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Bachmann DCC 2-8-0 wires interfering with Tender

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  • Member since
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  • From: Londonderry New Hampshire
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Bachmann DCC 2-8-0 wires interfering with Tender
Posted by Great Western Rwy fan on Sunday, April 7, 2013 6:38 AM

Hello, I have a Bachmann DCC ready 2-8-0 Consolidation I just received from Bachmann as a replacement for a broken one I had bought in 1999. The front Tender wheels aren't sitting correctly on the rail head. Causing the truck to derail on turnouts. I think the DCC wires between the tender and loco are the culprit. The wires seem pretty stiff. Has anybody experienced this problem and if so what was your solution?

It took 8 weeks to get this replacement so sending it back is Not an option.

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Posted by cacole on Sunday, April 7, 2013 7:17 AM

See if you can push some of the wire back into the tender so it doesn't hang out so far.  An option I found is to route half of the wires to each side of the drawbar pin and use the long connection hole instead of short connection.  I also removed some of the beads Bachmann puts around the wires to hold them in a bundle.

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Posted by oregon shay on Sunday, April 7, 2013 8:01 AM

I experienced nearly the same problem with my brand new Bachmann Spectrum DCC w/ sound equipped 2-10-0.  During operation I could see that the tender didn't make nice with the coupling to the locomotive.  After numerous unsuccessful adjustments to the way the drawbar fit, by pressing down on the front of the tender with my finger while it was moving, I hit on the idea to add weight to the front of the tender. A lot of weight.  I bought fishing line split shot and formed it into pieces I could place in the front cavity of the tender under the coal load.  Large improvement.  That locomotive weighs very little but is actually a very good puller.  Hope this helps.

Wilton.

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Posted by locoi1sa on Sunday, April 7, 2013 8:04 AM

Great advice given so far. Making the wires more flexible should be the main concern. You can add a couple of ounces to the tender also. Bachmann locos tend to be light on their toes and can barely pull their own shadow. The few I have have been extensively modified and weighted down for decent pulling power. My K4s pacific had gone from 3 HW cars to starting a 7 car train on the clubs hill just by adding a couple of ounces of lead.

       Pete

 I pray every day I break even, Cause I can really use the money!

 I started with nothing and still have most of it left!

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Sunday, April 7, 2013 8:51 AM

locoi1sa

Great advice given so far. Making the wires more flexible should be the main concern. You can add a couple of ounces to the tender also. Bachmann locos tend to be light on their toes and can barely pull their own shadow. The few I have have been extensively modified and weighted down for decent pulling power. My K4s pacific had gone from 3 HW cars to starting a 7 car train on the clubs hill just by adding a couple of ounces of lead.

       Pete

Pete, which Bachmann locos are "light on their toes"? Yes a few of them are, but you might want to avoid generalizations unless you have all the Bachmann locos. The USRA Heavy 4-8-2 Mountains are just that, heavy, and pull very well. The 2-10-2's are similar. For its size the 2-8-0 is also plenty heavy. The 2-6-6-2 is also plenty heavy for its size.

The K4, is light for its size, so is the N&W Class J and the Berkshire could be heavier - but weight is easily added to them.

The Russian 2-10-0 is a small loco, as are the 4-6-0 and the 4-4-0, they are going to be light.

As to the OP's problem, yes, much good advice so far.

I ad weight to all my Bachmann tenders, about two or three ounces, evenly distributed. It improves not only issues with the wires (which are not just for DCC by the way) but also improves tracking, backing up with long trains, and electrical pickup.

Here is a link to thread where I posted lots of tips for Bachmann locos.

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/88/t/181314.aspx

I have Bachmann tenders behind a number of other brands of locos as well, they work very well.

My steam loco fleet includes over 40 Bachmann locos, mostly Spectrum, all straight DC, no decoders, all run very well, even if they needed a few small adjustments at first. Many have different Bachmann tenders than they came with. And some kit bashed into other types. Here are a few photos:

Sheldon

    

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Posted by locoi1sa on Sunday, April 7, 2013 10:04 AM

  Sheldon.

