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Re: GP7 Shell Swap Q

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  • rvn20012000
    I believe the MTL shell will fit the AZL chassis but not the other way around.
    Message 1 of 19 , May 6, 2011
    • 0 Attachment
      I believe the MTL shell will fit the AZL chassis but not the other way around.

      --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "David Epling" <cct24@...> wrote:
      >
      > Is the AZL GP7 Shell swappable with the MTL GP9?
      >
      > Thanks
      >
      > David
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
    • David Epling
      DOH! That is actually what I was wondering, Can we put the MTL WP 725 Shell on an AZL Chassis, Thanks ... From: rvn20012000 To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com Sent:
      Message 2 of 19 , May 6, 2011
      • 0 Attachment
        DOH! That is actually what I was wondering, Can we put the MTL WP 725 Shell on an AZL Chassis,

        Thanks

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: rvn20012000
        To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Friday, May 06, 2011 7:23 PM
        Subject: [Z_Scale] Re: GP7 Shell Swap Q



        I believe the MTL shell will fit the AZL chassis but not the other way around.

        --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "David Epling" <cct24@...> wrote:
        >
        > Is the AZL GP7 Shell swappable with the MTL GP9?
        >
        > Thanks
        >
        > David
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Loren Snyder
        Dave, You ever heard of the saying pilot error ?. Somehow I think there must be something about the way the Geeps are put together or maybe dirt and lint in
        Message 3 of 19 , May 7, 2011
        • 0 Attachment
          Dave,

          You ever heard of the saying 'pilot error'?. Somehow I think there must be
          something about the way the Geeps are put together or maybe dirt and lint in
          the trucks, but I know of no Geep that can't be made to run great if
          adjusted correctly. I think you just haven't come across the problem yet.

          Have you considered having some of the resident experts examine your locos
          to see what they can do about the running issues?

          There are some guys in the ZoCal group who can field strip those puppies and
          reassemble them almost in their sleep.

          I'm not knocking you or accusing you of mistreating them, but the common
          denominator in this equation seems to be the engineer.

          MTL will examine them and repair or replace them if you send them to MTL if
          nothing else.......

          Give it a try Dave,

          Loren




          -------Original Message-------

          From: David Epling
          Date: 5/7/2011 7:05:31 AM
          To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
          Cc: Bob Sims
          Subject: Re: Re: [Z_Scale] Re: GP7 Shell Swap Q

          Because both do not run flawlessly. Our MTL Geeps run like crap and we can't
          see why. We've had all 4 (2 GP9s and 2 GP35s) of them checked, re-checked
          and re-checked and they still barely run. We managed to get a pair of WP MTL
          F7s to work, or rather they simply started working. The train runs
          flawlessly pulling 18 cars on the Museum layout and up the mainline ruling
          grade of 3%

          Thursday evening, we tried out our new AZL GP7 (UP), it pulled the train by
          itself up the grade stalling only on the Keddie Switch. The 3 units run fine
          together but we'd rather have all 3 as WP Units.

          David


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • David Epling
          Negative Ghostrider. We ve got some pretty competent people on our team. Jeff worked on one of them and got it working pretty good but at this point all 4 gps
          Message 4 of 19 , May 7, 2011
          • 0 Attachment
            Negative Ghostrider. We've got some pretty competent people on our team. Jeff worked on one of them and got it working pretty good but at this point all 4 gps are in sluggish mode. Bob is banging his head against the wall because he can't find anything wrong with them
            Sent from my iPhone

            On May 7, 2011, at 7:44 AM, "Loren Snyder" <ljsnyder@...> wrote:

            > Dave,
            >
            > You ever heard of the saying 'pilot error'?. Somehow I think there must be
            > something about the way the Geeps are put together or maybe dirt and lint in
            > the trucks, but I know of no Geep that can't be made to run great if
            > adjusted correctly. I think you just haven't come across the problem yet.
            >
            > Have you considered having some of the resident experts examine your locos
            > to see what they can do about the running issues?
            >
            > There are some guys in the ZoCal group who can field strip those puppies and
            > reassemble them almost in their sleep.
            >
            > I'm not knocking you or accusing you of mistreating them, but the common
            > denominator in this equation seems to be the engineer.
            >
            > MTL will examine them and repair or replace them if you send them to MTL if
            > nothing else.......
            >
            > Give it a try Dave,
            >
            > Loren
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > -------Original Message-------
            >
            > From: David Epling
            > Date: 5/7/2011 7:05:31 AM
            > To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
            > Cc: Bob Sims
            > Subject: Re: Re: [Z_Scale] Re: GP7 Shell Swap Q
            >
            > Because both do not run flawlessly. Our MTL Geeps run like crap and we can't
            > see why. We've had all 4 (2 GP9s and 2 GP35s) of them checked, re-checked
            > and re-checked and they still barely run. We managed to get a pair of WP MTL
            > F7s to work, or rather they simply started working. The train runs
            > flawlessly pulling 18 cars on the Museum layout and up the mainline ruling
            > grade of 3%
            >
            > Thursday evening, we tried out our new AZL GP7 (UP), it pulled the train by
            > itself up the grade stalling only on the Keddie Switch. The 3 units run fine
            > together but we'd rather have all 3 as WP Units.
            >
            > David
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            >


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • mark2playz
            Dave, I have to agree with you, some of the MTL GP units don t perform as well as others, no matter how much you play with them. In my collection,the units
            Message 5 of 19 , May 8, 2011
            • 0 Attachment
              Dave,
              I have to agree with you, some of the MTL GP units don't perform as well as others, no matter how much you play with them. In my collection,the units with the first generation metal casting seem to work the best.
              A possible alternative is a note I saw in one of the AZL releases forecasting new roads for GP7 & GP9 2011...

