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Thread: Bachmann's 'Old' Light Mountain

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    Default Bachmann's 'Old' Light Mountain

    I have a first-run Light Mountain that Spookshow gave a "C" grade to and rightfully so. It was pretty, ran smoothly with the 'right' (meaning electrically 'clean') tender, but didn't pull worth a damn. I set out this morning to correct that.

    1. The tender is EVERYTHING. I tried several of my Bachmann tenders and found that pickup and pulling power varied significantly between them. Having located the 'right' spare tender and having the loco run smoothly, I then started on pulling power.

    2. Experimented with the traction tire wheel, rotating the block bearing until I found the 'sweet spot'. Increase - one 40' boxcar's worth of pulling power.

    3. Made a paper shim out of a post it note, put it under the bearing block of the traction tire. Increase - two more 40' boxcar's worth of pulling power.

    It will now pull 8 cars. Still anemic, but better than where I started.

    4. Doubled the thickness of the shim. Electrical pickup suffers slightly, but will pull 14 cars.

    I started at 5 cars. Now at 14. I'll quit while I'm ahead. I can probably account for the electrical pickup by cleaning connections on the tender a bit.

    14 cars on my layout is just behind the Kato Mikado at 16.

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    Indeed, cleaning the tender connections up did the trick. It's now pulling 8 heavyweight passenger cars on the mainline. Success!!!

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    somehow the chassis gets bent and toward 'less traction.'

    it is frustrating and I have not found the cause.

    victor

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    Good ol' Bachmann QC...the coupler on this particular tender is too low. The solution was a DIY offset coupler shank. I cut it at the knuckle and CA glued it back on, but higher.

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    IIRC, I am using an MT 2004.
    But that conversion took place many years ago.

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    Any chance of adding more weight inside the boiler, perhaps with some tungsten putty?

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    the loco is difficult to reassemble in that the chassis has to be ...erm...
    wedged into the shell at an angle and then you can press the chassis into the shell
    and wiggle a little and then it will suddenly pop into place.

    I suppose you could make cheek pieces for the shell.
    the problem with this loco not weight per se....
    You can get it to pull a lot. just the chassis without top.

    I did so with a couple... one went back together and seemed ok.
    the other when into its shell and a week later... it had reverted to poor pulling.

    I do not love the type enough to do a detailed study of what is the cause.
    the drawbar lifting the engine is just as good an idea for the problem cause as anything.

    I did shims as the fix... it worked on one, so I think like a lot of b-mann stuff
    any and all ordinary causes are on the table.

    victor

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    Pulling started to fade, and I theorized that the paper shim had either shifted or been compressed. Sure enough, it has shifted and folded itself up into the 'ditch' between the slotted sides. This time I made a very thin plastic shim from some packaging that a phone case came in. Seems to work well, we'll see for how long.

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    So... the shims tend to shift and unseat themselves after a time and get caught up in the gears. Scratch that option.

    Bullfrog snot, applied in 2 hefty coats, seems to accomplish same. However, this particular loco suffers from some sort of ailment in electrical pickup at the loco. I have read that whatever wipers are on this thing are horrendous to try to re-align. My loco relies 100% on tender pickup, and that's a bit fussy. If I dick around with it before I'm going to use it, it works for several days, then eventually starts acting up again with the herky-jerkys until I play with the wiper arrangement on the tender again.

    Going to order some De-Oxit and see if that will help. It's finally a nice running loco---when it gets power. Bachmann, get your crap together already, sheesh! Why would anyone go through the trouble of making such a nice looking locomotive and totally neglect it's operating issues for a decade or more? I just don't get it.

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    I'm experimenting with a small coupler spring that I've CA glued between the frame and the front truck to see if it will track curves better. It seems to, so far. The De-Oxit arrives today, so I'll see if I can improve electrical connectivity without surgery -- which would surely go very bad. LOL

    More than likely, this is not going to ever be my 'go to' locomotive. But it's so nice looking! LOL

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    De-Oxit helped, but again...it's never going to get a lot of use or love, I'm afraid. It's just not a very good loco.

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    I am away from my train's-n-things for a few while.

    the pickups are a biiiig issue with this loco.
    because you have to get the traction tire onto the rails you will lift a couple of driver-axles off the rails.
    that means you have to get the tender pick-ups working flawlessly.
    add weight to the tender. make sure the pickup side-frames are loose to follow rails
    and if you have the kind of tender with the short tabs replace that with a strip.

    I suspect your drawbar is working and the tender pick-ups are not what you need.
    did I mention add weight?

    victor

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