This afternoon I picked up my  4-8-4 Imperial GS-4 Northern Steam Engine  - Southern Pacific (Daylight Large Lettering)

Cab No. 4449 Product Number: 30-1621-1 from my LHS.  Upon examination at home I discovered that the side panel on the right side is not glued down correctly at the cab.  The panel actually is on the outside of the side hand rail at the cab.  Quality control just isn't what is used to be I guess.  So, my question is should I try to fix it myself or send it back?  Do I stand a chance of correcting this mistake and how should I go about doing it is the most important question in my mind.  I'll ask the LHS tomorrow for his suggestion on how to handle this situation as well.  In the meantime if anyone would care to chime in with thoughts and/or suggestions it would be appreciated.

Thanks - Jim

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Original Post

That's an easy self fix. The hobby shop would probably do the same thing. Otherwise, you risk more damage shipping it back and forth to MTH for a cosmetic repair. If it runs good, sounds good, smokes good..... fix that yourself. IMO of course

If it was me, I'd send it back for a replacement...if you make the smallest mistake with the glue, if needed, it will be out of warranty then..

Sam E.

 

I will stop learning when my last breath leaves me, then I will start learning all over again in my Next Existence!...

We are using a water- based contact cement for aircraft fabric work.  I am an old dude, and reluctant to change, but this new stuff is stronger than the old cement, and can be rolled off a surface where it is not wanted.  It is magic, and occasionally I bring the bottle home to glue some train stuff together.  Yesterday it was the soles on my spouse's shoes.

 

That said, I personally would carefully get some super glue in there, and apply pressure.

That was my initial reaction as it seems I continually have bad luck with most new engines I have purchased the past two years.  It is discouraging.  Just last month I sent two different Lionel diesels back for bad smoke units that failed right out of the box.   Other suggestions to fix this myself are feasible and are being contemplated.  Going to have to sleep on this.  

Personally, I fix stuff like this all the time. I don't even think about returning something for trivial issues like a delaminated glue joint. However, I don't have an LHS in the equation. The nearest one is well over 100 miles away, so I buy everything from Internet dealers, the OGR board, train shows, eBay, etc. If your LHS has a repair facility, they certainly should be willing to fix it for you, and any competent train repair tech will have plenty of experience at fixing something like that so it won't show. It should't have to go back to MTH for the repair. I wouldn't dream of spending 30 bucks on shipping to fix something that minor. 

NOUS SOMMES TOUS CHARLIE-HEBDO!

Dilemma over.   Well, I just had to go take another look at the problem engine and decided to give fixing it a shot.   Turns out it was easy-peasy and took about 15 seconds to do it. 

 

 The hand rail was imbedded pretty well so I was able to gently move it back and the side panel pretty much snapped back in place.  The hand rail flexed and did not bend so it is straight.   I think the side panels are fastened with double-sided tape or else the glue was still pliable and it stuck well. As an extra precaution I gave it a little extra hold with a tension clamp and will leave it on overnight.

 

Thanks to all for the comments and advice.   All is right with the world -until the next time!

FixedDaylight1FixedDaylight2

 

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Originally Posted by Wowak:

I can't even IMAGINE going through the hassle of shipping something back to the manufacturer for something so trivial.  I guess some of us have more time on their hands than I do.

I don't think it is about amount of time on your hands.  99% of us could fix this.  You do amazing kitbashing work with engines -- impressive.  The point is that if something isn't "right" out of the box, as a matter or principle I am inclined to make them deal with it not use my time to fix their mistakes.  Their cost goes up and they are properly incentivized to improve quality.  Moreover, as the original poster noted, if the repair attempt goes awry, you are now SOL with respect to the item.

 

Different strokes for different folks as they say, and that's fine, but it not a question of time or ability.  More a question that I get annoyed when anything, particularly specialized, expensive merchandise, is shoddily assembled.  

 

In any event, I am happy it worked out for the original poster and very glad it was an easy fix.  I've been there.  That being said, I would still be questioning (to myself, if I were in his shoes) the purchase because I would be PO'd by the quality lapse (perhaps trained gorillas put the locomotives into boxes because a consultant told them this was more efficient?) and wondering how the heck something like that makes it through any process resembling quality control.  Speculation at best at this point.

