The saga of the Trainorama 44 class split wheel-sets

 
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
I am not convinced that this is a wear issue, 'saving' bogies from other models to replace those in use is unlikely to be viable.

The flaw within the bogies is a design and materials issue, bogies are just as likely to fail in storage as they are in use. The only way to preserve the life of stored bogies might be to remove the stub axles from the plastic gear/axle (if possible) and store the three parts in a disassembled form.

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  alltrainzfan Chief Commissioner

Location: Here


I have just become aware of another possible replacement from AR Kits.....Al is preparing replacement mechs for several plastic and also white metal and brass locos, including the 44 class. So I will hang off to see what happens on that front.

Roachie
"Roachie"


AR Kits was supposed to do replacement mechs for two of my friends' CPH and 400 class railmotor kits which were supposed to be finished in March. No word since... I don't think I'd hold my breath for anything new to occur.

Conspiracy: initially there was a Traino' 44 Dummy Unit available for $150. Coincidence that the Powered 44's have been reduced to the same price? Is this a subtle way of declaring that they're only good for being pushed/pulled around or simply over-supply?

Just a thought

I potentially have a fleet of ten Dummy 44's...


That sort of conspiracy is like Clive Palmer's linking of the Greens to the CIA.. A bit silly and unethical you don't think? Some people could have fleets of over 30 dummy 44s. Hence I reckon totally unlikely such a conspiracy would occur.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Conspiracy: initially there was a Traino' 44 Dummy Unit available for $150. Coincidence that the Powered 44's have been reduced to the same price? Is this a subtle way of declaring that they're only good for being pushed/pulled around or simply over-supply? Just a thought I potentially have a fleet of ten Dummy 44's...
"gw0071"


I thought I had heard everything but not so it seem's. Conspiracy theory what a laugh, I am sure some one would deliberately design a powered loco to give up the ghost after a preset time simply to provide every one with a dummy unit. It is a simple design flaw and most models have one in them somewhere. It is a consequence of building a model to a set price to keep it within the boundaries that modellers are willing to pay.

Yes it could have been done better but at what price would it become. Sure on one model it is not much of an increase at all, but how many where ordered and made in total though. Like all manufacturer's you learn as you go somewhat, so hopefully in the future this kind of thing does not happen again. You learn from your mistakes.
  a6et Minister for Railways

What I would like to know is how many powered 44cl have been sold, & how many have the problems.

It would be also good to know how many other RTR models, both diesel & steam that have been produced in China have had problems with drive trains, bogies, skewered valve gear etc since Australian models have been produced over there. 

While its never good to have any of these problems, I have seen at many exhibitions, cheap locomotive models on sale owing to various faults & its not confined to just one of the importers either.

Dare I suggest that up to this point of time pretty well all the locomotives, & the majority of R/S have all come from the same factory that no longer is part, or a primary part of any of the importers future plans. 

For me, I am just hoping that when the new locomotives start arriving from the new factories that for the better part we will not see these problems arise anymore, my concern though is that there are still some locomotives that are still being produced at the old factory for at least two of them which may also be a concern.

I did see that on AMR group when this problem was raised one of the TOR team did say that the problem was known & that new bogies would be available later in the year, therefore their new factory must be working on a fix.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
I would hazard a wild guess here but I reckon just about every brand out of China would have some issues. The one's Hornby have had are just the tip of an iceberg I reckon. They had the chassis of one brand new model actually disintegrate to dust or at worse weakened that far that it broke. The chassis metal also split the plastic body that was on the model as well. So we are not alone here with problems from locomotives made in China. The mazak that the chassis was made from had impurities in when they were cast. They are currently replacing these chassis at no cost and cannot keep up with the repairs at the moment.

But at least they are repairing them at their own cost, imagine if it happened to one of our distributors out here. The mind boggles actually.
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
Also had a CL here that had some real issues. keeper plate on the bogies kept falling off. ....    First 45 were produced in 1989 and to date I have only ever had to replace three axels because of this and one was just the other day. Regards Al
"ARKits"


That CL is Austrains and I assume from same factory as the TOR 44 class. This widens the problem from not just TOR and I note a6et and David point to a wider problem in other brands.

