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Discussion Boards => N => Topic started by: skipgear on January 11, 2011, 08:15:40 PM



Title: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips (revised)
Post by: skipgear on January 11, 2011, 08:15:40 PM
I waited for this loco for a long time. There have been quite a few topics on other forums about this loco and quite a few comments both good and bad. Now that they are finally here I have one in my hands to inspect, I love it. This is a great little loco that is pushing the envelope on what can be done with a small loco.

For those of you who experience problems and don't want to send the loco back I have compiled a list of the issues and fixes for them. Below is a list of the complaints that have shown up on the various forums and cures for them. Many of these issues are tweeks that Bachmann needs to fix on the assembly line before the next production run. Not all loco's exhibit these complaints as I have 2 that ran flawless out of the box, even with the pilot trucks installed upside down. These are all simple fixes that can be cured in a few minutes.

#1 - Pilot truck derails on anything less than perfect track work.

 The fix is pretty simple. I had devised a mechanical way to fix it until another person suggested that the pilot truck may be on upside down. Low and behold that is the problem. The pilot trucks were installed upside down. The way they come factory, the leaf spring detail is upside down and there is no verticle clearance for the connecting arm that the pilot truck is attached to. Flipping the pilot truck over so that the painted side is up and the bare side is down fixes this issue.

You loco should look like this when correct....

(http://www.trainboard.com/railimages/data/1263/4-6-0_Fix_Pt3.jpg)

#2 - There are many complaints of jackrabbit starts and no slow speed throttle control.

 The fix again is simple. The decoder has a substancial Vmin setting from the factory. The decoder is setup for a standard motor which needs a bit of a kickstart to get going. This loco has a coreless motor in it which doesn't like the kick start. Setting the Vmin (CV2) = 0 fixes the problem and the loco will crawl a tie at a time. This fixes the loco control on both DC and DCC. On DCC it will now crawl a tie at a time and takes well over a minute to move 1 inch.

#3 - I had a side rod fall off of one loco I was testing.

 The drivers are cast metal which I think is great. the drivers have a cast bushing in them so the side rods are not wearing on a screw.  Because of the metal driver centers, the crank pins thread into the bushings and are screws/bolts. These need to have locktite of some sort on them or the right side crank pins will constantly unscrew themselves.

#4 - Sketchy pickup from the tender.

 One of the loco's I tested had flashing under the leaf spring wipers in the tender that was keeping the wiper from contacting the truck post. As I started looking at the others, they were barely making contact. The posts need to be taller or the tender frame needs to be thinner so that the wipers make better contact.

#5 - Loco wobbles at low speed.

 Some amount of wobble is normal, especially for a short wheelbase loco such as this. I picked up a second loco for myself yesterday and this one had the wobble pretty bad. When I flipped the loco over with it running, I noticed a distinct amount of what I thought was runout on a traction tire driver. Upon closer inspection, the flange on the driver varried in thickness. This also caused a bit of a click that some have complained of. With the loco upside down and running, I held a file to the track side of the flange and used it as an improvised lathe to reshape the driver flange to the proper profile. This fix may be a bit much for the average person I will admit but after doing it, the loco runs with almost zero wobble now.


I still love these loco's and for me, these are easy fixes but for the average consumer, this will make or break the loco. Nothing here is hard to fix and for the avearage tinker it might take 15 minutes to go over the whole loco. The issue is, we shouldn't have to.

I just wish Bachmann used a little stronger product testing so we the consumer aren't the ones coming up with the fixes. There is no reason this loco should not have been perfect out of the box. It has all the makings of a great loco and the micro coreless motor that these come with is impressive. If you need a product tester that actually runs the loco's before signing off on them, I'm available. I'm sure most of these issues will be solved by the time the next batch arrives. As far as I know, this batch is pretty much sold out already. Similar QC issues affected the first run of the Spec 2-8-0's and now they are one of the best steam loco's on the market.






Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips
Post by: brokemoto on January 11, 2011, 11:09:30 PM
Thanks for the heads up on the crankpin, Skipgear.  I took a look at my engineer's side and noticed that it had started to work itself out.  I discovered that I did not have nut drivers small enough for it (off to Micromarkdotcom for me), so I tightened it with a pair of tweezers.   Funny thing is that some of the stiffness returned to the mechanism.  When the nut drivers arrive, I wonder if I should tighten it down then back it out a bit.