              Mark

              --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, David Epling <cct24@...> wrote:
              >
              > Negative Ghostrider. We've got some pretty competent people on our team. Jeff worked on one of them and got it working pretty good but at this point all 4 gps are in sluggish mode. Bob is banging his head against the wall because he can't find anything wrong with them
              > Sent from my iPhone
              >
              > On May 7, 2011, at 7:44 AM, "Loren Snyder" <ljsnyder@...> wrote:
              >
              > > Dave,
              > >
              > > You ever heard of the saying 'pilot error'?. Somehow I think there must be
              > > something about the way the Geeps are put together or maybe dirt and lint in
              > > the trucks, but I know of no Geep that can't be made to run great if
              > > adjusted correctly. I think you just haven't come across the problem yet.
              > >
              > > Have you considered having some of the resident experts examine your locos
              > > to see what they can do about the running issues?
              > >
              > > There are some guys in the ZoCal group who can field strip those puppies and
              > > reassemble them almost in their sleep.
              > >
              > > I'm not knocking you or accusing you of mistreating them, but the common
              > > denominator in this equation seems to be the engineer.
              > >
              > > MTL will examine them and repair or replace them if you send them to MTL if
              > > nothing else.......
              > >
              > > Give it a try Dave,
              > >
              > > Loren
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > -------Original Message-------
              > >
              > > From: David Epling
              > > Date: 5/7/2011 7:05:31 AM
              > > To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
              > > Cc: Bob Sims
              > > Subject: Re: Re: [Z_Scale] Re: GP7 Shell Swap Q
              > >
              > > Because both do not run flawlessly. Our MTL Geeps run like crap and we can't
              > > see why. We've had all 4 (2 GP9s and 2 GP35s) of them checked, re-checked
              > > and re-checked and they still barely run. We managed to get a pair of WP MTL
              > > F7s to work, or rather they simply started working. The train runs
              > > flawlessly pulling 18 cars on the Museum layout and up the mainline ruling
              > > grade of 3%
              > >
              > > Thursday evening, we tried out our new AZL GP7 (UP), it pulled the train by
              > > itself up the grade stalling only on the Keddie Switch. The 3 units run fine
              > > together but we'd rather have all 3 as WP Units.
              > >
              > > David
              > >
              > >
              > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              > >
              > >
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
            • Don Fedjur
              Hi Guy s, I read what Dave has experienced as well as some others out there in Z-Land about the MTL offerings and have to beg to differ. I am not the
              Message 6 of 19 , May 8, 2011
              • 0 Attachment
                Hi Guy's,

                I read what Dave has experienced as well as some others out there in Z-Land about the MTL offerings and have to beg to differ. I am not the consummate expert, but I try to learn the intimate details of why or why not something works or doesn't work. Sometimes it can be frustrating if you cannot see a problem or have the experience to know what is at the core of what is causing an engine to run poor or not at all. I have cleaned, repaired, trouble shot, DCC'd now past a hundred(s) loco's of the modern MTL loco offerings without including the F-7. They are a truly reliable best in class and affordable offering that is all but completely bullet proof in reliability. If you are having a problem with the GP-35 or GP-9...........you are doing something wrong or missing something that is causing it's reduction in performance.

                The number one way to kill any engine is over oiling and general poor maintenance. Modern loco offerings now use a high performance "grease" that stay's put for maximum coverage and performance. It should be known that there is a period where out of the box an MTL GP-35/GP-9/SD-40 will run perfectly, haul your 25-60 car freight train and then suddenly have slipping issues. This basically happens at about 20 hours of operation and can vary of course somewhat from loco to loco. Kinda twilight zone anomalies that come out of nowhere. Inspect your trucks, clean all of the wheels on the loco including the flange where it makes rail contact. Remove the two brass screws that hold the truck frame in and inspect the gearing for dirt/debris/proper lubrication. Also, Inspect your wheels gauging and put back on the track and it will be "broken in". There is nothing wrong with the loco, it is just a break in and cleaning issue.

                Many times I get a loco that is handed to me with the it runs slow syndrome. If you mix oil types and get debris in your trucks or internally to the worm drives........usually a super fine piece of lint/hair.........it slows things down. Usually the owner decides to take apart the chassis to inspect and or clean. Here is where everybody goes wrong. One, the pins for each bushing that supports the worm axle have to fit into the chassis halve and not inadvertently get slipped as the spacer between chassis halves. An easy oversight. The chassis halves snap fit clean and snug when all parts are in the correct alignment. A big problem I see when I get a loco from someone who has attempted to clean or DCC themselves and then run into operational problems is that they over tighten the chassis halves screws and strip out the plastic. The plastic spacers which prevent shorting of the two chassis halves are going to fit cleanly or not at all. Same goes for the worm axle pin guides. I put a red "dot" of paint on the black screw heads for each of the six chassis halves screws so I know how many times it gets turned. Still, by simple "feel", you know when to stop before stripping out the screws spacer.

                All of that said, over tightening of the chassis halves including improper seating of the worm axle pins causes the undo pressure on the internal drive components to slow your engine/motor down. Other really key and obvious things to look for are, check your true output voltage on your power supply! I set my internal output control for my NCE 5-Amp power supply to not exceed 10 Volts. Read the manufacturers instructions sheet for your specific loco. It will have a statement about voltage and pulse power. Are you running more than the specified 8 Volts? And pulse power will kill your engine, so use the correct power pack/power supply to run your trains. Even though your decoder board compensates for overages in what it sees AC/DC, this could be the real cause of what may appear to be a slow running engine. For those of you that are comparing speed and response to say a Marklin engine, they are completely different animals. The Marklin will run like a rapped ape. The modern MTL and AZL offerings use highest quality brush less DC motors vs the brush type found in the MTL F-7 and Marklin offerings. Also, with a quality volt meter, check the amp draw MA draw from your loco's contact points. If there is excessive draw, something is causing your engine problems........usually one of the listed subjects above.

                So.................get your motives out, turn on some quality lighting on your workbench so you can see what the real problem is and answer your own questions. The proper tools as well as cleaning and inspection products make all the difference in the world when working on this stuff. The Micro-Trains engines are a wonderfully reliable and smooth running product that will give you years of reliable service with great pulling power. If you need any help or have hit the proverbial dead end of wits to solving an issue, I will be happy to help you out and can also service your engine for you. Like Loren stated in an earlier posting to this string, MTL stands behind their product and will make right on any product that is deemed defective. In the couple hundred modern MTL engines I have dissected, I have found only one instance where an engine was an unsolvable issue and MTL promptly replaced it without issue or question.



                Don
                Carlsbad, CA




                -----Original Message-----
                From: mark2playz <mark.markham@...>
                To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Sun, May 8, 2011 12:11 pm
                Subject: [Z_Scale] Re: GP7 Shell Swap Q





                Dave,
                I have to agree with you, some of the MTL GP units don't perform as well as others, no matter how much you play with them. In my collection,the units with the first generation metal casting seem to work the best.
                A possible alternative is a note I saw in one of the AZL releases forecasting new roads for GP7 & GP9 2011...

