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Hello

I just opened my new-to-me JLC scale GG1 and it will not run more than half an inch or so. A quick examination shows the truck side frames to be distorted with zinc rot. Reading the old posts and looking on the Lionel website brings no joy.

Are these side frames still not available? Part number is 6108371035. Catalog number of the loco is 6-18372.

Has any one come up with a solution or a work around?

Sure is a nice looking loco and sure is a bummer that it cannot be operated. Hard to believe that a high end piece like this can only be used as a door stop.

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J Daddy posted:

If you contact Bob Karas he may have an extra set of side frames for you. He had a few extra of these at the last York. 

He's been the only source I've found.  I had one arrive mint in the box with disintegrated frames, and discovered my other one sitting on the shelf had the same issue.  The repairs weren't cheap, but it beat a couple of $400 paperweights.

Greetings Everyone,

Sorry to sound facetious but Good Luck finding these.  I purchased a 6-18374 Lionel Pennsylvania GG1 #4866 Silver Single Stripe a couple years ago at York.  I didn’t notice the “Zinc Rot” until I got her home and was able to do a complete and thorough inspection.  I contacted Lionel which resulted in No Joy.  Fortunately for me, I purchased the last two form S&W Parts Supply sometime last year and was able to replace the bad Powered Truck Side Frame with Pilot.  I’ll probably get yanked for saying this but IMO Lionel knew about this problem but kept it under wraps which, I believe, is the reason for these parts being practically non-existent.  When I initially spoke with Lionel, I asked if the new Vision Line GG1 Power Truck Side Frame with Pilot would fit the JLC GG1’s, I was told that it was unknown because they didn’t have any replacement parts available for the VL GG1 at that time.  BTW, while at York I actually saw more than one JLC GG1 where the Power Truck Side Frames with Pilot were laying in pieces inside the Styrofoam box.

Chief Bob (Retired)   

"Lionel knew about this problem but kept it under wraps which, I believe, is the reason for these parts being practically non-existent.  When I initially spoke with Lionel, I asked if the new Vision Line GG1 Power Truck Side Frame with Pilot would fit the JLC GG1’s, I was told that it was unknown because they didn’t have any replacement parts available for the VL GG1 at that time."

Actually, Lionel did not know about this issue. Zinc rot happens over time when a casting that has bad porosity in the shot or bad "regrind" material. It could  take 12 months or even years to rear its ugly head. High humidity or changes in temperature can accelerate its failure. 

It was stated before that the Vision Line side frames and trucks are NOT interchangeable, So new shots of the old tool would be the only replacement. If it exist. 

Best bet is to stay clear of the JLC GG1.

Bob Karas posted:

I had 24 of them and sold them all on the form. I replaced them on 2 of my own  because of sink rot.

The new gg1 side frame will not fit ,Lionel re-tooled the motor trucks so there side frames do not fit. I tried it

 

  

Bob, were the ones you had new old stock, or were they reproductions of some sort?

J Daddy posted:

"Lionel knew about this problem but kept it under wraps which, I believe, is the reason for these parts being practically non-existent.  When I initially spoke with Lionel, I asked if the new Vision Line GG1 Power Truck Side Frame with Pilot would fit the JLC GG1’s, I was told that it was unknown because they didn’t have any replacement parts available for the VL GG1 at that time."

Actually, Lionel did not know about this issue. Zinc rot happens over time when a casting that has bad porosity in the shot or bad "regrind" material. It could  take 12 months or even years to rear its ugly head. High humidity or changes in temperature can accelerate its failure. 

It was stated before that the Vision Line side frames and trucks are NOT interchangeable, So new shots of the old tool would be the only replacement. If it exist. 

Best bet is to stay clear of the JLC GG1.

Hi J Daddy,

If you are going to quote me, please be sure to include the entire quote with all the words.  You left out "IMO" which changes the context of the statement that you actually quoted which suggests that I somehow had information that Lionel actually knew of the problem and intentionally hid it.  It was my opinion because that's all it was, just an opinion.  My supposition was such because there were so many of the JLC GG1's that displayed this defect and the subsequent shortage or unavailable of replacement parts should have raised a red flag.  Several years ago I had a MTH Railking PRR K4 tender completely destroyed by Zinc Pest.  I contacted MTH and a replacement tender was provided.  I would think that smaller parts would be easier to stock in quantity.  Just sayin'

Chief Bob (Retired)

I've been watching this "topic" ever since it reared it rotted head years ago.

Since Lionel is basically disowning this problem, I can think of only 3 realistic options if new tooling needs to be made. 

1) Lost wax brass castings, 2) 3-D printing, or 3) styrene injection.  One of these aforementioned methods is the only way to guarantee an elimination of zinc rot.

