Author Topic: Bachmann 2-8-0 Consolidation - lost its pulling power  (Read 2240 times)

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Bart1701

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Bachmann 2-8-0 Consolidation - lost its pulling power
« on: June 18, 2013, 02:55:00 PM »
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I've got a Bachmann 2-8-0 Consolidation that lost its pulling power today.  :(

Everything was good yesterday, but today it keeps slipping when trying to pull a set of cars it was happily pulling around the layout yesterday.

The locomotive has a Digitrax DZ123 installed in the boiler; and a sound decoder and speaker was recently added in the tender. This means I have lost the weight that was in the tender to make room for the speakers and sound decoder...but, as I mentioned, all was working just fine yesterday.

Before I discovered that the pulling power was gone today, I had been giving it a good checkout and detected that power was not being sent from the tender to the motor. I got that resolved, and then detected that one of the drivers on one side of the locomotive was not picking up power either. That magically resolved itself a bit later - before I had really done anything to try to investigate this issue.

So, now I have a locomotive that is getting power from every possible wheel, but the pulling power has mysteriously slipped away. Any ideas on what's going on?

Thanks,
Bart


Bill H

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Re: Bachmann 2-8-0 Consolidation - lost its pulling power
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2013, 02:58:03 PM »
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Bart:
Check if a traction tire is missing. The connie has one pair of drivers with tires, if they are blown, there went your traction.

Cheers,
Bill

mathi

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Re: Bachmann 2-8-0 Consolidation - lost its pulling power
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2013, 03:38:22 PM »
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Yeah,
if one or both tt are gone the pulling is gone as well!
You didn't say something about the tires. Does this mean you didn't see them anymore?

Regards
Mathi

Bart1701

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Re: Bachmann 2-8-0 Consolidation - lost its pulling power
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2013, 04:58:19 PM »
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I checked and I still have two traction tires on the drivers!  I had cleaned the drivers today by applying power to the wheels and letting them run on a paper towel moistened with alcohol. When I checked to make sure I still had traction tires, there appeared to be some layer of "silvery film" or gunk on the traction tires - maybe some reaction to the alcohol?  I carefully and gently removed that and now see nice black tires again. Tried the locomotive again - a little bit of improvement, but far from enough to get me back to where I was yesterday.

Do traction tires ever just go bad? If so, does Bachmann have those available or are there other sources for these?

Not 100% sure it's the traction tires - but it does make sense that if they go bad that you would lose a lot of your pulling power.

Thanks,
Bart


peteski

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Re: Bachmann 2-8-0 Consolidation - lost its pulling power
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2013, 09:31:35 PM »
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Traction tires are usually thin rubber (or PVC) bands. Since they run on metal rails, they can eventually wear out. They can also get hard and brittle and sometimes they can start slipping.  Traction tires accumulate the same dark greasy gunk (with metal particles in it) that sticks to other wheels.  Actually the gunk seems to be attracted more to the traction tires than to metal wheels. It can also make their surface more slippery.

Traction tires are replaceable. Most manufacturers offer replacement tires for their models. I'm not sure if Bachmann does.  But even if some manufacturer does not sell replacement tires, you can most likely find a suitable replacement from another manufacturer.
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Mark.S+10

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Re: Bachmann 2-8-0 Consolidation - lost its pulling power
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2013, 12:48:53 AM »
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Bachmann normally carries traction tires for the Cony.  The good news is they are only $.25, the bad news it they are out of stock.

Have fun, Mark

mmagliaro

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Re: Bachmann 2-8-0 Consolidation - lost its pulling power
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2013, 01:58:03 AM »
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Can you quote some details, please.

1. How many cars can it actually pull now without slipping?
2. How many could it pull a day ago before you saw this problem?

If a TT isn't missing, I seriously doubt it's just a worn tire that would make all this difference in one day.
Instead, look for a problem in the drawbar connection that may be lifting the rear end of the engine up off the rails.
It may not be lifting it clear up in the air, but may be putting upward pressure on it.  The fact that you are not
getting power from the tender to the engine doubly makes me suspect this.  Maybe something popped out of
place around those two bronze wires that run inside the tender truck wheels, go through the drawbar, and contact the engine
frame.

jdcolombo

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Re: Bachmann 2-8-0 Consolidation - lost its pulling power
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2013, 07:59:23 AM »
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Can you quote some details, please.

1. How many cars can it actually pull now without slipping?
2. How many could it pull a day ago before you saw this problem?

If a TT isn't missing, I seriously doubt it's just a worn tire that would make all this difference in one day.
Instead, look for a problem in the drawbar connection that may be lifting the rear end of the engine up off the rails.
It may not be lifting it clear up in the air, but may be putting upward pressure on it.  The fact that you are not
getting power from the tender to the engine doubly makes me suspect this.  Maybe something popped out of
place around those two bronze wires that run inside the tender truck wheels, go through the drawbar, and contact the engine
frame.

Agree w/Max.  Seriously doubt a TT problem given the timeline.  Much more likely to be an issue with the tender-to-engine connection.  I suspect something has upset the front/rear "balance" of the engine, and there is not as much downward force being applied. 

