Steam Engine moter placement

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Handy, Mar 24, 2003.

  1. Handy

    Handy New Member

    Hi all! Having only had a close look at two N engines, and only one of them a steamer, I was wondering if something I noticed was common.

    The steamer is a model of the Jupiter (4-4-0 / American(?) type) from Bachmann. The moter itself is located in the tender and powers the drive wheels through a ball-socket rod connecting the engine + tender.

    Is this a common arrangement in N scale steam engines, or is it only in the smaller engine types? It tends to be a pain, because the metal block in the cab doesn't provide enough weight on the drive wheels for them to get good traction. Oh, the drive wheels do have rubber(?) rings.
  2. billk

    billk Active Member

    Handy -

    The latest N scale steamer releases all have the motor in the boiler (I think). But they have all been relatively large models compared to Bachmann's 4-4-0. The engine in the tender design has always seemed a little problematical to me, for reasons including the one you mentioned.

    It's not uncommon to find traction tires on N scale steam locomotives - due to their small size it's hard to get enough weight in them to provide sufficient pulling power. Some people swear at traction tires, some swear by them.

    If you can find a place to put it, tungsten is a good material to use to add weight. It's approx. 50% heavier than lead, which is the more common choice. Where can you get tungsten? Try a locl or on-line golf pro shop, they use it for weighting drivers or something.

  3. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    Model Die Casting's (fairly) recent N-scale 2-8-0 Consolidation uses a tender drive, and from what I understand their upcoming 2-6-0 Mogul uses one, too. Here's a link:

    Many of the larger steam locomotives in N-scale have the motor located in the cab. A notable exception of a recent release is Life-Like's USRA 2-8-8-2. The motor in this loco is located in the middle of the boiler--but that's only possible 'cause the thing is so freakin' huge! See here for some great pictures of this model:

    Traction tires (tires with rubber bands) and motors-in-boilers are a fact of life for N-scale steamers. Even the Kato Mikado, which is widely regarded to be one of the best (if not THE best) steam loco ever produced is supposed to have terrible traction problems unless you install the optional traction tire.
  4. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    On the subject of motor in the tender..... When I removed the gear tower from my HO standard gauge 2-4-4-2, I opted for motor in tender universal drive link, so I could superdetail the cab, and backhead. I just recently updated it to a can motor, and NWSL universals.
    In my HOn3 outside frame 2-4-4-2, and the MDC outside frame 2-8-0, I went the same way, to add more weight in the boiler.
    I have a pair of Sierra Railway #38 2-6-6-2s that I am seriously considering doing the same modifications to, and may even convert the Sumpter Valley RY #250, and #251 2-6-6-2s.
    The only drawback I have encountered, is keeping the drive shaft in place when taking the locos out of the box and putting them on the track, otherwise I'm very pleased with the quietness of operation that the straight line drive gives me.
  5. i also have the exact same engine it cant pull worth crap cause the engine is in the tender and the boiler is so small u can get any weights into it. the boxcars i bought swollow it.
  6. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Just Some Thoughts

    Actually placing the motor in the tender is a fairly common practice even in HO for model locos of the type you described. Two that come to mind are the old Mantua General (will run like a watch) and the AHM/Rivarossi Geona (not a good runner without some work)....BTW...they made a motor in the cab version for a while that was even worse!!!

    I'm thinking that maybe the problem is not with weight ( although that would help) but rather that the driveline does not line up right or that the universals are of a poor quaility. You might want to look at to see if they might have a small set of high quality universals that would work with the loco.

    One other thing that you might look at is the lead trucks....I don't recall if they have a spring under them or not but make sure that they are not "pushing down" on the rails. That would tend to raise the drivers just slightly and would cause a loss of traction.

    Also, remember that the prototype of that type of loco was by no means "a heavy hauler" three to five cars would be a prototype consist.

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