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Discussion Starter #1
looking for some advice dealing with the pilot truck mounting on an Bachmann spectrum 4-4-0 (un-modified E&P)





the problem to me appears that the trucks do not have enough pressure from the their spring causing them to basically flop around like a soggy noodle.. this causes a new-out of box locomotive to derail at the slightest track derogation which doesn’t effect any of the other multiple types of engines, including my Ruby..
 

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Try something like this:



Build styrene pad on the underside of the pilot deck (you can see the edges of it), then some extra styrene on the truck itself to hold the a screw. The bulbous end rubs up against the underside of pad on the deck, keeping it in firm contact with the rails. A little experimenting is needed to get it set to just the right height. On mine, it's set so there's just under 1/16" between the end of the bulb and the pad on the deck when the track is sitting on level track. With that arrangement, it walks right through switches without any trouble.

Later,

K
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks, I'll have to play with that idea, I'm a little disappointed with Bachmann's response I was looking for a couple of replacement parts for both a two truck shay and a new cow catcher for the 4-4-0.. They had neither.. As a result and with investigation it looks like I'm going to have to make a more prototypical looking cow catcher for the E&P 4-4-0 which has in all the photos the grill work going parallel verses vertical..

The only other aspect I’m still investigating is switching to battery DCC/sound the electronics look simple enough to convert..

lol to many projects and never enough time, but at least it keeps me busy.

I'm still researching materials, and trucks for building some different logging camp cars and MOW cars-- my train(s) are becoming an interesting conglomerate of a rolling diorama and kit-bashed locomotives, and with me being more of the "model" builder I get my partners projects also.. (curses her arts/engineering background)

now I just have to keep saving for a live steam shay..

Kristine
 

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Hi Kristine, and welcome to MLS.

You mention the different pilot of the Eureka & Palisade 4 4 0 - try Accucraft - thay made a a correct pilot for their version of the loco and it could be fitted I think - it fits on with a couple of screws so some drilling may be needed.

Re the wandering front truck, in addition to what Kevin has said you could also add some sheet lead (flashing from builders merchants) if you can get some.

The top of the front truck has some angle pieces - you could glue some lead into that angle and paint it black to hide it - top it off with some styrene card to ensdure there is no chance of a short and pre-paint that black also.
 

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Hi Kristine.
A stronger spring can be installed that will cure the problem.
Andy yes, trying to get parts from Bachamnn is a pain in the &)&(^(&)*_#*_)#(.
They are not in the market for spare parts.
The Alto Rito is my favorite loco.
Marc
 

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Incidentally, the fix I applied to the 4-6-0 may help. It has a long truck and no 'equalisation' - the wheels are rigidly fixed and can't lift over a track imperfection or obstruction. As you can see from this photo, three wheels are still on the track while the 4th lifts over a dowel.




The objective is to get one axle loose so the wheel can lift. On the 4-6-0 it is easy - just remove the plastic piece holding the pickup strips in place (and insulate them afterwards.) The conventional way to do it on other models is to put an axle bearing point in the center of the axle and make the outer holes into vertical slots. (Sorry to be vague - I don't have a 4-4-0 handy.) Think 3-leg stool. The benefits of equalisation are well known, and it is described in this article:
The principles of model locomotive suspension

A final thought: the attraction of the US "American" type 4-4-0 was precisely because of its equalisation. The 4 drivers were balanced in two pairs about a central pivot (2 legs of the stool) and the third point was the front truck mount. The truck itself was also equalised with springing. The loco could handle really, really bad track!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I found one of the major problems with the pilot truck causing the 4-4-0 to derail was related to the balance of the locomotive, what I've done was to effectively add some weight to the front of the loco..

one of the 1st problems I encountered was, the peace of plastic which screws to the sub-frame just below the smoke box, between the two cylinders, when I removed this peace of plastic I found it to be incredibly brittle.. thus even with gentle care it simple broke.

I then obtained a peace of brass, roughly the same thickness and width, which I then cut and milled in the same pattern as the plastic peace, and attached this new peace in the same method as the original mount.

