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Discussion Starter #1
I recently received two of Nick's Mallets for DCS conversion and one of the things he asked me to do extra was to make sure each drivetrain ran correctly and smoothly. All four drivetrains needed work to get them smoothed out but came up with this idea to resolve the binding... Ovaling out the connecting rod holes. Because the power is transfered via the inside gearboxes and flywheels, opening up the rod holes some is of no consequence and has no impact on running characteristics.

Using this new method took what was originally a many hour process of heating screwdriver tips with torches to loosen screws, cleaning axle ends, etc into a fairly short task.
I did a write-up on my website in case anyone is interested to share what I did. This will be the way I resolve driveline binds on Aristocraft steamers from now on.

I will add to those who feel running them to "break them in" will resolve the issue, if you have drivers out of quarter, the only way it will fix itself is for the driver to turn on the axle some so it's not binding. Once it turns you are well on your way to that driver working completely loose on the axle and locking the drivetrain as some have reported happening here. I would HIGHLY suggest that you FIX the binding FIRST then run the engine. Also, if you resolve any binds you should be lowering the chance significantly that you will ever have a driver come loose in the future.

See the "Drivers out of quarter fix" link under the Aristocraft Mallet section.

http://www.rayman4449.dynip.com/gardenrr_mods.htm

I will also add that I've found it's necessary to add ONE - 5/16" nylon washer (from Home Depot) behind each of the #1 drivers on each engine set. This limits the side to side swing of the motorblock on the axles and eliminates another issue these engines have which is the a tinking sound which is the rod pin impacting the main rod as the engine runs. (I don't recall which driver this occurs on off hand I think it's driver #2) This is another one of those issues that is asking for trouble of a spun driver or worse. Adding this washer does not affect it's ability to take the posted 8ft minimum diameter curves as I've tested it.


Raymond
 

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Hmm. Mine had made that tinking sound.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I forgot to add that the tinking sound could also come from eccentric rod impacting screw that holds the eccentric arm in place as well. If someone accidently bends them in just a bit they will make contact. I think the washers will help with this too. If not to bend them straight or out just a tad.
 
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Ray,
thanks for fixing them the right way, i sent bolth locos back twice and they still came back from aristo broken...:confused:/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/blink.gif i will try them this week and let you know how i made out. thanks again for all the extra work... its nice to know someone has figued these things out.../DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/shocked.gif:D
Nick...
 

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Wow.. I'm having a similar problem with a new Aristo Classic C-16 and perhaps this will solve that also since they have the same gearbox. The C-16 trips the overload on my DC supply and now DCC decoder if I get it above crawl speed. I was just getting ready to send the loco back to Aristo, but now I'm thinking I should check to see if any of the rods are tight when it trips the overload.

Thanks for the idea. I'll report back what I find.

Peter.
 

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I updated my site with Raymond's tips on the "tink".... I already do the lapping on any Aristo loco that slips a driver.

Yep, the sharing of info helps everyone, experts like Ray and others like me, who are still learning.

Regards, Greg
 

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Wouldn't you think Aristocraft would start doing these fixes at the factory instead of selling faulty engines that need repair work done to them so they will run?
 

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Most of them run ok, although I will say that almost every one I know has had at least one driver slip on a mallet.

Lewis is already mad at me, and his customer service manager George Adams trolls this forum, so more honesty is dangerous.

I can support my statements with facts, but sometimes facts are not the point.

I take it this way, the Aristo stuff has good and clever designs. Over the years, the assembly procedures have deteriorated in my opinion. They are a great price, so I am fine with the cost, since a little "tweaking" gives me a great loco at a discount price.

That's my opinion...

Regards, Greg
 

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Raymond, your site seems to be down. All the pages come back "The page cannot be displayed" or "Service not available."
 

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It's fine right now.

Remember he runs the site from his home with a dynamic ip, so you could have caught the small time window when his ISP has changed his IP address, and the dynamic ip software has not updated the url and it has been propagated through the Internet name servers.

This is to be expected.

Regards, Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Greg and guys I hope the ideas and info helps.

Yes, sorry been up to my eyeballs in PC work the last week and you caught me in the middle of a reboot this morning. Been setting up a dedicated Webserver and once I get my new system up and running and can get off of this server my website up times should be near 100%. Been a slow progression, from recently moving to IIS7.0 (Webserver software included in Vista Ultimate Premium) which helped the heavy traffic out of service errors because of IIS5.1 to now a dedicated PC. Almost there...

Greg is correct in that I do have a dynamic IP which can cause breif outtages, fortunately it changes infrequently (for me) so it's not too too big an issue. By far my biggest problems with downtime have been from using my main PC to host the website. (software installs, reboots, etc, playing games, etc)

Dynamic IPs are what you get with normal internet or broadband internet service, which means your IP address can change at any time or each time you connect to the ISP (Internet Service Provider). Where the website issue comes in is you have to have a known IP address in order for website requests to be directed to the right computer with the server. (when you type www.rayman4449.dynip.com it essentially is translated into an IP address 192.168.100.1 (for instance) and used to locate where the data needs to go. I use is a redirector service ($25/year) so that when you type: www.rayman4449.dynip.com it always knows what my IP address is regardless of whether or not it changes and therefore always directs the website requests to me. It works by a small application installed on my PC that "phones home" and periodically reports my current IP address. Hope this helps some.


Raymond
 

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How do you get the cylinder off? I need to get to this screw with a hot screwdriver and don't relish bumping that plastic piston rod.

 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hey Tom,

Just posted this on the Aristo forums:

To remove the cylinders, first take the four screws that connect the engine set to the bottom of the boiler. Next there two very small screws holding the top support for the eccentric gear to remove. Next flip it over and remove the two screws at the inside rear of the cylinders. Next remove the screws holding the eccentric arm to the main crank (3rd driver). If it's the front engine set, you will also have to remove two screws at the front of the motor block. Then you can get it loose.

Hope this helps.


Raymond
 

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But my hot screwdriver ain't budging that screw
 

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This is the most risky part of the whole deal. You literally need a propane/butane torch to heat that screwdriver tip HOT HOT HOT to get the screw to budge and then it's only for a maybe a couple of turns. If you heat it hot enough you can get the screw out the first try. I ususally do two or three times. Just be careful, if you turn too hard you will snap that screw off in the axle and you will have to dismantel the gearbox to replace the axle end. It is a real pain in the ***. That's why I'm for now on going with the rod method of fixing the binding, but I know you need to get that sucker tightened back on. You can get it, just heat it hotter!

Raymond
 

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The funniest thing is there is no need for red loctite on those screws, the slipping occurs mainly because of the poor match between the driver and the axle taper. With a toothed washer under the screw, I don't even use loctite, but if you want loctite, use the weakest one, I think it's 242 or 222, purple in color.

Unfortunately the Aristo assembly people in China think it's glue, not an anti-vibration compound.

Regards, Greg
 
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Posted By Rayman4449 on 09/21/2008 11:28 AM
This is the most risky part of the whole deal. You literally need a propane/butane torch to heat that screwdriver tip HOT HOT HOT to get the screw to budge and then it's only for a maybe a couple of turns. If you heat it hot enough you can get the screw out the first try. I ususally do two or three times. Just be careful, if you turn too hard you will snap that screw off in the axle and you will have to dismantel the gearbox to replace the axle end. It is a real pain in the ***. That's why I'm for now on going with the rod method of fixing the binding, but I know you need to get that sucker tightened back on. You can get it, just heat it hotter!
Raymond




***, do you mean ASS Ray...he he he/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/blink.gif:D
Nick..
 
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