Bachmann Big Hauler Modifications & Repair page:






Bachmann Big Hauler - Added Traction Tire to Center Driver:

My two 10th Anniversary edition Big Haulers have proven to be a reliable and great running engines.  I found early on that some weight needed to be added to inside the boiler to provide the necessary traction in backing up my basement ramp.  My goal has been to add only as much weight as necessary to get the engine to back its consist up the ramp and that is all.  I figured too much weight will only increase the wear on the drive train.  (Note: I've found that wrapping tear drop fishing weights with black electrical tape and dropping them in the front of the boiler with smokebox straight up in the air is a great way to add -and remove- weight to the inside of the boiler) 

I decided to try and see if some extra rubber traction tires that came with my MTH Challenger could be used on the Big Hauler's center driver to provide extra traction and lessen the need for extra weight.  I figured this had a good chance of working as the center driver is smaller than the front and rear driver and never makes contact with the track. 

I started with my new (old) B&O Big Hauler by taking the main and connecting rods off both sides of the engine.  Next, I took 200 grit sand paper and ruffed up the contact surface of the driver to help keep the traction tire from spinning on the driver or coming loose.  I then ruffed up the inside of the traction tire with the sandpaper.  Next, I put the tire on the driver and positioned it so the tires were positioned so both tires would always make full contract with the top of the rail, even if the drivers shifted side to side.  Next, using the thin (runny) type of superglue, I ran a good bead all the way around the inside edge of the tire and driver to really secure the tire to the driver.  After using a hairdryer to speed the drying I let it sit for 15 mins or so, while I did the other Big Haulers. 

The test:  Placed the engine on the track and sent it on it's way.  It happed to be raining, so this was a great test to see how it would do under the worst of conditions.  The engine had excellent traction! 

Now, all three Big Haulers have traction tires. (and I need to order more from MTH.

Here are pictures after installation on the older version Big Hauler:

Here are pictures after installation on the 10th Anniversary Big Hauler.  Note the difference in where the tire is positioned on the driver.  Also note that the tires are in perfect contact with the rail:


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