Tender Problems

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Empire Builder

Great Northern fanatic
:confused:I've been haveing problems latly with the tender of my mikido; here's all the info & observations, I know it seems like alot & some of it may be useless information & might not have anything to do with the cause or solution to my problem, but I thought I would just gather as much info as possible then have you guys that know more about ths stuff sort out the useful info from the useless info.

Facts, information, & observations:
  • It is a Mantua Mark II super detailed 2-8-2 Mikido steam
  • It is painted & detailed for Great Northern
  • The tender is a six-axle Vanderbuilt Tender
  • the trucks on the tender are made of metal (sideframes & wheels)
  • the tender derails on or near switches & curves
  • Front truck of tender jumps the tracks just before the manual switch ( see atachments)
  • it (the front truck of the tender) derails when pulling a load
  • Does fine (doesn't derail or jump the tracks) when it runs by its self (no load)
  • locomotive won't run when fron tender truck is derailed
  • sparks occur between truck wheels & rails when it jumps the track
  • When I added an Athearn Northern Pacific F7B in back of the Mikido, the situation improved, but still jumped the tracks ( it only derailed in one spot [right before the manual switch], vs. derailing at every switch w/o the B-unit)
  • the radius of my curves is 22"
  • My layout is 4x8'.
  • exact same thing happens wheather the locomotive is traveling at high speeds or low speeds
  • this problem didn't occur when I first got the locomotive
  • Tende is semi-permenatly attached to the locomotive
  • this problem hasn't occured on any other locomotives
  • To see if the problem was the tender being too light weight, I tried adding weights to it to see if that would help: 1/2 oz. of weight- conditiond doesn't improve of worsen. 1&1/2 oz. of weight- condition worsens, it derailed 4 times vs. 1 time before
 

Empire Builder

Great Northern fanatic
5. the derailed truck

6.the manual switch where the tender jumps the tracks.

7. the bottom of the loco & tender.

8. a close up of the connection between the tender & the engine
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
Don't know for sure Eric but it sounds like the wheels are out of guage to me. Had a similar problem only it was the front truck of a Athearn U33C. It ran ok in reverse, but acted the same as your tender going foreward. Using a NMRA gauge I reset the wheel gauge.
It's run great without problems ever since
Willis
 

Empire Builder

Great Northern fanatic
CBCNSfan said:
Don't know for sure Eric but it sounds like the wheels are out of guage to me. Had a similar problem only it was the front truck of a Athearn U33C. It ran ok in reverse, but acted the same as your tender going foreward. Using a NMRA gauge I reset the wheel gauge.
It's run great without problems ever since
Willis
It could be that but... The thing that seams to rule that out in my mind is the fact that it ran just fine when I first got it. It has only been in the past month or so that this problem has surfaced. And, if the wheels were out of gage, wouldn't they have been that way from the start, or is there something that could have made the wheels go out of gage between when I got it & now?
 

Cjcrescent

Master Mechanic
Eric;

I'm going to be a little different from the rest, as I'm not sure that it is the wheel gauge thats causing the problem. Mantua wheels have a history of once set on the axle they are extremly hard to move. But an NMRA gauge will prove/disprove if wheels are off or not.

I think what is happening maybe the result of the combination of some minor track problems. I could also be dead wrong, but it doesn't hurt to try.

I had a great big answer for you, but after I studied the pic of the loco with the B-unit behind it further, I think I saw what could be the cause of it all.

I see that you're using one of those combo sectional tracks with the built in roadbed. Nothing wrong with it at all, but I bet you nailed the track down using the tracknail holes at the ends. You may have inadvertantly hit the rail with the hammer just ever so slightly, and with the rail looking like the E-Z track from Bachmann made of steel, bending the rail is extremely easy to do. It may be steel but it is a very soft steel. In the pic of the loco & B-unit, look at the joints between the tender and the B-unit and under the locos #3 driver. The rails, to me, appears to "dip" at the joints. I imported that pic and tried to blow it up some, but the pic I imported was only like 43K, and the resolution, really went to pot, when enlarged. Maybe someone with better eyes than mine could confirm.

Eliminate the dips, if really there, by loosening the nails a little, or sticking a flat head screw driver underneath the rail joints and raising the joint slightly. If you go the screwdriver route, make sure you anchor the rail just past the joint with your fingers, or else you could pop the rail completely from the ties.

But no matter what you do, run your finger lightly over the joints, feeling for any roughness or running edges that stick out. Dress the roughness and the edges with a file, until smooth, and you may have fixed the problem.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
I think what is happening maybe the result of the combination of some minor track problems. I could also be dead wrong, but it doesn't hurt to try.
Hi Carey, Well you could certainly be on the right track with that. As I recall now my loco's truck wheels were out of gauge the day I got it. if it worked fine when he got it, then my question is did he do any track work in the areas that it is de-railing?

Willis
 

Trucula

Drum Driver
I think you guys are right on the track issue...its hard to see but the overhead shot of the switch dosen't look right to me...comming out of the turn the switch appears to be off to the edge slightly(inward)....even on both rails..or maybe my eyes are going bad with age!!
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
I'd suggest first getting some plastic safe oil and oiling the tenders trucks and the swivel, maybe it got dust in there? Then if it continues move on to the track.
 

Empire Builder

Great Northern fanatic
Hi guys, thanks for your input, but it turned out to be none of those things. It was actually a much simpler problem than what everyone thought it was.

When I was trying to figurew out what it was, I was looking at the trucks, & when it derailed, I rerailed it & I thought that the connection was afwul tight, & it turns out that the wire that runs between the tender & the engine was tight, making it hard for the tender to turn. I thought, I wonder how it got so tight, & upon further examination, I found out the the wire was wrapped over a little cylinder on the left side, so I unwrapped it & it had a lot more slack! It works just fine now.:) It almost seems as if we were thinking too hard, coming up with a lot more complex problems that what it actually was! Anyways, thanks for trying to help everyone.;) :) :cool: :D :p
 

Brakie

Member
Eric,Funny how things changes over the years..Not so long ago 85% of the modelers you ask would have told you what to look for..Today its the wheels,track,switches and never the answer you found by closer inspection of the problem..:D My.my,my,how modelers and modeling has changed.:D
 

NZRMac

In Training Down Under.
It's always the simple things that catch us out. Like the short circuit I couldn't find on my layout, when standing in a certain spot. It was a bit of bare wire stuck to my sleeve and when I leaned on the track the track shorted!!:eek: :eek:

Ken.
 

Empire Builder

Great Northern fanatic
CBCNSfan said:
Well done Eric, of course you know you just ruined a good guessing game :D


Willis
Yeah, I knew I'd ruin the guessing game.:) I was actually debating on wheather or not to keep quiet for another day or two before posting the results, so I could see what you guys would come up with!:p
 




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