This, for the most part corrected the principle problem. I’m not %100 happy with how the front truck performs, but it no longer derails it’s self or the rest of the loco.. I’m strongly considering making a new pilot truck out of brass, as well as plans to make a more prototypical cow catcher.. doing these are great exercises for eventually building a full McKeen Car..

As to the 4-4-0, as indicated, I may produce some brass pilot trucks, which have the possibility of cast and marked as replacements.

The inception of Silver State Models and Real Loads is slowly moving into fruition
 

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One of the best "go to" guys for Bachmann, especially the pilot trucks and when you want their original plastic gear and motor parts replaced is Barry Olsen (Metal gears and parts for Bachmann, Barry Olsen, 6822 West Villa Street, Phx 85043;
623-936-6088) At the recent ABTO swap meet in March, he had some of his custom built pilot trucks for 4-4-0 and 2-6-0 engines, but Barry can make just about anything. He has made several suggestions to Bachmann over the years, but as he tells it, they really don't want to put the effort into making the engines more reliable...not sure why. If you are milling your own products and casting replacements, then you might not want or need his help, but he has come up with a lot of ideas over the past few decades. He can send you digital pictures of what his work looks like if you are interested. Good luck with your project Kristine.....Ed (Flagstaff, Arizona).
 

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Ah, brittle plastic. One of the things you learn to watch for. Good on the brass replacement, but the issue is usually easier to fix than lead, new pilots, etcetera. There are no two Bachmann locos alike. Harsh, and I'd bet there are lots of folks who will argue....but if you use that as a basis, you will understand why some things work for one loco and not another identical one.
Wiring of course is the first thing. Wheel gauge is another. Angle of the boiler....and you've mentioned light in the nose.
I add stick on tyre weights in the bottom of smokeboxes...stick-on stuff removed, mounted with clear silicone.
The fix is to determine roughly how much more down force you need, remove that plate that holds the truck, and add shims between it and the lugs on the cylinders.
Try it. Add or remove as necessary.
I usually use small washers until I have it, then measure, cut a styrene piece that thickness, drill, and mount.
I've seen huge springs put on 4-4-0 pilot trucks....and big stacks of lead.
Lead is good, heavier springs aren't....because now you're shifting load to the pilot truck wheels and lifting load off the drivers.
Have fun!
TOC
(wait until you get a big 2-6-0 with the rear journals in upside down...)
 

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Is there a current good fix for this? I have just purchased a Bachmann 4-4-0 Eureka & Palisade and the pilot truck has no interest in staying on the track for longer than 30 seconds...
 

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Pictures I have seen of this loco's leading truck seem to suggest that the truck has the same spring mechanism as my Big Hauler. The spring is supposed to push the leading truck down onto the rails. However, I found this to be insufficient so I simply added a couple of lead weights to the truck assembly. That being said, my Big Hauler is single axle while your loco has 2 axles in the leading truck. These aren't equalized so you may still have issues on uneven track.
 

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Is there a current good fix for this? I have just purchased a Bachmann 4-4-0 Eureka & Palisade and the pilot truck has no interest in staying on the track for longer than 30 seconds...
I have had a couple of these and neither had front truck problems. I suspect someone squashed it in transit and the wheels back-to-back measurement is wrong. Check they are 1.55 - 1.58" apart. Or something may be broken or missing. As noted above, there's a spring holding the truck down. And check that it pivots easily.
What radius are your curves?
 

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Yeah, I'm running it on 8 ft radius track which i figured should be sufficient.

I did add a few lead weights to the front and it didn't work as well as planned unfortunately, but the spring is pretty weak which could be part of the problem. I can try to take apart the pilot truck and put a stronger spring on, which may be the next step in doing this. I'll measure the wheels in the back too.
 

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Often a stronger spring causes more problems. Weighting the truck should be enough.


Get down at track level and see what is happening, do you have track warp? abrupt vertical curves?


see where it derails.


Greg
 

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My pal had a 4-4-0 with a tender that derailed all the time. His was too rigid and the wheels couldn't cope with bumps and dips.
Check all your wheels meet the rails when it is on flat track. The spring and weights shouldn't be needed as the truck ought to cheerfully follow your track. It's not a real pilot and doesn't guide the loco.
 
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