Bachmann Manor Vacuum Spindle
This view above is my version of the Cambrian Coast Express. I have fond memories of the ex GWR Manor Class engines and Dovey Junction. As mentioned elsewhere on this web site 'Dad and I' had a little look round Aberystwyth Shed in the very early 1960s and couldn't fail to be impressed by all the spotless polished brass and deep green paintwork. Needless to say I have had to buy a Manor Class.
Back to the present, and not all the shiny models for sale on the Internet turn out to be as good as promised.
One of my recent purchases had a distinct tight spot. A little knowledge is dangerous and I checked all the nylon wheel spacers and even changed one or two for good measure. This just seemed to make matters worse. Watching the moving engine more closely confirmed that the coupling rods and the connecting rod on one side were locking up at one specific point of wheel rotation. Furthermore this occurred at the instant that the vacuum pump spindle was supposedly fully retracted. The picture above completes the diagnosis and shows that the spindle had been made with a 1.5mm extension which made it too long for the vacuum cylinder that it was supposed to fit in. A quick trim with a cutting disc on my 'Dremel' and now we have a super smooth running engine.
Of course - this engine had 'been in a display case all its life', so how would anyone have known that it had a running problem?
Sometimes the problem is more fundamental!
In this instance the wheel set was removed from the engine and the broken crosshead taped down onto my old chopping board. Then the back of the crosshead was ground flat using a cutting disc on my 'Dremel'.
At the same time I 'borrowed' one of my wife's dress making pins. I then used the cutting disc to grind a 'flat' on the pin which was held steady by pushing it into an old wine cork.
It was then relatively straightforward to glue the flat of the pin to the back of the crosshead using 'Super Glue'. Then when the glue was set the pin was cut to length.
One view of the finished product so to speak and then another showing the 'bits' all back together.