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Discussion Starter #1
i just bought a new "Bachmann HO Chattanooga" Train set. Everything ran smoothly. Then I decided to switch out the plastic wheels for metal ones on all my cars. Now the locomotive wheels will spin but cannot pull the load. I would like to know if my 0-6-0 steam locomotive is too small to pull many cars or if it has something to do with the metal wheels. Also, if I need a bigger locomotive, does anyone have any ideas for a good one? with dcc included???Thanks. And Hello to everyone in the site.
 

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Welcome to the site.

Check all the wheels. Are they in gauge? Do they roll free in the trucks? Will the engine still move with fewer cars? I just can't see wheels adding enough weight to stop things.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the response. Yes i double and triple checked. All the wheels on every car roll freely. All were snapped in place properly. Everything sat on the rails just fine. No go. I put the plastic wheels back on, added a flat car and 1/4 pound of weight on the train and it ran smoothly. Talk about "Things that make you go hmmm". I bought non-magnetic wheels and it was on an easy track, but can there be some kind of current holding them in place??Hmm.
 

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Next time do one at a time and run it alone with the engine. Try to keep the insulated wheels on the same side.One wheel will have contact with the axle.Get some wire, a bulb and a battery and check them.
 

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Maybe the wheels you have are not properly insulated? Put them back in one car, place it on the track and see if the engine moves without being connected to the car. Keep adding cars until something happens.

Definitely a "Hmmm" sort of thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
My new train

Well, I'm not that far in my new hobby to know about insulated wheels. The ones I used were Kadee 522 Smooth Back 36", non-magnetic. I put the metal wheels back on the tender. No problem. 2nd car I added with metal wheels, no problem.3rd car,..Problem,. could not pull them. My little engine that could,..couldn't. I think my loco. is too small. I dont understand the wire,battery,light thing.
 

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bile,

Try this: take a mild soap solution and dab a paper towel in it. Unplug the transformer, then wipe down your rails with the paper towel. Take a q-tip and wipe down the surfaces of your engine's drive wheels (where they touch the rails). You may have aquired something that is lubricating the rails or wheels, making them too slick to gain purchase and get moving. Also, you may have one car that is binding for some reason. It's not necessarily that 3rd car; it might be the weight of the third car is enough to tip it over the edge, so to speak.

Once you've cleaned as described, give it time to dry and then run the engine by itself 4 or 5 minutes to really warm it up. Right now, you're breaking it in, so it has it's highest resistance to movement because of new-part friction. Add one car and continue to run for a few minutes, then another, and so on. You may have a perfectly good train that just needs some break-in time and the cleaning to give it a better purchase on the tracks.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
M.n.t.

Thank you for the info. I'm gonna try it this weekend and cross my fingers. Another thing i've noticed, that when the plastic wheels are on and everything runs fine,... I have to turn the transformer up to 20 before the train starts to move. Is that fairly ok?
 

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I have had this issue with Bachmann cars. I switched to metal wheels on some of them and found that although they appeared to roll as well they individually the cars did not roll as well as a group. I can not explain it but it was as if the axils fit in the trucks just slightly tighter. I went back to the plastic wheels for these cars. The metal ones worked fine on some Athern cars I had.

My trains are all DC. I have a Bachmann 2-6-2 Prairie. I generally pull 6-8 cars with it. I have to bring it to just over 30% to get it going an then back off if it is starting on a curve. On a straight I need to give it a little less to get it going. The steamers do not work as efficiently on a curve. I have an Athern Blue Box GP 35 pulling 15 cars and that needs to be giver about 20% to get the train moving and then backed off. Generally speaking the motors will draw the most amps at stall (this is when they are close to stopped due to over load or attempting to start). Thus you need to give it a little more juice to start it moving.
 

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I have a problem with the soap and water Idea. I use CRC contact cleaner. Spray it on a cotton rag (piece of old T shirt) wipe down the rails. Then place piece of rag on track and spray it, place locomotive on rag allowing enough wheels to touch the rails eo get electric. Hold it in place, spin the wheels on the cloth. now the wheels are clean and the track is clean. As far as the wheels are concerned, the easy fix is go back to plastic. You could try Micromarks truck tuner. You can find it here.
http://www.micromark.com/HO-TRUCK-TUNER,8241.html
They should roll much easier with metal wheels. I cant guarantee this fix as I cant see or touch your problem but this sounds like it will work.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ooo, I got a quick chuckler for ya. My girlfriend told me that when she was a kid, her grampy had a train layout in his house. My girlfriend said that her grampy had 2 small machines that he put in his layout that made sounds for the train,..(since the train itself was silent). Has anyone heard of this? and if so,..anyone have any ideas? P.S.-12" of snow today,. plenty of time to try all the ideas veryone gave me. Thank You.
 

