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Graham Farish Split Gears again


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If locos are supposed to be run every two weeks then I'm in real trouble. I have a quite large collection of N gauge locos, mainly Farish and a rather a small layout. I don't run all my locos on a regular basis. I can't believe I'm the only one.

 

Touch wood, I only have one loco with split gears, a class 33 diesel bought second hand. It sounds as though I have been remarkably lucky so far.

 

I have always thought that sudden stops and changes in direction might cause split gears, what do others think?

 

Could temperature have an effect on gears? If for instance a layout and locos were housed in a garden shed, loft or garage with extremes of temperature.

You have been very lucky, may be worth giving your large collection another spin time permitting and see if you are still very lucky! If you don't mind me asking what lubricating oil do you use? Interesting point to note, my Kato, Tomix and Dapol loco's are all run approximately the same amount, oiled the same way and stored together in my excellent Parkwood Arts Park 'N' Stack boxes. Only my Graham Farish Loco's suffer with split gears?? Pete 

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Despite some of the tabloid-esque gnashing of teeth, I don't think it's as endemic as some.

 

I definitely think temperature is a huge factor, would be interesting to know if people who experience it regularly store their locos (no apostrophes please!) in somewhere with significant temperature shifts.

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I use Labelle 107 which I bought well over ten years ago. The bottle states that it is compatible with plastics. I oil the locos very sparingly.

 

Most of my locos are Farish steam with plastic gears, the Farish diesels are a class 33, two class 37s, a Warship and a Deltic.

 

We live in an area with a relatively mild climate and the railway room is on the cool side of the house. When not in use my locos are stored in their boxes.

 

I will give all my diesels a run tomorrow - fingers crossed.

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Despite some of the tabloid-esque gnashing of teeth,

 

??

I don't think it's as endemic as some.

 

Based on what evidence?

 

I definitely think temperature is a huge factor, would be interesting to know if people who experience it regularly store their locos (no apostrophes please!) in somewhere with significant temperature shifts.

Like others have stated, my locomotives are stored in an invironment without any significant change in temperature! No special treatment or hot water bottles for my Kato, Tomix, Dapol or CJM locos! Oh and no split gears and that my friend is The Guardian, The Independent, The Financial Times of facts :-) Pete

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I recently replaced split gears on a second hand Farish Class 37. Rang BR Lines to order the parts, received from really useful advice on doing the replacement and the parts arrived in a couple of days. The job took just a few minutes and the old 37 is now back up and running.

I'm afraid it's something we just have to deal with!

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It's interesting that in the few days this topic has been active over 500+ people have viewed it. I would say a topic about split gears in Graham Farish locos is about as interesting as watching paint dry. Especially when it's a subject which has been talked about on this forum alone 80, no sorry now 81 times previously, it's a fact! This got me thinking does this mean that the majority of these views are from people who have had or are currently having problems with split gears in their Graham Farish locos? I know one person is currently unsure there is a problem, would be interesting to find out why they bothered to read the topic in the first place? If it didn't affect me I wouldn't have, life's to sort! I guess what I'm trying to say is if we are to stand any chance of Bachmann taking ownership and deal with their problem once and for all, we ALL need to take a bit of time to post our examples of split gears in our Graham Farish locos past and present how it affected us and costs to repair etc. Could someone post a message to fellow hobbyists on other forums about this topic giving as many people as possible the opportunity to have their say. If we fail to do this then I fear, this topic will just slip into the archives as it has the previous 80 times and it will be business as usual for Bachmann! Over to you Pete

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I gave my diesels a run and I'm relieved to say they are all fine. Some have not been run for at least six months. Not everyone will be able to run their locos every two weeks, I'm not sure how the man at Bachmann came up with his two week rule. Not everyone will be able to run their locos every two weeks, I'm thinking specifically of people with exhibition layouts that might be displayed a few times a year.

 

I think I have just been very lucky, I just wish the luck would extend to steam locos, my Farish SR class N has mangled valve gear and that's not going to be an easy fix.

Edited by daftbovine
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Obviously a few people have had problems but it's not a widespread issue as Bachmann have assured me that they don't get many people in contact with the service department. The view is that if locos are used regularly and maintained properly that it is less likely to be an issue.

 

The number of viewers of a topic is no indication of a quantity of people who may have a problem; people read all sorts of different topics to see what's happening within the hobby. I therefore wouldn't want to see a topic used as a campaigning ground to summon up the villagers with torches and pitchforks.