Fred

Is it possible to buy the whole truck assembly AND side frames from the Vision model?  I mean, they're both scale models of the GG-1, right?  Assuming the shells are the same, if you wanted to spend a fortune and buy side frames, truck blocks, motors, chassis, etc., and swap parts, you would eventually end up with an operable model.

Caveat Emptor, I know.  But zinc pest (and the lack of replacement parts) is a big issue.  There ought to be a persistent "watch list" on the Forum, or somewhere else on the web that folks can refer to, and be informed that there's a known risk of zinc rot for certain products.

It's true that if a pricey loco lands on the watch list, this could devalue a dealer's shelf inventory, especially if he or she has multiple examples in stock.  However, that dealer has more leverage to go back to the manufacturer and force a run of replacement parts than individual buyers do.  A dealer also has the option to take a markdown on the value of inventory ("write-off") and sell them as-is with full disclosure.

For example: I've always been curious about the 763E / 700E.  Cost aside, I've seen & heard enough about warped frames, crumbling tenders, etc.  I don't have $2500 to lose, so I just stay away!!  The early 700E is a well-known case.  All I'm saying is, there's enough combined knowledge on the Forum to create a modern era list.  It could even drive an effort by the OE manufacturers (or cottage 3D printers, etc.), to re-run critical and hard-to-find parts.

This is part of how the TCA was born.  By the 1950s, many of the standard gauge classics suffered from crumbling wheels, pilots, trim parts, etc.  Great folks like MEW, Hennings, etc., became aware of the need and reissued them, from the original or new tooling.  Now I know there's a LOT more variety in production today than there was with the mass-produced trains of the '20s & 30s.  But we also have a vastly improved ability to share information, and when 3D printing matures, perhaps a better means of making the parts in small batches. 

Let's think about it!

Last edited by Ted S

Reading about these metal rotting problems on trains that are 10 or so years old makes me feel we're a bunch of suckers. This is a sorry state of affairs from Lionel and MTH. To date, I've only experienced crumbling trucks on my Atlas die-cast coal hoppers, but who knows what's going on inside boxes of trains that I've had in storage. Fortunately, I was able to buy replacement trucks directly from Atlas - but with any of this stuff one has to wonder if it'll hold-up.

Last edited by Paul Kallus
Paul Kallus posted:

Reading about these metal rotting problems on trains that are 10 or so years old makes me feel we're a bunch of suckers. This is a sorry state of affairs from Lionel and MTH. To date, I've only experienced crumbling trucks on my Atlas die-cast coal hoppers, but who knows what's going on inside boxes of trains that I've had in storage. Fortunately, I was able to buy replacement trucks directly from Atlas - but with any of this stuff one has to wonder if it'll hold-up.

Hey Paul, 

I'm not sure I would take this issue so personally. It doesn't make it any less painful, but zinc problems have existed in this industry since the beginning. Prewar, postwar, modern. They have all had issues and manufacture does not matter. I think where people get frustrated is that we know what causes the problem and how to correct it but we choose not to.

Look at it from a factory standpoint.  If you know you have a bad pour with contaminated metals but you also know that if you finish the product and it won't cause an issue for ten years and that your importer won't catch it under a initial visual inspection, then most companies especially those who know their relationships with the importer are not long term will take the shortcut. As bad as that sounds, I really feel like the truth falls into that realm. 

Someone is going to have to take the initiative to 3D scan a set of good JLC side frames and re-make them. That's a real passion project for such a small niche, but clearly a market exists. The question is how much are people willing to pay for a set of good side frames? Is $125 for side frames for a $500 engine worth it? This is a big open ended question with not many answers. Time will tell how the situation is handled. 

PUFFRBELLY posted:
J Daddy posted:

"Lionel knew about this problem but kept it under wraps which, I believe, is the reason for these parts being practically non-existent.  When I initially spoke with Lionel, I asked if the new Vision Line GG1 Power Truck Side Frame with Pilot would fit the JLC GG1’s, I was told that it was unknown because they didn’t have any replacement parts available for the VL GG1 at that time."

Actually, Lionel did not know about this issue. Zinc rot happens over time when a casting that has bad porosity in the shot or bad "regrind" material. It could  take 12 months or even years to rear its ugly head. High humidity or changes in temperature can accelerate its failure. 

It was stated before that the Vision Line side frames and trucks are NOT interchangeable, So new shots of the old tool would be the only replacement. If it exist. 

Best bet is to stay clear of the JLC GG1.

