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enginear joe

MTH GG1

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I noticed that my GG1 doesn't pull as much as I had hoped. I want to research this more. I also noticed that the front set of axles spun when pulling a train. I'm not sure if this was caused by a bump in the track, or the engine doesn't apply it's weight to the front drivers fully?

Ray has this topic covered when discussing the Challenger's original design. Chuck also went over it and mentioned adding metal drivers from the Bigboy. I believe the GG1 already has metal drivers? Maybe the drivers spun as the control board may have been looking at the rear set and as power was applied to overcome the train, the front ones just over re-acted? (spun from the power applied as something has to give). The engine seems well weighted and I just expected more from it. If it's OK then I'll have to look at making the passenger cars more free rolling. I wanted to make a much longer passenger train. I do have hills that may need more leveling out to lessen the grade. I had to reverse direction of the train to make the grade easier to handle.

 

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Sounds like you are pulling a solid load for the engine's stock weight.  If you have the wheels on one set of trucks that are slipping, then simply at some lead weight on that side of the engine.  The motors are just as big as the Big Boy/Challenger and with traction tires it will have similar pulling potential.  Put the engine in the basement and do some pull tests and test for slippage.  Place weight on the top of the engine above the trucks where it is slipping till you balance out the slippage.  If you still want more pulling power then add more weight, equal amounts to each side and then install them in the engine.   There aren't any risks with adding weight, the drive train, gears (all metal) etc can handle it.  This will take care of your issues.

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I saw it was slipping a bit when starting out on a straight. It had just went over a switch so I wasn't sure as I wasn't actually looking for any slip. The wheels spinning faster in the front caught my attention.

I will try some stick on weights when I get the chance. I bet she pulls as good as a stock Challenger. I figured it might pull more as they came out later and had metal wheels.

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Whether or not the center of the driver is plastic (w/metal rim) or all metal has nothing to do with the pulling force.  It is function of total weight and total number of traction tires (if a locomotive is so equipped).  

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Joe,

I run my GG-1 with 8 ”out of the box” MTH coaches. To the second level of my layout there is a 2.5 % incline. Not that I have carefully checked, but I have never noticed any problems. What I have noticed is that this particular engine is very hard to get on the tracks properly.

There is a connection between the two driver blocks. A pin from one block is supposed to go into a slot from the other. When I have got all the wheels on the rails I always check if this pin is where it is supposed to be. On many occasions it is not, and I have to start all over again. Since you are used to diesels you may not be aware of this.

Blid

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Thanks Blid, and I did see that. I wasn't aware of it before I saw it. I pulled 7 MTH coaches up my "hill" and I noticed the engine almost stalled, spinning all it's wheels. I wouldn't continue running like that for fear that it would burn or throw it's tires off.

I do notice some extra gear noise when the sound is shut off. I believe I should look further at any internal problem as she seems to struggle. I believe she's just breaking in.

 I should state that many of my engines struggle at the same spot on the RR and that's why I always run several engines coupled to overcome this. I'm having some issues with 5.0 that MTH is looking into. My layout is fine and several engines act up some times together. By toggling the direction button for instance, they overcome a bug in the software. But I have broken several couplers researching what was the problem before I knew this.

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I kept hearing strange noises and I parked this engine until I had the time to look at it. I must have forgot and ran the engine today. Right away I heard those noises again. So I put her on the bench and looked over everything I could. It seems that the main drivers motor was loose a few turns with a screwdriver. I greased all the gears to be sure they were protected. Now she runs nice and quiet.

 I did pay extra attention this time to make sure the joint between the drivers was connected correctly. That seems like it's overly difficult to get right sometimes.

I still need to do pull tests with her but I waited until now to protect the insides.

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I have been running mine for 7 years with heavy and heavier trains on a long grades as sharp as 1.80% which is what the prototype grade up the Aleghenies is (around Horseshoe curve) and is just about the most you want to go on a heavy mainline type of operation (I know many went over that but had huge helpers  to push the trains over, PRR did that over Horseshoe too). Since three years I have been using it with J & M heavyweight stock which is, as its name implies, heavyweight! And it still climbs that grade which is on a 14 foot radius curve to boot. All that without adding any weight to the loco. I have noticed that the rubber adhesion tires can jump off going up that grade and have replaced them with  bicycle inner tube succesfully (Over here gettting spares for MTH is hopeless). So far I have resisted adding extra weight to prevent motor and gear fatigue. It has hauled a twelve all metal coach train around the pike which has 11' radius curves and some 1.2% grades at speed. You should look into battery power for lighting  your coaches, those electrical pick up carbon are like disk brakes on a car, which should be as free rolling as possible. Added benefit you can light your coaches with live steam and no blinking; which looks so silly anyways. Now with leds its a sinch. Enjoy your Ge its a beautifull engine and it performs very well.

