Author Topic: Never buy a Walthers 0-8-0  (Read 1311 times)

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squirrelhunter

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Never buy a Walthers 0-8-0
« on: February 21, 2023, 12:08:19 AM »
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That's my Walthers 0-8-0, it's a 2nd run one. Bought it from an estate, but didn't look to have been used much. Spent $125 on it. It literally ran less that 10 minutes back and forth before the rods/valve gear locked up.

That photo is the end result of over 3 hours of tinkering with it to try to get it to work, or at least get the drive train to move without the bottom plate taken off. I'm done with it. I'll put a post in the Trading Post, but I'll trade it to someone straight up for a Bachmann DCC ready USRA short tender.

I'm sharing so my loss hopefully keeps anyone without expert steam repair skills from taking a flyer on one hoping it will actually run.

dem34

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Re: Never buy a Walthers 0-8-0
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2023, 12:13:08 AM »
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Usually if a steam locomotive doesn't run with the plate off, the wheels are out of quarter. Which in N is a little more complicated because I don't think anyone makes an off the shelf quartering jig.
-Al

mmagliaro

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Re: Never buy a Walthers 0-8-0
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2023, 04:03:59 AM »
+1
PM Sent

peteski

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Re: Never buy a Walthers 0-8-0
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2023, 12:28:25 PM »
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Max!  You beat me to it!  Those locos are in high demand!  That's what happens when I don't work overnight shift anymore.
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brokemoto

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Re: Never buy a Walthers 0-8-0
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2023, 08:36:09 PM »
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I  never heard of its locking up like that.  I had two from the first run.  The wires came out of the first one.  The second one ran acceptably but would not pull anything.  I sold both of them.  Many people told me that LL/WKW did address some of the problems in the second run, but I never bought any.  I had much better luck with doing the SPECTRUM tender upgrade on the B-mann USRA 0-6-0.

Jim Starbuck

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Re: Never buy a Walthers 0-8-0
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2023, 10:18:32 PM »
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Interesting that this came up. I’ve wanted one of these for a long time and finally won one at a decent price on EBay. It is test run only new in the original box. I received it just this afternoon.
I installed an ESU Lokpilot non sound decoder in it and it’s an absolute gem. I’m not sure what it will pull yet because all my rolling stock is off the test layout not unpacked from the show last weekend. The mfg number identifies it as a first run but all the paperwork shows it as a WKW.
I’m quite pleased with it.
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squirrelhunter

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Re: Never buy a Walthers 0-8-0
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2023, 11:05:29 PM »
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So I'll provide a more detailed description of what happened, it's very frustrating and disappointing. It's very long, and I'm sure I did a something wrong after the initial seize up.

So I bought it from an estate sale, shows up looking like it has very little if any use. Drawbar it attached to the tender, so after carefully getting the drawbar attached to the engine, it put it on the test track with 9 cars and have it run back and forth. It runs smoothly, but I notice that when backing up the engine is not perfectly straight on to the tender but is at a very slight (but noticeable) angle. It also has trouble going through a couple Peco and Kato turnouts on that part of the layout while running backwards, it goes through but the rear driver tries to pick facing points.

I notice the drawbar is tight, so I loosen the screws on each end a half turn and put a tiny bit of tape around the middle of the wires to the tender to keep them a little contained. Tape has give in it so it won't pull on them, just keep them a little contained.  Put loco back on the track, do 3 more back and forth trips, the backing through turnouts issue is solved, I'm very happy. In decide to do one more back and forth trip then test how it does with 15 cars.

Then things went to hell.

Engine suddenly comes to dead halt on a straight piece of track. Thinking maybe the track is dirty, I give it a little more throttle, gently nudge it, nothing. I hear the motor buzzing, ok, take it off the track, check that tender plug is all the way in. Nothing seems visibly amiss, put it on track facing other direction. Give it power, it suddenly takes off and abruptly halts, then does it again and I take it off the track.

