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I was excited when I saw others posting videos of their newly arrived SD45s. Got even more excited when I got the email mine had arrived and was on the way. UPS dropped off my SD45 and companion nonpowered Super Bass dummy this afternoon and I patiently sat through dinner plans with friends while my newest acquisitions  waited for me in the garage. Was disappointed as **** to see that the couplers on the main engine were detached and the wires were damaged.    The dummy unit seems to be OK.  

I compared the broken couplers to the couplers on the non-power unit and thought maybe I could put it back together but they’re missing hardware and the wires are stripped or missing.

I guess I’ll have to open up a service call with Lionel. I’ve been hearing positive stories about their service and maybe I’ll have it back within 4 to 6 weeks.  

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Last edited by VJandP
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@jnadpa posted:

Bummer!

FWIW I had good experiences with Lionel Service evry time.

Hope you get it back quickly so you can enjoy.

John

Thanks for the note, John. Makes me feel better about hopefully getting this turned around quickly - but more importantly hopefully done properly the first time. I purchased through Mr Muffins Trains.   They responded quickly and have already reached out to Lionel on my behalf for a Return Authorization.  

I might spring for the other road number depending how long this process might take. If I get an estimate of 2-3 months for repair and return, I’ll be really bummed.

Last edited by VJandP

That is indeed a shame. I started two years ago that every locomotive I purchase mail order, I have the shop open it up, take it out, visually inspect it and test run.
I know for some this is not the answer but it works for me. Have not had an issue with new Lionel locomotives since I started this practice. I only deal with (2) large suppliers for new product.

Donald

@VJandP posted:

Thanks for the note, John. Makes me feel better about hopefully getting this turned around quickly - but more importantly hopefully done properly the first time. I purchased through Mr Muffins Trains.   They responded quickly and have already reached out to Lionel on my behalf for a Return Authorization.  

I might spring for the other road number depending how long this process might take. If I get an estimate of 2-3 months for repair and return, I’ll be really bummed.

Based on my experience, I expect it to be quicker.... I got back three RAs this week that had been gone 2 weeks....

PS - here's the video we posted.... can you tell we fish a lot?

Last edited by MrMuffin'sTrains

Update …

First, a shout out to Mr Muffin’s Trains.  Because the unit was less than 30 days old, they swapped it as a defective unit and exchanged for a new one.   Quick, excellent customer service.

The new unit arrived while we were away last week (someone was at the house to sign for it) and I finally got to check everything out this morning.   Overall, everything is a cautiously optimistic OK.    The engine and dummy look and sound amazing, run beautifully and were easy to program and lash together.  I was running them for close to an hour when the sparks started.  :-\

After some troubleshooting, I figured out the sparks only happened at higher speeds, on the outside rail, going around curves.   On closer inspection, the pilots were almost touching the track. So going around curves, just a little bit of lean was enough to make contact. The pilot is part of the newer design for the kinematic couplers where coupler and pilot articulate separately but work together.

Specifically the trouble was the pilots connecting the engine and the dummy.  My theory is that insufficiently tightened screws (see the picture) began to work their way loose as I was running around the layout.  I didn’t have rolling stock connected to them so I can’t confirm offhand if the rear coupler on the dummy would’ve done the same thing with the additional weight, but when I inspected all of the screws, they were loose also.

In the picture where the screwdriver is pointing, there are two screws on each side of the engine and dummy that hold that larger plate in the place. That entire plate was about to drop off between the engine and the dummy on each. Those screws on the opposite ends of the units needed to be tightened. I went along the bottom of the units and tightened up other screws as well.

Hopefully I’ll get time to run them again this weekend and see if they loosen up. I’m hoping that they just were not tightened properly to begin with. I’ll be disappointed if they keep working their way loose.

Anyone else with the new SD45s seeing similar issues?

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That’s sad to hear, however my suggestion is to get the Return Authorization, the code number they will assign to your package, write the RA number on the label,  place the engine in the original box, then the original shipper, then insert this package into a larger third carton with styrofoam peanuts and allow it a little shift room, Lionel will return it in the box you ship it in. FedEx throws boxes like footballs onto their trucks, it needs to be packed properly for safe and secure delivery. Packing is so important, these diesels cost lots of money, they are Fun to run when they work in Legacy command. Good luck and keep us posted. Happy Railroading Everyone

Thanks for the insights.  

@romiller49 I noticed the pieces looked to be a bit rough. I’m blissfuly going to believe that the parts are a bit rough from the original assembly and not a tear down and rebuild.   Both the engine and dummy have similar marks on the bottom pieces.    

The Camelback and SW8 I got earlier this year were absolutely flawless in every way. Hopefully now that the screws are tightened, there will be no more issues. This does make me nervous about 2 steam locomotives I have on pre-order for later in the year - one being a VisionLine that’s not a cheap date by any measure.

Tomorrow I’m hoping I ha e some time to load up a dozen or more cars and run them around the layout for a little bit. I’ll take some pictures and report back. Fingers crossed…. 🙃

If they loosen back up, take them out and inspect the threads. I’ve had three different diesels with stripped threads on screws of a similar size. At first they’d seem to snug up, but a little run time and they’d be loose again. None were SD45s, but I wonder if someone on the assembly like is a little too trigger happy with the screw gun.

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