Author Topic: Rapido N-Scale FP9A Wheel Gauge Issue  (Read 5260 times)

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BCR751

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Rapido N-Scale FP9A Wheel Gauge Issue
« on: September 29, 2021, 02:54:39 PM »
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Just received my long awaited Rapido N-Scale FP9A.  Set it up for DCC + sound operation and put it on the track to start the break-in period.  As it went through the turnouts, it bounced over every frog and squeezed through the points.  Upon examination, it was found that all of the wheels are badly out of gauge (see photo).  I need to get the shell off to remove the trucks so I can re-gauge the wheels.  Before I screw something up, how do I remove the shell?  I know this a new offering but I'm hoping someone has taken the plunge and tried to get into this unit.

Doug


Narlie

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Re: Rapido N-Scale FP9A Wheel Gauge Issue
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2021, 03:21:52 PM »
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The following is the answer I received from Rapido regarding my unit that had an unseated decoder:
Without looking at it, off the top I'd say the decoder has popped off the motherboard. This sometimes happens during transit. It's easy to remove the frame from the shell, no screwdrivers required, gently pry the shell open by the fuel tank and gently shake the frame out over some foam for gentle landing. The decoder is an ESU Loksound NEXT18 and clips onto the motherboard with the connector, making sure it is properly seated.
It works
Dave B

thomasjmdavis

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Re: Rapido N-Scale FP9A Wheel Gauge Issue
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2021, 04:01:25 PM »
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I am not going to be any help with the problem (I don't have the model, at least not yet), but that is a GREAT photo to illustrate what the issue is.  The wheels on the left end of the axle are clearly tighter than those on the right.  Polishing the brass of the axle wipers (if that is what those brass pieces are).
Tom D.

If you don't know what it is, don't throw it out.

peteski

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Re: Rapido N-Scale FP9A Wheel Gauge Issue
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2021, 04:49:55 PM »
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Too bad that we still have model train companies refusing to adopt the Kato-style low-friction truck design.  Everything else is sub-par.
I know that this is not directly related to the problem described in this thread, but I just had to mention that.
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wcfn100

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Re: Rapido N-Scale FP9A Wheel Gauge Issue
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2021, 05:03:17 PM »
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From that photo it looks like both sides aren't set right.  If you just push the right wheel out, it's going to up against the frame.


Jason

peteski

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Re: Rapido N-Scale FP9A Wheel Gauge Issue
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2021, 05:13:24 PM »
+1
From what I see, there is no need to take the shell off.  The truck's gear cover appears to be snapped onto the gearcase at the front and back. Just snap the ends off, then the gear cover should pop off. Then you can remove and re-gauge the wheelsets.
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BCR751

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Re: Rapido N-Scale FP9A Wheel Gauge Issue
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2021, 05:15:46 PM »
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OK, I managed to get the shell off (thanks Dave B.)  Now, I can't see how to remove the trucks without disassembling the entire loco.  That could, and likely would, create a whole new set of problems. There's so much crap in there I'm sure to wreck something. I'm going to email Rapido and, if they choose to respond this time, maybe they have some suggestions.

Doug

BCR751

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Re: Rapido N-Scale FP9A Wheel Gauge Issue
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2021, 05:17:49 PM »
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From what I see, there is no need to take the shell off.  The truck's gear cover appears to be snapped onto the gearcase at the front and back. Just snap the ends off, then the gear cover should pop off. Then you can remove and re-gauge the wheelsets.

I thought the same thing but I can't find a place to pop off the cover.  I tried but there's no place to get a tool in between the pieces without causing damage.

Doug

Narlie

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Re: Rapido N-Scale FP9A Wheel Gauge Issue
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2021, 05:38:17 PM »
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Just pry the body on both sides near the fuel tank with you fingers and shake.
It worked for me.
Dave B

BCR751

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Re: Rapido N-Scale FP9A Wheel Gauge Issue
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2021, 05:48:56 PM »
-1
Just pry the body on both sides near the fuel tank with you fingers and shake.
It worked for me.
Dave B

I've done that, Dave.  Now working on the trucks.

Doug

peteski

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Re: Rapido N-Scale FP9A Wheel Gauge Issue
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2021, 05:50:04 PM »
+2
Here is my FL9 - similar construction..  Using tweezers I just grabbed the piece that connects the gear cover with the sideframe and twisted it (to unlatch the snap).I still don't  know how removing the shell makes this easier (unless you took the trucks out of the chassis).

« Last Edit: September 29, 2021, 05:53:25 PM by peteski »
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BCR751

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Re: Rapido N-Scale FP9A Wheel Gauge Issue
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2021, 06:46:05 PM »
+1
SUCCESS!!  Taking Pete's suggestion, I found a spot on the truck frame where the two pieces come together, slid a small screw driver in between and pried.  Apart they came and I had wheels and gears all over the place!  I was able to re-gauge all four wheel sets .  Thanks Pete for giving me the testicular fortitude to give that a try.

On another note, when I was doing the wheels, I noticed one set has, of all things, traction tires!  I just about set my watch back 40 years :)

Doug

dem34

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Re: Rapido N-Scale FP9A Wheel Gauge Issue
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2021, 07:16:23 PM »
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Stuff like this gives me a tinge of doubt on my pre-orders. And why I dislike the dependence on pre orders to even have a chance to get stuff.
-Al

peteski

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Re: Rapido N-Scale FP9A Wheel Gauge Issue
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2021, 08:13:27 PM »
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Good show Doug!  :)
But I'm surprised that the (idler?) gears fell out. Those usually stay in the gear case.  Unless by "gears and wheels" you meant the wheelsets.

Since you ended up widening the gauge, now there is a gap between the metal axle's shoulder and the plastic axle tube with the gear on it.  That makes possible for the wheels to move inwards, narrowing the gauge again.

In such case, I usually add thin styrene washers so the wheels are not able to move inward.

The following example is for Kato wheelsets, but the general idea applies to your wheelsets too.





The wheelset on the bottom has one of those washers installed on the right side (it didn't need it on the left).

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tehachapifan

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Re: Rapido N-Scale FP9A Wheel Gauge Issue
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2021, 09:33:49 PM »
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My experience has been that virtually every loco I've ever purchased has had wheel gauges that were slightly narrower than my MT wheel gauge. Maybe not quite as narrow as shown in the pic, but pretty close. I also find that, at least on my track/layout, locos tend to run a little better with the slightly narrower wheel gauge.