 

 

Originally Posted by RAL:
Originally Posted by Wowak:

I can't even IMAGINE going through the hassle of shipping something back to the manufacturer for something so trivial.  I guess some of us have more time on their hands than I do.

I don't think it is about amount of time on your hands.  99% of us could fix this.  You do amazing kitbashing work with engines -- impressive.  The point is that if something isn't "right" out of the box, as a matter or principle I am inclined to make them deal with it not use my time to fix their mistakes.  Their cost goes up and they are properly incentivized to improve quality.  Moreover, as the original poster noted, if the repair attempt goes awry, you are now SOL with respect to the item.

 

Different strokes for different folks as they say, and that's fine, but it not a question of time or ability.  More a question that I get annoyed when anything, particularly specialized, expensive merchandise, is shoddily assembled.  

 

In any event, I am happy it worked out for the original poster and very glad it was an easy fix.  I've been there.  That being said, I would still be questioning (to myself, if I were in his shoes) the purchase because I would be PO'd by the quality lapse (perhaps trained gorillas put the locomotives into boxes because a consultant told them this was more efficient?) and wondering how the heck something like that makes it through any process resembling quality control.  Speculation at best at this point.

 

 

Minor defects are very common these days, from any and all the manufacturers.... so you must spend a lot of time shipping back and forth, until you get everything "just right" out of the box.

Originally Posted by Laidoffsick:
Originally Posted by RAL:
Originally Posted by Wowak:

I can't even IMAGINE going through the hassle of shipping something back to the manufacturer for something so trivial.  I guess some of us have more time on their hands than I do.

I don't think it is about amount of time on your hands.  99% of us could fix this.  You do amazing kitbashing work with engines -- impressive.  The point is that if something isn't "right" out of the box, as a matter or principle I am inclined to make them deal with it not use my time to fix their mistakes.  Their cost goes up and they are properly incentivized to improve quality.  Moreover, as the original poster noted, if the repair attempt goes awry, you are now SOL with respect to the item.

 

Different strokes for different folks as they say, and that's fine, but it not a question of time or ability.  More a question that I get annoyed when anything, particularly specialized, expensive merchandise, is shoddily assembled.  

 

In any event, I am happy it worked out for the original poster and very glad it was an easy fix.  I've been there.  That being said, I would still be questioning (to myself, if I were in his shoes) the purchase because I would be PO'd by the quality lapse (perhaps trained gorillas put the locomotives into boxes because a consultant told them this was more efficient?) and wondering how the heck something like that makes it through any process resembling quality control.  Speculation at best at this point.

 

 

Minor defects are very common these days, from any and all the manufacturers.... so you must spend a lot of time shipping back and forth, until you get everything "just right" out of the box.

I am not sure why you are rolling your eyes.  Everyone knows it is difficult to make a living today, and O gauge trains are relatively expensive specialty products.  I have worked hard to have what I have, in terms of my career and outside business interests.  What I've learned from this experience is that the general rule of thumb, particularly with high-end products, is that they should deliver a superior "experience" however that is defined relative to the product otherwise you are getting ripped off.  I certainly don't think that expecting the customer to perform last line quality control qualifies as a superior experience.  Stated differently, I don't spend my hard earned money so I can spend time fixing errors due to other people's incompetence.   Do you?  To take another example, if you buy a four burner stove, it is OK if one of the four burners doesn't ignite and you have to fix it?  Or a new computer that works well only after you perform some software reloads?  What if you stay in a nice hotel and the room and bath are clean but the toilet has not been flushed and has been used.  How does that make you feel?  What is your confidence level with those products and the offering firm after something like that happens?

 

I don't want to beat up on MTH.  They are a good company and I have many good products from them. And you are correct insofar as defects can occur in any item.  But it should be the rare exception and not the norm -- and most of the products we buy in our house are defect free, from the get-go.  More than one bad experience and I steer clear of the company, including trains.  At the same time I think these firms need to understand (and in Lionel's case, I think Mike Reagan's elevation indicates they do get it) that a loyal customer base purchasing high dollar specialty items doesn't appreciate it when the products come out of the box with problems, however minor.  It undermines confidence in the firm's competence.  And as I said for me at least, more than a few problems like that and I'll steer clear -- I don't spend money for the purpose of annoying / aggravating myself.  Particularly with trains -- we have many more than we need so additional purchases are purely discretionary. 