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Well, I'm not that far in my new hobby to know about insulated wheels. The ones I used were Kadee 522 Smooth Back 36", non-magnetic. I put the metal wheels back on the tender. No problem. 2nd car I added with metal wheels, no problem.3rd car,..Problem,. could not pull them. My little engine that could,..couldn't. I think my loco. is too small. I dont understand the wire,battery,light thing.
basically you need a voltmeter. On ohms you check for resistance. If you have contact or an electrical connection the resistance goes to zero. In your case it could be an electical short. If you rig up a light and battery and touch the open ends the light will go on indicating current flow. If you have one wire on the axle and touch the each wheel with the second. One will not light up because it is insulated from the axle. Both axles on a truck need the insulated wheels on the same side. This is how you get track power for motors and lights.

The picture shows the insulated wheels to the right
If one of these were backwards you would have a short.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
My new train set came with a Bachmann 5 transformer with a 16v. access. There are 2 spots. What can i plug into them, and what can i use them for??
 

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Ooo, I got a quick chuckler for ya. My girlfriend told me that when she was a kid, her grampy had a train layout in his house. My girlfriend said that her grampy had 2 small machines that he put in his layout that made sounds for the train,..(since the train itself was silent). Has anyone heard of this? and if so,..anyone have any ideas? P.S.-12" of snow today,. plenty of time to try all the ideas veryone gave me. Thank You.

Before they had all the fancy sound controls they have now my father used a speaker with an electronic push buttons. One for a whistle, one for a bell,one for a chugging sound, and one for something else that I forget.
Before that in the old old days he had 33 records that had a variety of different engines ,whistles and even chirping birds.:D
I still have the records.
What gauge did he have ?

I found these you can place around too.
http://www.ironpeng.com/ipe/ittmainindex.htm

PICTURES OF SOME OF THE OLD 33 RECORDS.
pc200002.jpg

pc200006.jpg

pc200001.jpg
 

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Yard Master & Research
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My new train set came with a Bachmann 5 transformer with a 16v. access. There are 2 spots. What can i plug into them, and what can i use them for??
Lights and operating accessories. Switches.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Bachmann 5 Transformer

Ok, but what i dont get is,..is one for positive and one for negative? And would i need to buy something to drop the volts? Or do I just buy something and plug it right in to one of the terminals??:confused:
 

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Bile, can you show us a pic or describe the terminals so we can be sure of what you're seeing? A good transformer will supply power for your track (and train), but this varies as you speed up or slow down. You don't want the lights on your layout to all go dim every time you slow down or stop the train. To avoid that, a separate hot terminal or set of terminals are also on the transformer to power your accessories. These have a constant voltage as long as the transformer is turned on. My guess is you have two separate hot lines to power your accessories, and everything will use the common ground for your track to complete the circuit.
If what you are describing are constant-voltage hot lines, then you buy accessories that run on 16 volts. To make it work efficiently, you would run a heavier wire hot line under the layout, then tie the hot leads for your accessories into that wire. The ground from each accessory can then go to a common ground and back to the transformer.

This is a page from a 1949 American Flyer manual, showing how a transformer is wired to operate the train and some electric turnouts. You do the same thing for accessories that you do for your turnouts.

http://www.americanflyerexpress.com/American-Flyer-Express/American-Flyer-Express-Pages/American-Flyer-Instructions-Manual/american-flyer-instruction-manual-26.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #18
M.n.t.

Wow, thanks for all the info. Unfortunately i dont have any means to send you a pic. I wish I could though. If you wanted to, google"Bachmann 5 Transformer". That is the one I have. Everything you said though was right on. 2 seperate terminals marked 16v. Are different accessories different size volts? And can I only hook 1 accessory to each terminal ?
 

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Glad to help, bile. Generally, any train accessory that came from the same country/time frame as your train is likely to have similar voltage requirements---the package or website should tell you, though. They're all low-voltage items. Run a bus (main power line) from your terminal of larger wire, then tie all your accessories to it and to your ground. My guess is you've got enough power to handle every accessory you can afford to buy. Build a city and light'er up!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
does each terminal hold 16 volts or is that a combo of both?(crosses fingers and hopes you say they are separate).Is one a pos.,...and one a neg.? I got my hands on a dig. cam. I hope i can put a pic or 2 up for everyone. I just have to figure out how.
 
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