The wheels/rods are clearly jammed. Consult the manual/diagram, thinking I'd like to see if the motor is actually trying to spin with power or if something is up with the worm. Get the shell off pretty easily, but in retrospect, I wonder if my hold on the chassis to lift off the shell ended up messing up the quartering of the rearmost driver.

Put loco without shell on the track, apply power, motor is definitely trying to spin, in fact it even spins some. This concerns me, shouldn't the locked up axles/rods keep the motor from spinning? This was where I realized the plastic crosshead parts had come off the metal rails it rides on coming out of the cylinders. Get the cylinders off and carefully get everything lined back up. The axles/rods have some give in them again. put everything back together. Success?

Nope, it jackrabbits a couple of time and locks up again. Hmm, looking it over, notice rearmost driver is out of quarter. Ok, I have requartered the geared only rearmost axle on a BLI 2-8-2 before, not easy, but I was able to do it carefully. Take bottom plate off to get it adjusted, bearing blocks? make it a pain. Ok, get it adjusted, seems to have some play again. Put it on the track, no go.

The motor is still turning some, so I think, maybe the worm has come off the drive shaft? So I try to carefully get the frame apart and motor backed out, and that's was when the rest of the axles dropped down from the frame. This was basically game over, but I did try to get the axles back in with the rods in basically the right position, but can't even get that. Take picture, post here, carefully parts in a container.

I'm sure my repair efforts made things worse, but it had run fine, very smoothly, then seized up and was done all of a sudden.

I've had BLI steamers fairly far apart and managed to fix any errors I made in reassembly (like getting the last driver out of quarter) and got them to run fine. But the valve gear on this 0-8-0 is tiny and finnicky and fragile.

Clearly I'm not as good at this whole N scale steam thing as I thought I was!

mmagliaro

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Re: Never buy a Walthers 0-8-0
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2023, 11:59:18 PM »
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The crankpins on these can jam on the siderods or inside of the valve gear.  Sometimes the valve gear needs
to be slightly bent out or the crankpins pushed in more or their heads filed a little to clear.  If you widen the drivers to the right gauge instead of being too narrow, that exacerbates the problem because it allows more lateral play.  But of course, if you don't correct the gauge, it will pick switch points and ride up on guard rails.  The only sure way is to widen the drivers to the correct gauge but also add some washers on the axles to limit the side-to-side play.  Sometimes a driver is slightly out of quarter.  I've seen that too.  Both that and the jamming of the crankpins on the rods and valve gear cause the sort of jam you describe.  As for the motor spinning but the wheels not moving, the motor is coupled to the worm via a flexible rubber tube, so if the wheels are jammed, the tube can still slip on the shaft and let the motor run.

Bill H

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Re: Never buy a Walthers 0-8-0
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2023, 07:00:02 AM »
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Interesting that this came up. I’ve wanted one of these for a long time and finally won one at a decent price on EBay. It is test run only new in the original box. I received it just this afternoon.
I installed an ESU Lokpilot non sound decoder in it and it’s an absolute gem. I’m not sure what it will pull yet because all my rolling stock is off the test layout not unpacked from the show last weekend. The mfg number identifies it as a first run but all the paperwork shows it as a WKW.
I’m quite pleased with it.
Jim:
I have to agree, quite pleased with mine. You might remember a huge thread on the old A board, mostly focusing on the first runs lack of pulling power. Which seemed to be fixed somewhat in the second run. Lots of ingenious ideas about where to stuff tungsten in the critter. My second run version continues to run like a top and is used as a switcher in the yard.
Kind regards,
Bill

jdcolombo

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Re: Never buy a Walthers 0-8-0
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2023, 09:45:23 AM »
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I never had much luck with the 1st run units.  I had two; both are now in pieces, like the original photo, awaiting more time and patience.

But the 0-8-0 USRA switcher was ubiquitous.  Every railroad owned them; the NKP didn't retire its last one until 1959.  So we honestly need this model; it's too bad that the tooling "disappeared" and is not in Atlas' hands like the rest of the Walthers N scale items, because I would have liked to have seen what Atlas might have done to further improve the model. 

