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Author Topic: 2-4-2; Pickup problems and gears, typical problems? How old is it?  (Read 6045 times)
bnsonger47


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« on: January 03, 2009, 07:24:21 PM »

Hello loco intellectuals, and I mean that seriously, I have some questions and comments on the 2-4-2.

First, I got one from a friend that heard I got started with large scale by Bachmann and thought I'd be interested in this unit. Since I haven't seen many around I figure that they're eight or ten years old, maybe more. But, they are certainly attractive units and look nice with the ten-wheelers that are so prevalent (don't have money for the other things yet -- the economy, you know, the former CEO of a mortgage firm has all of my money and, probably, some of yours).

I'm please with the looks and would like to have it running.

I've searched and see that Loco Bill says that they have pickup problems. I see that the tender has brushes for one axle on each truck. I also see that the front and rear truck pickup as well as the four drivers. However, this sucker won't go without my pushing. I inspected the wheels and cleaned them. The track is clean, too. Problems persist.

One of the wires (two sets) that goes from the tender to the locomotive may not be making good contact. When I wiggle and it kicks I hear a thump or two like the gears aren't quite right. When I push on the unit the wheels roll quite freely. This is certainly strange. On the ten-wheelers they don't roll without power.

So, is it worth getting this little beauty fixed? Is it best to go with Bachmann service or are there some things I can do (assuming my screwdriver works and my eyes don't play tricks on me).

A previous owner was nice enough to paint over the road name without removing the lettering. My assumption is that he knows little about what he/she had; definitely not the solvent and light pressure bit.

This would look great when it's running and I mark for L&N.

By the way, I'm still under 30 days on being here and I find the forum quite interesting. You tend to stay on subject, which is great.

Happy New Year. Bring on the basketball.
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Byron Songer
Victorian Crossing
Louisville, KY
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MBB


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« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2009, 09:35:45 PM »

click http://girr.org/girr/tips/tips4/columbia_tips.html
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altterrain


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« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2009, 09:43:43 PM »

The 2-4-2  has got to be one of the biggest lemons Bachmann has put out. I don't think I have ever seen one that actually ran. Not much of a friend you got there if you ask me  Wink . If you really want to get it running, I'd swap in a gearbox from something else.

-Brian
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Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947


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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2009, 05:15:40 PM »

I have the 2-4-2T  or Tank version, and have no direct experience with the tender version.   My tank version runs perfectly even after all these years, but I have had to keep the wheels and contacts squeaky clean and everything lubed up yo keep it that way.  It is suseptable to the slightes bit of dirt or poor contact.  I still love it with it's nice detail and it looks great pulling my string of log cars!!   

Be sure to look at Georges Sheyer's tips.   If that doesn't help.......

 I am not sure but I don't think Bachmann has any parts for them any more.  It would be best to contact service and see what your options are.  Call the 215-533-1600 number and ask for service. 

If they can no longer help and you must have on that runs, Ebay might be the answer and you can use the one you have for shelf display or as layout decoration.

If you do call service lt would be great if you could report back here with what they tell you.

Best of luck!!
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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!
Barry BBT

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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2009, 05:24:48 PM »

Byron,

Bachmann started producing this loco in the early '90s.  The drive was similar to the Porter's at the time, also not very good.  The tender did not come with the pickups, so they have been added.  The best improvement you could make for that loco without going crazy would be to up grade it to the newer Porter gearbox (or the 2-6-0 Indie gearbox and axle/wheels).

The original #5 was a Hawaiian plantation loco.  If I recall correctly it was brought to the mainland for overhaul and restoration.  It maybe somewhere in CA.

Barry - BBT
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Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947


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« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2009, 12:53:08 AM »

Barry's reply made me realize that I forgot to answer the age question.  Looks like they were first made in 1989 as a part of the Prairie Flyer set iin Union Pacific Lettering. the set number was 90014. It was a woodburner. The UP 2-4-2 was also available as a seperate item.  There was also a coalburner in PRR lettering, available as a seperate item.  They were in the catalog from 1989 to 1993.   A WP&Y version was introduced in 1992 and remained in the catalog til 1995. 

The PRR version and later WPY version along with an unlettered version were reintroduced in 1998 with an updated drive train, which included metal wheels on the tender.  I am not positive, but I believe it was then that tender pickups may have been added. 

The PRR version was Bachmann number 91114, WP&Y was 91119, and the painted unlettered version was 91170.  They were all coal burners.  The older UP version was never reintroduced but the number was 91101.   

For my records I do want to know if the 1998 units did for sure have factory installed pickups and what the differences may have been in the drive trains!!  Please chime in if you know for sure.   Thanks
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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!
Kevin K

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« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2009, 05:33:03 PM »

I just recieved a broken 2-4-2 Prairie Flyer set & the rear wheel plastic mount & pickup is broken in two pieces. any idea where I can get a new piece or can this be repaired ?
Thanks
Kevin K
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Peter O

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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2009, 01:10:31 PM »

The last 2-4-2 version sold separately was considerably improved. It included a smoke generator, sound and I think metal wheels on the tender. All the piping (hand rails ect.) was still plastic, but it was an OK runner. I don't recall any pickup problems. When I sold mine, it was still going strong.