Al, you also note the first 45 were produced in 1989 and to date you have only ever had to replace three axles. How was the ARKits's 44 class complaints department as I assume it had a similar drive system to the 45?
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
Everyone assumes that the Chinese factories know how to build a proper, reliable working mechanism, or worse still, all of them do. Common sense says that they all have to learn how to do it at some stage, and new factories will be finding out how to do it on our models. And the importers don't know how to do it either, they simply trust the Chinese to get it right.

But Chinese factories take liberties with everything to do with the manufacture of these models. The disintegrating chassis from Hornby and Heljan are both due to a malady called 'zinc pest' which occurs because of impurities in the Mazak casting metal. If you use pure metals, it simply does not happen.

It is also very likely that the split gears are due to the Chinese habit of re-grinding mould sprues and failed mouldings and using them again. It is known that they do this, and no-one knows how many times a piece of plastic has been ground up and recylced. Each time it is recycled, it loses some of its plastic properties and eventually becomes weak and brittle.

It is the old story, 'you pays your money and you takes your chances'. Cheap products from China really means cheap products. A country where a company managed to spike children's milk with Melamine and was not prosecuted by their government is likely to get up to anything.
  andrewstrains Assistant Commissioner

Location: Townsville, Where else but QLD
Correct me if Im wrong,

With my 44s I have only realy had split gears on the 2nd run. I have tried the Proto 2000 gears, the AR kits 45 Class gears neither are suitable replacements unfortunatally.

I truely hope TrainO do produce replacement gears ASAP. I have 5  x 44 sitting on a shelf as the noise coming from the wheels etc makes the so loud when running around. (However they have been promissed to be produced for over 12 months now and we are still waiting)

I didnt have any problems in removing the keeper plate on the bottom of the bogies. no real damage was caused.

Andrew
  gw0071 Deputy Commissioner

OK, for those a little s-l-o-w-e-r than others (or void of sardonic humour) my apparently questionable theory asks have the Traino' 44's been reduced in price due to

a) admission that they're of problematic design, or
b) oversupply

Simple, really?
  a6et Minister for Railways

OK, for those a little s-l-o-w-e-r than others (or void of sardonic humour) my apparently questionable theory asks have the Traino' 44's been reduced in price due to a) admission that they're of problematic design, or b) oversupply Simple, really?
"gw0071"


Without any real knowledge, I would suggest at this point of time that the models had hit a dead spot in sales, the reason I also asked the question in my last post about how many of them have been sold in total.

Unlike the most populous selling locomotive being the NR which has a wide popularity as it has ran in all states & most lines & also has been out to pasture, unless perhaps new liveries come out, it pretty well has reached their limited life span.

The only other option for sales of the 44cl is to have a run of them as they came out on delivery, both mark types, which would possibly be costly & would it destroy the existing tooling?

I purchased one 44cl & have almost finished retroing to it to an as per early delivered run, but there are some issues in doing that, & I would not attempt again, so even if they did such a run I would not get one as I only need one, & maybe that is a big case for them.  I was at the Shop on Wednesday, & noticed body only components selling for $40.00. So I am suggesting they are trying to clear stock in order to get income for new products.

I also agree with what Hollywood has said about the realibility of the Chinese factories, & one only has to read some of early euphoric newsletters from all of them using the old SDK factory about what they were promising to see how we the modellers were led along by that euphoria, & without doubt the importers were also sucked in at the same time.

Like the modellers who have paid money for undelivered models, & out of pocket, the importers also have been caught in this, & I think they are all a bit wiser now as a result & doing more checks on the models, especially locomotives. Without doubt, in general terms the quality of R/S has gone forward except for basix stuff, and a couple of other items.
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
Are the steam locos with Chinese drive gears having similar problems?
  Roachie Chief Commissioner

Location: Kadina SA (formerly NSW)
Are the steam locos with Chinese drive gears having similar problems?
"petan"


There have a been a couple of reports from blokes who have bought cheap steam locos at exhibitions etc, which had their drivers not quartered correctly (and hence wouldn't run properly/at all). The buyers all reported that they were able to easily fix the problem by rotating the offending driving wheel on it's axle and thus the loco then ran properly.