I did find that you should back out the screw on the pilots a flick of the wrist for optimum performance.

The one that I have is not showing the contact problems, but, as I have posted elsewhere, the USRA switcher tenders are.  One remedy that I used was to pin down the edges of the contact strips with MT coupler screws.  The sad part of this is that even when you tap the floor in the tender, which is metal, you still wind up ruining at least one, maybe two screws until the last one goes in properly.  My next try will be a larger pin vise, some Hob-Bits and some MT washers.


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips
Post by: ericw95 on January 11, 2011, 11:22:03 PM
This is one of the reasons I think I'll hold out on the new loco; seems like bachmann never gets it right on the first release but then comes back with a model fixing all the problems later


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips
Post by: James in FL on January 12, 2011, 08:00:47 PM
Hi skipgear,

Yes, thanks for the heads up on the 4-6-0 for what maybe potential problems and easy fixes to address them.
I do not yet own one however I will purchase this loco within the month or so.
To me, spending 15 minutes, or even several hours, tweaking a loco to its full potential, is just a part of the hobby which I find quite enjoyable.
I do agree that the RTR crowd may not feel the same way.
Many lack the mechanical aptitude and desire to even open a loco up, much less trouble shoot, and implement a fix.

I am hoping for yet another homerun from our hosts.

As an aside – I am still trying to figure out what is “wrong” with my Light Mountain.
It pulls twelve MT holiday cars on an EZ Track figure 8 made with 11.25r curves and a 60° crossing without slip and nary a tweak.
Don’t know what is wrong, maybe I should ask over at the zoo ;-)

Thanks again.
Good Luck


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips
Post by: ericw95 on January 12, 2011, 09:23:47 PM
I couldn't agree more, it really is part of the fun, but some of the issues skipgear outlined just should not be occurring on a new model. For example, if the side rods fall off out of the box, that can be a slight complication for the future with the loco.


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips
Post by: the Bach-man on January 12, 2011, 11:49:17 PM
Dear All,
Thanks for the feedback; I'll pass it along.
Be assured that we will stand behind this model as we do with all our trains.
Have fun!
the Bach-man


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips
Post by: brokemoto on January 14, 2011, 05:59:05 PM

I suspect that most of us smokeheads have gotten used to the idea that the steam is going to require some tinkering.

The two against which everything else is measured, the Kato mikado and the SPECTRUM 2-8-0, have some caveats.

The only steam that I have seen that requires no tinkering are the Athearn/MDC nineteenth century models (2-6-0 and 2-8-0) and the SPECTRUM USRA heavy 4-8-2.

The problems with the 4-6-0 are not that serious that most of us would send them back, we will simply correct the problems and suggest that B-mann make some adjustments in subsequent runs.  This product is allright, I will not bash it.   I have one and I like it.  The items that require correction in subsequent runs are:

1.  Install the pilots properly

2.  Do something about the crankpin on the engineer's side working itself loose.

3.  The USRA Standard tender overwhelms this thing.  Please consider using the USRA switcher tender for subsequent runs. 

4.  Please check the mechanism for wobbles.


5..  Please make sure that the contact strips are properly anchored to ensure good contact with the pick up posts on the tender trucks.

This thing is pretty good as it is, it simply requires a few tweaks on subsequent runs.










Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips
Post by: James in FL on January 14, 2011, 10:35:39 PM
Thank you Mr. Bachmann, your reply is very reassuring to us all.
If you build it, they will come.
It is this promise, which keeps many of us coming back for more.

Skipgear,
Our perception is our reality.
I have no doubt you have encountered problems with some of your 4-6-0’s, and you wish them to be addressed, as you should.
This does a service to us all.
You are not alone; all consumers (well, most all) feel the same way including myself.
Although we do not know each other, your posts on various forums for a have earned a certain respect from me.
I have no reason to believe that what you post is inaccurate, and therefore, I give you the benefit of doubt.

That said;

Again I will state, I do not yet own one of these locos.
I cannot, and will not, make an assessment simply on what someone posts/claims on the internet.
IMO anyone who would do that is a fool.
The “zoo” forum is full of them piling on when they don’t even possess the loco in question.

I am from the old school, seeing is believing.
I hope you can understand and respect that.

