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Thread: Intermountain Cab Forward

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    Default Intermountain Cab Forward

    Ok well with my 20th birthday being around the corner everyone is asking me for gift ideas. I told my parents I would love to get an Intermoutain AC12 for my birthday and when I told them the price tag I of course got a deer in the headlights look.(About $300 for a new one someone has laying around). So before I would even make them commit to such a purchase are they even good runners. Coming from Marklin HO to N scale has lead to many dissapointments, but also a love for Kato as a standard. But it is also much cheaper lol. The AC12 is probably my favorite American Steam Engine so procuring one would be awesome!

    As for my main questions
    1. How well do they run
    2. I run my trains a lot for several hours a week but constant use
    3. My friends and younger cousins love to play with my N scale stuff can these take abuse and derailments and crashes
    4. How much would it cost to buy the correct rolling stock and such for the engine
    5. Do the couplers work well with Kato couplers
    6. Will Kato Uni-Track radiuses work?
    7. Will I end up wanting to buy more? Lol
    8. Would someone be willing to weather a second one or decal them up to some sort of Norfolk Southern line?
    9. Are there any other big engines I should consider

    Here's the sexy beast in question

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    For sure, get the Intermountain AC-12's !

    First off, they run smooth like swiss watches as well as pull great.
    They are delicate (as with other manufactors steamers made nowdays) and wouldn't advise letting certain people play with them.
    Get on Ebays N-Guage auctions and you can get a lot of freight cars for the steam era from some sellers at great deals. Or if you have any LHS that sells used N.
    I have on quite a many of my steamers and diesels using MT couplers hooking up to Kato, McHenry, Unimate and others, with the exception of Bachmann knuckle couplers.
    Kato Uni-Track radiuses should work OK as these engines can take some fairly sharpe curves. I use Atlas code 80 flex track, but do have a lot of the Kato Uni-Track but have never used it as it was part of a large collection I bought. Hopefully somebody thats using the Kato track will chime in.
    Best go on and get a couple AC-12's ---------------------- (-;
    I as well as many others here can do painting, decaling and weathering with no problem when the time comes.
    Other big articulated steamers i'd consider would be Athearns 4-6-6-4 Challenger and 4-8-8-4 Big Boy both w/sound, Lifelike 2-8-8-2 Y3a w/sound, Bachamnn 2-6-6-2 Class H4, older Rivarossi 2-8-8-2 Y6b's.
    The list goes on and on with large non-articulated steamers.


    Ernie

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    I echo everything Ernie says and double up on a couple points:

    I would be very selective of whom I let handle this loco. There are a lot of seemingly delicate parts. I've had no problems but, I handle it very little. All movement on my layout is done by throttle, not by the 0-5-0!
    I use Unitrack and 11" radius is no problem.
    I replaced the coupler on the tender with an MT-1015 because I thought the original was a little "stiff". Your mileage my vary.
    I run most of my locos every week but they do not get hours of running. The longest I have run the cab forward at one time is about 20 minutes.
    The loco is a smooth, quiet, flawless runner. Nice slow speed control and realistic top speed.
    As Ernie says, period rolling stock is available everywhere. Good buys can be had at local train shows.
    Yes, you might want two but... at that price, I settled for one. LOL
    Dick,

    Usually, when all is said and done, there's a lot more said than done!

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    One other question I have, how hard is locating different road numbers? At this point I'm in to get the one from my parents, but the rest of my family kindly sends me money which usually gets blown on food or who knows what haha. So the little cousins and friends will not be touching them until they get worn in or I give up hiding them. Somehow the nice Katos always end up on track instead of the bachmann set I let them use haha.

    I actually am on blwn scale at the moment and there are several releases. Looks like the third release I can reserve an AC-8 AC-10 AC-11 and AC-12s! Really only ever cared for the 12's so should I just tell my parents I'll reserve one and just wait, or look for a NIB on on the bay or buy one of the leftover stock without the SP lettering?

    Edit: But now reading more the only real difference seems to be technical and not physical! So I guess it doesn't matter I just think of an AC-12 when I think cab forward

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    Intermountain releases quite a few different road numbers, so this should not be a problem.
    As far as the AC-10's, AC-11's & AC-12's goes, they all looked pretty much exact.
    If you want one with a difference appearence, get the AC-8.




    Ernie

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    Ok mine should be arriving any time now! Next matter of business is locating an AC-8! Does anyone know if someone ever made the AC-9 available in N scale?

    And at this point even though I just bought two in DC I'm about to go to DCC because the sound was pretty cool to play with at the store!

    They are the standard version of the Cab Forwards, I forget why SP wanted to try them! This one looks like an oil fired one maybe.

