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I have a RMT Beep diesel purchased from eBay in great condition. After reading about these little engines it sounds like they should be relatively hassle free and can pull a good load. Since I started running it my Beep has been having traction problems. I’ve also noticed that the problem is worse on tighter O31 or less 67F118FF-DCBE-483E-AE8E-D31E45D17A53curves. On the advice of other knowledgeable forum members I added weight which has helped. It can now run with 3-4 cars in tow but any more just keeps it in place with wheel spinning.

Any ideas on the problem or advice on how to further improve performance?

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  • 67F118FF-DCBE-483E-AE8E-D31E45D17A53
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@GG14449 posted:

I have a RMT Beep diesel purchased from eBay in great condition.

#1 not all BEEPs are equal. There were different chassis, different designs that all still used the same shells, but mechanically internally could be night and day different.  Example, there were single can motor versions that had crown gear for a reduction. Even just variations in the reverse unit change the basic speed of the engine. https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...s-what-type-of-motor

#2 any engine on 031 tight curves is going to experience the drag of the train. Especially depending on what cars you are pulling.

#3 pop the shell off and show us what you really have.

It's just way too much to list or play the guessing game. Is yours missing the weights? What chassis is it exactly? Does it have a traction tire or traction tires? How clean is your track? How much drag are your cars?

The RMT BEEP always had two motors with direct drive to the wheels.

I'm confused about the three-four cars, they must be hard-rolling cars!  Here's a BEEP with NO traction tires and 7 ounces of added weight, it's pulling 13 cars with no problem starting at all.  I removed the wheelset with the traction tire to give this more reliability over the switches, and truthfully, I don't miss the traction tire at all.

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Command BEEP Pulls 13 Cars
I attached some photos with the shell off. Hopefully that will help. Note in the photo you can see where I added some weight to the underside.620BABFA-CAD1-4430-BB18-85139095940EB4F44140-A119-4513-AF94-A7006B0453011FAFF1B4-A95C-4FB0-960B-DF10D1E93433

#1 not all BEEPs are equal. There were different chassis, different designs that all still used the same shells, but mechanically internally could be night and day different.  Example, there were single can motor versions that had crown gear for a reduction. Even just variations in the reverse unit change the basic speed of the engine. https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...s-what-type-of-motor

#2 any engine on 031 tight curves is going to experience the drag of the train. Especially depending on what cars you are pulling.

#3 pop the shell off and show us what you really have.

It's just way too much to list or play the guessing game. Is yours missing the weights? What chassis is it exactly? Does it have a traction tire or traction tires? How clean is your track? How much drag are your cars?

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  • B4F44140-A119-4513-AF94-A7006B045301
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It appears that my Beep only has one traction tire. I thought that was the norm. My Beep only has one wheel with a groove for a traction tire. 5610D1E8-ED04-48B9-9FB1-07139ED9B6B5
@Darrell posted:

Does it still have both traction tires? I have one that I removed the tires from and it still pulls 8 cars around 031 curves. I did however replace the grooved wheels with none grooved wheels, no added weight.

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John, yes this is why I am posting. I know it should be able to pull more cars. The 3-4 are a dump car and then some Lionel plastic box cars. It’s shouldn’t be a problem for it to put but my experience is that with too many cars coupled the wheels on the engine start skidding and the engine gets stuck in place.

The RMT BEEP always had two motors with direct drive to the wheels.

I'm confused about the three-four cars, they must be hard-rolling cars!  Here's a BEEP with NO traction tires and 7 ounces of added weight, it's pulling 13 cars with no problem starting at all.  I removed the wheelset with the traction tire to give this more reliability over the switches, and truthfully, I don't miss the traction tire at all.

Well, the right curves will create more drag, but I wouldn't think THAT much more for something like the BEEP.  I don't have anything smaller than O72, but I can't believe that's the only factor here.

It seems like something is amiss with the BEEP.

You're saying it spins it's wheels, so you have a traction issue, not a drive power issue, right?  If it's sitting on level track, does it rock?  I'm wondering if all the wheels aren't in contact with the rails.

