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Locomotive Goes in One Direction Only?

Roger W posted this question:

“My Athearn DCC loco I picked up at a swap meet has issues, and I’m not sure of the cause. It has been sitting in a cupboard since I got it so perhaps I got a dud. It goes fine in reverse but won’t move very well going forward. I turned the power right up to 28 and it hardly moved before coming to a halt. The unit hums but nothing. I gave it a bit of a push and the motor tried to turn but it still hardly moved. I tried different decoders and even reset the factory values on one, but to no avail. I had a look under the shell and at the trucks, but could see any foreign objects getting in the way. What am I missing? Help appreciated please. Thanks in advance guys.”

If you can assist Roger please add a comment.

7 Responses to Locomotive Goes in One Direction Only?

  • Tom Valdiviasays:

    Of it will run in reverse let it run for a while. Sometimes they just get
    Clogged with old grease and need to be run to loosen up

  • Davesays:

    I had a simular problem. I ran the loco in reverse at top speed for a few seconds. I then turned the loco over and discovered a very fine clear string bunched on one gear.Very carefully I pulled out the fiber ,now the loco runs fine.

  • Edward J Dawsays:

    Hi Roger,
    It sounds mechanical to me. Maybe just a good cleaning and lubrication of the gears, etc is required.

  • Leonsays:

    Hi Roger. I had similar problem with Digitrax decoder. Problem found in CV29 (Same CV on Broadway Limited). By default it’s set to 14-bit control. Change it to 28-bit. Leon.

  • David Ronkensays:

    Have you checked out the gears in the trucks? They could be binding. Also drive shafts and universal joints.

  • john gouldsays:

    looks like you have checked out the decoder by exchange so with the replies from Edward and David I would go with a transmission issue. I have taken out each of the drive wheel sets from the the bogies and given the wheels a twist if I feel movement check the plastic drive gear with a magnifying glass and you may see a hairline crack, discard said wheel set and replace the the drive gear , do not chuck out the wheel set, gears are available on eBay and are a easy fix. I have noticed that locos who have had a constant overloaded train load can put a large strain on the transmission gear , if a large amount of cars are required to be moved do like the real guys and double up on the locos to pull it. Regards John and I hope this helps.

  • Robertsays:

    If you disconnect the drive shafts from between the motor and each truck then rotate said shafts while attached to the trucks you will find if binding gears is the problem. Also by powering up you will find if the motor / electrics is the problem.

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