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Author Topic: Backdating the new 4-4-0  (Read 5196 times)
NevinW

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« on: February 06, 2007, 12:14:29 PM »

A couple of my firends bought the new Bachmann Spectrum modernized 4-4-0 at the Timonium show last weekend.  We were discussing the idea of back dating one to something older and more westernized.  The mechanism has to work much better than any brass 4-4-0 without heavy modification. 

Has anyone looked into or performed modifications on this engine to back date it with older domes, stacks etc?  Naturally since I am interested in modeling the V&T, converting one or more of these engines into the V&T
4-4-0s.  Thoughts?  -  Nevin
« Last Edit: February 06, 2007, 12:17:01 PM by NevinW » Logged
SteamGene

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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2007, 06:03:00 PM »

There are old style domes available through the superdetailers.  That would be a start.  Are wood cabs available?  I imagine you could fabricate one of the large smokestacks, if nothing else.
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
Heinz

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« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2007, 06:40:25 AM »

The new Spectrum 4-4-0 is a much larger engine then the V&T 4-4-0:s. They most famous ones Reno, Genoa and Inyo were built in the 1870:s and are similar in size to the Bachmann standard 4-4-0 CP Jupiter and UP no 119. If you want to backdate the Spectrum you will have to change the boilers, cab, domes, tender i.e the lots. If the new smaller boiler will fit over the mechanism?!

I think it would be better for you to buy a IHC oldtime 4-4-0 even if they are a bit oversize. I think they run better then their reputation and the can easily be remotored. I think its way to much work to even try to westernize the Spectrum 4-4-0.
 
Try also ebay on a brass Pacific fast mail 4-4-0 V&T Reno. I picked one up for as low as $200 and with a new motor from NWSL for abt $30 it runs very well. They turn up quite frequently on ebay.

regards

Heinz
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NevinW

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« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2007, 11:38:22 AM »

Are the brass ones not tender drive?  The AHM Reno, Inyo etc.  How much over sized are they?  I had heard that they ran very poorly.  -  Nevin
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Heinz

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« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2007, 12:25:22 PM »

The majority of the PFM V&T 4-4-0:s are with tender drive but there are some that have the motor in the cab. But in a such a small engine it´s preferable to have a tender drive so there are as much weight on the drivers as possible for traction.

The AHM Reno, Genoa etc has traction tires. They AHM ones was in the beginning(1950-1960) made by Pocher in Italy and had a metal chassis which is separated from the boiler and cab structure opposed to the later ones made by Rivarossi and IHC that has the chassis in plastic and integrated with the boiler/cab assembly. The older ones from AHM/Rivarossi had 3-pole motors which weren´t very good. Especially at low speed. The IHC ones have a more modern can motor which gives better low speed performance. I have both a Rivarossi and a IHC and of the two the IHC runs best. Most possibly due to the motor.  A new better motor perhaps a Mashima and a good decoder I think one can get much better performance out of the old AHM ones.

I haven´t measured the AHM but I think it is about 10-20% larger compared to my PFM Reno. The PFM is quite close to a drawing of the Reno I have.  See the picture below for a comparison.


   
regards

Heinz
   
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ebtnut

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« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2007, 02:04:09 PM »

The "early" Bachmann 4-4-0 represents a fairly typcial engine from about the mid-1880's to about 1910.  If you want to backdate it some, as noted you can replace the domes with earlier style "ringed" domes, add a big oil headlight, and a capped or diamond stack.  It already comes with a wood panel cab.  You might wait to see if someone like Banta might do a replacment cab with a peaked instead of round roof.  It won't take you quite back to the 1860's-'70's period, because back then the firebox was still placed down between the frame members, leaving the boiler sitting quite low.  The V&T locos are in this group. 
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TwinZephyr

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« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2007, 06:35:59 PM »

One might be able to backdate the Spectrum 4-4-0 to the 1890's or perhaps the mid 1880's.  The further back in time you go the more of the model you will need to replace to get a convincing result.

It all depends on your personal objective, but the AHM/IHC/Rivarossi or even the Bachmann old timer 4-4-0 would be a better choice if you want an 1870's style locomotive.  A Mantua General might be worthy of consideration too.  The problem is all of these except the Bachmann are out of production.

