I just cant figure it out

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by hiscopilot, Jan 6, 2007.

  1. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan


    wait, it could just be me,but are the bottoms of the trucks almost as close to the gound as the wheels are? maybe that's the problem, the truck bottoms are jamming on the ties of the track, thereby preventing the train from moving or making great progress

    EDIT: that's a pretty good looking loco on my part for being at the bottom of a junk box:thumb:
  2. hiscopilot

    hiscopilot Member

    hmmm, must go check... if not, i'll grab some of my hubbys fishing weights and stash them inside to see if its a weight issue.

    Thanks, see, I know nothing about these things, I was thinking it was a total hunk of junk but have now been told several times that its not. Its in bad condition though, the steps/ ladders around the bottom are broken off and such, but its a good one for my son to learn with so I dont have to worry abouthim breaking it! :)

    And from my research last night, it may be a life-like or something... but I really thouhgt they would have their name stampedon it
  3. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

    not Life-Like

    can't be. where are the couplers? Life-Like highly publicied it's proto 1000/2000 couplers, and I belive that's been the case for a while, so it would need some good couplers I think. Secondly, I think all Life-Like trains had/have more detail. I have a Life-Like F3 CNW loco which you can see in my intro page, first 3 pics from the start, and it's in fine condition. By the way, What was the loco doing in it's trials? was it just by itself or pulling a # of cars? was it goin up an incline? Those might be questions to the puzzle, my dear Watson! (I'm reading Hound of the Baskervilles Right now:D , its a good read of young adults)
  4. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member


    LifeLike also has a cheap toy line, and their toy line are nothing like the Protos in quality. That loco could very well be from their toy line.


    Good luck and let us know how it works out with the weights. :thumb:
  5. hiscopilot

    hiscopilot Member

    Oh its definitely NOT a proto, that much I knew (how much one can learn from hours on the internet... ) I think it might be one of those cheap toys.

    Clues for watsons notebook:
    Images on the web- although none were Rock Island, I found a few that looked identical in detail... but had life-like stamped on it
    The box of stuff I bought from these folks (did I mention I apparently scored a jackpot???) Had other life-like cars brand new in the box and about 6 more loose and damaged all from life-like. along with some misc stuff and bunches of atlas track.
    Nothing else I can find out there even comes close to looking like it except maybe tyco... but to me the tyco and life like trains look alike are they the same?

    Ok as far as the operation of this pestersome engine, let me say THE ROCK ISLAND RIDES AGAIN. However, her woes are not over. I loaded some 12 oz (yes 12 oz) of fishing weights in it- mainly over the truck thats powered... and she ran the full oval without much slipping. The second trip around wasn't as smooth. Thats when I noticed she was sitting a little odd on the track. I checked and she was on the rails. The place where the motor sits and is connected through to the truck hinges up and down. I checked the pin and it is in straight- although I had previously put it in place so could have been on the list of problems. I think this engine was sitting back on her wheels just enough to make 2 of the 4 lose contact. I am not sure how I will try it, but I think if I can keep this piece from hingeing (I know it does hinge for a reason, but...) then I think she'll sit right and run... once I get the correct weights inside her.

    Oh and as for the couplers? I wish I knew what these mean people did to this poor engine... what this engine did to deserve such pain... the couplers are gone. I will replace them when I find some. I have several cars to replace them on as well. I would like to replace the couplers on ALL of my trains so they are the same, is this usually possible?

    Ok, I tried to take movie clips of the woed engine... I will see how they turned out and if I can upload them to my photobucket and let all you experts check it out!
  6. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan


    For making all the couplers the same, you can, but it may be tricky if they are mounted differently(car-mounted and truck-mounted). They are usualy cheap, and easy to install(although I've never had to do that) also. By the way, I just looked at my layout in construction (making it so only a 9 inch atlas track&posibly a 3 inch bachman straight,nickel silver is all the track we need), and discovered Life-Like's name all over the bottom of my trains. Finally, at least you can consider that this whole experience is a tase of repairing locos:thumb:
  7. hiscopilot

    hiscopilot Member

    Yah, as I was looking I figured the thing about the truck mounted couplers. I will probably do it, I think all of mine are mounted the same way.

    I love tinkering with things and I think thats why I am so bound and determined to get this thing running! :)

    Here's the rude video clips of me playing with the RI:
    ok, here;s just 1 for now... its taking forever to upload.

    I'll come post the other when I get it uploaded.

