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Old 01-04-2020, 11:13 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Murv2 View Post
Even my best engine (AHM GP18 from Yugoslavia) can only pull about 15 cars. My brother visited with a proto 2000 EMD E8 and it easily pulled a 35 car train.
Not surprising...
FWIW, these comparisons are probably typical.
Four-axle Geeps are (quite naturally) far inferior pullers than a typical (much heavier) 6-axle E unit.
It's not surprising that an E8 model would pull at least twice as many cars as a Geep.
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Old 01-04-2020, 11:18 AM   #12
J.Albert1949
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I'd suggest older Proto2000 SD7s/SD9s, and GP7s/GP9s. Many "new-old stock" items available for good prices, lots of road names.

Generally very smooth runners, good pullers, most are easily converted to dcc.

The GP's will probably need the wheels/axle gears replaced, as they have a history of cracking (but it's a cheap fix, Athearn wheelsets can be substituted).

The gearboxes often need to be "cleaned out" of the old grease, which hardens to a peanut-butter-like goo.
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Old 01-04-2020, 12:34 PM   #13
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West Four wheel drive vs. 12 wheel drive?

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Originally Posted by Murv2 View Post
All my engines are purchased second-hand, most from the 70's or older. Even my best engine (AHM GP18 from Yugoslavia) can only pull about 15 cars. My brother visited with a proto 2000 EMD E8 and it easily pulled a 35 car train. Are modern engines that much better than older ones? Or are six axle diesels that much better than four?
Murv2;

How many of the four axles on your old locomotives are powered? That is, actually gear-driven, not just wired to pick up electrical power. Many older, cheap locomotives, including some from Yugoslavia, had only two axles, both mounted in the same "power truck" assembly driven by gears and a motor. The other truck also had two axles in it, but those axles were free-rolling, and did nothing to drive the loco along the track, or pull any cars. If you scroll down a few threads in this HO forum you will come to a thread called "Power truck disassembly" posted by "HOFAN." It has a photo of this type of locomotive with only one truck that is powered.
If any of your old locomotives are built this way, then it's small wonder that they can't pull as well as your brother's E8, which probably has all six of it's axles powered. Even if your old locos have four axles driven, that still isn't likely to pull as well as a loco with six axles driven.
You may have noticed that most of the real locomotives around these days have six axles, and yes, they are all powered. The reason for this is that trains keep getting longer, and heavier, and locomotives keep getting designed with more horsepower to pull those longer, heavier, trains.
That horsepower won't be much use without the traction it takes to get the train moving, and keep it moving. That's where the twelve wheel drive and the increased weight of the bigger locomotives, comes into play. Generally speaking, the more weight that can be put over more driving wheels driven by more horsepower, the better a locomotive will pull.

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Old 01-04-2020, 07:43 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by traction fan View Post
Murv2;

How many of the four axles on your old locomotives are powered? That is, actually gear-driven, not just wired to pick up electrical power. Many older, cheap locomotives, including some from Yugoslavia, had only two axles, both mounted in the same "power truck" assembly driven by gears and a motor. The other truck also had two axles in it, but those axles were free-rolling, and did nothing to drive the loco along the track, or pull any cars. If you scroll down a few threads in this HO forum you will come to a thread called "Power truck disassembly" posted by "HOFAN." It has a photo of this type of locomotive with only one truck that is powered.
If any of your old locomotives are built this way, then it's small wonder that they can't pull as well as your brother's E8, which probably has all six of it's axles powered. Even if your old locos have four axles driven, that still isn't likely to pull as well as a loco with six axles driven.
You may have noticed that most of the real locomotives around these days have six axles, and yes, they are all powered. The reason for this is that trains keep getting longer, and heavier, and locomotives keep getting designed with more horsepower to pull those longer, heavier, trains.
That horsepower won't be much use without the traction it takes to get the train moving, and keep it moving. That's where the twelve wheel drive and the increased weight of the bigger locomotives, comes into play. Generally speaking, the more weight that can be put over more driving wheels driven by more horsepower, the better a locomotive will pull.

Traction Fan
This is key. I'm fairly sure that the AHM GP18 came in both 4wd and 8wd versions. I have a SOO and two different NW versions, but I don't recall which versions they are. I'm told they're actually pretty easy to upgrade with one of the $3 Ebay Mitsumi motors. Haven't done it yet but I've got the motors and the locos, so it's just a matter of time.
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Old 01-10-2020, 09:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by traction fan View Post
Murv2;

How many of the four axles on your old locomotives are powered? That is, actually gear-driven, not just wired to pick up electrical power. Many older, cheap locomotives, including some from Yugoslavia, had only two axles, both mounted in the same "power truck" assembly driven by gears and a motor. The other truck also had two axles in it, but those axles were free-rolling, and did nothing to drive the loco along the track, or pull any cars. If you scroll down a few threads in this HO forum you will come to a thread called "Power truck disassembly" posted by "HOFAN." It has a photo of this type of locomotive with only one truck that is powered.
If any of your old locomotives are built this way, then it's small wonder that they can't pull as well as your brother's E8, which probably has all six of it's axles powered. Even if your old locos have four axles driven, that still isn't likely to pull as well as a loco with six axles driven.
You may have noticed that most of the real locomotives around these days have six axles, and yes, they are all powered. The reason for this is that trains keep getting longer, and heavier, and locomotives keep getting designed with more horsepower to pull those longer, heavier, trains.
That horsepower won't be much use without the traction it takes to get the train moving, and keep it moving. That's where the twelve wheel drive and the increased weight of the bigger locomotives, comes into play. Generally speaking, the more weight that can be put over more driving wheels driven by more horsepower, the better a locomotive will pull.

Traction Fan
The GP18 has all wheels driven. I have a couple other AHM that only have two axles driven and I don't expect much out of them. I've glued the weights under the hood of the GP18 and it pulls much better now. Bullfrog snot is the next thing, for an old Aristocraft ten-wheeler with giant drivers and no traction.
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Old 01-11-2020, 08:07 AM   #16
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I've glued the weights under the hood of the GP18 and it pulls much better now.
Glad to hear it!
Maybe I'll go ahead and start adding more weight to mine.
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