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    • July 10, 2020 5:55 PM EDT
    • Thanks David, exactly what I needed to know, Bill

    • July 10, 2020 4:33 PM EDT
    • Page 12OPERATIONWhen running by itself or coupled to another locomotive or cars, this locomotive requires a minimum track diameter of 8’. This is a large locomotive and smaller diameter curves may cause derailments and clearance problems. Smaller curves will also cause cars coupled to the locomotive be pulled completely off of the rails.


    • July 10, 2020 4:21 PM EDT
    • what is considered the minimum radius or diameter curve to run one on, will it traverse LGB 1600 series track? Any info would be appreciated, Bill 

    • July 7, 2020 11:55 AM EDT
    • Now I am asking myself why I haven't done this mod on the tender that goes with my 4-4-0. Perhaps because I really never use it - I have a battery r/c 2-6-0 with EBT on the tender, and Jerry has the 4-4-0. Time to sell!

    • July 6, 2020 6:05 PM EDT
    • Nicely documented Pete, thanks.

    • July 5, 2020 5:28 PM EDT
    • Nice work, Pete, thanks for the help



    • July 5, 2020 4:33 PM EDT
    • I almost forgot this picture. When using the close-coupled hole in the drawbar (loco-tender coupler) make sure it is above the brake crosspiece. We found once it was below and trying to lift the front of the tender off the track.



      Today I took it back to Jerry and it ran flawlessly - no more derailments.  I am a big fan of equalized suspension, where the assumption is that no railroad is dead flat, and therefore you need to allow the wheels to move up and down.

      In theory, you can solve the problem on these rigid trucks by allowing just one side to move. As the bolster pivot is rounded, the whole truck can rock, so just doing one side will give the wheels the flexibility they need.

      If you really want some light reading on suspension, take a look at this.

    • July 4, 2020 8:53 PM EDT
    • Pete, I don't own a 4-4-0 but I do own a Mogul that needs some TLC. For now it is a back burner project, but this is a very nice write up on fixing a tracking problem shared by all rigid trucks. I will definitely incorporate this into the fixes on my Mogul.


      Might I suggest you ask BD to locate this in the Articles to make it easier to reference later on?


      Bob C.

    • July 4, 2020 1:42 PM EDT
    • This is a Tale of Two 4-4-0s, the 1:20.3 Spectrum locos from Bachmann. My pal Jerry and I picked up a couple of derelict ones for a song, along with a 2-6-0, and we've been fixing and updating them. Both the 4-4-0s were working on track power, and suddenly Jerry's loco's tender started derailing in 2 or 3 spots around his railroad.

      Yesterday I took my tender over to his track and it ran perfectly. His was still derailing, and I could feel that a front truck wheel was lifting over the railhead in those spots, and at least one was where the track camber changed at the end of a downhill curve.

      So I left my tender and brought his to my workbench to try to make the trucks more flexible. He also seemed to have a bent axle, which I straightened when I got it on my bench.


      Sheesh, those trucks are tough to get off. Not only do you have 4 dangling chains that need to be carefully detached, but there is wiring for the wheel pickups and brake gear. [Tip: I pulled the chains out of the holes in the top of the trucks. On reflection, I think you could open the ring on the pin on the truck with needle-nose pliers, and remove the chain without pulling the pin out.]


      The wiring is a slight piece of bad design - a nice loop soldered to the wire screwed under the pickup strip, but the loop won't go through the hole in the bolster!  The pickup screw also holds the brake gear on, so it can be popped off once you have the wires unsoldered and loose.



      The first thing that became apparent is that the truck bears a slight resemblance to the only reference drawing (for the 2-6-0) on Bachmann's website.



      The first difference is that the little screw under the sideframe holds the spring box in place. (A nice touch - the springs do not fly everywhere.)



      Now, with the springs gone, we can see the big screw holding the sideframe to the bolster. (Which is not on the drawing.)



      Pop out the screw and you find a shouldered boss with a couple of ears to stop it rotating.



      Wrong! We want it to rotate a little - the sideframes need to be able to move up and down about that central pivot. So the flat file is brought to bear.