Consult with your LHS first. Maybe they will offer an on the spot repair. They take the risk of repair goofs) If it is an EASY fix as most suggest it is then fix it yourself. What ever you decide do not second guess yourself.

 

I am not a very competent model train mechanic but I have "fixed" several small things rather than go through the shipping and waiting hassle.

 

Either way, good luck to you.

 

TCA - 10 - 64769

Active Ferroequinologist

Collector of 40' scale boxcars

Collector of NYC steam in all gauges

Originally Posted by Southwest Hiawatha:

Personally, I fix stuff like this all the time. I don't even think about returning something for trivial issues like a delaminated glue joint. However, I don't have an LHS in the equation. The nearest one is well over 100 miles away, so I buy everything from Internet dealers, the OGR board, train shows, eBay, etc. If your LHS has a repair facility, they certainly should be willing to fix it for you, and any competent train repair tech will have plenty of experience at fixing something like that so it won't show. It should't have to go back to MTH for the repair. I wouldn't dream of spending 30 bucks on shipping to fix something that minor. 

Same situation for me. I learned pretty quickly that shipping costs add up quickly when you return stuff. Best to become comfortable with getting your hands dirty from time to time. There are two kinds of engines in my collection: ones I've worked on and ones I'm gonna work on.

JB_GPS,

I'm glad that it looks as though you were able to remedy your problem with your GS-4.

I too have also pre ordered MTH's 4449 Imperial Daylight with PS3, so I hope that this isn't a common problem.

Did your fix work for you?

May I also ask how you like the engine overall with regards to its sounds, etc.? I have been looking all over for videos on YouTube, but nothing has seemed to crop up yet.

@Dylobs -  So far it appears that the "fix" has worked.  No sign of the side panel pulling away.  Time will tell.  As noted earlier I did not even have to add any glue to the panel. Just put pressure on it and back in place.  Looks good again.  I'm guessing this was just an isolated goof. 

 

So far I have only been able to run it in conventional mode as my TIU died several weeks ago. (That's a whole other hard luck story.  )  I will be picking up a new one on Thursday and then will be able to partake of all the features.  Seems to smoke OK, but I don't know what the setting is.   I have an Imperial Northern that smokes a lot more.  It does come with I believe a 35mm drawbar installed but also comes with a 50mm drawbar with the note that the latter is needed if one is running on 0-31 curves.  I changed mine as I do have some 0-31 on the layout.  Unfortunately, and you can see it in my pictures, the drawbar has rather bright white lettering on the top side of the drawbar which I think detracts from the "authenticity/look".   I will be painting over with some black as right now it just jumps out at me.

 

Whistle is good.  Loud.  Distinctive, but won't be able to play with quilling and other features until I get the TIU hooked up.  I will shoot a video tomorrow and post.  PFA seems on par for MTH.  Top headlight does have a slow strobe effect. 

JB_GPS,

That all sounds good! I'll honestly look forward to that video!

I hope you can get a new TIU up and working as well. I can't imagine running nicer engines like this conventionally! Haha!

One question though. I did notice that on one person's new Premier line Daylight that it had a very Daylight distinct whistle, but it also seemed to have the generic PS3 whistle as well. What are your conclusions on that may I ask? I would love to have the newer whistle as apposed to the generic one!
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we should accept or expect sub-par craftsmanship in the products we buy, but to make the effort to repackage the item, drive it to the post office or LHS,  then wait weeks/months to get it back, vs. repairing a minor problem yourself in two minutes... well that's punishing yourself far more than it's punishing the manufacturer.  You can still post photos in a public forum and write a strongly worded letter of disappointment,  but at the end of the day that locomotive is hauling trains on your pike, not in a box probably accruing more damage that you'll also blame the manufacturer for.  It's just a bit of common sense.  Any other approach strikes me as unnecessarily stubborn.

Kitbashing Reading Company steam engines until the day I can build a layout.  Sometimes I do custom work for others.