Not long ago there was a “chicken little” posting (on the zoo) about pre-mature motor failure on a B’mann loco. Lot’s of jumping on the pile, tons of jumping on the pile.
Bachmann replied it was miniscule and well within acceptable QC standards even for US quality QC standards.
Funny, after that, I haven’t seen anything since.
Evidently, the pile on train was de-railed.
I don’t know what happened with that, between the OP and Bachmann, but something tells me that Bachmann made “it right”.

If, in fact, Bachmann has a QC problem with this loco, well then, you already heard it from the horse’s mouth, they will stand behind it.
In reality, that is all we as consumers, can hope for, and I applaud Bachmann for their commitment to honor that, and keep us satisfied.

The locos in the field are, well, in the field, and we can’t change that.
I have confidence, that Bachmann will take note of your post and investigate it.

Those of us, who have been in this for many years, will follow your advice and correct problems on our workbenches.
In the mean time, you have posted very good information on implementing fixes.
I can only hope Bachmann is listening.
Should I encounter any of the problems you have had, I will certainly take in consideration your resolve.

Let us not forget this; it is a Standard Line, not Spectrum Line loco.

I do not expect it to go “head to head” with the “Connie” or the “J” or the “Light” or “Heavy” Mountains..
Although Bachmann could have easily done that with the “tweaks” mentioned above.

Respectfully,
James in fl


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips
Post by: skipgear on January 15, 2011, 04:08:43 AM
James,
 Just a little info about the issues listed....

The info posted was not just from a small sample. I work at a hobbyshop and of the 10 loco's we received, all of them had these faults. A friend of mine talked to the owner of the well known internet/ebay seller of Bachmann products to inform him of what we found. He looked at a sampling of his fairly large batch of loco's and found they all exhibited the same problems. As a result, he pulled his loco's from sale because he didn't want to have to deal with the returns.

I sat down today at the shop and spent about an hour going through the loco's we had left and fixed the pilots, tightened rod bolts and generally fine tuned the loco's. I test ran each loco before working on it and about half of them ran OK without fine tuning. The other half had a hitch in their get-a-long. In the process I found one issue that I forgot to mention above. It seems most of the side rods are bowed from the photo etch process and were interfering with the valve gear in some way or another.

Please don't take these statements wrong, I love this loco and it is an amazing example of what can be done with small steam. I own 1 myself and will probably buy more once I can find a close enough B&O prototype to model with them. I showed them to the members of our Ntrak club last night and everybody was very impressed. I sold 2 of them today to customers that knew of these problems already but were prepared to fine tune the loco to get them right. I tuned one in front of the customer because he came in while I was in the process of doing the tune ups. He was impressed in the difference in the loco with just a few tweaks and bought it on the spot.

The problem is, 90% of the customers are going to set it on the track and judge it on a pass fail basis without bothering to try to correct the issues. Then they come back to the retailer, or back to Bachmann and in either case, money is lost and customer confidence is shot down the drain. The money is lost in shipping back to Bachmann, manpower and time wasted.

What I am saying is Bachmann has an excellent design and platform in this loco. It is just held back by some errors created by mistakes on the assembly line and a basic lack of QC checks. If I was not so versed in loco repair, these 10 loco's we recieved would have been shipped back to Bachmann and we would not order them agian until I knew they got them right.  As it is, we now have $1000 worth of loco's to sell instead of a headache in returning them for repair and replacement, and I know my customers will be happy.



Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips
Post by: brokemoto on January 15, 2011, 08:50:26 AM
....stiffness returned to mechanism when I tightened down the pin on the engineer's side......

....complaints of clicking noise................

........Skipgear mentions bowed side rods......................

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.........

Now I must look at my siderods.  The play allowed by the loose pin would get the bowed side rod out of the way of the monkey rods and would account for less wobble.  Thanks for the heads up.

This thing is allright, it will be even better when B-mann corrects the minor problems.  These problems are really minor, it is just that, as Skipgear not incorrectly point out, many people would not figure out what to do.


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips
Post by: Franz T on January 15, 2011, 11:21:35 AM
I dunno..I must have gotten one made on a Monday.. No upside-down pilot, no shimmy, no loose rod bolt, side rods don't look bowed, no binding in the valve gear, runs smooth and quiet....
I feel cheated. Can I get a refund??? :P


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips
Post by: tweetsieengineer on January 15, 2011, 11:44:20 PM
I just received my Southern 4-6-0 today, and out the box it did well. The pilot truck looked to be installed correct. The connection between the engine and tender is great. No loose rods so far.  However, when it is going down the track the main driver will wobble and not stay inline with the frame nor the other driving wheels. At high speeds it is not as noticeable but at slow speeds it has a lope and will cause the engine to heave up. I feel as if I have bent axle in my engine. Has anyone dealt with this yet or has any suggestions?


