S gauge FlyerChief GP7's are arriving from dealers...tell us your views and/or reviews.

Roundhouse Bill posted:

Mark, are they going to replace it or repair it?  My guess is Ro could use either option.

Well one of the issues was paint rubs on the yellow sides of the short hood end. So at minimum they'd have to swap out body shells as it's doubtful they would try to touch up any paint. Another issue was gear noise and intermittent wheel noise on r20 curves so they'd have to solve those problems or swap out a complete chassis.

My guess is they will send a brand new replacement engine. I sure hope they fully test them as they have led us to believe. I'll report on my replacement engine when I receive it.

There is a bright side to these problems. All the defective engines will probably  be sent back to Lionel where they most likely  will be dis-assembled and parted out for repairs of other engines in the future. I think that's how Lionel is able to stock parts...either from returned engines (not repaired) or new engines bought from China specifically to be dis-assembled to have parts on hand. That's my theory anyway!

Mark

banjoflyer posted:

There is a bright side to these problems. All the defective engines will probably  be sent back to Lionel where they most likely  will be dis-assembled and parted out for repairs of other engines in the future. I think that's how Lionel is able to stock parts...either from returned engines (not repaired) or new engines bought from China specifically to be dis-assembled to have parts on hand. That's my theory anyway!

Mark

I hope they don't really rely on their products being defective to get replacement parts!

Brendan

banjoflyer posted:
I think that's how Lionel is able to stock parts...either from returned engines (not repaired) or new engines bought from China specifically to be dis-assembled to have parts on hand. That's my theory anyway!

Mark

That's exactly how they do it. I've  watched techs disassemble new pieces and bag the individual parts.

Bob

Lionel has told me that they are not in the parts business anymore much.  Tearing down defective units is exactly how they repair other engines.  That is why units years old are not repairable except with aftermarket motors and E-units where available.

Today, I learned of another quality control problem with the Geeps from a dealer.  Boxes labeled for the UP engines have Santa Fe's inside.  To get buyers the right engine the wrong one has to be shipped back to the distributor who then has to send them to Lionel.  The guy at Lionel who has to deal with replacement is on vacation till mid January.  Buyers are dead in the water on getting their engine till then.  

I wonder if all the O Gauge people are suffering with quality control with new releases along with Flyer people? 

Roundhouse Bill posted:

 

Today, I learned of another quality control problem with the Geeps from a dealer.  Boxes labeled for the UP engines have Santa Fe's inside.  To get buyers the right engine the wrong one has to be shipped back to the distributor who then has to send them to Lionel.  The guy at Lionel who has to deal with replacement is on vacation till mid January.  Buyers are dead in the water on getting their engine till then.  

 

Could become problem if there aren't an equal amount of Santa Fe Geeps in UP boxes returned...

Rusty

Roundhouse Bill posted:

Mark, are they going to replace it or repair it?  My guess is Ro could use either option.

Update on my earlier response...Ro received the returned engine on 12/27 at 2:16 PM. The replacement was sent back to me on 12/29 at 4:08 PM. From the short turn around time I'd venture to guess I'm getting a brand new engine in return. It's scheduled to be delivered on Thursday 1/4/18. I'll post my testing of the replacement engine then.

Mark

I suspect there are two types of replacement parts.  Some are common to a variety of different Flychief and LC+ locomotives (motor, gears, wheels, electronics, operating couplers, smoke units) and probably are available from stock for replacement without requiring reuse of defective products.  Others (shells, external detail fittings) are probably only available when recycled from defective locos/rolling stock.  For units that cannot be easily repaired, salvaging materials is both sound business practice and environmentally laudable .

Returned mine 21 Dec. via Priority Mail, Charles Ro received 26 Dec.  Returning by FEDEX, sent 29th with a January 4th planned delivery.  Considering the holiday rush, that's not too bad.  Agree on turn-around likely being a new engine as replacement.  I do hope it was tested as mentioned above.  Happy New Year Everyone!

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.  -  Clarke's Third Law"

I received my replacement from Charles Ro and it is much better that the one it replaced. I would suggest checking ALL the screws. It still had some gear noise and I found that one of the screws that goes through the bottom of the truck to hold the motor in place was screwing into the truck and then the motor. I was able to correct that and thread both screws into the motor only to hold it in the correct position in the truck.  Now I can't hear the gears over the sound of the wheels on the track.

logcruiser posted:

I just spoke with Ro about the return of my UP. I was told they are opening, inspecting, and running the engines before shipping any more.

