Episode 101 18 Modifying a Bachmann Brake Van

Discussion in 'The Collection' started by gormo, Mar 10, 2018.

  1. gormo

    gormo Staff Member Administrator

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    G`day Folks,
    Welcome to the first new ( Non Windows 10 ) edition of Gormo`s Shed edited on Linux Mint operating system using the Open Shot video editor.
    I have been going through a bit of a learning curve but I`m here now and away we go.....:thumbs:

    This week I am visiting a problem I`ve had for some time now and I`ve been putting it in the too hard basket, avoiding taking the plunge to get it sorted.
    The problem, as you can gather. is with a Bachmann Brake Van. I bought the van brand new from the UK about 12 months ago. It was a good price and came factory weathered, nice detail, all the bells and whistles and it was a pleasure to sit it on my railway

    DSC05737.JPG

    However, once it started moving, it was very obvious that there was a problem. There was a persistent squeek coming from the axles and the wagon wasn`t very free rolling. Close inspection revealed there was a fundamental flaw in the construction of the wagon. The mounting blocks for the couplings had been placed so close to the axles that they rubbed slightly against the axles to create a braking effect which in turn created the squeek.

    DSC05725.JPG

    So this weeks Gormo`s Shed shows how I went about fixing this problem.

    I would make the point, which is echoed in the video, that Bachmann quality control needs to be more vigilant and introduce some more serious controlled checking of their products. This issue is obviously a design fault and yet it has flown quite easily through all the checks and balances that are supposedly in place and here we have a product that doesn`t work properly.
    Considering the ever increasing prices of these items, I think it`s not unreasonable to expect a quality item for my money.



    :tophat:Gormo
     
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  2. ianvolvo46

    ianvolvo46 Staff Member Moderator

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    :thumbup::thumbup:
    ian vt
     
  3. gormo

    gormo Staff Member Administrator

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    Thanks Ian
    :tophat:Gormo
     
  4. Dr Tony

    Dr Tony Full Member

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    Nice work http://www.click,
    I wonder though if you could have got away with just removing some material from the back of the coupler holder to stop it fouling the axle. Maybe I can't tell that well from the video with the light, but that might have been easier to do. Alternatively could they have designed that brake van around a smaller axle diameter. Once again quality control comes into play here if they then substituted a thicker axle in production.
    On a similar note, I have a very nice SDS Australian NSW guards van, with switchable directional lighting. In a different price league entirely to the Bachmann one, about 3 or 4 times the price perhaps. Bought it new, put it on the tracks and the lights didn't work, and I was getting strange behaviour from my controller. Turns out that one of the axles had been put in backwards at the factory, simple fix once I identified it with the multimeter, but not something you expect when the unit costs $125AUD.
    Cheers
    Tony
     
  5. gormo

    gormo Staff Member Administrator

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    G`day Tony,
    Removing material from the back was my first thought, however the area there behind the actual coupling, in the shape of a triangle, is quite thin already



    I had visions of the coupling eventually dropping out and therefore back to the work bench.
    That`s why I decided to move the mount. The other consideration was to cut a slot in the mount so that it could be moved away from the axle, however the whole for the screw is counter sunk and that would again have become a less permanent solution.
    The job is done now and at the end of the day, I still should not have had to do it on a brand new item.
    I have old Mainline stock that is not as fine in it`s detail, but it runs fine, never derails, never uncouples.....it just works and continues to work. I fit them with the new small Bachmann tension locks and they look great.
    Over the years, the desire to constantly improve profits has impacted on the quality of the new items being released.
    :tophat:Gormo
     
  6. Toto

    Toto Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    Hi Gormo,

    I agree. When you look at the ever rising prices and diminishing standards you have to ask why the prices increase. You don't mind the increase in costs but paying that for a product where the basics of decent running are going backwards. ..... No .... Not on.
     
  7. SMR CHRIS

    SMR CHRIS Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi Gormo
    Also Agree with you, re the standards of current models :facepalm:it’s sad that these things get past the preproduction stage I also find those plug in couplers tend to just drop from the dove tail slot due to being very loose fit and have to have a spot of glue to secure sort of defeats the purpose of this style of coupler.

    For the next time you have to drill a new hole right next to a old one in plastic chassis etc , I have found keeping some various sizes of evergreen styrene round section is useful you can fill the old hole with styrene using a Bonding agent like MEK it slightly desolves the plastic and mounds it together and you get a very solid filled section then trim off the excess file flat and the you can redrill. :thumbup:
     
  8. gormo

    gormo Staff Member Administrator

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    Thanks Toto & Thanks Chris for the tip....:thumbs:
    :tophat:Gormo
     
  9. Gary

    Gary Staff Member Administrator Golden Goat 2018

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    Great episode Gormo. :thumbs:

    One thing that annoys me with these type of NEM coupler pockets is that there is no standard between the manufacturers. Hornby, Bachmann, Dapol, Heljan, and many more need to bang their heads together and come up with a standard, like the NMRA do with decoder standards. I would easily say that Dapol are the worst offenders of the lot with their droopy couplers. :mad: So, with the manufacturers inability to come together, it gives the modeller a good reason to use Kadees... ;)

    Cheers, Gary.
     
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  10. gormo

    gormo Staff Member Administrator

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    Have to agree Gary,
    I have a Dapol wagon with the droopy coupler system you mentioned. My plan is to remove the couplers and go back to a fixed tension lock mounted under the end of the body as per the old days. Especially with the home grown system I`ve employed, I need the couplings to be at the same heights. Obviously it`s the same with Kadees. Whatever system you use, the couplings need to be meeting each other at the same height otherwise it just `aint gonna work !!!.
    Cheers
    Gormo
     
  11. Sol

    Sol Full Member

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    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018
  12. Gary

    Gary Staff Member Administrator Golden Goat 2018

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    But which manufacturers are actually following along with this ?? :scratchchin:

    Cheers, Gary.
     

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