Noisy Loco

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Old_Bob, Nov 25, 2006.

  1. Old_Bob

    Old_Bob Member

    I went look shopping today to check out a couple train stores in the area. At one they had two or three long HO trains running on good-sized oval tracks.

    One was a steamer (forgot to note the type, but it was big) pulling a long train. What bothered me was the noise. The engine made a fairly loud grinding sound (for lack of a better term); it was obviously motor and/or gear noise.

    Is this normal? I wouldn't want that on my layout. Is there a way to avoid this? Is it a matter of choosing a quality loco?
  2. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Hard to say. Could be lack of lubrication. Lack of maintenance. A loco that's been used for a lot of hours. You would have to know the specifics of that individual loco. No, it isn't a normal thing.
  3. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

    I would think the quality of the loco is prominent to the problem, but certainly no healthy loco should be making a grinding noise. No, its not normal. The best way ive been told to avoid it is to give your loco a good lube and cleaning before hitting the rails, no matter how old it is or how it was stored. Other than that im told once a year check ups are necessary.

    Yes, choosing a good quality loco is step one. Now, plenty of good quality locos are fairly priced! But even my brand new IHC Premier Steamer needed a lube out of the box, it had a prominent squeek.

    Hope that helps

  4. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    That could have been a older brass engine,a Penn-Line(now Bowser) and any of the above suggestions.
  5. jr switch

    jr switch Member

    Bob----I have three steamers at present, the Bachmann 4-8-4, a Bachmann spectrum Decopod 2-10-0 and an IHC 2-10-2 Santa Fe. I can hear a very slight noise from the wheels and driving rods and possibly normal motor noise and that is all. All three are about the same and all still pretty new, so I would have to say this is the normal noise to expect from the steam engines. Both of my diesels are brand new and definately much noisier than the others. In fact, the diesels make a pretty cool scale diesel sound. I agree with the others, the one you describe needs attention.---John R
  6. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Funny, when I read the first post, I thought the same thing:thumb: What a glorious racket my Bowser can make---and my Marklin!...woo hoo:D
  7. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    I don't know if I lucked out... But my first (and only so far!) steam loco purchase was a Broadway Limited Imports 4-6-4 NYC Hudson. With the on-board sound turned off, it ran with about the same amount of noise as my diesel locos (Atlases and tuned Athearns).. No grinding noises, but some squeaking from the running gear and side rods, which was promptly fixed with a little white grease.

    What noise there is from the mechanism is promptly drowned out by the on-board Quantum DCC sound when I cranked up the volume. :D

    Next week I got a relative coming over with his MDC Old Timer 2-8-0 Consolidation for a run on my pike.. I'll report back on its running noises when that happens.
  8. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    If you get back to the same hobby shop, and the same locomotive is still making the noise, ask someone in the train department. My local hobby shop is open from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm Monday - Saturday, and 10:00 am to 6:00 pm on Sunday. They used to have an ho scale model railroad in the front window running constantly. It was started when the store opened and shut down when they closed. It was normal to wear out motors and gear boxes on virtually any brand of diesel locomotive (they didn't run steam) every 4-6 weeks.
  9. Old_Bob

    Old_Bob Member

    In thinking back on that store visit - I visited several stores and lost track of what I saw where - the noisy loco was actually a double header pulling a long train. I would guess both locos were the same and about 4-8-2 size.

    Very possible they had just been run to death there in the store. I suspect they are kept running at least half time the store is open. No squeaks but just heavy motor and gear noise.

    What is with the comment about a brass loco? Do they have a problem?
  10. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Bob: brass has a reputation for having running qualities that do not match the price. This is not universal and, I believe, not consistent.
  11. Old_Bob

    Old_Bob Member

    Sorry, but you lost me! Explain brass another way.
  12. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

  13. 65GASSER

    65GASSER Member

    Yeah check that link out. It answered every question I ever had about Brass Locos. I just can't get past the price just yet. :thumb:
  14. Old_Bob

    Old_Bob Member

    Thanks. Now I understand!
  15. fseva

    fseva Member

    Could be the manufacturer...

    :cry:I have owned locomotives by Model Die Casting that sounded like coffee grinders! Needless to say, they're no longer on my roster!

    :thumb: However, if you buy a locomotive from Atlas, Broadway Ltd, Walthers/Proto, or Precision Craft, you will be getting not only a good locomotive, but also a warranty that will assure no coffee grinders on your layout!
  16. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I haven't built a Model Die Casting locomotive, yet, but I have a couple of their locomotive kits on my shelf to build. If they have as much casting flash on the gears and gear boxes as the rest of the parts on their cars that I have built, you wuold get quite a bit of noise if you don't clean the flash off very good.
  17. Old_Bob

    Old_Bob Member

    Yeah, coffee grinder; very descriptive of what I heard.
  18. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    I have a variety: MDC rod, MDC shay, brass steam, athearn deisels, genesis steam, mantua steam & desiel, Bachmann steam & desiel, Bachmann plus steam & desiel, spectrum steam, ihc normal & premier steam, proto 2k steam, lifelike desiel, tyco deseil, rivarossi steam (old ahm & modern), ancient mantua & mdc steam, grandt line deseil & steam, and probably others.

    Steam or difference in sound if properly manufactured and maintained.

    My mantua mallets (they have sagamis in them) are quieter than their equivalent F units and my 4-6-0 with an open frame motor.
    My mdc shay is noisy, as are the rod engines (to a lesser extent), but I kind of like the sound from the mdc engines (they have open frame motors)...shays should sound like their going 90mph when they're moving 10mph.
    My old rivarossi (ahm) hudson is quite loud, the newer berk is much quieter.
    My IHC 4-4-0 and rivarossi (AHM) bowker are fairly quite, while the bachmann 4-4-0s are a bit noisy.
    The vanilla bachman stuff is kind of noisy, the plus is quiter, and the spectrum is very quiet.
    The athearn PA-1s are the loudest engines on the roster...the sw-7 is quieter, and the 2-8-2 is close to silent.
    The Proto 0-8-0 is similar to the 2-8-2. The LL desiels (not proto) are loud.
    The IHC stuff is fairly quite.
    The Grandt line stuff is quiet.

    Generally, modern stuff is quieter than older stuff...unless there's a problem with it.

    EDIT: I'm actually I haven't picked up a desiel since probably around 1995. I'm sure they're just as quiet as my modern steam engines.
  19. fsm1000

    fsm1000 Member

    I know that before the gearing we have now we used to use rubber bands between the motor and the wheels. No noise then LOL :D

    Man that's dating me :)

Share This Page