Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: Con-Cor 4-8-4's: Adventures in Cleaning & Improving Performance

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Zombietopia, Washington
    Posts
    7,870
    Blog Entries
    1
    Thanks
    27,286
    Thanked 21,921 Times in 5,567 Posts
    Mentioned
    714 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default Con-Cor 4-8-4's: Adventures in Cleaning & Improving Performance

    Moose has a pair Con-Cor 4-8-4 S-2's that need work to improve their running...

    Question: Advice on cleaning wheels and improving performance?

    Moose very concerned about damaging the running gear!


    Moose noticed that the locomotive runs erratically as-is, but if Moose lightly pushes down over the tender front truck then the locomotive runs much smoother. Seems like it needs a better electrical path between the trucks' contact plates & tender AND the tender & locomotive, and possibly more weight in the tender.

    The wheels of both locomotive and tender are unusually dull - not the typical shiny surfaces of other brand locomotives... Very odd...

    Note that the locomotive currently has a function-only DCC decoder that will eventually be replaced with a DCC sound decoder.

    Moose tested the locomotive and it ran erratically:
    2022 12 15 CC S2 3782 CleanLoco 1.jpg

    Then did a quick clean of the drivers on isopropyl alcohol-soaked cloth:
    2022 12 15 CC S2 3782 CleanLoco 2.jpg

    Disassembled the tender front truck and cleaned its wheels & contact plates with CDC QD Contact Cleaner:
    2022 12 15 CC S2 3782 CleanLoco 3.jpg

    Lightly abraded the contact bars from locomotive to tender front truck:
    2022 12 15 CC S2 3782 CleanLoco 4.jpg

    Test ran without the heavy locomotive shell. Noticed that applying pressure over the tender front truck makes the locomotive run much more smoothly. Very smoothly!
    2022 12 15 CC S2 3782 CleanLoco 5.jpg
    = >

    ~ Moose (Co-founder of the Mt. Tahoma & Pacific Railroad, located some where in the Pacific Northwest)


    "Beware the Train of Thought that Carries no Freight..." "Reading is for morons who can't understand pictures..."

    Click Here to See Moose's Layout Thread


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    283
    Thanks
    1,564
    Thanked 902 Times in 171 Posts
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    See if you can 1/4 oz of weight over that front truck of the tender. This may help.

  3. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Tdjr For This Useful Post:


  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    29
    Thanks
    53
    Thanked 148 Times in 21 Posts
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    I agree, I have 2 of these and did add the weight to the underside of the oil bunker. Between that and applying some Atlas conductalube to the grooves in the tender wheels made for a dramatic improvement
    in the running qualities of these locomotives. Very reliable now,

    Mark

  5. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to mg_thomastx For This Useful Post:


  6. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Zombietopia, Washington
    Posts
    7,870
    Blog Entries
    1
    Thanks
    27,286
    Thanked 21,921 Times in 5,567 Posts
    Mentioned
    714 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    = >

    ~ Moose (Co-founder of the Mt. Tahoma & Pacific Railroad, located some where in the Pacific Northwest)


    "Beware the Train of Thought that Carries no Freight..." "Reading is for morons who can't understand pictures..."

    Click Here to See Moose's Layout Thread

  7. The Following 10 Users Say Thank You to Moose2013 For This Useful Post:


  8. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Zombietopia, Washington
    Posts
    7,870
    Blog Entries
    1
    Thanks
    27,286
    Thanked 21,921 Times in 5,567 Posts
    Mentioned
    714 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    = >

    ~ Moose (Co-founder of the Mt. Tahoma & Pacific Railroad, located some where in the Pacific Northwest)


    "Beware the Train of Thought that Carries no Freight..." "Reading is for morons who can't understand pictures..."

    Click Here to See Moose's Layout Thread

  9. The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to Moose2013 For This Useful Post:


  10. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Zombietopia, Washington
    Posts
    7,870
    Blog Entries
    1
    Thanks
    27,286
    Thanked 21,921 Times in 5,567 Posts
    Mentioned
    714 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Replaced the tender's Rapido coupler with a short FVM #51000 coupler:
    2022 12 16 CC S2 3782 CleanLoco 21.jpg 2022 12 16 CC S2 3782 CleanLoco 22.jpg 2022 12 16 CC S2 3782 CleanLoco 23.jpg

    Kapton taped a small Pine Car Derby weight to the forward end of the tender shell:
    2022 12 16 CC S2 3782 CleanLoco 24.jpg 2022 12 16 CC S2 3782 CleanLoco 25.jpg

    Applied a small amount of grease, test ran 'er and reinstalled the shells:
    2022 12 16 CC S2 3782 CleanLoco 26.jpg 2022 12 16 CC S2 3782 CleanLoco 27.jpg
    = >

    ~ Moose (Co-founder of the Mt. Tahoma & Pacific Railroad, located some where in the Pacific Northwest)


    "Beware the Train of Thought that Carries no Freight..." "Reading is for morons who can't understand pictures..."