   I have 2 K4s Pacifics, a 2-8-0 and a mountain from the Spectrum line. The K4s I had to add weight to the loco and tender to get them to pull a decent sized train. The 2-8-0 was very light in the front end where it would hunt and wobble its way around the layout. A small amount of weight added to the front eliminated the hunting and improved the pulling power. My mountain has been pretty good and gets light fast freights anyway. I did add some weight and a decoder to the tender. None of my locos have traction tires. I am not the only one. There are other guys in the club that either add weight or traction tires and Bullfrog snot to get their locos pulling good.

  Don't get me wrong there are a ton of really good Bachman locos and they are not the only ones that get the weight addition. I also do my brass,P2K and BLI locos too. I have my P2K 0-6-0 pushing and pulling 25 cars on a level track and my Sunset 2-10-0 pulled an experimental train of 85 cars on the level and could have pulled more. 

    The experience I have with the K4s is dramatic. It only took a couple of ounces to more than double the traction of a good running loco. From spinning its wheels with only 3 cars to being able to start a 7 car train on a hill is unbelievable to some. I now have an 11 car consist that will be going to the club this week and I am sure that a double header on the hill will do the job with a single loco running on the flat lands.

          Pete

 I pray every day I break even, Cause I can really use the money!

 I started with nothing and still have most of it left!

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Posted by selector on Sunday, April 7, 2013 10:22 AM

I took Sheldon's advice when I purchased a Spectrum Heavy Mountain in C&O livery about 17 months ago.  I asked my decoder installer friend to add some weight to the tender.  I don't have a comparative basis as a result, but I am not the least disappointed with the way it runs modified...so it can't be bad advice.

However, steamers, generically, have running qualities across the board that make them difficult to run reliably, and it gets worse the closer you run them to the tightest curve radius specified by the manufacturers.  They have long wheelbases in the drivers such that the brass examples need wider curves, while the Spectrum examples for the Decapod, as an example, and the Trix Mikado as another, run very easily around 18" radius and are reliable on such curves.  I would guess the Spectrum 2-8-0 to be another steamer that 'should' do 18" radii quite handily.  Yet, in the hobby these days, 18" radius is very tight, and if your steamer's front truck is flopping and yawing and coming out of the rails often, there are two chief causes:

Your rails are not even across each other measured transversely at any one point, and for derailing leading trucks or driver axles, it is what is under the last driver, the one closest to the cab, that is causing the problem....not the rails under the truck.  The loco frame is being levered high by one rail, and you have to find which one; or

It's the truck - with three main possibilities: it has flashing in its pivoting point, or it is being kept from swinging as wide as the flanges compel it to based on the rail curvature at that point, or it needs weight or a spring to keep it pressed nicely onto the rails.

Crandell

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Sunday, April 7, 2013 11:53 AM

locoi1sa

  Sheldon.

   I have 2 K4s Pacifics, a 2-8-0 and a mountain from the Spectrum line. The K4s I had to add weight to the loco and tender to get them to pull a decent sized train. The 2-8-0 was very light in the front end where it would hunt and wobble its way around the layout. A small amount of weight added to the front eliminated the hunting and improved the pulling power. My mountain has been pretty good and gets light fast freights anyway. I did add some weight and a decoder to the tender. None of my locos have traction tires. I am not the only one. There are other guys in the club that either add weight or traction tires and Bullfrog snot to get their locos pulling good.

  Don't get me wrong there are a ton of really good Bachman locos and they are not the only ones that get the weight addition. I also do my brass,P2K and BLI locos too. I have my P2K 0-6-0 pushing and pulling 25 cars on a level track and my Sunset 2-10-0 pulled an experimental train of 85 cars on the level and could have pulled more. 

    The experience I have with the K4s is dramatic. It only took a couple of ounces to more than double the traction of a good running loco. From spinning its wheels with only 3 cars to being able to start a 7 car train on a hill is unbelievable to some. I now have an 11 car consist that will be going to the club this week and I am sure that a double header on the hill will do the job with a single loco running on the flat lands.

          Pete

Pete,

Thanks for the detailed reply. As per my post, I agree completely about the K4, but not being a PRR modeler it is not an issue for me.

I have eight 2-8-0's and can say I have not experienced what you describe. I have added a little weight in the domes of some of my 2-8-0's and can't really see any difference. In fact I remove the spring on the pilot truck of the 2-8-0's - maybe that is why mine don'y seem noise light.

