View Full Version : Bachmann trollies

roger staton
31st Mar 2014, 12:31 AM
Is anyone having trouble with their Bachmann trollies? I have the Brill, and the P.C.C trollies which I can't seem to get to move. Saw 1 on Ebay with the same problem. I am using Kato Unitrak, but set up some Atlas with the same results. These are really neat looking trollies, and it isn't a serious worry to me, but just curious if I am the onlyest one to have this problem.:o

31st Mar 2014, 07:22 AM
Turn your trolleys over and look at the trucks. Are the gears white? If so, there's a good chance that the gears are split and need replacement. Older Bachmann trolleys suffer from this problem (the white plastic breaks too easily) but the later ones (with black plastic gears) are fine.

31st Mar 2014, 08:54 AM
replacement parts are available from Bachmann USA on their web site call Bachmann they are pretty easy to deal with and all locomotives have a lifetime warranty

31st Mar 2014, 08:59 AM
Trent is correct, and here's the link (these had been out of stock for awhile, so grab some quick):


Takes two of these to repair each trolley (Brill or PCC)

31st Mar 2014, 02:01 PM

Victim of White Gear Syndrome.
There is no cure. Only a truck transplant will save this streetcar.
The white gears will always fail.

Only take one apart at a time. Because they are almost identical under the shell the other one can be used as a reference.

To remove the bodies insert toothpicks at the tabs that hold the body to the chassis. The PCC has two the Brill four.

The ones on the PCC are slot in the middle of the body.

The ones on the Brill are located in the steps. Place the toothpicks under the window area behind the doors on the Brill. All four corners need to be done at the same time or the body won't budge.

To make replacement and removal easier while the body is off I'll file part of each tab off.

Use a paint marker to mark which side of the motor is up, before you disassemble the chassis.

While everything is apart a good cleaning wouldn't hurt. Lube the brass motor bearings before you put it all back together and a little gear grease on the truck gears will work it's way to all of the drivetrain. I don't know if it makes it run better but I scrape/sand/file the blackening off the various contact points of the chassis.

Both streetcars use the same truck. The sideframes on your original should just slide out and slip into the new one. Note which side is up on the Brill, It can be installed upside down. The journal box slopes out. Just like a freight car.

Also don't forget to transfer all four of the conductor plates.

You may need to file the round ridge on top of the truck for it to swing a little more loosely, while turning. You can feel this before you totally reassemble the chassis. Twist the truck in either half of the chassis to find if the fit is tight.

The car will short out if you don't replace the insulator rings between the chassis halves on the T-nuts that hold it together.

If all else fails I keep a ranch where disabled streetcars can live out their days as best they can. Feel free to send them where they will be loved no matter what.

http://www.nscale.net/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=18467&d=1315624097 We have the technology to rebuild them.

1st Apr 2014, 12:44 AM
I purchased one for a Christmas layout...first time on track it jumped, three of four wheels popped off (the little short axels that fit into the gear being with the wheels), and it died. Have yet to contact Bachmann about it. Just too darn busy. And, it was the Christmas of 2010.

1st Apr 2014, 12:17 PM
Talk about factory defects!

The assembler pushed the wheels to far, into the gear/axle and cracked the gears. That's why the wheels fell off and now the gear-train jams.

If you like the body, but Bachmann doesn't offer it any more ask if you can just trade in the chassis.

I could fix a bunch of mine, if I could just, bulk buy the gear/axles.

1st Apr 2014, 12:39 PM
Any Idea of a Kato or Tomix chassis that would work.

1st Apr 2014, 03:12 PM
The Kato chassis have Japanese sideframes on the trucks that are integral to them keeping the wheels on. The only one that I use, powers a static model that I widened to fit the chassis.

While I like Tomix/TomyTec/Tetsudo chassis their tendency to be produced in batches or in limited quantities makes them sketchy. Getting one that has the correct wheelbase and height might take quite a while.


If you are the original owner of the Bachmann, you can't beat the cost of a replacement chassis. But the $25+ cost of a new Japanese powertrain is a wee bit larger than the cost of $7 for replacement trucks.

roger staton
1st Apr 2014, 09:57 PM
Yes, mine have the white gears, which look o.k, and yes, the wheels fall off also...bad design.They are going to the next train show. Honest Roger's trolley sales.

1st Apr 2014, 11:38 PM
That's sad to hear they are not worth $7 each to you to fix.

Brand new parts would be an drop-in. You don't have to take the whole thing apart either. The short form repair, is just swap the wheels and gears from the new trucks into the old ones. You have to change both, as the stub axles on the wheels are different sizes.

It's not a bad design. The streetcars have been running since the 70s. It was a poor choice of materials. But then again there weren't that many polymer choices either. The old Brill and PCC design take tighter curves than the newer Peter Witt or fellow street runners the GE 70 and 44 ton locos.

Most likely you have the original White Paper Box versions that were made long ago.

The white plastic shrinks and cracks as it ages. Depending on where they are stored some gears have lasted longer. But when you remove the white gears and look at them the fissure will be visible. The crack changes the spacing in the teeth and jams the drive train.

I bought one Brill just for the paint scheme. The previous owner left it on the track powered and the heat from the motor changed the metal chassis so much, that it crumbled into several pieces after I freed it from the body. Amazingly the motor ran great in a new rolling chassis.