    Click Here to See Moose's Layout Thread


  11. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    29
    Thanks
    53
    Thanked 148 Times in 21 Posts
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Wow, I never had to take the tender that far apart. At least you have supplied picture for when I may have too. I have put a piece of electrical tape over
    the added weights on mine in case the weight came loose and dropped on the circuit board.

  12. The Following User Says Thank You to mg_thomastx For This Useful Post:


  13. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Zombietopia, Washington
    Posts
    7,870
    Blog Entries
    1
    Thanks
    27,286
    Thanked 21,921 Times in 5,567 Posts
    Mentioned
    714 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mg_thomastx View Post
    I have put a piece of electrical tape over the added weights on mine in case the weight came loose and dropped on the circuit board.
    Moose did. Just a wee snafu in taking photos, kinda missed taking one with the weight taped in.
    = >

    ~ Moose (Co-founder of the Mt. Tahoma & Pacific Railroad, located some where in the Pacific Northwest)


    "Beware the Train of Thought that Carries no Freight..." "Reading is for morons who can't understand pictures..."

    Click Here to See Moose's Layout Thread

  14. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Moose2013 For This Useful Post:


  15. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    NJ, near old Lehigh Valley RR
    Posts
    3,127
    Blog Entries
    7
    Thanks
    12,295
    Thanked 4,173 Times in 1,630 Posts
    Mentioned
    77 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    ...and...?
    ...and...?
    ...and...?

    The suspense will keep me up tonight...!!
    Steve - Jugtown Modeler - Don't know enough about railroading yet, but scale modeling is my life - Web-Folio
    Blog: American Revolutionary War Diorama:https://www.nscale.net/forums/entry....onment-Diorama
    Resisting the self-righteous temptation to denigrate my fellow hobbyists because they don't agree with how I play with my trains.

  16. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Jugtown Modeler For This Useful Post:


  17. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Zombietopia, Washington
    Posts
    7,870
    Blog Entries
    1
    Thanks
    27,286
    Thanked 21,921 Times in 5,567 Posts
    Mentioned
    714 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jugtown Modeler View Post
    ...and...?
    ...and...?
    ...and...?

    The suspense will keep me up tonight...!!
    Ummm, and she runs fairly smooth now ... for a locomotive with one of its two traction tires missing (hardly notice)...
    = >

    ~ Moose (Co-founder of the Mt. Tahoma & Pacific Railroad, located some where in the Pacific Northwest)


    "Beware the Train of Thought that Carries no Freight..." "Reading is for morons who can't understand pictures..."

    Click Here to See Moose's Layout Thread

  18. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Moose2013 For This Useful Post:


  19. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Zombietopia, Washington
    Posts
    7,870
    Blog Entries
    1
    Thanks
    27,286
    Thanked 21,921 Times in 5,567 Posts
    Mentioned
    714 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Moose did a "Quicky Lube & Coupler Change" on the other Con-Cor S-2. This is the partially stream-lined version with just the skyline casing. This will eventually receive a conversion to reflect a Baldwin-built S-1 as delivered to the MT&P Railway in 1930.

    This model is in fairly new condition. Moose purchased her from a local LHS vendor at a train show in November, 2012 -- more than ten years ago!!! The vendor stated that it was new at the time, except for a replacement boiler front.

    The Moose Works maintenance facility only tore down the tender trucks, cleaned the contact surfaces of the contact strips & plates and all of the wheels, replaced the original Rapido tender coupler with a medium length FVM #51010 coupler and cleaned the wheels. Everything done to her was similar to the first Con-Cor S-2 herein.

    One issue: The front coupler needs to be weighted down or something, in order for it to not climb the turnout points, frogs, etc.

    The beastie on the test track, before the maintenance job:
    2022 12 16 CC S-2 Streamlined LocoClean 1.jpg

    And her on the layout, pulling low and slow...
    2022 12 16 CC S-2 Streamlined LocoClean 2.jpg
    = >

    ~ Moose (Co-founder of the Mt. Tahoma & Pacific Railroad, located some where in the Pacific Northwest)


    "Beware the Train of Thought that Carries no Freight..." "Reading is for morons who can't understand pictures..."

