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Author Topic: MJA Routes  (Read 1575 times)

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Offline Bealman

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Re: MJA Routes
« Reply #30 on: August 09, 2018, 07:51:17 AM »
A level track, presumably? It does seem to be a problem.

Just wondering if added weight could solve it?
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline Graham

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Re: MJA Routes
« Reply #31 on: August 09, 2018, 08:31:48 AM »
the layout is a folded figure 8 with gradients of approx. 1 in 50 at the max, however the uncoupling always happens on the flat and always on a bend. tried adding a bit of weight to the last wagon, but it didn't make any difference. next step is to try all wagons with weight in to see how that works.

Offline njee20

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Re: MJA Routes
« Reply #32 on: August 09, 2018, 08:56:51 AM »
Shame they're not providing the dummy knuckle couplers any more, they were good. Should have enough of a stock as you used to get 4 with each item of rolling stock though!

Presumably the issue is couplers drooping until the chamfers 'let go' as it were? Be interesting to see if adding weight helps.

Offline Vonzack

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Re: MJA Routes
« Reply #33 on: August 09, 2018, 09:10:01 AM »
A level track, presumably? It does seem to be a problem.

Just wondering if added weight could solve it?

I think adding weight might make things worse, as the couplings come under tension, they pivot upwards from what I can see.

Offline njee20

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Re: MJA Routes
« Reply #34 on: August 09, 2018, 09:14:02 AM »
That was my thought. Borne out by it being wagons at the front that are coming undone. I find the same with my Megafrets actually, but not nearly as badly as seems to be the case with the IOAs (and now MJAs).

Offline Bealman

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Re: MJA Routes
« Reply #35 on: August 09, 2018, 10:36:39 AM »
Just a thought!  :thumbsup:
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline Graham

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Re: MJA Routes
« Reply #36 on: August 11, 2018, 07:14:57 AM »
Well we have success, yesterday afternoon I went through all the Dapol boxes to find the dummy knuckle couplers and found enough to fit to the rake of MJA's. These have now run round the layout for almost 2hrs in both directions without a hiccup. I left the end couplers of the rake as Rapido so I can couple any loco in the fleet.

For anyone else considering this, the short dummy knuckle couplers are too short and the wagons lock buffers on corners so you have to use the longer ones.

Hope this helps for anyone else having the same issue.

cheers
Graham

Offline njee20

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Re: MJA Routes
« Reply #37 on: August 11, 2018, 07:41:48 AM »
I use one of each of the long and short dummy knuckles per wagon, which has always worked for me. Saves ending up with a pile of one type too.

Offline Vonzack

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Re: MJA Routes
« Reply #38 on: August 11, 2018, 09:30:24 PM »
Hi,

I've finally managed to give my MJAs a run out at the club, so this is a bit of a mini review from my perspective.

Out of the Box

Packaging is nice and simple, with the wagons sat nicely in a plastic tray which also has a protective top which just lifts off. The wagons have some protective wrapping and the accessory bag is underneath the tray in the box. Accessories are limited to the inter wagon drawbars (x2 but the same length, it would have been nice to have some options here) and brake pipes (x4). For me it would have been nice to see some Dapol dummy knuckles that have been supplied with most other releases.

The wagons themselves look very impressive and are very well detailed. The liveries both Freightliner and GB Railfreight have been very well applied (to me anyway) and the printing for the Tops panels and other markings is excellent.

Bogies are screwed to the chassis and the couplings are similar to those found on the IOA but appear to have been tweaked slightly. There is a very positive spring attached to them and they require a good push to move them from centre. Fitting the drawbars or couplings doesn't fill you with fear, when you push the drawbar or coupling into the NEM pocket the mechanism gives a little, then clicks home without any dramas. I will probably leave the pairs coupled by the drawbars and it seems safe enough to handle them this way.

After joining the pairs, I decided to just rail them on a small section of track and this is where I hit the first snags. A few of the pairs I had wouldn't rail because the wheelsets weren't fitted correctly and rather than sitting in the bogies, were pushed up towards the chassis. It was easy enough to get the pinpoints back in the bogie sides, but the wheelsets kept popping out when I ran the wagons down a PECO railer onto the track, so in the end I had to bend the bogie sides in on a couple of wagons to get them sorted.



I also ran the wagons backwards and forwards by hand just to see how freely they rolled. Again the first few pairs seemed fine, but then I started to encounter some problems with the wheelsets, something I think a poster above has mentioned. When the wagons are run up and down the track, there are noticeable clicks as the wheelsets turn. Putting a little pressure on the wagons (above the bogies) and moving them forward and back showed an awful lot of the wagons had this issue. I would say around 20-30% had the problem to some extent and some are so bad they can be seen inducing a wobble on the video.

