engine can't pull 2 cars...help

Hello. I have an Atlas diesel (N scale) that runs very fast alone, however it is unable to pull a couple of cars. I have other engines
that don't run so fast like this one when runing alone, however seem to pull 8 or 10 cars with no problem. What do you think? Is there some kind of mechanical problem with this Atlas engine? Thanks in anticipation!
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muselart wrote:

Sounds like someone left the lead weight out!
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You may be right, however it does not look that it is missing a weight. This engine has rear traction only, and the weight is given by the internal iron body (don't know the correct name) that is heavier in the back part. It looks like they wanted the engine was heavier on the traction part. It is an Atlas made in Italy diesel type, marked "Pennsylvania", and it is much longer than my other engines. Thanks
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What does "specific engine" means? (sorry, total newbie here!). I don't have a way to explain it better: it says "ATLAS, MADE IN ITALY' on bottom. It is brown color, and it is marked PENNSYLVANIA 5887. I have several other assorted engines that are all about same lenght, but this one is the longest measuring approx 5 1/2 inches long. No, it does not stall: I hear the motor running very fast. Wheels may be sliping but I can't say for sure. Without any load it runs very fast but if I add cars it runs very slow first and then stops, but the motor is working 100%. So I guess it slips. Thanks.
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Those old 1960s Atlas/Rivarossi models were not very well engineered. I'm amazed that the motor still operates. If you clean the wheels and find replacement traction tires, it might solve your problem.
Bill Bill's Railroad Empire N Scale Model Railroad: http://www.billsrailroad.net Brief History of N Scale: http://www.billsrailroad.net/history/n-scale Bill's Store--Books, Trains, and Toys: http://www.billsrailroad.net/bookstore Resources--Links to 1,200 sites: http://www.billsrailroad.net/bills-favorite-links
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BTW, what you have is an Atlas E8A (A-1-A, A-1-A) imported in 1967. Several mechanical variations were offered. Only one truck was powered. Recent models of these were imported by Rivarossi with a much improved mechanism.
You might want to consider upgrading to a Life-Like E8A (These should easily pull 12-20 cars on straight, level track):
http://www.blwnscale.com/Life-Like%20EMD%20E8%27s.htm
Arnold-Rivarossi E8As:
http://www.blwnscale.com/Arnold%20EMD%20E8%27s.htm
Bill
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com says...

Sounds like you have an E8/9 from about 1970. Those engines weren't much good for anything other than paperweights when they were new (I bought one too). If you like the looks of that particular engine, they have also been done been done by Lifelike and Kato. Both are far superior to what you have and can be bought for reasonable money on 'the auction site'.
fl@liner
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muselart wrote:
[...]

You can tell if the wheels slip by getting down low and watching the engine as you apply the power. But I don't think that's the problem.
IMO, there is slippage in the gears. If the wheels slip, the train would actually speed up a bit after it got going.
IOW, you have a dud engine. Best bet: remove the motor and gears, if you can, and use the engine as a dummy in a two-engine lash-up. Or just park it somewhere, as "awaiting repairs."
HTH
--
wolf k.

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muselart wrote:

It's almost certainly a model made by Rivarossi for Atlas in the 1970s or 80s. (silver round can motor, probably mounted vertically as the driving bogie pivot) Unfortunately, while it looks nice the mechanisim is absolute rubbish. The motors were quite variable in manufacture and normally burn out within a few years. Yours is an oddity in having lasted so long. Unfortunately that doesn't make it valuable. Just possibly it might be a Lima (Italy) product. In those whe motor is of the "drum" type; black plastic enclosure including the bogie (truck) with the armature mounted across the loco and spur gears driving down to the end axles. These mechanisims are even worse quality than the Rivarossi ones, but a higher percentage (2% vs 1% :-) survive.
If you _really_ like the model then it would be possible to transfer the body to a more modern and better quality mechanisim from another manufacturer with some fine modelling work. Unfortunately, the earlier N gauge locomotives were of poor quality mechanically and I think even today you get what you pay for.
Greg.P.
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In order to troubleshoot this we need more info.
Which specific engine is it? How exactly it is not pulling those cars? What are the symptoms? Are the wheels slipping? Is the motor making any noises or it is just quiet (stalled)?
That'll do for starters. Peteski
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On 2/18/2008 9:14 PM Peter W. spake thus:
>

Another question that might help: does it have traction tires? Turn it upside down and look at its little wheels: are they all metal, or do some of them have rubber bands (probably black) around them?
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On Mon, 18 Feb 2008 17:16:53 -0800 (PST), muselart

my guess is that it isn't properly weighted. even real locomotives have ballast weight added to help them obtain traction. when your loco is running light it moves ok, because it's not trying to pull anything, but put a string of cars behind it and it spins wheels because there's not enough internal weight in the engine to push the wheels down to the rail.
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On Feb 19, 5:07am, snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

Engine looks exactly like the ones in pictures! Well, I can't see any "rubberized" wheels. I know what you mean since I own one cheap Bachman locomotive that use that on a couple of wheels. Regarding weight, the only problem is there is no room to add it except in front (where no traction exists). Any trick to "rubberize"? This might work. Or do you believe adding weight in front could help? Wonderful responses. I love this place! Some weeks into this hobby and I'm learning a lot here. Thanks!
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That engine should have at least 1 traction tire axle. Check with your fingernail to see if there is a 'ridge' on the outside of a wheel. If there is, that is where the traction tire is missing. Check the Walther's catalog for them.
--
Frank Rosenbaum
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On 2/19/2008 9:12 AM Frank A. Rosenbaum spake thus:

I think Frank meant to say a "groove", not a ridge.
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Well, OK, the grove is on the wheel, but he would feel a ridge on the edge to indicate there was a traction tire missing. If his fingernail catches as he slides it across the wheel, from the flange outward, he needs traction tires.
--
Frank Rosenbaum
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On Tue, 19 Feb 2008 04:59:16 -0800 (PST), muselart

well, just to test the weight theory, you could put some kind of weight on top of the loco (if it will stay...perhaps held on with masking tape or something that won't damage the finish), and if it pulls better then you'll know this is the problem.
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it except in front (where no traction exists).< Weight anywhere will help however it could overload the motor and result in a quicker burnout.
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Jon Miller wrote:

It's had 30-35 years to burn out - perhaps it's the fabled "perfect Rivarossi motor"???
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Then, if the brand ATLAS is made in Italy, it means that is Rivarossi and should be avoided?
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