I bought a Model Power 4-6-2 Pacific, Union Pacific #2295 with
the Vanderbuilt tender. With a little cutting and grinding I was able
to body mount a MT coupler on the tender frame. Then I installed
a Digitrax DZ-143 decoder. Nice! The pickup wires from the
tender and engine plus the motor wires matched the color coding
on the decoder perfectly. Still, I did a LOT of verifying before
hooking up the decoder. Lots of work with a DC power supply
and a digital volt meter.
The headlight is buried in the metal boiler and is hooked directly
to the track so I couldn't hook it up to the decoder. :( Looks good
when track power is on, though)
My layout is still in the construction phase - I'm using Atlas code
55 #5 turnouts and flextrack, with cork roadbed on a plywood
base. The connection between the track/roadbed/base is glued
with "Liquid Nails". Nice stuff! All rail joints are soldered and joints
on curves are soldered straight then bent - result, perfect joints in
curves. Suffice it to say my trackwork is good - I can run a 30
car (Atlas & MT's, all with low profile wheels and truck mounted
MT couplers) train at full speed through a yard ladder or 3 track
crossover, at full speed, backwards. 0% derailments.
After installing track, I go over all joints with a file set untill the
flux is gone and the joint is nearly seemless. I then take 400 grit
sandpaper and rub down the rails. This is followed by a block
eraser, a cloth kitchen wipe with alcohol then vacumed. Finally
a wipe with a chamouis cloth. Suffice it to say the track is CLEAN.
After working on the 4-6-2, I programmed it and then put it on
the main. It runs nice, but it cuts out all the time. I added power
feeders to the track, hot wired the Atlas insulated metal frogs and
cleaned the track again. Not much help.
Then, I set up a cloth cradle on my desk and hooked test leads
from the track to the tender wheels. I ran the engine at med speed
and cleaned up the drivers with a piece of broken Dremel cut off
wheel. I also cleaned the inside of the tires, where the wipers make
contact. I took an X-acto knife and wedged it under the area near
the base of each phospher bronze driver wiper and twisted the blade
to tweak the wipers into making harder contact.
Next, I moved to the tender - I used the dremel wheel to clean
the mounting screw and all contact areas of the axle wipers. I
also bent the wipers to make harder contact with the axles. Next,
I took each tender axle and put the insulated wheel end in the
chuck of my drill. I turned on the drill and cleaned both the tread
and the axle with the Dremel wheel.
Now everything was spotless. I could lift the engine's drivers off
the rails and they would still run with power from the tender. I did
the reverse with the tender elevated and the engine still ran.
Still, it would stop, the headlight would flicker and then the loco
Sometimes it'll run 3-4 minutes before stalling, sometimes on 1
second. This is frustrating!
I'm thinking about buying a Kato F3B unit or a GP7/9 and M.U.'ing
it to the back of the 4-6-2, with power wires shared between
Anyone have any ideas what could be wrong with the 4-6-2?
- posted 17 years ago