                Mark

                --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, David Epling <cct24@...> wrote:
                >
                > Negative Ghostrider. We've got some pretty competent people on our team. Jeff worked on one of them and got it working pretty good but at this point all 4 gps are in sluggish mode. Bob is banging his head against the wall because he can't find anything wrong with them
                > Sent from my iPhone
                >
                > On May 7, 2011, at 7:44 AM, "Loren Snyder" <ljsnyder@...> wrote:
                >
                > > Dave,
                > >
                > > You ever heard of the saying 'pilot error'?. Somehow I think there must be
                > > something about the way the Geeps are put together or maybe dirt and lint in
                > > the trucks, but I know of no Geep that can't be made to run great if
                > > adjusted correctly. I think you just haven't come across the problem yet.
                > >
                > > Have you considered having some of the resident experts examine your locos
                > > to see what they can do about the running issues?
                > >
                > > There are some guys in the ZoCal group who can field strip those puppies and
                > > reassemble them almost in their sleep.
                > >
                > > I'm not knocking you or accusing you of mistreating them, but the common
                > > denominator in this equation seems to be the engineer.
                > >
                > > MTL will examine them and repair or replace them if you send them to MTL if
                > > nothing else.......
                > >
                > > Give it a try Dave,
                > >
                > > Loren
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > -------Original Message-------
                > >
                > > From: David Epling
                > > Date: 5/7/2011 7:05:31 AM
                > > To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                > > Cc: Bob Sims
                > > Subject: Re: Re: [Z_Scale] Re: GP7 Shell Swap Q
                > >
                > > Because both do not run flawlessly. Our MTL Geeps run like crap and we can't
                > > see why. We've had all 4 (2 GP9s and 2 GP35s) of them checked, re-checked
                > > and re-checked and they still barely run. We managed to get a pair of WP MTL
                > > F7s to work, or rather they simply started working. The train runs
                > > flawlessly pulling 18 cars on the Museum layout and up the mainline ruling
                > > grade of 3%
                > >
                > > Thursday evening, we tried out our new AZL GP7 (UP), it pulled the train by
                > > itself up the grade stalling only on the Keddie Switch. The 3 units run fine
                > > together but we'd rather have all 3 as WP Units.
                > >
                > > David
                > >
                > >
                > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                > >
                > >
                >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >







                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Loren Snyder
                Ah.......I stand by my original statement that it is most likely operator error or pilot error if you wish to call it that. Don, I was thinking of you when I
                Message 7 of 19 , May 8, 2011
                • 0 Attachment
                  Ah.......I stand by my original statement that it is most likely operator
                  error or pilot error if you wish to call it that.

                  Don, I was thinking of you when I wrote that piece and I know you are
                  absolutely on the money. I am vindicated in what I said.

                  BTW folks, the loco Don is referring to as being the one unsolvable loco was
                  Don's own loco. He fussed and fumed over that problem child a long time and
                  did finally admit defeat. He sent it to me and I promptly took it to MTL
                  and they simply replaced it with a new one.
                  Never did find out what was wrong with the original, but hey, that is MTL's
                  internal problem.

                  I'd also like to take this opportunity to highly recommend Don's services to
                  anyone with MTL loco issues. Don in my opinion is a MTL Geep guru when it
                  comes to making them 'mo betta'.
                  And I'm saying this without any compensation from the master fixer upper....
                  ....I just whole heartedly believe in Don's unique ability to trouble shoot
                  and repair balky MTL locos. True, once in a while a lemon comes along, but
                  few and far between.

                  And Don still calls me Hamster,

                  Loren




                  -------Original Message-------

                  From: Don Fedjur
                  Date: 5/8/2011 3:17:22 PM
                  To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [Z_Scale] Re: GP7 Shell Swap Q

                  Hi Guy's,

                  I read what Dave has experienced as well as some others out there in Z-Land
                  about the MTL offerings and have to beg to differ. I am not the consummate
                  expert, but I try to learn the intimate details of why or why not something
                  works or doesn't work. Sometimes it can be frustrating if you cannot see a
                  problem or have the experience to know what is at the core of what is
                  causing an engine to run poor or not at all. I have cleaned, repaired,
                  trouble shot, DCC'd now past a hundred(s) loco's of the modern MTL loco
                  offerings without including the F-7. They are a truly reliable best in class
                  and affordable offering that is all but completely bullet proof in
                  reliability. If you are having a problem with the GP-35 or GP-9..........
                  you are doing something wrong or missing something that is causing it's
                  reduction in performance.

                  The number one way to kill any engine is over oiling and general poor
                  maintenance. Modern loco offerings now use a high performance "grease" that
                  stay's put for maximum coverage and performance. It should be known that
                  there is a period where out of the box an MTL GP-35/GP-9/SD-40 will run
                  perfectly, haul your 25-60 car freight train and then suddenly have slipping
                  issues. This basically happens at about 20 hours of operation and can vary
                  of course somewhat from loco to loco. Kinda twilight zone anomalies that
                  come out of nowhere. Inspect your trucks, clean all of the wheels on the
                  loco including the flange where it makes rail contact. Remove the two brass
                  screws that hold the truck frame in and inspect the gearing for
                  dirt/debris/proper lubrication. Also, Inspect your wheels gauging and put
                  back on the track and it will be "broken in". There is nothing wrong with
                  the loco, it is just a break in and cleaning issue.

                  Many times I get a loco that is handed to me with the it runs slow syndrome.
                  If you mix oil types and get debris in your trucks or internally to the worm
                  drives........usually a super fine piece of lint/hair.........it slows
                  things down. Usually the owner decides to take apart the chassis to inspect
                  and or clean. Here is where everybody goes wrong. One, the pins for each
                  bushing that supports the worm axle have to fit into the chassis halve and
                  not inadvertently get slipped as the spacer between chassis halves. An easy
                  oversight. The chassis halves snap fit clean and snug when all parts are in
                  the correct alignment. A big problem I see when I get a loco from someone
                  who has attempted to clean or DCC themselves and then run into operational
                  problems is that they over tighten the chassis halves screws and strip out
                  the plastic. The plastic spacers which prevent shorting of the two chassis
                  halves are going to fit cleanly or not at all. Same goes for the worm axle
                  pin guides. I put a red "dot" of paint on the black screw heads for each of
                  the six chassis halves screws so I know how many times it gets turned. Still
                  by simple "feel", you know when to stop before stripping out the screws
                  spacer.

                  All of that said, over tightening of the chassis halves including improper
                  seating of the worm axle pins causes the undo pressure on the internal drive
                  components to slow your engine/motor down. Other really key and obvious
                  things to look for are, check your true output voltage on your power supply!
                  I set my internal output control for my NCE 5-Amp power supply to not exceed
                  10 Volts. Read the manufacturers instructions sheet for your specific loco.
                  It will have a statement about voltage and pulse power. Are you running more
                  than the specified 8 Volts? And pulse power will kill your engine, so use
                  the correct power pack/power supply to run your trains. Even though your
                  decoder board compensates for overages in what it sees AC/DC, this could be
                  the real cause of what may appear to be a slow running engine. For those of
                  you that are comparing speed and response to say a Marklin engine, they are
                  completely different animals. The Marklin will run like a rapped ape. The
                  modern MTL and AZL offerings use highest quality brush less DC motors vs the
                  brush type found in the MTL F-7 and Marklin offerings. Also, with a quality
                  volt meter, check the amp draw MA draw from your loco's contact points. If
                  there is excessive draw, something is causing your engine problems.......
                  usually one of the listed subjects above.

