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Author Topic: Testing Engines- Dyno vs Track  (Read 763 times)
KYThrill

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« on: February 21, 2019, 09:33:44 PM »

Hello.  First post here.

I buy and sell train engines from time to time, and I normally just put them on a dyno (roller type with trolleys) and test them.  I run forward and reverse, check electronic functions, and create my descriptions based on what I observe.  Fast and easy.

However, I recently sold an old Bachmann GP50 and the buyer claimed it made a clicking noise in reverse.  Initially he left positive feedback, but then a week later, contacted me to complain.

Is there a chance there can be damage that you won't detect on a dyno, but that will show up if running on rails (or maybe only when loaded)?

In this case, the train had been wrecked, and there was cosmetic damage, as well as an interior light that didn't work after the wreck.  All of this was disclosed, but running on a dyno, it sounded as good as any old 80's Bachmann that I have heard.

Anyway, the buyer was very belligerent.  Immediately accused me of lying to sell a broken train.  I was trying to offer him things to check, like could the bulb have broken and a piece of glass in the gearing be causing the noise? Or could there be a broken bit of plastic in there that in shipping, got into the gearing, but wasn't when I tested.  Part of the damage was to some plastic bits that went into the body, so maybe a small piece fell through the hole to the inside of the body.  Could rough handling in shipping knocked a drive shaft out of whack?  Things like that.  It could be something simple to fix that just requires removing the body for a minute or two.

He also wouldn't tell me anything.  And he wasn't willing to look at anything I suggested.  Wouldn't tell me how loud the clicking was?  What was the situation (engine by itself, pulling a load, etc)?  Then when I told him again that I had tested it and had not heard anything, he got irate and accused me of calling him a liar.  I was trying to help and he just wanted to be a jerk.

So I'm done with him.  But if there is a problem with how I test, or defects that a dyno test might not reveal, I would like to know to improve my process.  I guess I had never stopped to consider the possibility.  Thought the dyno was just as good as running on tracks, and much faster to check. 

Now it does occur to me that if only one truck is driven, the non-powered truck wouldn't actually roll on a dyno, so bent axles or wheel damage might not be heard on the dyno.  Anything else?


Thanks!
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WoundedBear
A Derailed Drag Racer


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« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2019, 12:18:15 AM »

Cool story. Sounds like a whole lot of grief for a 20 buck, used locomotive.

Sid
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Len

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« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2019, 02:50:53 AM »

A clicking sound usually indicates a split drive gear, which may not show up until the locomotive is put under the stress of actually pulling a train. Replacement geared axles for the GP50 are available from Bachmann:
https://estore.bachmanntrains.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=68_202&products_id=5949&zenid=cdrllr4kh808lnqadbcmvjrh32

Or you could replace the entire truck or gear box assembly. Going to the parts page and entering "HO GP50" in the "SEARCH" box will get you the list of parts currently available. Gear boxes and truck assemblies, with different color frames, start around page 3 in the listing.
https://estore.bachmanntrains.com/index.php?main_page=advanced_search_result&search_in_description=1&keyword=HO%20GP50&inc_subcat=0&sort=20a&page=3&zenid=cdrllr4kh808lnqadbcmvjrh32

Len
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If at first you don't succeed, throw it in the spare parts box.
plas man

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« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2019, 04:47:14 PM »

best bet - as any good hobby shop usually has is a oval test track 0/H0/N/Z on a board the size of the 0 scale circle with other scales inwards . Forget rolling road except running in .
as mentioned above a split gear - and its not only older loco's , common on to-days products - if only Bachmann would sort out the problem .

plas man
 
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KYThrill

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« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2019, 05:44:58 PM »

Cool story. Sounds like a whole lot of grief for a 20 buck, used locomotive.

Sid

Yep, that was about exactly what it was, $21.  And if the guy hadn't been such a jerk, and had worked with me to try a couple of things, I would have gave him some sort of partial refund to cover the part, if we could have diagnosed what it was.

I guess that's what I get for selling wrecks.  A local collector had sold me a couple of Spectrum's and Bachmann Plus engines, and threw two wrecks into the lot (two collided at an intersection and derailed).  After testing, just appeared to be cosmetic damage, so I decided to sell them to get a few bucks back.
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KYThrill

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« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2019, 05:46:43 PM »

best bet - as any good hobby shop usually has is a oval test track 0/H0/N/Z on a board the size of the 0 scale circle with other scales inwards . Forget rolling road except running in .
as mentioned above a split gear - and its not only older loco's , common on to-days products - if only Bachmann would sort out the problem .

plas man
 

My nearest hobby shop is about 1.5 hours away.  The do have a test track, and also some slot car tracks setup the same way.

I live in the deep nowhere!
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Trainman203

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« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2019, 01:32:22 PM »

You know what ?  I would have given the guy his money back and let him keep the engine.  It would been worth $21, or more, to get rid of two turkeys in one swell foop.😆😂

Ive always advised against buying and selling anything operable in online auctions but I did break my own rule and buy 3 Bachmann decapods and 1 63” driver ten wheeler only because they aren’t available anywhere else anymore.  I examined the photos carefully and wouldn’t consider anything that even had any dust on it.  They all worked  but I feel like I pushed the odds and probably won’t do that  again.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2019, 01:34:23 PM by Trainman203 » Logged

Modeling the New Iberia and Northern 1945
Len

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« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2019, 04:56:43 PM »

When my repair shop was open, and a customer came to the counter with a loco in their hands, the five words I dreaded hearing the most were, "I bought this on e-Bay."

Len
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If at first you don't succeed, throw it in the spare parts box.
ACY


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« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2019, 08:25:51 PM »

My local hobby shop has the following policy regarding repairs, parts and servicing:
If you didn't buy it from him then then you are SOL. That is if you bought something online or mail order then he would not touch it or help you. He doesn't even really care at this point if he loses your business anyways as he is retiring at the end of this year or next year at which point the hobby shop is closing permanently.
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Len

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« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2019, 04:55:11 PM »

I was strictly a repair shop, not a hobby shop, so there was a limit to what I could turn down and still pay the bills.

Len
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If at first you don't succeed, throw it in the spare parts box.
TrainMan2001


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« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2019, 05:38:18 PM »

So what exactly would you guys suggest to do to get rid of older locomotives you don't have a use for?
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Bachmann trains are awesome. I hope they come out with Stepney one day.
Maletrain

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« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2019, 07:20:27 PM »

So what exactly would you guys suggest to do to get rid of older locomotives you don't have a use for?

Send them to Len? Roll Eyes
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Trainman203

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« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2019, 07:39:08 PM »

Donate them to a historical society for a fundraiser.  Or give it to a kid who can’t afford anything.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2019, 08:29:40 PM by Trainman203 » Logged

Modeling the New Iberia and Northern 1945
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