I suggest that this poor quartering issue is due to a similar issue.....the wheels are not "fixed" 100% to the central section of the axle.

I'm not sure what the likelihood of this happening actually is, but I think it is a problem....either now or potentially in the future.

Roachie
  a6et Minister for Railways

Are the steam locos with Chinese drive gears having similar problems?
"petan"


There have a been a couple of reports from blokes who have bought cheap steam locos at exhibitions etc, which had their drivers not quartered correctly (and hence wouldn't run properly/at all). The buyers all reported that they were able to easily fix the problem by rotating the offending driving wheel on it's axle and thus the loco then ran properly.

I suggest that this poor quartering issue is due to a similar issue.....the wheels are not "fixed" 100% to the central section of the axle.

I'm not sure what the likelihood of this happening actually is, but I think it is a problem....either now or potentially in the future.

Roachie
"Roachie"


One company in particular have been quite hard hit by faults, as they have been selling defective models for some time now at Exh's at the brickpit there seemed an almost endless supply (at least in the morning & lunchtime when I left)) given that some had scewed valve gear & wheels, & the engines & tenders sold seperately in some ways while a cheap option, you need to know what to do to get them right.

I have seen some of these models fixed with relative ease, while others not so easy. 

The worst part of this whole saga, is that even if one wanted to change & model o/seas, is that most of those brands were also made at the same factory, & from what I have read, both here in what Dave Peters said but also on a few U.S group sites there has been a lot of heartaches over there. So its not just a local issue.
  Albert Chief Commissioner

A while back I talked to a bloke linked to TOR. The reduced price is to clear overstock. What happend was a run was ordered for low numbered 44s and instead the factory produced high numbered ones. Also the total number of 44s produced was something up around 25,000 units.
  a6et Minister for Railways

A while back I talked to a bloke linked to TOR. The reduced price is to clear overstock. What happend was a run was ordered for low numbered 44s and instead the factory produced high numbered ones. Also the total number of 44s produced was something up around 25,000 units.
"Albert"


That makes sense in both instances & if the numbers are correct it comes in more than likely the 2nd most popular Oz model so far produced, when at the shop the other day they had bodies for $40.00 in the showcase & all high numbers above 80, maybe they swapped out low numbered bodies to the motor unit.

I emailed a modelling friend today & gave him the link to this thread, & he replied saying he has not had those problems with any of the models he has worked on which includes primarilly sound & light installations. He has one on the work bench now & will check the gears.

He also said the split gears is common on the following brands Kato, Atlas or P2K locos.

I also remember reading some time ago, that the importers are said to work on a 10% failure rate, or have that in their expectations, so if there has been 25.000 44cl produced that would make how many anticipated failures as against how many actually?  The same guestion could also be asked regarding all the other models produced for our market from all of the importers.
  Roachie Chief Commissioner

Location: Kadina SA (formerly NSW)
Today I have ripped open another bogie and removed the wheel-sets. Again it was the steel axle on the shorter side of the plastic bearing which was cracked and allowed that wheel to slip and easily separate. So I thought I'd experiment....nothing ventured/nothing gained.

I carefully placed a small amount of superglue (Zap-A-Gap) into the plastic gear housing and carefully pushed the axle back in. Some of the superglue oozed out and onto the gear cog, so after I ensured the back-toback was correct, I grabbed an old tooth brush and gave the gear cog a good seeing to, to ensure all traces of glue were removed. 

Allowed that to dry and then gripped one wheel in each hand and gave it a VERY GENTLE twist.....no movement at the same amount of effort I had exerted on the axle previously in order to make the wheels turn individually. I'm not saying that this has permanently fixed the problem, but it is better than it was.