                  So.................get your motives out, turn on some quality lighting on
                  your workbench so you can see what the real problem is and answer your own
                  questions. The proper tools as well as cleaning and inspection products make
                  all the difference in the world when working on this stuff. The Micro-Trains
                  engines are a wonderfully reliable and smooth running product that will give
                  you years of reliable service with great pulling power. If you need any help
                  or have hit the proverbial dead end of wits to solving an issue, I will be
                  happy to help you out and can also service your engine for you. Like Loren
                  stated in an earlier posting to this string, MTL stands behind their product
                  and will make right on any product that is deemed defective. In the couple
                  hundred modern MTL engines I have dissected, I have found only one instance
                  where an engine was an unsolvable issue and MTL promptly replaced it without
                  issue or question.



                  Don
                  Carlsbad, CA





                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Lindley Ruddick
                  I can only second what Don has written. I have not worked with as many locomotives as he has but I have experienced some running problems - usually at shows of
                  Message 8 of 19 , May 8, 2011
                  • 0 Attachment
                    I can only second what Don has written. I have not worked with as many locomotives as he has but I have experienced some running problems - usually at shows of course. Since my philosophy is NEVER work on a loco at a show, I am fortunate in that I can put the offending loco back in the box and get out another one. When I get home, I remove only the truck frames and clean up everything using isopropyl alcohol. I have also experienced a "loose wheel" on the axel more than once. I VERY carefully put just the smallest amount of thin super glue on the axel end after checking at least twice to make sure that the unit is in gauge. The I add only a small drop of lubricant on the gears and reassemble. Only on a couple of occasions have I needed to separate the chassis halves. In those cases it has taken me quite a while to get everything realigned - especially the shaft bearings and thrust washers. I can only emphasize Don's comments that everything should fit together very nicely - no force necessary IF everything is lined up. If you do have to force it, it is NOT properly aligned. Bright lights and an OptiVisor (or imitation) are great tools to help make things easier.
                    Lindley



                    On May 8, 2011, at 3:16 PM, Don Fedjur wrote:

                    >
                    > Hi Guy's,
                    >
                    > I read what Dave has experienced as well as some others out there in Z-Land about the MTL offerings and have to beg to differ. I am not the consummate expert, but I try to learn the intimate details of why or why not something works or doesn't work. Sometimes it can be frustrating if you cannot see a problem or have the experience to know what is at the core of what is causing an engine to run poor or not at all. I have cleaned, repaired, trouble shot, DCC'd now past a hundred(s) loco's of the modern MTL loco offerings without including the F-7. They are a truly reliable best in class and affordable offering that is all but completely bullet proof in reliability. If you are having a problem with the GP-35 or GP-9...........you are doing something wrong or missing something that is causing it's reduction in performance.
                    >
                    > The number one way to kill any engine is over oiling and general poor maintenance. Modern loco offerings now use a high performance "grease" that stay's put for maximum coverage and performance. It should be known that there is a period where out of the box an MTL GP-35/GP-9/SD-40 will run perfectly, haul your 25-60 car freight train and then suddenly have slipping issues. This basically happens at about 20 hours of operation and can vary of course somewhat from loco to loco. Kinda twilight zone anomalies that come out of nowhere. Inspect your trucks, clean all of the wheels on the loco including the flange where it makes rail contact. Remove the two brass screws that hold the truck frame in and inspect the gearing for dirt/debris/proper lubrication. Also, Inspect your wheels gauging and put back on the track and it will be "broken in". There is nothing wrong with the loco, it is just a break in and cleaning issue.
                    >
                    > Many times I get a loco that is handed to me with the it runs slow syndrome. If you mix oil types and get debris in your trucks or internally to the worm drives........usually a super fine piece of lint/hair.........it slows things down. Usually the owner decides to take apart the chassis to inspect and or clean. Here is where everybody goes wrong. One, the pins for each bushing that supports the worm axle have to fit into the chassis halve and not inadvertently get slipped as the spacer between chassis halves. An easy oversight. The chassis halves snap fit clean and snug when all parts are in the correct alignment. A big problem I see when I get a loco from someone who has attempted to clean or DCC themselves and then run into operational problems is that they over tighten the chassis halves screws and strip out the plastic. The plastic spacers which prevent shorting of the two chassis halves are going to fit cleanly or not at all. Same goes for the worm axle pin guides. I put a red "dot" of paint on the black screw heads for each of the six chassis halves screws so I know how many times it gets turned. Still, by simple "feel", you know when to stop before stripping out the screws spacer.
                    >
                    > All of that said, over tightening of the chassis halves including improper seating of the worm axle pins causes the undo pressure on the internal drive components to slow your engine/motor down. Other really key and obvious things to look for are, check your true output voltage on your power supply! I set my internal output control for my NCE 5-Amp power supply to not exceed 10 Volts. Read the manufacturers instructions sheet for your specific loco. It will have a statement about voltage and pulse power. Are you running more than the specified 8 Volts? And pulse power will kill your engine, so use the correct power pack/power supply to run your trains. Even though your decoder board compensates for overages in what it sees AC/DC, this could be the real cause of what may appear to be a slow running engine. For those of you that are comparing speed and response to say a Marklin engine, they are completely different animals. The Marklin will run like a rapped ape. The modern MTL and AZL offerings use highest quality brush less DC motors vs the brush type found in the MTL F-7 and Marklin offerings. Also, with a quality volt meter, check the amp draw MA draw from your loco's contact points. If there is excessive draw, something is causing your engine problems........usually one of the listed subjects above.
                    >
                    > So.................get your motives out, turn on some quality lighting on your workbench so you can see what the real problem is and answer your own questions. The proper tools as well as cleaning and inspection products make all the difference in the world when working on this stuff. The Micro-Trains engines are a wonderfully reliable and smooth running product that will give you years of reliable service with great pulling power. If you need any help or have hit the proverbial dead end of wits to solving an issue, I will be happy to help you out and can also service your engine for you. Like Loren stated in an earlier posting to this string, MTL stands behind their product and will make right on any product that is deemed defective. In the couple hundred modern MTL engines I have dissected, I have found only one instance where an engine was an unsolvable issue and MTL promptly replaced it without issue or question.
                    >
                    > Don
                    > Carlsbad, CA
                    >
                    > -----Original Message-----
                    > From: mark2playz <mark.markham@...>
                    > To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                    > Sent: Sun, May 8, 2011 12:11 pm
                    > Subject: [Z_Scale] Re: GP7 Shell Swap Q
                    >
                    > Dave,
                    > I have to agree with you, some of the MTL GP units don't perform as well as others, no matter how much you play with them. In my collection,the units with the first generation metal casting seem to work the best.
                    > A possible alternative is a note I saw in one of the AZL releases forecasting new roads for GP7 & GP9 2011...
                    >
                    > Mark
                    >
                    > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, David Epling <cct24@...> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Negative Ghostrider. We've got some pretty competent people on our team. Jeff worked on one of them and got it working pretty good but at this point all 4 gps are in sluggish mode. Bob is banging his head against the wall because he can't find anything wrong with them
                    > > Sent from my iPhone
                    > >
                    > > On May 7, 2011, at 7:44 AM, "Loren Snyder" <ljsnyder@...> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > > Dave,
                    > > >
                    > > > You ever heard of the saying 'pilot error'?. Somehow I think there must be
                    > > > something about the way the Geeps are put together or maybe dirt and lint in
                    > > > the trucks, but I know of no Geep that can't be made to run great if
                    > > > adjusted correctly. I think you just haven't come across the problem yet.
                    > > >
                    > > > Have you considered having some of the resident experts examine your locos
                    > > > to see what they can do about the running issues?
                    > > >
                    > > > There are some guys in the ZoCal group who can field strip those puppies and
                    > > > reassemble them almost in their sleep.
                    > > >
                    > > > I'm not knocking you or accusing you of mistreating them, but the common
                    > > > denominator in this equation seems to be the engineer.
                    > > >
                    > > > MTL will examine them and repair or replace them if you send them to MTL if
                    > > > nothing else.......
                    > > >
                    > > > Give it a try Dave,
                    > > >
                    > > > Loren
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > > -------Original Message-------
                    > > >
                    > > > From: David Epling
                    > > > Date: 5/7/2011 7:05:31 AM
                    > > > To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                    > > > Cc: Bob Sims
                    > > > Subject: Re: Re: [Z_Scale] Re: GP7 Shell Swap Q
                    > > >
                    > > > Because both do not run flawlessly. Our MTL Geeps run like crap and we can't
                    > > > see why. We've had all 4 (2 GP9s and 2 GP35s) of them checked, re-checked
                    > > > and re-checked and they still barely run. We managed to get a pair of WP MTL
                    > > > F7s to work, or rather they simply started working. The train runs
                    > > > flawlessly pulling 18 cars on the Museum layout and up the mainline ruling
                    > > > grade of 3%
                    > > >
                    > > > Thursday evening, we tried out our new AZL GP7 (UP), it pulled the train by
                    > > > itself up the grade stalling only on the Keddie Switch. The 3 units run fine
                    > > > together but we'd rather have all 3 as WP Units.
                    > > >
                    > > > David
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    > >
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                    >



