Bachmann split chasis A4 body swap

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Bachmann split chasis A4 body swap

Postby AustralisRico » Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:19 am

Hey guys, I have a set of Bachmann split chasis A4 (Commonweath of Australia limited edition) which i want to DCC. I was thinming would it be easier to buy some newer A4s that are DCC ready and swap the bodies? Does anyone know if they are compatible?

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Re: Bachmann split chasis A4 body swap

Postby GWR_fan » Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:35 am

This blog shows the DCC ready chassis. Might be helpful as regards mount locations. ... hmann-a4s/

A read of this forum infers that only the chassis was upgraded.

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Re: Bachmann split chasis A4 body swap

Postby Bigmet » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:26 am

We can take this in several bites.

First what you are proposing. There's been no difficulty for me so far, transplanting old 'worked on' split chassis bodies onto the new mechanisms in the way you propose. Comparing the old and new body interiors on the B1 and V2, it was quite visible where the old body tooling had been modified slightly for the securing points provided on the new mechanism. Replicating these minor alterations on the older body interiors was simple and quick, and there you go, new mechanism in split chassis version body. (The V1/V3 tank loco: no changes at all!)

Now the DCC piece. The split chassis A4 is plenty roomy enough to take a decoder, it is just the PITA process to slightly split the chassis to isolate the motor terminals from the body halves, and solder on the grey and orange leads, with shrink on insulation over the soldered joints to prevent any shorts to the chassis halves. Very easy to attach red and black to the track as there are screw on terminals to take power from the rear truck pick up. and it is easy to fit up the split chassis bogie for pick up too on the same pattern, so the loco is all wheel pick up! (The decoder I would now suggest is the very compact and economical Zimo MX600, fully insulated, and which will get lovely performance out of the Bachmann split chassis motor. I used Lenz Gold because that was the best available 16 odd years ago, and there's space enough for that, which is a very chunky HO decoder with the JST socket on it! Ran beautifully, it's a good motor in these split chassis models)

Now the elephant in the room. I haven't bought the revised Bachmann A4. That's because the current Hornby A4 overall blows it into the weeds for appearance. (Unsurprisingly, the Bachmann A4 is based on 1960s Trix moulding tools!) The Hornby A4 isn't a perfect model by any means, but it is comfortably superior to all previous RTR models. The Bachmann looks good seen in isolation, and does have some notable refinements over the current Hornby around the wheels and rods.

I'd suggest DCC conversion, if you are up for the DIY. There are guides on line.

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Re: Bachmann split chasis A4 body swap

Postby D605Eagle » Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:43 pm

Doesn't the dcc ready Bachmann A4 body have built in Cartazzi rear wheel frames instead of the old split chassis one that is a separate item?

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Re: Bachmann split chasis A4 body swap

Postby Bigmet » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:14 pm

Don't know for sure, never having looked at one in any detail.

I would expect that like the Bachmann A1, A2 and V2, on the new mechanism the Cartazzi frames are represented by being cast solid with the rest of the chassis block.

This would work with the A4 body as found on the split chassis model, which was arranged to fit over a rear extension attached to the split chassis, with the Cartazzi truck representation dangling about beneath, incorrectly working as a pivotted pony truck

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