Sad Days Indeed - Intermountain Frame Rot

DCESharkman Apr 1, 2022

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  1. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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    Yikes!!! Those are some really sad photos. Such a nice decorated/detailed shell but such a scary frame. After seeing those photos, I would probably remove all of the shells from my locos at any time they are in storage. Yeah, that's a really crappy way to operate....
     
  2. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    If you ever discover a bad chassis with the shell still on it, get the shell off ASAP because the chassis is not going to get better and will eventually crack the shell.

    Doug
     
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  3. Hoghead2

    Hoghead2 TrainBoard Member

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    Wow, that's my A units and one tunnel motor checked. All good. Oddly the chassis metal in my FP7a is extremely shiny, but my F3a's are very dull.
    B units and one tunnel motor in hiding to check.
     
  4. brokemoto

    brokemoto TrainBoard Member

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    YUKK-0!

    Those look worse than some Rivarossi chassis. Thar' oughtta' be a LAW!

    I did not check my undersides. I simply put mine onto the track. They ran well, so I assumed that there was nothing amiss. I will have to check once more.

    Am I the only one to notice that we have seen this complaint only for western road names? The reported road names on the sour units are D&RGW, SP, NP, ATSF. Original Poster did mention Southern units, but did not mention if those were among the defective units that he discovered. I am asking this not to poke fun at anyone or anything but to learn if it is confined to the western road names. Has anyone had this problem with the eastern, midwestern or southern road names?

    Does anyone know if any HO modellers who purchased IM power have seen similar problems?

    I first read about this problem with the SD-40-2s. At the time, I was not too worried as that model is FAR out of my era so never would I buy one. I do not know in what road names IM sold them as I have no interest in that prototype. I am aware that some eastern roads bought some used from the western roads, but do not know if IM sold those road names.

    A few years past, I sold off my NYCs, Penns, WMs, Readings and even a few of the B&Os. I kept only some B&O F-7s and a NYO&W FT pair. About two or three years past, I bought a used NYO&W F-3 at a show. Once the Original Poster put up this topic, I put all of mine onto the track. As they ran as well as they always have, I assumed that I had no problems.

    In IM's defence, I will state that I did have some problems with what turned out to be factory overgreasing on some of the FTs. The grease got all over the parts where there was supposed to be electrical contact and compromised said contact. IM did step right up and address the problem. From what the IM Official told me at the time, it appeared that they were having some problems getting their wishes across to the factory in China.

    Despite the above, I will have to thank Original Poster for alerting us to this problem. I shall have to consider future purchases of IM power very carefully. Further, I shall have to keep an eye on the IM power that I do retain. I do, however, have no problems with their freight cars.
     
  5. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    What... a manufacturing conspiracy against the western roads!

    HMM... you know those Chinese laborers were abused while they were building of the 'western' side of the Transcontinental railway. Maybe the current generations making our trains are getting back at us???

    Nahhh... LOL... every manufacturer would be affected.
     
  6. Hoghead2

    Hoghead2 TrainBoard Member

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    Funny it should be mentioned, but none of mine are Western Roads, could it be confined to batches made of specific roads?
    Could be an ancient Chinese curse tho'...
    "May you live in interesting times" is an English expression that is claimed to be a translation of a traditional Chinese curse. While seemingly a blessing, ...
     
  7. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Most likely confined to a specific manufacturer release. Since some releases are targeted road, that entire release would be affected, not just a specific road.
     
  8. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    I only have one from the 90s. An SW1200 from Con-Cor. With a non motored B unit. I don't see any indication of that described and it got stored in a barn for two years.
    Just that it has funky couplers.
     
  9. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

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    I can dispel the Western Curse - I have NYC and B&O included in the box of dead units. They are F3's.

    Seems to me that this would be a great time for Kato to make a huge profit taking over the F unit market! All they need is different paint schemes, they have the drive units and the shells, seems like a no brainer!
     
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  10. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    A dull, dark appearance of the Zamac, although not necessarily a definite sign of further deterioration, it is a bad sign and needs to be watched.

    A mild discoloration is merely a sign of oxidation but that darker "dry" appearance is a danger sign. If there are any cracks, at all, that's it.

    Doug
     
  11. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    I guess they were all F3A units... not F3B units.
    I did not find any of my F3B units having a problem (yet??).

    Kato has been doing a bunch of F units lately. I got Rock Island F2 A/B set in simplified Rocket scheme a few years ago. Recently got an F7 A/B in the Northern Pacific pinetree freight scheme.

    Funny thing about my Kato locomotives is I never have checked them for zinc rot... even now I haven't open any of their boxes to inspect them.

