I recently got a Gem Models PRR 2-6-0 F3. I found out that the original motor was bad, as well as the tender trucks shorted out.
I have replaced the motor with no issue. However, I still can't figure out how to deal with the tender trucks. Has anyone else had this model and this problem? How did you fix it?
I worked on one in the 1970's four our club's exhibit at a county fair in up-state NY.
The loco picks up power from the + (right hand facing forward) track and is insulated from the left side - track.
The tender completes the power circuit with the - (left hand facing forward) track and is insulated from the right side + track.
To find a short, remove the trucks from the tender.
Clean them if necessary, carefully noting if any wheels might touch the side frames at any point.
Check each wheel set to make sure the insulated wheels are on the same side in each truck.
It will short out if a wheelset is turned around.
Also, check each wheel set to make certain the insulated wheel is isolated from the axle.
This is best done by electrical contact with the wheel and axle on each wheel set.
With both trucks OK, re-install them with all the insulated wheels on the same side.
The insulated wheels should be on the RIGHT right side of the tender, facing forward.
(The loco has its insulated wheels on the LEFT side when facing forward).
Take care to check if there may be any interference of a truck swing with details on the tender.
If the loco has a firing deck apron that rests on the tender deck, a strip of black electrical tape should be put under it to prevent contact between the loco and tender.
Also check that no details of the loco touch the tender in any way on curves, especially.
This should solve the problem!
I forgot to add that it may also help to put a thin fiber washer on the insulated wheel's axle end, in case the wheel's metal hub might contact the side frame.
Usually but not always, the insulation on the axle projects a little from the wheel's hub.
Thanks for your reply! I found the problem and it wasn't with the trucks...
The rubber insulator that holds the M3 bolt on the locomotive side of the drawbar rotted out. As a result, the pin makes contact with the frame, shorting out the track.
Another reminder of why I went dead rail...
I don't think a drop in replacement for this particular rubber piece exists, so I will have to make one out of that white styrene sheet so it fits perfectly. I have made Kadee coupler mounting pads with them before, so I know how to shape the material.
Updates to come!
Glad you found the problem, Nick!
I'm looking forward to your updates on this project.
I'm curious as to your interest in this model; kind of a limited era prototype that's not seen a lot of love. I'm familiar with these as the CVRR had 5 on its roster.
Ed's checklist is good generic that one might apply to all!