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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm working on a Bachmann Spectrum 2-8-0 engine and need to cut part of the weight off in the boiler. I'm going to take full precautions and do this outside but does anyone know if the Bachmann weights are made of lead or are they just a regular metal? It doesn't look like lead as it's not shiney like all the other lead weights that I've seen before.


Raymond
 

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Mine are yellow-painted lead alloy.
Why do you want to cut off the weight?

The suspension springs are designed for that weight.
In fact, they are a tad light in the nose, and I usually add weight to the bottom of the smokebox to level them up.
 

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Raymond:

If it is iron that is easy to check with a magnet. Lead is very soft and you can easily scratch it with the point of a pocket knife. New lead is shiny, but it will oxidize to a gray/black finish given some time.


They could be using an alloy that is soft, but that would most likely be more expensive and therefore unlikely.


If it is lead, use an old hacksaw blade as the lead will fill in the teeth and ruin the blade. I used to work in a laboratory that had to cut lead bricks and it was hard to keep the saw blades from filling up. When the blade filled up I think that they used to make a few passes through a brick (housing).


Chuck N
 

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Ray,
Try to write on a peice of paper with it, if it works, it is lead, if it don't, then it is something else.........LOL :)
Seriously, Lead isn't always shinny ( like Wheel Weights ).Check the one that came out of my Annie and try to scrape it with a knife, see if it is magnetic. Lead is a pretty dense metal hence the reason it is used for weight. It might be steel, but that would make the engine cost more, since steel isn't cheap.
Cliff
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks a bunch for all the quick replies.

I'm needing to cut some of the front of the one in the boiler to fit a smoke unit up front. There isn't enough room as the smoke unit fan is impacting the front of the weight. Good point on the susension, I was planning on adding the lost weight somewhere else in there but will make double sure I get it added exactly right. (I weighed it and it's 2lbs) I may be able to just hot glue the cut off piece on top of the remaining weight

I didnt even think of that on the car tire weights Cliff.

I'll check to see if it's magnetic.

Peter: See that's what I thought too. The one in this engine looks a lot like the one from my Annie that I pulled out, like some sort of iron/steel. I tried to scratch it and it did in fact scratch which made me think it may not be steel... and I had the same thoughts on the weight, it seemed heavier than what I would expect from a steel weight.

I think I'll proceed with caution anyway as I was planning and will wear full breathing protection etc.

"Yes Dave, this is highly irregular..." - HAL9000

I have to add, this is the first time I've gotten my hands on one of these engines and I am very impressed with the quality. The suspension, frame, detail parts, everything is just solid, looks great and is well built. For $200 this is a great buy and quite honestly, I'm surprised they can sell an engine this nice for that price. (It's not my engine tho)

Thanks again for all the replies and help.


Raymond
 

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Most of the engines I have delt with from Bachman have had the lead weights. I know you younger folks have fear of lead but I'm still here after being around the stuff for 65 years. I just don't eat it. Later RJD
 

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Depleted Uranium is what's left over when they separate the U-235 from naturally occuring uranium to make fissionable material. It's very dense, about 19g/cm.

"Depleted uranium munitions are controversial because of unanswered questions about potential long-term health effects. DU is less toxic than other heavy metals such as arsenic and mercury, and is only very weakly radioactive because of its long half-life.[4] While any radiation exposure has risks, no conclusive epidemiological data have correlated DU exposure to specific human health effects such as cancer.[5] However, the UK government has attributed birth defect claims from a 1991 Gulf War combat veteran to DU poisoning,[6][7] and studies using cultured cells and laboratory rodents continue to suggest the possibility of leukemogenic, genetic, reproductive, and neurological effects from chronic exposure.[8] In early 2004, the UK Pensions Appeal Tribunal Service attributed birth defect claims from a February 1991 Gulf War combat veteran to depleted uranium poisoning.[9][10] A 2005 epidemiology review concluded: "In aggregate the human epidemiological evidence is consistent with increased risk of birth defects in offspring of persons exposed to DU."[11]"

(From wikipedia.org)

Perhaps we should use Ozmium?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi Rockwood,

I'm trying to install an MTH smoke unit in the engine and it wont fit. Here is what it looks like if you haven't seen one.










I got a reply on the Bachmann forums and Bach-man said that even their solder can't be lead so he doesn't think it is, but I'll take full precautions just to be safe.


Raymond
 

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Raymond:

The lead content of solder of CURRENT production should have been eliminated. Newer weights are usually made of zinc like the changeover at Aristo. Zinc is about half the weight of lead.

Why not try the TAS unit in your tight space, and wire directly to the motor?

Regards, Greg
 

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I am trying to remember without opening one up, but I think the 2-8-0 was the last one with lead weights.
Climax was lead, Heisler was cast iron, Anniversary is cast iron, K is steel plates, newest Porter is a huge cast iron piece, etc.

Original Shays were / are lead, new ones cast iron.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks guys.

Greg: appreciate the suggestion and a good one to keep in mind for smaller boilered engines. For me in this case considering they're more expensive (at least $20 when considering shipping), have a smaller (reservior and fan motor) and the fact they would have to be modified and maybe even have the heating elements replaced with the correct ohm versions, it would be easier for me to just cut the end of that weight off and be done. Also with the much smaller fan motor, etc I don't see me getting the same performance as the MTH unit.

For one of my other personal engines (Bachmann Mogul Spectrum) the TAS might be a good one to consider.


Raymond
 

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As long as you know there are two distinct production runs of the 2-8-0, probably weight content bwas one of the changes.

Your motor screws coated in red Lock-Tite?
 
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