Need Help with 2 engines

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Starman, Sep 30, 2006.

  1. Starman

    Starman Member

    I just brought 2 engines and i am having problems with both,i put them on the track and either one of them want's to run.I have taken them apart and cleaned them and i don't know if i did that right.One of them is a bachman EMP GP 40 DIESEL and the other one is a amtrak diesel not sure of what size.I need to know if there is something else i can try to get these to work or if there might be a differant cleaning method i might be able to use and what should i be useing to clean them with.When i put them on the track they act like they want to run but they sit there and do nothing.I just brought this amtrak today and i would love to get it up and running and also i would love to get the EMP running also.Please help if you can any ideals welcome.
  2. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Are they new or used? I assume, probably used, since you would have just taken a new one back to the store. Have you been running other equipment with the same power supply? There is the possibility that the contacts on the trucks are dirty or corroded. You will have to do some diassembly to correct this problem.
  3. trainnut65

    trainnut65 Member

    Ok When you say you cleaned them what did you clean on them. If there is no power coming to the motor from the trucks then you mite need to check and make sure the wheel are clean and the pick up's on the trucks to the wheels are clean. then on most bachmanns there are wipes on the top of the truck that touch the frame on both sides make sure thay are clean and dry from any oil are just junk build up.Then there is a chance the brushes need to be replace are cleaned up some. that will require taking the motor apart and cleaning it up. Make sure you oil the bearning in the end bells with some good oil and make sure the oil you use is for plastic if it is not this will make a mess of the plastic end bells. And then after all this cleaning it still dont run. make a paper weight out of it. But i am sure it can be made to run just have to check all the contact points on the frame and trucks to make sure thay have power coming to them. Let us know what you find.
  4. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    If it is the toy train Bachmann, then your problems really are just starting. They simply are not made too well and any number of things could be wrong. Try to find out the make of the other as that would go a long way towards finding the problem.

    The most basic thing in both cases is to follow the circuit. Red wires go to the right side, black to the left, this being determined by looking at the loco as though you were the engineer, sitting in the cab, facing forward. I start at the motor by using a 9v battery and two alligator clips. Touch each pole with a lead and see if it runs. If it does, go to the next contact point and so on down to the wheels, all the while looking for dirt, excess grease and oil, hair balls (no kidding), lint, bent contactors and anything else that might interfere with current flow. I clean all contact points with a Q-tip and rubbing alcohol, including the wheel treads. Unless it's a really well run loco or very old, I rarely find things like worn motor brushes and wipers to be the problem.

    Once you're sure of its ability to pickup power, lightly lube each bearing point with a very light oil---Wahl clipper oil is great and easy to find---only a drop is necessary.

    Hope that helps.:thumb:
  5. trainnut65

    trainnut65 Member

    Most Bachmann dont have red and black wires thay get power through the frame. with wipers on the trucks. at least the ones i have ever seen do. But i am just talking on what i know about them.
  6. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    You're right, same goes for Tycos. Rarely do you see wire for anything other than the lighting. As a general rule, toy trains usually use a self contained motor/drive unit that has no wiring and is usually assembled in a way that cannot be disassembled easily, more often than not they were riveted together. The best you can do is clean them where you can and run them 'til you can't.
  7. trainnut65

    trainnut65 Member

    Now this is true. A lot of the cheaper bachmann are just that chep bachmanns. Now the three i have are spectrum models and the frame will unbolt on them so you can get them motor out. but thay are a mess to get back togather. If you can let us know what you have are take some pic's of them and post them here so we can better help out with this trouble.
  8. Starman

    Starman Member

    Thank you all for your insite it wil be very useful i really don't know what type of engine that is for the amtrak i brought it off of ebay as a set.The bachman also can with a set i got off of ebay.I will try some of what you have said and if it does not work then i guess it will become a paper wieght.I have not been in this to long but i guess you learn as you go what is good and what is bad.
  9. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Don't feel too bad, I've been in the hobby 30+ years and own a couple "paper weights" myself.:thumb: :D
  10. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    rule number 1:

    Deal on ebay may not be deals after all.