                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Don Fedjur
                    Thanks for the kind notes Hamster! It is all about building our great hobby. Don ... From: Loren Snyder To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                    Message 9 of 19 , May 9, 2011
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Thanks for the kind notes Hamster!

                      It'is all about building our great hobby.



                      Don


                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: Loren Snyder <ljsnyder@...>
                      To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Sun, May 8, 2011 4:48 pm
                      Subject: Re: [Z_Scale] Re: GP7 Shell Swap Q





                      Ah.......I stand by my original statement that it is most likely operator
                      error or pilot error if you wish to call it that.

                      Don, I was thinking of you when I wrote that piece and I know you are
                      absolutely on the money. I am vindicated in what I said.

                      BTW folks, the loco Don is referring to as being the one unsolvable loco was
                      Don's own loco. He fussed and fumed over that problem child a long time and
                      did finally admit defeat. He sent it to me and I promptly took it to MTL
                      and they simply replaced it with a new one.
                      Never did find out what was wrong with the original, but hey, that is MTL's
                      internal problem.

                      I'd also like to take this opportunity to highly recommend Don's services to
                      anyone with MTL loco issues. Don in my opinion is a MTL Geep guru when it
                      comes to making them 'mo betta'.
                      And I'm saying this without any compensation from the master fixer upper....
                      ....I just whole heartedly believe in Don's unique ability to trouble shoot
                      and repair balky MTL locos. True, once in a while a lemon comes along, but
                      few and far between.

                      And Don still calls me Hamster,

                      Loren




                      -------Original Message-------

                      From: Don Fedjur
                      Date: 5/8/2011 3:17:22 PM
                      To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: Re: [Z_Scale] Re: GP7 Shell Swap Q

                      Hi Guy's,

                      I read what Dave has experienced as well as some others out there in Z-Land
                      about the MTL offerings and have to beg to differ. I am not the consummate
                      expert, but I try to learn the intimate details of why or why not something
                      works or doesn't work. Sometimes it can be frustrating if you cannot see a
                      problem or have the experience to know what is at the core of what is
                      causing an engine to run poor or not at all. I have cleaned, repaired,
                      trouble shot, DCC'd now past a hundred(s) loco's of the modern MTL loco
                      offerings without including the F-7. They are a truly reliable best in class
                      and affordable offering that is all but completely bullet proof in
                      reliability. If you are having a problem with the GP-35 or GP-9..........
                      you are doing something wrong or missing something that is causing it's
                      reduction in performance.

                      The number one way to kill any engine is over oiling and general poor
                      maintenance. Modern loco offerings now use a high performance "grease" that
                      stay's put for maximum coverage and performance. It should be known that
                      there is a period where out of the box an MTL GP-35/GP-9/SD-40 will run
                      perfectly, haul your 25-60 car freight train and then suddenly have slipping
                      issues. This basically happens at about 20 hours of operation and can vary
                      of course somewhat from loco to loco. Kinda twilight zone anomalies that
                      come out of nowhere. Inspect your trucks, clean all of the wheels on the
                      loco including the flange where it makes rail contact. Remove the two brass
                      screws that hold the truck frame in and inspect the gearing for
                      dirt/debris/proper lubrication. Also, Inspect your wheels gauging and put
                      back on the track and it will be "broken in". There is nothing wrong with
                      the loco, it is just a break in and cleaning issue.

                      Many times I get a loco that is handed to me with the it runs slow syndrome.
                      If you mix oil types and get debris in your trucks or internally to the worm
                      drives........usually a super fine piece of lint/hair.........it slows
                      things down. Usually the owner decides to take apart the chassis to inspect
                      and or clean. Here is where everybody goes wrong. One, the pins for each
                      bushing that supports the worm axle have to fit into the chassis halve and
                      not inadvertently get slipped as the spacer between chassis halves. An easy
                      oversight. The chassis halves snap fit clean and snug when all parts are in
                      the correct alignment. A big problem I see when I get a loco from someone
                      who has attempted to clean or DCC themselves and then run into operational
                      problems is that they over tighten the chassis halves screws and strip out
                      the plastic. The plastic spacers which prevent shorting of the two chassis
                      halves are going to fit cleanly or not at all. Same goes for the worm axle
                      pin guides. I put a red "dot" of paint on the black screw heads for each of
                      the six chassis halves screws so I know how many times it gets turned. Still
                      by simple "feel", you know when to stop before stripping out the screws
                      spacer.

