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Bachmann is turning me in to an enemy just real fast like
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 Posted: Fri Mar 25th, 2016 05:34 pm
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Kitbash0n30
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Bachmann is turning me in to an enemy just real fast like.
Over recent time, a month to a year, have now had a total of 6 HO locos and 1 On30 loco from Bachmann suffer mechanical or motor failures.
And one 0-6-0 turns out to even have had valve gear parts installed backwards at the factory; it appears they are binding. As I think I've previously said, my health is a mess, I don't have an operable layout at home, so things get run only intermittently at our club's layout. It ain't like I abuse them. And with as good as I am at fixing or otherwise sorting out things (but I don't touch DCC, that's over my head) the club guys, well, a fair part of the 18 members, call me "Doctor Scott". So, ya know, I'm not some ignorant hack model railroader wanna be, I know, usually, what I'm talking about.

Yesterday, replacement trucks for the WM GE 44 tonner that Mom & Dad got me a couple Christmases ago arrived. The white nylon drive axles had split to pretty near uselessness.
And ...
3 of the fresh out of the box from Philly brand new black nylon ones are split with the 4th looking to be headed that way.

Feel free to download and examine the photos https://flic.kr/s/aHsktFiA3x

I'd sent Bachmann a snail mail with annotated photos. And I said up front that I have an unfriendly attitude about this, I'm not a happy camper, that's a really high failure rate, 1/3 overall of the Bachmann locos I have, and 2/3 of the 0-6-0. Eventually there was a message from Bachmann on the answering machine. If they are less than a year old and you have the receipt, send in for replacement. Otherwise, send them in with most likely a $25 service fee.
And ...
Not a word about, gee, we're sorry our products have had such an overly high failure rate and have caused inconvenience.
Nothing.

And that brings money to mind.
Bachmann's gaffe on the SAL GP40 color, olive instead of lime, already cost my LHS about $300 in lost sales when I canceled order for second one and for 2 ACL GP30.
I was on FB at the time and messaged Bachmann, how do you make that gaffe in the 21st century with all the references available in 30 seconds on Google?
Such as this, http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=145916 which is the very same road number.
Eventually whoever it was from Bachmann that responded said that old line about how you can't please everyone all the time. My thought was, really? What an arrogant attitude. I may have actually said that. Probably did.

Anyway, I had just decided Wednesday to be kind and and forgiving and give Bachmann another chance with the new UP grey 0-6-0 and asked Mike to put in reservation with Walthers.
I dunno man, Bachmann is well on their way to preventing $400 from going in to Mike's bank so he can pay his bills and buy his groceries; and itty bitty LHSs out here in farmland need all the help they can get. Sad thing is that it isn't Bachmann who gets punished for their failings, it's an innocent party, Mike, and that too pisses me off.

Oooo baby was that a rant. Oh well, the foundation for it is documentable.



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 Posted: Fri Mar 25th, 2016 08:49 pm
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Mr Stumpy
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I'm no longer a fan of Bachmann either. Bachmann made it possible for me to do On30 much easier than when I built loco bodies over HO chassis. And early on their stuff was great! Well made, and well priced. I bought a lot of Bachmann stuff.

But somewhere along the line they "lost their way," and it seemed to have happened when manufacture was moved from Hong Kong to "mainland China." The gears failures are rampant and unending. They have taken advantage of adding DCC and sound to run prices through the roof. Some trade magazines put the failure rate of Chinese made toy and hobby defects as high as 25%!

The Chinese have a contractural law that allows them to "modify product designs" and keep any tooling brought into the country or made there, trapping manufacturers. One S scale maker "paid off" several officials there to get his tooling back and now manufactures here in America again. I have heard others are trying the same thing, or making new tooling here.

I didn't buy any B'mann after 2010, but broke my own rule and bought a 2-6-2 last summer in HO It ran for two weeks, then started making the dreaded "click noise" of cracked gear, and then died. I sent it to B;mann for repair/replacement, and never heard from them again.

I understand they are in financial trouble, and Kadar Toy is shopping B'mann around with no takers. Somehow, this doesn't surprise me.

Stumpy in Ahia:old dude:

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 Posted: Fri Mar 25th, 2016 10:07 pm
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NathanO
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Please remember that Bachmann is owned by a Chinese company. The parent company decides what, where, and how things are done.

Nathan

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 Posted: Sat Mar 26th, 2016 04:30 am
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W C Greene
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Goodness...sorry to hear all this. I own some Bachmann On30 locos and (I guess because I hold my mouth right) have had no problems with them. Maybe it's because I whack them apart and turn them into 1:35n2 locos...I don't know. After over 10 years heavy service, I ordered some new gearboxes & motors for the Shays from Bachmann, on the net, supplied my debitcard #, and in 3 days I got my parts. Over the years I have heard "Varney is crap", "PFM locos are overpriced", "Athearn locos sound like trash cans full of rocks", and other stuff. Maybe I am just an old, dumb dude and don't know nothin'. But that's my "experience".
Just thought I'd post another "viewpoint", my others are mostly negative. I ain't gonna buy any more anything...I'm too damn poor anyway.