    I guess if any of their locomotives got zinc rot... Earth would simultaneously self destruct.
     
  12. Carl Sowell

    Carl Sowell TrainBoard Supporter

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    David,

    I think that all KATO needs to do to take over F units market is to announce, produce, and deliver in a timely manner. I gave up on IM several years ago.

    Best wishes to you Sir,
    Carl
     
  13. brokemoto

    brokemoto TrainBoard Member

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    That does dispel the "myth". As I recall, IM issued the B&O F-3s in the eighty series numbers. These were early phase units for passenger work and the Bs were the only F-3Bs that B&O had. IM was going to issue its NYC F-3s in the DCA-1 pint but went with DFA-2 class paint instead. NYCS had both early and late phase F-3s. As I recall, IM's were early phase. I did not buy the B&Os as I had, at the time, five sets of Katos (I changed the numbers on two of them). I had stopped buying NYCS equipment at the time, so I did not but those, either.

    IM did issue late phase F-3s. I had a Penn A-B set that I sold. The NYO&W is also a late phase F-3. Mine is not showing problems. In fact, it still has most of its shine on the underside.

    The point of all of this is that I wonder if this problem is confined to certain issues such as certain runs of FTs, the early phase F-3s and certain runs of F-7s as well as the tunnel motors.



    They would have to offer different phases. This is one thing that did impress me about IM: it is the only one in N scale to offer late phase F-3s. IM also has the shell parts to make certain oddities, such as the WM F-3s that were rebuilt into F-7s. You would need the F-3 with the high fans then add the F-7 grilles. The other choice is to buy a complete F-7 shell, but the high F-3 fans, take out the stock F-7 fans and swap in the F-3 high fans.

    IM did not mind selling parts to bashers. Kato does not like to do this.

    If Kato would offer the various phases and offer the parts it would, indeed, gain more than a few customers. The products are well made and run well. There have been a few alterations over the years, but they always have resulted in improvements.

    My IM F-7B units will slide off the chassis if I am not careful. The As are a little loose, as well. I do not see this in the F-3 (the only one that I have left) or the one pair of IM FTs that I have left. I always did like the MT FTs better.
     
  14. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

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    Well the test Kato/IM is a no go. An Intermountain shell does not fit on a Kato drive unit. The Kato drive is too wide for the Intermountain shell. I guess you could mill the sides down. It may be less work to just repaint tha Kato shell rather than all the milling.
     
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  15. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

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    Well after a lot of soul searching and a lot of frustration, I have decided to remove all Intermountain locomotives from my inventory. The straw that broke the proverbial "Camel's back" was that my AC-10 Cab forward also suffers from the frame rot. And that hurts even more since I had a sound decoder and additional lighting installed. So I have to check with California law now on metal waste like this, knowing California's lust for money there will be a large fee for the disposal. So the Cab Forward and the Funits and the SD40's are all headed to disposal. I just can not trust that units that have not suffered frame rot yet, will not suffer from it some day. So they all have to go. Sorry folks I am not even going to take the time to part out anything, I know there was a request for handrails, but I just do not have the time to deal with parting out. I have too many other things going on in my life other than trains to deal with. Sorry guys.
     
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  16. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    That is very sad news, David. What a dreadful loss. :cry::cry::cry:
     
  17. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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    Before you dispose of the lot, check my PM message.

    Likewise, consider listing the complete lot of locos "as is" on the Swap Meet.
    Perhaps you can sell them all to one individual - worst case for the cost of postage - and then not have to worry about environmental disposal issues/costs.
     
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  18. Allen H

    Allen H TrainBoard Supporter

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    Well that just sucks the big one David! I'm sorry to hear that.
    I've got a few IM units myself which I have checked and so far no rot, but have not checked them all.
    It's too bad it happened with company, they have always been what I felt is a good company to deal with.
    I've had so many good run-ins with them that I've always supported them.
    I know they seemed to always have a dark cloud over them from the start, what a shame.

    I know when a buddy picked up one of their F units, I fell instantly in love with those F's, so much so I dumped all my KATO F's (except a few that were finished). IMHO, they ran and looked so much better and were easier to work on than the KATO F's.

    I just hope mine stay away from the ROT.
    Thanks for posting your frustrations David and keeping us posted.
    Allen...
     
  19. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    OMG!!!!!!!!!!!

    I own 6 of the cab-forwards. 3 AC12, 1 AC11, 1 AC10 and one AC8.

    I never expected this to be an issue with those models... and I haven't looked or run them since acquired. They are beautiful models of the prototype. I am now more sad than ever!!!
     
  20. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    I feel the pain. I lost 70% of my operating locos due to cracked gears and split axles and came close to leaving the hobby.
     
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