    You probaly should just buy a maitenance kit from Lionel or Life Like ( now walthers) and clean everything as the instructions dictate.

    Considering there are alot of model Amtrak locomotives out there, you'll need to figure out who made it and what locomotive it is. can you still go tot eh auction itself ( the window may not be deleted yet) and get a picture of it? and the auction discription?
  11. dsfraser

    dsfraser Member

    Check out my response to "Quick Question" below.

    When it comes to locomotives, it is well worth spending the money to get a good one. It baffles my why manufacturers, who one would think would want to draw people into the hobby, peddle cheap "trainset" locomotives that are unreliable and inevitably frustrate newcomers to the hobby. They're shooting themselves in the foot, driving people away by offering cheap junk that just puts them off model railroading.

    By all means, do what you can to salvage your purchase, but in future stick to the better manufacturers — Atlas, Kato, Proto, Stewart, Genesis, among others. Avoid Bachman and Life-Like (now Walthers) "trainset" locomotives in favour of better quality. It will greatly increase your enjoyment of the hobby.

    Start reading — magazines, on-line articles, forum posts, etc. the more you read, the better informed you are as to accuracy, reliability, and relative cost of various locomotives (and rolling stock). You are then better able to make a good choice when you go to buy your next locomotive.

    And as others have said, beware of eBay. Don't buy from there unless you know clearly what it is you're buying. Initially you are much better off to make friends with your local hobby shop, ask his advice on your purchases, and support him as he supports you. It may cost a bit more at face value, but if he can steer you clear of one bad purchase, it more than makes up for the few dollars more you might pay to buy from his shop. And these days, brick-and-mortar hobby shops need the business.

    Scott Fraser
    Calgary, Alberta

    Good luck with your
  12. Canopus

    Canopus Member

    Before you dismiss Bachmann and Lifelike entirely, remember that their spectrum and P2k models are just as good as Atlas, Athearn RTR, and Stewart. In fact it is my experience that Stewart Hobbies are the worst manufacturer, since they charge an awful lot of money for a VERY basic (no grab irons, no mu cables, no bells, no lift rings) model that often has poor running quality or actual design flaws like underweighted frame, overpowered motors, screws that refuse to thread or unscrew, and window glass that's nearly impossible if not totally impossible to insert. I've got 4 stewart models and 3 of them had all these problems and more, only 1 of them worked fine out of the box (baldwin switcher).

    My advice? Beware of advice! Stick to people who KNOW - advice about a locomotive from someone who doesn't even own one isn't good advice - advice from someone who has bought one and tackled all it's problems IS good advice. Also, if you're going to buy second hand on ebay, be prepared to get a dud that you can't do anything with - in other words, don't spend loads unless you can be sure that you're getting something good. If you can, try and get the warranty that came with the model, or failing that see if you can get it from someone with a good returns policy.

    Good luck with your models.
  13. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    With one or two exceptions, most of my 40 locomotives started out as purchases bought on the faith that I knew there was nothing wrong with them that I couldn't figure out or repair. Most didn't run at the time of purchase and were bought in the full knowledge of that fact. Only two needed extensive repair work; cracked frames and such, the rest really only needed a good cleaning and lube. My two paperweights, a Tyco "Spirit of '76" Alco and a Bachmann DeWitt Clinton were never really considered for their future running potential as much as they were for my own nostalgic desires. I was surrounded by model trains from my eariest childhood and so quickly picked up on what to look for very early on.

    I never recommend a newcomer buying used equipment sight unseen online or experience undeveloped at a swap meet or other similar venue. There is simply too much out there available that, unless they had a trusted friend in the hobby at hand with the required experience to know what they are looking at, the average newcomer is in for some hard knock lessons. Online forums are great but they are in no way set up to be the "end all/be all" in the hobby.

    Take your time, tour some layouts and websites and enjoy the armchair aspect of the hobby for a bit before stepping out into serious coin. If those indeed are bad locos, use them for paint and weathering fodder, as well as a way to understand how they work and what makes the difference in quality.
  14. alexander

    alexander Member

    actually, the new bachmanns arent that bad (8 wheel drive only)

Share This Page