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need help upgrading dc motor on old mantua mikado

8550 Views 36 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  tkruger
hi guys just joined up.. and about 2 weeks ago started getting into ho trains and old marx wind up o scales.. anyway ,,

I just bought a mint in box old style mantua mikado steamer.. it has the open brush motor and direct drive worm gear right to the drive gear.. I have ran it on my track for maybe 1 or 2 hours so far.. The problem Im having is it will not run at lower speeds.. and when I put my 12 cars behind it it has a problem running even at full speed and slowes it way down..

Im using a bachmann transformer and have bachmann ez track in a large approx 4x8 oval.. my little bachmann 0-6-0 will run it just fine at slow speeds .. but there is no weight to it to pull that many cars and slips.. Is there a new motor I can put in this old Mikado to make her run better.. right now I want to stay with dc seeing that my budget wont allow dcc as of yet.. Thanks a bunch for any help .. Im pretty new and figured some one on here would know how to fix this or at least point me in the right direction.
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You young guys with your fancy, new, high-tech sound systems...

I've been running my trains with sound systems that are 5 and 8 years old. They kick out quite the chatter. The problem is, I haven't yet figured out how to turn them off. And ... I've gotta pay their way through college, too!

:rolleyes::laugh::eek:

TJ
:laugh: Yeah I have some of those too... and yeah sometimes if only they had an off switch haha
thank you very much for the video. i have seen there how to install, was it easy? doesn't look too bad. last but not least, does it smoke that good when it's slowed down ?
it wasn't that hard really .. the hardest part was drilling and tapping too relocate the screw from underneath.. I went ahead and pulled everything off the chassis so all the tiny shavings could be cleaned out and re oiled.. and the smokers I guess don't ever do all that great at lower speeds, seeing that the voltage is dropped to everything on a dc track so the heating element gets cooler too just like when the lights get dimmer.. I bet someone could mod a smoke generator with some caps just like a constant on light setup., so that from 1-20 volts would still give the same output current... I think I'm gonna get one of the constant on light systems off ebay and give it a shot.. it may not work though because the led's don't take much voltage to begin with to push them and a heating element would draw alot more hmmm?? I'm getting way out of my league trying to figure out how to get the right combo of capacitors and resistors to put inline so that it would have a kind of step up converter to provide the seuthe smoker with a constant full voltage or sweet spot voltage to provide the right amount of smoke even at a lower engine volt/speed.. ahhh my heads gonna explode now :laugh: I guess that is why dcc is the easier but more expensive way to go for full on realistic smoke and such ..

Edit: one tip though .. when you go to drill out the smoke stack .. I started out with a small drill bit and then went up each bit size until I reached the desired ID of the hole needed to fit the smoke unit.. just to be safe and make sure I didn't break anything.. it was a little more time to keep changing bits out, but it removes smaller amounts of material at a time and didn't put alot of stress on the soft die cast.. hope this helps and thanks...
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thanks for the info. i have had some of the cheaper bachmann 0-6-0 style ho steam engines that were excellent smokers. the smoke units are very delicate and i ruined all of them when taking locos apart for maintnence and stuff, but they did work great before hand.

as far as a resister for the smoke stack goes, i think you are going about it backwards. would prob. be better off to put a resistor going to the motor to slow the loco down that way you still get a bright light at lower speeds and more voltage going to the smoke unit. i also think your loco runs faster than mine with the newer motor. maybe i won't have that issue so much with a stock motor.
Tyco problems

And solutions. I am currently working on the restoration of several Tycos, and needing some parts I Googled tyco parts and founr Yardbird trains. The proprieter , "Dan" has been most helpful and can help you with your problem. One thing I have found with these older engines is lubrication, or actually lack of it. Most often the problem is solidified petroleum product applied several years ago. I use a silicon based product , breakfree CLP. It provides excellant penetration, and luberication. My power is an older Tyco PPack with relatively small output current availability. Egines that struggle to turn initaly come alive with this stuff. I use the 4oz. container with the tube applicator. Good luck
BH
And solutions. I am currently working on the restoration of several Tycos, and needing some parts I Googled tyco parts and founr Yardbird trains. The proprieter , "Dan" has been most helpful and can help you with your problem. One thing I have found with these older engines is lubrication, or actually lack of it. Most often the problem is solidified petroleum product applied several years ago. I use a silicon based product , breakfree CLP. It provides excellant penetration, and luberication. My power is an older Tyco PPack with relatively small output current availability. Egines that struggle to turn initaly come alive with this stuff. I use the 4oz. container with the tube applicator. Good luck
BH
Awesome .. I have cleaned and oiled most stuff with the XL heavy plastic safe model railroad oil.. But it really doesn't like that for the contact points and I think it hampers it from making good contact.. So Im gonna go get some of this break free.. I usually have some for my guns but it is so good on them its hard to keep around.. Thanks again.......


and to X_doug_X :::
Yeah My little bachmann that I just started out with a few weeks ago when I started getting into ho trains.. I found out the hard way that when taking it apart you have to be so careful with the smoke unit wires they are ultra small and very easy to break.. And I have also read that even though I agree with you, they do smoke great.. I guess they are the worst smoke units out on the market because the ultra fine wires and if it goes with out oil and you run them they are very prone to break and not work anymore..

I do love the heavy duty feel of this old mantua though.. and Im crossing my fingers that when that MRC controller gets here it will make it run smooth at lower speeds.. I really want this to be my favorite train but I keep going back to my little bachmann 0-6-0,because it is so quiet and can creep around the track at a snails pace. It just wont pull very good because there just isn't enough weight to it.. But I do like watching the drive rods work and the mechanics of the wheels as it crawls by.. I have cleaned my track and all of the wheels too and yeah it does pull ok for a while but then goes back to slipping after about 10 laps.. I wish this motor was in the heavy mantua but it just won't fit lol .. maybe I can just drape the shell over it and pretend it isn't under there ...

