up 'n running

Dad had converted an On30 Bachmann 0-4-2 to a more British looking engine using a number of 1:43 Bagnall components from KeyKits in the UK (now sadly closed). He followed the general process outlined on Brian Fayle's website for the conversion itself.

The Bachmann porter has a number of features that make it a desirable engine, but also some that make it a royal pain in the posterior. One of the worst aspects is the close clearance of the rods to the cab structure. Over time the motion has become sloppier, resulting in reduction of free space between the moving and non-moving parts.

Finally, the engine just stopped moving, but the motor kept running. Essentially, because of the rod ends constant banging into the underside of the cab floor, the wheels got so badly out of quarter that the siderods jammed up and the drive gear on the axle spun. Not a good situation.

After a suitable period of squinty-eyed consideration, I was able to requarter and regauge the wheels, add a drop of CA to the ends of each axle, and grind a pair of clearance slots into the underside of the cab floor above the left and right rod ends. Reassembly yielded no unexpected spare parts and the engine actually runs better than it did when new, as there is no longer even a slight drag of the rods on the structure.

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