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Author Topic: 4-6-0 front truck  (Read 5240 times)
Metallus2000

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« on: May 13, 2008, 12:51:51 PM »

I have already seen the post for the 4-6-0 issue with the front truck de-railing the train constantly and now know of some fixes...but..and this may be a silly question, but I am new to G Scale....Did Bachmann do anything to help folks who paid the money for a train that does not stay on the tracks? Was there a recall of some sort and a shipment of trucks to those who could show proof of purchase?  I think I know the answer here....but...clue me in!?
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altterrain


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« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2008, 01:57:22 PM »

A lot of folks tend to blame the loco for derailing when the culprit is sloppy track work, granted some locos are more tolerant of sloppy track work than others (just ask Marty Cozad about his BigBoy). I have never had this problem with my unmodified ten wheeler on my layout. You often only get the complaints on forums and never hear from the many more who don't have problems.

-Brian
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Jon D. Miller

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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2008, 02:53:58 PM »

I have three Big Haulers.  One is the standard version the other two are Anniversary models.  All have the version 5 drive train.  These three locomotives are run on at least a once a week basis.

Front pilot wheels are set at 1.560" back to back.  I know the G1MRA rough standard is 1.575.  However, with the back to back on these three engines set at 1.560" I do not experience any derailment of the pilot truck.

Don't have a problem running on the home layout or at other layouts.  Some of the track work is rather shabby and these locomotive's pilot trucks track just fine.  All switches are either AC extra wide radius or #6.  On other layouts these engines handle the LGB 1600 switches just fine.

I run battery power so the pickup wires to the front truck have been removed.  These wires sometimes will cause the truck to derail.  As mentioned keep the truck pivot point lubricated.

JD

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Metallus2000

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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2008, 03:46:43 PM »

Understood, but my 44 ton switcher has no problems, granted even in HO scale the diesels tended to derail less often than steam.  I am using 1100 track by LGB on the corners, seems to lose it there.  Should I widen the turns?  I was wondering if that was the problem?
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snowshoe


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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2008, 09:00:05 PM »

I would just re set the gusge.  I did this and have not had a problem.  Another option is to get a new lead truck from Barry's. 
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Jon D. Miller

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« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2008, 10:21:09 PM »

One last thing to check, if you already have not done so.

Check the cross level of the curves.  The 4-6-0 should run on the tight radius curves but cross level would be critical.



As in the picture, place a level at a right angle to the track. The bubble should be centered.  If the outer rail of the curve is just slightly lower than the inner rail then that will cause a derailing problem.

The rails should be level or at the most the outer rail of the curve could be just slightly higher than the inner rail - but not by more than a quarter or less of the bubble.  Cross level on curves is way more critical than cross lever on tangent track.

JD
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Metallus2000

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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2008, 09:26:20 AM »

Thanks I will check the curves, sounds like that might be my problem, considering I just set the track dow two weeks ago, it might have settled after the heavy rains we had.  I am using crushed rock for the track bed and seems to hold up very well.  I was also thinkiung of redesigning the layout to a 10 ft radius to help here.

I saw the comment about the new truck from Barry, but I won't pay the same amount for the truck that I paid for the whole engine! If the design was not stellar, like I am seeing in a lot of posts, then I won't buy this model again and seriously thinking about Bachmann's quality control.
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Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947


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« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2008, 10:00:05 AM »

If this is your first locomotive, I am sorry to hear you are having problems.  It can be frustrating!!  I have six of these engines and have never modified the front truck.  I have had one case where the leads to the truck were interfering with movement , but after rearranging the wires I had no trouble.   I had to reguage the lead wheels on the same engine.   I always check the guage of the wheel sets regardless of brand. 

I also use white grease to lube the slot the truck swings in.   This engine is sensitive to poorly laid track as mentioned by Jon and I would add that if you have grades, make sure you have a smooth gentle transition onto the grade.  Kinks in the track at a joiner at the transition point on a grade will also cause derailments of the front truck.  This is true of other brands of steam locomotives as well. 

When I first started out my track work was very poor.  One day after several derailments a friend pointed out problem after problem with my trackwork.  After that I got serious about track laying and eliminated 99% of my derailment problems.  This is especially true of outdoor track.  Sun, rain, settling of the track, moles, steping on the track on a soft spot, frost heaves and other factors make track maintenance outdoors critical.   Acorns or other debris cause derailments, and trigger the uncoupler mechanisms on the cars.  I usually have to relevel my outdoor track twice a year.  I also have an indoor layout and because it is not subject to all tha outdoor problems,  never needs any more that a light cleaning once a year.   The wider the radius of your curves the fewer problems, and you trains will look better,

All in all the 4-6-0 Big Hauler and the Anniversary Version are excellent buys for very little money.   My son has a different brand, but similar locomotive he paid 4 times as much for and has derailment problems, gear problems and quartering problems with the drivers, so you never know.   