Well, that could be a big factor!  Try taking the bottom plate off and checking the bronze bushings.  They have a flat that has to be facing the bottom plate or things could be out of plumb.  That could cause the rocking and also be a major issue as far as traction.

With the extra weight, the BEEP shouldn't have any issue pulling a dozen cars on flat track as long as they're free-rolling with needlepoint axles.

Even the Menard's boxcars, pretty notorious for the high rolling resistance, I can pull six of those with the stock BEEP.  It's working a bit harder for these six Menard's cars, but no real sweat.

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Stock BEEP Pulling 6 Menard's Boxcars

I wonder what that loud clicking is, that doesn't sound right.  I can hold a BEEP in place while it spins, and it doesn't do that.  It's almost like one motor is not engaging the axle gear correctly and it's jumping on the gear.  That would CERTAINLY kill the pulling power!

Do either of the motors move at all when you remove the shell and try to wiggle them?  They should be solidly bolted to the frame.

You would have to lift the circuit board off, but first just look at the bottom of the BEEP.  You can see the bushings at the edge of the bottom plate, you should be able to see the flat's sticking out the edge.  Also, try turning each wheelset from below, if one turns, that's a big problem!

See indicated spots below, you can see the flat area of the bushing, if you don't see those on all wheels, the bushings are rotated incorrectly.

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  • mceclip0

Well, I just checked my 4 beeps, only one had the duel traction tires! That explains why it was so bad on switches and why I removed them! Must have been a fluke from the factory. I agree with John, that clicking noise sounds like you have a gear issue. I once pulled 6 railking cars up a 4% grade that had 031 curves, it wasn't pretty, and there was some slip, but the beep made it.

I never saw one a factory BEEP with dual traction tires.  I have a box of wheelsets with no traction tires, I use those for the BEEP engines for reliability over switches.  I've pulled a bunch of wheels and made some dual traction tire wheelsets when I was making the no traction tire wheelsets.  I have several sets that will get a command and a slave, so I'll have four motors and the slave will have dual traction tires for better performance.

I have had four BEEPs, by four different makers.

None of them came with two rubber tires on them.  They all had just one.  And, two of them would not run reliably over switches until I removed the traction tire at John's suggestion. Now they have no problems. 

Do not ignore two other possible causes for your problems:

The BEEP has a really short length.  Accordingly, if you have a traction tire on it, and it goes around a curve where the track is not totally level, and the traction tire is running on the outside of the curve, it is possible that the inner drive wheel with no traction tire is lifting/tilting off of the track, and getting no traction.   It only takes the smallest hint of lift to do this.  And, it is why my two of my BEEPS would not run across a Lionel 022 turnout without stalling dead on the turnout.   Removing the traction tire removes the canting among all four wheels and keeps it level on the track.  And I can pull 8 average weight cars with no problems.

Second, all BEEPs have super stiff couplers, and there is not enough room in the surrounding pilot to let them swing back and forth as much as they need to on 031 or 027 curves.   Normally, this causes the first car to be forced off the track with a front truck derailment.   I think it is possible, though, that if you have a heavy enough train of cars, then the result may be that the stiff coupler actually tries to force the BEEP wheels off the track.  A tiny little bit of lift will stall them out.

You have to aggressively cut back the inside edges of the pilot about a little more than an eighth of an inch to get enough swing room, and maybe even a little more.    I used a nylon reinforced dremel cutting wheel.

The super stiff coupler springs never softened up in any of my BEEPS, despite using them for six months with long strings of cars and always parking them on a curved section.

I finally got mad and flipped the BEEP over, slipped a small slotted screwdriver onto the top edge of the spring arm that sticks outward from each side of the couple, and aggressively bent it backwards (inwards) another 15 to 20 degrees.  You have to do this on each side.   That spring is so strong that you really have to put pressure on it and hold it for about 15 seconds to get it to bend backwards and stay there.  ( I did one BEEP by putting my index fingers on both springs at once and pulling backwards, and my fingers started to bleed!)  In my opinion, it was "criminally insane" for the makers to use such stiff springs. :-)

After this, my coupler would never return to dead center again, but it was close enough. It was softer and mushier.  But I never had another problem from those terrible springs or derailments.

