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Dysfunctional locomotive

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Dysfunctional locomotive
Posted by Mjorstad on Saturday, June 30, 2018 12:00 PM

hi everyone,

so this is my third post and third ask for help on this forum-I'm sure I'm starting to wear on y'all Stick out tongue!  

Anyway, so I have a (Walthers?) GP7 I bought off eBay recently; it came with a decoder.  I was able to get it to run at first, but as I drove it it eventually started to have stopping fits.  I tried to pull a cut of cars and then it started really struggling (and started making a buzzing noise as well). A gentleman at the club I was at lubricated the wheels, after that it quit entirely.  If I applied power to the throttle it makes that buzzing noise, which steadily intensifies then stops.  It won't move regardless.  This applies for both directions, and I've tried giving it a starting nudge.

I know these particular models are infamous for gear issues, but the buzz it was producing sounded more electrical than mechanical (I may be wrong though).  Sans a broken gear, what might some other potential issues be?

 

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Posted by dragonriversteel on Saturday, June 30, 2018 1:21 PM

You wouldn't happen to be using an old DC MRC Tech 2 locomotion transformer would you ?

Dunno,if you even need a DC transformer with DCC for the record.

Have you taken it apart and poked around yet ? Loose wire ??? To much  oil in leaked into motor ???

Patrick

Fear an Ignorant Man more than a Lion- Turkish proverb

Modeling an ficticious HO scale intergrated Scrap Yard & Steel Mill Melt Shop.

Southland Industrial Railway or S.I.R for short. Enterchanging with Norfolk Southern.

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Posted by Mjorstad on Saturday, June 30, 2018 11:35 PM

dragonriversteel

You wouldn't happen to be using an old DC MRC Tech 2 locomotion transformer would you ?

Dunno,if you even need a DC transformer with DCC for the record.

Have you taken it apart and poked around yet ? Loose wire ??? To much  oil in leaked into motor ???

Patrick

Hey Patrick,

I don't think that was the transformer I was using.  I was on a club layout with DCC-they use up to date equipment, so that type of transformer wasn't in the mix.

I have removed the shell, and it was also removed yesterday.  Someone helping me with the loco notes that there were redundant wires put in from the decoder to the back of the loco, supposedly for ditch light installations or a ground.  

Where the wires terminate seems to be where the noise is coming from; and they also may have come loose from the frame (they may have been soldered on but it was a very loose connection. Can't remember).  I'm thinking maybe there's a short circuit or otherwise an open one?

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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, July 05, 2018 4:13 PM

Well, Walthers Proto engines don't have problems with cracked gears. That goes back to when the Proto line was produced by Life-Like a couple decades back. So if the engine is Walthers, that's not the problem.

A picture of the interior would be helpful, but if I had to guess, I'd guess you may have an "blue-box" Athearn. In converting them to DCC, it'd necessary to isolate the motor from the frame, and then connect a wire from the decoder to the frame to pick up power (which is probably what the now-loose wire was doing.) Easy to test for - strip a little insulation off the free end of the wire, and touch it to the frame with power going to the engine. If it moves, then that's the problem. If not...well, we'll try something else!

Stix
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Posted by Mark R. on Thursday, July 05, 2018 4:40 PM

My guess is that the contacts in the trucks are filthy. Lubricating the wheels (don't do that) just exasperated the problem.

Tear down both trucks, get rid of the excess lubrication and clean and polish all electrical contact points. It will probably be fine.

Mark.

¡ uʍop ǝpısdn sı ǝɹnʇɐuƃıs ʎɯ 'dlǝɥ

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Posted by BigDaddy on Thursday, July 05, 2018 5:19 PM

wjstix
Well, Walthers Proto engines don't have problems with cracked gears. That goes back to when the Proto line was produced by Life-Like a couple decades back. So if the engine is Walthers, that's not the problem.

According to Ken Patterson Walthers didn't know about the gear problem when they bought the Proto line.  So I cracked gear would be possible.  But I am not there and can't here the noise.  GP-7's didn't have ditch lights so it must be a previous owner installation of DCC.  Anything is possible with that possibility.

Mjorstad
Where the wires terminate seems to be where the noise is coming from; and they also may have come loose from the frame (they may have been soldered on but it was a very loose connection. Can't remember)

There you lost me.  Ditch wires wouldn't go to the frame.  There shouldn't be loose wires floating around.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, July 05, 2018 9:40 PM

 If Walther's didn't know about the cracked hear problem then someone didn't do much if any due diligence before offering to purches the Life Like train line. Life Like was already sending out free replacement gears under warranty - my very first P2k GP7 I called LL in Baltimore and reported an issue and they sent me 4 replacement geared axles. Definitely BEFORE Walthers. Pert of the problem was, LL didn;t even ask for proof of ownership, so peopler were using their lax behavior to get turned wheels to replace the sintered iron ones on Athearn BB locos for free. I think Walthers was a bit overwhelmed, and perhaps caught on, because Walthers started demanding proof of purchase before shipping replacements - which of course made a lot of people who bought them second hand on eBay or at train shows made - search old posts here. 

