Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Rivarossi 0-8-0 Tuneup

3 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    January, 2008
  • From: Tampa, Florida
  • 1,475 posts
Rivarossi 0-8-0 Tuneup
Posted by cedarwoodron on Wednesday, January 09, 2019 5:13 PM

I picked up a 1969/74 Rivarossi 0-8-0 at a swap meet recently. I took off the shell and checked the worm gear and wheels. It was very clean but I decided to clean the inside of the gearbox cover plate just for safety. Good thing-it was filthy with dirt you couldn't see at first. After I closed it uo- keeping the shell off, I attached 2 electric leads to the top of the vertical mounted original motor- runs like a top! Now here's what's strange (to me): When I clip the leads to each rail and turn on power, it runs but if I set it on the track it doesn't run. I did not use the electrified wheel tender for this - is that required to be attached for the motor to run on track rails? The tender has metal wheels and metal axles, where the OEM pickup tabs ride against the axle. Forgive me- I'm not a natural electrical genius but once I learn I'm a quick study. A response will help me with other steam locomotive projects down the road. 


  • Member since
    April, 2018
  • From: 53° 33′ N, 10° 0′ E
  • 1,043 posts
Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Wednesday, January 09, 2019 5:24 PM

You need to have the tender attached, but watch out for the polarity!

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

"You´re never too old for a happy childhood!"

  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • From: AU
  • 561 posts
Posted by xdford on Sunday, January 13, 2019 2:20 AM

Make sure that the pickup wheels are facing in the same direction. Those trucks were notorious for turning so effectively you will have a short circuit.  If you look at the wheels frm the underside, you will see that where the wheels meet the axle that the shape is different.

As I recall, one side has a shoulder on the inside but I cannot remember which way faces what. You will do no harm if the wheels on the tender are the "wrong way" or maybe they are already the "wrong way around"

The other weak point is in the tender drawbar with a spring against the engines pin. That pin could oxidise and cause poor contact which would result of course in no movement.  Make sure it is not oxidised and clean it with white spirit... 

Hope these suggestions help,

Cheers from Australia




  • Member since
    January, 2009
  • 3,796 posts
Posted by RR_Mel on Sunday, January 13, 2019 10:08 AM

I agree with Trevor.  Also it doesn’t hurt to bend the drawbar spring to put more pressure on the tender pin.  I put a nylon 2-56 screw in the center of the truck wheels to prevent them from turning 180°.  Click on the pictures to enlarge.
I cut the screws off at axle level.   They can’t be seen because the wheels block the view.
I also put a dob of red paint on the rail power pickup side of my tender trucks, that helps not having to use my brain as much.
My Model Railroad   
Bakersfield, California
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Users Online

There are no community member online

Search the Community

Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!