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Author Topic: FA & FB units  (Read 14083 times)
Jerrys HO
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« on: January 24, 2013, 07:52:46 PM »

Just purchased DC Spectrum of both of these units. I already have the DCC versions in the road names I don't care for.
I was planning on just swapping the shells (already did this) and realized the motors on the Spectrums have flywheels. Would these be better than what I have in my DCC versions.
My question is would it make a big difference in performance swapping the motors and shafts to the DCC unit. ( if this is even possible).
My real intentions were to purchase two nice decoders and take my first shot at installing a decoder.
Any advise would be appreciated.

Jerry
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jbrock27

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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2013, 08:41:10 PM »

Jerry, I have always felt motors with flywheels were better than ones without, bc the ones with flywheels produce more torque.   I have only one loco with a can motor that does not have flywheels and I don't believe it performs as well as the ones I have that have can motors with flywheels.
I have never switched motors out from ones w/o flywheels to ones with so I can't give you advice from that standpoint, but aside from needing the length of the two motors to be fairly close in length to connect the drive mechanisms, I would think the other important thing would be to determine if there is clearance in the chassis of the loco you want to use for the flywheels themselves.   
 
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Doneldon

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« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2013, 01:00:24 AM »

Jerry-

This shouldn't be a particularly vexing change out and I think you'll find smoother running, especially at low speeds.

                                                                                                                 -- D
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RAM

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« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2013, 03:50:34 PM »

Why not put decoders in the dc locomotives
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Jerrys HO
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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2013, 12:33:35 PM »

D - thanks that is what I was thinking.

jb - The motor and drive shafts appear to be of the same length. It looks like the spectrum has shorter shafts to compensate for the flywheels.

Ram - That thought was in my original post. and I am still thinking about it as it would be my first attempt of a analog engine decoder install, but I think I will do the motor swap to the upgraded DCC frame first as this is probably easiest to do and will give me more time to play with the decoder install. I am hoping to post pics as I go along with the decoder install.

Richg, Jeff,Jonathan (my mentors) any suggestions? I really appreciate your inputs.

Jerry
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jbrock27

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« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2013, 01:18:41 PM »

That's good Jerry.

Did you check to see if you were to put the Spectrum's motor with the flywheels in place of the motor w/o the flywheels, if there is clearance in the frame for the flywheel to spin w/o hitting the frame underneath where the flywheel would be?  I mention this again bc when I looked at replacing a Bachmann Blue Box loco can motor that did not have flywheels with a Plus motor with flywheels, there was not enough clearance given in the chassis for the flywheel to turn without the bottom of the flywheel hitting against the chassis.
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NuthinDragginOwt


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« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2013, 03:20:27 PM »

Just curious, are you sure this is a Spectrum model? I was not aware of the Bachmann FA-2/FB-2s being offered in anything other than the Standard Line (Blue or Red-Orange Box). According to Bachmann's Parts diagrams, both Standard Line models, DCC/Sound and DCC ready,  should have the same drive. They difference is primarily the PC board and with or without a speaker it appears. Then again, maybe I will learn something.
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Jerrys HO
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« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2013, 03:33:37 PM »

NDO

You are correct they are Bachmann Plus which from what I understand they are pretty much the same thing. I could be wrong. From what I read (don't ask me where) the Plus name was changed to Spectrum.
I have an SD45 Spectrum DCC and the only difference to me is they added DCC and the frame is made/ cut for DCC.

Jerry
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NuthinDragginOwt


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« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2013, 03:46:35 PM »

You're correct that the Plus and Spectrum lines, the drives between the two were basically identical. The difference I think came in the details primarily. The Plus models had basic details, but also lacked some much of the time, such as grab irons. The Spectrum Line tried to cover most details, making it a slight upgrade. I know one good example was the SD45, offered in the Plus and Spectrum Lines around the time of its first release. The Spectrum engine had working drop steps, formed wire air lines on the trucks, etc. The Plus line units has molded on Drop Steps, in the down position, and thick plastic air lines on the trucks. Other thans that it was hard to tell them apart. The newer Spectrum SD45s are even more upgraded. What color box did you FAs come in by chance?
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Doneldon

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« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2013, 06:23:33 PM »

You are correct they are Bachmann Plus which from what I understand they are pretty much the same thing. I could be wrong. From what I read (don't ask me where) the Plus name was changed to Spectrum.

Jerry-

It's a little more complicated than that. B+ was an upgrade line years ago, Bachmann's then premium-level product. Spectrum replaced B+ as the name for Bachmann's premium line but it also raised the extent of improvement. I guess we could say it
was an enhanced renaming, not just a simple rebranding.

                                                                                         -- D
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jward


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« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2013, 07:35:36 PM »

i always thought that the alco fa's were standard line, soecifically "sound value"......i find it interesting that the non sound versions would lack flywheels while the sound versions have them. an educated guess would be that the frames themselves would be the same because to do otherwise would add to the cost of producung the locomotives. if this is true, then it follows that the flywheel motor should fit the non flywheel chassis. i would suggest a side by side comparison of the two versions chassis to see if you can detect any differences in the frames at all. if they are the same a swap should be as easy as disassembling the locomotives and swapping the motors. this is a procedure i did many times on the old athearn blue box locomotives.


put another way, companies generally don't like to produce more parts than absolutely necessary. drive systems therefore usually use standardized parts. the bachmann motors i've seen in the various models i've purchased over the last 10 years or so all appear to be the same, with only the presence or lack of flywheels as options. as such, another educated guess tells me you should be able to add flywheels to any bachmann motor without them if you can obtain a pair from parts & service. note that this specifically excludes the old pancake motor which would be almost impossible to add a flywheel to.

as a final thought, with a good dcc decoder (one which supports cvs 2 through 6 at the very least) it should be able to program the locomotive to run together by adjusting the momentum settings of the non flywheel locomotive.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
jbrock27

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« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2013, 08:10:25 PM »

FYI from HO Trains Scale Trains Resource

The 1992 Plus line introduction featured the F7A and F7B, plus the B23-7. The GP35 arrives in 1993; the SD45 shows first in 1994; and 1996 had the B30-7. The B23-7 and B30-7 are identical models both drive and shell tooling.

The Plus line comes in four years after Bachmann had introduced its upscale Spectrum series in 1988. The Plus diesels shared features found on Spectrum diesels. For example, the Spectrum GP30 drive and separately applied factory installed grab irons and coupler lift bars are also characteristics of the Plus line GP35. The drive included an all metal chassis, helical cut gears, 8-wheel drive, 5-pole skew wound motors, and dual machined and balanced brass flywheels. Multiple roadnumbers per roadname were also a feature found in the Plus series.

Perhaps their similarity with the Spectrum line was a factor in the short life of the Plus line. By the late '90s, the Spectrum line would include all the previously issued Plus diesels minus the F7A and F7B.
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jward


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« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2013, 08:23:08 PM »

and of course those same gp30s and gp35s are now in the standard line and share a similar drive with the h16-44.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
jbrock27

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« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2013, 08:28:58 PM »

NDO,

I have a Plus FA and B unit-Southern Daylight. The Plus' come in light gray boxes and the Spectrums come in dark boxes.  There are lots and lots of each listed on EBay.  I also have a GP35 Plus that came in a gray box.
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jbrock27

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« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2013, 08:30:23 PM »

Jeff,

Do all of those you just mentioned, have flywheel motors?
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