 

Some of those 80 topics you mention have absolutely nothing to do with split gears on Farish products so that cannot be taken as fact - there is a smaller number of topics which contain relevant content to the issue, it's just picking up permutations of content e.g. http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/86785-replacing-triang-Hornby-x04s-with-gearboxes/?hl=%2Bfarish+%2Bsplit+%2Bgears&do=findComment&comment=1479586

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It may be worth while for a group like the N Gauge Society to look at an alternative source of parts/mechanisms for discontinued Graham Farish locos. While the overall standard of detail and finished quality of the models have improved Bachmann still struggle with developing mechanically robust locos in a number of scales including G & On30.

 

One of the major issues is obtaining replacement parts especially motors and gears once a model is discontinued, as Bachmann do not re-stock once a part is sold out for a particular model.

 

I have had gear train failures with 4 Bachmann Large Scale Locos, 3 split nylon gears, one brass gear with severe wear and a broken tooth. I managed to source replacement gears/gear boxes & spares for 3, but final drive gears for the 1:20.3 railtruck have been unobtainable for 2 years although the model is still in the catalogue (very old stock).

 

North West Short Line produce replacement gears and drive trains for the US market, perhaps a British manufacturer may be able to offer a similar service for upgrading Graham Farish and Bachmann split frame OO Chassis.

Edited by John M
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It's interesting that in the few days this topic has been active over 500+ people have viewed it. I would say a topic about split gears in Graham Farish locos is about as interesting as watching paint dry. Especially when it's a subject which has been talked about on this forum alone 80, no sorry now 81 times previously, it's a fact! This got me thinking does this mean that the majority of these views are from people who have had or are currently having problems with split gears in their Graham Farish locos? I know one person is currently unsure there is a problem, would be interesting to find out why they bothered to read the topic in the first place? If it didn't affect me I wouldn't have, life's to sort! I guess what I'm trying to say is if we are to stand any chance of Bachmann taking ownership and deal with their problem once and for all, we ALL need to take a bit of time to post our examples of split gears in our Graham Farish locos past and present how it affected us and costs to repair etc. Could someone post a message to fellow hobbyists on other forums about this topic giving as many people as possible the opportunity to have their say. If we fail to do this then I fear, this topic will just slip into the archives as it has the previous 80 times and it will be business as usual for Bachmann! Over to you Pete

My examples are as follows:

 

A last but one generation class 20 bought brand new had 3 split gears straight from the shop.

 

A Warship now running on 3 axles due to split axle gear.

 

A 47 with the same issue.

 

A 57 same.

 

I have had problems with Poole locos as well but in the dim and distant past. I do have a fair collection of locos so this is a relatively small percentage.

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Obviously a few people have had problems but it's not a widespread issue

 

Based on? I have been collecting and running Graham Farish locos for 14 years I have had dozens of split gears in fact I could post a picture or the 21 I have now in a plastic bag named Graham Farish split Gears! I have also collected Dapol, CJM, Tomix and Kato items for the same length of time I've NEVER had to replace a single split gear, Fact!

 

as Bachmann have assured me that they don't get many people in contact with the service department. That statement fills me with confidence!

 

The view is that if locos are used regularly and maintained properly that it is less likely to be an issue. The Bachmann instruction leaflet makes mention of "regular cleaning and maintenance" does not mention anywhere "failure to run your Graham Farish Locos every two weeks could result in the plastic gears splitting!" I this has truly been the reason for this happening i.e. its us the customers at fault then it would have been nice of Bachmann to tell us officially? 

 

The number of viewers of a topic is no indication of a quantity of people who may have a problem; people read all sorts of different topics to see what's happening within the hobby.

I think that for people to read and decide for themselves

 

I therefore wouldn't want to see a topic used as a campaigning ground to summon up the villagers with torches and pitchforks.

 

No pitchforks or torches here Andy, just split gears and frustration, sorry there is a torch on my optivisor I have to use it now coz the old eyesight is not what it used to be! 