Btw: This is not a new motor .. it is still the stock one from 1947-48
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oh, i thought you did the motor upgrade too. yardbird also sells a motor with a flywheel for these locos. that would give it the smooth low speed operation you want.
oh, i thought you did the motor upgrade too. yardbird also sells a motor with a flywheel for these locos. that would give it the smooth low speed operation you want.
very cool thank you that is exactly what I was looking for too.. I just glanced on his page and after you said this I went and searched and found them .. awesome
very cool thank you that is exactly what I was looking for too.. I just glanced on his page and after you said this I went and searched and found them .. awesome

when you get it all taken care of pm me and let me know if it was all worth it. i have a blue mantua b&o i might add the smoke unit and motor too.
Just wanted to touch base and let you guys know that I have been running the MRC tech II 1500.. And wow this thing has tons more power then the bachmann.. the only thing is that durring low speed this thing growls like a beast.. Im thinking it is the pulse because my super quiet bachmann engine also growls when I run it on it too?? after it gets up to a medium speed it stops and runs smooth.. Also I bought some of that CPL break free and man does that help, I just want to say thanks for the tip.. it was defiantly worth the trip to the store to get more...

I haven't bought the new motor from yardbird yet.. Still saving my pennies. But I have been in contact with them and have the one I want all picked out. It is the D8130 with the wormfly flywheel. This one is not a direct drop in.. he explained that you will have to clearance the inside loco shell a bit, too give room for the wormfly gear. But it is the better one for lower speeds.. They do sell a direct drop in can motor with brass worm gear too though and is also an improvement over the stock motor.

And to top things off.. I bought a constant on led forward and reverse light set and installed it on her.. it works great and is super bright...I ran the wires all the back to the rear of the tender and drilled a hole in the existing tender light mold to accept the led.. also I moddified the front headlight hole where the lense was to open it up and ran the led and lead wires from the outside of the engine back into the headlight hole and nested it right where the lense was. This was kinda a pain to do! I had to chuck up the led and use a file and sand paper to remove the bottom edge of the led bulb where the lip was so it would fit and all be the same diameter. it would have been tons easier just to replace the regular lamp with the led in its hole and let it shine on the lense.. but it wasn't bright enough for me.. now it works like its suppose too. and looks like a real headlamp.. Although a bit blueish. I may try to add some sort of transparent yellow paint to it to give it the true look of the older lights.

The only down side to this mod was that during the removal of the shell, I bent the wires too many times on my smoke genarator and broke them off right at the butt of it. I tried forever to re-soldier the wires with no luck then took it down to the hobby shop to see if they could do it and there was simply not enough to soldier too .. So keep this in mind if you do get a smoker. Now I have to replace that ... Yardbird also has these in stock now too.. Just a heads up to be extremely careful with the tiny wires.

And I have been busy making a mountian with a tunnel from scratch.. I used bamboo skewers and some scrap slat wood I had laying around with hot glue to build the skeleton of it.. then used a roll of paper towles dipped in a elmers glue/ water mix.. rang them out, then layered it over and over and let it dry over night. it worked like a charm. after it was good and dry I hit some of the obvious seems with some dap kwik seal caulk and let it dry and then shot it with some grey primer and flat white for the peaks. I Also went online and found a sweet huge panaroma mountian picture and downloaded it and used MS paint to do a mulitiple page print job on it and did a 11 page width by 2 page hight and used this for my background image..

So far
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Your Growler!

Jeff,
It is likely the pulse speed control is part of the problem, but I think it will go away when you redo the motor. Some times thewinding laminations are just not tight enough for the short pulse durations at low speed. This can cause audible vibrations. Just my best guess. Glad to see you utilizing Yardbird, Dan is an a+++ to the hobby.
Bh!
I just purchased a used Mantua Union Pacific 4-6-2. It moves fine in reverse but will barely move forward. Would this be a similar issue or would this be another issue all together.
What problems are you having? Just the speed forward and reverse?
What power supply are you using?
Does it do it all the time straits and curves?
Have you cleaned and lubed the engine?
The problem is that the locomotive will not move forward more than a foot before coming to stop, and when moving forward it is barely at a crawl. However in reverse the locomotive with run without any problems. The power supply was custom built by an old neighbor of mine years ago, im not sure what kind of output it is putting out. I know we have been running a Mehano 4-6-2 Pacific on it for the past 20 years, as well as Athearn PRR Diesel for the past 15 years. It has this problem all the time it does not matter where on the track it is. I have not yet cleaned or lubed the engine. I am trying to find a good tutorial on how to do that as I am new to maintaining and running the trains on my own.
I don't do a lot of steam, but I would say it need a complete clean and lube check for end play in the gear off the motor, motor shaft will slide in and out of the case from forward to reverse causing it to bind. Most of the time it's not anything a good tuneup wont cure.:D
ok will do. thank you for all your help. after work tomorrow ill get to work on cleaning it up and getting everything properly lubed.
Check if the shaft is walking due to wear. I had a Mantua sifter (0-4-0 with the same motor and gear set up). When the train moved forward the shaft would 'pull' slightly out of the motor. Just enough to jam up the gears. In reverse there was no issue. I replaced the motor. Yardbird trains sells drop in can motors for around $30. You can even get ones with flywheels built into the gears.
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