Athearn SD40-2 [ jerky ]

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Tommybza, Jun 15, 2007.

  1. Tommybza

    Tommybza Member

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    Just a Quick one here .Picked up A SD40-2 seems to run jumpy and grinds ,so ITook out the gear box seems Iam missing 1 16T gear in the rear end .or is that it ? the last set of wheels spinn free.
    next is i have to turn up to 50 % to get her going some times , now the dealer sez '' they makem so fast these day's '' that is what you get. e- mailed Athearn about the gears ,nothing yet , any info would would help here .
    thanks much
    Tommy .
  2. Thoroughbreed

    Thoroughbreed Member

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    The gear missing is not why it runs bad. It probably needs a good cleaning and lube. Clean all contact points for electrical conduction and lube all gears real good and add a drop of lube to the motor shaft at each end. That should do it.:thumb:
  3. Tommybza

    Tommybza Member

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    Ok Did that and the seems to run good in reverse .when i try to go forward it has the original issue . ordered the gears $2.75 they should be in soon 1 week ,then we can see.
    In the spare time here I have plenty to do and other engines to run . thanks for the info .
    T.
  4. Thoroughbreed

    Thoroughbreed Member

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    Also verify that the wheels are in "Gauge" and arent binding in the trucks. I've noticed that Athearn units tend to bind in the trucks, as in the wheelsets are tight on one side, and a simple screwdriver to pry it out just a hair does wonders. Adding the gears back in to make that 1 axle powered wont solve the problem, but will make it more evident. The axle was probably unpowered for the following reasons: Bad or stripped gear, binding, overgauged(too wide), or to make it easier to run on 18" radius.:thumb:
  5. Tommybza

    Tommybza Member

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    Verry good points .and i did notice the wheels being a littel out of gauge ,Keep in mind this is my first engine and my first time to pull the gear box out .and look inside .I felt like i was doing a liver trans plant .but after puting back the wheels and trux into the frame .suprise it was really out of wack . I could see it.
    so I pulled it again and worked on it .seems fine . now the next part is the 18 radius I have to work with do I want free spinning wheels or not .See I had no clue this would be so fun tinker this tweek that ,But I do have a free set of gears comming from the mrg. they were verry good about the whole thing ,who know's I could have happend to more engines than mine ...
    I will try and see what works best for my lay out .
    Thank you again
    Tommy.
  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    If it runs good in one direction, but not in the other, check for play in the worm gear assembly. If there is excessive play on the worm, it can cause binding between the worm gear and the gear box. You can use Kaddee shims to tighten up excessive play in the worm.
  7. sfrr

    sfrr Member

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    is it a ready to run locomotive? or is it a bluebox loco? I have an AC6600 and its a bluebox locomotive, and it make the worst ratteling sound, so I went with getting a genisis SD70MAC...way better =)...runs sooo smooth, and I'm waiting to get mroe space to have a 4 x 8 H0 layout...its gonna be sweet =)
  8. Tommybza

    Tommybza Member

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    This is a R.T.R and it did for a bit , It made a wonderful grinding sound right out of the box ,so just waiting to get a part and start on that then go from there i have my check list started . the noise dont bother me when it sounds to rustic I worry .
    T.
  9. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    The most common thing to make an Athearn locomotive run noisy is that in shipping the motor mounts come loose from the chassis. When that happens, the motor "rattles" agains the body. You just need to seat the motor mounts back into the chassis and the noise goes away.

    sfrr, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but on a 4 x 8 that SD70MAC probably won't be "sweet." The modern class one railroads have all gone over to really big mainline power, and so guys who model the modern day equipment want to have the latest big mainline power. Unfortunately it won't work very well on the tight radius curves required for a 4 x 8. If you make a 4 x 8 you will need at least a 2 foot aisle all the way around the table. It will work much better if you make the 4 x 8 area your operating pit and build your layout in what would be the 2 foot aisle around the 4 x 8 space.
  10. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

