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Discussion Starter #1
My Mallet smashed my styrene drawbar to bits last weekend at Ric's operating session. I replaced the stock one with one that locked into one solid bar to help back up trains. It worked very well until it broke 3 times in one day.

So today, I built one of brass, with some changes to overcome weaknesses of the styrene design.



One goal in the new design was to dip under the low-hanging detail at the back of the loco. The plastic one snagged on sharp curves, perhaps leading to its demise. There is also a swivel under the tender that allows the tender to twist behind the loco without bending the drawbar. Again, this might have caused the other to fail.

I retained the spring latch that worked very well.

The only place I worry is where the 2 square pieces are joined in a jog. There's only about a quarter inch square in contact. The lower bar could have been longer. I might drill a hole there and put a screw or add some brass "cheek plates" to reinforce it there.

Somehow, one of my square tubes was completely solder repellant, no matter how much I cleaned and fluxed it. So I used JB Weld to put it together.

I thought I planned it to couple a little closer than that, but I think this is about the distance of the original on the inner hole. I'll likely sand the hole thing and give it a coat of black paint. Maybe I'll rework it to close the gap a bit.

It forms a solid bar going from the peg just behind the rear drivers to the peg were the front truck of the tender mounts.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The stock one can cause trouble when you back a train, especially on a curve or turnout. It puts a twisting force on the tender's front truck and can fling the tender clear off the track, even with my heavy battery in it. The idea of my design is to provide a stiff bar from the body of the loco to the body of the tender as close to the center of the wheels as possible. It runs from the peg where the stock drawbar fastens on the loco to the mount of the front truck of the tender.

To uncouple the loco from the tender, I lift the square tube to let the inside piece slide out.

The plastic one proved the concept. This one just improved on it. Maybe by version 12, I'll have it right:D
 

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Super Modulator
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Nice idea Tom I will have to check into that. I did run my mallet this weekend and backed a 20 car train down a 2% grade, and also through a crossover and into a bunch of 10' diameter curves.

No problems, but then I'm all body mounts.

I'll take a look at the forces on the tender this weekend. It sounds like a better alternative to putting huge amounts of weight in the tender, as many do.

Regards, Greg
 
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