HO Bachmann 4-8-2 Problems

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#1
So i have a problem...I have a HO bachmann spectrum light 4-8-2 that won't run. The lights will come on but the engine will not move. It ran for a while last time i had it out, i took it off and then a few days later i got it back out and it stuttered and stopped and wouldn't run. I will inform you that the electric pickups have been disconnected from the tender wheels, but it has run fine for over a year in this configuration.
 
#2
Does it have plastic gears? If so, they may have shrunk and cracked. Had this problem with one of their Climax locos. Had run great. Then I let it sit for several weeks (no time to run anything on the layout). Turned it on and it froze. Sent it back to Bachman and for $45 they changed out all three trucks and replaced all the gears with metal ones! I'd contact them and see about their repairing it.
 
#4
The engine doesn't have a decoder in it. It has the DCC quick plug in the tender with the DC plug in it. Y3a, I believe I bought a heavy mountain from you that was hardwired, this one isn't quite as nice as the N&W. it is a Southern light 4-8-2. It just won't move. Would reconnecting the wires in the tender help?
 

Y3a

Stuck in the 1930's
#5
I WOULD try that next. I would start by taking the body off the engine and first try to manually spin the motor. Next try some power to make sure the motor IS working and work outward from there. If it has come out of quarter it might be binding and has stalled the motor.
 

new guy

Active Member
#6
The engine doesn't have a decoder in it. It has the DCC quick plug in the tender with the DC plug in it. Y3a, I believe I bought a heavy mountain from you that was hardwired, this one isn't quite as nice as the N&W. it is a Southern light 4-8-2. It just won't move. Would reconnecting the wires in the tender help?
It's been my sad finding that they must be connected in order to function, IF I could find a DCC steamer that did not require being connected to the tender I would buy it! All four that I bought must be connected and it has caused me much lost hair and MONEY!
 

Y3a

Stuck in the 1930's
#7
That is why I hard wired mine together. I HATE those crappy cheep connectors. I used to use Deans on RC stuff, but those are a little too big for HO.
 

Selector

Active Member
#8
This is the bane of many HO scale steam locomotives. Nobody seems immune, except maybe MTH (?) who have a unique design about which I have yet to hear/read complaints. I have steamers from Trix, BLI, Life Like Proto 2000, Rivarossi and Lionel, all in HO. My BLI's give me most of my tether problems because it's very difficult to fully insert the male component into the female socket under the cab. My Rivarossi H-8 has the female socket much better placed, although it is odd on an otherwise good looking model. My
Trix Mikado 2-8-2 is permanently coupled by design. The Proto 2000 0-6-0 is a lovely and detailed locomotive, a real gem, but it has two flimsy and stiff tiny tabs that go around two retaining bumps, the tiniest things, in order to clip the two pieces together. It is my most persistent problem loco for this reason.

Sounds like a magnet would help, or something screwed together, not shoved so hard that one runs the risk of breaking the female receptacle, or dislodging the tiny wires on the male component.
 

Y3a

Stuck in the 1930's
#9
ALL of the plastic steam locos have cheaply made, poorly designed mechanics, which is why there are so many with issues. I figure the standard current locos last about 3-4 years before becoming a piece of scenery. I never had issues with ANY of the Bowser kits I built over about 15 years. My Bowser challenger is correctly articulated and can pull over 100 cars on level track and over 80 going up a 4% grade. Sure they need more detail, but the Brass castings guys have done good by the Bowser kits. I still run my PRR I-1 2-10-0 with long tender that I built in 1987. It has an aftermarket motor called the Helix Humper that makes it run very smoothly.
 
#10
I have a HO bachmann spectrum light 4-8-2 that won't run. The lights will come on but the engine will not move.
Is it humming or buzzing indicating there is power to the motor? That would indicate a physical issue with gears or drive line, or even external cosmetics like jammed valve gear. If there is no noise, I would think electrical. Perhaps a feeder wire to the motor brushes is not making a good contact somewhere. I assume the power feed from the track is working since there is a working headlamp.
 
#11
There is no noise, nothing, just a headlight. I'm at a lose, i took the shell off and found nothing burnt or broken or disconnected. Y3a, I couldn't get underneath the metal casing surrounding the motor to test it. Would re-attaching the tender wires help?
 

Y3a

Stuck in the 1930's
#13
I'm thinking dirty motor armature. I still think you will have to put electricity directly to the motor to make sure. Next up can you spin the flywheel or part of the drive train going to the gearbox. Also try flipping from forward to reverse a few times. If you can get the motor to spin thats half the battle.
 
#15
I have taken the engine totally apart, I don't know what to look for. I got it to run for a minute forwards and, backwards, and it slowly got faster and faster and then it stopped. It isn't a broken gear, the flywheel will spin and the engine will move. All the lights are coming on, it just won't move
 

Selector

Active Member
#16
It needs a new motor if it runs poorly connected to straight DC and increased voltage. If it's connected to a decoder, it might be the decoder's settings. Reset the decoder to defaults. If that doesn't work, you need a new decoder.
 
#17
If this is a steam locomotive, have you checked for binding in the valve gear? Sometimes the rods can get bent without noticing it, causing the mechanism to bind up everything back to and including the motor. Also, have you checked for dirty wheels and contacts?
 
#18
It is a steam engine, no binding, no bad gears, nothing. Just a bad motor, I am about to order a new one. The contacts are fine and the wheels are as well. She gets plenty of power. I removed the motor entirely and tested it and it was still sluggish and then stopped. a new motor will cost about $25 so I'm gonna go that route.
 



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