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Hi Guys...Looking at an otherwise C-8 726 Berkshire/Tender combo. The piece is high grade with the exception of one cab side. Appears to be small rivet sized 'bubbles' in the paint. Does this look like Zinc Pest(or just a paint issue) and if so, will it spread over time. (I've attached a pix of the cab where the issue is and the full side of the engine which 'appears' to be fine).  I've collected PW for almost 30 years and have never encountered this(Zinc Pest).  Don't have custody of the engine yet and may not want it now!


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  • berk46 (1)
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Last edited by Reverseletter2350
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I'm about the same age as the engine.  I don't look that good!...but then I've been 'played with', apparently, a lot harder than this specimen!  (What's the saying re baldies?...'Grass doesn't grow where the action is'??)

Not ZP of the era, IMHO.  Probably paint and/or part cleanliness before painting issue. 

Here's what ZP did in the mid-30's...

IMG_4530 - CopyIMG_4531 - CopyIMG_4533

From Dad's 1835...the engine of which had a steam cylinder casting that completely crumbled...needed replacement.  The drivers and trailing truck wheel flanges crumbled badly, needing replacement.

The tender, according to my memory of discussion with Dad, was in this condition within the first year he received it as part of the 366W set (about 1934).  Lionel replaced the tender with a brand new one which, to this day, is yet in perfect condition, no ZP apparent anywhere.

Nice looking 726.  If you're not the buyer, I'm sure someone will be...soon!

Just sayin'...



Images (3)
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  • IMG_4531 - Copy
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@Mallard4468 posted:

Is there a point at which one can assume that zinc pest will no longer be an issue?  IOW, if it hasn't shown up for X number of years, is an item safe?

I would suggest at least 10.  The hinges for the glass on the liftgate of my 2009 Ford Escape didn't start to crumble until 2019 or 2020.  I just replaced them two weeks ago when the glass threatened to fall off because it finally got bad enough to compromise their functionality.


BTW -- This example was very easy for me to analyze by looking for Escapes of the same style and vintage as my 2009 while driving around doing normal everyday things.  My rough estimate is that maybe 5% max of the Escapes of this vintage I've seen on the road exhibit zinc pest, and they're all of model years 2008-2013.  None on the older model (2005-2007); none on the newer ones (2014-present).  I think that this problem arose when production of the hinges was shifted by Ford to a new supplier, or by the existing supplier to a new plant.

Zinc pest was pretty much a non issue after WWII, most late prewar was ok such as 225E, 226E, the OO line ect.  But once mfg moved to the far east, we have started to see it again with trucks and couplers turning to dust, and even some whole diecast shells swelling and cracking.  One would think in modern times, companies could get the mix correct to prevent this.  But not so when it comes to the Chinese that like to cut corners to make a buck.  I also agree is a paint issue, probably been there since it was nearly new and not a big concern for a "toy" back then.   AD

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