N Scale Lifelike/Walthers Heritage 2-8-4

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by smith580@zoominternet.net, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. I swear one of these days I will start a thread without a problem. I purchased an N scale 2-8-4 Lifelike back before Xmas. When I went to run it on my test track - it moved about an inch and quit. It would not go into reverse. After inspection I found that one of the drive rod pins came out of one of the drive wheels on the right side. I think it was the back one. I tried to replace the pin to no avail. I'm not a mechanic & I didn't want to break anything. I emailed TRAIN HAUS (eBay Merchant) and they said send it back they had a replacement. I received the replacement yesterday and after a lap or so on my test track - this one froze up too! This time the small drive rods on the front got jammed and the whole unit came out of the drive wheel. I emailed TRAIN HAUS again & they replied that they were out of stock and they have sold dozens of this unit with no returns, but send this one back as well. Mailing it today.wall1
    My test track is nothing more than the Bachman track & power pack that came with the Iron Duke train set. At first I thought it may be the small radius curves I am using. But then I remembered that I purchased a 2-8-4 Lifelike Berkshire back in Nov. & it worked fine. My question is this- Has anyone else out there had any similar problems with the N scale Lifelike 2-8-4 ? Thanks as always.
  2. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    I am not an n-scaler, nor am familiar with this particular loco. But from what I have seen, nearly all N-scale locos are built where the wheels have a split axle - a short piece of axle attatched to each wheel joined together in the center by pressing it into a gear. On steam engines, having the drive wheels properly quartered is absolutely critical. This means, the crank pins should be 90 degrees (1/4 of a circle) apart from each other on opposite wheels. In other words, the main rod on one side of the loco should be at the top or bottom of the wheel while the main rod on the other side should be in the middle.

    If one of the half axles slipped in the gear, it would lose quarter and the engine would bind up. The gear could be cracked causing this problem - a manufacturing defect. Some life-like HO engines were plagued with this problem for years.

    One more point - ebay is good in some instances, and bad in others. You are lucky the ebay seller was willing to replace your unit. For beginners, you are probably better off buying from a local hobby shop with a knowledgeable staff (if there is one nearby). You may pay more, but the advice from the staff and the hands on experience will be worth it. Ebay is always hit and miss. You never know what you are getting into.

    Walthers does have a good customer service reputation. Perhaps call their service department with questions on this particular loco.

  3. Thanks Kevin. I was into HO scale years ago and do remember how important it is to have the gears & drivers quartered on Steam locos. I have had pretty good luck on Ebay with N scale. This is the first time I have had any trouble with a steam loco in N scale. Hopefully, I'll get a refund as I am modeling the Erie RR and I normally have to buy undecorated and do my own decals.

Share This Page