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MT vs. Mk F units...

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  • Greg Elmassian
    Geoff, I would love to hear your insight, in fact, in my opinion, whenever you think of something like this, please feel free to share it, your information on
    Message 1 of 5 , Dec 1, 2001
      Geoff,

      I would love to hear your insight, in fact, in my opinion, whenever you
      think of something like this, please feel free to share it, your information
      on the MT B units is really priceless... who would know about the shims?

      By the way, just got back from Tucson, stay there quite a bit, at the
      Peppertrees B&B Inn, next to the university... email me privately if
      you want to get together some time when I'm there...

      Greg

      p.s. one of my 4 F7's runs like !#!@!, brand new...


      ------------------
      Original message:

      Edwin,
      MT F-7s are quite possibly the best pullers in the z-scale locomotive
      market. I've seen one pull seventy cars on a flat track, and as someone
      else mentioned, they can pull quite a few up a fair incline (I've even heard
      as many as 35 on a 3% grade). There may be those that will argue in favor
      of the new AZL locomotive, but I won't be among them. I haven't been
      impressed with the performance that I've seen in these. Now, I will freely
      admit that what I've seen may be atypical, but it is what I've seen.
      All of that said, let me temper my MTL recommendation. I have had a lot
      of MTL F-7s in my hands, both new (on the way out of the factory) and used
      (back for some kind of repairs). These locomotives are not 100% consistent.
      There are a number of reasons for this, including the fact that the motors
      in the locos aren't, in my opinion, tested well enough before a loco is
      shipped. So, make sure that you test a new MTL F-7 promptly and see that it
      performs up to the standard you would expect. If not, get it back to the
      factory to be properly "tuned up". If you want some extra input on how bad
      a locomotive has to be for MTL to do a free repair on it, I'd be happy to
      offer what insight I have on that topic.

      By the way, anyone on this list living in Tucson, AZ?

      -Geoff
    • ted_lamar@peoplesoft.com
      ... I have three F7 s - Two of them perform flawlessly. The third I have never been able to use; it moves for a few inches and stops - requiring s a push
      Message 2 of 5 , Dec 1, 2001
        >p.s. one of my 4 F7's runs like !#!@!, brand new...


        I have three F7's - Two of them perform flawlessly. The third I have
        never been able to use; it moves for a few inches and stops - requiring s a
        push or major earthquake to get it going for the next 2-4 inches.....VERY
        frustrating.

        T
      • zbendtrack@aol.com
        ... In addition to keeping my own stable of MT s running, I also volunteer to fix a half dozen MT s for others each year, primarily to keep someone from
        Message 3 of 5 , Dec 2, 2001
          To MT F7 lover's everywhere:

          > >p.s. one of my 4 F7's runs like !#!@!, brand new...
          >
          > I have three F7's - Two of them perform flawlessly. The third I have
          > never been able to use; it moves for a few inches and stops

          In addition to keeping my own stable of MT's running, I also volunteer to
          "fix" a half dozen MT's for others each year, primarily to keep someone from
          getting so frustrated that they leave the lobby. No, I certainly not a
          business, and I never take a dime for the service. If that's your situation,
          contact me offline.

          However, here's a quick checklist I've learned from experience, to analyze
          both the scratch-and-pray electrical system and the mechanical gearing. It
          only requires that you have a 9v transistor radio battery and the snap-top
          electrical connector that has leads on it (both commonly available at Radio
          Shack, etc.):

          Test one: Touch the battery leads directly to the motor brushes (large brass
          colored circles on opposite sides of the motor). If it runs smoothly, then
          you have no mechanical problems. If it sounds like a meat grinder, or
          stammers, then you have some mechanical problems to sort out.

          Test two: Touch the battery leads to each side of the split frame (each half
          of the frame is electrical separate). If it runs, go to step 3. If it does
          not, then the motor is not picking up power from the split frame. Look for
          trouble at the brushes-to-frame connections on each side.

          Test three: Put the loco on its back. Look at the bottom of a truck, taking
          notice of the two brass screws that hold the truck frame together. Touch a
          batter lead to each of the screws. If the loco runs well, go to step four.
          If not, then there is a problem between the cats-wiskers attached to the
          split frame and the metal gear tower in the truck. Repeat this test for the
          second truck.

          Test four: Touch one wire to the one of the screws in the truck. Touch the
          other wire to the metal wheels on the opposite side of the truck. If it does
          not run well, you have either dirty wheels or a poor connection between the
          axle and the metal truck - on that side of the truck. Repeat this test 3
          more times, each time moving to a new screw, and the wheels opposite (all 4
          combinations from screws to wheels on the two trucks).

          Let me know where you fail, and I'll make some suggestions to fix it.

          If you take a MT apart, one strong suggestion: don't mix and match gears on
          a loco that's been run. The gears take a "set" very quickly, and mixing them
          up is not a good thing to do. Be certain the axles go back in the same truck
          and in the same left/right orientation. You can fix one problem, and
          potentially create another one in the process if you mix/match.

          Most common problems found?
          1. Dirty wheels (absolutely #1 problem)
          2. Poor connection between axles and truck frame (2nd most common)
          3. If the loco has ever been disassembled by the owner, problems with the
          cat's whiskers and the truck
          4. If the truck has ever been disassembled by the owner, the challenge of
          finding which axle goes in which truck, and left/right orientation (time
          consuming to sort out)

          By the way, in five years of experience, I've never seen a MT F7 that ever
          needed "parts" to fix it.

          Regards,
          Bill Kronenberger
          Houston
          (aka bjkronen@..., but now zbendtrack@... for emails to/from this
          list)
        • Greg Elmassian
          Well, I have managed to buy 3 MT Christmas cars, a gold tank car with a reindeer, a short box car, white with Santa on it, a long box car, with a string of
          Message 4 of 5 , Dec 2, 2001
            Well, I have managed to buy 3 MT Christmas cars,
            a gold tank car with a reindeer,
            a short box car, white with Santa on it,
            a long box car, with a string of Christmas lights on it,
            and a white caboose with Christmas stuff on it..

            Does any one have a complete listing of all the Christmas cars MT has built,
            I would sure like to collect all of them...

            Thanks,

            Greg
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