Discussion in 'FAQs' started by rockislandmike, Jun 11, 2002.

  1. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Got my latest ebay acquisition today, an Athearn SDP40 (road name irrelevant, it ain't gonna be for long). Doesn't wanna run normally, but if you put one set of the wheels on the outside of the track instead, it wants to go like a bat out of h---.

    Does it just need a good cleaning? Any other thoughts??? Any other q's for clarification???
  2. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Damn, just took the shell off, and there's a whackage of stuck magnetized to the motor - stanchions and other little bits of metal. And one of the connector clips wasn't in proper position.

    What I really wish I had is a spare power supply, so I could check these puppies inside rather than having to go to the garage......
  3. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    The Saga Continues

    Okay, after getting rid of all the extra magnetized bits, and gently fixing the connector to the rear truck, it still stutters, *but* if you hold onto the front truck it goes zoom zoom.

    So it doesn't appear to be anything mechanical, but more in electrical pickup. Thoughts appreciated.
  4. Catt

    Catt Guest

    My first thought would be to replace the factory wheelsets with Nickel silver ones.
  5. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    Athearn electrical pickup can break down at the following points:
    wheels; axle bearings; contact between the bearings, and the metal pieces on the sides of the gearboxes; the contact between the trucks, and the frame; and the spring contact to the top of the motor.
  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Is this one of the Athearns with the long metal springy strips instead of wire? (They were called "wireless") I would look at that as a likely problem. Test it with jumper cables (the ones with alligator clips). They also do things to the suspension. The strip from the truck should go over and push down on the one from the motor.
    Definitely, you need a portable power supply...
  7. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Yes, it is wireless. I already adjusted those a bit, but I should probably do so while it's on a track, and check those puppies out more. If that and a cleaning doesn't work, I will have to re-ponder the difficulty.

    Looks like I'm gonna need me another powered Athearn SDP40 though. I was gonna buy another one anyways, just waiting for the New Haven to arrive to determine whether I wanted a powered or dummy unit. So apparently the gods have spoken. I'm going to paint all three SDP40 in my wife's railroad scheme.
  8. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Mike, Some years ago I bought an Athearn loco that would not run unless I "smacked" it and it would move a few inches. Came to find out that one of motor brush springs was missing! :eek: Just something else to look at:D
  9. Roger Hensley

    Roger Hensley Member

    Remove the trucks. Carefully unsnap the clip over the worm gear being sure that you don't lose either the bearings or any of the shim washers that might be there. Once that is done clean the area on the frame where the trucks seat. Many times there was some paint overspray there that must be removed to insure a good contact. That pivot area must be shiney and clean although you can use a drop of Labelle 108 detergent oil there as a lubricant.

    Having the loco run well when you hold the trucks many times indicates a poor connection at one truck or the other.

    Reassemble and test.

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