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VentureForth

American Stock on Japanese Track?

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VentureForth

OK - I'm really having a fit with my Athearn F59PHI and Bombardier Bi-Level coaches.  They use Magnamatic coupler which seem to get caught up in the Tomix FT switches and re-railers.  They seem to be ultra sensitive to minor joint imperfections, constantly derailing.

 

Anyone else have these issues?

 

The Bombardier set is extremely rare so I don't want to start modding the couplers.  But I want to be able to use it, too.

Edited by VentureForth

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nah00

The only problems I run into is that occasionally I have to trim trip pins on some stock since the same thing happens, they get stuck on switches or in the case of Athearn the trip pin can move freely and end up at a 90 degree angle to the car. I don't use automatic uncoupling or intend to so I don't have an issue just cutting the trip pin off, I've had to do this on almost every tank car I have because of the weird weight distribution.

 

If you really wanted to you can just swap out the couplers on the Bombardier coaches with ones you don't mind cutting the trip pin off.  

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serotta1972

Ditto what nah00 said and or instead of cutting the trip pins, you can bend them up more.

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VentureForth

I'll see if they can accept any different coupler, then I'll try to bend them up.  I suppose I can always replace magnamatics if I need to restore to original condition.

 

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EdF

If they take micro trains most people would see that as an upgrade.

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Welshbloke

If the trip pins are jamming on the rails then they're not at the correct height anyway. I'd assume Micro Trains offer a height gauge like the Kadee HO one?

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VentureForth

May not be the couplers. Check out this video. Something is causing the rear truck to bounce the frog:

 

 

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Sheffie

Is "bouncing the frog" the "jumping the shark" of N gauge?

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railsquid

I know the British N gauge world is fond of something alarming-sounding called a "hex frog juicer" 😉

 

Anyway, looking at the video, one possibility is the wheels on the trailing bogie may need adjusting with the aid of a back-to-back gauge as they might have incorrect spacing. I've had similar issues with miscellaneous stock going over Tomix points, which are an excellent bellwether for back-to-back issues. Probably because the wheels run on the rims through the frogs, and if they're e.g. too wide apart the rim might end up going the wrong way.

 

Unfortunately on a locomotive that means you'll have to take the bogie tower apart to get at the wheelsets, which is not always fun.

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chadbag

A lot of my Japanese Bo' Bo' Bo' do this with the middle set deciding to take the turnout while the rest of the train goes forwards.

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railsquid
2 hours ago, chadbag said:

A lot of my Japanese Bo' Bo' Bo' do this with the middle set deciding to take the turnout while the rest of the train goes forwards.

 

Hmm, which ones do you have which have this problem?

 

I haven't noticed any general issues and I'm crazy enough to have points in a tunnel. I have got one older Kato EF64-1000 which needed the back-to-backs adjusting on the middle wheelset as it was catching on check rails.

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nah00
22 hours ago, Welshbloke said:

If the trip pins are jamming on the rails then they're not at the correct height anyway. I'd assume Micro Trains offer a height gauge like the Kadee HO one?

 

Yeah on the back of every package of couplers it tells you how high they should be. I've had to bend and trim a few to get them to the correct height. 

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chadbag
13 hours ago, railsquid said:

 

Hmm, which ones do you have which have this problem?

 

I haven't noticed any general issues and I'm crazy enough to have points in a tunnel. I have got one older Kato EF64-1000 which needed the back-to-backs adjusting on the middle wheelset as it was catching on check rails.

 

Most of mine (at least the ones run recently) have done it.  They don't always do it -- they can pass over the switch multiple times then do it, or do it the first time and then have no problems. A DD51, an EF81, an EF66, etc.  Those are all KATO.  I have been installing decoders in things and have not done any Tomix loc decoders yet so have not run them in a while.  It may have happened with my Tomix ones --  I don't remember.  I'll keep better track of which ones have it happen and frequency.  I'd noticed and been frustrated by it several times a week or two ago when I was running these, and had had it happen in some kitchen table running sessions last summer/fall, but never took notes.

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nah00

Might want to look at the spring that holds the truck against the plastic tab at the bottom of the post. If it's gotten loose it won't keep the truck 'centered' and lets it jump around. 

 

i agree with railsquid, it might be a wheel gauge issue. I don't know how 'fun' these are to take apart if you have to adjust it. Do they derail all the time under any condition? If it takes the switch at speed will it go through or just derail and flop over?

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railsquid

The centre bogie should just pull off on both Kato and Tomix. Make sure they're the right way up, sometimes it's easy to put them in upside down and they'll still appear to work, at least on straight track.

 

FWIW, because I needed a pointless distraction, I went through all my Tomix and Kato Bo-Bo-Bo locos and tested them on my 280mm radius inner loop, which features a curved point (which does pose issues for some stock), a left-hand point in a tunnel leading onto an S-curve, then two double slips, which is quite an exhaustive test. No problem with any of the locos.

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VentureForth
19 hours ago, nah00 said:

Might want to look at the spring that holds the truck against the plastic tab at the bottom of the post. If it's gotten loose it won't keep the truck 'centered' and lets it jump around. 

 

i agree with railsquid, it might be a wheel gauge issue. I don't know how 'fun' these are to take apart if you have to adjust it. Do they derail all the time under any condition? If it takes the switch at speed will it go through or just derail and flop over?

 

Progress! Each of the wheelsets (powered AND unpowered) simply slide in or out.  Many were out.  I pushed all of them in and the loco is doing MUCH better.  I still feel a lot of resistance in the coaches.  I don't know that they are ALL suppose to go all the way in.

 

What sort of width am I looking for?

Edited by VentureForth

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nah00
20 hours ago, VentureForth said:

What sort of width am I looking for?

 

The width of the flanges on the wheels:

 

-(-------)-

If this is your hypothetical axle you'd be measuring from the bottom of the parentheses on each wheel and making sure that they're all the same. I suspect though that with letting the set run for a while on a simple loop you'll solve about 90% of the problems after you push the bogies on the coaches in. Any resistance in them turning will translate to them having a difficult time getting through curves and especially through points. 

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nscaler711

If you aren't going to use a magnetic uncoupler, just clip the trip pin below the coupler, but not right below, save a couple MM for proper operation of the coupler. 

 

As for the bombardier coaches, you will always have issues with them as they are a inside bearing truck. They don't roll very well and are very finicky on less than perfect track. Best solution may be to clip the truck mounted couplers off and body mount MTL 1015's honestly. 

 

Also I'd like to mention I have TRE 570, which is the sister loco to yours. TRE only has two F59PHi's (569, 570) in their fleet the rest are F59PH's and a couple RDC's. 

Athearn did a pretty good job on capturing the faded star found on these two. Shame they won't release them again due to licensing issues... Would have been nice to get them with the DCC ready or DCC w/sound mechs. 

 

 

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