Tips & Improvements for the AML 0-6-0

Tips:

Like any locomotive with lots of bolts and screws in motion, check them frequently, especially before first running, and after an hour of initial running. SOMETHING WILL COME LOOSE OTHERWISE!

I contacted AML, blue loctite is a good idea. Be CAREFUL! They are small, so you need the right sized drivers, I recommend Wiha.

Check the brushes on the tender wheels for good motion and that the brackets are secured well. Check them every so often, and clean the backsides of the wheels, use some "conductive lube", the clear liquid that is used on motor brushes, never grease!

The bolts on the brackets for the tender wheel brushes were ALL loose on my loco, and one fell out and the whole thing cocked sideways. Had to call Cliff to get a replacement bolt, luckily I did not lose the brush and spring.

Improved pulling power:

I opened the smoke box door, looked like a lot of room inside, but there was a bracket hanging down that looked like a mount for a smoke unit.

To get the smokebox front off, there are 2 small bolts on each side of the boiler, remove them and the whole thing comes off.

(yes, the picture is crooked, not the loco!)

Unscrew the knurled nut on the smokestack, and the bracket (with 2 standoffs pointing down) and a small plate (you can see it just between the bracket and the boiler shell) will come off. The small plate is apparently for the nut to work against, because the hole in the tender is a bit oversize.

Cut the threaded end shorter to clear your weight, and reassemble the knurled nut and the small plate.

Now I was able to put a 3 pound "rock cod" lead weight right in there.

I went from the 5 cars with some wheelslip to 8 cars with no wheelslip. I felt the loco did not have good pulling power without the weight. I could not determine why, but my theory is that the drivers springing is too stiff and the wheels did not conform to the rails well. When I added the weight the front and middle springs compressed significantly, so I believe that the loco is now contacting the rails well.

With 8 cars, the loco pulls about 2.4 amps on my steepest grade, which is a little over 3.5% for a short stretch.

Accucraft is trying to get me the info in the motor, but so far the motor is not overheating. I really would like the model number of the motor to check out the manufacturer's specs. I have verified it is NOT a a Pittman.

I'm very happy with the improvement now...I have not tested pulling power on the flat.