Performance-wise, the AHM/IHC/Rivarossi engines do tend to run poorly with their original motor.  If you are willing to install a good motor such as a Sagami or NWSL, these engines will run very nicely.  I have found the purple box IHC old timer 4-4-0s don't always have good contact between the driver pickups and the cover plate (easy to fix).

The newest version of the Bachmann old timer 4-4-0 should run well if it is reworked to pickup electricity from more wheels, and perhaps with a better motor too.
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Heinz

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« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2007, 01:51:20 AM »

Check out Harold Minkwitzs Pacific Coast Air Line site.

http://www.pacificcoastairlinerr.com/

This is a very good site with great advice. There is a how to on getting better electrical pickup on the Bachmann standard 4-4-0 and the AHM/IHC 4-4-0.

http://www.pacificcoastairlinerr.com/1879/locomotives/wipers/

regards

Heinz
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paustinsmith

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« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2007, 09:48:45 PM »

I am currently in the process of backdating my Bachmann 4-4-0 to represent California & NorthEastern no.. 1 ( Ex Weed Lumber Co no.1 which possibly originated from the Northern Pacific). The C & NE was a short lived SP sub which eventually became the SP Klamath Falls branch out of Weed in 1910. No 1 was a strange "critter" with the steam dome in front of the sand dome. I know of only 2 existing photos of the prototype.

This conversion is a work in progress. The hardest part was trashing the entire Bachmann boiler along with all of it's great detail! My prototype has a straight boiler and although the Ma & Pa prototype has only a slight boiler curvature, to model a loco with the steam dome up front, demanded that I discard the Ma & Pa type boiler. After  destroying one Model Power strait boiler with a Dremel tool, my second attempt was successfully and I was able to fit the Model Power boiler over the Bachmann motor. I am now waiting for a bunch of detailed parts from Precision Scale to arrive so I can complete the conversion and I am hoping that the running qualities of the Bachmann mechanism justifies all my bashing efforts.

Peter Smith, Memphis
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Heinz

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« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2007, 05:37:22 AM »

Please post some pictures as it would be fun to se the result. What Model Power boiler did you use? The Generals?

regards

Heinz
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paustinsmith

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« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2007, 02:23:46 PM »

I would love to post photos to forums but after previous hours of trying I have given up. (Yes, I have followed all of the instructions posted here and on the MR forum.)

The Model Power boilers I am using to modify the new Bachmann 4-4-0 are from MP's old time 2-8-0's with tender drive. The running quality of these Model Power locomotives is terrible but a couple of years ago you could pick them up from Trainworld for under 20 bucks. My original plan was to use them as dummy helpers on the grades coming out of Weed on my SP Klamath Falls branch in 1909 (After appropriate modifications.)

Actually, I am using one of these poor running tenders to power a kitbashed Ohio Locomotive logging crane representing an old Long-Bell crane the prototype of which, is located at a restaurant in Oregon. ( Camp 18 on the highway between Portland and Cannon Beach)

Peter Smith, Memphis

 
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Heinz

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« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2007, 02:47:16 PM »

Try the Trainboard and Railimages. I have put some pictures there and it was quite easy for one as non-skilled with computers as I.

http://www.trainboard.com

Ok, its the MP 2-8-0. I´m have been curious about that one. It looks quite nice but the tenderdrive has always made me sceptical to buy one.
Would it be possible to power it by adding a gearbox to one of the drivers and a motor inside the locomotive?
I have earlier in remotoring projects used gearboxes from PSC and NWSL and it seems that they can make anything run nicely. And with a change of motor of course Smiley

regards

Heinz
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paustinsmith

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« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2007, 04:39:13 PM »

I do not believe it would be possible or worth the effort to try to put a motor or gearing in the MP 2-8-0 because there is not  enough room and because the drivers and side rods (not to mention the frame) are of poor quality and would have to be replaced. This is probably the reason they used a  tender drive.

You could probably confirm this by calling NWSL direct and asking them. They seem to be quite helpful with regard to questions like this.

If I had not damaged the first loco, I would have definitely used my second one as a dummy helper. How about double heading one ( Dummy) with an MDC 2-8-0 or a Bachmann 4-6-0?

Thanks for the suggestions regarding posting photos. Hopefully I will figure this out before I get my Precision Scale parts and complete my 4-4-0 conversion.

Best Regards, Peter

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