Dapol n scale prairie

I've just purchased one of these and it runs fairly smoothly but does seem to 'tick', more in the forwards direction than reverse. Is this normal? I can accept that it isn't run in but I've bought new locos before and they are relatively smooth, but this is my first experience of Dapol n scale. Should I wait until it's been run in or send it back for replacement?


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As to whether this is normal Dapol behaviour, I don't know. It's found in larger scales, and pother mfrs' products, too.

The tick usually means one of two things:

a) the quartering is off a bit, and the slop in the siderods just sorta bunches up more in one direction than the other. As long as the engine doesn't lurch or stall, there's no serious mechanical problem, but the tick can be annoying.

b) there's a burr, or bit of flash, or a bit of dirt on one of the gears somewhere, and the driving gear hits it when going one direction but not the other. I've fixed this problem in an OO "Oliver" by partial disassembly and careful removal of the offending bit (a speck of black plastic that must have come off another part of the engine.) But disassembly of N scale locos is a tad tricky in my experience - I don't recommend it

On either case, the tick should lessen over time, but I don't think it will go away entirely. It's always worth returning a defective product in my experience. At worst, you get the same thing all over again. ;-)

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Wolf K.

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