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I put just under 30 coal hoppers on the track and she pulled them with ease. I did not see any slipping. I was thinking that maybe the motor was loose enough that it did not engage and the one truck set did all the work. Of course that connection between the motor blocks just may have been set wrong and messed things up too. She's running good now.

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Yes you have to be carefull when you place it on the track that the loop link between the motor trucks are coupled correctly otherwise it lifts one truck off the track. Also if you have grades, like my nearly 2% one, you should check the adhesion tires regularly they tend to come off when the engine is slipping. In which case the engine looses tractive effort very quickly on grades. I lowered the body on mine so that it is nearly the correct distance from the trucks, I also turned down the flanges for a better more scale aspect. It is possible if you use wide radius.

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Just as a note,  any time you have an engine that has its traction tires come off they need to be replaced.  Tires with a proper compound of rubber will have no problem staying adhered to the wheels under all conditions.    If you have tires that come off that means they don't have the proper elasticity to retain proper tension and are stretched out and will just keep coming off. 

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I have a track joint on the basement layout where there's a sharp edge. It has pulled off the traction tires on engines that still had their factory tires on. I believe because it's a slight hump also, the tires spun, and got pulled off there.

I try and file down the top edges of any cuts I make on the track. Somehow, I missed that one.

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Actually after many failures on MTH tires; by sheer luck I happened to have some rubber bycicle inner tubes that was just the right size (I keep these as sometimes it can be handy to make a seal for some live steam locos I have) I carefully cut as straight as I could and presto after having spoiled a few, a serviceable tire came out. I fitted it to the GG1 and it has been running ever since beautifully and as it doesn't come off as easely as the MTH ones do after a while, i shall keep on using them. Whenever one blows I just make a new one. Here in France I can't get the parts, besides MTH sells them at much too inflated prices, I think. Iwish some new rolling stock would come out in the gauge one line at MTH nothing I am interested in since years now...

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I'm trying to do some things on the RR as spring just doesn't seem to arrive. I brought in the GG1 to have another closer look at it. I remember that the pantographs weren't going up and down well last year. I brought the engine in and set in on the counter while I took off my jacket. I noticed a piece of rubber that at first, I believed came from some detail on the outside.

 

DSC_0194.JPG

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 So I got the shell off and now I see why the pantographs aren't working. There's also a slight binding spot on one of the larger brass wheels so I lubed them. I will make sure they spin freely with no binding. The pictures are in reverse order. I tried to use a spare O ring that I had and was the closest to fit. I also tried some fatter ones that were too tight.

DSC_0195.JPG

DSC_0196.JPG

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Seems you need just the right balance of a tight O-ring to fight the springs on the pantographs. I tried several until I got the tightness of O ring to work (#114). The one in the picture above slipped too much. Now I hope it doesn't wear something out.

For some other reason the front pantograph will only work reliably, if the large brass wheel's screw is left loose? Seems like it binds when snugged up. The other's is tight.

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Well a quick search at MTH parts shows 2 o-rings..a 24.6mm or 21.5mm...if that helps much as the descriptions don't really state what fits what.

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I disconnected the panthograph motors and mechanism as I have three tunnel going out from my inner shed, and there was no sure way to pull them down before hitting the tunnels. Its just as nice to have them hand operated., besides with the MTH system they dont actually fold down all the way as they should and it looks awful. I spent a considerable amount of time filing down the pantographs so they at least have scale size struts, they should be tubular, but I find the sturdyness of these very usefull. About the traction tires, I found that these started to come off after four or five years because the rubber was shot. So far no problems with my replacement from bicycle inner tubes. But they probably will eventually. Its just that here, there is absolutley no supplier of MTH gauge one. Much less spare parts. There is a pretty good photo of it on page 9 in show us your engines section.

 

Lowering the body was a sinch by the way I just dremeled out a few mm of the fixing tabs inside the body redrilled slightly the screw holes and presto. But be careful to leave enough clearance for the flywheel and the roof.Actually the body on mine is about 2mm too high because of this still but it sure looks a lot better this way, I can do it because of the broad curves on my line.

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