got two new locos today

ModelRailroadForums.com is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.


jeffrey-wimberly

Dr Frankendiesel
I got two new locomotives today. An Athearn RTR AC4400 and a Proto 2000 SW9/1200.
I had a problem with the AC4400. It runs around 18" radius curves just fine all day long. The rub was when it came to pulling a train. It did all right through the curves until it came to one to makes an 'S'. At this point it yanked the first car off track. An investigation revealed that because of the long end throw on the locomotive the rigid coupler pocket wouldn't allow the coupler to swing very much. So out came the Dremel with a cut-off disk. I opened up the rear pilot and modified the coupler pocket so the coupler can swin 45 degrees both ways. Now it has no problem pulling a train around the layout. A minor problem was the light weight out of the box. I packed the top of the shell with Rose-Art modeling clay, which increased the weight nicely. No more weight problem.

ac4400-1.jpg

This is a scanned view of the AC4400

ac4400-2.jpg

This a pic of it on the layout.

sw1200.jpg

And here's a scan of the SW1200. It's being repainted for KCS.
 

IronBeltKen

Lazy Daydreamer
Looks like the trip was a fruitful one!

I got two of those Athearn AC4400's, one "new" RTR and one BB. The RTR runs quite nicely, the BB - well, it's passable but that's about it.

Also have 2 of the P2K SW's on my roster, great runners. Can't seem to keep the lights working though
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Awesome unit, that baby's on my wish list, along with the Ferromex & TFM versions.

Ken, my BB Dash 9's run better then my RTR's!?
 

jeffrey-wimberly

Dr Frankendiesel
I had an electrical problem with the AC4400 last night. For some reason, right at 10:30pm, the lightboard went up in smoke. Not being one to send anything back, I removed the board and hard wired the trucks to the motor. I'll worry about the lights later. I'm going to slip a NCE 2 function decoder into it this weekend, so the light board would have come out anyway. The documentation suggested using a (yeech!) MRC decoder. Over my dead body! I've seen and heard enough nightmares about MRC decoders to last me a life-time.
 

Steve B

Firefighter
Not a clue were i saw this picture but i liked it, how about it Jeffery do you recon it would be a good project to model
2006522224120_Switcher2.jpg
 

jeffrey-wimberly

Dr Frankendiesel
Steve: That loco looks like it's been around the block a few too many times and is in need of a serious visit to the paint shop.
 

RexHea

RAIL BENDER
Well, you were right...you couldn't make the trip and come back empty handed. Very nice shopping. These BIG, but new era units make me want to change my 50's time period to "whatever I happen to like today" time period.;) :D
 

jeffrey-wimberly

Dr Frankendiesel
I've had no problem with the SW1200 but the AC4400 turned out to be a lemon. I had to fix the trucks because the pickups were shorting out, redo the soldering job because the wires were just dropping off and I had to replace the motor, because the one that came in the unit was a dud.
 

MLW

Active Member
jeffrey-wimberly That's some neat looking loc. Like the layout alot too

Cheerio
 

jeffrey-wimberly

Dr Frankendiesel
The layout isn't as good as it could be. I still have a lot of work to do on it. My last layout was a real gem. This one is still a diamond in the rough.
 
Converting Athearn to run on small curves

I got two new locomotives today. An Athearn RTR AC4400 and a Proto 2000 SW9/1200.
I had a problem with the AC4400. It runs around 18" radius curves just fine all day long. The rub was when it came to pulling a train. It did all right through the curves until it came to one to makes an 'S'. At this point it yanked the first car off track. An investigation revealed that because of the long end throw on the locomotive the rigid coupler pocket wouldn't allow the coupler to swing very much. So out came the Dremel with a cut-off disk. I opened up the rear pilot and modified the coupler pocket so the coupler can swin 45 degrees both ways. Now it has no problem pulling a train around the layout. A minor problem was the light weight out of the box. I packed the top of the shell with Rose-Art modeling clay, which increased the weight nicely. No more weight problem.

Jeffrey,

Since you are an expert at making Athearn AC4400 pull a train around a tight curve, could you go into detail as to what exactly did you "grind down" to make that coupler swing? I haven't done this yet, but I think I need to do the exact same thing with my Athearn RTR SD45T-2 I got. By itself, it goes fine anywhere but pulling a train--the first car in the train derails as the train enters the turn (19.25" radius).

I bet if I did the exact thing you did, it would pull the train no problem....lets hear more!
 

jeffrey-wimberly

Dr Frankendiesel
No problem. I just modified the pilot (the area between the steps so that it looks like the old locos did that had truck mounted couplers. To mount the coupler I used half of the coupler pocket (the half with the sides on it) and a Kadee #5 coupler. I put a small drop of super glue in the screw hole in the mounting pad, placed the half pocket on top of it, put a screw throught the Kadee and screwed it through the half pocket and into the mounting hole, being very careful not to get any super glue coming out of the hole. I left the screw a little loose so the coupler and pocket could swing from side to side. The super glue will prevent the screw from falling out.
 




Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)


ModelRailroadForums.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

RailroadBookstore.com - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section.

ModelRailroadBookstore.com - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

Top