If you are into lots of switching, coupling and uncoupling, then do the bending in stages, maybe 5 degrees at a time, testing after each set of bends, to make sure you can still do all of that stuff. 

Here is another critical thing to know about the BEEPS, the ones that were made prior to mid-2015 have poor circuit boards and really slow motors.   The ones made after this were greatly improved by RMT, for good reason.

You can tell if you have an older one by looking at the railings.  All of the ones with the bright "chrome painted" handrailings are the old ones.   All of the ones with handrails in different painted colors are the newer ones.    The Halloween BEEPs are all good once.  I bought one and simply pulled the shell off of it and put a shell on that I wanted.  All of the shells fit, and they are easy to find new and used on the web.

The first BEEP I bought was an old one, and I was so disappointed in its slow speed, that I immediately sent it back!  The upgraded ones run significantly faster.  Buying a used BEEP that looks like a new one can be tricky, because some crooked sellers take an old BEEP and just put a newer shell on it. 

About a year ago, I posted on this BOARD a list published by RMT in 2015 when they made a press release of the new improved circuit boards etc.  Search under BEEPs here and you should easily find it.  If you can't, then e-mail me and I will send it to you.  They made about 15 different colors/railnames of the new ones.

Hope this info helps.  BEEPs are really cute, interesting little diesels, but you have to tinker with them to get them to run right on the tracks. And you can end up pulling your hair out.  Sadly, they have no sounds, but I am buying a Lionel Railsounds Boxcar, with diesel sounds, to tow behind mine.

Mannyrock

@Mannyrock posted:

Here is another critical thing to know about the BEEPS, the ones that were made prior to mid-2015 have poor circuit boards and really slow motors.   The ones made after this were greatly improved by RMT, for good reason.

You can tell if you have an older one by looking at the railings.  All of the ones with the bright "chrome painted" handrailings are the old ones.   All of the ones with handrails in different painted colors are the newer ones.    The Halloween BEEPs are all good once.  I bought one and simply pulled the shell off of it and put a shell on that I wanted.  All of the shells fit, and they are easy to find new and used on the web.

The first BEEP I bought was an old one, and I was so disappointed in its slow speed, that I immediately sent it back!  The upgraded ones run significantly faster.  Buying a used BEEP that looks like a new one can be tricky, because some crooked sellers take an old BEEP and just put a newer shell on it.

FWIW, even the old BEEP's didn't have big issues pulling half a dozen cars, and many more.  Both of these tests are with a stock original RMT BEEP with the chrome railings and the older boards/motors.  This BEEP will also pull six of the cars up the 2.5% grade.

All four bushings are still in place. The wheels on he axel with the traction tire cannot be spun around but the other set of wheels do spin freely.

I wonder what that loud clicking is, that doesn't sound right.  I can hold a BEEP in place while it spins, and it doesn't do that.  It's almost like one motor is not engaging the axle gear correctly and it's jumping on the gear.  That would CERTAINLY kill the pulling power!

Do either of the motors move at all when you remove the shell and try to wiggle them?  They should be solidly bolted to the frame.

You would have to lift the circuit board off, but first just look at the bottom of the BEEP.  You can see the bushings at the edge of the bottom plate, you should be able to see the flat's sticking out the edge.  Also, try turning each wheelset from below, if one turns, that's a big problem!

See indicated spots below, you can see the flat area of the bushing, if you don't see those on all wheels, the bushings are rotated incorrectly.

@GG14449 posted:
All four bushings are still in place. The wheels on he axel with the traction tire cannot be spun around but the other set of wheels do spin freely.

All the wheels are powered each axle set by one of the motors. If one wheel set is freely spinning, that's your problem!  You do need to take the bottom plate off and see what's going on, it's broken somewhere!

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