help with new Athearn

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by jr switch, Dec 25, 2007.

  1. jr switch

    jr switch Member

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    My sweet wife got me a new Athearn genisis 4-8-4 Union Pacific with/sound for Christmas. I had been wanting an Athearn for awhile due to most of my steamers are Bachmann or IHC and I have seen where many of you have stated that Athearn is one of the best.
    Plugged the connector into the tender, everything works, the remote control works fine, runs great. How do you use the drawbar on one of these? Drawbar extends out thr rear, of course, just under rear of cab. Drawbar end is a horizontal " C ", with open end toward tender. There is a horizontal opening just above the connection port in the front of the tender with the circuit board laying in it and back inside about 1/4 of an inch is a vertical steel pin. The opening in the drawbar C is larger than the steel pin so can not be connected. Are any of you familiar with the Athearn steamers and can tell me how the drawbar is supposed to be connected to the tender? Am I missing a part? And does the drawbar connect inside this slot just above the circuit board somehow? Any help will be much appreciated, thanks---------John R
  2. jr switch

    jr switch Member

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    Charlie, the " C" shaped end has about an 1/8 to 3/16 opening or " cutout " , and the vertical pin is maybe 1/16th. Also, the opening in the front of the tender is about an inch and a half long and maybe 1/4 inch high. The drawbar end is all over the place inside there and if you push it in, centered, so that the open section of the C surrounds the pin, it just pulls right back out of the slot. It seems as if a rubber grommet should fit into the C section with a split in it that would hold on the pin. Or, a short section of rubber tubing on the pin just a wee bit bigger than the opening in end of drawbar. This may be what I have to do to connect them. JR
  3. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    There may be some slop in the connection on purpose to allow for operation on tight radius train set curves. Some steam engines also have 2 holes in the drawbar one in front of the other so that an engine can be "long coupled" for tight radius curves or close coupled for broad radius curves.
  4. jr switch

    jr switch Member

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    Hey Russ, how are you? On these drawbars, there are no holes at all. The end of it is like a circle with a hole in it and a notch cut out of the edge facing the tender. When the drawbar is inserted into the opening in the front of the tender, and positioned in the center with the circle surrounding the pin inside, the engine and tender are the right distance apart, the drawbar is level, but there is no connection between drawbar and pin. We are in California for the holidays and do not have the trains here to photograph. I may have to go back to the shop where I bought it, have them get the black version out of the box and see if we can figure out what's missing------JR
  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    What part of California are you in? If you are visiting Disneyland, a quick trip up the 5 freeway to the 91 West will get you to Lakewood. If you get off the 91 at Lakewood Blvd and go South to "South Street" (about 3 miles from the freeway I would guess). Turn right on South Street, and then into the second driveway on the right into a small mall. Hobby Warehouse is right on the corner. They had a couple of the Athearn FEF's in stock when I was there a couple of days ago. The guys in the model railroad dept are very helpful and could show you how it is supposed to work.
  6. jr switch

    jr switch Member

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    Russ, it is working out even better than that. There is an excellent train store in Westminster that I called yesterday called Arnies Trains. Athearn is their main line and they have an Athearn expert at the store. Talked to him yesterday. and I'm running over there today to check out a couple of the new 4-8-4's they have in stock to determine the problem and how to correct it. Dave says there is a pin that screws into a hole in a slot in the connection board that the drawbar snaps onto and that occasionally, the pin comes loose and bounces up to the speaker magnet in the top of the tender. So, my missing part may just be hanging from the speaker and just needs to be re-installed. After Iv'e been over there, I'll post what I find out in case it might help anyone else that has the same problem. Thanks for your suggestions and interest. I'll get back to you later------JR