AHC diesel locos

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by taylorg01, Jan 3, 2007.

  1. taylorg01

    taylorg01 New Member

    I think they are AHC. Driven on one end by a swivel-mounted truck/motor combination with a lot of draw. My son was given two of these and both are nice-looking engines, but old. They don't look to have much use on them either.

    One is a Monon BL-2 and the other a SF Franklin-Morse. We run a DCC layout. What, if anything, can I do with these things...? Convert to a different chassis, motor, or use them for display only (least desireable option)...? Making them a dummy might be an outside possibility if i can talk him into it.

    Either I am getting dumber or 6-yr-olds are getting smarter.:rolleyes:
  2. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    The locomotives using the poorly-designed pancake-motor-in-the-truck mechanism are notoriously unreliable and jerky-running. You don't want to waste your time with those.

    I would just buy a new BL2.. Proto 2000 offers a very nice BL2 with an excellent flywheel frame-mounted motor mechanism that is far more smoother-running and reliable than the pancakes, and it's DCC-ready (just drop in a decoder). It can be had for $30 at Trainland.

    If you know the specific model of Fairbanks Morse loco you got, you can probably find a better-running one too.. Trainland also has a Proto 1000 Fairbanks Morse Erie-Built in Santa Fe paint for $25, also with a frame-mounted motor mechanism.
  3. CRed

    CRed Member

    You can always save the shells and get what has been suggested already and replace the shells on them for what you have if they are that nice and roads you prefer.

    I have also seen just the chassis for engines on E-Bay every now and then,not sure you'd find the particular model you need but maybe you can modify another chassis to fit?Doesn't hurt to look anyways.

  4. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    or set up a circle of track and a power supply. Let your son run them to see how well they work (or don't work). Let him decide whether they are worth doing anything with.
  5. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

    I like Jims Answere. Probably will cost less than 1 DCC module. And a kid can learn the how to, to Model railroading. If they run a little to fast, so what. Let them have fun.
  6. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    The problem with the pancake-motor locos is not only that they "run a little fast."

    They also need traction tires, which means you lose half the wheels for electrical pickup, which means they are liable to stalling, especially on dirty spots on the track. The motor armature is also directly geared to the wheels with very little reduction, which means they can't pull much. This method of gearing also means the motor has to overcome A LOT of gear resistance to start spinning, which means it tends to make flying starts. These also make a lot of noise. Lastly, these are very maintenance-intensive.

    Pancake-drive locos are far more trouble than they are worth.

    If you are going to convert an engine to DCC, at least do it to a more reliable engine. Don't waste a decoder on a piece of junk like that.

    And yes, I'm speaking from personal experience. :p

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