Author Topic: Athearn Big Boy Rivarossi Style Drive Rod Blow Out!  (Read 5659 times)

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Nato

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Athearn Big Boy Rivarossi Style Drive Rod Blow Out!
« on: April 15, 2008, 01:33:25 AM »
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  I decided I was going to break in my 2nd Athearn Big Boy so I put it out on the Red Mainline track on my layout. When running forward it was making a"Clunk" sound and wobbled some with each driver revolution. Reverse was soomth, no noise or wobble. After looking at the loco to see if maybe a traction tire had slipped, I put it back on the track and it refuesed to move forward ,but holding the boiler it felt like the gears were turning,but not moving the wheels. I put it in reverse it shot out like a bat out of hell till I got her slowed down. Then going back to forward it ran with the same clunk problem. Well partway down the track I got the Rivarossi Effect, for those of you who might remember their locos especially the Big Boy, one of the Micro Screws holding the rods together attached to a drive wheel would loosen up come out and everything would fall apart. What a pain in the B to re quarter the drivers re screw if the screw wasn't lost usuing "Loctite" so it would not come apart again. On the Athearn loco same effect,the screw loosened up and rod ends hit the ground. Only good thing is the little micro screw has a longer threaded end then Rivarossi, so it didn't get lost and the drivers may not need quartering, don't know yet till I put it back together later in the week. Nate Goodman (Nato). Salt Lake, Utah.

wm3798

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Re: Athearn Big Boy Rivarossi Style Drive Rod Blow Out!
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2008, 07:31:57 AM »
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Three words...
E.
M.
D.
 ;D
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

up1950s

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Re: Athearn Big Boy Rivarossi Style Drive Rod Blow Out!
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2008, 09:45:43 AM »
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Stuff like this will keep brass prices from dropping .

Dave V

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Re: Athearn Big Boy Rivarossi Style Drive Rod Blow Out!
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2008, 10:12:51 AM »
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In spite of my PRR steam kitbashing attempts, I've learned:

Steam is not one of N scale's strengths.

There, I said it! ;D

Is it any wonder, then, that I'm eyeing 1980 as my alternte era?  Kato and Atlas GPs and SDs and U-boats all run like Swiss watches out of the box, whereas steam (without hours of tinkering) runs like a fine Cuisinart on a off-balance washing machine.
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3rdrail

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Re: Athearn Big Boy Rivarossi Style Drive Rod Blow Out!
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2008, 10:55:01 AM »
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Dave, you might consider going back in time instead of forward. These two Pennsylvania Railroad H3b's both run like fine Swiss watches, and have run for hours at a time at train shows.



They're built from MDC (now Athearn) Consolidations.

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Athearn Big Boy Rivarossi Style Drive Rod Blow Out!
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2008, 11:08:29 AM »
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Stuff like this will keep brass prices from dropping .

Yeah, at least brass is reliable. It NEVER runs well! :D

Dave V

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Re: Athearn Big Boy Rivarossi Style Drive Rod Blow Out!
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2008, 11:14:27 AM »
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Dave, you might consider going back in time instead of forward. These two Pennsylvania Railroad H3b's both run like fine Swiss watches, and have run for hours at a time at train shows.

They're built from MDC (now Athearn) Consolidations.

Greg, they look great!  I'll be they do run well.

Nope, a big part of my push for 1980 is nostalgia...  Plus, there was enough "modern" stuff on the rails my young boys can relate.  After all, they still see GP38-2s on a regular basis here.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2008, 11:17:24 AM by Dave Vollmer »
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gunner

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Re: Athearn Big Boy Rivarossi Style Drive Rod Blow Out!
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2008, 09:37:01 PM »
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Crap!!! 1980 is nostalgia?  You all are killing me!!!!!!

Bob

Walkercolt

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Re: Athearn Big Boy Rivarossi Style Drive Rod Blow Out!
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2008, 12:38:52 AM »
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Dave, I would agree with you except for Aspen Models Nn3  and Z-scale steam engines. For $750 and up(waaaaay up) they run perfectly, so it's possible, just doesn't happen alot. Ed, I've got some brass that runs really good from the box, but that doesn't always happen either.  8)

cv_acr

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Re: Athearn Big Boy Rivarossi Style Drive Rod Blow Out!
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2008, 06:15:08 PM »
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Stuff like this will keep brass prices from dropping .

Yeah, at least brass is reliableconsistent. It NEVER runs well! :D

There, I think that's the word you were looking for. :)

UP_Phill

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Re: Athearn Big Boy Rivarossi Style Drive Rod Blow Out!
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2008, 07:07:30 PM »
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Stuff like this will keep brass prices from dropping .

Sorry to hear about Nato's BB problems, but I don't think this is an inherent issue with the Athearn units. I know many ppl who own these with absolutely no problems and that includes me. This is a beautiful loco which is streets ahead of any other n scale Big Boy that I have seen over the years.

dclyde

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Re: Athearn Big Boy Rivarossi Style Drive Rod Blow Out!
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2008, 07:11:13 PM »
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I've had my BB for about 6 weeks and it's on its way back to Athearn.  It's operation is inconsistant and the thing wobbles something fierce.

I'm sorry I bought the thing and should have known better since both my Challengers have spent  more time in transit between my house and Athearn than they have on my layout.

Dave

Walkercolt

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Re: Athearn Big Boy Rivarossi Style Drive Rod Blow Out!
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2008, 12:24:56 AM »
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Dave, I think you got all the "bad ones"! We've test run all the Challengers and Big Boys...hadn't had one with a hitch. But there have to be some with troubles, like all mass produced products. I truely hope Athearn does good by you. People had more than mixed results from Con-Cor on the Challengers and Big Boys from RivaRossi on service. :-X

Nato

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Rivarossi to the rescue sort of !
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2008, 03:04:26 AM »
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  Well, it turns out a part did fly off never to be found, that was a micro small flat washer. So I have a junker parts source Rivarossi Big Boy and yes they have the same micro washer or I guess pretty close. After installation with washer, the clunk and wobble still occurred. My friend Bob Gilmore Mr. Outcome Based model railroader who has shortened the drawbars on all of mine and his Challengers & Big Boys did some testing, there is signs that a rod is scraping, wear to the paint, carefull bending of the offending rod seemed to make the problem worse. So now the loco is at Bob's for further disassembly, as he is fimilar with shell removal, and he will also look at gear train. I will agree that with any mass produced product usuing small parts there are bound to be a few that have problems. Hope it is fixable or that Athern will fix under warantee after the draw bar has been modified. My other three Challengers and other Big Boy have been good right out of the box.                                                                                                                                        Nate Goodman (Nato). Salt Lake, Utah. "Order spair washers if Athearn will sell them."

dclyde

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Re: Athearn Big Boy Rivarossi Style Drive Rod Blow Out!
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2008, 12:58:33 PM »
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Basically, a pos is a pos and so far, all 3 of the Athearn locos I've purchased have turned out to be pos's.  Athearn' service is good, no doubt about that but if all they can do is polish a turd, you still end up with a turd, albeit a good looking turd.

Everyone seems to a lot of test running of these units and everyone seems to have very few issues at that particular point.  But what about after running 20 or 30 hours.  My Greyhound Challenger failed right out of the box.  My Clinchfield Challenger failed after about 30 hours.  My Big Boy failed after about 5 hours.  2 of the 3 made it through "test running" but failed shortly after that.

The long and short of it is that I now have $1,000.00 worth of highly polished turds.

Dave