Bachmann Message Board

Discussion Boards => N => Topic started by: airferber on October 13, 2007, 02:06:13 AM



Title: Concerns regarding Amfleet Cars
Post by: airferber on October 13, 2007, 02:06:13 AM
I have 4 N-scale Amfleets (2005 or later releases, 3 coach, 1 cafe).  When I hook of these cars behind an engine, such as the HHP-8 or any other passenger diesel engine, the train runs normally.  However, when I add a 4th car behind the 3 amfleets and the loco to make train length more prototypical, The wheels on the engine start to slip, even when I gradually bring the train up to speed.  I noticed that the cause of the loco's slipping is due to the fact that there is more friction in the amfleet's axles than the axles of any other coach car.  I tried a light lubrication procedure on the axle bearings, but that didn't quite solve the problem.  What Is the best solution for this problem?

-Aaron


Title: Re: Concerns regarding Amfleet Cars
Post by: PRRThomas11 on October 13, 2007, 10:14:14 AM
Try taking the wheel out, putting two fingers inbetweem the truck side and gently bending them out. I've had a couple of cars like that.


Title: Re: Concerns regarding Amfleet Cars
Post by: GlennW on October 13, 2007, 01:28:58 PM
I'd start with a roll test to be sure all the wheels are seated properly. At the same time, I'd make sure all the wheels are clean. All you need is 1 wheel out of line to create some drag.


Title: Re: Concerns regarding Amfleet Cars
Post by: herc driver on October 17, 2007, 08:21:50 PM
Hello Everyone,

This is my first post and I was hoping to learn more regarding these Amfleet cars.  I have three brand new out of the box Amfleet cars and none of them roll freely.  The HHP-8 can only pull two at the most before wheel slippage prevents the electric engine from moving at all.  Three cars is too much for the HHP-8 to move.  I'm not sure what's going on at the factory, but it seems strange that there are cars leaving the factory with wheel sets that won't hardly roll.

My questions is just like the start of this thread...what can be done?  The wheels are clean, the track is clean, the engine is brand new as are the cars.  The wheel sets check on an NMRA standard guage as does the track.  I've checked and can see no plastic or metal binding the wheels - but they hardly roll at all.  So my question for the Bach-man is what is causing the wheels to be so restricted that the car will not roll freely and how do I fix it?  It is very dissappointing to spend a great deal of money on the HHP-8 and three Amfleet cars and they won't run on a flat layout.

Help please!


Title: Re: Concerns regarding Amfleet Cars
Post by: taz-of-boyds on October 17, 2007, 11:40:44 PM
From what you are saying, with nothing else wrong, it sounds like the truck frames and the wheel axles are in disagreement.  Either the axles might be longer than they should be, or the truck frames are a little narrow.  If this is what is happening the truck frame is fit too tight to the axles, and does not allow the axles to turn freely.  (See PRRThomas11's post.)

Another possibility could be that the car body might be riding low and rubbing the tops of the wheels.  If by some strange instance this is the case, maybe you can fit a bit of material or small washers for shims to lift the car body off the wheels.

Please let me know if you figure anything out.

Otherwise, after you check the truck frames and axles, call Bachmann service, it seems to me that you should be able to get replacement trucks.  The Bachmann can add in here about that.

Hoping for the best,
Charles


Title: Re: Concerns regarding Amfleet Cars
Post by: herc driver on October 18, 2007, 11:04:00 AM
Thanks for the ideas - I sincerely appreciate it.  I checked and none of the wheels are touching the car body.  I did remove a very small amount of plastic from the piece that connects the two wheels together (the axle for lack of a better word) on one wheel set that seemed too close to the inside edges of the truck.  What worked the best was removing each wheel set and gently filing material from the plastic that surrounds the axle where it touches the truck.  I took care not to remove any plastic that serves to keep the axle in place on the truck.  That helped - as the proof was the HHP-8 finally able to pull three Amfleet cars at a slower speed without too much slippage.  You can still tell the engine struggles to pull the three cars, as evidence by the slippage, but it is able to move them. 

I'm now wondering if adding a very small amount of graphite where the truck and axle touch might further reduce the friction of the assembly.  These cars weighs 1 5/8 oz according to my home scale, which is heavier than my Kato and Concor passenger cars, so there's a fair amount of weight resting on the axle assembly.  Add to that weight the friction caused by the metal strip pressing against the axle to run power to the light kit, and it all adds up to a difficult pull for this little HHP-8.

I think I've done all I can, short of adding a dry lubricant to the axle/truck touch point.  I'd still be interested in what Bachmann says about this...surely when these cars were made someone noticed and thought, "Hey these cars barely roll!"  And I'm hoping there's a better fix (like a redesigned truck) on the way.  I'd really like to purchase more of these Amfleet cars, but if they won't roll and are problematic, and without knowing a fix that improves their performance, I won't be doing that soon.

Any great ideas Bachmann?  Please!  I really want to increase my Amfleet operation.


Title: Re: Concerns regarding Amfleet Cars
Post by: r0bert on October 18, 2007, 05:01:31 PM
check the lighting pickup tabs, I had to slightly bend the ones on mine to free up the wheels, the P.U.s were binging on the axles a bit.