Woodrow



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 Posted: Tue Mar 29th, 2016 07:14 am
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Kitbash0n30
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That count of 7 does not include 2 from a couple years ago -->
Chessie GP40 which was a Christmas gift along with the cracked axle 44 tonner had a DCC circuit board fire one afternoon at train club - Yes - a fire - complete with tiny yellow flame and everything. It was acting odd so I took the hood off to have a look, applied power, and cue magic smoke.
Managed to snap off a pic right quick; sent it to Bachmann via FB since I was a participant in FB at the time.
In the end I bought an aftermarket DCC board from a club member. Have yet to put it in.

And then there was the Chessie GP38 which developed a cracked u-joint or whatever it is called, meaning only one truck spun the wheels. I took care of that with parts from a WM GP35 which I had dummy-ified.

That's 9 failures out of 23 locos, most HO, one On30. I had been thinking a total of 22 but had forgotten the HO 4-6-0.
9/23, were getting real close to a 50% failure rate, folks.

oh, not included in either the 9 or the 23 is a train set FT from a set I'd bought on clearance at Hobby Lobby - entire set for $10, note that either the loco or power pack was bad.  I said, dang, just the individual price of 2 cars and caboose makes that a buy, and then there's the track circle and the power pack. If it is the loco, I can fix that myself. It was the loco, the motor. I have a notion to take that FT and one I got at a train show - it also isn't included in the 23, I'd forgotten about both till just now - I have a notion to see about getting flywheel can motors in them and then custom paint them for M&StL. Got the decals from Microscale last year.

"Got the decals from Microscale last year."??? Yep, I'm not real fast at things, just last week got roadnames and beginnings of logos on some On30 box cars of scratch bodies on Bachmann HO Thomas the Tank Engine Annie and Clarabell 4 wheel coach chassis - the cars were built while I worked at the several years gone HTUSA in Lee's Summit, MO, which means the cars were built sometime between 2003-2006.

Last edited on Tue Mar 29th, 2016 07:50 am by Kitbash0n30



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See y'all later, Forrest.
Screw the rivets, I'm building for atmosphere
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 Posted: Tue Mar 29th, 2016 09:16 pm
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Kitbash0n30
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Here in today's email was a notice about refund order on the cracked replacement axles for the GE 44 tonner's cracked original axles.
There's also a reply to the message with pics I sent about the issue: I haven't looked at that yet, my body is being difficult to get along with and I'm not in the mood. Drove about 10 minutes to the hardware store and back for a new sink drain garbage grinder splash guard, and learned that is all the driving I'm good for today.
Which means I'm probably not overly much good for X-acto knives today as well. Grumble, I was going to make progress on scratchbuilt cupolas a building for my part of train club layout, & installing caboose grab irons for John. Kind if wanted to have those done for open house Saturday.



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See y'all later, Forrest.
Screw the rivets, I'm building for atmosphere
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 Posted: Tue Mar 29th, 2016 09:24 pm
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Herb Kephart
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Relax--meditate--think of lazy streams flowing thru groves of trees.

This is supposed to be a hobby...........

Herb:old dude:



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 Posted: Wed Mar 30th, 2016 02:15 pm
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Kitbash0n30
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You do have a point.
With my health the multiple-cause mess it is; and no job, no family in area, pretty much what I have and have available to do is my two cats, and the trains and our little rural model RR club. And on account of that same health, I can do that one thing only about 2/3 of the time.



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See y'all later, Forrest.
Screw the rivets, I'm building for atmosphere
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 Posted: Thu Mar 31st, 2016 12:23 am
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Kitbash0n30
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Is that good news or bad news?
Looks like it makes the 44 tonner with the cracked axles un-repairable.

Dear Sir, I am sorry that the trucks with crack gears were sent to you. These trucks are discontinued and not to be sold. Please accept our apology. A refund will be credited to your card. Best regards,



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See y'all later, Forrest.
Screw the rivets, I'm building for atmosphere
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 Posted: Thu Mar 31st, 2016 07:24 am
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W C Greene
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You might check out NORTHWEST SHORT LINE for a gear replacement. They make them for some Bachmann locos and might have what you need. You also might actually call them and talk to a real person instead of some computer thing and the real person might know if they make gears for some other loco that would work. Good luck, don't be discouraged. Please let us know how this turns out.

Woodie



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