 But it was already known - Walthers would have had to have been paying absolutely no attention to the goings ons in the hobby too not know there was an issue with certain locos needing new gears. It didn't help that they sent out the whole assembly - all the really needed to send out were the gears, no wheels.

 Cracked gears manifest as the loco going ka-thump ka-thump down the track like a wheel is out of round or something. And if you check the wheels, holding one and roling the other with your thumb, it shouldn;t turn. If it does, cracked gear, not holding the axles tightly. 

                                             --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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Posted by wjstix on Friday, July 06, 2018 9:05 AM

So if I'm following this correctly...the engine wasn't running very well and someone removed the body to lubricate the wheels / gears. Now after that was done, there's a loose wire that looks like it might have been soldered onto the frame before coming loose, and the engine won't run at all. I'm no Sherlock Holmes, but my guess would be whoever took the engine apart to lubricate it accidently disconnected that loose wire, and that it was needed to get power from the track to the decoder, or from the decoder to the motor.

Stix
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Posted by tstage on Friday, July 06, 2018 9:26 AM

BigDaddy

According to Ken Patterson Walthers didn't know about the gear problem when they bought the Proto line. So I cracked gear would be possible.

rrinker

 If Walther's didn't know about the cracked hear problem then someone didn't do much if any due diligence before offering to purches the Life Like train line. Life Like was already sending out free replacement gears under warranty - my very first P2k GP7 I called LL in Baltimore and reported an issue and they sent me 4 replacement geared axles. Definitely BEFORE Walthers. Pert of the problem was, LL didn;t even ask for proof of ownership, so peopler were using their lax behavior to get turned wheels to replace the sintered iron ones on Athearn BB locos for free. I think Walthers was a bit overwhelmed, and perhaps caught on, because Walthers started demanding proof of purchase before shipping replacements - which of course made a lot of people who bought them second hand on eBay or at train shows made - search old posts here. 

 But it was already known - Walthers would have had to have been paying absolutely no attention to the goings ons in the hobby too not know there was an issue with certain locos needing new gears. It didn't help that they sent out the whole assembly - all the really needed to send out were the gears, no wheels.

                                             --Randy

Randy is correct, Henry.  The cracked gear issue was fairly well-known years before Walthers purchased the LL Proto 2000 line.

Tom

http://www.newyorkcentralmodeling.com

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Posted by dknelson on Friday, July 06, 2018 10:53 AM

tstage
The cracked gear issue was fairly well-known years before Walthers purchased the LL Proto 2000 line.

So much so that Walthers was selling replacement geared wheel sets for P2K diesels well before they acquired LifeLike.

What Walthers HAS been surprised by is the sheer number of people who only NOW are coming to them about cracked gears - evidently folks who bought the LifeLike engines, never ran them for years (decades) and just now have discovered both the cracked gears and the solid-as-a-rock excessive lubricant problem and expect Walthers to make good on those engines with warranty repairs.  Walthers did for years but I believe has finally declared that enough is enough.  They do from time to time import a new stock of replacement geared wheels however.

Dave Nelson

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Posted by BigDaddy on Friday, July 06, 2018 4:51 PM

It's a remark I've heard Patterson make at least twice maybe 3 times, always in passing, so it is not searchable.  Next time he makes it, I will take note of which video.  He has nice things to say about Walthers these days, so if there is some other agenda, does it give him street cred?.......who knows?

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

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Posted by garya on Monday, July 09, 2018 10:43 AM

rrinker
Life Like was already sending out free replacement gears under warranty - my very first P2k GP7 I called LL in Baltimore and reported an issue and they sent me 4 replacement geared axles. Definitely BEFORE Walthers. Pert of the problem was, LL didn;t even ask for proof of ownership, so peopler were using their lax behavior to get turned wheels to replace the sintered iron ones on Athearn BB locos for free. I think Walthers was a bit overwhelmed, and perhaps caught on, because Walthers started demanding proof of purchase before shipping replacements

I have several Proto 1000 and 2000 locos from the pre-Walthers era, and I had the tell-tale thump-thump-thump. I contacted Life-Like, and they were very nice about it, even telling me to check other locos for problems.  I went through all of my Protos and told them I needed 14 wheelsets and they shipped them out, no questions asked.  IIRC, it was 4 axle units, such as GP7s, GP30s, BL2s, F3s, and C-Liners that had the trouble.

A year or so later I told a friend about it and he was turned away without a receipt, and I think this was still the pre-Walthers era.

I'm embarrassed to admit I didn't even think to use the wheels to upgrade my Blue Box locos--they're in a parts drawer somewhere.

As for the OP, can you post a picture?  I agree, someone must have accidentally disconnected a wire.

Gary

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