Hi J Daddy,

If you are going to quote me, please be sure to include the entire quote with all the words.  You left out "IMO" which changes the context of the statement that you actually quoted which suggests that I somehow had information that Lionel actually knew of the problem and intentionally hid it.  It was my opinion because that's all it was, just an opinion.  My supposition was such because there were so many of the JLC GG1's that displayed this defect and the subsequent shortage or unavailable of replacement parts should have raised a red flag.  Several years ago I had a MTH Railking PRR K4 tender completely destroyed by Zinc Pest.  I contacted MTH and a replacement tender was provided.  I would think that smaller parts would be easier to stock in quantity.  Just sayin'

Chief Bob (Retired)

Chief Bob - Sorry about that - did not want to offend.  My point was is as time will go on, the amount of models that have the zinc rot will become apparent.  As you know manufactures see this issue 2 or more years after the parts are made.  Where the trains are stored can make the problem worse. 

I have been on the same soap box looking for parts. But its sounds like with the move to the Vision Line GG1, the JLC truck tooling may not be available anymore. And if the tool is available to run again. Its going to take a whole lot of them to fail in the near future for Lionel to set that die up and run parts again.

 

Well is sure is a bummer that an expensive, feature-laden piece like this can only be used as a door stop.

NOBODY has any ideas of a work around or how to get these locos running??

The Chinese factories really do not grasp the concept of repair/replacement parts. Everything they make is single use. When it breaks, throw it away. The previous president of Lionel, Calebreese, had the same outlook  and one time tried to get all the repair parts removed from inventory.

Last edited by RoyBoy

Fortunately, the side frames on my sample of the JLC GG1 (Brunswick green, five stripe) are still perfect, and the piece still looks great and functions beautifully. The good news is that the problem is not universal. However, this is small comfort for those who do have the issue. The "old" Lionel would have had the parts. The "new" Lionel , well .....

Sincerely hope that there can be a resolution for those with the problem.

Bob

Last edited by Bob Bubeck
PUFFRBELLY posted:
J Daddy posted:

"Lionel knew about this problem but kept it under wraps which, I believe, is the reason for these parts being practically non-existent.  When I initially spoke with Lionel, I asked if the new Vision Line GG1 Power Truck Side Frame with Pilot would fit the JLC GG1’s, I was told that it was unknown because they didn’t have any replacement parts available for the VL GG1 at that time."

Actually, Lionel did not know about this issue. Zinc rot happens over time when a casting that has bad porosity in the shot or bad "regrind" material. It could  take 12 months or even years to rear its ugly head. High humidity or changes in temperature can accelerate its failure. 

It was stated before that the Vision Line side frames and trucks are NOT interchangeable, So new shots of the old tool would be the only replacement. If it exist. 

Best bet is to stay clear of the JLC GG1.

Hi J Daddy,

If you are going to quote me, please be sure to include the entire quote with all the words.  You left out "IMO" which changes the context of the statement that you actually quoted which suggests that I somehow had information that Lionel actually knew of the problem and intentionally hid it.  It was my opinion because that's all it was, just an opinion.  My supposition was such because there were so many of the JLC GG1's that displayed this defect and the subsequent shortage or unavailable of replacement parts should have raised a red flag.  Several years ago I had a MTH Railking PRR K4 tender completely destroyed by Zinc Pest.  I contacted MTH and a replacement tender was provided.  I would think that smaller parts would be easier to stock in quantity.  Just sayin'

Chief Bob (Retired)

Yes, & now you know - MTH is more reliable when it comes to backing up their product & having parts available.  While my dealings with Lionel Service Dept. was always good (in years past) the Lionel OF TODAY is sadly not THE Lionel of YESTER YEARS.

I have a tuscan 5-stripe JLC GG1 that has no zinc pest issues with the trucks, so they are not all defective.  I have some items with zinc pest (Lionel, Atlas, older 3rd Rail, and MTH), all in the trucks and couplers, except for two MTH EMD switcher calves, which have a bit of zinc pest paint peeling on the die cast frames.

I also have a Lionel 700E and a 763E with no zinc pest issues, both in their original boxes.  I do have a spare 700E tender (700W) with some warping.  I also have a Lionel 225E with a bit of zinc pest deformation in the boiler.

It seems that zinc pest was really only a major problem with some pre-war items.  I do not recall seeing it on post war or "modern" items other than as noted above, and it really seems to be limited almost exclusively to trucks and couplers on modern trains.

 

Some of my recent experiences.  Seen in my collection and repair services.

Postwar 681 frame.  Cracking, swelling.  Drivers wouldn't turn.  Had to replace.

KLine diesel drive wheels disintegrating.  Usually the geared wheels but have seen them all fall apart.

Lionel modern electrocouplers.  Disintegrating.

I bought all six of the JLC GG1's.  The disintegrating side frames were on the silver and the green solid stripe version.  The other four were and are OK.  I changed them out with Lionel parts dept. replacements.

And of course many, many Prewar cast pieces.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

I have the single stripe green one, and I decided to once again inspect all the trucks and side frames.  If there is any deterioration, I can't find it, I even took the side frames off and looked them over.  I suspect it was specific dates and batches of the trucks and sideframes that have the issue, not necessarily the color combinations.