By the way, there is room inside the boiler shell to add a bit of weight.  Get some tungsten putty and fill all the niches and voids in the shell with the putty.  Will help with pulling power.

John C.

babbo_enzo

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Re: Bachmann 2-8-0 Consolidation - lost its pulling power
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2013, 09:07:27 AM »
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Just for additional reference from Spookshow Enciclopedia: http://www.spookshow.net/spec280.html

One caveat - the mechanism (as delivered from the factory) can be a bit "tight". And chances are, it may take a couple of small (simple) adjustments before your 2-8-0 will run properly. When I first got mine it was very herky-jerky at slow speeds. So, I tried out the suggestion from the Model Railroader review below and experimented around with loosening the three screws that hold the bottom cover plate in place. It seems that if the rear-most one (the one that holds the motor in place) is screwed in too tightly, it will cause the entire mechanism to bind. Loosening it a turn or so really frees things up.

Another caveat - like the rest of Bachmann's newer steamers, one does occasionally run into QC problems with the way the frames were manufactured. (specifically, flaws in the cut-outs in the frame where the driver bearing blocks seat). If not cast/milled properly, the cut-outs can wind up incorrectly sized/shaped, thus allowing the bearing blocks too much free play. And the end result is drivers that are wobbling all over the place (and in some cases actually coming off the rails, thus greatly reducing pulling power). If you wind up with a 2-8-0 so inflicted (and returning it to Bachmann isn't an option), one solution is to pull the #3 drivers and apply a bit of tape to the bottom and sides of the frame cut-outs. This will force the drivers lower and eliminate the side-to-side wobbling, and (hopefully) keep the traction tires on the rails.
--------------------------------
As to me, I've install two Locksound on both my Cons and I'm happy with performance ( pulling power and slow speed).
Cheers
Enzo Fortuna
« Last Edit: June 19, 2013, 09:09:28 AM by babbo_enzo »

Bart1701

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Re: Bachmann 2-8-0 Consolidation - lost its pulling power
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2013, 09:13:25 AM »
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To answer some of the questions that were asked:

I usually would run it with a consist of 4 heavyweight passenger cars, or a mixed freight with about 8 cars. Now, it's lucky if it can manage one or two box cars.

I also thought that the TT going bad so quickly was a bit unusual. I will check to see if something is causing the back of the engine to lift up slightly. It's logical that something like that would cause the 3rd set of drivers where the TTs are located to possibly be lifted up off the rails a bit.

I am getting power from the tender to the engine now - that was corrected before my pulling power disappeared. But maybe something I did to fix that problem is now causing a slight lift in the locomotive.

I may also look into filling some of the voids in the boiler with tungsten putty - With the main decoder sitting the boiler shell, I didn't think there was that much open space - but I may pop it open to see how much space there really is. Is Tungsten putty - available at Lowe's or Home Depot? In what department would I find it?

Thanks for everyone's suggestions around this mystery.

Bart


jdcolombo

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Re: Bachmann 2-8-0 Consolidation - lost its pulling power
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2013, 09:43:49 AM »
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Do a Google search for Tungsten Putty.  I order mine from a Pine Car Derby supplier.   Never seen it in a general-purpose store.

John C.

jdcolombo

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Re: Bachmann 2-8-0 Consolidation - lost its pulling power
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2013, 09:48:18 AM »
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One final thought.

Check the gauge of your driving wheels.  On my 2-8-0's, the traction tires are quite narrow.  It is possible that if the drivers are out of gauge, the tire is no longer fully contacting the rail, resulting in traction loss.  Long shot, but worth checking.

John C.

Bart1701

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Re: Bachmann 2-8-0 Consolidation - lost its pulling power
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2013, 10:42:35 AM »
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Problem solved !  You guys are amazing, and so smart!

I discovered that I had re-attached the drawbar upside down   :P - which was causing the rear wheels on the engine to lift up a bit. Flipped it over and the engine is back to pulling as before.

I appreciate everyone's help - you seem to be the 2-8-0 gurus on this site.

Also for John - I installed the sound decoder following your methods and will be posting some video on my other post soon.

Thanks, again,
Bart

Kiasutha

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Re: Bachmann 2-8-0 Consolidation - lost its pulling power
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2013, 12:40:12 PM »
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Do a Google search for Tungsten Putty.  I order mine from a Pine Car Derby supplier.   Never seen it in a general-purpose store.

John C.
Check the big fishing supply/sports shops if you have one.
I get mine at Gander Mountain.
It's sold as "Loon" brand "deep soft weight".
The pack doesn't actually mention tungsten on it...
Jim R.

Kiasutha

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Re: Bachmann 2-8-0 Consolidation - lost its pulling power
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2013, 12:41:28 PM »
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Bachmann normally carries traction tires for the Cony.  The good news is they are only $.25, the bad news it they are out of stock.

Have fun, Mark
I've found the Kato Mikado tires work well if you can get them.
Jim R.