Running

While putting the wagons on the layout, I noticed a few issues with the coupling heights and found one Freightliner set with a pronounced droop, which seemed to get a bit better when I removed the coupling and re-inserted it, but was still a bit droopy. I normally fit the Dapol dummy knuckles to my wagons and the shorter shanks do seem to improve this allot, so when I get around to this I expect that it won't really be an issue.







One thing to note, when you look at a prototype rake of these wagons, there is the same distance between the wagon pairs as there seems to be between the pairs themselves. It seemed to me that the visual distance between the pairs was pretty even, but when I swap out the Rapido couplers this will look more pronounced so I think I will definitely have to shorten or replace the drawbars.





Within a few laps of the club layout, I'd managed to swap wagons around until I got them in a state where they would run pretty reliably. They seem to roll pretty well and a Farish 70 had no problems pulling 10 sets round the layout. Remember this is with the damaged wheelsets, so if I can get them replaced then I imagine these wagons would run very well. I had a few doubts about the drawbars with the wagons being quite light and wondered if they would negotiate curves / point work OK without derailing, but at the moment I'd have to say they seem to work fine.

Video

https://youtu.be/4_MSdxpZfOQ

Conclusion

Certainly no complaints over the looks of the wagons, they look fantastic. The couplings are a tweak of those on the IOAs, but they do appear to work allot better and I think with a bit of fettling you should be able to get sets running well together without too much trouble. The catching wheelsets though are a big issue as they visibly affect the running. The catching wheelsets are annoying, but the fix is pretty simple and detailed in a further post below.

Cheers, Mark.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2018, 04:01:30 PM by Vonzack »

Offline Graham

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Re: MJA Routes
« Reply #39 on: August 12, 2018, 12:36:05 AM »
forgot one other slight issue I had was with the pipework under the wagon, in some cases it was catching on the wheelset axel, in all the cases I found a slight push of the pipe put it back into the wagon frame.

Offline Vonzack

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Re: MJA Routes
« Reply #40 on: August 12, 2018, 03:56:46 PM »
forgot one other slight issue I had was with the pipework under the wagon, in some cases it was catching on the wheelset axel, in all the cases I found a slight push of the pipe put it back into the wagon frame.


Massive thank you to @Graham, his post identifies it's the brake pipe catching on the wheelsets rather than a machining error (post above amended) and it's such a quick fix to put right with some long nose pliers.

This picture highlights the issue, if you look at the brake pipes running towards the bogies, you can see the one on the left sits higher off the chassis than the one on the right. This makes the pipe rub against the wheelset as it rotates and because the axles seem to have a bit of moulding flash in the centre, it can catch making the wagon wobble.



All you have to do to adjust the pipe, is gently push it down with some long nose pliers. Here are some closeups:

Before:

After:

I've also included some video to show the affect on the wagon before and after the adjustment.

https://youtu.be/tn8Ohn2WMxo


For anybody wanting to know what the wagon looks like dis-assembled here's a few picture



I was expecting to see a spring attached to the couplers, but there just seems to be a bit of flexible wire, the red circles show a pip on the coupler arm which locates behind the wire and this centres the coupling. The green circles show how the upper side of the arm sits flush with the bottom of the wagon top. There isn't much to go wrong here, so if a coupling is droopy, then it might just be a simple case that the underside of the wagon hasn't been screwed down enough, or something is misaligned inside. Either way, they are easy enough to get into and investigate.

Cheers, Mark.




Online woodbury22uk

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Re: MJA Routes
« Reply #41 on: August 12, 2018, 06:08:26 PM »

I was expecting to see a spring attached to the couplers, but there just seems to be a bit of flexible wire, the red circles show a pip on the coupler arm which locates behind the wire and this centres the coupling.

Cheers, Mark.


If the little spring wire goes missing, a convenient replacement is that thin plastic thread which holds price labels on to new clothes. Had to do this on my Farish Postal coach which had a missing wire.

http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=18126.msg181867#msg181867
Mike

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Wondering how many pedants can dance of the head of a pin.


Membre AFAN 0196

Offline Graham

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Re: MJA Routes
« Reply #42 on: August 13, 2018, 08:16:41 AM »
thanks @Vonzack for the tip re the screws, have checked mine and a couple were loose.

Have also tried @njee20 tip re the long and short knuckle couplers and to be honest whilst they look good, it makes the bar between the wagons look way too long, so have returned to long knuckle couplers on both ends of the wagon pair.

Have run them for another hour today with no issues. they are a lovely looking model.

Offline njee20

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Re: MJA Routes
« Reply #43 on: August 13, 2018, 09:08:47 AM »
That's a shame - and exactly what Vonzack feared would happen. Shame they've not provided shorter drawbars, like they do with the IKA/FEA pairs. I guess it all helps keep the cost down, which they've done a great job of.

Offline Vonzack

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Re: MJA Routes
« Reply #44 on: August 13, 2018, 09:23:43 AM »
At the moment, I've swapped the drawbars for a combination of long / short knuckles so the gaps match. I usually store wagons in foam trays, so it's a bit better for me to have them like that.

 

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