I pull 40-45 cars up 2% grades with two 2-8-0's. My Heavy Mountains easily pull 30 plus cars.

I do have very free rolling trucks on most all my equipment. After adding about 4 oz, my Berkshires, which have been converted to Mikes, pull nearly as well as the Heavy Mountains, and just as well with some BullFrogSnott.

Overall, my experiences with Bachmann steam are just as good or better than most other brands currently out there.

 I don't run in a club invironment, so I have much more control over all the "variables".

Sheldon

    

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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, April 7, 2013 12:36 PM

 I believe the K4 was the first Spectrum steamer offered - perhaps they hadn't gotten all teh details sorted out when the released those. Have to dig up an old review of it, but I sort of recall pulling power being an issue. Obviously fixable with proper weighting. The fact that newer releases are better out of the box means someone actually listens and does something more than wring their hands at bad reviews.

            --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by Great Western Rwy fan on Sunday, April 7, 2013 3:46 PM

Thanks for All of the reply's Everyone. I have added a couple of ounces of lead weight to the tender under the coal load. Which gives it much better running capabilities. Now I have one location where the truck's sometimes come off the rail. That is right at a gap near a turnout and I think I can easily fix it.

I installed the MRC Sound Decoder which came with an 8 ohm speaker. Well then the Tender Shell wouldn't seat completely on the Chassis. Because of the large size of the speaker. Anyway I had an old cell phone on hand and removed the speaker from it and placed it in  the Tender instead of using the one from MRC. Surprisingly that tiny speaker sounds Great I like it even better then the one that came with the decoder.

  As for the pulling power of Bachmann Spectrum Locomotives, I have no problem pulling 12 cars or more on My small layout.

Spectrum Steam Locomotives I have are an 2-10-0 Russian Decapod and this 2-8-0 Consolidation.

The one I returned was a Great Puller also, I love the Spectrum series of loco's for there price and there Great Detail they are hard to beat.

Ron

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Posted by ba&prr on Monday, April 8, 2013 11:55 AM

I have the DCC on board 2-8-0 I added sound to. I had the same problem. I seperated the loco and tender and left the wires attached. I stretch out the wires and left the loco and tender this way for a few days. When I re-attached the tender, I made sure the draw bar was all the way up yhe post. Joe

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Posted by retsignalmtr on Monday, April 8, 2013 12:09 PM

I have the same problem with my one Bachmann 2-8-0. Since I store it in the plastic box it came in pushing the wire into the tender won't stay in there when packed away again. I don't want to add any weight in the tender that the loco will have to pull around. The draw bar on my loco is brass so I used a small round file to make the hole a little larger so the plastic pin on the tender can slide up and down easier, which seems to have helped.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, April 8, 2013 2:18 PM

retsignalmtr

I have the same problem with my one Bachmann 2-8-0. Since I store it in the plastic box it came in pushing the wire into the tender won't stay in there when packed away again. I don't want to add any weight in the tender that the loco will have to pull around. The draw bar on my loco is brass so I used a small round file to make the hole a little larger so the plastic pin on the tender can slide up and down easier, which seems to have helped.

Not sure why you would be reluctant to add a little weight. Think of it this way, your loco can pull about 30 free rolling cars on level track. Adding two ounces of weight is like adding the weight of less than one of those cars. And it will make your loco track better and have better electrical pickup.

It will not hurt or over load the motor in any way and will not effect pulling power by more than one car.

Tenders are different then regular rolling stock because they are draw bar connected to the frame of the loco. These means there is more side ways forces as you go around curves. Some extra weight is a good thing in that situation - especially when backing up.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, April 8, 2013 6:47 PM

 Or think of it as having a diesel, pulling a long train, except the first car is WAY underweight. Which one is going to lift off the rails (or completely derail) first? That light car, or on further back in the train? A plain car lifting off the rails ends up leading to derailments, but with a steam loco tender that has pickups, like the Spectrum locos, before it comes off the rails completely it looses contact, resulting in poor pickup and stalling.

 Lighter cars should go on the back of the train to minimize this sort of thing. Thus you do not want the tender of your loco to be the lightest 'car' in the train, not if you want reliable operation.