                      All of that said, over tightening of the chassis halves including improper
                      seating of the worm axle pins causes the undo pressure on the internal drive
                      components to slow your engine/motor down. Other really key and obvious
                      things to look for are, check your true output voltage on your power supply!
                      I set my internal output control for my NCE 5-Amp power supply to not exceed
                      10 Volts. Read the manufacturers instructions sheet for your specific loco.
                      It will have a statement about voltage and pulse power. Are you running more
                      than the specified 8 Volts? And pulse power will kill your engine, so use
                      the correct power pack/power supply to run your trains. Even though your
                      decoder board compensates for overages in what it sees AC/DC, this could be
                      the real cause of what may appear to be a slow running engine. For those of
                      you that are comparing speed and response to say a Marklin engine, they are
                      completely different animals. The Marklin will run like a rapped ape. The
                      modern MTL and AZL offerings use highest quality brush less DC motors vs the
                      brush type found in the MTL F-7 and Marklin offerings. Also, with a quality
                      volt meter, check the amp draw MA draw from your loco's contact points. If
                      there is excessive draw, something is causing your engine problems.......
                      usually one of the listed subjects above.

                      So.................get your motives out, turn on some quality lighting on
                      your workbench so you can see what the real problem is and answer your own
                      questions. The proper tools as well as cleaning and inspection products make
                      all the difference in the world when working on this stuff. The Micro-Trains
                      engines are a wonderfully reliable and smooth running product that will give
                      you years of reliable service with great pulling power. If you need any help
                      or have hit the proverbial dead end of wits to solving an issue, I will be
                      happy to help you out and can also service your engine for you. Like Loren
                      stated in an earlier posting to this string, MTL stands behind their product
                      and will make right on any product that is deemed defective. In the couple
                      hundred modern MTL engines I have dissected, I have found only one instance
                      where an engine was an unsolvable issue and MTL promptly replaced it without
                      issue or question.



                      Don
                      Carlsbad, CA





                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]







                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • David Epling
                      ... Don s own loco. He fussed and fumed over that problem child a long time and did finally admit defeat. He sent it to me and I promptly took it to MTL and
                      Message 10 of 19 , May 9, 2011
                      • 0 Attachment
                        >>BTW folks, the loco Don is referring to as being the one unsolvable loco was
                        Don's own loco. He fussed and fumed over that problem child a long time and
                        did finally admit defeat. He sent it to me and I promptly took it to MTL
                        and they simply replaced it with a new one.
                        Never did find out what was wrong with the original, but hey, that is MTL's
                        internal problem.<<

                        I would put forth the argument that the problem never got fixed, they simply replaced it.

                        Gents, We've done everything that has been tossed out here and we still have 4 useless locomotives. Bob will be up late Friday, he's gonna give it one more shot before we regroup and figure out our next move.

                        David

                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: Loren Snyder
                        To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Sunday, May 08, 2011 4:48 PM
                        Subject: Re: [Z_Scale] Re: GP7 Shell Swap Q




                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Loren Snyder
                        Dave, Yes, I believe MTL just replaced the chassis and whatever they did with the faulty one is anyone s guess. That just happened again last week for one of
                        Message 11 of 19 , May 9, 2011
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Dave,
                          Yes, I believe MTL just replaced the chassis and whatever they did with the
                          faulty one is anyone's guess. That just happened again last week for one of
                          my customers. Found out that MTL simply put a new chassis under the hood
                          and returned the next day. It would be my bet that 'if' they can't readily
                          find the issue, they simply scratch the whole chassis into parts and start
                          over. The chassis can always be melted and recast like they do junk cars.
                          Or maybe they simply take them out back and release some pressure by
                          throwing the offending loco as hard as they can against a brick wall.
                          There would be a certain amount of satisfaction in doing that I'm sure. :o)

                          Why not box them all up and send to Gail at MTL and tell her the peace of
                          the world rests upon her ability to repair them to good running order? MTL
                          is good about making things right.

                          Loren




                          -------Original Message-------

                          From: David Epling
                          Date: 5/9/2011 8:39:46 AM
                          To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: Re: [Z_Scale] Re: GP7 Shell Swap Q

                          >>BTW folks, the loco Don is referring to as being the one unsolvable loco
                          was
                          Don's own loco. He fussed and fumed over that problem child a long time and
                          did finally admit defeat. He sent it to me and I promptly took it to MTL
                          and they simply replaced it with a new one.
                          Never did find out what was wrong with the original, but hey, that is MTL's
                          internal problem.<<

                          I would put forth the argument that the problem never got fixed, they simply
                          replaced it.

                          Gents, We've done everything that has been tossed out here and we still have
                          4 useless locomotives. Bob will be up late Friday, he's gonna give it one
                          more shot before we regroup and figure out our next move.

                          David


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • David Epling
                          Thanks Loren, I think that is going to be our last option. Bob will be here at the museum late Friday so I imagine he ll give it another shot and then likely
                          Message 12 of 19 , May 9, 2011
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Thanks Loren, I think that is going to be our last option. Bob will be here at the museum late Friday so I imagine he'll give it another shot and then likely call it a day if we can't get anything going.

                            Thanks everyone.

                            David


                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: Loren Snyder
                            To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                            Sent: Monday, May 09, 2011 8:55 AM
                            Subject: Re: [Z_Scale] Re: GP7 Shell Swap Q



                            Dave,
                            Yes, I believe MTL just replaced the chassis and whatever they did with the
                            faulty one is anyone's guess. That just happened again last week for one of
                            my customers. Found out that MTL simply put a new chassis under the hood
                            and returned the next day. It would be my bet that 'if' they can't readily
                            find the issue, they simply scratch the whole chassis into parts and start
                            over. The chassis can always be melted and recast like they do junk cars.
                            Or maybe they simply take them out back and release some pressure by
                            throwing the offending loco as hard as they can against a brick wall.
                            There would be a certain amount of satisfaction in doing that I'm sure. :o)

                            Why not box them all up and send to Gail at MTL and tell her the peace of
                            the world rests upon her ability to repair them to good running order? MTL
                            is good about making things right.

                            Loren




                            -------Original Message-------

                            From: David Epling
                            Date: 5/9/2011 8:39:46 AM
                            To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: Re: [Z_Scale] Re: GP7 Shell Swap Q

                            >>BTW folks, the loco Don is referring to as being the one unsolvable loco
                            was
                            Don's own loco. He fussed and fumed over that problem child a long time and
                            did finally admit defeat. He sent it to me and I promptly took it to MTL
                            and they simply replaced it with a new one.
                            Never did find out what was wrong with the original, but hey, that is MTL's
                            internal problem.<<

                            I would put forth the argument that the problem never got fixed, they simply
                            replaced it.

