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December 05, 2019, 11:13:27 PM
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Author Topic: As our Spectrums age  (Read 724 times)
mickeykelley

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« on: April 14, 2019, 10:43:09 PM »

Personally, I have both Shays, a Climax, an older 4-4-0 Spectrum and a Connie and I really love them.  All the mechanical intracies is what really got me interested in trains beyond some occasion playing with them and originally my young son. Due to life getting in the way, this 20+ year adult hobby has mostly been on hold.  But as we start preparing for semi-retiring, down sizing and a move, and hopefully more time to put towards trains, I'm packing up trains, track, etc., etc., and realize that I have some damage, missing or lost parts.  Projects started and not completed so things already taken apart trying to get all the parts back to the right place for packing.  Tons of stuff is now not available as parts.  I fully understand that some of this stuff goes back to the 90's and understand the business side of it from Bachmann's prospective, but what are you guys doing now for parts?  With no apparent new G locos coming out I'm assuming there is not a lot of hope for parts reruns.  For example, I'm glad I bought the original Shay metal replacement trucks, even thought they have not been used yet and the originals have not failed yet, but now they are not available.  I had 'planned' to get one of Barry's Connie drives after reading about failures and his universally praised replacement, but never got around to it, only to read about his now health situation, that option is gone. None of my engines have any amount of hours on them but I have no idea what I might run into. So what are you guys planning?  If something goes, just junk it like I have with the 3 Gandy Dancers I have in a dead box?  Really curious what others are thinking.
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Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947


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« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2019, 09:51:50 AM »

Hi Mickey,

Like you, I down sized, and decided to build my next RR inside and on benchwork so I would not have to do the hands and knees grubbing in the dirt. Most of my problems over the years have been with drive trains, rather than the detail parts, probably due the the fact that I put a lot of hours on them. 

I bought two Connies when they first came out and a few years ago one of them failed due to the gear problem.  I decided to buy two of the brass gears on the axle, fixed the broken one, and put the other inside the tender of the one with the original gear. https://estore.bachmanntrains.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=69_142&products_id=10285.

 My shays have held up so far, but I did replace the gear on my Spectrum Mogul, I believe I got the gears from NWSL which is going out of business but is still taking orders till supplies run out or til they close at the end of July(i think). The same gear works on either the 4-4-0 or the spectrum Mogul.  Some years ago I did some "How To" repair instructions which are now in the FAQ section of the forum: https://www.bachmanntrains.com/home-usa/board/index.php/board,10.0.html.

As for the Climax and Heislers, my suggestion is to go ahead and get what you can in the way of drive train parts while they are still available.  I base this on the probability that in retirement you may run more and thus have more failures.  This is true actually for all your Spectrums and non-Spectrums as well.  My overall thinking is that I want my locos to run even if they are missing a few parts.   Some parts can be fabricated from styrene plastic.  Being somewhat of a scavenger, I have also bought junkers on Ebay or at Swap meets, but only if the price is very right. 

As for an failed locomotive it is sometimes fun to remove the gears and make it into a dummy, and use it for double heading, or as decoration in your roundhouse or shop building.  I have also used parts scavenged from a different loco to replace a similar part, like a bell  from an Annie to replace one on a Shay or 4-4-0.  I also use epoxy (JB Weld) to replace parts that have fallen off.   When a part falls off I always put it in a a snack bag and label it til I can do the repair. 

Anyway most importantly congrats on your retirement!

Have fun with your trains!!!!

Bill
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Loco Bill,  Roundhouse Foreman
Colorado & Kansas Railway Missouri Western Railway
Semi Official Historian; Bachmann Large Scale
There are no dumb or stupid questions, just questions!
mickeykelley

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« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2019, 12:37:20 PM »

Should I buy the motors themselves or are they pretty sturdy or easily available?
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mickeykelley

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« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2019, 03:37:56 PM »

Thanks Bill for your info.  I got with NWSL and placed order.
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Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947


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« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2019, 08:25:50 PM »

Glad you got to NWSL, As for the motors, I don't know what to suggest, as I have never had a motor failure!  Couldn't hurt if you have plenty of available funds.  Other than that i would make motors the last priority.
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Loco Bill,  Roundhouse Foreman
Colorado & Kansas Railway Missouri Western Railway
Semi Official Historian; Bachmann Large Scale
There are no dumb or stupid questions, just questions!
grsman


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« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2019, 02:51:00 PM »

Thanks Bill for your info.  I got with NWSL and placed order.
You better go quick. NWSL is closing it's doors.
Tom
 Angry
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