Bachmann Voyager Very Slow

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fholred
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Bachmann Voyager Very Slow

Postby fholred » Fri Oct 14, 2016 11:36 am

Morning all

I have a Bachmann Voyager (DC), which even on full power does not go very fast. Is there anything i can do to either clean or replace to help improve its output power?

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Re: Bachmann Voyager Very Slow

Postby GWR_fan » Fri Oct 14, 2016 11:42 am

I have four sets of the class 220 and each one has a different top speed from moderately slow to moderately fast. I hope you find the cause, trusting it is not a cooked motor.

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hairyhandedfool
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Re: Bachmann Voyager Very Slow

Postby hairyhandedfool » Fri Oct 14, 2016 5:46 pm

There were some issues with some Voyagers and class 158 and 170 units (they share the same motor) running very slow, which some people believed was motor related, but as I recall, it is actually a problem in the gear towers on the bogie. I can't remember exactly what it was, but I think it was that the gears were gunged up with grease or were too tightly attached.
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fholred
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Re: Bachmann Voyager Very Slow

Postby fholred » Sun Oct 16, 2016 6:01 am

After a bit of testing i looks like it is the motor, Any ideas where i could get one? according to the service sheets its part number 500-131

mjb1961
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Re: Bachmann Voyager Very Slow

Postby mjb1961 » Sun Oct 16, 2016 9:36 am

Try Peters Spares or you could try Bachmann ,,,

Bigmet
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Re: Bachmann Voyager Very Slow

Postby Bigmet » Mon Oct 17, 2016 9:23 am

First port of call is Bachmann, if they have the spare available they are quick and efficient. (Unless policy has changed recently they don't routinely make spares available to other vendors. And Bachmann only have a limited number of spares at any time, always best to ask early as I think most of their spares stock comes from breaking up warranty returns...)

It's worth looking at the gear towers for tioghtness or being jammed up with dried grease if you have a sluggish example. This affects several of their older designs, the earlier class 37s were particularly prone to this problem.

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Re: Bachmann Voyager Very Slow

Postby Metadyneman » Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:59 am

Before you go out and buy a new motor, I suggest trying what I did with mine which worked a treat and the thing shot off at great speed afterwards. The motor brushes and springs (yes they are there and they are accessible) are held in by two brass discs which are also attached to the motor wires. The brass discs can actually be prised away from the motor housing but be careful as there is a very tiny spring behind each one. Thereby hangs the problem with slow running. Over time the springs will have compacted which means they are not putting a lot of pressure on the brushes touching the commutator within the motor. I gently removed the springs leaving the tiny carbon brushes in the hole, then stretched the springs out a bit. Once I had done that I carefully put them back in the hole from which they had come. I then pushed the covering disks back into place and hey presto the motor went like a rocket. It's a lot cheaper than a new motor and is a simple (if a bit fiddly) cure to a simple problem.
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Re: Bachmann Voyager Very Slow

Postby GWR_fan » Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:27 am

I finally got the chance to test a recently purchased "kit of Super Voyager class 221 parts" from a well known dealer. I located some spare drawbars and placed the train on the track. Performance was rather disappointing with moderate straight line speed and a definite speed reduction in curves.

Following Metadyneman's excellent advice I removed and lengthened slightly the carbon brush springs and noticed an immediate improvement in both straight line and cornering speeds with the loco maintaining constant speed throughout. Oddly, my springs showed no sign of distress and appeared stock length.

A word of warning though these little springs have a habit of vanishing right before your eyes. One moment it is securely between two fingers and the next moment the spring is nowhere to be seen. Take care!!!!!!!!!

Edit: prior altering the brush springs I was getting a lot of interference on the television. After lengthening the springs there is no discernible interference.

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Bufferstop
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Re: Bachmann Voyager Very Slow

Postby Bufferstop » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:34 am

Bachmann are very generous with their white grease, which if left undisturbed for some time sets like a stiff paste. Removing the excess makes quite a difference to the performance of their models.
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Re: Bachmann Voyager Very Slow

Postby GWR_fan » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:41 am

Bufferstop wrote:Bachmann are very generous with their white grease, which if left undisturbed for some time sets like a stiff paste. Removing the excess makes quite a difference to the performance of their models.


