Anyone want to see open heart surgery
done on a Bachmann 9F?
I had a problem that I encountered whilst reviewing my model. Perhaps you noticed, but I didn't run the loco and report how it went. This was because when I put it on the track to test it, it didn't work. Intermittent movement followed by a block then free-spinning motor - the signs of a stripped gear.
I wasn't going to send this back as there were no more in the shop, so I thought that I'd take a look myself. I opened the model up like so:
This model has 6 gears transmitting the motor's power to the 2nd and 3rd driving axles:
And found the problem in the gear box. The 4th gear had a tooth missing:
I asked Bachmann to send me a replacement which they kindly did. Trouble was that it was not the right gear. They sent a couple of other ones instead of the broken one. I thought that the replacement part number (850-013) had all the gears in it, I was mistaken. Anyway I ground down the flanges and thinned it down a bit and it fitted fine. Not exactly the right diameter, slightly smaller, but it does work.
So the model now runs. The gentleman at the Bachmann service department was very nice, but did say:
"it's obvious from your email that you didn't look at the accompanying sheet that we put effort in to producing. The forthcoming DCC Onboard locos are going to have some very important warnings so let's hope the buyers take note of the advise that we're giving before they use their models!"
I did read the service sheet, and do appreciate the effort that was put into it, but I don't have a DC controller to run in models before using with DCC. Is it a prerequisite of using DCC that one must have a standby track powered by DC...? I've never done this before on my previous DCC layouts. Perhaps Bachmann would like to sent me a DC rolling road to test thier locos.
So now I have run the loco up and down my new track that is slowly being built. I spent about an hour gently running it up and down my 1:40 gradient. I added some load (1, 2, 3 & 4 wagons with drywall screws) and it went very well. There was a bit of juddering, but I suppose it was more to do with all the man-handled running gear being pushed around whilst I was taking the thing apart and working on it. I gave it an oil and it went much better. I noticed that the loco by itself is very smooth. Add the tender and it waggles a bit. Perhaps the tender has an axel that is not 100% straight. The loco managed to outpull a Hornby A4, but still failed to match the paired up Class 20's which is understandable as they do have 2 bigger motors, bigger fly-wheels and all-wheel-drive. The 9F uses a small less powerful motor that fits into the body of the loco.
Overall, it was an adventure doing this work. I found out a little more how these thing work and I wouldn't be put-off fixing a loco that is stuck rather than sending it off to be serviced.