Bachmann Climax tune up

Discussion in 'Tips & Tricks' started by N Gauger, Jan 22, 2006.

  1. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

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    The 1:20.3 Bachmann Climax worked well for the 4 years I had it. I run it about 30 hours a year, not much at all.

    Around November, it started to run erratically, stopping at different places around the layout and also just stalling in place. I found that it was drawing maximum amps when it stalled, so I started searching for problems on the net. I didn't find anything about stalling. I did find a page that described a problem with the axles binding when one truck got power and the other didn't. This was because the wheels will lose contact with uneven track. I have a few places that are like this.

    After inspecting the underside of the engine, I found that the front axle had broken loose from the front truck and the U-joint was stuck on the broken axel. I removed that section of the axel and ran the engine again.... same problem again.

    I started thinking about what else I could do to get the engine running on flat straight track. It occurred to me that the engine pickups had not been cleaned since I bought it.

    Here is where the tutorial starts:
  2. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

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    Opening the manual to page 28, I found the directions to disassembling the trucks :)
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    Tools you will need: mini screwdriver, #2 Phillips Screwdriver, Needle nosed pliers or tweezers, some sort of support for the Climax, as you will be working on it upside down. If you have nothing else, The original Styrofoam box it came in will work. Put it in the normal way, place the cover on and turn it over. :D :D

    Once you have it upside down, match the trucks with the details on the manual drawings.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    After removing the tiny screw at the bottom of the truck take hold of the plate (Screwdriver pointing toward it) and slowly wiggle the entire spring housing out. The top is marked with the arrow.
    [​IMG]
    Repeat for other side.
  3. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

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    Second step:

    #2 Phillips is needed to remove the truck screws (One each side)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    After removing the two large screws, carefully lift out the truck. The axle will come apart and the coupler will have to be pulled through the bumper assembly.

    Now you should see this:

    The underside of the engine.....

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    This conducts the power that runs all the lights, the LED's and any added power you have (sound etc) on the engine. It Does NOT supply power to the motors... I'll describe that soon.....
  4. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

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    Now, remove that Screw in the center of the bolster and remove it.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now we get into the reason that the Climas does not work efficently when dirty.

    The top pic shows the contact plates for the brass brushes on the top of the bolster. See anything wrong with the Bolster mounts in the second pic?????

    The lower one has been drilled out by me, because it was NOT moving freely. This caused it to not contact the plate correctly, which caused loss of voltage to the lights in the engine.

    Solution:

    Remove the screws on the bottom and remove the plate under that brush.

    Remove the spring & brush & drill it out. I always give a spring a bit of a stretch before replacing it.

    [​IMG]
  5. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

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    Replace the plate & the screws (Use the tweezers) :D and bend the top of the plate in "Just a bit" as shown, bend the opposit one too)
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Now, clean those tabs you bent so they will make good contact with the truck contacts.
  6. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

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    now, the truck.......... The truck has a brass cover over the actual brass contact that comes from the wheels. Here is how it works:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Resting on the truck (Black Square) is the bent brass plate that is formed on the truck. (Red Line)

    Over that goes the "brass cover strip" (Blue line) this has a free floating wire. These are the motor power leads. Problems: The dirt & normal corrosion will effect both sides of all brass plates. you have 6 here - 3 each side.... The Top of the red one, the bottom of the blue and the top & outside of the blue one.. (The outside is where the bolster fits over the frame. Lots of impedance here on both sides of both trucks.



    Solution: Clean off all surfaces pry out the "cap" as shown above... the bottom one is already removed to show detail.
  7. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

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    After cleaning and reinstalling the caps, I took the truck out to the layout & ran it.. What A Difference!!! I knew at that point that my work was worth it & I decided to make this tutorial. :D :D :D

    After running the truck a bit, I turned it over & set it on my vice. I connected power to the 2 "caps" and ran it a bit, allowing me to thoroughly clean the wheels. Be sure to clean the "backs" of each wheel, that's where the ball bearings make contact to get power from the track.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Here is a pic showing the brass bearings at the rear of each wheel:

    [​IMG][​IMG]


    This one is me cleaning the "inside" of the cap:

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    and finally, I gave the caps a bit of a bend with the pliers to ensure a good contact with the truck plates.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  8. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

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    Now, you have the truck contacts cleaned, The bolster contacts cleaned (Don't forget to clean the tops of the brushes on the Bolster.

    Now we clean the brass "Circle" on the engine bottom....
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  9. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

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    Above and below the above circle, you see the 2 truck contacts that guide the bolster. Sand the paint off of them :) Then put a drop of oil on each side of the bolster as shown & Re-install it.

    [​IMG]
  10. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

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    Now just reverse the steps and re-attach the truck (Large screws & the spring housings & the two tiny screws). Don't forget to re-attach the driveshaft & guide the coupler through the bumper :D

    This took me about 45 minites, so allow about 2 hours to do all this.. because.. you have to repeat all this on the other truck :)
  11. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

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    While I had the truck off, I also lubed the inner workings of the pistons and all the moving parts I could easily see. As noted by arrows.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  12. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

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    Well, That's it, If you follow this and repeat it for both trucks, the climax should run noticably better. All the lights are bright now.. The firebox looks fantastic in the dark :) as do the lower LED's :) the Headlight & Smoke work perfectly now too....

    As always, e-mail me with any questions..

    [​IMG]

    I think "she" was worth the couple of hours spent :) Now, I guess I'll go talk to the wife



    ..........for a few minutes... sign1 sign1 sign1 jawdrop