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    They arrived!!!!!! Both run amazingly, butttt one of them has the so called lead truck derailment. It will derail the front axle just after curves. I've watched it going through turns and nothing seems to catch, is it a bad spring or is the truck backwards?

    Thanks for info, got an AC-8 en route

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    Problem solved! Turns out one side of the layout was shorter than the other! This made the radius too sharp and hung up the one lead truck! Run super smooth and efficiently!

    And as I typed this thirty minutes into running it just derailed so problem not totally solved

    Now onto my next conundrum, all of my Kato diesels move too fast to be a helper loco in a consist is the a way to slow them down since I'm only running DC?

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    no don't think so .Running a consist in dc with break your controller or set fire to something most probably.

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    I found the truck problem! (me thinks lol) look in this picture behind the front truck there is a rod going longitudinally across the engine! This is not present on the other engine.

    EDIT: also found out the front wheels are out of round! And this engine also run at half the speed of its brother due to a factory bent driving rod on the back set of drivers DOH! Time to call IM!


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    And here is the bent rod causing problems


    Vs a good rod

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    What can help the front truck from derailing is to wrap very thin solder around each axle for additional weight.
    A bent rod (or rods) can easily be straightened.
    I also got my AC-8, runs slower than my AC-12s as well as the headlignts clear compaired to the AC-12's yellow light.
    The newest runs I got without the sound. Reason being its easy to get the chuffing sound of an articulated steamer, but I wondered if they even have the constant steady "Wheezing" sound of the compressor steam exhaust that only the AC's have ?
    Without the constant steady "Wheezing" sound (running or sitting), the AC sound wouldn't be correct.
    Anybody get one with sound ?


    Ernie

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    Well my AC-8 arrived. I noticed one of the traction drivers were shot like two of them on another engine. What's the easier way to replace them? Sending the damaged one for repair will have three cab forwards again soon!

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    Blade, To answer your question regarding an SP AC-9. Yes, Key made them in brass, I think about 16 years ago ( +/- ). I used to see them on Ebay and at Caboose Hobbies quite often but not lately. The one I saw sold new for $700.00 back in 1996. I wish IM would turn around their AC12 and add skyline casing and we would have an AC-9. Dream, Drool, Wish ! ! !

    The picture you posted was after the units were converted to oil. They were originally purchased as coal burners to use on SP's coal hauling contracts out of Northern New Mexico. They ran between Tucumcari and El Paso. When the coal contracts played out they were transferred to California and converted to oil.

    Carl

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    Seems like all of my engines have at least one shot traction driver which explains the loss in momentum. Can they be run without traction tires? Or do they have that typical tire ridge? I'm not pulling any major consists or anything. Awaiting IM's reply.

    And about the AC-9 I'm looking at doing one myself, there isn't anything major connecting the engine to the tender, so after the upcoming holiday season I will procure another AC-8 or maybe an AC-10 for modification.

    Also if you are reading this, I am looking for an Athearn Challenger or Big Boy

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    Could you put up a couple pics of the ac-8? That's the one with the flat cab face, right? What is the minimum radius you run on your layouts. I'm starting a layout and don't want the large steam to look awkward rounding the bend.

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    Currently the AC-8 is with her younger AC-12 sibling back at InterMountain HQ in Colorado being repaired. Really I feel that the n scale AC-8 didn't do as nice of recreation as the AC-12. Only small minor changes. Larger headlight, different front intake, and the inclusion of the famed smoke splitter that caused the "V"

    Here are pics I had, will post more upon her return.

    My AC-8 is number 4185 and is the middle engine in the first two pics


    4290 on left 4185 on right

    Up close 4185 got blurred next to 4284 and 4290 in the distance.


    UP 4-8-8-4 they do not feature the wheezing effect as I got to try one out and was gravely dissapointed!

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    Thanks for the pics!! Those look awesome! I would like to get a second one but finances will make that a purchase for a much later date.

    @ up4884 I'm very interested in your Kato unitrack, but don't have enough posts yet to message you!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blade3562 View Post
    Seems like all of my engines have at least one shot traction driver which explains the loss in momentum. Can they be run without traction tires? Or do they have that typical tire ridge? I'm not pulling any major consists or anything. Awaiting IM's reply.

    And about the AC-9 I'm looking at doing one myself, there isn't anything major connecting the engine to the tender, so after the upcoming holiday season I will procure another AC-8 or maybe an AC-10 for modification.

    Also if you are reading this, I am looking for an Athearn Challenger or Big Boy
    Blade,
    Are you still looking for a Challenger? I have one of the first release that I replaced the decoder with the Tsunami drop in. It runs great and the sound is the same as the 2nd release one I have. PM me if you are interested.
    Happy railroading.
    Harold
    HAROLDN212

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    Greetings PPN. I have a question about you Challenger. Please contact me at FlyGuyB626@aol.com. Thanks

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