Issue with Bachmann F7 AB Powered Units

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by sabretooth47, May 13, 2008.

  1. sabretooth47

    sabretooth47 Member

    So I've had these F7 Spectrum units for about 6-7 years. They were never run much...a total of maybe 20 minutes...up until recently when I finally got my track laid tried putting it through some paces. It did not run as good as I'd expected back then, but I wrote it off as poor wiring to the rails at the time. So I tried them again this past weekend...

    And so far they have failed miserably. wall1

    They are both DC run.

    The B unit runs fairly ok. But it's rather choppy and only runs decently when the throttle is at full power using my Railpower 1300. I also have a cheapy throttle that came with a Bachmann starter set. Strangly, it runs better with the cheap throttle, but still not at a level I would consider acceptable.

    The A unit on the other hand runs even worse. With the Railpower throttle, even at full power the unit creeps along and stalls frequently. With the cheap throttle, again, it runs better but still nowhere near a quailty level.

    So, thinking that they may a little maintenance from sitting in a case for several years, I took the units apart and verified there were no frozen parts. I greased up the worm gears and axles (using Labelle 106 and 108). Put everything back together and gave them another try.

    There's no change in the B unit...but even worse is that now the A unit doesn't run at all. I even took it apart again, figuring I jammed something up. I carefully put everything back together and verified everything against the schematics...but still nothing.

    Has anyone had a similar issue? Any suggestions before I ship the units back to Bachmann and shell out $20 to replace the engines that have run less than 30 minutes in their lifetime?

  2. ScratchyAngel

    ScratchyAngel Member

    If they've sat that long, maybe they need grease and oil and a bit of break-in running.
  3. sabretooth47

    sabretooth47 Member

    I can't imagine that they need a "break-in" run. I have 6 other engines (4 Atlas, 1 Lifelike, and 1 other Bachmann). All but one of these is older than the F7 AB and they all run beautifully. Ironically, the 1 other Bachmann is a Sante Fe F7 that came with a starter set and that runs better than the Lifelike.

    Both the Spectrum A & B units have run horribly from the beginning. I ran the B unit at full power for a good 4-5 minutes before giving up on it. The A unit had been nothing but trouble and when it did run...I couldn't get it to move more than 6-7 inches at a time without it stalling and needing a push.
  4. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Have you cleaned the wheels..?? Pushing engines to get them going is usually a sign that either the track or the wheels need cleaning....
  5. sabretooth47

    sabretooth47 Member

    I toyed with the A unit again last night. It's getting power, as the headlight is coming on. I took the shell off again and spun the engine gear and the wheels are moving freely. I got the feeling the engine itself is shot. If that's the case, I find that a little disturbing. I'm probably just going to ship it back to Bachmann. I'm just irritated that I have to shell out $20 plus shipping to replace an engine that has had no real running life.
  6. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    First such thing happens to all manufacturers.
    Second send both units back to Bachmann and they will R/R the units.

    I know that feeling of being irritated.I bought 2 Atlas N Scale RS1s in C&O and one would not run..I checked the locomotive and found one end of the contact strip was not touching..I bent the contact strip so it would make contact and its been running good ever since..But,still having to fix a new out of the box locomotive can be dishearting.
  7. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Tell me about it....I bought a B'mann Spectrum Heavy Mountain, first thing I do is put it on DC track to see if it runs OK...It does...So I pop it open and install a decoder, and it's off to the races....No races...:cry:

    After much cussin' & tracing each wire all through its length, I find a small bit of solder bridging two terminals on the PC board...causing a short....I use a small saw blade to remove it...and it works. I presume on DC that particular circuit was not powered, but when I installed the decoder the short surfaced....:curse:

    Lesson learned...Test a loco BEFORE installing a decoder...!! :thumb:

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