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips
Post by: skipgear on January 16, 2011, 04:54:31 PM
I'm glad to here some made it through assembled properly but of the local shops I have checked, none were done right. I have friends in shops in other cities and they checked for me, so far nobody has found one with the pilot truck assembled correctly.

If the pilot truck is on correctly, when you flip it over and look at the loco upside down, the bottom, visible part of the pilot truck frame should be bare metal, unpainted. (see revised opening post above.)

I have now run fairly extensive testing on 3 loco's now. Two of them ran fine with the pilot installed incorrectly so it's very possible that many people will never know the difference.

As to the wobble, look at one of the traction tire drivers. One of the flanges was not formed right on one of my test loco's. The flange varried in thickness as the driver rotated. I ended up flipping the loco over with it running and ran a file on the flange to make an improvised lathe and true it back up. I think the flange thickness was making the wheel gauge varry, causing the wobble. After doing that, the loco ran very smooth.


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips (revised)
Post by: skipgear on January 20, 2011, 03:00:47 AM
Here is mine as it stands now.

(http://www.trainboard.com/railimages/data/2211/4-6-0_SoftLight.jpg)

(http://www.trainboard.com/railimages/data/2211/4-6-0_ShortTender.jpg)

(http://www.trainboard.com/railimages/data/2211/4-6-0_FullSizeNoEdit.jpg)


Replaced the tender with a USRA Short.
Replaced the headlight LED with a pure white one.
Installed a DN135 decoder in place of the factory light board/decoder.
Opened up the roof hatch.
Installed working McHenry coupler on the front.

I still need to replace the dummy Bachmann coupler on the tender, decide on the best number for the loco, and weather it.

After fine tuning the mechanism this little thing will crawl a tie at a time and runs dead smooth. No hitch, no hunting. As much as a pain it was to find the little things that were wrong in the assembly, the result is and incredible little loco.

For those of you finding a clicking, I found and solved one in mine after handling it repeatedly when I was working on it. Make sure the cross head guides are angled outward, away from the cylinders slighlty. Even better if the bottom guide sets out a touch farther than the upper guide. The Crosshead was hitting on the verticle link attached to it and causing the click. Tweaking the cross head guides cured the sound and click. Also cured the minor hitch so I think that may be the issue for many people out there.


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips (revised)
Post by: tweetsieengineer on January 20, 2011, 07:32:50 PM
that looks great with the smaller tender. You did a great job with that! I was looking at doing that but think im going to stick with the large tender as i have found through looking at some pictures the southern had a few 4-6-0's with large tenders in the late days of steam.


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips (revised)
Post by: duddy09 on January 30, 2011, 07:59:31 PM
Hello everybody !


I have four  2-8-0 ;  three of them runned nicelly at their very first time, but the other one barely moved; I had to send it to a shop , and some days later it was perfectly running - I don't know what  was done in the shop , but they did it right !


4-6-0 were , as were the 2-8-0, very used in Brazil , and I  re-painted my 2-8-0 in  Brazilian old companies.


As I am just starting in this hobby, I do not know how to go through the changes that you very kindly  posted here.

Shoud l I wait for some months to buy the "re-builded" 4-6-0 ???


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips (revised)
Post by: tweetsieengineer on January 30, 2011, 08:08:12 PM
I wouldnt say wait but be ready to do some adjusting, the 2 4-6-0's I have both came out of the factory in pretty fine shape.  They also seem to pull my trains far better than all 6 of my 2-8-0's. 

Actually I have had only one of the 6 2-8-0's that came from the factory in perfect condition. The rest all had drivers out of quarter, eccentrics that were binding the rotation of the drivers, and poor connections between the tender and engine. But with a little patients and some adjustments I now have 6 perfect 2-8-0's that will all pull 25+ cars. But this 4-6-0 is something else, granted Ill be using it for passenger use mostly, but ive already pulled 15 freight cars behind it and not a slip of the drivers or a stall.

Tim


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips (revised)
Post by: skipgear on January 30, 2011, 08:14:46 PM
If you don't have one now, you may not get one till the second batch arrives anyhow. They are drying up at most places. I know the Undec versions are all but gone. There are some decorated units still floating around.