The grease that they sold for largescale trains was somewhat similar. A small container of it at room temperature would be a puddle of wax type substance on the bottom of the container and floating on that was an oily substance. If they used the same "grease" in OO scale then the stiff residue left may be the sticky wax type substance that I used to see.

Bigmet
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Re: Bachmann Voyager Very Slow

Postby Bigmet » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:47 am

Metadyneman wrote:Before you go out and buy a new motor, I suggest trying what I did with mine which worked a treat and the thing shot off at great speed afterwards. The motor brushes and springs (yes they are there and they are accessible) are held in by two brass discs which are also attached to the motor wires. The brass discs can actually be prised away from the motor housing but be careful as there is a very tiny spring behind each one. Thereby hangs the problem with slow running. Over time the springs will have compacted which means they are not putting a lot of pressure on the brushes touching the commutator within the motor. I gently removed the springs leaving the tiny carbon brushes in the hole, then stretched the springs out a bit. Once I had done that I carefully put them back in the hole from which they had come. I then pushed the covering disks back into place and hey presto the motor went like a rocket. It's a lot cheaper than a new motor and is a simple (if a bit fiddly) cure to a simple problem.

Coming late to this.That's a great suggestion to have in the tool box for future reference. I am going to try it out when next in Yorkshire on a friend's notably sluggish Bach 47.

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Re: Bachmann Voyager Very Slow

Postby GWR_fan » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:49 am

As regards the performance improvement with lengthening the brush springs, the improvement was immediate. Before modifying, the performance was feeble with the train slowing to a crawl through curves. Immediately post modifying the speed was much faster with no speed degradation in curves.

Simple speed increase (less friction) with the grease softening with use and distribution would have been a gradual improvement, however, the improvement was as soon as power was applied after lengthening the springs, leading me to believe Metadyneman's suggestion has merit. Also the absence of television interference immediately after modifying must surely be related to the springs.

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Re: Bachmann Voyager Very Slow

Postby Metadyneman » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:29 am

As an addition to my remedy I would just say that I have successfully done this with two Voyager units now and they both had instant improvement in speed, I have since sold both units to fund purchase of other items more in keeping with what I like to model. As a word of caution though, my remedy did not work with a Bachmann class 37 or 47 which I tried. These are geared differently to the voyager and as such will not produce the sort of speed that is possible from a Voyager power unit. I have several Bachmann Class 47s (9!) all of which have a different top speed at full power. I have yet to find two the same but as I rarely run them in consist I'm not that bothered. My experience of Bachmann class 37s is that the earlier models powered on only 4 axles, tend to run a little faster than the later ones which are powered on all six axles. The same applies to the Deltic. Not sure why this is but once again, it doesn't bother me as they usually run singly on my railway.
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Re: Bachmann Voyager Very Slow

Postby Bigmet » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:18 am

I have fiddled about with numerous CoCo Bachmen - mostly of 37 and 47 flavours - to sort this max speed variation out. It's usually drag in the gear towers in brief, and key diagnostic features that indicate this may be present is inability to coast very far when DC power is disconnected, and strange graunching noises on entering curves and when slowing down or running down a gradient. There are two principal related causes.

The first, which only affected 37s in my experience, is the tower mouiding 'pinching' the gears because the sides were bowed inwards, and the second - affecting any model - was some gear mouldings with over thick bosses, which as a result were 'pinched' in the gear tower. If they are heavily dosed with grease, all that has to be pushed out of the way: either by a couple of hours running, or by physically excavating it; before it becomes apparent that there are these underlying problems. If found, shaving down the gear bosses so they are a free running fit in the gear tower fixes it.

The test that the gear towers are properly free running is very simple. With no decoder fitted, from full speed on 12V DC disconnecting track power should deliver a coast to a halt of at least four feet/1.25m on level track, and no 'graunching' noises as this happens. All the BoBo Bachmen I have had to look at have been to this standard unmodified, after a little running to distribute the grease (20, 24/25, 40/45 the last of which is a BoBo mechanism). Why Bachmann had this trouble with their CoCo design is a puzzle; that said they may have fixed it now as none of my circle have had a complaint needing this correction in the last five years (that I recall).

Just the unathletic - though definitely free-running - 47 to sort out, let's see if the motor brush springs tweak sorts that out. I will probably be in Yorkshire before the end of September, and then we will see.


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