Bachman 4-4-0's

railnut49 Dec 13, 2017

  1. railnut49

    railnut49 TrainBoard Member

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    Years ago I had one of these, new, and it never ran no matter what I did. Now I see them for sale at $69.00 and $79.00. O
    I've seen videos of them running and they ran fine. Do I dare buy one and can I do so with a good chance of it running well?
     
  2. NP/GNBill

    NP/GNBill TrainBoard Supporter

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    Honestly I would get one of the Atlas units. they are really sweet and run fantastic. I have one and love it.

    Bill
     
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  3. JimJ

    JimJ Staff Member

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    I agree. Atlas win hands down. Better detail and running quality.
     
  4. brokemoto

    brokemoto TrainBoard Member

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    The newest versions of the B-mann, those in the plastic boxes, are pretty good. Bachpersonn made a number of improvements to them. In fact, the last versions issued in the cardboard boxes were also pretty good. A number of years back, Disney had a display at the World's Greatest Hobby on Tour show that had a Bachmann eight wheeler. The thing was running smoothly and was holding a steady twenty SMPH. I asked one of the guys at the display if he knew anything about the locomotive. It just so happened that he was one of the guys who worked on it. He told me that it ran horribly when they got it, so they took it apart and re-worked it to get it to run as it was running. What this demonstrated to me was that this thing could be a decent locomotive.

    Most of those things of that era had a horrible wobble to them and had either two speeds: very fast and not-at-all or three: too fast, still too fast and not-at-all. Some of them could not even get out of their own way.

    GF has one, though, that will pull ten or fifteen nineteenth century cars up a one per-cent grade at twenty-five SMPH. In fact, the thing will hold a steady twenty-five SMPH. It still wobbles, but, for one of the B-mann eight wheelers of that era, it is truly amazing. I have several that range from "can not get out of its own way" to "anemic" and that run at the speeds previously described. Shortly after I saw the Disney display, this guy that I knew from my
    N-TRAK days, who liked to tinker with Bachpersonns, showed me a cardboard box version that he had just bought. The thing was running quite well, with minimal wobble at fifteen SMPH. The guy told me that someone that he knew at B-mann had told him that they had made some improvements and that more were planned. I found a recent issue in the cardboard box and bought it. Yup, it ran so well that I actually could use it for switching on my nineteenth century pike. Subsequently, I bought some of the plastic box versions. They are very good.

    Some, but not all, of them still have a slight wobble. Some of those with the wobble did lose most of said wobble after some run in time, but some retained a little bit of it. If you are going to run them over turnouts, you can not use plastic frog turnouts. The short wheelbase will cause them to stall on plastic frog turnouts. If you buy UNITRAK or E-ZTRAK turnouts, flip over the things and make the adjustments for powered frogs. The B-mann eight wheeler has a bit of a clunky appearance to it. Funny, though, I did manage to find some photographs of UP eight wheelers that had the clunky bell and mount that the B-mann has, so it is not completely off base.

    The Atlas eight wheeler and mogul have a far better overall appearance and much better detailing, The Atlas offerings run much more smoothly--WHEN they run, that is. The mogul, especially, but also the eight wheeler are far more finicky in the contact department. Mine will stall on straight and level. The B-mann is not that finicky when it comes to contact. I did do a test to see if a live car hardwired to the Atlas mogul would help. I used a Kato caboose chassis for the live car. That addressed all of the contact problems. Of course, the Kato caboose is out-of-era for that mogul, but it was a test, only. As the Atlas eight wheeler has better contact than does the mogul, I suspect that a live car would help that one, as well.

    There is one modeller who does not often post here, but posts to another board, who took an MDC/Athearn tender, removed the motor from the mogul, fashioned a drive shaft (keep in mind that the MDC/Athearn nineteenth century power has the motor in the tender), added a trailing truck to the locomotive, connected everything and has a pretty good running and looking 2-6-2. The MDC/Athearn tender is all wheels live.

    If you buy the newer B-mann version, in the plastic box, and run it on live frog turnouts, you will be fine with it. That Atlas offerings are far better looking, and when they are not being Morris the Cat, they run more smoothly, but, the B-mann is more consistent a runner. The newest versions will hold a steady fifteen SMPH.
     
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  5. randgust

    randgust TrainBoard Member

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    I designed two cast weights for the Atlas 4-4-0 that solve the two design problems - first being that the traction tire on the rear axle doesn't do much as the locomotive is 'nose heavy' so a cab weight does wonders; second is that only the lead tender truck does much pickup and if the locomotive is nose heavy it hardly touches at all because the drawbar jacks up the front of the tender slightly. So a cast metal weight that looks like a coal bunker extension does equal wonders there - right on the front half of the tender. I do have these weights in stock most of the time.

    I've had an OLD Bachmann 4-4-0 and the wacko split tender trucks with rotating tires on cast centers were the ultimate flaw, the rest wasn't half bad. I've never seen a new version to know what if any improvements were done there. But at this point I'm not even remotely interested because the Atlas is just so completely sweet. The only other glitch is a tendency for the lead truck to derail on any irregularity, no matter how small, and a tiny wraparound lead weight on the lead axle solved that, too.

    There's a short cameo shot of my 4-4-0 running on the end of this video, taken at Altoona in August at 4:00:

    That's wracking around 8" and 9" curves, too. With the weights it's pretty reliable on pickup.