      This pic is after reassembly, to show you how the truck is supposed to behave. A change in rail height at one side does not make any wheel leave the track. There is a lot of weight in the tender, so the big screw doesn't need to be very loose - just enough to let the sideframe move.




      Once back on the tender body, I shot a quick video to demonstrate the issues.



      The rocking shown in the video is due to the boss of the pivot sticking up into the bolster too far - the washer and screw leave a gap which lets the truck rock from side to side.  One one truck I inserted a shortened spring from my scrap box (pic,) and on the other truck I found a small silicon O-ring that was just the right size. Neither truck mounting screw was tightened too far - both trucks need to be able to rotate!




      So, as the video shows, I had one floppy truck and one solid one. Having discovered how it was all put together, it occurred to me that I could remove the sideframe without taking it all apart.

      Out pops the little spring box:


      Revealing the bog screw, which is taken out.


      With the sideframe loose, even if still attached by the chains, it is possible to file down the ears on the boss a little.



      And then it is easy to re-install it, with the screw tightened and then backed out 1/4 turn or so so that the sideframe can just move up and down. Much easier!



      Finally, as my tender is over at Jerry's, I have a substitute, so here's what the locos look like with different tenders.  The 2-6-0 on top has an Aristocraft 2-8-0 tender body on the usual frame. (Thanks to Kevin.) Inside is a Revo, sound and battery set-up.  The 4-4-0 has a temporary LGB Mogul tender. Interesting that it is 1:22.5 and is still larger than the other tender.


    • July 1, 2020 5:01 PM EDT
    • Guys,

      I'm using a brand new SD40-2 power truck for my Tractive Power TP-56 project.  Since this little shunting loco only uses a single truck I'm wondering if I can get away with using a 2 amp board?  Also plan on using sound but no smoke.

      Thank in advance,


    • June 22, 2020 2:12 AM EDT
    • Awhile back I acquired a well loved , run alot, used Aristocraft RS-3.  When I got it the motor blocks were real tired.  Fortunately I picked up and installed new motor blocks prior to the Aristo problems.  I also installed an P8 analog Phoenix board and the RS-3 worked happily on the Rio Gracie for a few years.  Then I started on the CP Huntington project.  I needed a sound board so my thinking was take the P8 sound board from the RS-3 and put it in the CP Huntington project.  That would be no problem cuz I had a P5 Phoenix constant power board just sitting along with an old  G2 Airwire board with a 14.4v battery.  I would just convert the RS-3 to battery power. Simple  - right?  Also I might as well change the lights to LED.

      Well I was missing a few parts so in early May I contacted Tony at RCS (Remote Control Systems) for an on/off switch and charging port. I figured with the Pandemic and him being in Australia it would be like at least 3 months before the parts came in.  So 30 days later the parts show up.  Great service, thanks Tony.  Taking a break from the CP Huntington I drilled and grinded and made all my old parts fit into the RS-3.  What I didn't figure on was light bleed.  With 9 LED's, I got light going everywhere.

      But she runs well in reverse.  So in the daylight I gotta figure why she don't like going forward.



      Rio Gracie




    • June 15, 2020 3:48 AM EDT
    • Lo! But I see the end of this thread, for Glitchy Gustav's chassis arrived from TrainLi on Saturday!  I put off starting my sugar mill to put my lumbering, ill-starred "buddy" back together.  My 1:1 crew being indisposed, my 1:24 crew will help present the final assault on the Eternal Project.


      The  crew discusses how to proceed:

      The fore and aft drivers are new (or at least less used), most of the linkages got rebuilt, as did the crossheads.  This had to be done on both sides.  The crewman below shows the work in detail:

      Hats off to Kristine McNary at TrainLi, not just for the work, but for patiently stepping me through my last round of troubleshooting.  I should've shipped this off to him years ago.  It would've saved me money in the long run.


      After several years and multiple round of disassembly and reassembly, Gustav's parts were scattered in my various bins despite my best efforts against entropy.   I learned from Rooster and Bill Barnwell that, in this hobby, there is no such thing as "junk," so all screws, bits, parts, etc. finally made their way to the lanai and reassembly continued.  


      Did anybody else notice the mistake in the first picture?  Neither did I!  I had not secured plastic "hanger" that hold all the rods and linkages in place, so I had to take the whole thing apart...Again....Might as well enjoy that one...more...time...