 

Some of those 80 topics you mention have absolutely nothing to do with split gears on Farish products so that cannot be taken as fact - there is a smaller number of topics which contain relevant content to the issue, it's just picking up permutations of content e.g. http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/86785-replacing-triang-Hornby-x04s-with-gearboxes/?hl=%2Bfarish+%2Bsplit+%2Bgears&do=findComment&comment=1479586

 

Thank you for the insight, like I said in my first post, I recently tested 4 Graham Farish locos, 3 out the 4 had 4 split gears between them? my locos are precious and well cared for. They are stored in stable containers in a suitable environment. Also this fault doesn't happen to any of my other makes? Am I really that unlucky? I also stated in order for Bachmann to accept responsibility there has to be the will, not only of individual hobbyists who suffer this problem but from the model rail press and society's which represent US. Unfortunately Andy's post demonstrates to me the will is not currently with the RM Administration Team? Pete 

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Unfortunately Andy's post demonstrates to me the will is not currently with the RM Administration Team? Pete 

 

I don't particularly appreciate that comment (or the fact that you try recruit an army) as I have discussed the matter with Bachmann (as I do many other issues that get flagged up) for their input (you may note that they do give responses through me to issues if there is something there).

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I don't particularly appreciate that comment (or the fact that you try recruit an army) as I have discussed the matter with Bachmann (as I do many other issues that get flagged up) for their input (you may note that they do give responses through me to issues if there is something there).

 

Hi Andy, I apologise I did not intend to offend. I will not let my frustration get the better of me in future, I value and appreciate this forum and in no way want to insight any conflicts.

Andy has kindly reactivated this topic so those of us who do have this problem can discuss and hopefully find a solution. Is it wrong lubricant, storage temperature, faulty part etc lets use this opportunity to discuss and see if we can find a common denominator. Pete

I had another look on BR Lines this time at their spare parts for sale. Interesting part No. GF2503 Pack of 4x 12 tooth gears £3.60 (Latest thicker gear) and Part No. GF2504 Pack of 6x 16 tooth gears £5.90 (Latest thicker gear) 

 

Does anyone know what the "(Latest thicker gear)" means? I hope I don't regret asking that question! Does it mean that Bachmann have already solved their split gear problem and produced a new tooling for a thicker gear that does not split? if this is the case then when were these gears produced and when did Graham Farish start using them in their locos? or are they a third party part? Obviously I cannot contact BR Lines today but would be very interested if anyone on this forum has the answer. Thanks in advance Pete    

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Hi Andy, I apologise I did not intend to offend. I will not let my frustration get the better of me in future, I value and appreciate this forum and in no way want to insight any conflicts.

Andy has kindly reactivated this topic so those of us who do have this problem can discuss and hopefully find a solution. Is it wrong lubricant, storage temperature, faulty part etc lets use this opportunity to discuss and see if we can find a common denominator. Pete

I had another look on BR Lines this time at their spare parts for sale. Interesting part No. GF2503 Pack of 4x 12 tooth gears £3.60 (Latest thicker gear) and Part No. GF2504 Pack of 6x 16 tooth gears £5.90 (Latest thicker gear) 

 

Does anyone know what the "(Latest thicker gear)" means? I hope I don't regret asking that question! Does it mean that Bachmann have already solved their split gear problem and produced a new tooling for a thicker gear that does not split? if this is the case then when were these gears produced and when did Graham Farish start using them in their locos? or are they a third party part? Obviously I cannot contact BR Lines today but would be very interested if anyone on this forum has the answer. Thanks in advance Pete    

The 'latest thicker gears' refers to the gears being of the later type that were considerably thicker than the previous Poole ones. I think this was in the hope they would not split. They do still sometimes split as we have noted, but probably less than the older ones did.

Edited by Elvinley
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I suspect that for Bachmann the splitting gears issue of GF models is a relatively small problem. After all, in comparison with the OO market, N gauge is small beer and then as it seems to only effect diesels so you can half that market again. Plus, of course, not all incidences of the problem get reported. I certainly dealt with it myself when, years ago, a large number of my Poole built models suffered, but all that doesn't mean it is not an annoying problem for many N gauge enthusiasts. And it disproportionately effects modern/diesel enthusiasts.

 

Bachmann have obviously accepted it is an issue by now fitting their models with thicker gears. However, although an improvement, it hasn't fully resolved the issue and rather than now ignoring it as being a small/minor issue, it might be better to reconsider and try to do something more about it.

 

G.

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It surprises me that Bacmann have never fixed this issue.

 

It seems pretty clear to me that this is an "inherent fault" as far as consumer protection legislation is concerned.