    One thing I will say about the Atlas (Microace) is that the details - particularly the whistle, flag posts, and handrail stanchions, are ridiculously fragile. They are styrene, not Delrin, and easily break off. I've seen Atlas ones that didn't have the whistle in one piece in the original box. I had to replace all that stuff with brass wire and metal parts.

    Those of you that do have a newer Bachmann 4-4-0, can anybody take a shot from underneath of the tender trucks?
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
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  6. railnut49

    railnut49 TrainBoard Member

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    Sounds like Atlas is the way to start if I buy one. Thanks guys.
     
  7. brokemoto

    brokemoto TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you for the "heads". I was not aware of these flaws. What is funny is that the Atlas eight wheeler does not stall on my nineteenth century pike. That one is a roundy-round double track with one crossover on a two foot by four foot piece of plywood. The crossover is, of course, double-gapped so that I can run two trains at once, if I want to. All of the nineteenth century power that I have will operate on the nine and eleven inch curves with no problem.

    It is on the 1950s pike where I have had the problems with the Atlas eight-wheeler. I expected the problems with the Atlas mogul, as only the front truck is live. I do not have any consistent problems with the Atlas eight-wheeler's pilot truck derailing. It happens occasionally, but that happens on occasion with almost anything, Much of the time, it is due to accumulated wheel crud. Anyone who thinks that wheel crud does not cause derailments must not have anything that accumulates wheel crud.

    Nice job on that eight wheeler and those Bachpersonn passenger cars! It looks almost like you made it into an oil burner. I am guessing that you cast a piece of lead or tungsten to make high sides and simulated coal or wood? Did you use lead or tungsten putty for the cab weight?

    What did you do to those Bachmann nineteenth century passenger cars to lower the ride? Did you retain the original trucks?
     
  8. randgust

    randgust TrainBoard Member

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    My model is based on an 1887-era 4-4-0 that was a Schenectady-built locomotive for C&NW, and sold secondhand to our local logging/common-carrier. It was built with an extended coal bunker. That was the trick to justify the tender weight addition.

    Those aren't Bachmann cars - they are Rapido - dating back to the late 60's, repainted and heavily weathered. I re-equipped them with MDC passenger car trucks. The prototypes were a pair of open-platform ex-PRR cars that were the 'new' cars on the Sheffield & Tionesta in 1910 replacing D&H gravity coaches dating back to the 1850's. There's a shot of that ex-PRR coach as the 'rider car' during track pullup in 1942 that is just as beaten-up as any Malcom Furlow or John Allen weathering job.
     
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  9. 4-4-0

    4-4-0 TrainBoard Member

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  10. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    Wrong picture? :)
     
  11. 4-4-0

    4-4-0 TrainBoard Member

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    just klick ;-)
     
  12. railnut49

    railnut49 TrainBoard Member

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    Well I got my 4-4-0 in the mail today. Opened the box and took it out to test run it. The front trucks fell on the floor. Can't figure out how it's attached, won't run, so contacted eBay and will send it back. What a disappointment after reading how good they are supposed to run. First the Bachman didn't run, and neither does the Atlas. I can't figure out how the Atlas front truck is attached,
     
  13. JimJ

    JimJ Staff Member

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    87B6901B-3B2B-4CB2-ADC5-84F1A1125AD2.jpeg FDD2B323-E22F-4270-B418-3154DAE18C59.jpeg Here’s a top and bottom view of mine. It appears to be pressed together in some way. Hope these images help.
     
  14. railnut49

    railnut49 TrainBoard Member

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    I guess I need to find a piece of metal to attach the front truck to the frame. Found out I can't return the locomotive. I just lost my money.
     
  15. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    Huh? Can't you file a complaint with eBay that the item is not as described (I'm assuming it didn't say "As-is" or "for parts only", etc.) especially if there is some wording that it has been tested and runs.
     
  16. brokemoto

    brokemoto TrainBoard Member

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    From what seller did you get the B-mann? If I buy B-mann on Fee Pay, I buy from a seller that I know, There is one guy on there who sells mostly
    B-mann. He is in Texas. His prices are pretty good. I buy mostly from him if I am going to buy B-mann of Fee Pay. (Trainboard policy does not permit me to mention his name. If you look through enough of the B-mann on Fee Pay, though, you will figure out who he is. He has good prices and his customer service is very good.).
     
  17. railnut49

    railnut49 TrainBoard Member

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    Went back and I'd missed the,"needs repair," statement. I messed up, my fault. The delrin piece that holds the front truck is broken. Tried to get hold of Atlas a second time, no response, so I just burned $70.00 up for nothing. I'm done with 4-4-0's waste of money as you can't get repairs done.
     
  18. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    Are you missing the bolster pin or the metal "dog bone" (with the hole that the bolster pin goes through)? If the "dog bone", can you fashion one out of brass stock?
     
  19. Jerry M. LaBoda

    Jerry M. LaBoda TrainBoard Supporter

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    Are you sure it was a Bachmann model? The Atlas model came about because of a partnership they developed with Disney... I believe that it was the Atlas model and not the Bachmann one that you saw.
     
  20. railnut49

    railnut49 TrainBoard Member

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    The following is the website I was given for repair work by Atlas,
    http://shop.atlases.com/t-warranty.asp
    I've tried to get in twice, but I can't get to a place I can talk to someone about getting repairs done.
     

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