                            Gents, We've done everything that has been tossed out here and we still have
                            4 useless locomotives. Bob will be up late Friday, he's gonna give it one
                            more shot before we regroup and figure out our next move.

                            David


                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Loren Snyder
                            Dave, I know the frustration that comes from having to baby sit balky locos or less than ideal performance of anything mechanical. One can t always keep an
                            Message 13 of 19 , May 9, 2011
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Dave,
                              I know the frustration that comes from having to baby sit balky locos or
                              less than ideal performance of anything mechanical. One can't always keep
                              an eye open for the mule to keep moving or working right as it takes the joy
                              out of the whole experience. Just imagine the fun of having to remove lost
                              rolling stock or cars from inside my modules....lots of fun you bet.

                              Besides, we're all growing too old for that nonsense, and just because we
                              don't always function correctly doesn't mean our trains can't. :o)

                              I know how important it is for your layout display to function properly so
                              if your resident loco wizard ends up scratching his head, (careful, that's
                              how I lost most of my hair) then by all means wrap up a care package in care
                              of Gail at MTL and send them off to be repaired/replaced.

                              Tell Gail I told you to send them. She'll do one of two things, either roll
                              on the floor laughing loudly, or run out of the office screaming, "Loren's
                              at it again!"

                              Signed,
                              A little crab grass in the flower garden of Gail's life,






                              -------Original Message-------

                              From: David Epling
                              Date: 5/9/2011 12:06:51 PM
                              To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: Re: [Z_Scale] Re: GP7 Shell Swap Q

                              Thanks Loren, I think that is going to be our last option. Bob will be here
                              at the museum late Friday so I imagine he'll give it another shot and then
                              likely call it a day if we can't get anything going.

                              Thanks everyone.

                              David



                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Ell
                              ... SNIP ... SNIP ... Don, Loren, and all, I have 4 GP-35s. All 4 ran well out-of-the box and throughout a several hour break-in for each. They ran well at
                              Message 14 of 19 , May 9, 2011
                              • 0 Attachment
                                --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, Don Fedjur <donfedjur@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Hi Guy's,
                                >
                                SNIP

                                >Also, with a quality volt meter, check the amp draw MA draw from your loco's contact points. If there is excessive draw, something is causing your engine problems........usually one of the listed subjects above.
                                >
                                SNIP
                                >
                                > Don
                                > Carlsbad, CA

                                Don, Loren, and all,

                                I have 4 GP-35s. All 4 ran well out-of-the box and throughout a several hour break-in for each. They ran well at shows I do once a year the first year for each. The next year for each they all ran slow. As far as I could tell there was no lint or other dirt problems. I sent them off to the Siska's for service anyway last summer. They all ran better when returned.

                                However, I learned many years ago to keep watch on the milliamp current draw of model train motors if you want to spot problems. I had checked the ma current draw for each before I sent them away. The ma current draw for each had dropped some when they came back, maybe from 45-50 ma to about 40 ma. But one had a significantly higher ma draw than the others, both before and after service. I don't have the numbers at hand, but it was like 80 ma compared to 45-50 ma. I loosened the screws on the chassis halves about a quarter turn and the ma current draw dropped considerably, from about 80 ma to about 50 or 60 ma. The engine seemed to run a little better, but further screw loosening did not result in an additional drop in the ma current draw. But this convinced me to loosen the chassis screws on the others a little.

                                Say what you will about operator error, there is obviously something different about this particular engine. Is it within manufacturing tolerances? I have no idea. Is something else creating a friction drag. I have no idea. All 4, when they slowed down, gave all indications that some sort of friction was causing the problem, not that it was a dirt or lubrication problem. But I sent them away for the service anyway.

                                It would be helpful (a suggestion made in the past on this board) if manufactures included an expected range for the ma current draw for locomotives that ran well. One could tell quickly then if something was wrong. Checking to see if the engine has gotten hot or seems to be moving more slowly are crude checks at best. Having a milli-ammeter connected provides a continuous check.

                                The engine in question doesn't run hot. But it's current draw is about 50 percent higher than my other GP-35s. Is it a candidate for replacement by MTL? I doubt it.

                                I am well aware that the majority of running problems with model train locomotives can be traced to crud getting into the mechanisms, dirty wheels or track, or improper lubrication. But these little z-scale jewels have some pretty close tolerances. Even a tiny mechanical problem, which may be near impossible to find, can cause reduced performance. The ma current draw of the motor can be a pretty good clue to this, but actually finding the problem is more than my eyes or fingers are capable of anymore (40 years ago maybe).

                                And with the way manufacturing is done today, you don't know what part, if any, is being built by the vendor or if it's built by a sub-contractor for the vendor. And if it's built by a sub-contractor, the sub-contractor may change from one production run to another. Assuring superior quality control is possible, even with different sub-contractors, but it is also very expensive.

                                Ell Geib
                              • Don Fedjur
                                Ell, Thanks for the note. You are definitely see things on the right track here. It can be the tinniest of issues and sometimes be staring you right in the
                                Message 15 of 19 , May 9, 2011
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  Ell,

                                  Thanks for the note. You are definitely see things on the right track here. It can be the tinniest of issues and sometimes be staring you right in the face and you cannot still see the problem.


                                  the majority of running problems with model train locomotives can be traced to crud getting into the mechanisms, dirty wheels or track, or improper lubrication. But these little z-scale jewels have some pretty close tolerances. Even a tiny mechanical problem, which may be near impossible to find, can cause reduced performance.

                                  Routinely, and after an engine is broken in, I break it down. I almost always find fine particulate matter in the grease. Either from the factory or from someone who filed their posts to fit their DCC board. It can be a whole host of things the most common, carpet fiber, cotton lint fibers and hair, namely cat hair.

                                  When I get an engine that is a problem child a simply cut to the chase on a proven routine, no screwing around. I completely dismantle the whole thing, inspect all of the internals, even clean or file flash metal on the chassis halves, trim plastic, you name it, then submerge less core less motor in a ultrasonic bath.

                                  I use precision bearing lubricant as well as a high performance silicone gel based grease. Contacts come out brilliant shiny, wheels and gears are inspected for fuzz and debris remnant and close attention is paid to reassembly. 99.999% of the time we have a Charlie Sheen special, WINNER! It is all about the fit, conductivity, and reducing all possibilities of shorting.



                                  Don Fedjur
                                  7766 Anillo Way
                                  Carlsbad, CA 92009

                                  office; 760-942-6140
                                  fax; 760-942-6180
                                  mobile; 760-861-5161
                                  e-mail; donfedjur@...

                                  IMPORTANT: If you forward this email, please delete the forwarding history, which includes my email address! It is a courtesy to all of us who may not wish to have their EMAIL ADDRESSES sent all over the world. Erasing the history helps prevent SPAMMERS from mining addresses and viruses.