 

That means that it must be repaired or replaced free of charge within the first six years. The snag is that after the first six months you have to prove that it is an inherent fault (and messages on forums such as this do not count!); within the first six months, however, THEY have to prove that it is NOT an inherent fault.

 

Do other manufacturers have this problem?

Edited by D9020 Nimbus
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I suspect that for Bachmann the splitting gears issue of GF models is a relatively small problem. After all, in comparison with the OO market, N gauge is small beer and then as it seems to only effect diesels so you can half that market again. Plus, of course, not all incidences of the problem get reported. I certainly dealt with it myself when, years ago, a large number of my Poole built models suffered, but all that doesn't mean it is not an annoying problem for many N gauge enthusiasts. And it disproportionately effects modern/diesel enthusiasts.

 

Bachmann have obviously accepted it is an issue by now fitting their models with thicker gears. However, although an improvement, it hasn't fully resolved the issue and rather than now ignoring it as being a small/minor issue, it might be better to reconsider and try to do something more about it.

 

G.

 

I would have thought tender drive steam locos could also be afflicted. Thinking logically, anything where the gear is relatively small. Of course, I think most of the tender drives have the thicker gears.

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Am I really that unlucky?

 

I'd say so, yes! Or there are some other issues, as you're alluding to.

 

That means that it must be repaired or replaced free of charge within the first six years.

 

No it doesn't. You have a statute of limitation of 6 years to bring a case for 'not fit for purpose', but there is no hard and fast rule about how long something should last. Otherwise you could claim this on every product that doesn't last 6 years. We've already done this!

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Split gears are a fairly common but random ocurrance over the years and have afflicted various makers products at times, and I fear it is an issue that will continue to occur at times. I have read recently of Heljan Railbuses and 05's with the issue for example, but presume it to be just the odd loco. It's bound to happen now and then with moulded gears and especially when they are used as a force fit on a shaft/axle. It is most unfortunate when it occurs and isn't helped these days by the nature of current production where spare parts are difficult if not impossiblle to obtain.

 

On the one hand it does seem annoying that it should appear to be such a well known and frequent problem with Bachmann Farish/Graham Farish locos more than some others (or maybe there is just more publicity about it), but this does seem to have led to plently of spare gears being quite easily available with which to replace them. The cost of doing so might be an issue for some owners unable to effect the replacement themselves, but at least the opportunity to do so exists in some form. I feel very sorry for those where it doesn't and proves impossible to rectify one way or another.

 

Izzy

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Obviously a few people have had problems but it's not a widespread issue as Bachmann have assured me that they don't get many people in contact with the service department. The view is that if locos are used regularly and maintained properly that it is less likely to be an issue.

 

 

I have been collecting N gauge since 1992 until I switched scales last year.  During that time around 20% of my locomotives suffered split gears.  Most were out of warranty and were repaired by a friend or a good local model shop for a nominal fee.  I think only one ever went back to the service department, suggesting 'returns' are no guide to the problem.  In the end the failure rate was totally unacceptable and a major reason why I moved out of N gauge.  Paying over £100 for a locomotive that lasts just beyond its warranty is just not acceptable.

 

All my locos were kept in their original boxes and in plastic storage containers at normal room temperature when not in use.  Some clearly split in storage.  Some were always slightly sticky and split during operation.  I have also been to plenty of exhibitions where you can hear the characteristic 'clicking' of a split gear on layouts... something that always prompts a conversation about poor quality and materials control.

 

One of the problems with British N gauge is that manufacturers have never bothered to resolve systemic issues - split gears are the biggest for me, but clumsy, vastly overscale couplings that often 'droop' in their pockets are another bugbear and something that should have been resolved after about 40 years. 

Edited by fezza
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One of the problems with British N gauge is that manufacturers have never bothered to resolve systemic issues - split gears are the biggest for me,...

 

Well, they have sort of fixed this by adopting split frame with gears moulded on muffs for steam locos, meaning those gears are not going to split. And Dapol use a similar system for their diesels. Adopting a design where a problem can never occur is the best way to avoid it. Of course any design will have its weaknesses, so split gears will likely have been replaced by some other issue.

 

They could always go back to metal gears. All my continental Fleischmann locos have them - at least the ones which are true Fleischmann rathar than other makers bought in. It wasn't broke, so they didn't fix it.

 

Chris

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