1. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

    Or just a good day? So, after finishing my yard work, and figuring out how to power my controllers with a big battery, I knew it was time to get busy. Remember I'm a newbie! I recently purchased the Marklin 81451 set from a seller in Germany. I knew I had to have it as soon as I saw it, my first diesel, an amazing looking loco to me, and Jeff said if you want a Z scale loco you should buy it before it's gone. It was listed as new and may have been but when I ran it I was underwhelmed. On my little test track it stuttered quite a bit and if I ran it slow at all it would stop and require a push to get going. This engine is the BR 233 Tiger diesel, a 5 pole motor with 6 axles, all driven, and LED lighting. It is a big engine by Marklin standards. So I busted out my brand new Donegan Optivisor #3 and wired up the Quasar LED lighting system. My plan was to show no mercy! I start troubleshooting with a 9v battery with some wires soldered on. I note that I can run the motor with the wires touching the opposite wheels on one end only. I realize the middle wheels of the three wheel sets do not draw current. I finally figure out that the "power pickup" wheels on the right rear are not picking up any current. Time to open her up! In the process of removing the body I accidentally released the lower plate and opened up one of the gear drives, whoops! only one gear and the Marklin coupler fell out, thankfully the coupler spring didn't leave the scene of the crime. And it's a diesel so no worries about timing the wheels. But I have never been here before! I just keep telling myself to relax, it's not the end of the world. I was thinking I'd be putting a drop or two of oil on the engine but it was soaked with oil already, oil everywhere, I doubt Marklin ships them like that! New, hmmm... So it's back and forth to the track and my workbench for a while. I had to learn how the wheels power the motor with little wipers. And it is not easy to reassemble the drive assembly while keeping those wipers in place on the inside face of the wheels, lots of redo's here. But nothing works, the engine is worse than ever, lights are flickering or going out entirely, engine is not running smoothly and even sounds worse, I'm thinking I may have made it worse and I'm thinking about having Frank save my bacon! But I'm a persistent bugger. And my wife was telling me it was almost time for dinner and that kind of pissed me off. The light came to me when I put power directly to the metal plate the wheel/wiper assembly transfers track power to and it did not run on the faulty bogey. So now that I am sure the pickups are correct and the one side is dead I finally worked up the nerve to remove the PCB across the top of the loco chassis and dig deeper. And lo and behold the tab that transmits track power to the PCB to the motor on one side is smashed over in a big round bend while the other side is sticking up straight and proud at a 30 degree angle, not the same! New, huh? I straightened out the tab that was bent over and made it equal to the other side, then I reassembled the loco and now it is running like a champ!! Any pair of pickup wheels will power the loco. It sounds and moves smoothly and the lights are on steady. I have it pulling a pretty good load and it is quite a beauty. Good as new baby. So I had to share, I am loving this hobby, what can I say :)
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019 at 5:27 AM
    Kez, HemiAdda2d, bostonjim and 2 others like this.
  2. rvn2001

    rvn2001 TrainBoard Member

    .... and that's how we learn about our little jewels and what makes them go ........ CONGRATULATIONS!!
  3. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Supporter

    Makes a nice gear sound while it goes round and round and round a n d r o u .......... ZZZZZZZZZZZZ
  4. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

    And reading a "how to" article in the free english version of Trainini on Marklin train maintenance yesterday I read that there is a proper order to reassembling the gears and wheels so I guess I got a little lucky there, fascinating.
    Kez likes this.

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