While I had the cover plate off I thought I'd try to modify the parts so that they could be separated more easily. Bear in mind that this is a bogie where I have already removed the side frames (by cutting them off ready to attach to the Hollywood Foundry mech when it arrives); so I could be quite a bit more aggressive with this bogie than I would be with a fully in-tact bogie. So, I carefully pared-away some of the small lugs on the bogie that appear to hold the cover plate in place. I thought that might make it easier to remove the cover plate....in fact I thought I may have gone too far and would end up with a cover plate that would not stay in situ.

I needn't have worried about that because once I again snapped the cover plate into position it was still impossibly difficult to remove.....so much so that I have ended up with a flaming great crack in the base of the cover plate from where I tried to lever it off. I haven't tried using tooth picks (as was previously suggested), but I have used a couple of small, flat-bladed screwdrivers in the same way ; all to no avail.

I'm just about ready to give up on these bogies!!!

Roachie
  Captain Underpants Train Controller

Today I have ripped open another bogie and removed the wheel-sets. Again it was the steel axle on the shorter side of the plastic bearing which was cracked and allowed that wheel to slip and easily separate. So I thought I'd experiment....nothing ventured/nothing gained.

I carefully placed a small amount of superglue (Zap-A-Gap) into the plastic gear housing and carefully pushed the axle back in. Some of the superglue oozed out and onto the gear cog, so after I ensured the back-toback was correct, I grabbed an old tooth brush and gave the gear cog a good seeing to, to ensure all traces of glue were removed. 

Allowed that to dry and then gripped one wheel in each hand and gave it a VERY GENTLE twist.....no movement at the same amount of effort I had exerted on the axle previously in order to make the wheels turn individually. I'm not saying that this has permanently fixed the problem, but it is better than it was.

While I had the cover plate off I thought I'd try to modify the parts so that they could be separated more easily. Bear in mind that this is a bogie where I have already removed the side frames (by cutting them off ready to attach to the Hollywood Foundry mech when it arrives); so I could be quite a bit more aggressive with this bogie than I would be with a fully in-tact bogie. So, I carefully pared-away some of the small lugs on the bogie that appear to hold the cover plate in place. I thought that might make it easier to remove the cover plate....in fact I thought I may have gone too far and would end up with a cover plate that would not stay in situ.

I needn't have worried about that because once I again snapped the cover plate into position it was still impossibly difficult to remove.....so much so that I have ended up with a flaming great crack in the base of the cover plate from where I tried to lever it off. I haven't tried using tooth picks (as was previously suggested), but I have used a couple of small, flat-bladed screwdrivers in the same way ; all to no avail.

I'm just about ready to give up on these bogies!!!

Roachie
"Roachie"
Hi Roachie,
Did your 44 start making a tick..tick..tick..tick noise alerting you to a problem with it? Cos my 4464 has started with this noise. It still seems to run ok but after reading your problem I'm wondering if mine is starting to give up.
I've used Loctite Super Glue to fix a slipping plastic gear on a metal axle in one of my older Powerline 48's. Still going strong, no problems. Speaking of 48's did you ever put sound into your new 48's?
Cheers
  Roachie Chief Commissioner

Location: Kadina SA (formerly NSW)
Today I have ripped open another bogie and removed the wheel-sets. Again it was the steel axle on the shorter side of the plastic bearing which was cracked and allowed that wheel to slip and easily separate. So I thought I'd experiment....nothing ventured/nothing gained.

I carefully placed a small amount of superglue (Zap-A-Gap) into the plastic gear housing and carefully pushed the axle back in. Some of the superglue oozed out and onto the gear cog, so after I ensured the back-toback was correct, I grabbed an old tooth brush and gave the gear cog a good seeing to, to ensure all traces of glue were removed. 

Allowed that to dry and then gripped one wheel in each hand and gave it a VERY GENTLE twist.....no movement at the same amount of effort I had exerted on the axle previously in order to make the wheels turn individually. I'm not saying that this has permanently fixed the problem, but it is better than it was.

