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Has anyone had a problem with Bachmann Steam Engines jamming up after running a while. I can take it off the track and turn it upside down then it usually starts running OK for a while. I sent one back to Bachmann service and they replaced he mechanism. This is the 3rd Bachmann engine I've had to do this. Bill
 

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Bachman still hasn't fully recovered their reputation from the scheise they produced in the past. Not that they had a good reputation to begin with. I hear good things about their diesel offerings, but I would not buy a
steam locomotive with that name on the box.

I really wouldn't buy any Bachmann product or anything else made in China for that matter.
 

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Bought a Bachman GS4 4-8-4 and tender last summer. Been running just fine. One of the wires connecting the loco to the tender has pulled out. Doesn't seem to have affected anything. I'm only running DC now.
 

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A wire pulling out? Well there you go. That supports my statement.
 

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if its the old pancake motor models , Bachmann = Temporarily Powered Static Model. A lot of those went straight from the box to the trash can. They had clockwork type mechnism that was the envy every Swiss watchmaker , they perfected the "collapsible " nylon gear. A gear was so thin (and spring loaded) that under even light loads it would collapse and bind. You turn it over and "diddle" with it , put it back down it i runs .

It sounds like you maybe experiencing this technological marvel. In fact it was so revolutionary , I have only been able to make one slight improvement and that was by placing one inside a trash can and leaving there.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
if its the old pancake motor models , Bachmann = Temporarily Powered Static Model. A lot of those went straight from the box to the trash can. They had clockwork type mechnism that was the envy every Swiss watchmaker , they perfected the "collapsible " nylon gear. A gear was so thin (and spring loaded) that under even light loads it would collapse and bind. You turn it over and "diddle" with it , put it back down it i runs .

It sounds like you maybe experiencing this technological marvel. In fact it was so revolutionary , I have only been able to make one slight improvement and that was by placing one inside a trash can and leaving there.
Bachman still hasn't fully recovered their reputation from the scheise they produced in the past. Not that they had a good reputation to begin with. I hear good things about their diesel offerings, but I would not buy a
steam locomotive with that name on the box.

I really wouldn't buy any Bachmann product or anything else made in China for that matter.
I also have 2 Bachman Spectrum 2 truck Climax's that have plastic gears and are suffering from split gears in the truck drive assemblies these were purchased new and only used for display with my log cars. A couple of gears split just sitting on the display shelf just like some older lifelike diesels but at least I could get replacement gears to fix them, I hate to give up on Bachmann but they take up to much of my leisure time trying to get them working. Bill
 

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I hate trashing any brand, but Bachmann has had a deservedly bad rep for as long as I can remember.
My Bachmann Geeps are detailed pretty nicely out-of-the-box, and I've added details to them to bring them up to snuff, but keeping them running has been a challenge.
Add to that, most of them are grossly underpowered.
Now many of their DCC units are glitching with electronic noises.
Jeez!
 
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After years of suffering through the "cheap" Bachmanns I hate being put in the position of defending them. But aside from drawbar issues with one I have had good luck with their Spectrums and Hawthorne Village examples. They are all good runners, nicely detailed and boxed. The On30's run especially well, smooth, quiet with exceptional tractability. The Disney example was bought at a flea market for $5.00. The Christmas trains run so well i bought two. The F7A, also Hawthorne Village is nicely detailed and runs as good as any. Same for the Spectrum K4.

Sorry for the lousy pictures, just pictured them as they lay.

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I only have one Bachmann steamer -- a 2-6-2 on which the side rods got bent somehow, and the (plastic) valve gear guide got bent, so the piston rod has come out of the cylinder. Not sure which caused which, and can't rule out my fat fingers, either.

Bachmann's newer offerings have been fine, mechanically (they are, I think, using cut-rate decoders, though). Problem is that there is a lot of older stuff out there being sold as "new, old stock". They also suffer a bit from trying to maintain dominance in the lower end of the market -- that is, keeping the cost of their locos down.
 

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The "collapsible" gear

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The motor drives the outside ring with a brass pinion. Any load from the wheels on the gears center pinion causes the "spokes" to "wrap up" pulling the outer ring in or at least distorting the out ring enough to cause lock up or chewing of the teeth by the motor pinion. I think this locomotive had less than 4 hours on it.