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips (revised)
Post by: sd45elect2000 on January 31, 2011, 06:22:56 PM
I have three of the undec engines , one of them has a hitch and I will be using the techniques described here to fix it . There's no way I'm sending it back !! Beautiful work Bachmann !!


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips (revised)
Post by: Roger Perkins on February 02, 2011, 04:11:04 PM
Tony (SkipGear), Thanks you for sharing your suggestions and photos.  I am still very interested in this engine which I had been eagerly awaiting.

I am not satisfied if it is necessary to tweak an engine to get it to run properly.  I do not think that should be expected of any purchaser of any product.  Accepting defects lowers the bar for the manufacturers in my opinion.

At age 71 years and with cataract surgery on both eyes in December 2010, I am not adept at soldering or handling many of the small parts.

Now I eagerly await the second release of this engine with hopes problems found in the first run will be corrected and perhaps a USRA short tender used as replacement for the one in the first run. :)


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips (revised)
Post by: Albert in N on February 02, 2011, 10:04:52 PM
You are right that a new ($150) N locomotive should not have to be repaired by the customer to run.  That shows a total lack of inspection prior to shipment to the consumer.  Also, why would a nice looking steamer have such a mis-matched tender just to house a DCC decoder?  Anyway, with Bachmann's inflated pricing, you will find other locomotives (such as Kato, Atlas, Athearn) more competitive.  By the way, I never had a Kato lemon.  As a matter of fact, all of my early N scale European made locomotives ran well out of the box!


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips (revised)
Post by: skipgear on February 04, 2011, 12:57:53 AM
Anyway, with Bachmann's inflated pricing, you will find other locomotives (such as Kato, Atlas, Athearn) more competitive.  By the way, I never had a Kato lemon.  As a matter of fact, all of my early N scale European made locomotives ran well out of the box!

Inflated pricing??? This thing is a great deal for the money, even with the issues, which I'm sure will be sorted out before the next batch.

Other loco's, steam loco's from Kato, Atlas, Athearn.....seriously?
  Kato makes one, the GS-4 which has exceeded $200 retail now. The Kato Mikado's are no longer in production and Kato has no plans to run them again. You can pick them up under $100 used but you can't get the traction tire retrofit for them anymore which makes them pretty useless unless you want to pay $30 on Ebay for the tire retrofit.
 Atlas doesn't make any steam. They repaint the Micro-Ace Mogul and sell it as their own and then there is the shay, which I love but is just a diesel in disguise.
 Athearn 2-6-0 and 2-8-0 haven't been made in over 2 years (there is a new batch due shortly though) and they are a PITA to add DCC to should you want to. Curent pricing is about the same as the Bachmann Ten Wheeler. The Athearn Challenger and Big Boy are very nice loco's that are pushing $400 and are VERY large and VERY road specific.

There is nobody out there completly free from defects. The last Kato loco's I purchase were the Heritage SD70 ACE's. Out of the 7 locos, 3 of them were bad. The first loco I received was missing gears from the truck. The other was a bad light board and the third was a truck broken in shipping. Yes Kato took care of them but just the same, they are not without fault. About one in 5 Atlas loco's we sell at the shop I work at needs the motor contacts adjusted so they will run.


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips (revised)
Post by: LGBfan17 on February 12, 2011, 03:53:16 PM
I just got my Union Pacific 4-6-0 and the painted side of the pilot truck faces the track.  I don't know anything about pilot trucks on steam locos, but I think it could be upside down.  Seeing that my Atlas MP15 only goes in reverse and my Bachmann 44-tonner stops after about 6 inches with an analog power pack, the 4-6-0 is the only N gauge DCC equipped unit I have that runs at all on DC.

I also want to upgrade from the factory decoder to something like a Digitrax DZ125 but the MP15 has an NCE decoder and I plan to upgrade to NCE decoders in my Bachmann HO gauge GP40 and my Atlas N gauge RS-3.  If anything, which NCE decoder will fit in the 4-6-0?


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips (revised)
Post by: skipgear on February 13, 2011, 01:14:22 AM
I just got my Union Pacific 4-6-0 and the painted side of the pilot truck faces the track.  I don't know anything about pilot trucks on steam locos, but I think it could be upside down.  Seeing that my Atlas MP15 only goes in reverse and my Bachmann 44-tonner stops after about 6 inches with an analog power pack, the 4-6-0 is the only N gauge DCC equipped unit I have that runs at all on DC.