While I had the cover plate off I thought I'd try to modify the parts so that they could be separated more easily. Bear in mind that this is a bogie where I have already removed the side frames (by cutting them off ready to attach to the Hollywood Foundry mech when it arrives); so I could be quite a bit more aggressive with this bogie than I would be with a fully in-tact bogie. So, I carefully pared-away some of the small lugs on the bogie that appear to hold the cover plate in place. I thought that might make it easier to remove the cover plate....in fact I thought I may have gone too far and would end up with a cover plate that would not stay in situ.

I needn't have worried about that because once I again snapped the cover plate into position it was still impossibly difficult to remove.....so much so that I have ended up with a flaming great crack in the base of the cover plate from where I tried to lever it off. I haven't tried using tooth picks (as was previously suggested), but I have used a couple of small, flat-bladed screwdrivers in the same way ; all to no avail.

I'm just about ready to give up on these bogies!!!

Roachie
"Roachie"
Hi Roachie,
Did your 44 start making a tick..tick..tick..tick noise alerting you to a problem with it? Cos my 4464 has started with this noise. It still seems to run ok but after reading your problem I'm wondering if mine is starting to give up.
I've used Loctite Super Glue to fix a slipping plastic gear on a metal axle in one of my older Powerline 48's. Still going strong, no problems. Speaking of 48's did you ever put sound into your new 48's?
Cheers
"Captain Underpants"


Yes mate, The symptoms with my 44s have been "clicking" noises and when the loco is rounding a curve (my minimum radius is around 48"), the leading outer wheel seems to want to lift off to the point where the flange is higher than the top of the rail and I experience a derailment. This only seems to occur when the loco is under heavy load (but NOT over-loaded to the point where it is slipping or stalling).

I'm now not sure whether the "clicking" is caused by the cracks in the "muffler" (this is apparently the shop term for the plastic section in the axle assembly which has the gear cog and joins the 2 steel stub axles together). Instead, I cannot be sure that clicking is not caused by the very small intermediate gears, between the axles, jumping over the top of each other some how. That would make more sense as a reason for the clicking noise to occur.

As for the 48s, yes I have installed sound in both of them, but I'm happy with only one. The other one, which sounded quite okay after I installed it and before I fitted the body on top, sounded terrible once the body and couplers were installed. I cannot explain why, but removing the body again has not fixed the problem. I used the Loksound Direct as mentioned in Marcus' magazine article, but I'm now thinking of replacing it with a Tsunami unit at some stage.

The loco that sounds good is running a little erratically, but that could be just dirty wheels.....I will get around to cleaning them properly and seeing if gets better.....it was good at first, but has started jerking a bit, so dirty wheels is the most likely cause. My layout is in an unlined shed, so dust is prevalent. 

Roachie
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

I'm now not sure whether the "clicking" is caused by the cracks in the "muffler" (this is apparently the shop term for the plastic section in the axle assembly which has the gear cog and joins the 2 steel stub axles together).
"Roachie"

The term is "muff".
  Roachie Chief Commissioner

Location: Kadina SA (formerly NSW)
I'm now not sure whether the "clicking" is caused by the cracks in the "muffler" (this is apparently the shop term for the plastic section in the axle assembly which has the gear cog and joins the 2 steel stub axles together).
"Roachie"

The term is "muff".
"duttonbay"


Thanks for the clarification......

I should add that what I meant in my last post was that perhaps the clicking is caused by the small intermediate cog closest to the leading axle, intermittently failing to engage with the muff of the leading wheel set, as that wheel set rises and falls going around a curve. There seems to be a little slop in the journals of the axles, allowing the wheel sets to "float" just a very small amount. Given the very tiny size of the gears involved, it would take much "float" movement to allow the gears to miss-mesh intermittently, hence the clicking.

Just another theory of course. I am fortunate that one of the sections where this occurs on my layout stands at around 1550mm height and right where I can view the action as close as I wish. I have run the offending locos around this curve at VERY SLOW speeds so as to be able to observe what is occurring.

Roachie
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Roachie you might be right to assume that is what is happening to the gears I have had Athearn loco's do this on me. One I had I could rotate the front wheel of the bogie while the others were locked a new muff was installed from another loco that was in the junk box and away it went with no more clicking sound. It might be just a manufacturing fault this mis-alignment though as this loco' has now run for years and has never given any more trouble at all, I should point out that both the plastic axle and the wheels where rotating together on this axle it was not merely the wheels stub axle rotating in the muff.

