Getting a Big boy to move

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Pocoblitzkreig, Aug 15, 2004.

  1. Pocoblitzkreig

    Pocoblitzkreig New Member

    I have a rivarossi 2-8-8-2 and i don't know how old it is. I purchased it for $25 and it runs and doesn't run. I checked the motor which runs fine when disconnected form the drive. I am thinking the drives are binding. They look like PTO's hooked to each set of 8 drivewheels. I can give them a twist and it will go about two inches and bind up again.

    Is there any way to get them to turn without binding.
  2. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    I have the Rivarossi Cab-forward and they have essentially the same drive train. Make sure that your boiler weight/frame is not warped. It was in mine (hence the $25 price tag on it at a swap meet). By carefully breaking it at the warp points, then carefully regluing them using JB Weld, I was able to rescue the frame.

    Next, when reassembled, check to make sure the gear towers are not binding at the thru points on the bottom half of the boiler shell. While all 8 drivers of my 4-8-8-2 were touching the ground, there was no flex in the drive train so that the drivers were not in contact with the track at all times, especially on hills. By filing around the holes slightly, I was able to free up the towers. Nothing busts your bubble more than having an articulated that can't pull 5 cars up a 1.5% grade.

    With the top of the boiler off, you'll notice that the drive train between the two gear towers has a keyed plastic drive shaft. In each end there is an oblong hole that mates with the metal shaft coming out of the tower. Make sure it is not stripped or binding and that it is long enough. Mine was about a quarter inch short and so was not turning the forward set of drivers all the time---OR---binding up at other times by being sloppy enough to jam on its mating shaft. I cut mine in half and extended it with a quality sleeve made out of shrink tubing. Unorthidox yes, but even with the 3 and a half ounces of additional lead packed in the boiler, she still humps 25+ NMRA weighted cars up a 1.75% grade on the club layout.

    Make sure all your drive rods are free and not binding, there may be a driver slightly out of quarter or a popped rivet in the linkages. Finally, clean and lightly lube it. This may sound like a lot of work but the cheese eating grin on my face during Run Night at the club marks how well worth it it was. My 35 year old Grand Dame pulls full freights with the best of them high dollar, blue blood Kato and Spectrum units. Here she is in McCue city yard sporting her super bright LED headlight.

    Lat me know when you're ready for a decoder install and I'll guide you thru that, too. Post some pics, I just plain love Rivarossi's "Poor Man's Brass" and am currently working on a 4-6-4 Hudson as we speak. Blessings, BC

    Attached Files:

  3. TrainClown

    TrainClown Member

    WOW! Cool engine ya got there. Sounds like the deal of the century. Say, I guess those engines never worked in logging? I guess it wont work for me then. :(

    Oh well. On my next layout when have more room. ;)

    TrainClown :)
  4. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    I just noticed that you said it was a 2-8-8-2. If it is marked for any other road than the Pennsylvania, then it's a Y6b Mallet. The Pennsy refered to them as Y3bs. A Big Boy would be a 4-8-8-4 with a unique looking 14 wheel Centipede tender. Now that I look like rivet counter, I think I'll go back to my rock. ;)

    Hope you get her running.
  5. Pocoblitzkreig

    Pocoblitzkreig New Member

    Got it running!

    Well here is a run down of what I did. First I checked for the warping. As far as I could tell by measuring, there was no warping. The through points for the gears were not a problem and the drive shafts were fine. Since all this was good I went back to the motor. There had to be somthing with the motor.

    I had disconnected the motor before and the the engine rolled smoothly with all gears in place. I checked the motor against the rails of the track and it ran fine. I had to check it again. It did run fine. While I was thinking though I was just starting and stopping the motor and it jammed. That was the problem. Sorry Shaygetz, It was less than I thought. I just dripped a drop of oil in each shank, ran it for 30min on low speed and reassembled. It runs great now, even after about 50 - 75 starts and stops.

    Thanks for the advice and pointers though shay, they helped me to get a move on this problem. I do have several other revarossi's that I have made fixes on up to a completely remanufactured bottom and drive for a tender driven. It was out of an old CD jewel box and scrape aluminum. Now that is unorthidox!

    Here a pic of the engine

    Attached Files:

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