Author Topic: Athearn Bombardiercars  (Read 1035 times)

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Pennsy

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Athearn Bombardiercars
« on: January 03, 2014, 06:34:11 PM »
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I've seen numerous comments about the Athearn cars not rolling well and mine sure don't. Has anyone come up with a fix?

And does anyone know if the Kato inside axle trucks fit on these cars?

peteski

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Re: Athearn Bombardiercars
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2014, 07:20:49 PM »
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I've seen numerous comments about the Athearn cars not rolling well and mine sure don't. Has anyone come up with a fix?

And does anyone know if the Kato inside axle trucks fit on these cars?

None of the inside-bearing trucks run all that well (including Kato).  But Kato's trucks do run better than Athearn or Bachmann trucks. 

I think that Kato's secret is using steel axles (which are smaller diameter than the other brands) and using precision-made and well-lubricated copper bearings.  That minimizes friction.  Kato uses some sort of yellow grease.

I think that the key to lowest friction would be to use Kato's design, but further reduce the axle diameter.  But that would require a major reworking of the truck frames and wheels.  I'm thinking that using 0.020" music wire axles and thin sheet brass or copper for bearings might be a good start.
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TiVoPrince

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Re: Athearn Bombardiercars
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2014, 08:24:15 PM »
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Kato
trucks can be fitted but they are a poor representation of the actual Bombardier trucks.  The Athearn trucks do look like the real thing with the external brake rotor and caliper.  Athearn has drastically improved these trucks with each run and I hope to get some from parts from the new run to improve my fleet...
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Pennsy

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Re: Athearn Bombardiercars
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2014, 09:42:17 PM »
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I've got a first run set of the TRE cars. What changes has Athearn made?

Jeff AKA St0rm

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Re: Athearn Bombardiercars
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2014, 11:14:43 PM »
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I have cars form all the releases including the current one, and non of them run any better than any other. The Kato trucks are best but still noting like a normal car would be. I have a 12 car GO Train that I run with a F59phi with sound in the front and a Atlas GP40 right behind it. With out the GP40 I can only pull/push 7 cars on a 1% grade with wheel slip. When I ran a Kato test the same F59phi pulled/pushed 12 Kato Amfleet cars no wheel slip. I know most people would say 7 cars is more than enough but the Go Train in Toronto runs 12 car trains.

TiVoPrince

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Re: Athearn Bombardiercars
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2014, 08:52:38 AM »
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Originals
were full of flash around the axles.  They also pinched the axles a bit.  I got some from Athearn parts around run three or four that were better but gauge on the centre plastic tubes was all over the map.  My experience has been that polishing the axles in the bearing area, setting proper gauge, trimming back the plastic tube (partially for electrical pickup) and opening up the 'bearings' only if absolutely necessary. 

My best trick was to taper the bearing area to minimize the contact area taking a page from the common needle point axles.  Inside bearings will never run as well as needle point axles, physics cannot be overcome...
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jagged ben

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Re: Athearn Bombardiercars
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2014, 11:34:28 AM »
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...
My best trick was to taper the bearing area to minimize the contact area taking a page from the common needle point axles.  Inside bearings will never run as well as needle point axles, physics cannot be overcome...

I'm interested in more details...

I gather you tapered the plastic truck frame?  (Not the metal axles.) 

Did you just use a drill from the outside?  Any pitfalls?

TiVoPrince

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Re: Athearn Bombardiercars
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2014, 10:03:21 AM »
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Carved
away some of the plastic truck bearing at a fairly shallow angle with a brand new hobby knife.  Theory was to reduce the bearing surface and friction without unduly stressing the casting.  A steeper angle did not add relief, once the bearing surface is reduced the angle did not matter too much and leaving as much 'meat' behind seemed a prudent way to go.

Pitfalls?  Wonder no more about why I'm actively seeking additional spares from the friendly Athearn parts department.  Adding the .008 phosphor bronze pickups did actually stress/weaken the trucks somewhat too causing some distortion issues. 

Perhaps I'm trying to do way too much beyond the original design...
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peteski

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Re: Athearn Bombardiercars
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2014, 03:44:00 PM »
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Carved
away some of the plastic truck bearing at a fairly shallow angle with a brand new hobby knife.  Theory was to reduce the bearing surface and friction without unduly stressing the casting.  A steeper angle did not add relief, once the bearing surface is reduced the angle did not matter too much and leaving as much 'meat' behind seemed a prudent way to go.

Pitfalls?  Wonder no more about why I'm actively seeking additional spares from the friendly Athearn parts department.  Adding the .008 phosphor bronze pickups did actually stress/weaken the trucks somewhat too causing some distortion issues. 

Perhaps I'm trying to do way too much beyond the original design...

How about doing what I mentioned earlier: retrofitting the plastic bearing surfaces with plates (with slots in them for the axle bearings) made form 0.010" (or maybe even 0.005") brass?  Those would provide both: reduced friction area and electrical contact.
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C855B

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Re: Athearn Bombardiercars
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2014, 03:58:36 PM »
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...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

peteski

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Re: Athearn Bombardiercars
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2014, 04:11:47 PM »
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Here's another thought: http://www.gizmoszone.com/shopping/agora.cgi?product=bearing;ppinc=1a

Good idea, but a bit pricey, considering that 8 are needed per car.
--- Peteski de Snarkski
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C855B

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Re: Athearn Bombardiercars
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2014, 04:25:05 PM »
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I dunno... pretty cheap, considering. I got four of these cars (latest run) for Robyn and they don't roll for crap. I've not run them yet with the F59, so if it pulls them OK I'll leave 'em alone, otherwise they'll join the 100 other projects in the queue on the workbench. :|
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

Catt

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Re: Athearn Bombardiercars
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2014, 09:04:47 PM »
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What I did with my Bachmann Am tubes was pull the wheel sets (and factory lighting) and use a deill bit to chamfer the axle hole to a very sharp edge which left a minimum contact area for the axle thus reducing friction.The idea is to use just enough pressure to chamfer the hole without enlarging it.I did two cars with roller bearings the local Detroit Ball Bearing store gave me to get them of the books.These two move if you just breathe on them. :D

I went back to buy some of the bearings and the store was closed., :(
Johnathan (Catt) Edwards
Sole owner of the
Grande Valley Railway
100% Michigan made

TiVoPrince

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Re: Athearn Bombardiercars
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2014, 10:42:44 PM »
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How about doing what I mentioned earlier: retrofitting the plastic bearing surfaces with plates (with slots in them for the axle bearings) made form 0.010" (or maybe even 0.005") brass?  Those would provide both: reduced friction area and electrical contact.

You
give me credit for far more talent than I actually have.  Grand idea but not with my actual skill set..
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