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I seldom see the AC 0-4-0 steam switcher with slope back tender , in any pictures of peoples layouts , or web sites , little about them comes up in a net search , so , does anyone actually use them dailey , or routinely on their layout operations ?
I am thinking about a small steam switcher while awaiting all the announced 0-6-0 steam switchers , but it concerns me that no one seems to actually use the AC 0-4-0 routinely .
EVERYTHING else that I have from AC in locos or rolling stock , operates well , but it sure is quiet when the 0-4-0 is looked for . /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/blink.gif" border=0>
thanks
 

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Mine haven't seen much use since I moved to the Chicago Area.

They can be very reliable if treated gently. They have a lot of torque and can pull trees (slight exaggeration), but will overheat. Keep it down to 2 or 3 cars and it'll be happy.
If it wobbles from side it side, likely the back wheelset has slipped a tooth. Easy to tell. Turn the loco over and look closely at the spokes. You can see if the back wheels are ahead or behind the front. You can fix it easily:

1. Take out the 4 screws on the bottom and remove the bottom plate.
2. Lift the back wheels to clear the gear. Turn a tooth forward or back and put them back down.
3. Replace the bottom plate.

If it has no torque, or has a dead spot, it's burned out a winding in the motor, likely from pulling too many cars continuously. The motor is a 20 minute job to change if you're handy with a screwdriver and soldering iron. All the works are right there under that bottom cover. You can get the motor for 12 to 15 bucks, and it comes with a new set of worms.

My first was Napa Valley red. I thought the red and gold were pretty cool, but the other train guys teased me about my pink loco, so I painted it black and dark green, preserving the gold smoke box and domes.

 

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Oh, yes. The smoke unit makes little puffs as the loco moves. Not billows of smoke, but quite nice.
 

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There was a regular exhibitor at the Great American Train Show in Wheaton, Illinois, who ran one back and forth on an autoreversing four foot track (as part of a track cleaner display). It ran on and on, apparently without a hitch, for a couple of years.



cheers
 

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I think it depends on the era it was made. Some are made with a particularly heat sensitive plastic that deforms quickly with continuous running. The wheels on most versions get dirty quite easily and affect the pick-up. I had one that had a meltdown after two hours of continuous running and had to be trashed. Having said that, I like this loco and I agree that with care it will last a long time. I disagree with Tom (sorry Tom) that they can pull trees. It's not an LGB or Hartland level drive, but TLC will keep it alive for a while.
Chris
 

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Yes. They changed the base from ABS to glass-filled nylon. If yours is old, send it to Aristo with $25, and they'll make sure it has all the newest parts, wheels, gears, motors, bottom part, bell....
 

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Here's my experience:
Ten year old 0-4-0 -- there may be this age still on dealer shelves or in mailorder house inventory.
Problem: As stated above, the wheels do get dirty. Remedy: Install in the slope-back tender (it was available then) the LGB ball bearing wheels with pickups and feed into the engine. This works great.
I do hope this wheelset will be available from Marklin -- it has saved me electrical hassles with a number of locos -- the Hartland "Mack" gems work wonders with a gon connected to the loco using these pick-up wheels.

Wendell
 

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Otherwise, Aristo has bb wheelsets with pickups.

Sending the loco to Aristo will get you the newest, and quite nice, wheels.
 

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I've had 6 of them. The first one was a circus set loco...ran GREAT, it's still here ...holding up a cut down B'mann coach body (steam dummy). The second was a Pennsy, I modified it into a 2-4-0, it ran well also, I never should have sold it. Third was a xmas loco, it was a dog. fourth was in B&O livery, it ok, but not exceptional, I traded it for some Lehmann cars. 5th was an Army one...it arrived broken, so I never ran it, but still managed to resell it at a (very) modest profit. Number 6 is a newer Great Western loco with the chromed wheels. It recently arrived broken as well, and is sitting here awaiting it's fate (It may become a 2-4-0 with a c-16 cab as well, or get sold off, depending upon how it runs)
 

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My PRR 0-4-0 from a starter set is one of my favourite small locos, always runs nice and smoothly. I got a second hand slopeback sound tender for it later. When I fitted a DCC decoder I ran wiring from the loco to the tender to link up the loco and tender pickups as well as to directionally power the rear light.

Nick
 

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If I were aristo I'd be trying really hard to capture the starter set biz in the void left by LGB's collapse. I'd be upgrading that 0-4-0 to include their prime mover gearbox and making it DCC/remote/battery ready. I'd like one of those but even with the new wheels they seem a little weak


I think I remember seeing on the Arito website that upgrades for the 0-4-0 are planned
 
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