The 2-4-2T Spectrum was real lemon. Pickups were useless and the gearbox weak and near impossible to service. It was a cute locomotive, but needed a better power block. I was fortunate to sell mine before it broke.
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Dave

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« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2009, 01:24:49 AM »

I have had my 2-4-2T for about 6 years now. Have kitbashed it into a 2-4-4T and added constant lighting. It will easily pull 5 box cars up a 3% grade on a 8ft curve, providing the track is reasonably clean. Have found that it needs plenty of lubrication and don't go too slow over points with plastic Frogs. If I knew how to, I would post a few pics of it.

                              Dave
                               Waikino
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tomplatten

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« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2009, 04:55:54 PM »

I purchased a small 12volt burglar alarm battery to power my G scale outdoor but it also works on my mezzanine Garage layout. No matter how poor you power pickup is---once you wire in one of these batteries to your loco motive via plugs, it will run steady.
You can even wire in an DPDT toggle and rheostat into a following boxcar so you can reverse the unit. I do not use a remote! I just flip the switch and the locomotive will run for about two hours before it has to be recharged!
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jpipkin

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« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2009, 02:01:37 AM »

The original Hawaiian 2-4-2 prototype is alive and in steam at the Connecticut Antique Machine Association museum.  Check out http://www.ctamachinery.com/
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bnsonger47


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« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2009, 03:40:04 PM »

Loco Bill,

My 2-4-2 must be of the 1998 vintage. It is PRR #3 with metal wheels on the tender. I don't know about comparing drivetrains/gears/motors since I'm new to this.

I can tell you it was run a lot and that the wheels were probably never cleaned. How they make good contact is beyond me. I guess all the carbon pickup on the wheels does conduct electricity somewhat. Still, the main problem is a two-conductor wire that runs between the loco and the tender. There's definitely a short or something there.

I can't tell if it smokes or not. So far it hasn't asked me for a lite and it doesn't smell like it ever has. Besides, there's no switch on the front. The tender has a speaker and battery hole so I assume it can chug along a little. It has the standard switch and wire set for sound.

It looks as though someone picked up the unit by the tender and let the loco dangle because the wires from the tender are exposed over the wheels.

Someone had this that didn't know how to care for it whether it was a strong runner or not.
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Byron Songer
Victorian Crossing
Louisville, KY
Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947


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« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2009, 07:59:04 PM »

Brian,

Since the PRR # was made in both early and late it is hard to say for sure.  If there are wires leading from the tender truck pickups to the locomotive it s more likely the later version.
 If there is only one set of wires from the tender to the loco, then they are probably the chuff sensor wires.  The chuff sensor is mounted on the rear driver and sends the trigger signal to the sound unit in the tender causing the chuff sound.  There is usually a plug on the loco where the wires from the tender connect to the loco.  To test this be sure to put a fresh battery in the sound system, then disconnect the plug from the loco to the tender.  Strip a thin strip of wire and bend it into a U shape and short out the wires to the tender if the sound is on and the volume up you should hear a chuff sound each time you touch the wires together.  If there is no sound you problem is with the sound unit.  If there is a chuff sound plug the wires back together and run the loco you should hear the chuff as the drivers turn. If you don't then the chuff sensor on the rear driver is probably bad. 

The second set of wires from the loco to the tender might be to bring power from the tender metal wheels.  Check under the tender to see if there are wires leading to power pickups on the tender trucks.  If there are then check to see that the pickups are firmly rubbing on the wheels and that the wheels are squeaky clean.  Unplug the leads from the loco  Set the tender on the track, turn the power to the track on full,
 Then use a voltmeter with the probes touching the ends of the plug on the wires from the tender.  The reading will tell you if you are getting power from the tender trucks.  The reading at the wires should be the same as when you touch the probes to the tracks.

Above all CLEAN the wheels on the loco till they are clean and bright clean whatever piclups you might see. Spray electronics cleaner on the wheels and all pickups.   Once you get the motor running while the unit is on the tracks, the loco will either go, or sit there with the motor running but no motion, if no motion the the problem is usually the gears gone bad. 

If the gears are bad you can tear it apart to see if it is fixable.  if not fixable then use it for decoration on your layout and search for a replacement unit on Ebay.  If you mgo on Ebay look for the undecorated version or the WP&Y version.  That way you will be sure to have the latest!!


Try this stuff and report back!!

Goof luck!
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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!
Barry BBT

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« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2009, 01:08:25 AM »

Byron,

When you do get to the "gear problem", you may have more luck with me than with Bachmann.  Bachmann is not keeping many parts for older offerings.

I have many of the gears from the early locos (I replace them in my endeavors) I never throw anything away.  I also have had some of the old high stress gears recast in metal.

Barry - BBT
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There are no dumb questions.
vic


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« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2009, 11:28:20 AM »

I picked up the early red Columbia version at a train show for $20, of course its drive was shot, but being a type that always sees possibilities, I did a slight makeover to it:



Thats on an HLW flatcar with new drive bricks modified with the HLW flats archbar sideframes, and mounting the Columbia body onto it, my faux-Heisler came out pretty nice. In fact so nice I did it twice:



This time with a shorty Bachmann flatcar, which was nicer as I didnt have to carve away alot of plastic to mount the drives.

This loco body has been on here before in the Photo Gallery (since removed) when it was modified to a 2-4-0 plantation type engine, but eventually the drive cried uncle, and I did another unauthorized surgical proceedure.  Shocked

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