So, I'm looking at my recent acquisition, the Bachmann Spectrum DD40AX, though I'm wondering, the center slot should be see-through, the rear motor's fly wheel blocks it. Do you think it'll effect the performance much to remove the flywheel and trim back the shaft? Also, how should I got about DCC'ing a split frame?
Didn't know Spectrum made a DD-40AX...thought it was one of the newer standards, I could be wrong. FWIW if it was a true spectrum it should have a DCC plug.
But to DCC a spilt frame, remove the motor, place a piece of electrical tape into each side of the frame where the enlongated brush contacts touch that frame. Using a pair of dykes, remove the contact strips, leaving their attachment to the brushes. Solder the Orange and Grey leads to each brush holder, and reinsert motor. Reassemble frame.
Wire now as you would any other conventional loco, with Red and Black each coming from one side of the frame. If the flywheel bothers you, remove it, replace with a short piece of clear fuel tubing made for model airplanes and cut the end off of the shaft the flywheel connected to. The tubing SHOULD be strong enough to resist whipping if kept short.
If for some reason you ever do have to replace a bachmann motor in any of the spectrums, 2-8-0 or larger, the standard Kato motor is a drop in replacement, after making the motor bearing slot on one end of the frame large enough to clear the larger bearing of the Kato, on one end. I hope this is clear. Takes less than five minutes with a dermel and a steel cutter head.
At our club 2 years ago, we had wore out two spectrums running them on public display for several months. Both had sound systems and DCC installed. In trying to find a replacement motor from the club stock, the only one that was even close was the Kato. After removing the Spectrum motors from the wore out J and 4-8-2, we found the Spectrums, except for the bearing size on one end, were a copy of the Kato design. height, lenght, and width. identical. The only difference, even in the appearence, was a larger bearing on the Kato!