But unless they had unfortunate luck and made a lot of extras with the batches that were defective, wouldn't that correlate pretty well to the decorative scheme?

Considering they don't make spare parts to keep around, it wouldn't seem likely that any would normally be left over to infect a later run after being assembled into the specific item they were manufactured for originally.

Weren't the color combinations each only offered once, or did they repeat some of the early ones later?

-Dave

Ted S posted:

...Caveat Emptor, I know.  But zinc pest (and the lack of replacement parts) is a big issue.  There ought to be a persistent "watch list" on the Forum, or somewhere else on the web that folks can refer to, and be informed that there's a known risk of zinc rot for certain products...

I think others would also appreciate an consolidated online reference list of confirmed modern-day zinc pest models instead of the current scattered postings that exist on this forum and others.

Brandy posted:

Maybe Lionel and MTH consider doing as you recommended in 3D then reproducing frames at a reasonable price......Just Sayin ! 

You would think that with the advances in 3D scanning/printing technology and as the relevent pricing drops that we would see Lionel, MTH, Atlas and some others more seriously looking into or applying 3D printing for adding to their replacement parts on products that are in or no longer in current production.  Once whatever initial replacement parts get depleted the company can produce a part on a when needed basis without the burden and cost of maintaining a varied SKU on-hand inventory.

Dave45681 posted:
gunrunnerjohn posted:

I have the single stripe green one, and I decided to once again inspect all the trucks and side frames.  If there is any deterioration, I can't find it, I even took the side frames off and looked them over.  I suspect it was specific dates and batches of the trucks and sideframes that have the issue, not necessarily the color combinations.

But unless they had unfortunate luck and made a lot of extras with the batches that were defective, wouldn't that correlate pretty well to the decorative scheme?

Considering they don't make spare parts to keep around, it wouldn't seem likely that any would normally be left over to infect a later run after being assembled into the specific item they were manufactured for originally.

Weren't the color combinations each only offered once, or did they repeat some of the early ones later?

-Dave

The JLC GG-1's probably were manufactured in a number of color schemes in one run.

RoyBoy posted:
 

I wonder if it's possible for affected owners to co-operate on patterning an un-affected or similar set of frames. At least there would be a master stored somewhere which copies could be made from. It would probably have to be a hobby group to avoid any copying re-percussions I suppose. Just my $0.02 or less.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

The JLC GG-1's probably were manufactured in a number of color schemes in one run.

True, but I left out the details I was trying to suggest, so I wasn't clear enough.  My bad.

I am sure I have the match ups wrong a bit, but they were offered in groups, IIRC.

It might have been green 5 Stripe along with tuscan single, and the penn central black one in the first run.  Then maybe the green single stripe, tuscan 5 stripe and silver one in the second run.  Something like that.  (and/or the later groups may have been less than 3 or even a single one offered in one of the catalogs)

Again, I probably have the match ups wrong (not digging up the catalogs just to check).  but the point being if there was a year in between run 1 and run 2, none of the trucks made for the first run likely were still sitting around the factory a year later for use on run 2.  So that is why I suggest there might be something to the color tracking the defect.  But I would agree it's likely that any different deco schemes from the same run (delivered nearly the same time) would likely be in the same boat regarding the chances of having the problem.

-Dave

look online for people that cast in aluminum and see if they can copy one of the frames that you need. They also make a hi temp silicone rubber kit that you can cast in pewter. Some of the guys that are retired that may have some time on their hands could probably do the pewter casting. The silicone is about $40 a container but you may be able to cast many side frames. Look on Youtube you can see a lot of videos on casting.

@bob2 even brass is susceptible to corrosion if it's exposed to ammonia fumes.  I'm not interested in starting a museum; if it lasts another 40-50 yrs I won't be around to worry about it.  But with the high prices of our trains, I feel strongly that there should be a handy reference list of affected modern-era trains, built from this community's knowledge.

Maybe Scott, Lionel, etc., should use plastic (horrors!)  After all, K-cups will exist in landfills for thousands of years 

Last edited by Ted S
Lionel Parts posted:

I have a 18372 green single stripe that the side frames crumbled completely apart . I am converting it to use Williams trucks. that way I can still use it and it will run on 042 radius track.

Where are you getting the Williams parts? They have a sale on parts right now, but it still looks like a few hundred dollars in parts. Complete Williams scale GG1's are advertised for around $400-$500 or so on eBay.

"However, bearing in mind that moisture is the activator, reducing it is going to help slow down, or even prevent the curse."

If moisture is the activator of the zinc rot, wouldn't completely painting a part prevent moisture from reaching the underlying metal?  I suppose that this would mean that the manufacturers would have to take the extra step of dipping parts in a primer or some other kind of paint undercoat.  

NH Joe

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