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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there, I have an opportunity to purchase a UP dash 9 for around $400. I briefly saw it in person but did not have time to check it out. Cosmetically from what I could tell quickly it was pristine. It was said that it runs, but the lights don't work. The wheels did not have much wear, I'd guess 20-30hrs runtime.

My layout is a little on the small side for such a locomotive, but it seems like such a good deal to pass up if the above is true. Thoughts? Are there particulars I should look out for if i decide to proceed?
 

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Considering what they go for on Ebay, $400.00 is a great price. Local pickup or some shipping costs on the one you looked at? Even more savings if local pickup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Considering what they go for on Ebay, $400.00 is a great price. Local pickup or some shipping costs on the one you looked at? Even more savings if local pickup.
Local pickup. I'm not as familiar with the potential problems these dash 9's are faced with, is there anything in particular I should pay special attention to when checking it out? Other than the obvious (making sure it runs smoothly, and quietly, both motors are running, etc. etc.)
 

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I would grab that up and fast. They are fetching that price and more on evilbay, and the street price for new ones once Bachmann brings them out here shortly will be much more more as well. With Bachmann bringing back this model and hopefully more of the old Aristo line up, parts will be available if you need something. Motors and gear boxes are the primary wear points with lots of use or heavy train pulling. There is actually 2 motors in each truck if I remember correctly on these. These and the SD45's were Aristo's shining moments in G scale.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I would grab that up and fast. They are fetching that price and more on evilbay, and the street price for new ones once Bachmann brings them out here shortly will be much more more as well. With Bachmann bringing back this model and hopefully more of the old Aristo line up, parts will be available if you need something. Motors and gear boxes are the primary wear points with lots of use or heavy train pulling. There is actually 2 motors in each truck if I remember correctly on these. These and the SD45's were Aristo's shining moments in G scale.
Thank you for this insight. I'm going to try to check it out/pick it up tomorrow.
 

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do you have 8 foot diameter curves at a minimum? Otherwise you will be buying it to sell it.

$400 seems way too cheap, I would be very concerned that there was something wrong with it.

The old phrase "when it looks too good to be true, it probably isn't" is useful...

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
do you have 8 foot diameter curves at a minimum? Otherwise you will be buying it to sell it.

$400 seems way too cheap, I would be very concerned that there was something wrong with it.

The old phrase "when it looks too good to be true, it probably isn't" is useful...

Greg
Hi Greg - my outer loop has 8ft dia minimum curves. I have the opportunity to check it out/test it on a workbench before buying it. Anything you'd suggest looking at other that the obvious (which I mentioned above)? Again, it is said that it works, except for lights. There is a chance that I will end up picking it up and turning around and selling it (depending on how it looks on my layout) as I feel my layout my be a bit small currently for such a large locomotive. Either that, or an expansion will be coming to my layout in the near future :-D

As for "too good to be true", guess I've been lucky cause I've come across many "too good to be true" deals on locomotives (and other equipment) that I've purchased and so far everything has either worked, or required just a little bit of restoration/servicing/tweaking. Some of these deals I've gotten is because I'm not scared to open something up, troubleshoot it and fix it as I have a mechanical repair background. Never having owned a dash 9, just looking for some insight on the common issues with these to check for (IE. is there a particular year or configuration that is prone to certain issues, or are there certain parts that tend fail, etc?)
 

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The price is very good. if it runs well in both directions, I would go for it regardless of the lights, that is an inexpensive fix as long as the lenses are still in place on the loco.

Check for any cracks in the shell and the chassis if possible. The drivetrain should not "grind" really loudly, but some noise is expected and can be easily corrected.

The Aristo drivetrain is particulary rugged and is ball bearing. if you can, with the loco on it's side or back, slide each axle from side to side, and watch the exposed axle for any wear, or signs of catching.

You can read a bit of my page on the prime mover gearbox, but if it passes these criteria, I would not hesitate as the deal is very good.

Oh, does it have all the handrails? Very hard to come by if they are missing.


Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The price is very good. if it runs well in both directions, I would go for it regardless of the lights, that is an inexpensive fix as long as the lenses are still in place on the loco.

Check for any cracks in the shell and the chassis if possible. The drivetrain should not "grind" really loudly, but some noise is expected and can be easily corrected.

The Aristo drivetrain is particulary rugged and is ball bearing. if you can, with the loco on it's side or back, slide each axle from side to side, and watch the exposed axle for any wear, or signs of catching.

You can read a bit of my page on the prime mover gearbox, but if it passes these criteria, I would not hesitate as the deal is very good.

Oh, does it have all the handrails? Very hard to come by if they are missing.


Greg
Thanks, Greg. I appreciate your insight and input! That is very helpful.

