-0.)

Today I got a package from Northwest Short Line, commonly known as NWSL, with a new 2226-6 gear. This is the replacement for the Bachmann gears that split - but it only fits an old knurled axle, not the new “D” shaped ones. I even got a sticker!

The 3 axles I accumulated over this year since I started to hang on to them. Luckily NWSL came back to life.
The white gear is a Bachmann part and has the “D” axle molding. It isn’t so obvious since I started filing it to make it fit a round axle!

A little more info - more than you need to know. The NWSL description says it is for a 1/4" axle. Knowing B’mann is metric, and having heard from Jiro Yeramian, the Gear Man, that B’mann uses 6mm axles, I commented on this to NWSL when I ordered the gear. 1/4" = 0.250" and 6mm = 0.236".

I couldn’t get the new gear on my axle, so I got out the micrometer. Whaddya know.

Shaft diameter:

Inside diameter of gear:

I don’t know whether NWSL made it 6mm due to my comments, but I hastily emailed them these photos.

Sometimes you eat bear. Sometimes the bear eats you! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

With the roof missing, you can see all kinds of things inside the cab. Behind the cab is a silvery bowl with wires, which I assumed is a firebox light. I got enough of my fat fingers in there to open the firebox door, and applied power to the engine and Lo - a flicker in the firebox! (Not visible in this photo unfortunately.)

There are 2 more LEDs under the firebox, but they are inside the confines of the bottom plate and the boiler. They work, but how would anyone see them?

I also seem to have trashed the headlight LED in attempting to test it. No idea whether is is supposed to get 18V or 3V.

Are there any cracks around the ash pan? Not familiar with this loco, but on the Shay, the bottom LEDs are visible under the loco with light ‘leaking’ around the ash pan. It needs to be fairly dark to notice. I liked it enough to keep the board and the LEDs and find a different spot for the battery.

I don’t recall seeing any place the light could leak out. On the other hand, I don’t run these in the dark - maybe I should experiment!

Always satisfying when you can do this.

Mind you, I had to clean the wheels and the track to make it run smoothly!

That might work better?

As the mechanicals seem to work, I turned to cleaning up the details so we can sell it. (I already have a 2-6-0 and no more shelf space.)

The headlight didn’t seem to work when I first tested it, though it did glimmer slightly once. I needed new tool box covers anyway, so I ordered a new ‘universal’ LED from Bachmann’s Parts Store. (The order came to $6 and shippng was $8. Oh well.) I also ordered a 100 pack of 5mm warm white LEDS from a guy on eBay which turned up the same day.

Note the B’mann LED is flangeless - most LEDs are ‘top hat’ shaped with a rim around the bottom. They won’t fit behind the reflector unless you carve some off either the LED or the back of the reflector.

If you haven’t done this before, note that base of the headlight is a pair of metal struts that carry power to the light. Two small screws underneath fit to metal pads in the headlight base which have wires soldered to them and the LED. The box pulls off the base and the reflector and lens are pushed out by a screwdriver from behind.

Anyway, having removed the old LED, I tested with a multimeter to make sure there was no resistor required for the LED - no, only 1.7 volts across the metal frame, so I touched the new LED to the frame and got a glimmer, and the non-b’mann LED lit brightly, as the pic shows.

And then it stopped working, and I haven’t seen a glimmer since. I tried all sorts of things to make it work, and I will try more today. . .