      Oh, did I mention an irreplaceable part broke in shipping? 

      Nothing styrene, contact cement, and black paint couldn't fix today.


      Getting back to Saturday, having decided a snow plow was not that important in Hawaii, at long last, Gustav "magic moved" to the engine service track (near the mill I was supposed to be working on this weekend):

      Normally, we test our work near our control  station, which is located on the opposite end of the railroad, but we thought Gustav deserved to roll out of the shed after his years in overhaul like a grand old gentleman instead of a frustrating old model.  OD agreed to serve as engineer while I worked the switches.  OD got the controllers confused, and promptly turned what should've been a 30 second movie into a 90 second or so comedy of errors.  Do feel free to click through it, but I felt the moment deserved video proof:


      Video:  Gustav Reenters Revenue Service...Slowly...


      We spent about twenty minutes taking him backward and forward, listening  and watching, making sure that this time "he" was fixed for good. At some point over the years whatever causes the back-up lights to come on broke / fell-out / turned into a newt / whatever.  I am too tired of tinkering with this engine to care, and have resolved to let that lie.  OD concurred.  By that time, dinner was nearly ready, and it was time to "let 'him' go."  We hooked up a short train, opened throttles, and...enjoyed a magnificent old engine pull "his" train against the backdrop of a setting tropical sun.  Naturally, i botched that triumphant photo.   Please accept the following:

      This is the last of my "family heritage" locomotives and, hopefully, the last time in a while we will have  to spend time and treasure to preserve what was at the expense of enjoying what is and  creating what will be. Thanks to all for suggestion, prompts, prods, and patience over the last three years!  




    • June 14, 2020 3:13 PM EDT
    • Pete, I did and when I replied to this one I just missed it wasn't mine and posted my update to it by mistake, have reposted to the correct one just didn't check enough and notice the ? mark after mini heisler, thanks, Bill

    • June 14, 2020 2:17 PM EDT
    • Bill, I thought you started a new thread?

    • June 12, 2020 4:13 PM EDT
    • ember screen

      Well got the boiler size decided and partially constructed, rivets installed using 1/2 sided 2mm beads and now just starting to band it. Found a water regulator screen that fits the stack and caped it with a hole plug. Still undecided about the cab but leaning toward one from a aristocraft Rogers. V cylinders built out of old stanza ones and secured to the boiler. Will be making a smoke box door out of a hole plug and styrene strip. More to come

      cylinders front

    • June 12, 2020 10:20 AM EDT
    • If anyone wants to buy that Black 45 Tonner on Facebook for $190 to get the trucks, I'll buy the complete chassis from them.  I need a black chassis to duplicate the wreck repair of M-10 on M-11.



      EDIT TO ADD: I do not want the other black one on FB for $100 since the chassis is damaged. If it was just body damage I would have snatched it up.


    • June 12, 2020 10:13 AM EDT
    • Eric Mueller said:
      Bill Barnwell said:

      Looks like a neat idea 1 diesel  1 wood kind of neat look forward to seeing yours, do they say how much it is? BB

      Bill, they list the little chassis as 98 British pounds.


      Yes, but in the UK they have a 20% VAT which is cancelled for export. So divide by 1.2 and the price is £81.67, and today that is $103.  With the caveat that some small vendors don't fremove VAT as it is too cumbersome, and Smallbrook Studios seems to be one of them; I paid full price last time. Nothing to stop you asking though.

    • June 12, 2020 10:08 AM EDT
    • Joe Zullo said:

      The Bachmann GE 45 Tonner is sort of the same idea.


      Yes, I noticed that when I saw one for sale a couple of days ago. I know you can easily get the wheels off - Clem converted one to standard gauge (70mm). I bet the sideframes are cosmetic.

    • June 12, 2020 8:17 AM EDT
    • The Bachmann GE 45 Tonner is sort of the same idea.

    • June 12, 2020 7:54 PM EDT
    • Jon Radder said:

      I don't think so. Awesome job Roo!!  That bottom one looks like a catalog shot from a high-end manufacturer




      It's only a Bachmann Jackson Sharpe car. But as you know they make a very nice base for modifications . That one resides here along with the other.