How much mechanical imperfections in engines do you tolerate?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by mikebalcos, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. mikebalcos

    mikebalcos Member

    I'm just curious: how much mechanical imperfections in engines do you tolerate? I'm in the process of reviving a late-90's era Athearn SD40-2. What I can do with it is make 4 of the 6 axles work, and use a motor that's not in perfect condition. I can't buy axle gears and a new motor right now. There's no local hobby shop in my city.

    Mike B.
  2. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Hello Mike:wave:
    I think that is up to you. Personally, if it runs ok and looks decent then i am happy. If it's going to be a frustration, i scrap it for parts.
    btw, can you internet order parts? They should be available.

  3. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Since Horizon bought out Athearn, they have reduced the parts availability. I think they may only offer power trucks as complete assemblies rather than offering the gears individually. I understand the motors are now similar in price to can motors. I'm not sure if you have access to Japanese parts like Mashima can motors in the Philippines for better prices than we can get here stateside. You might be better off to look on Ebay for another Sd40-2 either as a parts source or to use as the primary locomotive and convert your existing locomotive into a dummy.
  4. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    Only those I cannot repair.....and then, only until I can repair them. :mrgreen:
  5. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    I have Tyco in my roster...enough said.:mrgreen:
  6. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I have one, too,

    ....and I'll be adding a couple more, hopefully this winter. A friend gave me a frame for a Mikado, and the Cary USRA boiler arrived yesterday. I still need a motor and gearbox, plus some detail parts. I also have a tender-drive 0-8-0: this one will get re-motored, re-geared, re-boilered, and a new tender, too, but the running gear is perfect for the prototype which I'm copying. :rolleyes:;):-D

    As for running qualities, a loco needs to run smoothly at prototypical speeds, pull well, work well when used with other locos, and be easy to service.

  7. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Hi...There are two things I can't live with on my layout...One is faulty trackwork, and the other is balky engines...I pulled a Spectrum 2-8-0 off the layout a few days back 'cause it was stopping & starting - wire harness problem. I'll probably get to it this weekend, see how it gets fixed...I'll probably hard wire engine & tender together....

    Wayne...That looks a lot like the kit (Tyco) I've had sitting in the to-do list for a couple of years. Any chance of a few close-ups so I can steal your detailing fair and square..?? :mrgreen:
  8. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    I have zero tolerance..While the majority of my equipment is straight from the box they must perform smoothly and be dependable anything less is unacceptable and will be tuned up in order to meet my 2 standards..
  9. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Sorry, I've only got a couple of photos of that loco, and there's not too much detailing worth stealing.


    I built it for my son, who's no longer interested in trains. I'd like to rework it as a USRA engine, to match the other one I plan to do - this one's already got a new gearbox and a can motor.;):-D

  10. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Wayne....Thanks for the pics.....I've filed them away in my "Mikados" folder. :thumb:

    One of these days I'll get around to building that Mike....:rolleyes:
  11. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    I believe you mean actual mechanic deficiencies, in terms of how well or poorly a loco runs (and not discrepancies in detail)?

    If it's the first option, I obviously prefer that my locos should run smoothly and prototypically. Out of my 22 locos, I do have 4-5 old ones that don't run that smoothly at low speeds -- some won't even "do" slow speeds! I simply tolerate these (b/c I often keep them for sentimental reasons) although I prefer how realistic my newer ones perform.


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