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    Shoot take it back to the dealer, asuming you bought new.
  11. sfrr

    sfrr Member

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    Yea, good point, Maybe, I guess I could get a little dock switcher, but maybe I will wait a little longer until I use it and the wall I have is (hopefully when my brother moves out...) 7 feet by 8 feet and 7 inches. So I could go with a wider radius curve.
  12. brakie

    brakie Active Member

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    Well first I would find a new dealer ASAP even if its a on line dealer..
    Second there shouldn't be any gears missing.ALL 6 axles are powered.
    Can you show us a picture? Something doesn't jive..
    I suspect you been had by being sold a unit that has been returned to your dealer and resold as new by your dealer.This would not be the first time a locomotive was sold,parts removed and returned to the dealer for a full refund.
    About 12 years ago I bought a Athearn SW7..The motor was missing..I got a replacement from my dealer.I suspect this switcher was sold,motor removed and returned..The metal contact was in the box..Philffering of parts from locomotive and car kits isn't anything new.
  13. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    I don't know about the BNSF since I model SF before the merger, but the Santa Fe quit buying switch enginnes in the 60' or 70's and started using obsolete mainline power for yard, branch line, and industrial work. First they used the chop nosed gp7's and 9's and cf7's. Later they got rid of the cf7's and added the gp30's and 35's to the gp7's & 9's. I think they have now gotten rid of the gp7's but still run the chop nosed 9's in that work here in So Cal. You could pick up a gp30 or 35 and build something on a 4x8 to practice with. That would give you something to play with and some practice laying track, scenery work, etc until such time as you have the space to make an around the walls layout with broader radius curves. If you glue down your track with water soluable glues, you could then soak it down and take it back up for the new layout.
  14. sfrr

    sfrr Member

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    I dont use glue, I will probably just ust some cork road bed (or the senic roadbed thats in a roll) and nail some atlas roadbed less track down. whats the widest radius curve I can have with 7 feet to work with?

    ~Mike
  15. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

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    BNSF still has a large number of end-cab switchers, almost all ex-BN.
    More than you need. You could go to about 40", more than enough for passenger cars with diaphragms and almost all brass steam. But then you wouldn't have room for much more than a circle.
  16. sfrr

    sfrr Member

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    I have 8 feet in length to work with =)
  17. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

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    My SD40-2 takes 18" radius just fine, so it be right at home on 22 or 24 inch radius, which will give you quite a bit of track space.
  18. sfrr

    sfrr Member

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    I know that 40" is about what, 3-4 feet? I could go with some flex track around the curve, and make it as wide as I really want it. I mean, do they make 40" degree curve for tracks or no?
  19. Tommybza

    Tommybza Member

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    Oh yes brakie,
    all of the bases are covered ,I did go back and I got the sob story ,strike 2 then asked on a replacement no more of those in NW so I walked out in time i had gone back to look around and did not buy any thing .I did find a place 4 miles away and these folk's are great .so i will not go back the first shop ,it is to bad for them . because i have just started my lay out in jan /07 so he will lose all of my business and i can shop at the nice store .they were shocked when i told then the storie too .
    I
  20. Tommybza

    Tommybza Member

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    Oh yes brakie,
    all of the bases are covered ,I did go back and I got the sob story ,strike 2 then asked on a replacement no more of those in NW so I walked out in time i had gone back to look around and did not buy any thing .I did find a place 4 miles away and these folk's are great .so i will not go back the first shop ,it is to bad for them . because i have just started my lay out in jan /07 so he will lose all of my business and i can shop at the nice store .they were shocked when i told then the storie too .
    I did get a close up lense for my 35 mm camera so i will take a picture of the factory miss hap . It looked new inside the shell bushings were virgin and not a speck . and the 6 axle power was only 5 due to the missing gear . now while on the subject when I put the gear in what should be the distance between the wheels . I did notice more play in the wheels of the sd-40-2 VS my emd Gp 9 and the trusty NPR 541 .
    I think I got a lemon from the factory , but it can be fixed and i want to learn
    Thanks all for your comments will get some picks soon for all gen. purpouse ,
    Tommy