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A few more Bachmann Hints

From Keith Wandry, 18 Sep 1996

Here’s my experience with improving the Bachmann 0-4-0 running characteristics. Hope this helps!

My Bachmann 0-4-0 shifter didn’t run so well when I first got it – rather sporadic – would run okay for a ways
and then stall, etc… I took it completely apart – which is not that big of a deal as they don’t have many parts.

First, I took the motor and hooked some alligator clips up to it and ran some power to it to see how it functioned.
It did not run smooth and upon further examintaion, I found that one of the motor magnets had come unglued at one end and was rubbing against the armature. I glued it carefully back in place with some ACC and the motor then ran quite smoothly.

Next, I took the chasis with just the drivers attached and rolled it down the track some and then along my fingers to see if there was any problem with the gears. I noticeda slight bind in the gears once every so often so I examined things closer and found a small bit of plastic that was occassionally getting caught in the gears. I removed that with an exacto knife and things ran smooth.

I reassembled the unit after giving it a little oil and grease, but I did not put the side-rods on. I tested the loco on a loop of track and it ran 100% better than before – as smooth as I’ve ever seen a Bachmann n-guage run before.

Lastly – I added the side-rods back onto the loco and sure enough, it ran sporadic again. I took the unit apart and removed the motor so I could rotate the drivers with the side-rods by hand. I decided that it was binding on both side-rods so I took them off and ground out the screw holes in the side-rods a little larger so that there would be a little more play in them. For this I used a rat tail file.

I then reassembled the unit and the loco ran, to use someone else’s term, “like a watch”.

Working on the loco is very simple – there’s not many parts and if you take it in sections – motor, gearing, drivers, side-rods – and get each operating smoothly, the whole thing should run smoothly when the thing is put back together.

And I’ll tell you one other thing – when you get your loco running like this – it gets you even more excited about the rest of the railroad!

Good luck to all!

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