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Author Topic: GF 4F vs J39  (Read 481 times)

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Offline Henners84

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GF 4F vs J39
« on: March 28, 2020, 10:03:16 AM »
Anyone had both who can comment on which they prefer and which they'd recommend as a first tender engine on my small n gauge layout. No huge rakes or gradients here.
Thank you!

Offline emjaybee

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Re: GF 4F vs J39
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2020, 11:17:21 AM »
I have a 4f, it's a nice runner, well detailed although I've only had it running on a test loop without a load. Can't help on the J39, sorry.
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Offline Roy L S

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Re: GF 4F vs J39
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2020, 11:32:28 AM »
Anyone had both who can comment on which they prefer and which they'd recommend as a first tender engine on my small n gauge layout. No huge rakes or gradients here.
Thank you!

I have a number of each.

the 4F is the newer model and has coreless motor and loco-drive. It is an exquisite model and runs beautifully, one of mine has been converted to DCC sound including a couple of "stay alive" capacitors - lovely! My only real criticism of the loco is that as it has no traction tyres (why oh why Bachmann?) haulage is a bit restricted, OK up to about 20 free running wagons, but not a lot more and forget about gradients.

The J39 is an earlier model, also exquisitely detailed. However as it is an earlier one it employs a tender-drive and has a can motor rather than coreless. They are also lovely runners as are the B1s that use the same tender but for ultra slow-running the 4F has the edge. One of mine has a DCC sound fit all squeezed into the tender. Where the J39 really scores over the 4F though is haulage, with traction tyres on the rearmost tender wheels it will out pull the 4F by a clear country mile.

So, really, horses for courses, you wouldn't go far wrong with either in my opinion. Ultimately which region you model may be more of a factor, possibly whether you have a hang up about tender-drives (I don't personally at all) or whether you envisage it hauling longer trains or your layout has gradients (edit - sorry already answered)


Regards

Roy
« Last Edit: March 28, 2020, 11:33:42 AM by Roy L S »

Online tutenkhamunsleeping

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Re: GF 4F vs J39
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2020, 11:33:32 AM »
I've one of each and they're both good runners and well-detailed.  Both are DCC ready with 6 pin sockets.

The 4F is proper loco drive, whilst the J39 is traction-tyred tender drive.  Mine is sitting out of service waiting for me to fit a new traction tyre and has been like that for around 3 years  :-[

I hate traction tyres :veryangry:

Offline PLD

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Re: GF 4F vs J39
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2020, 11:51:22 AM »
Anyone had both who can comment on which they prefer and which they'd recommend as a first tender engine on my small n gauge layout. No huge rakes or gradients here.
Thank you!
All depends what location you are modelling - they're not really interchangeable.
For an LMS / Midland region location it has to be the 4F...
For an LNER / Eastern region location it has to be the J39...

Offline Henners84

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Re: GF 4F vs J39
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2020, 11:59:20 AM »
Thanks. So it seems I can't go too wrong with either as not many big loads to pull. As for the region argument, I convinced myself that if I run British rail there's a bit more artistic licence to mix and match - I know not strictly true but I don't want to limit myself as I have my favs from all 4 main regions

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: GF 4F vs J39
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2020, 12:27:02 PM »
I think Roy has given a most comprehensive answer. I have a weathered J39 and 2 x 4Fs (1 old and 1 new version).
(Also have an older version [372-051] for sale ;))

Offline Bigmac

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Re: GF 4F vs J39
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2020, 11:39:37 AM »
i have 2 older chinese 4f models--not new tooling.  heavy metal bodies ensure good haulage. i fitted tender pickups to aid reliable running.

why do both pick up speed after a few minutes running-?-they take off like a rocket.  same with a china hall.
i used to be indecisive...but now i'm not so sure.

Offline Dr Al

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Re: GF 4F vs J39
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2020, 09:13:29 AM »
why do both pick up speed after a few minutes running-?-they take off like a rocket.  same with a china hall.

Clean the commutators and brushes on them - this is often a symptom of motor with clogged commutator.

Cheers,
Alan
Quote from: Roy L S
If Dr Al is online he may be able to provide a more comprehensive answer.

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Online stevewalker

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Re: GF 4F vs J39
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2020, 04:33:07 PM »
Anyone had both who can comment on which they prefer and which they'd recommend as a first tender engine on my small n gauge layout. No huge rakes or gradients here.
Thank you!
All depends what location you are modelling - they're not really interchangeable.
For an LMS / Midland region location it has to be the 4F...
For an LNER / Eastern region location it has to be the J39...

But both could presumably be in the same location? I know that LNER ran services deep into LMS territory and vice-versa. LMS having routes to East Coast ports and LNER to the West coast ports. Manchester's Exchange station was home to both - and apparently saw the odd GWR train en-route from Chester to Edinburgh. I'm not sure what sort of locos would likely be seen out of area though - large, express locos and heavy freight presumably, but little chance of small tank engines.

Offline martyn

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Re: GF 4F vs J39
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2020, 06:16:36 PM »
Both classes could probably be seen together at major marshaling yards, such as ex LMS locos being seen at March (Eastern Region). One or other company/region loco would have to haul the train when it crossed regional boundaries. And I think that in BR days, especially after regional boundaries were modified, then sheds, and their allocation, 'moved' from one region to another. There would also have been odd workings of a 'foreign' engine in BR days which would have been almost unknown in grouping or pregrouping days.

I would say that it therefore depends on what you want your layout to represent. But nevertheless, PLDs post is generally relevant.

Martyn

 

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