I just picked up this beautiful locomotive. It is advertised to run on 0-31 track, but it stops in the curves unless you run it at a high rate of speed. The outside drivers climb the rail, and it will often derail as a result. 

Anyone else experience this problem with this locomotive?

Original Post

Check to see if the drivers are gauged too wide. You can do that by turning the loco upside down and placing a straight track on the wheels and noting the side play.

Make sure the pilot truck is not stuck/jammed or lifting the drivers up.

Check to see if the draw bar to the tender is not swinging freely or is bent or twisted.

RoyBoy

Okay. I checked the gauge with the track piece. Too tight on the front drivers, and then I noticed that the axle on the front drivers is not fully seated. The axle on the two rear driver sets is either flush or slightly proud of the wheel. On the front driver, it is recessed just a bit.

I had a Williams F3 that was gauged too wide, but have not had an MTH with that problem.

Remember that all these trains are built by workers that might be building DVD players next week and phones the week after. And Chinese factory quality control is sketchy at best.

RoyBoy

This can be the tether also, if you wiggle it in a straight does it stop?  The pins on the engine side can crack the solder joint.  Even though you have slight axle depth differences is it really binding?  But, these wheels also were susceptible to zinc rot.  So if that wheel has come off axle it may be because it is damaged.  Need to look carefully at the drivers.  G

MTH Authorized Service Center

Authorized ERR Dealer

Lionel Independent Repair Tech

Virginia Train Collectors Member

Definitely binding on the track. The front drivers don’t seat down on the rail, so when it goes into the curve, the outside driver climbs the track. Thanks for the comment on zinc rot. The front drivers have literally disintegrated because of the pressure. Will be talking to my train store tech about this problem, too. 

MTH still has a different but similar frame in stock to replace the chassis and wheels.  I have done this 2 or 3 times for customer.  So it can be repaired.  Requires exchange of chassis.  Believe the chassis runs $75.  If you need this done, I can do it.  E-mail in profile. G

MTH Authorized Service Center

Authorized ERR Dealer

Lionel Independent Repair Tech

Virginia Train Collectors Member

Thanks, Roy. I called and talked to MTH’s parts people. The drive block is out of stock for this locomotive and nothing is on the horizon in the way of more parts. She said that if MTH did a new version, the drive block would be upgraded to PS-3, requiring not only the drive block, but new motor, and new electronics. 

My service tech is disappointed, but they will take the locomotive back, and I will have to settle for a different Milwaukee Hiawatha. The same unit is on eBay right now for the same price I paid, but I will not take a chance on another one - zinc rot is an epidemic with this one.

The gal at MTH put me on a list of people with the same problem with the idea that if MTH produces the locomotive again, they will send us all a notification. So, you know that this was a problem with the manufacturing process that probably didn’t show up until several years after the run was sold out.

Have a blessed day.

Jerry

This same thing happened to my Hiawatha. It was my 13th birthday gift. So I had to fix it. 

MTH does not provide wheels, so the whole frame is required. Fortunately, all MTH Railking Hudson’s and Pacific’s use the same frame (excluding the Bantam versions). I found a Railking K4 with bad proto-1 electronics and swapped the frame into my Hiawatha. I added an ERR cruise commander and Railsounds board and my engine was back to running status. 

Hope this helps,

-Ryan

Jerry, Did you read my post?   There are other chassis available with gray wheels, just not the specific Hia style.  I gave you the solution, even if the MTH person you talked about does not know of alternative solution.

No MTH does not carry just wheels, always has been a chassis or truck swap to fix those issues.  G

MTH Authorized Service Center

Authorized ERR Dealer

Lionel Independent Repair Tech

Virginia Train Collectors Member

G,

I did see your note, and appreciate your willingness to help out. Since I just purchased this from my local train store, they will take it back. If you could tell me what the other chassis options are, I could suggest that to them, though I am not sure that I want to add more money to the cost of the locomotive. 

Thanks,

Jerry

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