Its a shame because the shell was highly detailed. The only thing you could really do was stick it on a Bowser drive.
 

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i have had exactly zero problems with bachmann steamers ....none at all, over ten locomotives, over eight years, zero ..
methinks you are doing something wrong ??
 

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This thread gave me the incentive to get out most of the Bachmann's that I have and run them. It's been awhile but I did run the Christmas train last month. All ran great, but the new in the box 4-4-0 was a little balky. The Disney novelty locomotive didn't run at all, until I noticed I set it up on the wrong track. The Doodlebug is a pleasure, lighted coach and easy to set on the track with realistic speed. But the hit's are the little 4-4-0 and 4-6-0 they are just so darn cute chugging around the track.

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Now I have to clean up this mess.

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Discussion Starter #14
No one seems to make those neat little engines except Bachmann now if they would just remove this Bachmann curse off me I'll purchase a few more. Bill
 

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I guess I've been lucky. I haven't had any issues with Bachmann steamers, but I do stick with the Spectrums or whatever today's equivalent is called.

ETA: But I don't run trains that much. My layout is fairly small, so there's only so much running you can do. When/if I get the yard expansion built maybe that will change.
 

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What mess?
:) :)

Ok, so I'm sort of a neat nick. A place for everything and everything in it's place.

I have to put all those locomotives back in their boxes, hate that! And I had cleared the tracks to run all those Bachmanns through the switches and spurs so I have to position all those locomotives/cars I removed back on the track and locate all those wheels. Hate that worse. Got no rerailer. :(
 

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If you are referring to Bachmann diesel and even other makes of diesels, sometimes a loose spike or small nail/screw will get stuck vertically in the speaker grill on the bottom due to the speaker's magnet..This in turn leads to the offending metal grabbing the crosstie in the track and holding the loco from moving ...
This happened several times with my RS3 until I learned to recognize it...
Other than this I have 4 DCC HO Bachmann locos; the RS3, a 4-6-0, a 4-4-0, and a 2-6-0..They all have excellent running quality and details and never a problem..
Who ever thinks Bmann is junk is remembering their early years.. Today's Bachmann are some of the best out there...
M
 

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i have had exactly zero problems with bachmann steamers ....none at all, over ten locomotives, over eight years, zero ..
methinks you are doing something wrong ??
You just haven't been around long enough. There was huge industry shift back in the late 80's when Atlas had Kato produce the RS3 . Up until that time everthing was produced to the lowest common denominator. If you wanted something that ran decent you repowered it. Since the RS-3 was an Alco it was considered to be a low volume seller , But then something miraculous happened when Atlas had Kato produce the RS3 , people who didn't even like Alcos or modeled more modern railroads , had to have them , Standard Hobby couldn't keep them on the shelves even with list and sales prices twice that of Athearn .

Bachmann had one or two locomotives that looked ok but the drives were crap , Bower produce repowering mechs for them . Atlas was selling so many locomotives that Stewart contracted Kato for drive components for their U25 and that locomotive was fairly popular.

In the early 90's Bachmann belatedly introduced the Spectrum K4 and a set of passenger cars , The cars were some the best passenger cars produced at the time ( I have about 10) , The locomotive mech was still not up to the level of OL's Power House , but it was a big improvement over previous Bachmann locomotives and sold well , I think Bowser produced a repower for these for a little while .

Since the late 80's early 90's Bachmann has been under pressure to improve , in order to stay in the marketplace.

One of the biggest problems with the earlier Bachmann's was you couldn't just repower them , you had to replace the whole mech and even then to get something that ran really good. you needed to add an NWSL box and a good can motor . By the time you did all that it it was cheaper to buy brass . The only way it made sense to repower the Bachmann is if you got it for nothing or already had one.

Prior to that , Bachmann's main competition was Tyco, Model Power ,Life Like , all trying to produce as cheaply as possible , They're all gone now , Bachmann is the only one left , They were the only one that was willing to change I guess.
 

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The "old" Life-Like is gone.....sort of.....Life-Like was bought by Walthers, so in effect, it lives on, albeit it's much better (Walthers Proto) now.....
 
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