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Bachmann V1/V3 Tank

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The original guide for this model was produced back in August 2007. It includes a Lenz Standard decoder. As I no longer supply Lenz, I generally fit TCS T1 decoders, which just fit in the space shown in the guide below.


The original guide is currently unobtainable on the old RMWeb forum, so here is a new one - (Albeit with the same pictures)


Fitting a Lenz Standard to a Bachmann V1/V3 Tank (Split Chassis)

Please ensure you have read the Readme post before using this guide - this can be found HERE




You will need:


  • A selection of phillips head Jewellers Screwdrivers
  • A flat edged tool (Such as a large flat screwdriver)
  • four short lengths of fine heatshrink
  • Extra decoder wire
  • Soldering iron and solder
  • a Multimeter/Circuit detector



The body is easy to remove, using a small phillips screwdriver, you can access the screw through a small hole in the trailing bogie. Undo this screw and drop the chassis out from the rear, The front is held in with a lug that fits into the bodyshell under the smokebox.


Remember to place all small parts in a small box or tray so you don't lose them, as there will be many!


This is what you will find:




The V1/V3 is one of the dreaded Split-Chassis designs, so it is not a straightforward conversion. Before disassembling further, ensure the loco runs well on analogue control. a lumpy runner, or a loco with split axles will not be a good candidate for conversion until repaired or fettled.


If your loco is good, remove the baseplate by taking out the two screws (Circled)




The wheelsets will be loose at this stage.


Using a large flat-head screwdriver or suitable flat tool (I use the handle of a pair of tweezers) gently and very carefully lever away the cylinder blocks from the chassis and then unscrew the screws on the valve gear (small circle)




The entire motion gear and wheels should then come away, leaving the chassis block and base plate.


Remove the screws from the chassis and gently lever apart the blocks. Push out the plastic retainers and place these, the screws and the plastic insulating washers (there should be 3 of each), plus the two plastic spacers at the bottom of the chassis, somewhere safe.


Important: To avoid a potential short-circuit when re-assembling, keep the plastic retainer within the brass plate on the wire to the front pony truck. This will help you to ensure that these brass plates are refitted the right way around. If fitted incorrectly they will cause a short as the polarity of the pony truck will be opposite to that of the chassis




Remove the motor and place to one side.


Next, turn your attention to the bodyshell.

There is a small screw underneath the cab. Remove this.




The bunker will then slide backwards off the bodyshell. This is where the decoder will be located.




If there is a plug on the decoder, cut it off. Cut down all the wires except the Black, Red, Grey and Orange wires.

The black and red wires need to be extended using spare offcuts. Ensure the join is well insulated, using two pieces of the heatshrink.


You need to ensure you have a good length of wire as the wires need to extend around the base of the cab and up into the top of the bunker.


Ensure the ends of the four wires are exposed and tinned with solder.


There are two gaps in the cabsides within the cab itself. feed the wires through one of these gaps.




Remove the motor


Slide a short length of heatshrink onto each of the orange and grey wires. solder the wires to the motor and insulate the terminals with the heatshrink.




Carefully re-assemble the chassis in reverse order of disassembly.


With your circuit detector, check that the polarity of the pony truck is not reversed - touch one wheel and the brass plate on the same side of the loco and the circuit should complete. If not, the brass plates need to be swapped over.


The loco should look like this




Test the loco for running before refitting the body to ensure there are no short circuits.


Slide the bunker back on.

This is where things get tricky if there is not enough slack in the wire as the decoder must fit above the vertical protrusion on the chassis that fills the bunker.


the decoder (In this case a Lenz Standard - but TCS T1 or ESU Lokpilot basic/Bachmann 3 function with insulation removed)

will fit flat into the coal space at the very top of the bunker. Ensure you fit this so that the wiring loom is on the same side as the gap in the cab through which the wires have been fed, or you will lose vital slack in the wires.


Refit the chassis to the bodyshell, test and program, then you are done.




This is one of the most difficult of the split chassis locos, primarily due to the complexities introduced by the requirement to locate the decoder in the bunker.

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Al alternative location for the decoder is in the side tank, I sticky padded it to the side of the motor, Lenz Standard again


I deliberately avoided the side tanks as the space between the wheels and the decoder is a little too close for comfort!

I prefer to place decoders in a location where there is no chance of fouling the wheels.


A Smaller decoder (TCS M1 for examle) would be fine in the side tank, but I try to costs down for customers (Its between ??8 - ??12 less to fit a Bachmann decoder or T1)so use the larger decoder.

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  • 1 year later...
  • RMweb Gold

Just revisiting this topic as I have another to do. Gareth, you are right (of course!) checking back in my records I DID use a TCS-M1 on the previous two occasions I have been asked to chip up a V1/3 :scratchhead:


As this time the owner has asked for a StayAlive too do I try to find the attachment point on a tiny M1 or follow your plan to fit the decoder in the bunker? - I've already taken off the top of the chassis protrusions into the bunker to make space for the capacitor pack, so should be able to fit a Lenz Standard+ in there too - I know where to solder the wire to on them ;)


Oh and it makes life a little easier if you scribe a "L" and "R" on the front bogie brass plates before taking the chassis apart - no problem if the screw drops out then :lol:

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