Question about engine issues

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by ReblTeen84, Nov 25, 2004.

  1. ReblTeen84

    ReblTeen84 New Member

    OK! complete new person here...grandparents bought a Mantua Super Bowl Express set bout 10 or so years ago. No room to put it up, so i took it home for the holidays to set it up. now heres my problem. I have approx 42 cars, one for each team plus some super bowl winners. Have an engine, diesel-electric, guessing your basic mantua engine. I currently have 20 cars attached, 19 reefers plus caboose. At higher speeds, it sounds like the engine is spinning wheels, and i still have something like 20 cars to add on. replaced the stock track with ez-track since it needs to run on carpet, still using the stock power pack. Is my engine just underpowered, or is it something else?
  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Your engine isn't under powered. I'm not sure about the "Super Bowl Express", but I think the Mantua F unit actually runs a can motor with a gearbox and all wheel drive, so it is a pretty good "puller." Your problem is that you need another locomotive to help it out. I would suggest a "blue box" Athearn f7 super powered loco to help it out. They are relatively cheap, and run very well. The speeds may not match your Mantua perfectly, but as a friend of mine used to say about running on the La Mesa club layout at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum, any locomotive will run with any other locomotive if you put enough weight behind them.
  3. ReblTeen84

    ReblTeen84 New Member

    My engine isn't an F unit, its one of the boxy looking diesel electrics...i'm trying to find one like it, but apparently no ones selling them on ebay..any other suggestions?
  4. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    There are a number of things, ReblTeen. Firstly, check how freely your freight cars roll by themselves. And do they have plastic wheels, or metal wheels? Not to knock your set, (cause I have no idea what it is), but metal wheels have less friction, and hence, you should be able to give 5 - 10 cars a good nudge and they'll roll a considerable distance along your track. If they don't, then, of course, you loco has to overcome all this friction to haul them along. You may want to look at each car and see if you can improve their "rollability" a bit.

    Next. Get some weights (heavy coins???) and place them on your loco to weigh it down a bit, so it grips the track a bit better. If that works, then see if you can find something heavy to place inside the loco and weigh it down a bit.

    But finally, it doesn't really matter what loco it is, (unless it's a really really expensive one with a really really really good motor etc) asking it to haul 42 freight cars is probably a bit much anyway.

    I have some very good passenger cars that roll really well, and my loco will haul at least 20 of them no problems. But if I put my 10 el-cheapo plastics wheeled flatcars behind it? Nup. Wheelspin.
  5. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    Metal wheels will help your cars be more free-rolling, as well as adding a little weight at the lowest point. A toy-train locomotive probably isn't going to be a super-heavy puller of cars, which may be part of the problem--and when you try for higher speeds, eventually there won't be enough friction to hold the wheels tight to the track and they'll just spin. I assume that the train operates at slower speeds? Slower speeds are more realistic, especially for a single engine pulling a long string of cars--and you're less likely to stringline that long line of cars around a curve and have to spend more time picking up fallen cars than running the train.

    Adding weight to the locomotive will help. A second locomotive will help--unfortunately we'd need to know what kind of locomotive you already have before recommending a source for a backup (many, many boxy diesel-electrics have been produced over the last 70 years.)

    A better power pack (as opposed to the no-frills trainset power pack) might help too.
  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I'm trying to remember all of the diesels that Mantua made. I think they made a switcher, one of the emd sw's, but I don't remember which one. I think they also made a road switcher, a gp20 I think. Does your engine have the cab at one end, or is it about 3/4 of the way along with a long hood on one end and a short hood on the other end? You probably won't find a match to your diesel's paint scheme, since it was a limited run item, but it would have been a paint job on a standard Mantua locomotive.
  7. ReblTeen84

    ReblTeen84 New Member

    i looked it up , and i'd swear it looks ALOT like a GP38. I figured if i get another one, i'll just paint it to match the scheme. what i'd REALLY like, is to find another just like it, but it would seem that everyones selling the reefers on ebay, but not the bloody engine. cab is on one end, short hood, railings down the side, 2 fans on roof in the rear with a large one dead center. I found a GP on ebay by Athearn, MIB, looks like a close match but would definetly need to be painted. Gonna check the hobby shop too since i need to go back and get the track i ordered (i had to replace the track as well as order more..its a long bloody train, even with 20 cars on it).

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