Read the first page of the topic to see how the pilot truck should be installed.

What are you using for a DC power supply. It sounds like it may be a pulse power pack and the decoders are confusing the pulse as input. Dual mode decoders run best on pure DC without pulse power. Pulse power can confuse them.

Quote
I also want to upgrade from the factory decoder to something like a Digitrax DZ125 but the MP15 has an NCE decoder and I plan to upgrade to NCE decoders in my Bachmann HO gauge GP40 and my Atlas N gauge RS-3.  If anything, which NCE decoder will fit in the 4-6-0?

I have installed a DN135 in mine after I replaced the tender. The DZ125 would have been easier but I had a DN handy and wanted to see how it performed. There is nothing wrong with the stock decoder if you don't plan on going to a smaller tender.


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips (revised)
Post by: LGBfan17 on February 14, 2011, 07:05:14 AM
My DC power pack is an MRC Tech 4 model 260.


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips (revised)
Post by: Mark.S+10 on March 19, 2011, 01:13:59 AM
I bought a new 4-6-0 N scale.  It had a "click" and I sent it back to Bachmann.  I'd like to save some shipping cost and avoid the slow turntime from Bachmann and fix it my self.  Thanks Skipgear for the recommendations:

 "Make sure the cross head guides are angled outward, away from the cylinders slightly. Even better if the bottom guide sets out a touch farther than the upper guide. The Crosshead was hitting on the vertical link attached to it and causing the click. Tweaking the cross head guides cured the sound and click."

For those of us that don't know what a crosshead is could you include some pictures?  Thanks, Mark.S+10


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips (revised)
Post by: skipgear on March 19, 2011, 09:09:52 AM
(http://www.trainboard.com/railimages/data/1263/4-6-0_Fix_Pt4.JPG)


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips (revised)
Post by: Mark.S+10 on March 19, 2011, 10:19:50 PM
That's exactly what I wanted.   ;D Thanks you so much, Mark


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips (revised)
Post by: rkindermann on March 21, 2011, 07:49:59 PM
Ok...have seen many comments about the new 4-6-0 and about dual mode decoders on analog layouts.  The new 4-6-0 is nice, but to get it to crawl, how do I change the CV values if I just have an MRC analog Tech II pack?  Also, any recommendations for a replacement pack with pure DC as I don't think any of the Tech II packs are pure DC.  I also have the same problem with the 44 tonner and several other dual mode engines to a lesser degree.  Any ideas?  Great information on the tweeks to the 4-6-0...I'll try them.  Hope Bachmann hears the comments here and applies them to what is already a great engine in N-scale.  Give us more!!!


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips (revised)
Post by: skipgear on March 21, 2011, 10:21:00 PM
You need to find a friend or a shop with a DCC system to change the Vmin unfortunately.


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips (revised)
Post by: fredsmi on March 22, 2011, 06:49:43 PM
Also, any recommendations for a replacement pack with pure DC as I don't think any of the Tech II packs are pure DC. 

The Bachmann packs (BAC44212) that come with their box sets runs locomotives with decoders smooth so I guess they are "smooth" DC.  It is Not Spectrum, the Spectrum pack I have causes my DCC locomotives to jerk a long.


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips (revised)
Post by: cruelcracker on May 31, 2011, 04:22:45 PM
Hello,

I have a couple of 4-6-0s with the tender pickup problem.  Any recommendations on how I can fix this myself (photos would help too)?

Thanks!


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips (revised)
Post by: skipgear on May 31, 2011, 07:53:11 PM
Remove the tender shell and make sure the brass/phosphorbronze pickup tabs attached to the decoder board are contacting the pickup posts coming up from the truck.


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips (revised)
Post by: kiasutha on June 01, 2011, 12:27:50 PM
Tony:
Recently got my first ten wheeler and found your assesment "spot-on".
Mine had all the problems you mentioned, and the "fixes" worked fine.
It runs quite well now.
Interestingly,  I have a problem I hadn't heard of yet- on mine, the headlight only lights in reverse...
I used the short USRA tender underframe with a new "bashed' body,
and removed the DCC chip per Bachmann instructions.
(I'm using DC only on this)
The plastic pins used to secure the brass pick-up strips had been so overmelted as to ruin them, leaving the strips near to or falling off.
I went to the trouble of replacing the pins and doing it myself...
All in all it's a nice loco I've wanted for decades, but I'm glad there are people like you around helping trouble shoot the things...