This kind of problem though is a bug bear on any type of models that use this system.
  Captain Underpants Train Controller

Today I have ripped open another bogie and removed the wheel-sets. Again it was the steel axle on the shorter side of the plastic bearing which was cracked and allowed that wheel to slip and easily separate. So I thought I'd experiment....nothing ventured/nothing gained.

I carefully placed a small amount of superglue (Zap-A-Gap) into the plastic gear housing and carefully pushed the axle back in. Some of the superglue oozed out and onto the gear cog, so after I ensured the back-toback was correct, I grabbed an old tooth brush and gave the gear cog a good seeing to, to ensure all traces of glue were removed. 

Allowed that to dry and then gripped one wheel in each hand and gave it a VERY GENTLE twist.....no movement at the same amount of effort I had exerted on the axle previously in order to make the wheels turn individually. I'm not saying that this has permanently fixed the problem, but it is better than it was.

While I had the cover plate off I thought I'd try to modify the parts so that they could be separated more easily. Bear in mind that this is a bogie where I have already removed the side frames (by cutting them off ready to attach to the Hollywood Foundry mech when it arrives); so I could be quite a bit more aggressive with this bogie than I would be with a fully in-tact bogie. So, I carefully pared-away some of the small lugs on the bogie that appear to hold the cover plate in place. I thought that might make it easier to remove the cover plate....in fact I thought I may have gone too far and would end up with a cover plate that would not stay in situ.

I needn't have worried about that because once I again snapped the cover plate into position it was still impossibly difficult to remove.....so much so that I have ended up with a flaming great crack in the base of the cover plate from where I tried to lever it off. I haven't tried using tooth picks (as was previously suggested), but I have used a couple of small, flat-bladed screwdrivers in the same way ; all to no avail.

I'm just about ready to give up on these bogies!!!

Roachie
"Roachie"
Hi Roachie,
Did your 44 start making a tick..tick..tick..tick noise alerting you to a problem with it? Cos my 4464 has started with this noise. It still seems to run ok but after reading your problem I'm wondering if mine is starting to give up.
I've used Loctite Super Glue to fix a slipping plastic gear on a metal axle in one of my older Powerline 48's. Still going strong, no problems. Speaking of 48's did you ever put sound into your new 48's?
Cheers
"Captain Underpants"


Yes mate, The symptoms with my 44s have been "clicking" noises and when the loco is rounding a curve (my minimum radius is around 48"), the leading outer wheel seems to want to lift off to the point where the flange is higher than the top of the rail and I experience a derailment. This only seems to occur when the loco is under heavy load (but NOT over-loaded to the point where it is slipping or stalling).

I'm now not sure whether the "clicking" is caused by the cracks in the "muffler" (this is apparently the shop term for the plastic section in the axle assembly which has the gear cog and joins the 2 steel stub axles together). Instead, I cannot be sure that clicking is not caused by the very small intermediate gears, between the axles, jumping over the top of each other some how. That would make more sense as a reason for the clicking noise to occur.

As for the 48s, yes I have installed sound in both of them, but I'm happy with only one. The other one, which sounded quite okay after I installed it and before I fitted the body on top, sounded terrible once the body and couplers were installed. I cannot explain why, but removing the body again has not fixed the problem. I used the Loksound Direct as mentioned in Marcus' magazine article, but I'm now thinking of replacing it with a Tsunami unit at some stage.

The loco that sounds good is running a little erratically, but that could be just dirty wheels.....I will get around to cleaning them properly and seeing if gets better.....it was good at first, but has started jerking a bit, so dirty wheels is the most likely cause. My layout is in an unlined shed, so dust is prevalent. 

