I seem to recall about the time you posted that your wife bought this engine another forum member posted he had problems right out of the box. And as I recall he listed some of the same things! I am trying to find this post but the forum will not let my new iMac to access the "search" function.
Things at Lionel sure are NOT the same post Mike Reagan
Will have to give buying this some second thoughts even though Concord is less than 30-miles south of me.
Well, I'm not pleased to have a failure like that right out of the box......but, I am going to give Lionel a change to make it right.......
When the engine was messed up right out of the box, I emailed the dealer where my family purchased to. It was Mr Muffin's and they have always done a good job for me. They emailed me back the next day. Since this was a BTO engine that was completely sold out, they advised my to call Lionel. I called Lionel the next day and received a FedEx Return Authorization by email in a few hours......the next day it was on its way to Concord and FedEx confirmed that it arrived 1/4.
I love the engine am hoping it can be restored to brand new. If it cannot, I will certainly press Lionel for a refund.