                                  -----Original Message-----
                                  From: Ell <geib@...>
                                  To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                                  Sent: Mon, May 9, 2011 2:21 pm
                                  Subject: [Z_Scale] Re: GP7 Shell Swap Q




                                  --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, Don Fedjur <donfedjur@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Hi Guy's,
                                  >
                                  SNIP

                                  >Also, with a quality volt meter, check the amp draw MA draw from your loco's contact points. If there is excessive draw, something is causing your engine problems........usually one of the listed subjects above.
                                  >
                                  SNIP
                                  >
                                  > Don
                                  > Carlsbad, CA

                                  Don, Loren, and all,

                                  I have 4 GP-35s. All 4 ran well out-of-the box and throughout a several hour break-in for each. They ran well at shows I do once a year the first year for each. The next year for each they all ran slow. As far as I could tell there was no lint or other dirt problems. I sent them off to the Siska's for service anyway last summer. They all ran better when returned.

                                  However, I learned many years ago to keep watch on the milliamp current draw of model train motors if you want to spot problems. I had checked the ma current draw for each before I sent them away. The ma current draw for each had dropped some when they came back, maybe from 45-50 ma to about 40 ma. But one had a significantly higher ma draw than the others, both before and after service. I don't have the numbers at hand, but it was like 80 ma compared to 45-50 ma. I loosened the screws on the chassis halves about a quarter turn and the ma current draw dropped considerably, from about 80 ma to about 50 or 60 ma. The engine seemed to run a little better, but further screw loosening did not result in an additional drop in the ma current draw. But this convinced me to loosen the chassis screws on the others a little.

                                  Say what you will about operator error, there is obviously something different about this particular engine. Is it within manufacturing tolerances? I have no idea. Is something else creating a friction drag. I have no idea. All 4, when they slowed down, gave all indications that some sort of friction was causing the problem, not that it was a dirt or lubrication problem. But I sent them away for the service anyway.

                                  It would be helpful (a suggestion made in the past on this board) if manufactures included an expected range for the ma current draw for locomotives that ran well. One could tell quickly then if something was wrong. Checking to see if the engine has gotten hot or seems to be moving more slowly are crude checks at best. Having a milli-ammeter connected provides a continuous check.

                                  The engine in question doesn't run hot. But it's current draw is about 50 percent higher than my other GP-35s. Is it a candidate for replacement by MTL? I doubt it.

                                  I am well aware that the majority of running problems with model train locomotives can be traced to crud getting into the mechanisms, dirty wheels or track, or improper lubrication. But these little z-scale jewels have some pretty close tolerances. Even a tiny mechanical problem, which may be near impossible to find, can cause reduced performance. The ma current draw of the motor can be a pretty good clue to this, but actually finding the problem is more than my eyes or fingers are capable of anymore (40 years ago maybe).

                                  And with the way manufacturing is done today, you don't know what part, if any, is being built by the vendor or if it's built by a sub-contractor for the vendor. And if it's built by a sub-contractor, the sub-contractor may change from one production run to another. Assuring superior quality control is possible, even with different sub-contractors, but it is also very expensive.

                                  Ell Geib







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                                • Don Fedjur
                                  Another thing to check is the even distribution of power throughout your layout. If you have a number of spurs, switch tracks etc. and your track feeder wires
                                  Message 16 of 19 , May 10, 2011
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                                    Another thing to check is the even distribution of power throughout your layout. If you have a number of spurs, switch tracks etc. and your track feeder wires are spaced far apart.........you may be having an issue of power drop, read loss. It will cause your motive power to reduce speed, balk etc. Measure it with a current meter and do it under load.


                                    Don



                                    -----Original Message-----
                                    From: Loren Snyder <ljsnyder@...>
                                    To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                                    Sent: Mon, May 9, 2011 12:18 pm
                                    Subject: Re: [Z_Scale] Re: GP7 Shell Swap Q





                                    Dave,
                                    I know the frustration that comes from having to baby sit balky locos or
                                    less than ideal performance of anything mechanical. One can't always keep
                                    an eye open for the mule to keep moving or working right as it takes the joy
                                    out of the whole experience. Just imagine the fun of having to remove lost
                                    rolling stock or cars from inside my modules....lots of fun you bet.

                                    Besides, we're all growing too old for that nonsense, and just because we
                                    don't always function correctly doesn't mean our trains can't. :o)

                                    I know how important it is for your layout display to function properly so
                                    if your resident loco wizard ends up scratching his head, (careful, that's
                                    how I lost most of my hair) then by all means wrap up a care package in care
                                    of Gail at MTL and send them off to be repaired/replaced.

                                    Tell Gail I told you to send them. She'll do one of two things, either roll
                                    on the floor laughing loudly, or run out of the office screaming, "Loren's
                                    at it again!"

                                    Signed,
                                    A little crab grass in the flower garden of Gail's life,






                                    -------Original Message-------

                                    From: David Epling
                                    Date: 5/9/2011 12:06:51 PM
                                    To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                                    Subject: Re: [Z_Scale] Re: GP7 Shell Swap Q

                                    Thanks Loren, I think that is going to be our last option. Bob will be here
                                    at the museum late Friday so I imagine he'll give it another shot and then
                                    likely call it a day if we can't get anything going.

                                    Thanks everyone.

                                    David



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                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • Ell
                                    ... Hmm! Karen must do the planing for the kits. They don t seem to suffer from lack of planning for obvious potential problems. :-) :-) Ell
                                    Message 17 of 19 , May 10, 2011
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                                      > Just imagine the fun of having to remove lost
                                      > rolling stock or cars from inside my modules....lots of fun you bet.

                                      Hmm! Karen must do the planing for the kits. They don't seem to suffer from lack of planning for obvious potential problems. :-) :-)

                                      Ell
                                    • Loren Snyder
                                      Yes, lots of careful planning and going back several times to re draw and make sure parts fit easily until we have it just right And no, there are no tunnels
                                      Message 18 of 19 , May 10, 2011
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                                        Yes, lots of careful planning and going back several times to re draw and
                                        make sure parts fit easily until we have it 'just right'

                                        And no, there are no tunnels for her parts to get lost in.......but I
                                        suppose we could design something like that if you'd like :o)

                                        Sometimes in the dark, but never in the tunnel,
                                        Loren


                                        -------Original Message-------

                                        From: Ell
                                        Date: 5/10/2011 1:41:59 PM
                                        To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                                        Subject: [Z_Scale] Re: GP7 Shell Swap Q

                                        > Just imagine the fun of having to remove lost
                                        > rolling stock or cars from inside my modules....lots of fun you bet.

                                        Hmm! Karen must do the planing for the kits. They don't seem to suffer from
                                        lack of planning for obvious potential problems. :-) :-)

                                        Ell




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