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Hi,



From what I have read, the AMERICAN FLYER 4696 BRASS PIPER locomotive is actually an AMERICAN FLYER 4695 locomotive.

Is that correct ?

From an earlier posting,

(

I have a couple of examples of the 4695 and did considerable research before restoring one of them. I operate both of mine and they are great runners. The slot is generally ignored as unlike the electrics, only a few of the very earliest examples of the 4695 used a swinging bell. American Flyer did not eliminate the slot, even though it was no longer used.

)

Can the later version AMERICAN FLYER 4696 BRASS PIPER locomotive be modified to have a swinging bell when the Bell Rings ?

Can the later version AMERICAN FLYER 4696 BRASS PIPER locomotive be modified to have the Bell Ring

only when activated by the BELL Button on the Track Power Transformer ?



Thank you,

Norman

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If this is a prewar motor, there is no controlling the bell by a transformer activated button.  The bell is only be controlled by the activation lever on the motor itself, as the bell ringing mechanism is a mechanical mechanism that is operated by a gear.

It is my understanding that the motors can be modified to have the bells move; however, I am not sure how to do it.  I believe it entails adding a brass rod to connect the physical bell on the top of the engine to the mechanical bell ringing mechanism inside of the boiler.   

@OGRNorman posted:

Hi,

From what I have read, the AMERICAN FLYER 4696 BRASS PIPER locomotive is actually an AMERICAN FLYER 4695 locomotive.

Is that correct ?

I have a couple of examples of the 4695 and did considerable research before restoring one of them. I operate both of mine and they are great runners. The slot is generally ignored as unlike the electrics, only a few of the very earliest examples of the 4695 used a swinging bell. American Flyer did not eliminate the slot, even though it was no longer used

Can the later version AMERICAN FLYER 4696 BRASS PIPER locomotive be modified to have a swinging bell when the Bell Rings ?

Can the later version AMERICAN FLYER 4696 BRASS PIPER locomotive be modified to have the Bell Ring

only when activated by the BELL Button on the Track Power Transformer ?



Thank you,

Norman

A #4695 is the product number for the locomotive only.  It is the most deluxe or highest trim level locomotive with a ringing bell mech., full walschaert valve gear, decorative brass pipes on the sides, steps on the pilot leading up to the running boards, firebox glow light, etc.  

When paired with a #4693 Vandy style tender, The Combo product # is 4696 (loco& tender together).

When a 4695 locomotive is paired with the 4671coal style tender, the Combo product # is 4681 (I believe.... been a minute since I read my catalogs).



The answer to your question about the bell is as others have mentioned, not operated via a button, but rather a mechanical device driven off the axle of the locomotive.  

It has three main parts that are relative to your question:

1. An "On/Off" mechanical switch to engage/disengage the mechanism.

2.  An internal bell that gets hit with a mechanical arm to actually make the ring sound.

3. An arm that connects to the decorative bell on the cab to give the appearance of it swinging when in the "on" position.

A steam locomotive could be modified to have the moving decorative bell, if one were to put a decorative bell with the extra length arm on it to connect with the rod on the mechanism, AND if one were talented/skilled enough to weld/soldier/glue the connecting arm from the mech. to the decorative bell.  The reason AF likely quit doing this on the steam locomotive is because of reliability issues.  They rods typically come loose/break off at the weld/soldier point and do not survive the constant movement.

If you just wanted to put the ringing bell inside the locomotive, it can be added to most motors (screws onto the motor side plate).  You would also need to add the gear to the front drive axle to drive the cam, which would involve some mechanical skill on your part, but if you're restoring the loco it will most likely need new wheels anyway.



In the pic below, you will see a motor for an early steam locomotive that has the arm for the ringing bell.

The YELLOW arrow is the ON/OFF control and should have a brass decorative piece that threads into the hole and sticks out of the top of the boiler so the operator can pull it up or push it down to engage/disengage the bell mechanism.