 

Check out my Blog of my previous work at http://brianwowak.wordpress.com

@Dylobs -  Pretty sure I have seen the Premier videos you saw and the Daylight whistle sounds the same as the Imperial model.  Not sure I know the difference between the generic PS3 and Daylight whistles you are referring to.  ???   Are you talking about the "horn"?  If both models have the horn I have not heard it yet on my model.   Maybe I'll figure it out tomorrow. 

That's good. What I was referring to as "generic" kind of sounds like the whistle that you'd find on a PS3 Big Boy.

 

If the Premier sounds are similar to your Imperial model though, I will look farward to a possible video that you might post later on!

 

I hope your GS4 runs well for you!

I agre with Laidoff & Wow.Glue the flipping piece on and get on with your life.Ok now as mentioned get us a video.Nick

No such thing as over kill-do it RIGHT.                                                                                                                             

You might find this interesting. The CEO of one of the hobby's major suppliers once told me that the difference between 2 Railers and 3 Railers was 2 Railers fix it themselves and 3 Railers send it back. 

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JB_GPS,

I love the video! It looks like your Daylight came together nicely! I love all of the new features that I'm seeing when compared to the previous generation Imperial GS4.

What I think I like the most is the labored chuffs when the locomotive begins from a stop. I could pinpoint which train those chuffs came from in a heartbeat! MTH has really seemed to put in some needed love to is PS system.

Are those DCS activated only?

  @Dylobs -  Glad you liked it.  Like I said it was a quick one at 11 pm.  I've only been playing with trains for about 3 years now so still a newbie, but it was the digital and electronics that lured me in.  I get a kick out of it and that's what counts, I guess.  And I'm an old fart at 68 years.   I'm running/building a toy train layout and I don't give a crap about prototypical correctness for the most part.  I'll never be a rivet counter. 

 

I did get my new TIU hooked up (a little disappointed it came at v4.20 and not v4.30) and all features shown were activated thru DCS and most were specifically activated by a button.  The SXS sound "button" is pre-programmed with the horn sound, but deeper in the menu system under "More" the traditional SXS whistle sound is there as #39 (I believe).  Customizing your remote menu can bring that "up front" so to speak.  #40 is a single horn toot. Those are the only 2 ways I have found so far to sound the horn. 

 

Labored chuff is from the remote button.  It is a good smoker and I had the setting on High. Out of the box it was set lower so when I was running conventional I was not impressed.  PFA dialogue is typical MTH and I may have to play with the volume some as it seems to be distorted to my ear.  Maybe needs different/better speakers.  With some crew chatter, on the other hand, the volume is too low and hard to hear above the chuffing and track clatter.  Not sure there is going to be a happy medium.

 

When do you expect yours to arrive? 

 

- Jim -

 

Originally Posted by Rufus:

Not trying to be mean with this comment, however it appears some of us seem to make

'much ado about nothing'.

In the same spirit, I for one, don't really understand your global statement.  Would you care to be more specific? 

glad you had a good fix.

sent mine back, purchased a

standard gauge baby blue comet set.

she went on "the blink" right outta the box.

 

was told by some friends how to fix it, didn't want

to take the chance messing with the electronis,

took it back to dealer, he sent it back to MTH.

they fixed it. New board. and if anything else had gone wrong

it would be on them

 

 

11-5010-1

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Jim (JP GPS),

 

Thank you for posting this thread.  I just opened one of these locos that a customer had ordered (we like to test the equipment before letting the customer know that its here, just in case there is a problem).  Well, guess what I found?  Yes, the same problem that yours came with.  Fortunately I had been reading this thread, and so I knew exactly what to do.  Not more than five seconds later all was well.  And the locomotive runs great.  I hope that the customer will like it too.

 

Yours,

 

Stuart

 

Wow, I would have bet money that my problem was an isolated incident.  Makes their quality control a bit more disturbing, but in any event I'm glad to hear that it worked out as well for you, i.e., your customer, as it did for me.  Now let's see if Dylobs' Daylight shows up with the same malady. 

 

- JB -

For some reason, train manufacturers seem to have chronic problems with adhesives. I can remember when most MTH road switchers had a problem with the walkways coming loose, and for several years you could expect loose people in the otherwise superlative K-Line aluminum passenger cars. Probably has to do with cost-cutting in China. 

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