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Worth looking under the bonnet - On Members Workbenches. - More Practical Help - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Mon Sep 4th, 2017 04:18 pm
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Barry Miltenburg
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I thought that I might share with you a tale regarding the need to fix something rather than discard or abandon it.



I have a Bachmann 04 shuner which sees very little work on my existing layout but is destined for greater things on the new proposed system so I run it from time to time to keep it cleaned/oiled.  Yesterday, it appeared (having not run for a couple of months) to have developed a distinct "waddle".  Slow running revealed that one of the rear wheels was lifting clear off the track as it rotated suggesting a bent axle or a wobbly wheel.

Removing the body and the keeper plate exposed the wheels and the immediate source of trouble - the old Bachmann split chassis design required the use of nylon "axles" with the wheels pressed into the ends.  On the old B1's, the stub axles on the wheels had a square end and the "axles" had a square hole to receive them thus maintaining the quartering at the right offset.  Alas the 04 had no such refinements, just short nylon axles.

The nylon axle of the rear wheelset on the 04 was cracked at both ends and so, when I checked the back-to-back, it measured about 15.5mm.  Furthermore, the quartering did not look right - the cracked axle was allowing the wheels to rotate separately and destroy the quartering.

Undoing the pins that retained the coupling rod to those wheels (carefully I might add!!), I withdrew the wheels and found a section of Plasticard rod of the right diameter.  A careful cut gave me the right length and a bit of pushing secured the wheels into the ends.  Back-to-backs were set at 14.2mm and the wheels dropped into the chassis.  At this point, one coupling rod was re-attached and then the quartering set up by eye and good fortune.  A bit of tweaking and it was done.

A test run, a bit more of a tweak and a final tightening of the crank pins completed the job.

Net result - the 04 is running better than ever.  Total cost - nothing. 

I would say to all newer/younger modellers out there - don't be afraid to dismantle things that are playing up (NOT CONTROLLERS AND OTHER ELECTRICAL THINGS!!) and ensure you make a careful note of where things go so that it all goes back together.  Photos are always good as you go along to check positioning.

My toolset is not vast - I have the usual array of blades, a set of about 10 small scrrewdrivers, a £5 Vernier gauge to check back-to-backs, a decent set of fine-nose pliers and a piece of foam from which I have made a cradle to rest stock in when its being worked on.  A good light, an "Optivisor" type magnifier and a bit of patience ensures that small screws and bits don't fly off into the abyss.

Happy mending!!

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 Posted: Mon Sep 4th, 2017 10:22 pm
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Marty
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An old apron spread across my lap helps catch those teeny tiny bits that do fall off the workbench. 
Good post Barry... one of these days I'll work out what quartering is all about and have another go at putting my Dapol 45xx (N scale) back together. Sigh.

Cheers

Marty



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 Posted: Tue Sep 5th, 2017 05:47 am
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Ken
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Yes, a good and very interesting post Barry.  There are probably a lot of people who don't know what quartering is - I certainly didn't until I got help from other forum members and managed to fix one of my N scale locos - so perhaps you might like to elaborate on this?


Ken.



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 Posted: Tue Sep 5th, 2017 06:06 am
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MaxSouthOz
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Hi Ken

Quartering is one half of a medieval punishment (drawn and quartered).   :lol:

It's in the same group as being given 50 lashes on the private parts with a frill necked lizard.  :shock:

AKA as "necking."



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 Posted: Tue Sep 5th, 2017 02:34 pm
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BCDR
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Hi Barry,

Neat repair job. Always pays to have a look see.

You might want to check the other axles, if one of the non-geared axles has gone then the odds are that the other non-geared axle and the center geared axle are also on their last legs, especially the middle geared one as it carries the full torque of the mechanism. My experience with older split chassis Bachmann models (and the predecessor Mainline ones) is that it's not a question of if, it's just a question of when those axles will split. Styrene tubes are temporary, once they get exposed to oil they will start to slip (bitter experience). You can prolong the repair by using epoxy or CA. Bachmann may have the spares, although with older models it's usually hit and miss. Always worth while asking them.

Nigel




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 Posted: Tue Sep 5th, 2017 09:25 pm
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Barry Miltenburg
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Hi Guys - thanks for the replies. 

I have looked at a number of these old Bachmann chassis and the axles are all ok so far - fingers crossed!!

Quartering is the art of setting the coupling rods at 90 degrees offset so that when looking from the front, one set passes the top of the wheel one quarter turn before the other.  Note that the coupling rods are NOT 180 degrees apart!!  One side leads but, without checking, I am nable to explain why it should be the right of left.

For the full sized loco, this offset is part of the valve operation and the coupling rods re balanced by the balance weights on the wheels themselves.

If there is a demand for a tehnical explanation, I refer the reader to an article in the December 1972 Railway Modeller by Mr Ormiston-Chant who, I gather, was an expert on such things.  I can summarise of required???

Barry 

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 Posted: Tue Sep 5th, 2017 09:45 pm
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Barry Miltenburg
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OK, I am now in tune with Robbo Ormiston-Chant who, in December 1972, offered the following wisdom.
  • Most British railways used right-hand lead although the LNWR and the GNR used left-hand.  This possibly continued into the LNER.
  • when setting the quartering, place the wheels on the track and look along as if you are standing behind them.  Put the right hand coupling rod at the top of the wheels and the left hand rod should be pointing forwards. (left-hand lead).
  • Note that the cranks should be at right angles to each other.
Hope that this is of some use.  Mr O-C went into great detail in his article to explain how 2, 3 and 4-cylinder locos had their valve gear set and reminds us that the coupling rods are driven by the cylinders located either the inside or outside the frames.  The offset came as a result of the workings of the cylinders and the balance weights on the wheels were all part of making it, well, balance.  He claims that a model with incorrect quartering would wobble and bind but, personally, I am open to being convinced.

Are there are any loco builders out there who can enlighten us?

Barry

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 Posted: Tue Sep 12th, 2017 11:58 pm
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BCDR
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Hi Barry,

No Idea, maybe a bit of kangaroo hopping in a model at speed, but there is not enough mass in the rods to cause much of anything. It's an interesting subject, especially with multiple (more than 2) cylinders.. I found this reference that deals with what the various companies did re left or right quartering pre-1923 - http://modelengineeringwebsite.com/Wheel_quartering.html

Wonder if the model manufacturers get it right? I must go back to my K's Armstrong Goods outside frame and see if I got it right. Probably not. Easy enough to sort - thanks to the Romfords.

Nigel



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