Roachie
"Roachie"

Yes, I've noticed the "clicking" noise occurs only when it is pulling a load up an incline and will stop when running on level track. Now you have got me worried and i'm not sure if I want to open it up after the problems you had.
With your 48, I may have an answer/option for you. I just completed my conversion doing it different to Marcus' article. I was thinking about starting a thread and posting some pics.
  Roachie Chief Commissioner

Location: Kadina SA (formerly NSW)


With your 48, I may have an answer/option for you. I just completed my conversion doing it different to Marcus' article. I was thinking about starting a thread and posting some pics.[/quote]

Please do.....I think we'd all like to see what you've done. We can never have too much info on these sorts of topics.

Roachie
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
I have received the faulty bogie that Roachie sent me, and examined it carefully.

There are two problems here, first of all the gear muff is split on the short side, this means it does not hold the wheel and stub axle firmly, so there is a possibility of slipping. This problem could be alleviated by carefully cleaning the gear and stub axle in alcohol, then placing a tiny, and I mean tiny, drop of Loctite 638 or 609 on the inside of the muff and pushing the axle back it place, using a back to back gauge to make sure the wheels are in gauge.

It could also be fixed by Trainorama supplying replacement gear muffs, but that is something to take up with TOR.

The second problem is probably more serious and prejudicial to long term reliability of the drive train. The intermediate or idler gears in the power train are very narrow, in my opinion, far too narrow, and there is no reason for them to be so. If they had been designed properly, they could have taken up almost the entire width of the inside of the plastic gear casing. The spacing in the gear casing is approximately 5mm, and yet the idler gears are only approximately 1.4mm wide. The axle gear is 2mm wide.

The root of the problem is that the idler gears are able to slide sideways by a little greater than 1mm, meaning that at times, less than 0.4mm of gears may be in mesh. Under load, the gears are able to force themselves sideways a fraction more and suddenly one tooth jumps over the top of the tooth it is meshing with on the next gear. If this process continues for any period of time, the edges of the teeth will round off and suddenly you have no drive at all. The rather strange gear tooth profile also compounds this problem.

This would also account for why Captain Underdacks & Roachie noted that the clicking only seems to occur on grades or under load, not on the flat.

As a result, I am surmising that the clicking sound heard by Roachie and others is due to the gears jumping teeth, as Roachie suggested earlier, and there is no simple fix for this. It would be possible to replace the gears with metal gears, but the cost of making those gears combined with the labour costs in disassembling the model and replacing the gears would make the exercise uneconomical.

I am at present trying to coax my camera into behaving properly in the macro mode so I can take a photo of the gears to illustrate the problem. I will post more when I have done so.

Geoff
  hosk1956 Deputy Commissioner

Location: no where near gunzels
The second problem is probably more serious and prejudicial to long term reliability of the drive train. The intermediate or idler gears in the power train are very narrow, in my opinion, far too narrow, and there is no reason for them to be so. If they had been designed properly, they could have taken up almost the entire width of the inside of the plastic gear casing. The spacing in the gear casing is approximately 5mm, and yet the idler gears are only approximately 1.4mm wide. The axle gear is 2mm wide.

The root of the problem is that the idler gears are able to slide sideways by a little greater than 1mm, meaning that at times, less than 0.4mm of gears may be in mesh. Under load, the gears are able to force themselves sideways a fraction more and suddenly one tooth jumps over the top of the tooth it is meshing with on the next gear. If this process continues for any period of time, the edges of the teeth will round off and suddenly you have no drive at all. The rather strange gear tooth profile also compounds this problem.

This would also account for why Captain Underdacks & Roachie noted that the clicking only seems to occur on grades or under load, not on the flat.

As a result, I am surmising that the clicking sound heard by Roachie and others is due to the gears jumping teeth, as Roachie suggested earlier, and there is no simple fix for this. It would be possible to replace the gears with metal gears, but the cost of making those gears combined with the labour costs in disassembling the model and replacing the gears would make the exercise uneconomical.

I am at present trying to coax my camera into behaving properly in the macro mode so I can take a photo of the gears to illustrate the problem. I will post more when I have done so.

Geoff
"TheBlacksmith"


Can the thin idler gear be packed with washers to reduce that 1mm sideways slop Geoff?

Wayne

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