GE 44-tonner

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Justin, Apr 19, 2007.

  1. Justin

    Justin Member

    Are Bachmann's GE 44 tonners good quality locos? I'm hoping it have all wheel electric pickup and all wheel drive along with flywheels.
  2. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Just make sure you get the later DCC ready redesigned ones, the earlier releases were stinkers.
  3. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    They don't have flywheels. They do have all-wheel electrical pickup, and pretty good slow-speed performance, but there isn't much room for a flywheel in a 44 tonner chassis.

    The ones you can buy new now are all single-motor DCC-ready ones, the older ones (common on the used market) are two-motor models and not as reliable.
  4. waredbear

    waredbear Member

    I recently bought one off of E-Bay and the seller said the motor made noise. Is it easy to replace one? Can I find one? Can I upgrade it to DCC?

  5. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    Try it out first--motors make noise, whether it makes too much noise is up to you--and it might be something you can fix without replacing the motor (improper lubrication, bit of plastic rubbing against a gear, etc.) If it is a single-motor version, you can add DCC--if it's the two-motor version it's a bit more problematic. I imagine that replacement parts are available from Bachmann if you do decide to replace the motor.
  6. myltlpny

    myltlpny Member

    I have one and like it. I'm not sure if it's an early one or not, how do I tell? I've had it quite a while. It seems to run fine, and like mentioned before it doesn't have flywheels, but overall a very nice little engine. I plan on installing an N-gauge decoder in it soon.
  7. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    As others have stated the older "dual motor" 44T wasn't the best runners..Go wth the newer "DCC On Board" 44Ts.
  8. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    myltlpny: Take a look under the hood. If it has a single motor, it's the newer version. If it has two power trucks, it's the older version.
  9. myltlpny

    myltlpny Member

    Thanks, Jetrock. Mine has two motors, so it looks like it's the older version. Still, not a bad little loco. Maybe I got lucky enough to get a decent one. Although that does throw a clinker in my plans to drop in a DCC decoder. I'll have to get creative with the wiring.
  10. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    Just make sure to lube the worm gears frequently. If they get dry they tend to stick, and then one motor starts sticking, and then that motor burns out and you have a non-functional locomotive.
  11. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    I have one of the two-motor jobs. It ran fabulously for years until recently when it started doing a little herky jerky dance down the track. After chatting with some guys in the club, doing a little online research, and examining it myself, I concluded it was indeed one motor wearing out and affecting the overall performance.

    That said, I would love to do something with these little power trucks independantly. On30 is one option, but I don't think I'm ready for that just yet. Another option, which I think I've seen somewhere else, is to yank out one motor and leave the good one behind.

    Then, with a little kitbashing, open up the doors on the non-motorized end and install a dummy engine. That yellow motor flatcar load, originally ERTL now Life-like, I think, may be a good substitute. Someone more knowledgeable about these things may know better what to use. OR, replace the motor with a speaker and sound decoder.

    As long as the little guy is running on fairly level track and not expected to pull much (as in a private industry site - a place these little critters were commonly found) then it should be just fine. Paint it a gaudy yellow, green, blue or even orange, and fade it heavily, throw in a dose of rust and grime appropriate to the setting, and voila! New life for an old critter.
  12. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    The only problem is that the motors aren't exactly where the engines on a real 44 tonner are located...that's mostly weight and the headlight circuit board.

    Operating power trucks from the two-truck 44 tonner are much prized by traction nuts, who use them to power interurbans and whatnot.
  13. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    You're probably right...but most lay folk and I'd bet many modelers, don't know that. There is a good pic in the MR Cyclopedia: Diesels, of a 44 tonner with the engine exposed. Could be a starting point for a kitbash.
  14. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    Im not sure if would work or not but could you mu the two moters in the older ones to make them dcc friendly?
  15. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    ocalicreek: The problem is that it doesn't make much sense to put this display "engine" anywhere but under the hood, and the frame/weight/circuit board is under the hood--not the power truck. Cut the weight/frame away and there is no place to mount the now-unpowered truck. I suppose one could glue a piece of plastic or brass into the case, but you'd be left with a loco that is now much lighter (due to the lost bit of weight) on one end than the other, and would probably be pretty squirrely in operation.

    I imagine you could mu the motors but it would be a bit of work--you'd need to isolate the motors from the wipers on the truck, which are all one unit, and then feed the track power to the DCC chip on the frame, then back to the motors running in parallel (or in series? not sure which is less hassle for a DCC controller.) The nice thing about the single-motor version is that it is easier to intercept power from the wheels/pickups on their way to the motor, which is mounted in the frame--four less wires mounted to things that move to worry about in such a crowded little space.
  16. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    One fix I've heard for the older 44 toners is to wire the two power trucks in series instead of parrallel. I'm not sure how series wiring of 2 motors would affect doing dcc.
  17. lapuce033

    lapuce033 New Member

  18. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    Whoa! Are those pans functional (providing power) or were they used like the PE put trolley poles on diesels to activate signal/detection stuff?
  19. caellis

    caellis Member

    My 44 ton is one of my best small diesel switchers. It is the newer single motor version and is about the only small switcher that navigate through turnouts with unpowered frogs without any problems. I installed a TCS decoder in my 44 ton.

    The only other switcher I own that can handle the #4 switches without any problems is an IHC 0-6-0 switcher that has power pick-up from the drivers and the tender wheels. I ground the drivers down to operate on code 83 track.
  20. waredbear

    waredbear Member

    I put my new (to me) GE 44-Tonner on the track Friday and it did nothing but SMOKE!!!! :cry:I knew there was a problem when I bought it. I'll bring it to work tomorrow and document the process of removing the engine. Or do I just send the whole thing back to Bachmann?


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