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Discussion Starter #1
I just picked up a 4-4-0 General. This is my first experience with a plastic 0 gauge train.

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The train and cars are really beautiful even though the train is not green and red as in the promo pictures but black and red. The problem is that it is really having trouble hauling the 3 or even 2 of the passenger cars around my layout. The wheels just spin and spin. I took the track out that came with it and setup the oval to try it on that. My layout is tube while it comes with fast track. It does the same thing on the fast track.

I'm wondering if this thing is just to light on those back wheels since the body is plastic. Has anyone added weight to this train to get it to haul more? I don't see any issues with lubrication or see anything stuck.

Thanks

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Discussion Starter #2
I've been reading around and first thing I'll do is lube everything up and run the cars around the track with my bigger engines. I'll also check to make sure there are no clearance issues. I still think this little engine needs weight. Have any of you added weight to cars?
 

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The General locomotives are very light and many have traction problems. Adding weight above the drivers seems to be the solution to improving traction.

Making sure the locomotive wheels and track are clean also helps traction.


Larry
 

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I have added weights to one little switcher on my layout. Pinewood derby car weights were an easy fix. They had adhesive and came in various sizes. I put as much weight as I could cram in. It made a noticeable difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, I'll check that out. Sounds perfect.

I spent the night oiling up every single one of my cars and getting things all cleaned up. Just oiling it up allowed it to go from the tender and 1 car to all 3 cars plus a box car and a lighted caboose. The weight would really help it a ton tho. I wish they had a 4-4-0 that was diecast that wasn't $1000. Those derby car weight should help make it feel better tho.
 

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You can use lead or tungsten stick on wheel weights. Most auto parts stores have them on hand.

Carl
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It certainly does help! :)

Some great ideas on weights. Thanks!

It's a really nice train. My son loves the sounds and they are not as cheesy as I was expecting them to be. It just needs a bit more heft.
 

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QUOTE=gunrunnerjohn;333218]This locomotive needs more weight as many have mentioned. That's the primary issue, and it should solve the problem.[/QUOTE]

Yes weight is the answer I think too, my Cousin bought one of those sets last year and had the same problem. We talked about it a lot on here about that situation. He had an older DC only motor and transformer version of that set and it never spun at all with the same cars. But that version had the long brass skid for the pickup with pretty soft springs. This new one has pretty heavy springs for the roller pickups and with that light engine they actually push it up enough to offset this new even heavier version. Again weight is the other way to fix it. I was just gonna take the body off his and just stick some wheel weights inside but we never got around to it.
I still can't believe Lionel actually never saw that problem, they must not test their stuff at all before they release it anymore. Who ever heard of a train that would not pull just it's included cars right out of the box and imagine what all those dissapointed little kids must feel like when they get one of those sets for Christmas and all it does is spin the wheels. It's just ridiculous. Joshua Lionel sure wouldn't have let that happen when he was running the show. It would have been designed right in the first place to not need weights.
A person should at least be able to run the train out of the box even for just a little bit before this new junk burns out.
 

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If you think that's bad, take a look at my thread on improving the Lionel Phantom set. That one sold a lot of copies, but it couldn't pull the four cars of the set on level track! I even added weight to no measurable effect. I finally bit the bullet and did the real upgrade that fixed it. :)

Improving the Lionel Phantom Locomotive
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I have added some weight to the general and it is pulling a lot nicer now. I've had 8 cars hooked up to it and it does great. I'm sure it could pull more.

The quality on these cheaper kits is really lacking. All of the passenger cars had to be resoldered to get the lights to work. They worked out of the box for about 2 trips around my track and then they all stopped working. The wires were taped down from the factory not giving enough play for the trucks to go around o-31 corners which pulled the wires out from the trucks. Plus they used some really thin wire that breaks very easily. I'll probably have to rewire these with thicker wire at some point.

I also had to cut down the grounding strips on a few of the trucks because the collectors were hitting them causing a short.

Finally I had to drill out the low hanging part on the couplers. In some areas of my track they were hitting the center rail causing issues.
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Even with all of that done the train still does not like the o-31 90 degree cross track. These spring loaded collectors get caught on it if I go to slow. I tapped down the angled track some more and it's a bit smoother but boy has it taken a lot of tinkering to get this train running smoothly.
 
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