    Be warned, there's nothing exciting here!
  8. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

    Was that the "Sea of Marbles" that it went through?sign1 But still, nice work!
  9. hiscopilot

    hiscopilot Member

    here's the other: [​IMG]

    Oh, thats my son's Thomas track and he uses those marble things to make a "mine". He's obviously a natural born modeler because he had to have stuff all around his track in order to play with it!
  10. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Love the water effect:thumb:

    It does look like a weight problem, I'd add an ounce or two front and back of that power truck with another ounce or two up front to balance it out. As for couplers, there's no time like the present to figure out how to mount a pair of Kadee #5s on that pup. Looks pretty good for a junk box find---a really good sign when you find it's designed to come apart, too. That at least separates it from the really toy trash. Prolly get shot down but my guess is a model of an Alco FA unit.
  11. hiscopilot

    hiscopilot Member

    Hmm, will look at the alco fa and see! Thanks

    My son had a creative solution for the sluggish and unreliable Rock Island:
  12. hiscopilot

    hiscopilot Member

    ok, the trains all say Made in Yugoslavia... does that help us at all? I found 2 or 3 more cars mixed in the life like stuff that say that and have no other stampings as well
  13. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    LOL, using Thomas as a helper engine! I think your son has gotten into the spirit of the TV show for sure. :thumb:

    Yeah back in the 1980s a lot of manufacturers such as Life Like, AHM, Model Power, etc. imported their stuff from Yugoslavia, most likely by a company called Mehano. Sometimes the same engine is made for two or more different brands and the only difference is the brand name on the box.

    Sounds to me like you have taken the solution as far as it can go by adding weights.. Unfortunately those partially-driven engines just don't have as much pulling power as engines with all-wheel-drive. You definitely should consider an Athearn F7A Superweight-- Those things are built like tanks (it's devoid of delicate detail so it can withstand some abuse from young kids), run really nice because all the wheels are driven and it's HEAVY, plus it's cheap at under $30 apiece. Our fellow poster YmeBP wrote a review of the SuperWeight here: http://www.the-gauge.com/showthread.php?t=24443
  14. hiscopilot

    hiscopilot Member

    Yeah! When we move into a real layout we'll get some heavy duty durable boogers. I am not too interested in small detail for a few years yet I think... We do have 2 sets- one by model power which has some really great quality locos and I am quite surprised with what we paid for it. Also we got a cheapie set used off craigslist. I am also very impressed with it. I like this RI for some reason! I guess because Il ike projects. I am wondering if I find another junker if I can modify it and add another set of driven wheels.. :)

    Thanks for all of the help and encouragement! I have had fun learning from you guys and from the things I hve tried to fix ths!

    And my son has obviously enjoyed this journey. :)

    He has no idea that our last dollars were spent on the Gordon set, James set, a Henry, and a Toby all due to arrive on Wednesday! WOO HOO!

    Hopefully I can then avoid using the credit card and actually stash $60 or so from our vacation fund to set up the benchwork and actually start out Isle of Sodor. I can't wait! My son is being totally patient, but me, I am getting antsy. I guess I could get to work on that roundhouse! Shew!

    Bottom line: THANKS!
  15. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

    When you star messing around with stuff, it kind of becomes special to you. it could be to someone the crumiest peice of trash and yet you respect it as one of your finer locos because you grew atached to it when you were trying to get it to work. as for thomas helping the RI loco, It's Gordon's Hill all over againsign1 ! Still, maybe you could put it on the Sodor Layout and say it's on lease from the U.S.!:thumb: your son will most likley be a fine modeler someday:D

    EDIT: UH-OH! that isn't BLACK bachman EZ track, is it? If it is, you better try to switch. I hear the black steel track is notorious for making you clean it 3 times as long as when you run trains on it.
  16. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I think the locomotive may be an old Cox Fa model. It does have a can motor mounted vertically instead of the pancake motor that has been discussed. I'm sure it is a weight problem, and I think an Athearn "super weight" from a F7 would fit and do the job for you. If they are available, they are quite inexpensive. You might check with your local hobby shop if you have one. If there is none available nearby, you might try contacting Athearn directly to see if they have the weights available.
  17. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Now we're talkin' real modeling:thumb:

    Ray Marrinacio would remotor it and put a new drive train in it using parts from a hapless VCR...I'm one that would patiently wait in the bushes somewheres for another to come along then graft a second power truck thru a modified floor pan...Ralph would fit the body onto a reworked Athearn drive...there's two or three others around these parts that'll have their own way with it and all to the consternation of those manufacturers who want us to buy new....I love The Gauge:thumb:
  18. hiscopilot

    hiscopilot Member

    yes its black- comes with the thomas sets, but its just for my son and his friends to use for "playing" its not for our layout... even so, we're good at cleaning and gluttons for punishment as well.

    i have an awesome model train shop 20 minutes from me (thats not far EVERYTHING is at least 20 mins from me) so i am sure they can equip me. plus they have cheapo boxes, so i might be able to find a sacrifice engine in there cheap :)

    yes this place is very great! I am really enjoying it!
  19. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    You know me to well Bob.:rolleyes: Been there , done that.:D
  20. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    After looking at the photos again and remembering the one I had, there should have been a weight sitting on the frame behind the motor.
    These are a slightly upgraded version of the old AHM C-liner drive. In fact the idler gears, axles and wheels will interchange. The worm from an early (single truck drive) AHM S 1000 or RS2 will interchange. (The C-liner worm has a larger diameter hole).
    I believe these came in sets sold by Model Power.

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