I do hope you can get your problem resolved and enjoy your trains for many years to come.
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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!
Metallus2000

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« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2008, 11:29:19 AM »

Thanks!  I also posted in the topic below this one.  I have 3 trains, one 44 ton switcher and an Aristo 2-4-2, both run great on the outdoor track.  I suspect the LGB 1100 curves are the issue with the 4-6-0 and I am laying out a second part to the layout with LGB 1500/other R-3 curve radius, mostly on bridge and hard surface so that will be the tell tale sign.  After removing the truck last night on the 4-6-0 it ran great w/o it, but obviously looks silly.  If all else fails the guy in the post below turned the 4-6-0 into a 0-6-0 and it didn't look too shabby...I may do that.

This weekend I will play with adding weights to the truck, run a longer curve and let you know what happens.
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scottychaos


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« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2008, 08:55:38 PM »

Yes, the Annie/Big hauler will usually run fine with PERFECT track..
but not everyone can easily achieve perfect track! Wink

In the case of the Annie I converted to an 0-6-0 by removing the front truck,
(discussed on the other thread)
it was MUCH easier to simply remove the truck and do the other mods to the engine, to shorten the front, rather than fix the track..

because my Dad's railroad, at that time, was comprised of several hundred feet of track laid on rock embankments with gravel fill..under PINE trees:



so a combination of the "floating" track on gravel, plus an endless un-winnable war with pine needles, made "perfect track" an impossibility..

It was easier to adapt the engine to the track than to adapt the track to the engines need of perfection..removing the front truck made the engine run fine on "imperfect" track..

My Dad has since dismantled the original railroad and moved it to another portion of the yard..the pine needles made the railroad virtually un-operable...its now much smaller, but runs much better..

just something to keep in mind...if you have a finicky engine, (or front truck) that isnt happy on anything less than perfect track, sometimes its easier to fix the engine than the track..

there is really nothing "wrong" with the Annie front truck..
its perfectly fine on perfectly fine track..
but many people have had problems with the truck derailing..
because the real world isnt always perfect..

Scot
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Metallus2000

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« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2008, 08:35:35 AM »

I am noticing that the track is an issue. It's on gravel and floats and take some attention every once in awhile, hazards of being outside I guess.  I am expanding into another area and trying different techniques, including a raised bed on PT plywood around 4-5" wide, hten building bridge structure around that...will let you know.  Any "secrets" to track on gravel would be much appreciated here!
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Eugene

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« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2008, 11:15:43 AM »

Had same problem here, putting weights on the truck helped but did not solve the problem. Backing out the truck center screw by about two turns did the trick. Had to raise the cowcatcher a bit too.
Eugene
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Danny Sheehan in Oz

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« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2008, 04:48:33 PM »

I am running seven Annie/Big Haulers locomotives, and unlike the above repondents have no problems with the front truck constantly derailing, I have fine tuned my track over time to eliminate such happenings.  I believe that track is more likely the answer than faulty locomotives!
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Barry BBT

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« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2008, 04:26:55 PM »

All:

The primary problem with the 4-6-0 pilot truck is the crescent the post must follow in the bottom of the steamchest saddle.  Example the very long screw has an extremely small head so it won't interfere with the washers holding the post in place.  This was the first improvement I made 15 years ago.  I supplied a stainless steel arm attached to my drive, added a weight accross the front truck axle.

While designing the equalized front axle for the ANNIE drive, it simply dawned on me that the pilot truck could be equalized in much the same way.  I designed a couple of truck frames and they got better and better.
Finalized the design and started making them standard with the drive.

Developed a kit for stock Big Haulers, which includes the same frame and a different stainless steel arm for the truck, which attaches to the Big Hauler plastic bottom plate.

About the same time I was getting this done another modeler came up with an alternative solution which he claimed worked very well.  By removing the two spacer blocks in the bottom of the Bachmann pilot truck the metal conductors between the wheels allowed the wheelsets a lot of freedom and solved the de-railing problem.  The only improvement I would suggest is to add the swing arm (which attaches to the frame top post cut down to 1/4" high).  I do believe this works, so if you don't want to spring for the metal pilot truck, here's the next best answer.

Barry - BBT 
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There are no dumb questions.
Metallus2000

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« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2008, 03:15:59 PM »

It was the track, I raised the bed and paid a lot of detail to leveling and longer curves!  I would attach the pic, but seems I can't atm...
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