The BLUE arrow is pointing to the piece of the mechanism that articulates back and fort as the axle driven gear moves it via cams. This piece also causes the hammer to smack against the large bell you see below it, causing the "ding" sound.

The RED arrow is pointing to the rod that is tack welded/soldiered/glued to the mech (blue arrow) and sticks up through the slot in the cab and actually moves the decorative bell back and forth on the top of the steam locomotive.  Sometimes they are shaped like this, others looked more like a weird triangle hoop shape.

(Just for info, this rod on the electric locos is looped through the hole (where the blue arrow is pointing) and runs to the opposite end of the cab to move the decorative bell.  It is not welded/soldiered like the steam loco rod is/was and is therefore a much more reliable connection.  Electric locos also have a different "ON/OFF" type switch that is more of a lever that protrudes through the cab roof and looks like a triangle).

Screen Shot 2021-10-04 at 8.52.15 PM

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Last edited by Ives1122

Here's an even better picture of it.  This one looks like its attached to a rivet or something on the moving part of the mechanism.  The arms to move the decorative bells are fairly rare on steam locomotives and only on the very early ones (I believe).  There are several variations of how it was achieved.  This one looks fairly manufactured, where as some of them look like homemade stuff welded together.  As usual, Flyer probably cobbled them together somewhat or adapted as they went along to try and improve reliability or decrease employee time spent on it.

Screen Shot 2021-10-04 at 9.36.43 PM

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Hi IVES1122 ,

Thank you very much for the information !



Is there only ONE Version of the AMERICAN FLYER COAL TENDER 4671 ?

I have noticed that some AMERICAN FLYER COAL TENDERS have a BRASS Lid on the Tender Water Hatch

while other AMERICAN FLYER COAL TENDERS have a Painted BLACK Lid on the Tender Water Hatch.



Is there a Dealer that Sells Original and Rebuilt AMERICAN FLYER Bell Ringers ?



Thank you,

Norman

@OGRNorman posted:

Hi IVES1122 ,

Thank you very much for the information !



Is there only ONE Version of the AMERICAN FLYER COAL TENDER 4671 ?

I have noticed that some AMERICAN FLYER COAL TENDERS have a BRASS Lid on the Tender Water Hatch

while other AMERICAN FLYER COAL TENDERS have a Painted BLACK Lid on the Tender Water Hatch.



Is there a Dealer that Sells Original and Rebuilt AMERICAN FLYER Bell Ringers ?



Thank you,

Norman



There is only one type of metal body casting and steel frame stamping for the American Flyer designed 4671 tender.

Hatches and other details are all cast into the metal body on this tender.  Variations include the amount of gold painted trim (on the hatch and around the embossed railings), Also brass plates on the side that said "American Flyer", or sometimes they were leftover plates from passenger cars that said "Jeffersonian" or "Ambassador", etc.  

Some versions have "American Flyer" decals instead of the brass plates.

Paint finishes also vary from a deep gloss black (assumed earlier) to a more satin black, to a matte or flat black (assumed later).

AMERICAN FLYER DESIGNED #4671 (cataloged 1931 onwards)

Screen Shot 2021-10-06 at 12.17.49 PM





If you want to dive in deeper, in 1929 and 1930, American Flyer used Ives #40 castings (and 1134 loco castings) that were altered somewhat and sold as their own products.  The American Flyer designed 4671 tender debuted in the 1931 catalog (along with their own new designs of steam locomotives).  The Ives tenders DID HAVE a separate brass hatch piece attached to the tender, so perhaps this is what you are referring to?

IVES VERSION sold as AF product (cataloged in 1929-30)

Screen Shot 2021-10-06 at 12.16.06 PM



I believe Hennings trains used to sell reproduction assembled bell ringer units for american flyer locos, but I no longer see them available on their website under the M.E.W. parts.  You might contact them and ask about it if you're interested.

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