Title: Re: Concerns regarding Amfleet Cars
Post by: GlennW on October 18, 2007, 08:14:29 PM
Take another look at the trucks & wheel assembly. The car wheels should be held by a dimple in the truck. Nothing else s/b touching the wheels. Adding a dry lubricant like graphite may help some.

I hope you don't have some trucks made from old molds with lots of junk or burrs left behind. Each wheel should turn in the mount freely. HO'ers have a tool that can clean the junk out of the dimple. You can try using a small Phillips screwdriver to see if N scalers need a similar tuneup. If this problem persists, it appears you will need to find another brand of passenger trucks. Then you may be able to body mount the couplers.


Title: Re: Concerns regarding Amfleet Cars
Post by: nscaler711 on October 18, 2007, 10:12:40 PM
they roll better if you file the hole bigger on the trucks, the most friction is on the pick up tabs, those need to be filed too


Title: Re: Concerns regarding Amfleet Cars
Post by: Conrail Quality on October 18, 2007, 11:06:57 PM
If this problem persists, it appears you will need to find another brand of passenger trucks. Then you may be able to body mount the couplers.


Unfortunately, the Amfleets use a very unique truck design which I don't think can even easily be kitbashed, especially in N-scale. Even in HO we have mediocre trucks on the Bachmann Amfleets :(, and the trucks on the Walthers version are a joke >:(. So you are not alone N-scalers, in the tragedy of substandard Amfleet trucks.


Title: Re: Concerns regarding Amfleet Cars
Post by: herc driver on October 18, 2007, 11:58:16 PM
Many many thanks for the ideas and replys.  I'm not going to let this die and I'll try to figure out a solution - using the existing trucks.  Don't hold your breath of course, it might take me a while, but I'm going to get a solution to this because I really want these cars to run better.

Thanks again for the ideas!


Title: Re: Concerns regarding Amfleet Cars
Post by: herc driver on October 19, 2007, 08:54:08 PM
Well, I tried some graphite and was unable to tell if it improved the axle/truck condition or not.  There still must be some way to improve the roll capability - and I guess widening the axle space of the truck is the only way to decrease the friction.  Still trying ideas.............stay tuned.


Title: Re: Concerns regarding Amfleet Cars
Post by: nscaler711 on October 25, 2007, 11:02:02 PM
Herc Driver also try to widen the pick up tabs holes too they cause the most friction in my trucks, that is untill i filed them too!


Title: Re: Concerns regarding Amfleet Cars
Post by: herc driver on October 27, 2007, 09:30:24 PM
Thanks for all the great ideas.  I just got back from work so I'll get started figuring out how to improve these trucks tomorrow.  I will definitely check out the pick up tabs and widen the areas as suggested and let you know how it goes.  I added some fine graphite power but it didn't seem to work too well...or at least...I couldn't see a noticable improvement.

Has anyone had success running more than three Amfleet cars behind a single HHP-8 engine?  (It takes two Kato P42's to pull four Amfleet's and two Concor Amtrak coaches on my flat layout.)


Title: Re: Concerns regarding Amfleet Cars
Post by: nscaler711 on October 27, 2007, 11:18:46 PM
Two P42 to pull 4 amfleet cars? thats a load of malarky!! it takes my ONLY p42 to pull 5 Amfleet coaches

like i said file out the pick up tabs....or you cand send them my way and ill do it for free.. i have too much time on my hands....lol  ;) ;)


Title: Re: Concerns regarding Amfleet Cars
Post by: herc driver on October 27, 2007, 11:45:03 PM
Believe me - no malarky intended!  I had a consist of 4 Amfleets and two Concor Amtrak cars and with one P42 there was just too much slippage, so I added another P42 and it ran fine.  Granted, the Concor couplers aren't very good so I had quite a few derailments between the Kato P42 and Concor baggage car with their fixed position knuckle coupler.  But with the HHP-8 - the engine I really wanted to pull 4 or 5 Amfleet cars with - there's no chance till I work more on the wheel sets.  Thanks very much for all the good ideas though - I'm going to get to work trying to reduce the friction from the car weight and obstructions from the truck plastic and pickup metal and get these things running better.  I'm going to try to file the pick up tabs tomorrow and see how that goes.  Where did you find your pick up tabs needed filing by the way?  Mine seem ok - but I'm really going to look hard at them tomorrow with a magnifying glass to see if they're part of the problem.  But how did you notice yours were causing a problem?


Title: Re: Concerns regarding Amfleet Cars
Post by: airferber on November 03, 2007, 05:20:48 PM
what tool do you use to file the tabs


Title: Re: Concerns regarding Amfleet Cars
Post by: herc driver on November 14, 2007, 01:07:21 AM
I used a very small metal file (standard kind you could buy in a set at a Radio Shack for electrical work/repair).  I removed each wheel and filed out the plastic holding the wheel set in place - being careful to not file away the opening of the truck so the wheels wouldn't fall out.

(My apologies for not answering sooner - just got back on line.)