RDC rubber bands

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by jambo101, Mar 22, 2008.

  1. jambo101

    jambo101 Member

    I would like to run 2 older Athearn RDC units but the rubber bands that drive the wheels have disintegrated,i've tried all the sizes i could find at Staples and the dollar store but nothing fits and my local train stores dont stock the appropriate parts:confused: any one got any tricks?
  2. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    You might try O-rings...Check your local car parts store...I'm sure they have a size that should fit. I think.
  3. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    I am sure you can order replacements from somewhere. But if you are looking for a stand-in, the rubber o-ring suggestion is a good one. Buy a "variety pack" and see what fits. You may also try browsing the parts drawers at your local ace hardware. They sell all sorts of stuff. Also, belts for electronics devices may work. If you have an electronics parts house near you (probably not radio shack), look for belts that fit cooling fans or tape drives.

  4. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

    I beleive a company called ernst mfg. made a gear conversion for the athearn RDC some years ago. That might be an alternative if you can find them.
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    The big headache with these things is that you have to dis-assemble the trucks every time you change the bands.
    No help from me; I blew my RDC many decades ago. I do have a box of bands for the N gauge equivalent.
  6. mikebalcos

    mikebalcos Member

    When I had none of these rubber bands in stock, I asked my uncle dentist for some rubber bands used in pulling braces. Get the biggest of these dental rubber bands for braces. They worked for me. :)
  7. mikebalcos

    mikebalcos Member

    Oh, btw, if you stored your Athearn RDCs for a long time, don't forget to oil the ends of your axles. Your RDCs should be the fastest engine on your layout. When my Athearn Genesis F7A and Bachmann GP50 are crawling, the Athearn RDC seems to be at full speed.
  8. ed acosta

    ed acosta Member

    Some 50 years ago, either MR or RMC magazine featured a race in which the rubber-band drive Athearn "Hustler", a four-wheel industrial switcher, clocked in at a record 400+mph!

    Once your local train store becomes aware of your need for speed, rest assured that they will not only stock Hustlers, but an an array of scientifically proven rubber-bands!
  9. jambo101

    jambo101 Member

    The dollar store came up with some small hair elastics that do a decent job,the price was right $1 for 500.
  10. mikebalcos

    mikebalcos Member

    I need a piece of advice regarding these Athearn RDCs. I have an Athearn RDC passenger train (1 RDC3 and 2 RDC1s). My parents are offering me to have them replaced with an ordinary Athearn F7A+B and 3 Athearn streamlined passenger cars(Santa Fe roadname). My only concern is to have a 1950's era passenger train running on my layout. So it's a choice between buying a spare motor, or buying a spare passenger train. I have small windows of opportunity in getting HO products since I'm in the Philippines. I think the Athearn RDCs are pretty, but they seem to be not good crawlers and not excellent runners on curves.
  11. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

    I'd take the F7 set and the passenger cars. Tourist railroads run old locos and stock all the time. I'm sure you'll find a way to fit it in.
  12. IandOFan71

    IandOFan71 Member

    I just happen to have a couple of RDC's with that had the very same problem. What I used was a few of my daughter's little elastic hair ties. It's a bag full of different sizes that you can find at Wal Mart or perhaps the dollar store and you get a million of them for cheap. There is one of the bands that almost a perfect match to the o-band. I have one unit with the original bands and one with the hair ties and the hair ties are actually way better. Good luck to you and let us know how it turns out.

  13. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    RDCs often were added to the end of regular passenger trains. Sometimes because they would be uncoupled and sent down a branch line; sometimes because the RDC was the usual train but they needed extra cars and had to use standard equipment.
    RDC warranty was void if they were used to pull cars.
  14. bobbyspfan

    bobbyspfan New Member

    I bought some on eBay if you don't mind paying a little more. They were original Athearn parts and the dealer, "woodentrainmaker", was quite fair and delivery was fast.
  15. CN_Fan

    CN_Fan New Member

    I got some too this week if u need more.

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