I got the new VisionLine GG1 on 12/24.   Unpacked it and everything appeared ok.   Went to test it and one of the pantograph were unresponsive.   After restarted it, it worked for that session.   Today, The same pantograph is frozen in mid-position.   It does do the arc or led lighting effect.  However, it does not raise or lower when changing directions or by using the CAB2.   The other pantograph works ok.    

Is this a software issue?   Anyone have this and figure out a work around?   Is it time to send back to Lionel?   

Original Post

All the pivots have screws that have to be snug for the pant to work properly. If you stop the engine and turn it off, shut it down. Then the motor inside should have run against the micro switch stop. That is when the pant is all the way down. Do that slightly loosen the screws, and push very lightly on the top of the pant. It should go all the way down. In that position, snug up all the screws. It should be ok then...mine was.

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

There are 12 screws. The two at the bottom on each side have to do with the pant going all the way up and down. The rest of them need to be snug mostly so the LED works since the current goes thru all the metal struts. Use a proper blade screwdriver that fits the slot in the screw. and be gentle. Not tight, just snug works.

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

CJack,

I did follow your steps to turn off and slightly loosen the 4 pivot screws.  then I carefully pushed the pant down carefully and snugged the screws.   It still returned to frozen 1/2 position.   Any other ideas?   

I will call Lionel for a RA and arrange to get this shipped back to Lionel for them to examine it.  

 

If the car was shut down, then the pant motor should run against the micro switch limit. That's all the way down. Then when the motor runs when the car is turned on, the pant motor runs against the other limit and the pant is all the way up. If in the off position, pant all the way down, snugging the screws doesn't result in the pant to go all the way up when turned on, then something inside is preventing the motor and lead screw from going all the way to the up limit. It's mechanical with two limits, so the motor should automatically run from limit to limit. There aren't any loose wire rods, are there? There are a couple of wire rods at the very bottom that plug into the bottom pivots that once inserted in their holes are bent over a little to prevent them falling out. I'm not sure what exactly would happen if one were to come loose. I think they tie both pivoting bottom rods together because only one of them is directly actuated by the motor and lead screw.

That's all I have short of watching it run on the inside roof to see if it does go through the action.

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

Eddie, I have run two of them on my layout.  They were owned by other members.  I was happy with the operation.  Not having picked one up for myself, I have no horse in this race.

 

 

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Mine has a broken off hose, not in the packaging, and Lionel wanted me to send it back for a hose. I'm afraid to do that for just a little trim part. When the parts are available, I'll do it myself.

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

Lionel had to solder a wire inside my new Vision Line GG1 #4913 to fix the pantograph. The engine still stalls and blinks "one" Cab Blink. I have to re-program the #4913 to get it to work again.

My GG1 #4935 has to go back for a new body shell. I have an RA for it too and my new Allegheny #1604 that shorts out my ZW-L Transformer.

My new #1608 Allegheny just arrived with a broken driver today. It had a loose screw in the box from one of the four pedestals that support the engine. I need to get an RA from Dean for this and my new Meadow River Heisler that has loose windows.

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It is usually the rear pan that has an issue.

 

 

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I don't have any of these new engines and it is really hard for me to believe/ understand how all this messed up product, new out of the box or lightly used can be  happening.  I would guess, Lionel got the bottom of the barrel to make their products.  Sad.  Doesn't do the hobby any good.

MartyE posted:

The sky is falling.

Definitely not.  It's just a toy, as you know as a sensible person.  But it is disappointing to see the high number of reported problems with a premium product.  Not a great way to take care of your best customers or care for your brand's reputation.

Warren Buffet has a great quote about reputation.  The gist of it is that if you understand how long it takes to build your reputation, and how quickly you can destroy it, you will approach things differently.

There are some people at Lionel who ought to familiarize themselves with the concept and apply it to the business and the brand.

 

 

Don't get me wrong Ray, these issues are inexcusable.  The good news is Lionel so far has seem to be doing a decent job of taking care of the customer. 

 Lionel definitely has some work to do but I'm not about to write them off.  I still say we will start seeing a lot less premium products from them and more LC and LC+ products as they are the money makers.  So I suspect they'll be concentrating on that line.

Marty

 

Below the Signature...

" Number One, make it "O"!"

 

I think its unfair to state there are a high number of engines with failures. For as many posts we have read where there is a problem, how many were sold that have not had a problem?  Most consumers do not post that their item worked well.  While I do agree, that it is frustrating to buy an expensive loco and have an issue, Lionel will make it right.  Just because something is expensive does not mean it cannot break.  What is considered an acceptable production run?  3% failure rate?  Assume 3% is a good rate, then a run of 2000 locs would yield 60 problem engines.  60 engines would yield a lot of comments on this forum and consumers would think the engine is garbage.

