Author Topic: TOPOL question  (Read 837 times)

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brokemoto

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TOPOL question
« on: April 13, 2019, 02:04:09 PM »
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A number of years back, several people suggested using Topol to make the Atlas/Kato RS-3/RSD-4/RS-11/RSD-12/GP-7/GP-9 run better.  My question is not on those locomotives.

I found an old B-mann 0-4-0T in my junk box.  Its motor burned out many years past.  I took out the motor and, to my surprise, the thing did not do that poorly when pushed around by a powered boxcar.  It is a bit noisy.  I have been running it on "break-in" in both directions with the powered boxcar.  While there has been some improvement, still, it will bind, on and off, on even thirteen and three quarter curves.  The thing is well weighted, so that it not the problem.  I do not want to remove that large gear and let the two axles spin on their own, as, they will go out of synchronisation and bind up even worse.  The large gear seems to help to regulate the turning of the axles and to keep the wheels in synchronisation.

My next thought was to try Topol on this.

Has anyone had similar experience?

Does anyone know if there is anything else that I  might do better?

The powered boxcar is simply an LL metal frame FA-1 onto which I have put an Atlas fifty foot boxcar shell.  It has MTs on both ends.  The 0-4-0T shell has a unimate on the pilot and a MT behind the fuel tank.

Thank you in advance.

nickelplate759

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Re: TOPOL question
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2019, 03:08:29 PM »
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What's Topol?  All I can think of is this gentleman:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaim_Topol

George

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I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

GaryHinshaw

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Re: TOPOL question
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2019, 03:26:49 PM »
+1

"Use only as directed." 

(I have never heard of it being used in MR'ing.)

CRL

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Re: TOPOL question
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2019, 07:06:35 PM »
+2
If I were a rich man...

brokemoto

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Re: TOPOL question
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2019, 07:40:39 PM »
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I have never heard of it being used in MR'ing.


There were some people who were using it to break in Atlas/Kato no flywheel locootives.  They used to put the stuff into the trucks and run it,  It required quite a bit of prodding along the way.  You then had to disassemble the thing and clean the works thoroughly with alcohol.  These same people stated that it helped to make them run more smoothly.  I never tried it.

mmagliaro

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Re: TOPOL question
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2019, 10:20:49 PM »
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I would be inclined to first take off all the rods and see how it does.  If it rolls around without the wheels binding up, then the problem is in the rods, not that big idler gear.

Yes, the idler gear of course keeps the two axles synchronized (within the limits of the coarseness of the gear teeth).  The rods only go around for show.  But if they are slightly out of quarter, they will cause binding.

Those abrasive toothpastes (Topol or Pearl Drops) are supposed to gradually polish the surfaces of the gears.  But unless you eliminate the rods, and also look for any obvious little burrs or flash on the gears first, the toothpaste won't do much.  And of course, you do have to thoroughly wash everything out afterward or that stuff will make a sticky mess of the mechanism.



brokemoto

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Re: TOPOL question
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2019, 10:19:45 AM »
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I would be inclined to first take off all the rods and see how it does.  If it rolls around without the wheels binding up, then the problem is in the rods, not that big idler gear.


When it comes to N scale steam, if you are "inclined" to do something, odds are that it is a good idea for any of us to do it.  Off came the rods.  It still binds.  I did check for in-quarter when I made my original post.  When N scale steam will not run properly, out-of-quarter drivers are often the culprit.  Another thing that I did forget to mention was that I had another B-mann 0-4-0T that someone had given me because it had a burned out motor.  When I took out the main idler gear, the drivers would not stay in quarter/synchronisation.

I am aware that some mechanisms are more free wheeling than others.  I have an old B-mann Reading Company 2-8-0 that fried its motor.  When I took out the motor, I was amazed at how it freewheeled.  The AHM/Lima Reading Company Q-1 (2-6-4T) also freewheels well.  The latter does require quite a bit of work, even if you are going to use it as a dummy.  It needs couplers fore and aft and it will need something added to the cylinders to mask the connecting rod's sliding in and out of the leading edge (make them larger).  This suggests that with a better motor, those mechanisms might not be so bad.  The other problem is that something would need to be done about electrical contact:  Miranda's Maxim as explained by ke applies here.   The 2-8-0 would be the easiest fix:  a SPECTRUM tender.  The tank locomotive would require a live car that could be coupled to it.

