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athearn rubber band drive engines

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athearn rubber band drive engines
Posted by thatweirdwriterdude on Wednesday, April 03, 2019 11:36 AM

i have a mid 1964 athearn hustler engine, need help with wiring, also got a santa fe f7 which is hi-f drive, has lots of problems, what should i do?

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Posted by mbinsewi on Wednesday, April 03, 2019 12:38 PM

Welcome to the forums.

First thing, tell us more about what problems you are having with the locomotives, more specific, not just just general terms like "lots of problem"

You can go here,

https://hoseeker.net/lit.html

Click on Athearn, than, on the box in the middle, click on the drop-down list for "Diesel Engine Diagrams", look for your loco (s), and you can see diagrams.

Can't be much with the wiring on the hustler, as there isn't much to it.

For the rubber band drive F7, consider finding a newer version, with the gold-ish colored motor and drive shafts, although, I believe you can get the bands, from Ebay sellers.

Mike.

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Posted by Eilif on Wednesday, April 03, 2019 2:41 PM

I agree that it's hard to say without more informaton.  I don't know much about the Hustler, but for the HiF F7, there's not a whole lot to go wrong.  I'd say...

1-Test the motor first to see if it's even working.  If the motor is shot, you can put virtually any motor in them.

2-Give it a good cleaning.  Pay special attention to cleaning any grease and dirt off the drive shaft and wheel drums.

3-New bands are probably in order.  A multi-pack of Goody Ouchless hair bands will give you 3 sizes to experiment with for a couple bucks at WalMart.  

4-A bit of lube is probably necessary in the usual places, being extra carefull to avoid the parts mentioned in #2.

5- You may have to regauge the wheels.  It's ok if after doing so there's a bit of space between the wheel and the drum.

I played around with a few of these for a while.  Sold off most, but kept a GP9 for kicks.  Thought I was done with them but I just picked up a couple RDC's so I'm back on the "band"-wagon. 

Overall, my opinion is that you never will get rid of the jump they give at the start and they won't crawl well. However, they can be good pullers, run smooth down to medium-low speeds and they're dead easy to service.

Visit the Chicago Valley Railroad for Chicago Trainspotting and Budget Model Railroading. 

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Posted by thatweirdwriterdude on Thursday, April 04, 2019 11:33 AM

thanks for the tip, i'm looking at the website right now, as for the problems i've got with the F7, i replaced the bands, the drive shaft is bent, but it still turns, and when i turn the power supply, the engine just hums and spins it's wheels, it will only go a few inches when i push it around my test loop of track, any suggestions for what to do?

thanks,

Brit

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Posted by thatweirdwriterdude on Thursday, April 04, 2019 3:11 PM
i got my hustler working, just had to solder the lead wire to the motor, i would like to keep the original motor to the F7 though, know any places that sell the shaft part to it? thanks, brit
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Posted by Darth Santa Fe on Thursday, April 04, 2019 5:24 PM

thatweirdwriterdude

thanks for the tip, i'm looking at the website right now, as for the problems i've got with the F7, i replaced the bands, the drive shaft is bent, but it still turns, and when i turn the power supply, the engine just hums and spins it's wheels, it will only go a few inches when i push it around my test loop of track, any suggestions for what to do?

Check to make sure the wheels are all spinning in the same direction.  I've reversed a rubber band on these before, and it can stop it from running because the wheels fight each other.

_________________________________________________________________

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Posted by Eilif on Thursday, April 04, 2019 6:14 PM

Darth Santa Fe

 

 
thatweirdwriterdude

thanks for the tip, i'm looking at the website right now, as for the problems i've got with the F7, i replaced the bands, the drive shaft is bent, but it still turns, and when i turn the power supply, the engine just hums and spins it's wheels, it will only go a few inches when i push it around my test loop of track, any suggestions for what to do?

 

Check to make sure the wheels are all spinning in the same direction.  I've reversed a rubber band on these before, and it can stop it from running because the wheels fight each other.

That's a good suggestion.  If you can't straiten the drive shaft I'd ditch it and replace it with another piece of metal.  Your hardware store should have something.

My guess is that as long as you're running on a bent drive shaft you will never get smooth operation.

Have you cleaned the wheels?

Visit the Chicago Valley Railroad for Chicago Trainspotting and Budget Model Railroading. 

