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Well Manored

Posted by Silver Sidelines , 27 February 2012 · 1,868 views

Bachmann Manor Vacuum Spindle
This Blog entry is about making good a Bachmann Manor. It could equally well apply to an older Bachmann Hall and I dare say might also apply to Dapol / Hornby Counties, not to mention Granges and the new 28xx.

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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.

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Back to the present, and not all the shiny models for sale on the Internet turn out to be as good as promised.

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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?

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Sometimes the problem is more fundamental!

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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'.

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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.

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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.

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One view of the finished product so to speak and then another showing the 'bits' all back together.

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  • Like x 9

Excellent bit of fault finding, Ray. I'm curious why you didn't just shorten the over-length spindle though?

Silver Sidelines
Sep 20 2013 19:01

Thank you

.... I'm curious why you didn't just shorten the over-length spindle though?

May be you have been speed reading?


A quick trim with a cutting disc on my 'Dremel' and now we have a super smooth running engine.


Two problems in the Blog - one engine with too long vacuum spindle, one engine with missing vacuum spindle.


I subsequently discovered that Bachmann could supply a pair of cylinders, with crossheads and vacuum spindle.   I didn't need the cylinders so I sold them on eBay which paid for buying the whole lot!





Ahah! All is clear now. I was associating the comment about the quick trim with the picture below it of the Manor with no spindle. :)

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