 Are Spectrum drawbars different from the PCM locos I have, on those the drawbar is pivoted on both sides of the connection, so the only time there is excess side force is when attempting to negotiate too tight a radius. As long as there is no contact between the loco and tender other than the drawbad (ie, tender frame not touching the back of the cab), it should be roughly the same as any set of body-mounted couplers. Where the big difference comes in is over uneven track or too abrubpt a grade transition - there's not nearly the vertical free play in the drawbar that there is in a pair of couplers, so if the loco pitches up or down, it's going to have a tendence to lift the rear or front of the tender. If that sort of thing is happening though, fix your track!

                    --Randy

 

              --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, April 8, 2013 7:46 PM

Randy, the reason that tenders behave differently from regular rolling stock is because the frame of the loco effectively pivots around the curve at its center - not at two truck pivot locations. Imagine taking a 50 or 60 foot car (the locomotive), and moving the trucks inboard until the wheel base of the outer two wheels equaled about 16 scale feet. This dramatically increases out board over hang - now couple that car to a 30 or 35 foot car (the tender).

As the curve gets sharper, the loco overhang pulls the draw bar outward on the loco end. But the end of tender remains close to the track center line due to the tender truck position and the short length of most tenders.

This results in considerable side pressure on the front tender truck as locos get longer and curves get sharper - way different than the relationship of two coupled cars.

A more detailed technical evaluation can be found here:

http://webspace.webring.com/people/ib/budb3/arts/tech/curv.html#backc

Sheldon

 

    

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, April 8, 2013 8:01 PM

One point of explanation about this tender drawbar thing. A good example of improving operation on curves with longer steam loco can be found on my Bachmann 2-8-4's that have been converted to 2-8-2's.

The drawbar is connected way forward on the loco frame, at the point where the trailing truck was originally connected. Then the new Delta two wheel trailing truck is connected to the drawbar, just behind its pivot point, and the drawbar reaches over the trailing truck and sticks out the back for the tender.

The drawbar on the Spectrum 2-6-6-2 is similar. This is not a new idea, it has been used on a number of locos over the years. It may be visable in this picture:

This design releaves most all of the side pressure from the draw bar.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by jetewabbie on Thursday, November 19, 2015 6:00 AM

this was just the thread I was looking for.  The front trucks on my steamer actually raise in the air!  A little weigth and adjustment of the wires did the trick!  Thanks for all the great replys/suggestions which helped me out tremendously! 

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Posted by rrebell on Thursday, November 19, 2015 11:18 AM

The problem, at least on mine, was that the wires were in the wrong place. I had 4 Spectrums, one worked perfectly, the other three did not. Desided to see what was different and it was the wires were slightly out of place, on one the wires were too short, plenty of wire in the engine side though. One was too long and the last the wires were just in the wrong place. This shows that Bachmann only tests on a straight peice of track, if they even test.

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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, November 19, 2015 12:45 PM

Two things I've noticed with HO Spectrum engines -

1. The wires are pretty stiff. I have several engines where I can't use the close-connection on the drawbar without the tender derailing...even though I have 30"R curves and No.6 turnouts. But they run well on the extended drawbar hole.

2. Spectrum engines have an moving apron connecting the cab deck to the tender. It needs to be laying flat on top of the 'lip' sticking out from the tender. It's very easy when putting the engine on the track for the apron to get stuck under the 'lip', raising the front of the tender and causing problems. I always try to put the apron all the way up, get the engine on the track, and then reach in with a pencil or small screwdriver etc. and lower the apron.

Stix
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Posted by richg1998 on Thursday, November 19, 2015 3:20 PM

This has been discussed in the Bachmann forums which also has a company rep plus forums for different scales if some want more info about Bachmann products, repairs, replacements, Parts page, diagram pages, DCC info, etc.

The Bach-Man attends shows regularly.

My Bachmann steamers, I slit and remove the plastic sleeve off each wire bundle. The bundles are much more flexible. I use a quite small pair of scissors for sewing with long thin blades being careful to not slit a wire. Makes a big difference. They end up looking like hoses when I paint black liquid vinyl over them.

Rich

If you ever fall over in public, pick yourself up and say “sorry it’s been a while since I inhabited a body.” And just walk away.

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