Does anyone have a good running UP? I may need to see if I can get a Santa Fe instead.

 

 

]

When my UP came it was in a big box. The loco was wrapped separately and was not in its own box. My assumption was that someone at Ro had tested it. So far, mine is running without issues.

RoyBoy

I received my replacement UP GP7 and today I tested it.  All features were good until I tested the front coupler.  It would not open on command.  Looking through the front pilot I could see one wire broken off.  Under the hood, you can see there was not enough slack left in the coupler wires for following curves.  Too short. One wire does not reach and one is barely hanging onto the solenoid.  See the photo.  This does not look like an easy fix as I think the attachment point is under shrink wrap tape.  Anyone else have this problem?  Also it does not like S-Trax, derailing in a few track joints where the inside surface of the rails are not perfectly aligned.  Gauging or maybe rail is not tall enough (possible issues).  So it was fun to run and the bluetooth app is very nice!  But no working front coupler!  DARN.  Anyone fixed a coil coupler and have advice...or send it back yet again?

 

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.  -  Clarke's Third Law"

Guys,

Many of you have known me for all the problems I have had with Lionel Flyer items.  I told myself (an others) that I would NEVER buy another.  Well, (as they say) never say never.  I was taken by the UP Geep paint job, and the fact that I always wanted a Gilbert one, but couldn't find one for a decent price.  So when the new ones were announced with their better looking trucks, and for such a great price, I bit the bullet.  Well, the bullet bit back. 

My Geep came in, and I tested it for loose trucks, screws, faulty paint and then put it on the track.  Powering up the remote (with new batteries) all seemed well!  I gave it a lube and it was a bit hesitant, but in a few laps, it smoothed out nicely.  Quieter too.  I fired up the Blue Tooth app, and it gave me more features!  Great!  The loco wouldn't pull more than 8 cars without spinning the wheels, but that's all I wanted to pull anyway.  I was even going to paint the pilot steps to match, and mixed up a batch of paint to do that when I ran the train around to a convenient spot to take the locomotive off the track.  The front headlight wasn't working.  Now, if it were the ElectroCouplers, I'd not even bat an eye since I don't plan on doing any switching with the thing anyway.  But a HEADLIGHT?  I suspect a cut or shorted out wire.  Am I going to attempt the repair?  No way.  The board is probably fried from an LED shorting out.  Someone else reported a cut wire due to the flywheel cutting into it.  It's going back!  Lionel strikes again!

 

 

 

Oh, I forgot.  My UP will pull 21 Gilbert freight cars, which is a max as more and the weight pulls them off at the corners of my Gilbert track. It will do 16 cars on my main line with Gilbert trestles that includes a turn at the top.  This is as good an any of my Legacy diesels with two motors.

I found mine will pull a lot of cars on level track.  But try going up an incline and it would only pull 4 Gilbert cars before slipping to the point of stalling.  There is really no weight over the power truck to hold it down on the track

FlyerMike S gauge railroading on the floor

Roundhouse Bill posted:

Jerry, it seems like you always have bad luck.  Too bad!!

I have run my UP for hours now and have not had an issue.  I am still very pleased with it.

Bill, it seems you always have good luck.  Good for you!

I have run Lionel Flyer things for minutes and always have issues.  I am sick of their junk.

If the dealer won't make good on this thing (and it shouldn't be up to the dealers to correct the defects in design/assembly) I'm sending it back anyway for spare parts.  That's all it's good for.  If any good parts can be found.  Keep the money.  Lesson learned.  I also purchased the add-on PE car.  I haven't even taken it out of the box yet.  It probably has broken wires, a cracked shell, wrong frame, broken side frames, broken coupler, or any combination of the above.  I guarantee it WILL have poorly gauged wheels.  As a consist for the UP Geep, I have a series (8) of previously issued Lionel Flyer UP freight cars.  All NIB.  EVERY ONE of them had a problem from poorly gauged wheels to side frames that crumbled upon removal from the box. 

I'll probably be moderated for this post, but I don't care any more.

 

 

 

I have the L-AF NKP GP7 and at this time its been on the layout for about 12 days. The GP7 is being used to pull a consist of 8 cars made up of all of those NKP freight rolling stock that Lionel made in the mid-90s. I've been operating on good ol' Gilbert track and switches. No issues. Not Legacy, but well-suited for its mission in life.

