Sad Days Indeed - Intermountain Frame Rot

DCESharkman Apr 1, 2022

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

    9,337
    35,271
    131
    Having never suffered damage from this, the pictures here and in the link are shocking to me. I feel terribly sorry for those of you who are dealing with such. I'd guessed it was a frame corner or an edge here and there, but it's extreme and the end of the line for many of these units. :(
     
    BNSF FAN, Doug Gosha and mtntrainman like this.
  2. ns737

    ns737 TrainBoard Supporter

    722
    135
    25
    is the atlas frame the same as the IM TONNEL MOTORS?
     
  3. Kisatchie

    Kisatchie TrainBoard Member

    1,031
    1,322
    44
    I've had dozens of Atlas N scale locos over the decades, and I've never had a bad frame.

    Hmm... it's a bad frame
    if it has a picture of Kiz
    in it...
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

    2,975
    5,256
    69
    Even if castings are identical or even made in the same factory, there isn't really any predictability as to whether a frame will be affected or not. It all has to do with the formula/mixture of any given batch of Zamac with which a frame is made. The fault can't be detected by sight when the casing is new, only after a period of time.

    Some companies take much more care in their Zamac castings. Lone Star, for instance, manufacturer of Treble-O-Lectric trains, back in the early sixties, had virtually zero defects caused by deteriorated Zamac castings. It appears the same for Kato, these days. I don't think I have ever seen a bad Trix or Arnold frame, either.

    Doug
     
  5. ns737

    ns737 TrainBoard Supporter

    722
    135
    25
    the older frames had lead in them
     
  6. CSX Robert

    CSX Robert TrainBoard Member

    1,468
    581
    34
    With regards to Kato, I have never heard of them having the issue. What else is different about Kato? As far as I know they are still manufactured in Japan, right? Where are most others manufactured? Just sayin...
     
    Hardcoaler likes this.
  7. Metro Red Line

    Metro Red Line TrainBoard Member

    2,467
    566
    44
    I have an Intermountain SD40T-2. I haven't noticed this problem but I do know that Intermountain shells are so delicate, they can crack if you look at them the wrong way.
     
  8. jhn_plsn

    jhn_plsn TrainBoard Supporter

    2,456
    1,687
    56
    What year are these from. I bought mine around 2002 and have no issue, so far. I just reconditioned two but will take a look at the others to make sure.
     
  9. tehachapifan

    tehachapifan TrainBoard Member

    1,816
    656
    44
    IIRC, the Atlas SD50/60 frame, while similar, is not identical to the IM Tunnel Motor frame. I can't recall off the top of my head what exactly is different though.

    I have both models and will try to get some comparison photos of the frames in the next few days, if that will help.
     
  10. johnh

    johnh TrainBoard Member

    1,092
    32
    33
    IIRC, the wheel base is the same but the ends are shortened hence the relocation of the front screw. There were a couple of comparisons done years ago, looking forward to your findings.
     
  11. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

    4,150
    1,801
    74
    For the post - It was unfortunate that I made it on April 1, it is not a practical joke, unless the joke was on me for buying the locomotives in the first place.
    The reason I bought the IM locomotives was because they filled in the gap on the F-Units that Kato was not producing, and in some cases the SD-40/45 locomotives too. With the many locomotives here in California, and then a great number more at my place in Arizona, it is not possible to sit down in an afternoon and go through all of the locomotives. The large number I have already are units waiting to get decoders. All locomotives in Arizona already have decoders. With the advent of COVID decoders became scarce and nearly doubled in price, so it took a while to get back to installing the decoders and hence the issues I have found. It is affecting my F and FT units the most.
     
    mtntrainman likes this.
  12. ns737

    ns737 TrainBoard Supporter

    722
    135
    25
    wow. is that a shop price incress or on line? as i have not seen the incress here where i live
     
  13. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

    4,150
    1,801
    74
    TCS decoders went from $35 to $59 so close to doubling. Online saves about $5, but in many cases the decoders I need are only available at TCS at full price
     
  14. freddy_fo

    freddy_fo TrainBoard Member

    848
    2,906
    40
    Did you ever get a working cabcontrol in and working yet? I know the advantage of TCS is they make a drop in board but with some minor mods to an existing DC board and soldering you can get the ESU lokpilot in and every subsequent install gets easier. At around $30, better motor control and it's ability to be read into the cabcontrol automatically the extra effort to make those work may be worth it for you.

    I've done enough of these installs I can get one in and functioning in about 10-20 minutes. The lokprogrammer, if you don't already have one, is a highly recommended tool that makes setup from the PC a snap.
     
  15. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

    3,184
    3,086
    81
    David, since you need so many TCS decoders, you might think about setting yourself up as a dealer with TCS and get the dealer price. I know someone who did that. There might be a commitment for minimum orders but it sounds like you can easily satisfy that.
     
  16. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

    4,150
    1,801
    74
    Yes I did get a working CabControl, and I really love it! The reason I have been using TCS in the past and dropping Digitrax was because I needed to go to RailCom for semi-automated running of trains. I started using TCS when they first came out with Railcom and Forward and Reverse Trim because my layout was to cumbersome with the limits on the number of turnouts and a few other limitations that Digitrax had that made me need to split the layout into three separate sections and do some crazy wiring to let them sort of work together.
     
  17. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

    4,150
    1,801
    74
    I am shifting to ESU LokPilots and so I can have RailComPlus. Whatever I need that ESU does not have, I will use either TCS or Zimo. I am redoing my test layout to be all RailCom enabled before I do the same thing to my Arizona layout. On the locomotives with Digitrax decoders, I will just add a RailCom Transmitter to those sets of locomotives that are already speed matched. I am not going to convert all the Digitrax locomotives right away, just all new installs will be affected for now. I have a bunch of ESU decoders to start with and also about 30 Zimo decoders to replace old Lenz decoders in my first generation conversions to DCC that used the Silver mini decoders.
     
  18. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

    4,150
    1,801
    74
    Well I sent Intermountain and email about the situation just a few minutes ago. It was a civilized and reasonable message asking how we can remedy this situation. I will let you know what they say.
     
  19. urodoji

    urodoji TrainBoard Member

    412
    82
    19
    It would be nice if someone could cast them out of lead.
     
  20. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

    2,975
    5,256
    69
    What, and poison the entire world's population?! How DARE you suggest such a thing?!

    Doug
     
    Hardcoaler and Shortround like this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page