FYI the handrails as best as I saw at a quick glance were present, at least on the left side. I did not take it fully out of the foam sleeve to see what the right side looked like. Crossing my fingers as it sounds like it could be a really good buy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Well I got a **** of a deal. Went and checked it out this morning. This thing actually has little to no runtime on it. The "lights" not working was simply because the lights switch was off. The OEM tape was over the smoke switch still which reads "SMOKE OIL SEE MANUAL", so the smoke unit has never been used. Cosmetically it is pristine, runs smooth fwd and reverse. Handrails are all present, front and back handrails and detail pieces are still sealed in their original bag in the box. Also, FYI, this was a purchase from a local reputable train shop. I just don't think they know much about G gauge, they are more knowledgeable on O and HO. I mean.... they didn't know enough to look for the hidden switches and start there..... my gain, and the train shops gain also as I know they made money on it. Who ever the poor soul who sold it to them must've either been desperate and/or didn't know what they had either and let it go for far less than they should've....

Anyways, thanks for all of your insight!
 

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GREAT!

Glad someone got a deal on a Dash 9, there have been some crazy prices lately.

Do yourself a favor, put some "gear oil" on each end of each axle... this is model train gear oil. If you read my page, you should have seen this from not lubricating this part: (these are Aristo axles)

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
GREAT!

Glad someone got a deal on a Dash 9, there have been some crazy prices lately.

Do yourself a favor, put some "gear oil" on each end of each axle... this is model train gear oil. If you read my page, you should have seen this from not lubricating this part: (these are Aristo axles)

That is some serious wear. I normally use Excelle Lubricants heavy/tacky (plastic compatible) on axles. On this dash 9 - in your experience how often have you seen the need to tear into the trucks to lubricate the gears? Forgive me if you've covered that on your page - I just haven't had a chance to read and digest it all yet (which has a wealth of knowledge on it - thanks!). Perhaps I should finish reading before asking......

Also, tested it out on my outer loop. Smooth and quiet, and just does clear some of the tighter tolerances and the switchback I have. Coupled a caboose to it and there's definitely a good bit of coupler swing, but no derailment during my test. This locomotive is so big it makes R3 look like R1.....

61725

61726


Here's the underside of one of the trucks..... you can see some run lines on the wheels, but not much. I did see on the upper portion of the trucks where it was run just enough to cause the paint to rub away at the contact points.
61727
 

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In my experience, the gears never need lubrication, they are sealed in a module:



But the axle lubrication ensures 2 things, first that the axles slide side to side in the gearboxes (this helps accommodate curves), but also the power pickup is a small ball bearing riding on the axle. If this runs dry, the ball bearing carves a groove in the axle, but most people do not notice until too late.

greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
In my experience, the gears never need lubrication, they are sealed in a module:



But the axle lubrication ensures 2 things, first that the axles slide side to side in the gearboxes (this helps accommodate curves), but also the power pickup is a small ball bearing riding on the axle. If this runs dry, the ball bearing carves a groove in the axle, but most people do not notice until too late.

greg
Thanks again, Greg. Just took the time to finish reading your article. Very informative and helpful. I also checked out your other pages on the Dash 9 - reading your pages (coupled with other research I've done) overall it seems there is a lack of issues with this locomotive. I mean, the ones you have listed are due to shipping concerns (and of course the above with the axle lubrication). It seems that this model (if kept maintained properly) is truly a very solid, reliable locomotive. And it's a well detailed, beautiful locomotive to boot. No wonder it has the reputation it does and is heavily sought after.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
@Greg Elmassian - rumor has it that you have copies of the wiring schematics for the dash 9? If so, could I ask a favor and get these from you?

One of the ditch lights is intermittently flickering on/off, and varied brightness (but never full brightness). Just wanted to take a look at the schematic before I tear into it.
 

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I have a wiring diagram, but not schematic on the ditch lights, what transformer/power are you giving it? (make and model)....

The ditch light circuit is on the main board, but no details or schematic of that board, unfortunately.

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have a wiring diagram, but not schematic on the ditch lights, what transformer/power are you giving it? (make and model)....

The ditch light circuit is on the main board, but no details or schematic of that board, unfortunately.

Greg
It behaves the same way on either of my power supplies, and it is only the single ditch light acting up. All other LED's including the other ditch light are functioning normally.

FWIW, I'm running analog track power with a crest 15a switching supply set to 23v max (using a CRE-55401 controller) on my outdoor loop, and my indoor test loop has a 5a crest supply max 18v, also with a CRE-55401.
 

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So, you have the same issue on the 18v I imagine? I think you may wind up replacing the ditch light circuitry. If I remember rightly, the ditch lights would blink at slow speeds and go solid on at higher?

(I have a Dash 9, but never run)

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So, you have the same issue on the 18v I imagine? I think you may wind up replacing the ditch light circuitry. If I remember rightly, the ditch lights would blink at slow speeds and go solid on at higher?

(I have a Dash 9, but never run)

Greg
Yes, same issue on both power supplies.

I think with a DCC setup you can set the flashing, as there is a jumper on board SD-01 (where the switches are located) for the ditch lights. I think you remove this jumper and plug your DCC up to it for more control the ditch lights. That's my hunch anyways, otherwise I don't see a reason for a removable jumper to be there. Guess I will just have to tear into it so I can get to the front board to start tracing things out.
 
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