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Author Topic: PRAIRIE 2-6-2 ON A GRADE  (Read 7150 times)
GRASHLEY

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« on: October 14, 2014, 12:48:37 AM »

I just got a new Prairie Steamer.  It is a beautiful little loco.  My layout has 11 ¼ curves and a short (12 inch) 2% grade.  The loco could not pull 5 Old Tyme passenger cars up the grade.  It has some trouble pulling just 3 cars up the grade.  The loco wheels spin.  Any suggestions other than running on absolutely flat track only?  Is there any way to weight the loco to improve traction?
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gatrhumpy

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« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2014, 10:25:43 AM »

Add bullfrog snot to the rear driver wheels and change the tender to an all-wheel live tender from Bachmann Spectrum
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brokemoto

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« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2014, 10:26:00 AM »

The B-mann "2-6-2" is really a USRA 0-6-0 with pilot and trailing trucks added.  

While B-mann has updated the mechanism on the locomotive, it has not done so on the tender.  The design of the front, electrically live, truck is such that it inhibits the wheels' turning, thus creating a tremendous amount of drag on the locomotive.  It is not difficult to address this problem.  If you will buy a SPECTRUM USRA switcher, or "short" tender you will improve both the pulling power and electrical contact.  On the stock tender, only the front truck is live.  On the SPECTRUM tender, all wheels are live.  Further, the SPECTRUM tender has needlepoint axle pick-up, which is the most up-to-date of construction methods.  It allows for both freewheeling and good electrical contact.  It will be necessary to disaasemble the tender to do the swap.  You must cut out a piece of the tender chassis, then flip over the drawbar when you reassemble.  If you will go to Spookshow's website, there is a description of the process.

There was word that Bachpersonn was going to discontinue the SPECTRUM tenders, but they still appear in the 2014 Bachmann catalogue.  They are out there at shows, hobby stores, e-Tailers and on FeePay.

The other thing that seems to inhibit the puilling power is the idler trucks.  I have, from time to time, fiddled with these to try to determine the stress points and see if I can relieve them, but I have never spent enough time doing it.  I even tried to operate it as a 2-6-0, with the idea of bashing a B&O "Chicago mogul", but even with only the pilot truck, its pulling power is compromised.  If you operate this  locomotive as a 0-6-0, its pulling power is markedly improved over a 2-6-2.
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GRASHLEY

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« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2014, 08:39:30 PM »

Thank all of you for the suggestions.  I am still relatively new to N scale... What is bullfrog snot?  I am sure it is a good description, but what is the trade name?  Where do I get it? 

I just set up these same cars with an old F7 with bad bearings, and it easily pulled 7 cars around the track.  Once again, your evaluation appears absolutely on target.  Thanks again.
Gordon
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Franz T

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« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2014, 08:53:14 AM »

Bullfrog Snot IS the trade name. You can find it on Amazon
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James in FL

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« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2014, 08:06:59 PM »

Bullfrog snot here;
http://www.bullfrogsnot.com/

Spectrum tenders appear to be available on this site and on an auction site, also at MBKlein.
IMO excellent investment.

What will help just as much as stated above, is balancing the loco.
See where the center of gravity is.
You will find your 2-6-2 is a good bit off, if the latest version… if earlier version, even more so.


Balance it, and pull a Spectrum tender, it’s a different lokie.

Check the freewheel on both axles, and on both trucks, on all your coaches.

Clean your track and your wheel sets.

Good luck
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skipgear


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« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2014, 03:18:59 AM »

The problem is Bachmann moved the traction tired driver to the middle driver on the loco. There are a lot of things you can do to this loco to improve it. Most have been mentioned here. Moving the traction tired axle to the rearmost (#3) position will do the most for the performance of the loco. A good spectrum style tender helps a lot as well as weight. Remove the pilot and trailing trucks as they don't belong on the loco to begin with and they are nothing but headaches. They don't track well and add drag to the loco.

I wish Bachmann would "spectrumize" this loco although we would probably loose a great cheap loco to tinker with in the process.

Bullfrog snot will cause you more problems than it solves if you don't put the spectrum tender on the back. The loco suffers from poor pickup out of the box and snotting additional drivers exacerbates the problem. Moving the TT driver to the back puts it at the CG of the loco and leaves 2 other sets of drivers for electrical pickup.

The loco below will pull 15 cars up a 2% grade without slipping. I have one with weight added that can pull close to 30 cars.

Here is what it can look like....


« Last Edit: October 22, 2014, 03:23:26 AM by skipgear » Logged

Tony Hines

Modeling the B&O in Loveland, OH 1947-1950
Scott_ATL

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« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2014, 05:16:37 PM »

Not to hi-jack the OP's thread...but a few questions to add to it: would a tender from a Spectrum 4-8-2 Light Mountain or 2-8-0 work as well? Or do we just need to buy an all new tender? I ask, because I have a 4-8-2, as well as two 2-8-0s and before I go robbing Peter to pay Paul, I'd like to know if it would work.  And as for moving the traction tire wheelsets, I'm assuming you have to disconnect the linkage? (I'm still new at this...especially modifying the locos.)
Thanks!
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skipgear


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« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2014, 08:13:05 PM »

Any all-wheels live tender will work. The USRA short that Bachmann offered separate is what these locos came with when built but they got all kinds of tenders swapped on to them over the years.

To move the traction tire driver, yes, you need to pull the crank pin and re-install it in the TT driver when you re-arrange them. It's not difficult and this is a great loco to learn to tinker on.
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Tony Hines

Modeling the B&O in Loveland, OH 1947-1950
GRASHLEY

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« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2015, 09:38:45 PM »

Thanks for all your GOOD info.  I have a Spectrum tender now.  The loco is CLEARLY not balanced.  The center of gravity (CG) is at or behind of the back driver.  How or where can I add weight to move the CG forward?
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gatrhumpy

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« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2015, 03:13:38 PM »

You can get some tungsten lead and add it to the inside of the boiler.
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kmcsjr


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« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2015, 03:09:42 AM »

The problem is Bachmann moved the traction tired driver to the middle driver on the loco. There are a lot of things you can do to this loco to improve it. Most have been mentioned here. Moving the traction tired axle to the rearmost (#3) position will do the most for the performance of the loco. A good spectrum style tender helps a lot as well as weight. Remove the pilot and trailing trucks as they don't belong on the loco to begin with and they are nothing but headaches. They don't track well and add drag to the loco.

I wish Bachmann would "spectrumize" this loco although we would probably loose a great cheap loco to tinker with in the process.

Bullfrog snot will cause you more problems than it solves if you don't put the spectrum tender on the back. The loco suffers from poor pickup out of the box and snotting additional drivers exacerbates the problem. Moving the TT driver to the back puts it at the CG of the loco and leaves 2 other sets of drivers for electrical pickup.

The loco below will pull 15 cars up a 2% grade without slipping. I have one with weight added that can pull close to 30 cars.

Here is what it can look like....



Tony
Where did you hide the motor (or is it just camera angle) and here's hoping I can get that little guy hanging out the window of one of the locos I send you.
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skipgear


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« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2015, 04:38:30 PM »

Didn't do anything with the motor other than paint everything visible on it flat black. Some guys have put cab curtains on them to hide it. I found just by getting the tender snuged up close to the back of the loco that you don't notice the motor nearly as much.
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Tony Hines

Modeling the B&O in Loveland, OH 1947-1950
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