I would much prefer to have a minor engine problem, then say a defective cell phone which catches on fire.

Joe Fermani posted:

I think its unfair to state there are a high number of engines with failures. For as many posts we have read where there is a problem, how many were sold that have not had a problem?  Most consumers do not post that their item worked well.  While I do agree, that it is frustrating to buy an expensive loco and have an issue, Lionel will make it right.  Just because something is expensive does not mean it cannot break.  What is considered an acceptable production run?  3% failure rate?  Assume 3% is a good rate, then a run of 2000 locs would yield 60 problem engines.  60 engines would yield a lot of comments on this forum and consumers would think the engine is garbage.

I would much prefer to have a minor engine problem, then say a defective cell phone which catches on fire.

Joe

Very true.  The only issue that I can see that could be relevant to all GG1s is the shell seam.  I have a VL GG1 and there is a very slight seam.  I really have to look at it just right but it works perfectly.  The OGR is a small percentage (even though there are those that think the world revolves around it) so without real data it's hard to say but it does give us a small sampling so it shouldn't be disregarded.

Marty

 

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I think its unfair to state there are a high number of engines with failures. For as many posts we have read where there is a problem, how many were sold that have not had a problem?  Most consumers do not post that their item worked well.  While I do agree, that it is frustrating to buy an expensive loco and have an issue, Lionel will make it right. 

Lionel and every other business in the world is aware that people will be quick to post complaints and problems. And few will post that their item worked well. That is something all companies have to deal with.

C.W. Burfle

I had to have mine shipped back as well. Lionel says because it is BTO item that "authorized repair centers" can't repair it. I can't speak for those that have had no problems; I can speak that two higher end sets I have purchased have had issues, this GG1 and a Zephyr. I actually just returned the Zephyr for a refund because I bought it direct from Lionel, while the GG I bought from Charles Ro.

 

While I am please with Lionel's customer service, I'd be more pleased if I didn't need the technical support. I have not yet received my GG1 repaired yet but I did get notice that Lionel had received it. 

MartyE posted:

Don't get me wrong Ray, these issues are inexcusable.  The good news is Lionel so far has seem to be doing a decent job of taking care of the customer. 

 Lionel definitely has some work to do but I'm not about to write them off.  I still say we will start seeing a lot less premium products from them and more LC and LC+ products as they are the money makers.  So I suspect they'll be concentrating on that line.

I am not writing them off either.  Rooting for them to get things right in fact.  And unlike many, I don't get too worked up about "BTO" or the pricing - adults can evaluate and make those decisions on their own.  Reiterating those arguments here is boring and repetitive.  But it seems like a lot of these issues could be rectified by simply testing each product when it arrives.  I understand you cannot do that on every item, but the VL stuff is the "halo" product of the brand and there are simply too many issues arising here, even if the sample is not exhaustive etc.   Test the VL items and make sure they are operating correctly before shipping them.  Yes it takes time and money but there is a cost to doing things correctly.  Personally, I would rather pay, for example, $1600 for a VL GG1 that I can have confidence in as compared to $1300 for one that may be partially defective out of the box.  Neither expense can be justified strictly on a bean counting mentality, but at least the tested product will be correct and fully functional, consistent with the premium labeling and marketing.  Otherwise the whole thing is like a big joke and I would feel as if I had been taken advantage of.  Take care.

If I was in to the high end stuff, with my limited retirement income, I could afford one, maybe two of those locos and if they crapped out I would be shut down.  Now if one gives me troubles, I park it, and put another on the track. Safety in numbers but I do prefer the old trains.

Ray Lombardo posted:

Rooting for them to get things right in fact.  And unlike many, I don't get too worked up about "BTO" or the pricing - adults can evaluate and make those decisions on their own.  Reiterating those arguments here is boring and repetitive. 

You said a mouthful there!  100% agree with it.

Marty

 

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Joe Fermani posted:

I think its unfair to state there are a high number of engines with failures. For as many posts we have read where there is a problem, how many were sold that have not had a problem?  Most consumers do not post that their item worked well.  While I do agree, that it is frustrating to buy an expensive loco and have an issue, Lionel will make it right.  Just because something is expensive does not mean it cannot break.  What is considered an acceptable production run?  3% failure rate?  Assume 3% is a good rate, then a run of 2000 locs would yield 60 problem engines.  60 engines would yield a lot of comments on this forum and consumers would think the engine is garbage.

I would much prefer to have a minor engine problem, then say a defective cell phone which catches on fire.

Maybe a better percentage is to do the math on how many new products you have from Lionel and how many have had an issue. I have had much more than 3% I can tell you. Trim fallen off, pilot wheels falling out on the floor, smoke units not working, loader smoke fluid all over the layout, broken reefer doors, and the list goes on. My GG1 was almost perfect...just two hoses missing off the rear pilot but only one of them could I find in the wrapping.

