bullfrog snot and Z mikes my horrible mistake

JoeS Jun 14, 2014

  1. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    Lesson learned, and I am posted to warn anybody else to be careful. I ruined both my mikes today. Totally f#$%% up. Ok here is the deal, I always thought they ran nice but had no pulling power so I though why not add some snot to the drivers. It seemed reasonable, Well I followed the directions on both and applied the best I could. Evidently it was uneven. When it cured I tried both and the wobbled and shimmed all over the place.

    Well supposedly with an exacto knife you can remove the snot. So that is what I did, and of course the wheels got turned out of quarter. So I had to remove the bottom plate which is a pressure fit. Well on the one I removed and quartered and the plate would not snap back on, you got it if you remove the bottom plate is is so close you might just rub the tab that holds it in place off. On the other the plate snapped on but I didn't quarter it quite right so it runs like junk. I might take the plate off but my fear it will probably just wear off like the other.

    The plate on the mike is a bad design, not held by screws so that troubles me, and the snot well, it is a crap shoot to apply the stuff right on such a small scale. Lesson learned. Done. Be warned 400 buck down the shoot.

    Upset? understatement.
     
  2. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    Got the heavy quartered. The plate had a small break but it held. Got lucky and got it right still wont pull worth a darn but at least it is running. The light mike has the plate that wont snap on. The one piece is broke.

    Deal is this, after quartering the one, I think I should have used snot on 2nd driver not third. it is removable. However, I don't know if snot is good for Z unless you can apply flawless. Or you apply it to a robust loco. The removal of the bad snot job is what screwed everything up. Totally on me but frustrating.
     
  3. jim29t

    jim29t TrainBoard Member

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    I added weight to the smokebox to increase pulling power. It works fine
     
  4. Chris333

    Chris333 TrainBoard Supporter

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    Added a big (for Z) piece of tungsten to mine:
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Curn

    Curn TrainBoard Member

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    I destroyed one of mine trying to convert it to DCC. I was doing good, but there was an intermittant electrical short in the locomotive. I think one of the brass gear shafts was making contact with the brass pick up plates. It probably came that way from the factory, but I didn't notice with DC operation. It made a nice humming noise when on DCC track from the driver area. Tried to take it apart to diagnose it. The screw that holds on the training truck, wasnt a screw. It looks like a screw, but it was some sort of press fit plug with a philips head. Destroyed the tailing truck and gear cover trying to seperate the tender and the locomotive. The screw is a real screw on my light mikado, but on the heavys it can't be removed. Bye bye $200. It happens to us all. Thats what the parts bins are for.
     
  6. shamoo737

    shamoo737 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    For me, it was a GP38. I took off the screws to clean it, and the chassis broke like a craker. I also burn my share of decoders. At $30 a pop. It gets expensive fast.
     
  7. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    I have to say it makes me feel better hearing others screw ups :).
    Any way my wife calls it modeling arrogance thinking you can always fix it so maybe she is right. I spent a few hours into the night and I have a plan to fix that loco. Although the plate is weak plastic the wheels and side rods are very robust. I can mess with them and get things quartered rather quickly so I am learning lots. I have to figure how to keep the plate secure. I have a few ideas I am going to play with. As I have the thing in prices I really like the design. Save for that plate.
    Of course seeing your pictures Chris I feel like I just should have added weight. But then I think of the Kato mike in N. all it needed was that traction tire. These are similar and I should have used my brain and snored the 2nd driver which is the removable wheel. Just didn't know that was the one until I took the plate off. And my wife tells me I should have left well enough alone. Model arrogance on me got me into this. Maybe it'll get me out. I have learned lots though
     
  8. markm

    markm TrainBoard Supporter

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    Joe,
    Getting back to snot, sorry to read about you problems.:(
    I've considered using it myself, but my concern has always been that the thickness of the snot would significantly add to the diameter wheel affecting the balance of the driver mechanics. If I were doing any sort of steam engine, I'd try to use the snot on the first and last drive wheels. I'd worry that using it on center wheel sets would create a teeter-totter affecting the balance of the loco.

    I think everyone who has been modeling for a while has a horror story to tell. Mine was my first Z layout. I blindly built it using 3-4% grades per NMRA and "Greenberg's Guide to Z" (the only layout references available at the time) and all the layout was good for was runaway cabooses! Since then I generally will build a test layout or buy secondhand rolling stock to practice on.

    I haven't had the time to characterize the performance of my Mikados yet, but my expectations based on prototype trains I'd be modeling are 6-8 heavyweight cars or 20-30 40 foot freight cars, running at least at 40MPH scale. Does it meet my expectations out of the box?

    Mark
     
  9. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    Exactly what you said happened Mark. I think the product makes sense, but in Z if you go heavy on one side it really gives a wobble. Mine was sick.

    For me, my mikes pulled 8-10 cars on level track. I wanted more is all.

    I am glad to have the one running, my first attempt on the fix for the other loco didn't work. I'll keep trying.
     
  10. shamoo737

    shamoo737 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Joe, we are talking about a AZL Mike, right?
     
  11. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    AZL mike John. Now if I cant get the one running, I might donate the tender and trailing truck to the marklin mike and see if I can't get it to run and look better. See the AZL runs slow and steady and looks absolutely fantastic, I just have not had luck with pulling power so I thought I could remedy it.
     
  12. shamoo737

    shamoo737 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    That's surprising. I pulled 14 heavyweight in last years convention. I though the Mike already had traction tires. That's why I though you were talking about Marklin's.
     
  13. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    And that is Exactly why I have always said we need a "Ghost Car" (powered express boxcar or similar head end car) in Z. If a manufacturer would make such a camoflaged locomotive in Z, then 1 balky stream locomotive and 2 ghost cars could pull a nice long train and look like the one steam loco was doing it.

    Also, we could slip them in as mid train helpers in regular diesel trains too. Think 50 or 60 foot heavy chunks with massive 10mm motors, and slide on the shell of your choice. Ears on manufacturers?
     
  14. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    Not sure why but that has been my experience with the ones I have thus my need to increase the pulling power. It really is funny, I hear people saying the GP 38's don't run well, but mine run excellent perhaps the best loco in Z to me at this point. However, I think with Z tolerances are so tight things can vary from person to person. A real ghost wagon would be awsome, great call Robert!
     
  15. shamoo737

    shamoo737 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I want a ghost car too, but I wouldn't hold my breath. It would open all kind of possibilities for small switchers.
     
  16. ddechamp71

    ddechamp71 TrainBoard Member

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    Mine (3 samples) are great runners as well. Some of my absolute best.

    Sorry Joe to learn that you've wrecked your mikes. Actually I also find mine lacks of pulling power due to its light weight. But I plan to add additional weight in it (and in its tender as well, to improve power pickup) rather than adding snot... Before that, as it's a railfan puller in modern era, I use it with a diesel helper like many current steam operations on modern railroads.


    Dom
     
  17. cnrtcmtl

    cnrtcmtl TrainBoard Member

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    I use an MTL GP9 Inside a 50 boxcar shell with some disguise....It is not the best but it works

    Ray
     

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