Bob

Only the rear coil coupler on mine works, but it does not open far enough to release the rolling stock.  I have tried this with newer Flyer bocxcars, 1950's boxcars, and S-Helper cars.  They do not disconnect.  Perhaps with a heavier string of cars?

Sgauger

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.  -  Clarke's Third Law"

Sgauger posted:

Only the rear coil coupler on mine works, but it does not open far enough to release the rolling stock.  I have tried this with newer Flyer bocxcars, 1950's boxcars, and S-Helper cars.  They do not disconnect.  Perhaps with a heavier string of cars?

Sgauger

That's an odd one. The coupler was specifically redesigned from the model used on the SD70's and ES44's. It does open wider. I haven't had a problem with either of my Geeps couplers yet.

Mark

poniaj posted:
I also purchased the add-on PE car.  I haven't even taken it out of the box yet. 

 

Jerry, this car might be the one that breaks your bad luck streak. I too bought that car. Like Bill said the wiring is way different from the original PE cars. It still has the single bulb which I will replace with LED strip lights like all my other cars. I did run mine and it had a little "wobble" to it. I really haven't checked the wheel gauge yet. If it's off I'll correct it. (I also bought the PE reefer. It is all OK.)

Hope your's is OK too.

Mark

Sgauger posted:

Only the rear coil coupler on mine works, but it does not open far enough to release the rolling stock.  I have tried this with newer Flyer bocxcars, 1950's boxcars, and S-Helper cars.  They do not disconnect.  Perhaps with a heavier string of cars?

Sgauger

The electrocouplers on my NKP GP7 sample uncouple and couple dependably with the newest version of the L-AF knuckle coupler (e.g., the coupler fitted to the new cylindrical hoppers). My trials utilized a three car consist. However, on various other "Gilbert compatible couplers", your mileage may vary, as Sgauger is indicating. The length of the knuckle fitted on a coupler in question may have an effect (shorter = better).  Dave and the guys at the Circle L Ranch were likely using the newest version of the L-AF knuckle coupler in their product development; hence what I am observing.

Bob

I sent an email to Charles Ro customer service on the 11th with the details on my inop front coupler but no response.  Guess I will call and be the squeaky wheel. 

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.  -  Clarke's Third Law"

poniaj posted:
  I also purchased the add-on PE car.  I guarantee it WILL have poorly gauged wheels.  

.

 

Jerry, I had mentioned that I too bought the add-on PE passenger car. Mine had a bit of a "wobble" compared to  the other cars. It appears that the trucks aren't attached quite as tightly as those on the original cars. The wiring is OK. The light works fine. The wheels are properly gauged...at least they match the gauge of all the other cars and I have zero trouble with them. I haven't made the change over to LEDs yet.

I fixed the "wobble"  at least for now. The trucks have what appears to be a spacer washer between them and the chassis. They also appear to be riveted on. So instead of dissembling the car and drilling out a rivet I took a 3/8" X 3/8" piece of clear rigid plastic (like the type on packaging) and cut an 1/8"  slot towards the center where I drilled a 3/16" hole: 

I was able to push the shim between the washer and the chassis with a tweezers. The wobble was then gone. I know it's Rube Goldberg fix but it beats maybe ruining something else.

Mark

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banjoflyer posted:

I was able to push the shim between the washer and the chassis with a tweezers. The wobble was then gone. I know it's Rube Goldberg fix but it beats maybe ruining something else.

Mark

If it works, don't knock it!  Ingenious fix.  I haven't taken mine out of the box yet.  In keeping my expectations low, I'm rarely disappointed.

 

 

 

Well, I am packing up what I want to run at the big train show in Plano TX this weekend.  I selected the Flyonel UP streamlined passenger set with all the extra pieces, A-B-A and 9 cars.  I tested the PA and lubed the rest then let the train run.  

Then I took off the powered PA and put my new GP7 on the front.  That little engine with only one motor pulled it almost as well as the 2 motored PA.  Just a little strain at first and it was off.

I don't understand how some of you are having trouble with it pulling more that 8 freight cars. There must be a minor problem with the weak engines. I hope someone here can give a weak one another look and find a solution.

Roundhouse Bill posted:

 

I don't understand how some of you are having trouble with it pulling more that 8 freight cars. There must be a minor problem with the weak engines. I hope someone here can give a weak one another look and find a solution.

