Atlas: #%^&*+!!!



Any thought to posting this on the Atlas Forum? You might get more than a few ideas...
Paul A. Cutler III ************* Weather Or No Go New Haven *************
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wrote:

I know this isn't the answer you want to hear, but ever considered using that model as a background model on your layout? Just have it parked on a siding or in a loco terminal or something. Could you possibly get a new SD35 in whatever road name you could find inexpensive and swap the shells?
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See "paperweight", above.

No room.

Sure. But why would I want to buy a locomotive that I *knew* had a defectively designed drive train that was likely to break down all over again?
-Pete
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wrote:
>> Could you possibly get a new SD35 in whatever road name you could find

I thought you said they'd redesigned the drive, correcting the problem, but that finding the replacement parts for older units was hard. If that's the case, then buy a newer unit and replace the shell.
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But why would I buy another engine from a company that admittedly marketed a defective product and then refused to stand behind it when things went south?
If they'd do it once without apology, they'd certainly do it again!
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Every era seems to have its life-limiting issues. Almost no Dorfan survives due to disintegration of the die cast alloy they used. Some batches of prewar Lionel had similar problems (warped bellies is a common problem on the O-72 City of Salina sets), as did a lot of postwar John English, and to a lesser extent Ulrich and early Mantua and Roundhouse.
I find the problem of the plastic era is splitting of drive components made from the tough Nylon - Delrin - etc. type engineered plastics. A high percent of the RoCo made Atlas O scale F-9s I have encountered have cracks in the axle gears. It is as if the parts were designed with too tight an interference fit between the gear and the half axles, and/or these plastics become more brittle with age. The crack starts at the axle, but radiates out through the gear, resulting in one pair of gear teeth with an extra large spacing that results in a "clunk - clunk - clunk" as it runs (if it runs). Fortunately, these F-9s have hubs on the gears, and I have been able to repair them by putting collars made from K&S nesting brass tube around the hobs, then reaming out the axle holes for a less tight fit, and reassembling. I have had the same problem with a variety of Bachmann items - a G-gauge trolley and several of the Chinese made split chassis HO locomotives. Unfortunately these don't lend themselves to repair. I have not found Athearn to have this problem, but they seem to have used a less exotic plastic for their drive components.
I wonder if the problem 30 years from now with the current generation of models will be electronic? (How many people can still read and have software that can interpret the data on their old 5.25" floppies, or play 8-track tapes?) If one wants models that will have prolonged service life, I think brass is the sure bet. The worst I've found is disintegrated foam packing that has ruined a couple paint jobs, and dried out rubber tube couplings between the motor and worm. Geezer

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