ONLINE
STORE
"ASK THE BACH MAN"
FORUM
PARTS, SERVICE,
& INFORMATION
CATALOGS AND
BROCHURES

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
June 20, 2018, 08:25:02 PM
Home Help Search Login Register
News: Please read the Forum Code of Conduct   >>Click Here <<
+  Bachmann Message Board
|-+  Discussion Boards
| |-+  N
| | |-+  Empire Builder Set - Disappointment
« previous next »
Pages: [1] 2 Print
Author Topic: Empire Builder Set - Disappointment  (Read 4472 times)
DoubleDAZ

View Profile
« on: January 01, 2011, 10:55:19 PM »

I am so disappointed with this set.

First was the caboose consistently derailing any car in front of it, can't even hook it up.

Next was the loco derailing a lot and  losing power for a herky-jerky operation.  I got a 30+ yr old diesel I got at Kay Bee Toys back in the 70's (been in a box in the garage since 1978) and it runs smoothly over the same track.

Then, after I added a turnout, I found the loco could not back into the siding.  Turned out the trailing truck was not level, seemed like a washer or something was missing from the mount.  The rear steps were below the top of the rails causing one side step to try going straight and the other side step try following the curve of the turnout.  As soon as the tracks got far enough apart, the loco just stopped.  Added a small washer I had and it now goes through the turnout, but it's still off.  The front truck bounces and keeps losing power.  I have to turn the controller up to about 40 to even get the loco to move and nothing seems to happen over 70 or so.  It's just very slow and quirky, slows when it hits the curved terminal/rerailer.  Some of that is probably my fault as the washer is probably not the right size and I've been trying to adjust things to get the darned thing to make a circuit or 2.

Oh yeah, also found a tire laying on the table the other day and then the other one came off in my hand while I was reattaching the truck.  I got those remounted and I've tried adjusting the tension on the truck mounting screws without success.  When I place the loco on the table and look closely, it seems the loco is tilted ever so slightly to the rear causing the front wheels to lift enough to lose connection and the front set of the 8 wheels seems to be just above the rail.

Just venting I guess, so I don't know what I expect in the way of comments.
Logged
ACY

View Profile
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2011, 11:00:25 PM »

N scale is very delicate and it is difficult to work on something if you can't see it. Have patience and see if you can't get some pointers from the hobby shop or a local club.
Logged
the Bach-man
Administrator


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2011, 11:51:18 PM »

Dear DD,
I'd return it to your dealer for a replacement. It should work well, it doesn't, so you deserve one that does!
Happy New year!
the Bach-man
Logged
DoubleDAZ

View Profile
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2011, 02:05:27 PM »

The Bach-man,

Yeah, trouble is I ordered from Amazon awhile ago and they'd want me to pack up the whole set, if they'd even accept a return.  I'm probably just going to write it off to experience and be leery of Bachmann products in the future, at least their entry level stuff.  I admit I got the bug suddenly and didn't do my homework.  I should have just bought some track and a controller to use my old diesels.  At any rate, I've decided I'm going to upgrade to DCC right away (probably Digitrax) with a couple of diesels and eventually add steam, a 4-8-2 or 4-8-0.

ACY,

I know N-scale is delicate, but it ran lousy right out of the box before I got the switch and noticed the backup problem.  That's the drawback to buying a set, you don't find problems until you add more track, etc., and then it's too late for returns, especially mailorder.  Besides, I bought it mostly for my 4-yr old granddaughter and all she's interested in doing right now is turning the speed dial to maximum.  Smiley

I just thought there might be some simple instructions on making some adjustments to level it out more and get the front pickup wheels to make better contact.  I also haven't set up a test bench yet, so I'll work on that so I can play with it.  The motor seems fine when I just connect the front wheels to get power, so I think it's just a matter of some adjustments to the tension of the mounting screws.
Logged
ACY

View Profile
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2011, 03:06:38 PM »

Besides, I bought it mostly for my 4-yr old granddaughter and all she's interested in doing right now is turning the speed dial to maximum.
This was not the best choice for a set for a 4 year old, furthermore turning the dial up all the way before a locomotive is properly broken in, can cause issues down the road. To break in a loco properly, run it at a medium speed in both directions, switching directions every 15 or 20 minutes. After I properly broke in the loco in the set, it ran great. The key to a good running loco is keeping everything clean, well lubed and have it broken in before any running. Once you over-lube a loco, which is very easy to do, then it is 10 times worse than doing nothing at all. Without seeing your loco in person and what is going on exactly I cannot give any specific advice.
Logged
DoubleDAZ

View Profile
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2011, 10:28:12 PM »

This was not the best choice for a set for a 4 year old, furthermore turning the dial up all the way before a locomotive is properly broken in, can cause issues down the road. To break in a loco properly, run it at a medium speed in both directions, switching directions every 15 or 20 minutes. After I properly broke in the loco in the set, it ran great. The key to a good running loco is keeping everything clean, well lubed and have it broken in before any running. Once you over-lube a loco, which is very easy to do, then it is 10 times worse than doing nothing at all. Without seeing your loco in person and what is going on exactly I cannot give any specific advice.
Jeez, not so much for her to run on her own, or even very often, mostly just to watch.   Roll Eyes  Smiley

The main point is it's BRAND NEW and I did break it in according to instructions before any other running.  I'm not new to N-scale, though it has been 30+ years.  FWIW, I calculated the cost and at best I'm out $25, at worst less than $50 (it sells for $58 on Amazon).  From what others have said it would cost about $20 to send it to Bachmann, just not worth the hassle.
Logged
the Bach-man
Administrator


View Profile
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2011, 01:27:13 AM »

Dear DD,
In that case, contact the service department tomorrow. They'll help resolve the situation.
Thanks!
the Bach-man
Logged
DoubleDAZ

View Profile
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2011, 12:23:30 AM »

Thanks.  I decided to submit a service request form instead of fighting the phones after the holidays.
Logged
ACY

View Profile
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2011, 02:01:47 AM »

Thanks.  I decided to submit a service request form instead of fighting the phones after the holidays.
That often takes longer than if you were to call.
Logged
DoubleDAZ

View Profile
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2011, 07:02:43 PM »

That often takes longer than if you were to call.

Had an email in my inbox this morning from Laura saying to just send it in and they'll take care of it.  I guess I'll do that tomorrow and see what happens.
Logged
ACY

View Profile
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2011, 08:14:03 PM »

Good to hear you got through quickly!
Logged
DoubleDAZ

View Profile
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2011, 09:27:54 PM »

Good to hear you got through quickly!

Thanks, I just took a chance that the holiday phone traffic might be heavy this week and maybe I'd luck out with email.  My guess is the response would have been the same on the phone, "send it in", so I just avoided wait time and phone tag.
Logged
DoubleDAZ

View Profile
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2011, 09:01:51 PM »

Loco is on its way to Philly via USPS Priority mail.  We'll see what they say and how long it takes.  Everyone has nothing but good things to say about Bachmann service, so I'm hopeful the results will be positive and in my favor.
Logged
ACY

View Profile
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2011, 09:16:39 PM »

Be aware it may take longer than usual, because everyone else is sending their locos in too, I sent a loco in last December and did not get it back until late February.
Logged
DoubleDAZ

View Profile
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2011, 09:21:32 PM »

Be aware it may take longer than usual, because everyone else is sending their locos in too, I sent a loco in last December and did not get it back until late February.

That's okay, not concerned about time.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!