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips (revised)
Post by: extrucker on June 20, 2011, 11:01:09 AM
i have 2 of these engine they run   had little trouble didn,t seem want pull more then 3 pass cars kept runnin it  now it run supper that was the 1st patch  2nd one  was from new run  had to change the pilot wheel gauge all the drives  it now runs super


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips (revised)
Post by: Country Joe on June 21, 2011, 03:04:44 PM
I have on of these and it's a good runner. The pilot truck occasionally derailed though. I turned the pilot truck over as skipgear described and it derails no more. Thanks skip.


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips (revised)
Post by: skipgear on December 16, 2011, 01:08:10 AM
To the top to help another 4-6-0 owner.


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips (revised)
Post by: jimwindley on December 18, 2011, 01:04:16 PM
Skipgear
I've just bought a 4-6-0.  It's likely from the second run. I haven't run it yet.  I took the tender shell off and found that one of the wires from the engine  is not attached.  There are seven wires from the engine and I can only see a need for six.  It is the third form the right as you face the front.  From the diagram it appears that this is for the front light.  Further all the wires are painted black except for the second form the right as you face the front.  IT is red.  I'm assuming this  is not he red wire for the decoder.

Further:  I'm planning on replacing the tender with the USRA short tender.  I have a couple of questions.
 1)   Did you use the circuit board in the tender?
 2)   Did you remove the electronic emission capacitors or the coils/inductors?
 3)   Did you ever find a plug that fit the fitting on the tender?

I plan on using the trucks from the 4-6-0 as they have a much longer prong sticking up than the short tender trucks.  I'm also going to use the shorter draw bar  Do you have any other hints on using the USRA tender?  Thanks.  I'm going to use all of the suggestions for tweeking the engine.

Jim



 


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips (revised)
Post by: skipgear on December 18, 2011, 01:31:08 PM
The loco only has 6 wires coming from it. If the wire is red, it is probably the wire coming from one of the tender pickup strips to the decoder board.

When I swapped tenders on mine, I left the complete original tender intact. Mine had a bad decoder in it anyhow, from exactly the same thing as you describe, one of the wires going to the pickups came unsoldered from the board and ended up shorting something out. From the begining I hadn't planned on using that tender so it didn't bother me too much.

The stock decoder board will not fit in the smaller tender anyhow so there is no need to bother trying to keep it. There are guys that have used the stock board but they also were converting to pure DC and removed the decoder section and installed the jumpers as per the instructions.

In my case, I cut the wires from the decoder board, soldered them to a socket (yes I found matching plugs finally). I then soldered the decoder to the light board in the DCC ready short tender and plugged it all together. Any new steam loco I work on is being converted to the same plug as the Bachmann so I can swap tenders if needed very quickly.

There is no need to swap trucks, the pickups work fine as they come from the tender. Longer pins will just cause the trucks to bind and cause derailing issues.

For the plug, look for 1.27mm pitch pc board header connections. I found 50pin strips on Ebay for about a $1 each when you buy them 10 at a time. Get males and females because they come in hand for all types of projects. You cut off what you need from the 50 pin strip. I use them for lighting connections in buildings a lot.


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips (revised)
Post by: jimwindley on December 18, 2011, 03:34:23 PM
Hi skipgear

Yes there are six wires coming from the emgine.  The wrie labelled L- is not attached.  One of the wires coming from the engine is red but it is not soldered to the spot I would expect it would be.  I'm going to assume that it is soldered in the correct spot.

On the short tender there is very poor contact with the trucks and the wipers, so I'm going to try the trucks from the 4-6-0.

I'm going to wait a couple of days while I pick courage before I start.  I'm going to try it DC before I install a decoder.

I think that MT 2004-1 couplers are ones to fit the tender.  I'm ordering some today.

Thanks again.

Jim


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips (revised)
Post by: skipgear on December 18, 2011, 04:39:02 PM
As far as the wipers on the tender go, remove the tender trucks and bend the pickup tabs down. Sometimes it is easier just to remove the whole plastic insert that they are attached too and bend it. Also make sure the plastic insert is seated fully in the tender frame. I have seen flashing on the frame keep that piece from seating and that holds the wipers up higher than they are supposed to be.


