Bachman 2-8-0 frame failure

srbroome Oct 28, 2016

  1. srbroome

    srbroome New Member

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    I bought a beautiful used Bachman spectrum 2-8-0 in Southern, the 722. She was bound up so I removed the bottom plate that holds the brass pickup shoes for the drivers. It was then that I noticed the frame had a bow to it. The lead and rear drivers were low with the middle drivers slightly clear of the rails. I completely disassembled the loco down to the frame. I found the frame to be spider webbed with cracks. The front of the frame under the smokebox simply broke free with little effort, the entire frame is brittle. The shell, drivers, and side motion show no damage from being dropped, could this be a bad frame casting? For now I am going to search for a parts engine to source a new frame. Any suggestions would be welcome. Thank you.
     
  2. Ironhorseman

    Ironhorseman Staff Member In Memoriam

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  3. srbroome

    srbroome New Member

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    I bought the loco in a bulk purchase of about twenty Chattanooga Central hopper cars. I checked Bachmann trains for a new frame but they are sold out. Looks like E-Bay for a donor locomotive. I have two others just like it in my collection so there is no rush to complete. I have even thought about building a frame from bar stock to learn more scratch building skills.
     
  4. ScaleCraft

    ScaleCraft TrainBoard Member

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    Zamac Rot? Zincpest? Sure seen that a lot over the decades, but figured they'd solved that issue by now. Guess naught.
     
  5. Ironhorseman

    Ironhorseman Staff Member In Memoriam

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    Oh for only a 3-D printer, eh! :)
    Scratching one sounds like it may be fun too. :)
     
  6. MarkInLA

    MarkInLA Permanently dispatched

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    I kinda get the picture. Is there not some room to add some reinforcement to hold the frame straight, perhaps even using piano wire and CA-gluing it in place along frame ? I believe it's metal so there's a chance CA would work. I too had that loco (HO/sound). I tore the decoder wires out at the plug, so I sent it to Bach. Instead of repairing it they said there were no more consolidation parts (!) and were instead offering me a "modernized 4-4-0". This one is quite a nice runner, but I've missed that Conny ever since. They're husky little brutes. Hope you get yours back on the rails...M
     
  7. ScaleCraft

    ScaleCraft TrainBoard Member

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    No. On a steamer, trying to get axle distances exactly correct is not do-able. They have to be level, parallel, and in line, and if it's gone, it's gone.
    I've had Varney chassis do that, and trust me, it's a battle you would never win.
    Not sure of the gearing, but if open worm/wormgear, that is another issue to have to deal with.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2016
  8. RailMix

    RailMix TrainBoard Member

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    The only two ways I can think of to do this would be to disassemble and precisely measure the frame from one of your other engines, make a drawing or CAD model, and either machine or 3D print a new frame as was suggested above. Aside from having the capability to do one of these, a parts donor is your best bet.
     
  9. ScaleCraft

    ScaleCraft TrainBoard Member

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    Yes...IF Botch didn't change specs mid-year.
    You could just be a craftsman and build a new frame of brass stock. Sweat solder the two sides together, axle distances are surprisingly easy...it's exactly the spread of the siderod spacing.
    By the time you're done, you'll have 50 hours, brass and parts, and the value of the frame will be 20 times what the entire loco is worth.
    Easier on mass-produced stuff to find a cheap donor..like on evilbait without a tender.
    I haven't got time to do loco frames anymore, but I've done a couple of new tender floors to replace exploded ones in the last couple of years.
     
  10. RailMix

    RailMix TrainBoard Member

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    Good point about measuring the siderods. I thought of that only after I'd posted, but it would be much easier than disassembling another engine. Making a frame is likely not something I'd do just to salvage a Bachmann 2-8-0 (although it does appeal to my cheap streak) but more for the satisfaction of having done it and having an old school experience to apply to other projects.
     
  11. ScaleCraft

    ScaleCraft TrainBoard Member

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    Some of the really old stuff, when it goes, some parts are just not available.
    I have, oh, 3 or 4 Varney Old Lady Consols.
    Frames on two exploded to the point the pushed the rear wall of the plastic tender shell out.
    I built new frames from brass, frame centre beam, bolsters, coupler pad...just because.
    I've done a whole lot of that over the years, but I find the engine has to have some value to me to do it.
    A Bachmann never will. To me.

    I even did a old Rivarossi 2-8-0 repower...since I bought it new in 1967 or so. Tender floor gone...and it's the lower half of the gearbox.
    Sagami flat can, NWSL box, used the Menzies Machine Shop driveshaft with u-joints, and it literally is quieter, smoother, and more powerful than new.
     
  12. srbroome

    srbroome New Member

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    Thanks to everyone for the help. I am watching evil bay for a donor. I don't need a runner with a tender, but everything is complete and a shame to tear down for parts. The original frame literally crumbled, you can break it up with your fingers. The axle channels had also swollen for lack of a better explanation. That pinched the main driver with the axle mounted gear. Bachmann has no frames available, I've also thought about putting my loco up for parts and just getting another loco to add to the fleet. Other than this, Spectrum has been great runners for me.
     
  13. ScaleCraft

    ScaleCraft TrainBoard Member

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    The good thing is there were a whole....pot of those made. The bad thing is there are a lot of variations over the years. Not sure if the parts are exact from version to version. But, a complete chassis should be able to be grafted in fairly easily.
    With the propensity of evilbait sellers in some scales tending to split engines and tenders for more profit, you should not have a long wait for what you want.
    Just don't get in a hurry.
     

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