Neither of those would work for the application that I wanted:  an industrial steam switcher.  This is why I am trying to get that 0-4-0T to freewheel.

Thank you, everyone, for the replies.


DKS

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Re: TOPOL question
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2019, 11:01:22 AM »
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The thing is, with no siderods attached, drivers out of quarter should not bind. If there is binding without siderods, then the problem is likely the gearing, axle bearings, or some other drivetrain component(s).

Of course, when you're ready to reattach the siderods, the drivers had better be properly quartered.
"Life's a piece of sh!t when you look at it."
                                       —Monty Python

mmagliaro

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Re: TOPOL question
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2019, 01:30:48 PM »
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Glad you tried it without the rods.
Well, my experience with other early Bachmann mechanisms is that they are pretty high friction.  I had a Bachmann 0-6-0 with no motor in it, like you describe, and no way would that thing roll on the track with me just pushing it, even with no rods.  The wheels would mostly just skim along the rails and occasionally rotate.

I guess my next step would be to take out the big idler gear, and see if those drivers will whiz around freely if you give them a spin with your fingers.  If they won't, work on that. Maybe the frame slots are too snug and some swipes through them with 800 grit sandpaper might do the trick.  Then do the same thing with the drivers out and just the big idler gear in there.  See if it will whiz around freely from a spin of your finger.  Until the individual pieces do that, you're beating your head against a wall trying to make the gears mesh smoother.

I am suggesting all this because other old Bachmann steam I've played with never had wheels or gears free enough to spin around like this, and to get this thing to free-roll like a freight car, they need to.
Heck, even the more recent Bachmann 2-6-6-2 drivers and gears wouldn't spin freely and I had to carefully polish and ream the holes and slots to get them to do that.


brokemoto

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Re: TOPOL question
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2019, 12:43:45 AM »
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File this under:  You Should Have Known The Culprit Before You Even Asked The Question.

I took the thing apart, as Max suggested to see what the large idler gear was doing.  This involves pulling the wheels out on one side, sliding them out on the other side, removing two metal plates which then exposes the large idler gear.  The drivers are held in friction fit sleeves on which there are also the gears.  We now stop here to remember:  For PRECISELY WHAT are old Bachpersonn locomotives oh-so-well-known?   Yup, you guessed it:  the plastic on the gears or the sleeves cracks.  In this case, it was the sleeves.  THERE is the culprit.  I even took apart another one from my HOON-kay box and found the same cracked sleeves.  It would be pointless to get another one, as, if the sleeves, gears or both are not cracked when I acquire it, they will be cracked soon enough.  Another possibility is to get some plastic tubing, such as from Plastructâ„¢ and see how that works.

I did manage to get an old LL 0-6-0T to freewheel and my powered boxcars can push it.  It, at least, has main and side rods.  I also have an old Atlas 0-6-0T made by Roco that freewheels, but, it has only a main rod.  The manufacturer never put a side rod onto it.  I suppose that I could fashion a side rod from some plastic and see how it works.  I do like the Atlas/RoCo 's profile better than that of the LL.  The motor fried in the LL and broke its armature bearing in the Atlas/RoCo long past, so they were ideal candidates for this job, as well.

wm3798

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Re: TOPOL question
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2019, 12:09:23 PM »
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I have a Bachmann 4-8-4, white box variety, with the same issue.  My plan is to give it a coat of light weathering, put it on a piece or two of snap track, and put a nice surround of Atlas hairpin fence around it in the town square.  I tried running it, and the drivers would spin on one side and two on the other side just sat there, binding up on the drive rods.  When pushed along the track, those wheels spun freely and the others would lock on the idler gear.
I've already pulled the motor for a future repower project, cut down the tender trucks to make the ride height... er... display height better (I just glued the trucks back on since they'll never turn a wheel again).  There's really no fixing it.  I don't believe anything from the newer improved drive with the blackened wheels is compatible, other than it will fit under the same shell.

Lee
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