N scale locomotives (Diesel)

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by brendanplaine, Nov 18, 2002.

  1. brendanplaine

    brendanplaine New Member

    Hello. i have been building layouts for most of my life. I am now into american railroads. I have purchased many second hand locos, i have rebuilt these to work fine again, all but 3. These 3 strangely are made by Model Power. Also i own two model power passenger cars that need the wheelsets to be replaced. so i am now believing that Model Power are the worst manufacturer that i have ever come across. I have stripped these 3 locos down, the problems are as follows, one needs new wiring, one needs a new motor, the last seemed to work, but has now gave up after the motor began smoking. I will in due course replace these motors. I want to know what others think about model power. If you wish to contact me, please email me at brendanplaine@hotmail.com as i want to know if i am right or wrong. I own bachmann locos that are well over 10 years old, and with some work these run fine using their original components. Also lifelike are proving to be the best. I dont own any Atlas as these tend to be to expensive.
  2. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hi brendanplaine, and welcome to the gauge.
    Depends which Model Power loco's you are talking about. I own two 2-8-0's which are tender driven, and these run very smooth indeed. The prices for these are around £50 UK $80 US so they ain't cheap. There are other Model Power models a lot cheaper and these are poor runners, including the diesels. Let me know which ones you have.
  3. brendanplaine

    brendanplaine New Member

    Hi, two locos are GP-40's and one is a Alco Century 420. The two passenger cars i own are both santa fe 'Streamline Passenger Cars' on these the wheel flang is very square so they have a fight with the rail head, and in the end they will bounce off. I have replaced the wheels with Bachmann temporary and they are fine.
  4. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Hi Brendan, I have a n-scale model power C-420 and it runs great! Of course the reason it runs good is because the model power shell sits on a Atlas B-23-7 mech. :D Model Power n-scale is junk IMHO. If I didn't need a C-420 I wouldn't have bought the one I did. Atlas, Kato and the newer Lifelike are all good runners and not that costly if you figure they will probably last you for years, look great and run great straight out of the box. BTW welcome to the Gauge! :)
  5. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Welcome aboard! I think many of the manufacturers make some pretty low end, and some pretty high end stuff. Many of them renamed their high end stuff, spectrum, P2K, etc. I think the mark up is so much that you can find bargains that make it hard to tell by price. I don't think I have any MP's yet, but I have a MP DDT in the mail, used, e-bay, so I'll let you know soon. I have cheap bach F units, and they are cheap, but well worth the $12 you can buy for new. Makes a wonderfull power truck as long as you don't need a low profile. I ran one around naked the other day, then crammed in up a Marx Hustler type switcher :) Cheap death-like 0-4-0's run OK and well worth the $12 you can buy it for new. BTW: All HO here in Cobblers Knob. I meantion that only as a reference point to the topic of cheap junk. If you can't get them to run good, just put 'em in the engine house :D :D :D
  6. brendanplaine

    brendanplaine New Member

    Hi tyson, well all i can say is i was testing my GP40 and trying to get it to work, i could see nothing wrong, as the motor was getting power, then it suddenly started to move, wheel spinning at a high speed, but not moving. Finally it started to jerk and then was the moment of truth, the loco raced off and for a moment i belived it was fixed. But then as it went past me, i noticed the grills on the roof were letting out smoke, i was thinking god thats relistic. So i stopped the loco, looked at it, still it seemed fine, and so i tried a final time, this time it let out massive sparks and smoke poured out, so now it is sat by the sink. Model Power will be getting a letter. The loco sheel has been saved but the chassis is awaiting a decision. The other two will be left alone until i find replacement motors.
  7. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Those Atlas, etc. locos are even cheaper when you add the cost of postage etc. to the model power locos, not to mention all your time trying to get them to run right. ;)
  8. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Hi Brendanplaine, I'm not into N scale but I used to own a hobby shop. A lot of the Model Power equiptment was pretty low end. As you have discovered the weakest link in the chain was the motors. Usually some of the motor is salvagable unless its "melted down". If you can't find a replacement motor just look for one with an armature about the same size and shaft length and see if you can put that armature in the Model Power motor. If it will turn freely between the magnets it will probably work. The smoke that you saw was the insulation on the armature winding melting from a shorted commutator and/or winding.
  9. brendanplaine

    brendanplaine New Member

    Hi jon (reply)

    i do agree with you on manufacturers making low end and high end products.

    may i ask what a DDT is??? i know that probably sounds stupid, but i have only just started leaning what US loco type are. The US history is very interesting, I do have to tell the truff, i believed EMD built the Dash 9!!! HA HA i can hear you laughing. Anyway the most reliable locos i have ever come across are the bachmann f7 and f9's these at a super cheap cost are very good runners. Ok so they are not super detailed, but i am willing to except that. I own one Life like loco, i love it, the way it slowly starts and the way it slows to a halt, it amazing. My poor GP40 will be dumped in the yard, and will have a decision made. Whether to scrap it or sell it. But i am willing to replace the motor. But the problem it had before it died was the motor was spinning but wasn't getting traction to the rails??? it had loads of weight behind it. I dont understand this. My collection of locos include Life like, bachmann, (the dreaded) model power and Lima. Of these all the bachmann are mostly F9's second hand that have come USA on ebay, as buying US N scale in the UK is now impossible unless you have a couple million £ somewhere!!! Bachmann locos seem to go on and on, they never waant to be scrapped, i have examples that are well over 15 years old and they are still going strong, ok they had to be cleaned. I have owned a Bachmann F9 from new since 1989, and today it is still going strong. The two lima locos i own are GP30's (took me weeks to find that out!!!) these are noisy but are quite good. i have another lima F9 coming so i will talk about lima. I used to own a OO layout, i used to own mostly Hornby locos, i found they used to use 3 types of motor. However a loco would run for 5 years and then that would be just about it!!! No matter how much you cleaned it, it would never last a day!
    Anyway thanks for replying
  10. brendanplaine

    brendanplaine New Member

    Hi Vic

    thanks for explaining about the motor, i couldn't understand what was smoking as no major damge seems done, the only evidence is that there is some black marks on the armature.
    With the motor i am not sure as to what i will do with it, i may look for a whole new motor and fit this in, or try what you have said, but i dont understand, this loco worked fine, but it was unable to make itself go, though the wheels were spinning at high speed, it just didnt have any traction. It had loads of weight, i even tried without the weight, but still it wasn't capable of moving itself.

    The other two, the one that need new wires has a different type of motor, when i got this loco it didnt work, then finally i got it to work and loads of oil poured out from the motor!!! This motor seems to look ok but the other motors are weird, they have one magnet at the end and use two pieces of metal to create the magnetic field. I have never seen a motor like this.:eek:

    Anyway thanks for the info. I will let all know what happens with these locos, becuase the way railway works is that a loco must work to pay it's keep, and so all strorage has to be earned!!!


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