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 Other Great HO Trains
 Athearn Motive Power & Rolling Stock.
 Old Athearn open frame motor Q: Neodymium magnets
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Author Previous Topic: Athearn BB F''s Pull 30 lbs of Tyco Topic Next Topic: F7 old and new comparison chassis''s  

Heihachi_73
Switcher

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 Posted - June 07 2017 :  6:49:22 PM Link directly to this topic  Show Profile  Add Heihachi_73 to Buddylist
I recently picked up an F-unit chassis for next to nothing. The good side is, the loco works nicely by itself, crawling at low speed, and probably doing a scale 120MPH at top speed. The bad side is, it could not pull itself out of a wet paper bag, losing a lot of power with only half a dozen freight cars behind it, while making itself hot in the process and/or tripping the internal breaker inside the DC controller when that also gets hot (which is rated at a paltry 360mA but works perfectly well with every other loco, even with 2 or 3 running together). I'm not used to seeing an Athearn being creamed by PowerTorque and Bachmann pancake motors which only drive a single truck!

The first thing that came to mind was that the original magnets have gone weak in their 50 or so years of running, and I was wondering if anyone has ever used rare earth/neodymium magnets in a vintage motor such as this. I believe this one predates the gold motors. It would be nice to keep the original motor going, as it seems to have plenty of life left in it.

 Country: Australia  ~  Posts: 89  ~  Member Since: April 29 2016  ~  Last Visit: May 27 2023 Alert Moderator 

JRG1951
Big Boy


Old_Guy

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 Posted - June 08 2017 :  01:10:16 AM Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Send JRG1951 a Yahoo! Message  Add JRG1951 to Buddylist
Check the axle gears by holding the flywheel and turning each wheel to see if they turn. If any turn you have cracked gears. This will keep the loco from pulling very well. I am unaware of any magnets that will fit. A replacement motor or an after market can motor is the common solution. These older motors usually draw pretty high current
Regards, John
 Country: USA  ~  Posts: 886  ~  Member Since: January 11 2012  ~  Last Visit: December 16 2023 Alert Moderator  Go To Top Of Page

Heihachi_73
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 Posted - June 08 2017 :  06:06:26 AM Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Add Heihachi_73 to Buddylist
Thanks for the reply - the gears are all good however, no binding or anything. I also have a spare set of gears from a Baldwin S-12 which was converted to a dummy (it had no motor when I bought it), which is now a track cleaner.

The only loco I have with cracked gears is a 1980s Bachmann Santa Fe F7, and no-one stocks gears for these (I need both axle gears). I bought the F7 on eBay as "dead" for parts (specifically, the gears) to repair an F9, but I ended up getting the F7 working as well, so I'm back to square one of finding gears again!

You're right about the ability to swap magnets in these old Athearn motors though, the magnet itself doubles as the motor housing - I would have had to fabricate an entirely new housing if I did try to replace the magnet with rare earth magnets. It looks like a can motor conversion might be the only way if I want to pull a proper train with this one. With six passenger cars behind it, the loco runs at about half speed at 12V compared to running alone.
 Country: Australia  ~  Posts: 89  ~  Member Since: April 29 2016  ~  Last Visit: May 27 2023 Alert Moderator  Go To Top Of Page

tkruger
Big Six

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 Posted - June 12 2017 :  10:20:58 AM Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Add tkruger to Buddylist
You may have the windings going bad. One of the wires may have a partial breat in it. This whould cause excessive arching, heat and loss of power. Basically the fix is a motor swap. That said finding a parts BB at a show or EBay is not to difficult.
 Country: USA  ~  Posts: 332  ~  Member Since: August 28 2010  ~  Last Visit: April 23 2020 Alert Moderator  Go To Top Of Page

Mustangs_n_Trains
Big Boy


Mustang Man

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 Posted - June 12 2017 :  11:51:23 AM Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Add Mustangs_n_Trains to Buddylist
It is my understanding, when a motor gets hot, it is because of a weak magnet. I have never myself used the Neodymium magnets on this type of motor, but I do recall seeing someone machine out a slot or two in the original magnet to fit new Neodymium magnets and revitalize the original magnet. Otherwise it's addition gets kind of tricky in this application. A purchase of a $5-$10 dual axle can motor might be another option though.
Sean

"If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough!" - Mario Andretti!
 Country: USA  ~  Posts: 1729  ~  Member Since: June 15 2011  ~  Last Visit: June 26 2021 Alert Moderator  Go To Top Of Page

Heihachi_73
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 Posted - June 17 2017 :  3:47:35 PM Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Add Heihachi_73 to Buddylist
Well that was an almighty fail for the weekend. I reassembled the motor last night, and when putting the top brush clip back on I didn't put it on straight enough, the clip came apart and the top brush spring went flying into the next suburb! A day later and I still can't find the spring - I think it really is time to put a can motor in this one!
 Country: Australia  ~  Posts: 89  ~  Member Since: April 29 2016  ~  Last Visit: May 27 2023 Alert Moderator  Go To Top Of Page

Chops124
Big Boy





Penn Central Logo

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 Posted - June 18 2017 :  2:07:20 PM Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Add Chops124 to Buddylist
Remarkable. Like to see the next phase.
 Country: USA  ~  Posts: 11226  ~  Member Since: December 09 2013  ~  Last Visit: May 26 2024 Alert Moderator  Go To Top Of Page

Heihachi_73
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 Posted - June 26 2017 :  5:17:04 PM Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Add Heihachi_73 to Buddylist
If it counts as a phase, I have a well-used and damaged F3 shell which fits, but it needs a new pilot and other touch-ups. I would really like to get this one up and running, the older and more worn out they look the better!
 Country: Australia  ~  Posts: 89  ~  Member Since: April 29 2016  ~  Last Visit: May 27 2023 Alert Moderator  Go To Top Of Page

Heihachi_73
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 Posted - September 15 2017 :  02:28:57 AM Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Add Heihachi_73 to Buddylist
I still haven't sourced a can motor yet. For now I have turned the loco into a dummy. I managed to find the spring and the motor is working once again but I have insulated it so it won't use power while being dragged.

As I don't have the original draft gear boxes which snap over the original coupler mount, I have filed down the original mounts, drilled out the original hole for the box to fit and used some spare Bachmann truck screws to hold a Kadee draft gear box in its place, and it is now at the correct height unlike the photo at the top of the page.

I have not given up on this loco yet, I just haven't had much spare time to do anything lately.
 Country: Australia  ~  Posts: 89  ~  Member Since: April 29 2016  ~  Last Visit: May 27 2023 Alert Moderator  Go To Top Of Page
  Previous Topic: Athearn BB F''s Pull 30 lbs of Tyco Topic Next Topic: F7 old and new comparison chassis''s  
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