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Stevelewis

Minitrains locos are they really fit for purpose?

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I am  just  in  the process  of  packing  and  returning  to  suppliers  2  Minitrains  Locos which  are  faulty:

 

 

 A 2-6-2    Baldwin    purchased  a  few  days  ago,  run  briefly on a developing  layout,  but  motor  failed  (powered   by a power unit  well within  the  recommended Minitrains parameters)

 

An 0-8-0 Brigadelok   delivered to me  today  and   found to  have  valve  gear on one  side  detached  and  flapping  around  AND  front  headlight detached  just  hanging on  by its  cables! So  this  one  did not  even  get  a  test  run!

 

Any comments?

Edited by Stevelewis

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I think you've been very unlucky there. The valve gear problem is a known issue with the first batch of Brigadeloks, it should have been fixed by now. I've not had any motor problems with any of my Minitrains locos, but a few others have, much like any other make.

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I think you've been very unlucky there. The valve gear problem is a known issue with the first batch of Brigadeloks, it should have been fixed by now. I've not had any motor problems with any of my Minitrains locos, but a few others have, much like any other make.

 

Since   writing  my OP  I  have  done  a  quick  check  with 2 others  I  know  who  have  purchased Minitrains  locos,    their total purchases between  them are 7  of  which  3  still function  OK the  rest  either  returned to  retailer  or used as  free running  locos!

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I've got 4 and all fine, not heard of motor problems before but as said there was an issue with the brigadelok rods.

I'd count them as very high quality and much more reliable than my recent Tillig locos.

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Perhaps it's those 2 particular models that are having issues? There seems to be just about zero issues with the HOn30 models. If there were, I seriously think they would have been, or be, discussed on the Yahoo HOn30 group, or the HOn30, 009, HOe facebook page.

 

I have of the Forney's, and one of the small F&C tender locos. It has only been test run, and is now waiting for a Toma conversion kit. The Forney's, however, have been run quite a bit, on my test oval.

 

Jim F

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I have  not looked  at  this  thread  for  a  while,  but  can  report  that the  retailers  from  whom  bought  the  2  locos  from  refunded  my   purchase  price  and  return shipping  costs  without  question,  both agreeing  tat  the  locos  were  faulty.

 

Approx  2  weeks  ago one  of  my  friends returned one  of  his  0-8-0s  with  valve  gear  failure this  was  also  like  mine  a  very  recent  new  purchase

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The majority of my 009 models (which number almost 50) are powered by Minitrains mechanisms with no mechanical problems what so ever...

Good to hear of the customer service from your model shop. 

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Help, please?   Just had my Minitrains Baldwin, with which I have no problem for years, decide to fail on me!   Power collection OK as headlamp lights, buzz from motor so power there.   Found driving wheels 'hard' ie. no slight movement with each wheelset.   Valve gear does not appear jammed or out of order.   Therefore is it down to a gear wheel out of sync in the drive train?   Has any one had similar experience to guide me out of this, please?   Colin.

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Possibly something has got jammed inside the geartrain in the chassis. There are a lot of small gears in there. Removing the keeper plate is only for the brave, getting those gears back in correctly is a nightmare.

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If it were a Farish chassis I'd be looking for a cracked gear. I don't know if those early Minitrains ones particularly suffer from that malady though.

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Thanks Nile and Bernard.   My gut feeling is that the one of the drive train cogs has got out of position (maybe cracked or tooth/teeth damaged) causing the valve gear to be out of sync.   I am not brave enough to take the keeper plate off!!!   To keep the service on "East Quay" going (Rye Works - Camber Sands West - Camber East Quay), Derails speedily got a Bachmann Baldwin to me so once named it took over the Minitrains  turns and runs a treat.   Fortunately the setting is second half 20th century so present restrictions do not apply to its traffic!   I will leave the Minitrains at the back of Rye Works until I pick courage to work on it further!!!   Keep safe, Colin.    

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My Minitrains chassis' are the most reliable I own but then I don't have a Baldwin so can't comment specifically. As mentioned above It certainly sounds like a jammed gear if there is no play whatsoever in the drivetrain. When I dismantle a tricky chassis I find it helps to photograph every single step so you can feel confident that you can retrace the dismantling process and refer back to each stage when re-assembling. Make sure you dismantle in a shoe-box or similar to contain all those tiny bits which may spring off to be consumed by the carpet monster! Good luck.

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Some extra hands would help as well, two just doesn't seem enough.

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Hi Coline 33

Been there and done that with my old Minitrains Baldwin. Same symptoms. I found that  the acetal? gear on the leading axle had split along its length down in the gap between the teeth. This causes the gear to slip under power and the quartering to go out of sync and so jam up the motion. You need to remove the keeper plate to confirm this.

I tried to fix it with a small drop of superglue carefully applied between gear and axle but it didn't work. I was fortunate to get a replacement set of wheels axles gears and motion through the 009 Society that solved the problem for me. It is a bit fiddly to fit the wheels and motion as you need to insert the piston rods in the cylinders, drop the axles in place whilst ensuring the pick up wipers go behind the wheels! You can do it if you are determined. There were rumours that a small supplier could supply brass replacement gears but these would require pulling wheels off axles, etc.I tried to follow up on this source but the trail ran dry......

Hope this helps you understand the issue but sadly doesn't offer you a way forward.

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Or as Nile says it could just be something simple like a piece of ballast wedged in the gears, most times when I've had that symptom that's what it's been... Only one way to find out, take that keeper plate off!

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