    Click Here to See Moose's Layout Thread

  20. The Following 13 Users Say Thank You to Moose2013 For This Useful Post:


  21. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    29
    Thanks
    53
    Thanked 148 Times in 21 Posts
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Kind of curious. Spookshow.net reported that version had bearing blocks on the drivers making the wheelbase more rigid, unlike the S2 version. Did yours have that arrangement? The reported difference always
    made me hesitant about buying the GS variant.

    Mark

  22. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Zombietopia, Washington
    Posts
    7,870
    Blog Entries
    1
    Thanks
    27,286
    Thanked 21,921 Times in 5,567 Posts
    Mentioned
    714 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    @mg_thomastx

    Mark, Moose hasn't gathered up the gumption to open the bottom plates under the drivers yet. Almost did yesterday; since the locomotive runs well, decided not to risk accidentally disturbing anything.
    = >

    ~ Moose (Co-founder of the Mt. Tahoma & Pacific Railroad, located some where in the Pacific Northwest)


    "Beware the Train of Thought that Carries no Freight..." "Reading is for morons who can't understand pictures..."

    Click Here to See Moose's Layout Thread

  23. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Moose2013 For This Useful Post:


  24. #14
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Decatur, AL
    Posts
    100
    Thanks
    38
    Thanked 96 Times in 43 Posts
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    If it is not broken, work on it until it is.

  25. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to mapitts66 For This Useful Post:


  26. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2022
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    345
    Thanks
    248
    Thanked 756 Times in 243 Posts
    Mentioned
    26 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mapitts66 View Post
    If it is not broken, work on it until it is.

    And if you don't have spare parts and/or extra screws, the job was not done correctly.
    Just an old gandy dancer.


  27. The Following User Says Thank You to Army-Gandydancer For This Useful Post:


  28. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Montgomery,MN,USA
    Posts
    394
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 355 Times in 183 Posts
    Mentioned
    9 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Your drawbar isn't putting pressure on the front tender truck keeping it from good contact with the rail? I have heard of some bending of the drawbar can help with truck contact..

  29. The Following User Says Thank You to nicki6 For This Useful Post:


  30. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    29
    Thanks
    53
    Thanked 148 Times in 21 Posts
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Moose, Understand, you got it running, best not to tempt the fates.

    Mark

  31. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to mg_thomastx For This Useful Post:


  32. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Zombietopia, Washington
    Posts
    7,870
    Blog Entries
    1
    Thanks
    27,286
    Thanked 21,921 Times in 5,567 Posts
    Mentioned
    714 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    @nicki6

    You could be right ... However, it seemed like neither of the locomotives' draw-bars were applying upward loading on the front of their tenders. Moose put away these two Con-Cor 4-8-4's, so cannot be certain at the moment.

    The Vanderbilt tender was oddly light weighted on the front truck, despite the large metal weight inside the tender. The larger tender of the other 4-8-4 locomotive seemed to be heavy enough to not warrant additional weight.
    = >

    ~ Moose (Co-founder of the Mt. Tahoma & Pacific Railroad, located some where in the Pacific Northwest)


    "Beware the Train of Thought that Carries no Freight..." "Reading is for morons who can't understand pictures..."

    Click Here to See Moose's Layout Thread

  33. The Following User Says Thank You to Moose2013 For This Useful Post:


  34. #19
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Riverside CA.
    Posts
    994
    Thanks
    615
    Thanked 2,156 Times in 506 Posts
    Mentioned
    12 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    I commend your conviction to get them running smoothly. I gave up and sold mine.
    John

Similar Threads

  1. Adventures in BLUE STUFF
    By baronjutter in forum Modeling Techniques
    Replies: 55
    Last Post: 31st Aug 2020, 01:55 AM
  2. Adventures on the BCCRL
    By stampbear in forum Layout Builds, Design, & Planning.
    Replies: 1082
    Last Post: 7th Sep 2014, 05:49 PM
  3. Ideas for improving Atlas 0-4-0 performance?
    By architrains in forum Steam
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 9th May 2013, 05:31 PM
  4. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 3rd Apr 2011, 06:15 AM
  5. Adventures in engine maintenance
    By seanm in forum General Rail Discussion
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 27th May 2010, 11:00 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •