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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, I have a Bachmann Annie that I've run alot outside, it quickly became my favorite engine. To put a long story short, after a wreck today the drivers have come out of line. I removed the rods using Bachmann's online drawings and I have aligned the first two axels, but the third where the motor is attached won't seem to move. It is locked up, and I don't know enough to know how to take the wheel out of the engine frame. Is there anything I can do to align this third axel with the others to be able to attach the rods and run it again? Thanks in advance for any answers!
 

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You say the gear driven axle is locked up. Can you make the third axle move at all by applying current to the pickups or wheels? Something as simple as taking a 9v battery and some wires to the power pickups or the driver wheels should provide enough current to an engine that's upside down and disassembled to make the motor turn the gear driven axle around.

I don't know if there's anything here that might help you but Schreyer's website has helped solved many of my train problems.

http://www.girr.org/girr/tips/tips1/big_hauler_tips.html#totaled

Good luck!

Scott
 

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It is locked up, and I don't know enough to know how to take the wheel out of the engine frame.
Bixer,

You can't take the third (driven) axle out of the frame without removing the whole drive assembly. (Standard ten-wheelers have a pin across the top of the gearbox through the frame sides - I assume the Anniversary uses the same pin.)

But you shouldn't need to remove it. If you take the boiler and cab off [instructions on George Schreyer's website, click here[/b] ] you can easily see the top of the gear train. You may have a gear that has jammed.

As Scott says, try feeding a little power to the track pickups without the rods. If the gears are jammed, the motor will often move a little and free everything up.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi again, I connected the motor to power and the last axle turned fine, and when I opened the body the gears seemed to be normal. I think the problem is that the axle is out of alignment on each side. Instead of being at a 90 degree angle with the counterweights and the rod connectors opposite of each other like they should be for the rods to connect, the wheels are at about a 45 degree angle to each other, with the counterweights not matching up to the other two axles on each side. It would seem that turning one or other of the wheels on the last axle in the right way would align them and allow me to connect the rods back, but I can't do that with the axle that is connected to the motor. I couldn't find anything relevant to alignment on George Schreyer's website, although I might just be in too deep to understand it. Thanks again!
 

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The rods should not be in line with each other for balance. Think of a clock face. If one side is at 6 o'clock the other side should most likely be at 3 o'clock or 9 o'clock. My Big Haulers are both that way and my Connie was also. I think [just my theory] if they lined up both at the same place or even completely opposite each other it would make the engine kind of hop, like a car tire out of balance. I've not had to take the drivers off my Haulers but when I took them off to fix the drive gear on my Connie I found that they are "keyed" with a slot/tab so you can't put the driver on the axle any other way.
I have to ask if you've tried to flip the other two axles over and insert the other axles in different orientation. To me it seems they should have one way where each axle has the rods where they are supposed to be in correlation to the driven 3rd axle or have you tried this already and I'm misunderstanding what you're saying?

Scott
 

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I think [just my theory] if they lined up both at the same place or even completely opposite each other it would make the engine kind of hop, like a car tire out of balance
Scott,
Nice try! I'm still trying to visualize it.

The official story is that the rods should be 90 degrees out of phase. When a rod is halfway down (on the line with the axles) there is no leverage from one wheel to the next - remember the rear wheel is trying to push/pull the other two. The other side, however, if 90 degrees different, will be at the top or bottom of its swing and exerting maximum leverage.

This pic from George's site shows the 90-degree difference between the two sides.





I found that they are "keyed" with a slot/tab so you can't put the driver on the axle any other way.
Correct. The spokes are a plastic insert that you can remove and get at the screw in the center. [From the back, push the exposed plastic near the rod boss or the counterweight and the insert will pop out.] I'll see if I can find a photo.
Ah yes - here's the center drivers with no flanges (blind) showing the plastic insert visible from the back. Push them out with a small screwdriver blade.




This is one of the drivers on the first or third axle. It has a nylon sleeve with a square hole in it that fits on the axle, and on the outside a flat that aligns it inside the wheel. A screw from the outside screws into the axle.



Given that all this started with a crash, it is quite possible that you have twisted one of the wheels on its axle. All the wheels MUST be at exactly the same alignment when the rods are on, and one side will be about 90 degrees to the other. (P.S. I think Bachmann plays fast-and-loose with the 90, so it may be 80 or 115 degrees. Look closely at George's photo!)
 

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Makes much more sense than my theory Pete. I love looking at and running steam locomotive models and have read a fair bit about them but...they still are mystifyingly complex almost arcane pieces of machinery. I hadn't really thought about it much but was thinking they were mounted 90 degrees to each other [or is that what they mean by quartered?] more for a balance reason but obviously mounted any other way and about all your drive rods would do is make one big push...and get hung up there.
Diesels are a bit easier for me to fathom than steam engines. Basically just diesel powered generator & electric motors as opposed to complicated valve gearing, water and coal systems, miles of boiler tubing, pressure relief valve, superheaters, drive rods and pistons, etc., etc.. . Simple...and much more boring to look at.
 

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No different than a car engine, pistons do not all fire at the same time, they are spaced out and this gives smoother performance.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi again everyone, I tried out what Scott had to say and everything fell right into place! The wheels matched up, the rods are back on and the engine looks ( I say looks because I am still waiting for a broken part's glue to dry before I power the wheels) much better! Thank you Scott and Pete for your advice!
 

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I was just guessing that you might have inadvertently flipped one of the axles over from its original position which would've thrown everything all out of whack. Hope that solved it for you and that your Annie will be running like new again.

From my limited experience I think it's a good model locomotive and has been one of the least 'fiddly' engines I own, just put it on the track, throw the power to it, and it goes. I hope it serves you well.

S
 
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