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Who manufactured 50 years old Santa Fe 307 HO I want to upgrade

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  • Member since
    January 2024
  • From: KSA
  • 3 posts
Who manufactured 50 years old Santa Fe 307 HO I want to upgrade
Posted by Azhar on Friday, January 19, 2024 11:14 AM

About 35 years ago I received a gift HO train set  from my elder brother. 

It has HO track figure of 8 running over at the centre, the piers, freight cars caboose total  5 and santa fe 307 loco. There is not written name of the  manufacturer. it is written only  "Made in Hong Kong". It has front truck pickups. The rear truck has four driving wheels with traction tyres. A can 3 pole 130 ?? DC motor with worm gear is mounted on the rear truck horizontally and  along the long axis. It runs great at full throttle 12 to 16 V DC good pulling power, but slow speed it stalls and stutters. I want to upgrade it. I do not like DCC. The traction tires hardened and broke. I filled the groove with the scotch tape. It functions good.

I see some IC circuit board on Aliexpress and ebay (8PIN HO Scale Train Model DCC Base Board For Train IC Circuit Board) these claim to make the old loco DCC ready. Will this board improve performance??

Should the motor have no load 3000 RPM at 6 V or 6000 RPM at 6 V 

  • Member since
    March 2021
  • 246 posts
Posted by Tin Can II on Friday, January 19, 2024 3:48 PM

Azhar:  Welcome to the forums.  Running a search for a HO scale 307 locomotive on eBay gives several results for a Bachman F7 locomotive.  That was my suspicion.  The easiest option would be to replace the locomotive, as there is little you can do to improve the operation and reliability of that motor.  Athearn made a similar locomotive in its blue box line (no longer produced, but available on eBay or swap meets/train shows); which can be tuned to run well at all speed ranges.  Here is an example of such a locomotive: 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/196189765271?hash=item2dadd23e97:g:MsQAAOSwFy5lpDxE&amdata=enc%3AAQAIAAAA0Hgw%2FoDm%2B0h%2FtNIJGbv%2BORHxnfrTjLQsx5tQcPlYJxzZRyaACOhVFhMmkK8vZEFCsHrSM4AGUsM5RhimiCYZyyFCEboAS2esV59jCv9RUqi68q0qT2J7B6%2FuxxHg1YbgZHuMSy0cccPpny0EV0SxSy5O0gumWno%2BL14M5%2Bqgil9mkXHYaW0RR66spNhvt9xKLF4WwyniaJi8ZSz8eIId72FjZ%2FKWPBw1Vt5dpc72M3mDS0aWczYpuWwDoqPgBmRKZ5KV0YEn6vNLWwEUy4IUffE%3D%7Ctkp%3ABk9SR7Lo6LqkYw

There are numerous You Tube videos on tuning an Athearn blue box locomotive for maximum performance.

Hope this helps.

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 21,330 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Friday, January 19, 2024 4:28 PM

Why is this particular locomotive worthy of an upgrade?  When I pulled my old trains from my teenage years out of storage, I planned to fix them up like you.  They were 40 years old at the time.  After simple fixes like cleaning, I decided that a complete upgrade to modern standards would cost more than a new modern engine, so I went that route.  I took a few of the old engines apart, removed the motors, swapped out the old couplers and added headlights, and I now run them as dummies to extend my fleet.

I'm now happy with a number of better looking and better running new engines, plus a few dummies to create consists without having to buy motive power.

Perhaps some other members will recognize your engine.  If so, you may be able to find another such engine in working condition and do a shell swap.

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

  • Member since
    June 2005
  • 4,351 posts
Posted by Darth Santa Fe on Saturday, January 20, 2024 10:52 AM

The version you have with the vertical can motor is actually a pretty rare model.  Bachmann didn't make those for long at all before switching to the common "pancake" motor truck.  The motor is a 5-pole and is a good runner for its day, but the geared truck design is a little sloppy and is likely what's keeping it from running very well at low speeds.  Keeping the front truck wheels very clean and the geared truck and motor assembly well lubricated and just barely tight enough to keep the motor as vertical as possible is the best that can be done for it.

The DCC-ready boards won't do anything for performance.  All they do is make it so you can use a plug-in decoder later.

_________________________________________________________________

  • Member since
    January 2023
  • 30 posts
Posted by scott7891 on Monday, January 29, 2024 6:57 PM

Darth Santa Fe
The DCC-ready boards won't do anything for performance.  All they do is make it so you can use a plug-in decoder later.

Not only that but the NMRA has declared the 8-pin decoder obsolete unless you want to use outdated decoders which I wouldn't recommend.  Eight Pin Plug for DCC (NEM 652 / NMRA 8 Pin) - DCCWiki

To the original poster, I agree with other members here that unless you want to run the loco as is and accept it like that, you are better off buying a new loco that will already have all of the improved performance you desire.  The model train hobby has advanced leaps and bounds since that train set's time so unless you are in to vintage model railroading which is a thing, you are throwing money away unless you can't let go of the sentimentality.  

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Mpls/St.Paul
  • 13,767 posts
Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, January 30, 2024 2:58 PM

Bachmann does still make an HO F7, if the engine you have has sentimental value you could try buying one of the new F7s and see if you can just swap the body shells. 

Stix
  • Member since
    January 2024
  • From: KSA
  • 3 posts
Posted by Azhar on Thursday, February 22, 2024 10:22 AM

Thanks for all guys. I appriciate the suggestions of tha all friends. I have a nice Atlas gp38 in addition to this fe 7 300. I was only intreste to know the manufacturer. I have searched you tube none is showing this type of inside of the Locomotive 

  • Member since
    June 2005
  • 4,351 posts
Posted by Darth Santa Fe on Sunday, March 3, 2024 5:23 PM

I did just happen to do a tune-up of another Bachmann F9 with the same chassis last year.  You can see it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zr6NDeL-hFc&t=3086s

_________________________________________________________________

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