A good 0-8-0 and an FM H10/H12-44 switcher are desperately needed in N scale.  You can tell how desperately by trying to find/buy a Walthers 2d-run unit anywhere and the fact that folks are still tinkering with the 40-year-old Trix FM switcher.  You'd think either of these models would be a no-brainer for Atlas or BLI.  I guess it's a good thing I'm not in charge of product development for either company . . .

John C.

peteski

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Re: Never buy a Walthers 0-8-0
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2023, 10:03:13 AM »
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You'd think either of these models would be a no-brainer for Atlas or BLI.  I guess it's a good thing I'm not in charge of product development for either company . . .

John C.

Just the opposite John. If you were in charge of their product development, we could  have more 0-8-0 switchers available.   What could possibly be wrong with that?   :)  BTW, I also really liked the tender included with the Walthers 0-8-0.
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jdcolombo

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Re: Never buy a Walthers 0-8-0
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2023, 10:52:42 AM »
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Well, steam is difficult, and I think small steam is more difficult than big engines with more weight and more room for stuff.  Part of the problem with the 0-8-0, I think, was complexity in the rods and valve gear and a lack of overall weight which made it easy for the tender to mess up driver contact with the rails.  One of the things I've always admired about the Kato Mike is its simplicity - the main rod is only connected to one geared driver, which means there are no quartering issues when you take this model apart and put it back together.  But you'd never know this watching the engine on the track.  The drawbar design was a bit wonky, IMHO, but it worked.  Don't know why more manufacturers didn't adopt the "rod on one geared driver" design (or why even Kato ditched it in later models).

Anyway, I'd probably order the FM switcher in production first! :)

John C.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2023, 10:58:52 AM by jdcolombo »

spr1955

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Re: Never buy a Walthers 0-8-0
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2023, 01:43:40 PM »
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Jim:
I have to agree, quite pleased with mine. You might remember a huge thread on the old A board, mostly focusing on the first runs lack of pulling power. Which seemed to be fixed somewhat in the second run. Lots of ingenious ideas about where to stuff tungsten in the critter. My second run version continues to run like a top and is used as a switcher in the yard.
Kind regards,
Bill
I am also quite pleased. I put a DZ125PS in it and it pulls quite well, 18 or so cars in my yard.  It is from the 1st run.
Dave P

peteski

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Re: Never buy a Walthers 0-8-0
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2023, 03:33:39 PM »
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  One of the things I've always admired about the Kato Mike is its simplicity - the main rod is only connected to one geared driver, which means there are no quartering issues when you take this model apart and put it back together. 

But even if you were to take the drivers of the axle for some reason, the axle is not round but hexagonal in cross section, assuring that if you reassemble the driver set, you can easily get the drivers perfectly quartered. This also prevents the drivers from ever getting out of the quarter. Brilliant!  I havenever seen anot other manufacturer use hexagonal axles.
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jeffstri

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Re: Never buy a Walthers 0-8-0
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2023, 03:40:44 PM »
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The crankpins on these can jam on the siderods or inside of the valve gear.  Sometimes the valve gear needs
to be slightly bent out or the crankpins pushed in more or their heads filed a little to clear.  If you widen the drivers to the right gauge instead of being too narrow, that exacerbates the problem because it allows more lateral play.  But of course, if you don't correct the gauge, it will pick switch points and ride up on guard rails.  The only sure way is to widen the drivers to the correct gauge but also add some washers on the axles to limit the side-to-side play.

Removing the #2 driver crankpins is really the only sure way to prevent jamming due to the crankpins.

One of the things I've always admired about the Kato Mike is its simplicity - the main rod is only connected to one geared driver, which means there are no quartering issues when you take this model apart and put it back together.

John C.

The Walthers 0-8-0 drive train is easily made Kato Mike-like by removing the #2 crankpins and then cutting the teeth off the #1 driver gear. Easy peasy and works like a charm. See https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=54984.msg755100#msg755100
« Last Edit: February 22, 2023, 09:50:16 PM by jeffstri »