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Posted by mbinsewi on Thursday, April 04, 2019 7:59 PM

I've got an RDC with the High drive.  I'm going to have to dig it out in the morning, just to check it out.

When I got it, I looked at, and put it in a box for one those "future" projects.  I'm curious as to what type of rod would work as a replacement.

I bet with a bent shaft, it probably bounces pretty good, and would be tough to get it going, depending on the location of the bend, at start-up, pointing up? down?

There's a member on here who has worked on these, maybe he'll find this.

Mike.

 

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Posted by cedarwoodron on Thursday, April 04, 2019 8:16 PM

I picked up an old Athearn RDC with the rubber band drive at a swap meet. I replaced the band- after a bit of clean up- with Goody brand plastic hair bands I found at Wal Mart. All I got for my effort was a rail version of the starship Enterprise- either be calmed in port or moving at light speed (DC). I went back to the bench and traded up to a small sealed motor from Hobby town of Boston and some flexible RC fuel line tubing to transmit motive force. Much better slow end response and my passengers were not exposed to 10G acceleration forces! Those rubber band drives- even if updated as band drives- were an artifact of cheap production, almost as bad as a Tyco pancake motor...

Cedarwoodron

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Posted by zstripe on Friday, April 05, 2019 5:54 AM

I would replace that bent drive shaft with a piece of music wire rod or hardened steel axle shaft...I believe they are roughly 1/16'' dia. and make sure You have all the bands facing the same way like has been already suggested......look at the pic'.......they all Must be the same:

Take Care! Big Smile

Frank

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Friday, April 05, 2019 9:28 PM

Mine all ended up as dummies, some with sound.  If you go this route, remove the motor to reduce the weight.  You may need new couplers, too.  I still have my 50 year old GP9, some F7s and even a Hustler.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by Eilif on Saturday, April 06, 2019 11:40 AM

cedarwoodron
Those rubber band drives- even if updated as band drives- were an artifact of cheap production, almost as bad as a Tyco pancake motor...

I don't think that's fair or correct. It wasn't a cost-cutting measure.  The rubber band "Hi F" drive came out in 1957 and was a reliable way to get 8WD into the hands of consumers.  AFAIK, when Athearn devloped a better drive they phased out the Hi-F in all locos except for the RDC's.

On the other hand, most pancake motors in HO scale model trains post-date more reliable 8wd systems and really were designed to keep costs down. 

 

Visit the Chicago Valley Railroad for Chicago Trainspotting and Budget Model Railroading. 

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Posted by thatweirdwriterdude on Monday, April 08, 2019 1:07 PM

mbinsewi
I'm curious as to what type of rod would work as a replacement. I bet with a bent shaft, it probably bounces pretty good, and would be tough to get it going, depending on the location of the bend, at start-up, pointing up? down?

i've heard music wire works for an F7, might try that, but to answer your question, at starting, the drive shaft is bent upwards, but the motor still turns and everything, nothing else is wrong, i did replace the lead wire on it from one of my spare parts engines though, so i'll see how it turns out.

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Posted by maxman on Monday, April 08, 2019 3:47 PM

thatweirdwriterdude
at starting, the drive shaft is bent upwards

To clear things up in my mind, are you saying this is a permanent bend in the middle at that middle support?  Or at the outboard end of the rod?  If you rotate the rod 180 degrees, does the bend move 180 degrees or remain at the same location?

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Posted by PeteVS on Monday, April 08, 2019 3:52 PM

I have a couple of motors with a gear reduction set up driving a larger diameter shaft up above the motor that seem to have been made the rubber band drives. Does anyone have experience with them? I've never used the ones I have.

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Posted by thatweirdwriterdude on Monday, April 08, 2019 3:57 PM
the bend isn't at the middle, its at the tip of the rod, on the front of the engine
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Posted by maxman on Monday, April 08, 2019 3:59 PM

thatweirdwriterdude
the bend isn't at the middle, its at the tip of the rod, on the front of the engine
 

 
And it's permanent?  Or is something pulling down on the shaft between the middle support and the motor?
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Posted by thatweirdwriterdude on Tuesday, April 09, 2019 2:07 PM
that was how i got the engine from my grandpa, it was bent at the tip, over the front wheels, i haven't tried to fix it yet

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