An Odd Occurance With the Marx 666

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by Cannonball, Jan 29, 2007.

  1. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Today I was running the Marx on my new layout setup. All of a sudden it picked up a burst of speed and flew off the end of the track...... And straight down to the floor. A burst of rather colorful words burst forth from my mouth as a I ran around the table to see what the damage was. (Most of which I hope my daughter will forget before the next time she talks to Grandma. :rolleyes: ) Thanks to thick carpet and diecast construction, the loco escaped without any damage and I put her back on the track for another run.

    Now here comes the odd part.....

    When I got the loco, the headlight would flicker, flash, and only occasionally work at all. I figured there must be a short somewhere and have been trying to work up the courage to look into it further. After attempting to become airborne, the light started working perfectly. Apparently the fall knocked something back into place because it shines bright as day now with a nice, steady glow. I'm at a loss ot explain it. This is the first time I've ever heard of a fall FIXING an engine. :confused:

    Honestly, I'm sure at some point it will have to be looked at. I'm just scared to tear into it myself for fear of doing permanent damage messing with stuff I have no experience with.
  2. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    It does sound like there could be a nice big short somewhere just waiting to kill your Marx. I would open it up and take a quick look at all the wires.

    The older loco's are not that hard to fool around with.

    I would suspect that this loco might be in need of some maintance work if not just a good cleaning, lube and adjustments.

    I'm sure glad to hear your having fun and that your daughter is learning new words. :)
  3. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Maybe not hard for somebody who have half of an electromechanical mind but I'm terrible when it comes to that stuff. I'm lucky I can wire my switches right.

    I'm sure it needs at least a cleaning. Honestly, if I could take 5 minutes and find someone who works on this stuff locally, I'd take it to them for a thorough checkup.

    Trust me, we are having a blast.
    Daddy is not exactly the best person to be building her vocabulary from, however. :D
  4. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    If you're going to open something up to look at, it might as well be a Marx. They're very simple mechanically and easy to work on. It's pretty much remove two screws, and then the motor assembly can slide out.

    I don't remember exactly how the Marx headlight circuit works, but I think there's one wire and the other connection is to the chassis, which gets its return from one of the copper tabs on the motor. Probably something about that connection was out of whack, and the shock from the fall knocked it back into place. Makes me wonder if that locomotive survived another fall earlier in life.

    When you replace that track, maybe you should look into wide-diameter O27 curves. You can get O42s or even O54s that mate up with O27 track, and it's amazing how much faster you can run on those broader turns and still stay on the track. I run O42 on my outer loop and Marx O34 (no longer being made, sadly) on my inner loop.
  5. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Taking the curves faster would be cool but I'm affraid the wider curves might limit me more than I already am on the 4x8.

    Here's what the new layout looks like.
    I lost my two train ability but it makes it a more interesting run for a singel engine.

    Attached Files:

  6. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    the fall could have simply caused a loose connnection to temporarily become connected better. Or it could have to do with the filament inside the light bulb itself.

    When I bought my car, the hi beam indicator light was burnt out. i drove like that for a year. then one night, after leaving a gas station, the indicator light suddenly worked! as it turned out, I had been driving my car with high beams on for many months. About 40 miles down the road, I hit a spot of rough pavement, the light went out, and didn't work again. A few weeks later, I changed the bulb and has been fine ever since.

  7. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    I kinda have a feeling this is it myself. I'm gonna wait and see if it goes ot aain before I do anything too drastic with it.
  8. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    Hmm, you're probably right about that. One thing you probably could do, though, would be to try cheating the corners. Where you have straight-curve-curve-half straight on your outer loop, try O54-O27-O54 on your software and see if it fits. It might fit, and would give you most of the benefit of a wide curve by transitioning into those tight O27s. You could keep your O27s as-is on the inner loop. The outer loop is where you're more likely to run off the table.

    The old Marx O34 curves really are ideal for 4x8 layouts. It's a shame nobody else ever made those. The closest thing is the Atlas O36, which isn't bad (and you can get O27 adapter pins for it), but Atlas track is more expensive than tubular.
  9. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Funny you should say that since it was the inner loop it flew off of. Of course, my inner loop is hotter than the outside since I have the lockon in there so it picks up a bit of speed when it hits the inside. I actually have to back the throttle down to keep it from doing the same thing every time.

  10. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

    Whoa, now THAT'S a rail story!sign1 Kind of like the story my friend told me about a guy who actualy has an upgraded memory from brain damage! Ah the wonders of science, so confusing:D
  11. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    Oh, wow. It must have really picked up a burst of speed then. Having clean track with several wire feeds to keep the voltage consistent will help you a lot then. That sounds like a greater need than even wider diameter track.

    Gargraves makes flex track, yes. I don't know if any of the other makers do. And Gargraves makes O27 adapter pins too, so you can use it with your existing switches.

  12. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    Atlas does make 3 rail O flex track that matches their other 3 rail track. Not quite as easy to bend as the HO stuff, but looks real good. You can get adapter pins to match it to O27 track. Also available are very short uncoupling tracks and rails that fit any straight track for operating cars with sliding shoes. Smallest switches are O36. Curved track is 027, 036, 045, and up in 9" increments. Not as cheap as tubular, but looks real nice. Use a good set of rail nippers to cut the rails on the flex track.

    my thoughts, your choices
  13. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    This doesn't make sense to me at all. Why would they make 27 curves but not the switches to match it?
    What kind of marketing is that??
  14. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

    Now I'm not an expert, but maybe it's just that they can't? I don't honestly know, I'm strictly 18':D
  15. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    Probably they figure people who want O27 switches will buy the adapter pins and use other brands of switches. I know that's what I would do, even if Atlas did offer O27 switches.
  16. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    The Atlas track system was designed and built around O36 curves. That was apparently what the Atlas engineers figured they would need for their more-to-scale locomotives and cars. O27 curves certainly weren't going to cut it for most of the Atlas models. Also, the O36 geometry pretty closely matches their HO Snap Track (18" radius and all).

    I consider that Atlas makes O27 curves a bonus - I use it for my trolley line or similar, especially when combined with the flex track. Thor trains ( has compact layout designs using the Atlas O36 switches and O27 curves.

    Notice that Atlas doesn't make O45 switches either - their switch sizes are O36, O54, O72 and #5 and #7.5. The switches with numbered frogs are like HO and N CustomLine and the prototype - the curved branch is not a continous curve, but a series of curved and straight sections, striaght where the rails cross (the frog). There is even a curved switch with O72 and O54 branches.

    Now that Atlas has an O27 line of rolling stock - the former Industrial Rail line - they might eventually produce an O27 switch, especially if they come out with a locomotive to match. Right now, the track for the Industrial Rail is Atlas O36 mounted on plastic roadbed, even though the rolling stock is listed as O27. I don't know what the minimum for the coming Industrial Rail 4-4-2 will be. The new Atlas 0-6-0 is listed as needing O36 curves. In the Trainman series, some of the smaller locomotives are stated as needing O31 curves.

    my thoughts, your choices
  17. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Yeah, I've looked at some of the Atlas stuff and their locomotives are freaking huge. Very impressive if you've got the space (And the money!) to run them. The same goes for most of the Williams Trains stuff. Although William's does make a few engines that are O27 compatible.
  18. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

    Or anyone for that matter:D Better give her some bribes to keep them shut away (like getting her HO thing set up for example?:D )
  19. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    I just need to get a corner in her room cleaned out somehow, then I'm going to build her layout. Probably a 4x6. unlike mine, I'm gonna do hers up with trees, tunnels, and all the good stuff though.

Share This Page