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

As a foreigner, sending these things back to Lionel for service is just totally out of the question! I am very leery about buying high-end engines for that reason. Of the 12 engines I have bought new (only one Lionel, BTW) four have required major work to run properly. Four out of 12! Definitely NOT 3%! My one Lionel engine, a 2011 series F3 has run well. Shipping costs are so high these days, returning for warranty work is not realistic for any but continental US residents. I don't fret over trivial stuff, like trim pieces fallen off.

I have seen engines with no stories.   Like it was pointed out, these are toys.   I am amazed how many people in the past week have something negative to comment about and many did not step up lay their money down and buy the engine.  As a repair guy, I zone those people out and listen to the guy who has an issue.  Nobody cares why you do not buy an engine.  This is getting old.  Lionel and the support people do care about someone that has the engine and deal with it until you (engine buyer) are happy.

 

 

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I need the  bigger hose on the back of the Vision GG1...it's kind of in a square shape, I mentioned it to Lionel but didn't want to send the whole engine back for that. I asked them for a rear pilot with the hoses on it, but no. So maybe when the parts are listed I can buy one.

It's a minor issue but hard to not get worn out on the many minor issues. I would say that Lionel warranty service has been very accommodating. Just some rules like Vision items have to be seen by them in person, I guess, get in my way to fix these issues myself in the most efficient way.

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

You know I have not run my two GG1s a lot. However,  a BTO item should work right out of the box. Here's why:

BTO engines shift the risk of loss away from Lionel and directly on us. Where is the financial risk to Lionel as they only make what is ordered? No leftovers, no market risk.

On the other hand, the consumer bears most of the risk that the engine will operate as promised. We can't look at it or test it in advance of purchasing. When it arrives broken all we can do is send it back or refuse to buy it; IF the defect manifests itself early on.

THUS, Lionel had better assume any repair costs on BTO engines. Which fortunately they are doing.

 

AlanHN

Although there seems to have been many issues with the last few High end Engines that have finally made it to Our Layouts, I am Knocking on wood as my GG1 4913 arrived safe and sound. Nothing is broken, all Pantographs work fine, sounds, smoke, running is fine. The only Lionel set that did not work great was the Acela. I think part of that was owner/operator errors but was sent to Lionel for repair, then I sold it.  I give Lionel a pat on the back as they have always fixed my engines in a very prompt manner.  Good luck fellows.

One of our local dealers ordered five GG1's. Three had to be sent back to Lionel. One had a frozen pantograph, the other two simply stopped running after two and after eight hours respectively. Putting this or any other engine away in a closet without extensive testing would seem like risky business.

Larry, I feel bad for the guys who have these problems.  It is not their fault.  I know Dean at Lionel is very committed to getting everyone help.  I did not buy one for reasons that I have many MTH and Williams G motors.  I hope everything works out for the owners.  Sometimes it takes less time to contact Lionel and get an RA number than it does to put out a post against the engine and Lionel.  

 

 

 

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Turbgine,  that is good advice on testing.  No matter what make a train is, it is a smart move to test it good before putting it away.  Two reasons for this.  If you get a bad one, your dealer usually will replace it and the warranty issue comes in to the mix.

 

 

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I am one for two regarding Vision Line GG-1 pantograph issues. My recently purchased (brand new) Bicentennial GG-1 has a rear pantograph stuck in the up position that occurred  after about one or two hours of operation and is on its way back to Lionel for fixing. My "Old Rivets" version was purchased last year when these locos first hit the market and does not have any pantograph issues--- at least not yet. 

Both units have front pilots that remain skewed to one side after exiting a curve, that is, the front pilot does not center up upon exiting a curve and entering a straight section. Does anyone have a fix for that issue?

Robert Cushman posted:

Just opened up a new one today, the one pantograph seems a bit higher in the lowest stage that the other. Any ideas to fix this?

also do you need premium Lionel smoke for it to work or would Mth work?

The easy answer first: either smoke fluid will work just fine. The funnel inside this locomotive is long.  Put the fluid in slowly and blow gently to get the fluid all the way down to the smoke unit.  Initially, you will need about 20 drops.  Read the instructions to set up the smoke unit to function like the prototype and not like a steam engine.

As far as the pantograph, I had this problem.  It is not easy to fix.  The locomotive is new so, if it bothers you, call Lionel and get an RMA.  If you are adventurous and have the tools you can adjust it by taking the engine apart and removing the pantograph.  You have to adjust the pin on the pan that closes the down position limit switch.  Under the circumstances, consider returning it.

Dan

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