I haven't taken the shell off of mine so I can't comment on the available empty space inside the shell. But with FOUR traction tires I'm guessing that it must be a lack of weight to the engine. One way to add weight to irregularly shaped spaces is to put lead or steel or copper BB's in a flexible tube or a baggie of some sort and try to get the weight over the power truck. I would think traction might be improved even if the added weight were just somewhere  in the engine. I am pulling 7 cars easily with my UP Geep...2 SHS TOFC cars with MTH 45' trailers, and 2 SHS and 2 AM flats with 40' AM trailers and a Flyer caboose. My layout has lots of curves which exaggerate the load on an engine vs. straight track running so I avoid overloading my engines. Even my SD70's will show some strain when pulling 15-20 cars around 2 curves at the same time. 

Mark

I "Priority Mailed" my UP GP-7 back to Ro for the second time.  They were very polite on the phone and vowed to fix the broken wire front coupler rather than try another replacement.  No idea on turn-around time.  Will report back on this.

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.  -  Clarke's Third Law"

Just got a FEDEX tracking email today...that my second time returned UP is inbound already.  I shipped it last Friday.  They can't have had it long enough for a repair.  Replacement perhaps?  Anyway that was really fast.

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.  -  Clarke's Third Law"

I had the opportunity to see a friend and fellow-club member's FC UP Geep in action this past weekend. Nice fit and finish.  His sounded and operated well too.  It was also my first experience with the LChief app (controlling the engine on his iPhone).  Two features of that which I was not aware of and quite impressed by (i.e. wish Legacy included) were the ability to adjust the top speed the engine can reach (great when handing the phone or FC controller over to perhaps a less experienced or more thrill-seeking operator), and the ability to adjust the pitch of the horn and the bell.  Pretty cool.  I don't think either function is available on the FC remote control, but the setting stays with the engine until changed/reset even after you turn it or your phone off.  Could yet put me over the top to make my first FC purchase, but a Legacy Berk is a calling too...  

David Horn

Selling my collection, layout, and display cases

Click here for latest list

S-gauge and On30 (Sn42) items for sale

 

poniaj posted:

I also emailed my dealer with no response.  A phone call is in order.  I've been assured by another S guy who I respect greatly that the dealer will make good.  Now to find the time to call, and become the squeaky wheel.

 

Well, I got the the engine back from the dealer in record time.  He told me that I could send it to Lionel or his place.  However, he had a 4-6 week back-up of repairs.  Since the paperwork was hard to find, I sent it to him.  It was less than a week, plus shipping time (and procrastination on my part).  The light works fine.  A note said it was a burned out LED.  Now, how many LEDs ever go bad?  In the many years I've been working on trains, I've never had one go out.  But he replaced it, and re-routed the wires so the flywheel won't contact a wire again.  LEDs aren't covered on warranty, so he charged me for the LED.  Less than $3, and didn't charge labor.  Very fair.  In the very remote possibility that I will ever buy any more Lionel Flyer products, it will be from him.   I'll still have to find a place to add weight to the unit since it isn't a very good puller.  I've noticed that other have had this same problem with the newest Geeps.  I have some older ones that can pull tree stumps, but this one has problems in that department.  By the way, I'm mixing up a batch of paint to match the UP grey so I can paint the pilots like Union Pacific did.  I'll post photos when done.

 

 

I have two new GP'S. The other day I hooked up 16 cars to one of the new GP. Pulled the cars without any problem on spinning wheels or unable to pull the cars. I was able to pull the train fast or slow and very very slow. No problem with both GP's. Now, I also have an older UP made about 10years ago? It's the lionel style with a vertical motor with a flywheel and the spur gears on the side the the truck frame. This loco could not pull the 15 cars with out spinning its wheels and moving the cars down the track. Now to see why this loco cannot pull the 15 cars.

While my UP Geep won't pull (comfortably) seven cars up a grade, I haven't tried any on a level surface.  But I removed the shell to determine where any weight can be put.  Here's what it looks like inside:

There is a bit of room between the motor and the circuit board:

I'm going to get some lead stick-on weights from the auto parts store tomorrow and see if it makes any difference.

Interesting that the dummy truck looks like it can be motorized with the proper gears and can motor.  I bet if there were two motors, this thing could pull tree stumps.  It doesn't seem to weigh any less than previous Geeps, but with the weight distributed on two trucks, more is needed on the driven one :

While I was perusing the insides, I noticed that the circuit board had a couple empty sockets.  I wonder what they're for?

More tomorrow.

 

 

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Rayin


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