Bachmann Message Board

Discussion Boards => Large => Topic started by: BarneyJack on January 31, 2012, 10:52:48 AM

Title: Shay Truck Repair Advice
Post by: BarneyJack on January 31, 2012, 10:52:48 AM
I've been a visitor here for a while, but this is my first post.  I own a number of Bachmann locomotives, which include three 36 ton Shays.  One is the "Ely Woods" style early run (8 visible screws on the bottom of the trucks) and two are the Pardee and Curtin style second run (6  visible screws).  All were purchased second hand.  I have had better luck, understandably, with the two second run locos; the first run unit had the dreaded “split gears” when I first tried to run it.  I’ve done a fair amount of research, but here is where I need some help.  I made the choice to replace one set of trucks with the die cast version, but the cost of doing that two more times is “prohibitive”.  I found on this site that they were selling replacement housings which were listed under the “55  ton” Shay.  Given that I thought that the three truck Shays had always come with the die cast trucks, I assumed that the housings would be metal.  Well, not so much.  From the documentation I have found, the P/N “G821X-OOAO1” seems to be used for both the plastic and die cast housing.  (Rev control, anyone? :o) 

However, I’ve got my box of citrus, so I figure I’ll try to make some “citrus-ade”.  ;D Also, for the record, I do understand the pros and cons of returning these units to Bachmann for repair.  After considering all those, and the fact that I am not the original owner, I’ve decided that I’d rather do the repairs myself.  I have sufficient mechanical skills and appropriate tools to do the work. 

After that fairly long intro, here are my actual questions:

1) The plastic housings I now have are “virgin” (who knew they were still making them? ???), so I have the opportunity to optimize the locations that I will be using fasteners to rebuild them.  Would it make sense to carefully tap the holes and use machine screw type fasteners to possibly avoid the “splitting” stresses that seemed to doom these parts?  Or, if machine thread fasteners are not appropriate for the plastic housings, should I at least make sure that the existing holes in the housing are an appropriate diameter for the self-tapping screws that I removed from the original trucks?

2) So far, the bushings in at least four sets worth of wheels (i.e. two locomotives worth) are in good condition still.  I don’t mind taking the time to reconstruct working trucks from my collection of “raw material”, but I would like to do the best job possible.  I have read that installing the “washer kit” that is now standard on the die cast trucks helps hold the bushings together (Thanks, D G :)).  When I ordered the truck housings, I asked about getting these washer kits, and I was told that they are no longer available.  I briefly thought of taking apart one of my new trucks, and measuring the washers that I see are on it, but I would prefer to avoid that. :'(  Does anyone have a “dimensioned” list of what makes up the washer kit (by axel)?  I can see the parts broken out on the exploded drawing of the die cast truck (but alas, no dimensional or material info), and I don’t mind tracking down the bits, but it would be helpful to know what I’m looking for (or making, if necessary).

3) Last question (for now).  As I reassemble these, is the steel ball bearing really the ideal coupling between the wheel and the power-pickup, or would a different material provide a lower resistance (mechanical/frictional and electrical) connection between the two?
Thanks for your time and input, and happy railroading!

Title: Re: Shay Truck Repair Advice
Post by: JerryB on January 31, 2012, 01:00:06 PM
You mentioned "D G" which I assume means Dave Goodson.

I would ask Dave all those questions. He has probably had more of these apart then the next 20 guys. He might even be able to provide some of the parts like the washer kits, or at least tell you what to get and where to get them.

Hope this helps.

Happy RRing,


Title: Re: Shay Truck Repair Advice
Post by: BarneyJack on January 31, 2012, 02:02:00 PM
Hi Jerry,
Thanks for the suggestion.  Yes, you are correct about the "DG" reference.  As I researched this issue, I noted that on all the forums I'd visited, he has been "otherwise engaged" if you will.  I would love his guidance in the matter; but if he is, as I suspect, unavailable, I was hoping there might be others with suggestions or information.

Thanks again for the feedback. :)

Flat tracks and gentle curves!


Title: Re: Shay Truck Repair Advice
Post by: JerryB on January 31, 2012, 02:24:33 PM
Dave is available. He just doesn't post on the forums any more. Too much agro on all sides.

Our loss, as he really provided lots of solid information and direction for both users and manufacturers. That especially for the large scale radio control folks.

You can contact Dave at: (

I'm pretty certain he will provide at least some of the answers you are seeking.

Happy RRing,


Title: Re: Shay Truck Repair Advice
Post by: BarneyJack on February 01, 2012, 03:52:33 PM
Hi Jerry et al,
I got in touch with Dave, who was able to provide some good feedback.  The piece of data he no longer has available is: what specific parts are in the "washer kit" (i.e. individual washer type, count and dimension).  If anyone happens to have that information, I would be extremely grateful.