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· Grandpa
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just over a year ago I purchased a Bachmann 2-6-2T 2MT which was sound fitted for me. It has always had a problem of losing power when running. Which could be "fixed" by nudging the loco on the side left or right.
I have now worked out the problem; there is too much wheel play which causes the sprung copper pickups to disconnect with the inside rim of the pickup wheels.
What is the best way to fix the problem? I've tried to bend the springs but this doesn't seem to fix the problem. I'm reluctant to try this too often for fear of breaking the copper strips off.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.

· Premium Member
6,651 Posts
This is just what you have to do, they take a lot of breaking, alternative is to buy a replacement they are around £10 (last I bought for a 9F) they generally get nudged out of shape sometimes you can make it better by taking them out and resetting or:-

two things you need to contemplate
1. Clean the inside wheel surface as well as the wheel face - this is so the pick-ups can function, believe me the dirt inside can be seriously bad

2. Clean the track but also get inside the rail and especially between point rails and where they form a contact, your track might look shiny and new but you'll be shocked how really dirty it is, when running I go around cleaning constantly

· In depth idiot
8,802 Posts
This task is much easier if you remove the screws securing the keeper plate - on which the pick up wipers are mounted - so that it may be lifted just clear of the wheels. Then you have free access to set the angle of the wipers. I set mine at roughly 45 degrees so they make very positive contact with the wheelbacks. Treated like this they will usually recentre the wheelsets if pushed hard over, and contact is never lost. Expect to have to do some running to get the full benefit, the contact patch on the wiper and track on the wheelback will probably be slightly chnaged by this tweak and will need to polish up against each other over fifteen minutes running, shared forward and reverse.

I have been making such adustments as required on Bachmann and other Chinese made RTR for over twenty years, with only positive results. There are some who feel that this puts undesireable drag on the drive. Whatever the increased drag may be it isn't noticeable in top speed reduction, reduced smoothness or accelerated wear in the mechanism; while the solid benefit of reliable pick up is really noticeable. I have also read reports of contacts going soft and losing contact as a result. Now it hasn't happened on my models, but if it did I would curl the wiper in alternate directions against a screwdriver shaft or similar to make use of the work hardening of copper alloys to improve springiness.
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