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Author Topic: Big Haulers Trouble  (Read 2639 times)

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« on: May 27, 2008, 06:40:27 PM »

I have two Big Haulers, 4-6-0's with only about 1 hour of track time on each.   Both have developed a slip in the (at least it appers to be) the worm gear.   I can hear it spinning but it is not engages the wheels.  I have not taken it apart yet and don't know if i should.  I hate to have to send them to the factory but if the fix is not simple I will.  Any suggestions???
Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947

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« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2008, 08:46:12 PM »

If you bought these used or new old stock, you may have bought an older model drive train.  They were not good.  What are the markings and engine numbers?   I may be able to identify what model you have. 

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!
Cascade Northern

Cascade Northern Railroad

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« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2008, 08:58:31 PM »

I have one of the early 4-6-0 Big Hauler, from like 1989, and it did the same thing.  I would turn it on and it would just sit there while the motor just spun around.  Upon taking it apart, it was that the plastic axle gear had split in half.  By the sounds of your discription, I think that the axle gear has split.

Barry BBT

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« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2008, 12:29:37 AM »

Well, I guess I should answer this.  It is what put me into business.  The first two drive generations from Bachmann's Big Hauler were multi gear, small motor devices.  The first was battery powered, plastic wheels, etc.
The second same gearbox, track power, better motor.  The third version was to become the Plus model.  Good motor (bad motor mount), good cluster gear, idler spur gear and axle spur gear.  The problem here was that the motor wasn't anchored properly. 

My solution was to develop a replacement drive.

A good short term solution came up later from someone else, but I tried it and it worked.  So I passed it on so everyone could benefit.

With the chassis exposed, boiler and cab removed and the bottom plate set aside.  Take a 12" long wire tie (one of those things you stick the tail in and it will get tighter, but not looser), thread it down aside the weight, leaving the receiving end of the wiretie weight high.  Now wrap around the motor and thread the tie back up through the chassis next to the weight.

Make sure the motor is in a proper position, thread the pointy end of the tie through the tie receiver, slowly tighten it until the motor cannot move.
Trim the excess from  the wire tie.  Replace the bottom plate and test run the unit.

The problem has been that the motor would move and disengage from the cluster gear and then try to chew it up.  People complained about bad gears, when it was the motor mount all along.  Bachmann tried to help by applying a strip of hot glue on one side of the motor then both sides.  Didn't work but they did try.

In trying to justify the cost of an early version of my drive the guys would hesitate a bit.  I would give them this fix and simply tell them to run the wheels off of it, then come back and talk to me.  I think many didn't come back beacuse this fix was enough for them

Any questions, let me know.

Barry - BBT

There are no dumb questions.
Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.

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« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2008, 02:19:24 PM »

I believe the cable tie solution came from George Schreyer.

My own solution has been to install a 2-1/2 inch CPU fan in the smoke box, put some holes in the bottom of the smoke box to let the fan suck in outside air, and add some more holes below the motor, to let the fan blow the air back out.  This cools the motor, saves the motor mount, and ultimately saves the gears.

The design of the locomotive restricts motor cooling.  If you start pulling too many cars, the motor can get hot enough to destroy itself.  But with the fan, you can keep adding cars until the wheels slip.  If you want to go farther than that, then upgrade it with a Barry's Big Trains chassis (posting above.)  Or if you lack the time, skills, or tools to add a fan, then skip the intermediate step and go directly to Barry.

Growing older is mandatory but growing up is optional.
Barry BBT

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« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2008, 11:53:42 PM »

Mr. Banner,

Thank you.

I believe donk was going to try the suggestion and let us know how it worked out.

Barry - BBT

There are no dumb questions.
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