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips (revised)
Post by: jimwindley on December 18, 2011, 08:51:34 PM
skipgear

One of the wipers did have flashing and I cleared it out but that bent the wiper up.  I'm fairly good at tinkering so I'll play with it.  I fixed a similar problem with wipers on some Life-like SWs.  I drilled out the old plastic, straightened the wiper and glued them down with epoxy.  That should work here too.

I found some connectors on EBay and ordered them today.  So now I have to put frog juicers in my turnout frogs so I can run DCC on my layout.  Then I'm off to the races!!!!

Thanks again.   

Jim


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips (revised)
Post by: jimwindley on December 19, 2011, 12:18:25 PM
Skipgear

I removed the boiler from the 4-6-0 and found that the other end of the red wire which attaches to the tender goes to the motor.  So that red wire represents the orange wire and is, in fact, attached to the correct terminal.  Now I can do the switch over to the plug (which I have from somewhere) that fits the tender fitting.  I was feeling a trifle anxious.  Now I can presson. 

In addition, I checked the front trucks.  They are on correctly according to your info.  The bolt attaching rods to wheels seems to be a screw fitting instead of a hex head bolt.  There does not seem to be a bow in the rods either.  It seems that someone is listening.

Jim


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips (revised)
Post by: duddy09 on January 03, 2012, 01:40:11 PM
Hi everybody,

Anyone knows if the "new" batch of 4-6-0 ( if there is a new one ... ) are coming from the factory without the listed problems or they are still "problematic" ... ???

A happy 2012 !!!


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips (revised)
Post by: skipgear on January 03, 2012, 04:41:32 PM
The new ones that have come into our shop seem to be corrected. No telling what is setting around as original stock or not though.


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips (revised)
Post by: duddy09 on May 01, 2012, 10:27:16 PM
Dear friends,

I finnaly got my 4-6-0 , it arrived yesterday here in São Paulo - Brazil .

A little jewel  !!!!

But, to my "surprise" ( or not... )  the locomotive does NOT move, although the lights are on...

Tested other locomotives  in my DC track, all of them are moving...

I don't know if it will move in a DCC track , but I imagine it should work in a ... simple DC track !

Contacted " The Favorite Spot " , where I bought the engine, and they promptly answered that  I have two options :

- contact Bachmann ( to probably  send - at my expense -  the engine to be fixed by them )

- send the engine ( my expense...  ) to The Favorite Spot to be refunded


A third option is to try to fix the problem here in Brazil ( it will cost about 25 U$ ), just a little more expensive than the mail costs to send the  loco to USA  (  Bachmann or TFS ) .


Any comment ???

Thanks !!!


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips (revised)
Post by: skipgear on May 01, 2012, 10:40:04 PM
It should run fine on DC without changes. If the lights are on, it's getting power. What type of transformer are you using? There have been some qwirks with pulse power DC transformers confusing the dual mode decoders.

Other than that, look for broken wires or a smoked decoder. If you are going to run it on DC only, follow the instructions included to eliminate the DCC decoder and see if it runs. I've seen a couple with DOA decoders.


Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips (revised)
Post by: duddy09 on May 02, 2012, 02:48:16 PM
Dear Skip,

thanks for the quick response.

My transformer is a DC Bachmann set and , as I said, other DC and DCC locos are running perfectly, so the problem IS is the  4-6-0.

I  intend to use this and other Bachmann , Kato  and Atlas DCC locos in the future, once my grandfather is bringing from Germany a Fleishmann DCC transformer.

Externally I don't see any broken wire, and I am afraid to open the engine to see inside.

I think I could test the engine in a hobby shop here in São Paulo and see what is going on.

Do you think if  I  re-program the DCC values it could work, as you say in your "second step" rules ???

Thanks a lot,

Luiz



Title: Re: 4-6-0 Tweeks and Tips (revised)
Post by: skipgear on May 02, 2012, 03:09:41 PM
I doubt it is a programing issue. It is probably a dead decoder if you don't see any broken wires. One place left ot check is for broken wires in the tender. The tender shell is easy to remove and inspect the decoder. If the decoder smells, that is an easy indicator that the magic smoke no longer resides inside the decoder and it is time for repair. Look for loose wires or a cold solder joint. I had one that a wire had come loose inside and touched elsewhere on the board and shorted the decoder. It was getting a tender swap anyhow so I didn't bother with getting it fixxed.