Bachmann Plus F7 slipping

MVP May 31, 2018

  1. MVP

    MVP TrainBoard Member

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    New to the forum. And before anyone mentions it, I've read about the quality of the Bachmann Plus line. Still, I got one nearly new for super cheap on ebay. It seems to run fine, except for one major, but weird, problem.

    The wheels are constantly slipping. I cleaned the wheels, the track, and it's not even pulling anything.

    It's like it's hitting icy patches on the track. Any suggestions, or has anyone even seen this before?

    I have 3 other locomotives (oldest is a Bachmann F9 from 1971) that all run fine without slipping. Can't figure this one out. It's the first low profile wheels engine I bought. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. u18b

    u18b TrainBoard Supporter

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    I'm almost certain that you will find that the white plastic axles in the trucks are cracked.

    I inherited 2 of these in a collection. Out of 8 axles- SEVEN were cracked.
     
  3. u18b

    u18b TrainBoard Supporter

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    By the way.... Welcome to the Forum!
     
  4. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    This is one of the locos that several years ago I pointed out had the split axle issues. And it is chronic to most of the early and some later diesels with the split axle design. Also a chronic fault fault for most older Bmann steam. When you remove the trucks and disassemble them, then clean off the lube, close observation will reveal a very fine line that is high lighted with the lube that seeped in. Unless somebody is making a replacement gear with the half axle there is no fix unless Bmann has spare parts for the loco. One could try ACC but I doubt that it would hold up. And I checked Bmanns parts and they have the gears but unfortunately they appear to be the white plastic which will eventually split again. They are relatively cheap though so one could keep on rebuilding the trucks.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2018
  5. MVP

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    Thanks for the replies. I’ll probably just try replacing the cracked parts. It’s a shame.

    On a side note, the trucks often get caught up on the side ladders that hang down off the body. This causes the trucks to not swivel freely and the engine to derail. Anyone else run into that on these kinds of f7s?
     
  6. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

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    I had eight of them. All developed split axles or split gears. I spent a lot of time installing DCC in four of them. I think NWSL made replacement gears, but they were (are?) as expensive as the locos. My experience with them suggests that it is a matter of time not usage before they crack.
     
  7. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    I have two of the Bachmann f7 DCC locomotives, the current ones they sell, and bought them used from a TrainBoard member a few years back. I am almost sure I bent the ladders out with my hand a long time ago to prevent this. Of course I am the kind of person that this does not bother me as I never look at the locomotive that close. I think I even broke one off by accident, but once again, I don't care and I have not had an issue since I bent them out of a very long time. Over a year if not more! I will say not sure what you have is exactly like my locomotives.

    BTW, been looking for 2 more of these on TrainBoard Swap Meet ever since, ( at a great price ) and will probably never happen again :)

    Good luck!
     
  8. MVP

    MVP TrainBoard Member

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    All 3 of my diesels are Bachmann F units. The oldest is a 1971 F9 Penn Central (inherited from my uncle who got me into this). Next is a late-80s/early-90s F7 Santa Fe. And the newest is the problem child discussed in this thread, a Plus F7 Erie Lackawanna. I was really disappointed that this one is so much trouble, because Erie Lackawanna is one of the lines that historically served my area (Northeast NJ).

    Btw, I did break off the ladders on the back half of the body. Some here would say that's an atrocity, but I'm not all that concerned with that stuff, especially since it's apparently a piece of junk anyway. It may end up as a Christmas ornament and nothing more, ahaha.
     
  9. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    When I had my small fleet of them the easy broken rear stirrup steps were replaced by metal ones by simply drilling out new holes and installing them and I believe I did it from the outside rather than drill the sill. Gave the extra clearance. I had a number that were given extra details and when they started acting up they were gradually replaced by Katos and the IM and MT FTs.
     
  10. MVP

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  11. in2tech

    in2tech TrainBoard Member

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    Maybe someone around here has one for sale you could use for parts. Of course it would have to be a crazy low price. But I have seen thing's like this in the Swap Meet ( sometimes you'll just get a Private Message from a member wanting to help ) every now and then. Hope you get it fixed, whether getting the part from Bachmann or a member helping you out. Best of luck to you!
     
  12. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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  13. brokemoto

    brokemoto TrainBoard Member

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    The part that is showing is the white plastic gear. Someone had told me that the white gear was the problem gear and that the SPECTRUM used a black gear. Someone else told me that he ordered the parts from B-mann and that it was the $2,20 shown on the link and that they were SPECTRUM parts and would address the problem. Did you buy just the A unit or was it an A-B pair?
     
  14. MVP

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    Just the A unit.
     
  15. brokemoto

    brokemoto TrainBoard Member

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    You did not buy mine on FeePay, then. I just sold an A-B pair, there, but I let all potential bidders know that it was showing the cracked gear problem. I had a really cheap starting bid, because I just wanted to get them out of my house, as I was not going to fix or run them. It wound up being bid up far above my starting bid price.
     
  16. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    Aside from the shells being a bit dated by today's standards the Bmann F-7s were good runners and pulled a ton due to the heavy split frame until the gear problems showed up. A lot of mine were dressed up with new airhorns and new plow pilots that took a MT 1015 coupler, American Limited diaphragms, windshield wipers, and metal stirrup steps and ladders. They and the old Concor F-3s and Atlas's RS-3s were the mainstays of my diesel fleet along with some early Bmann steam. Then the problem with the splitting gears started first with the steam then eventually the F-7s. Bachmann's little 4-4-0s died due to Zimac swelling issues with the frame on the tenders and I was particularly ticked because I had kit bashed several into 4-6-0s and they were great pullers.
     
  17. MVP

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    I wasn't familiar with the Zimac issue until now. Is there more info available? I haven't experienced anything like that. But I want to be prepared if something comes up.
     
  18. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    My issue revolved around the tender trucks specifically the metal halves that hold the small wheels that swelled and distorted causing the wheels to lock up and effectively stall the locomotive. I ordered some replacements but when they arrived they were poor quality and already showing signs of deterioration in the metal and would not rotate freely either. At that point they became scrap. I estimate that they were at least 15 years old when that occurred. I replaced them with the Atlas 4-4-0 and although not as rugged of construction as the Bmann version they are great runners. The Atlas version has better although more delicate details which are easily broken if not handled gently. The Atlas version has fixed tender trucks and a tender mounted motor and great electrical pick-up.

    http://www.spookshow.net/loco/atlas440.html

    Although he got two and one had some issues I in turn also received two and both did not have any issues.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018
  19. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hanging on to these old, good-running (until the gears cracked) engines sure is tempting. I swapped the bodies onto the Life-Like GP-7 mechanisms, even though the wheelbase of the GP-7 was a foot longer. I slipped a decoder into the side of the shell without having to mill a recess. I got about 20 GP-7s for a very low price when a major hobby merchant conducted a large fire sale. The one-foot difference did created some problems with clearance with the cast one rear steps of the F-7 shell. I clipped them off and used brass replacements that gave enough clearance. I've given away most of the Bachmann mechanisms to folks who wanted to fool with them.
     

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