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Sheffie

MA DD51-1059 too much shake/rattle, not enough roll

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Sheffie

I just received this locomotive from Hobby Search: https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10463628

...and it seems like it is badly broken inside.

  • It takes way too much juice to get it to move at any speed. I never push my controllers past the 12 o'clock point with any other train, but with this, is is only just starting to move at that setting.
  • It makes a louder noise than anything else, louder even than my E127 EMU, which caused me such grief when I got it.
  • It stalls. When it hits points, when it encounters an unfamiliar piece of track, when I look at it funny. It just stops, the lights die, and I have to push it.
  • It runs even worse in reverse! More stalling, lower speed, and the wrong headlights flicker on briefly.

 

Is this something I can take apart and look inside? It looks terrifying—there are screws on the underside, but they don't seem to release the top so much as make parts of the engine cover loose, and the cab seems to detach separately from the main bodywork—and it was more than $100 which puts a definite dent in my willingness to do anything other than go back to HS.

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Kiha66

Sounds like gears aren't meshing properly.  I had something similar in a club members kato PA where they had taken it apart and not correctly installed the driveshafts on reassembly.  If you feel comfortable taking it apart you should be able to get a better idea of the mechanism and where the binding and grinding could be occurring, or it might be best to contact hobbysearch and see if it can be exchanged for a working one or returned for a refund.

 

Unfortunately I do not have any Micro Ace products myself so I'm unfamiliar with the specifics of this mechanism.  Good luck!   

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Sheffie

I tried prying it apart, you know? I thought the sides of the bodywork would move out, and the whole shell would pop up and off. But no.The middle bends out easily but the ends feel super tight, like they're attached there by a secret latch or something. So I just don't know what to do. If I send it back and I could have fixed it by figuring out how to open it and putting a drive shaft into a universal joint properly, then I'd be stupid to pay to ship it back to Japan just so someone with slightly more knowledge can do exactly that. But if I try to open it myself and break something, I'm stupid again.

 

Days like this make me wonder why I have this as a hobby. It's just really discouraging.

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bill937ca
Posted (edited)

Micro Ace bodies can be glued in place. From what I have heard Micro Ace does not do repairs.

Edited by bill937ca
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Sheffie

 

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cteno4

Microace are a bit more of a puzzle box at times on how the come apart.

 

ma does do (or at least use to) repairs if sent back to them from the dealer. I have had a couple repaired this way years ago.

 

something is definitely wrong with this unit, you may want to contact hs.

 

all hobbies are going to have days like this, part of the fun...

 

jeff

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Sheffie

I have contacted HS. Let’s see what they will offer. 

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Sheffie

I’ve mailed the train back to Japan. Hobby Search said that Micro Ace would repair it, and they will reimburse me for shipping. So, it isn’t going to be fast, but it should get sorted out eventually. 

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Sheffie

This is bad. 

I just received this from HS. 

 

 

 

Thank you very much for your reply. 

The manufacturer has just called back. They told us your DD51-1059 
has been found to have so much wear on the wheels and dust and dirt 
in the interiors that they are not going to do the repair job for free. 

According to them, what your car really needs is not repairing but cleaning. 
You reported that the car makes noises and frequently stops while running, 
and they think that dust and dirt drown up into the interiors while the car 
was running, must be the cause of those seeming defects, and that cleaning 
the interiors would reduce noises and make the car run more smoothly. 

And they reported that the lights did come on on the right end of the car 
when they had it run on their circuit. They said they are not sure why 
the lights were on on the wrong end in your YouTube video, but that 
possibly the cause is the same as the noises and the car stopping. 

You reported the car had defects, but now that they have been judged not 
to be defects, we cannot take care of the shipping and cleaning costs anymore. 
We will not refund the money you paid when shipping the car to us.
We will only pay for returning the car back to you. 

Please write back by September 12, Japan Time, and tell us if you pay 
3,000 yen to have the car cleaned up. If yes, we will send you a 
payment request so you can pay the fee. If no or you fail to reply by 
the deadline, we will just have the car back and send it to you. 
Thank you very much.

Sincerely Yours,
Hobby Search Customer Support

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Sheffie

My reply:

 

 

There must be some mistake. 

I purchased this car from you brand new. I had run it for less than two minutes before making the video. 

Somebody must have made a mistake here. 1. Possibly the car you sold me wasn’t in fact new. Perhaps the item you sold me was a refurbished or used model. 
2. Possibly the manufacturer has confused my car with a different model from another customer, and they are reporting on that. 

One thing is certain. I was not in possession of the car for long enough for it to have accumulated a significant amount of dirt or wear to cause the problems shown in the video. 

Your own records should confirm the date of purchase and the date of delivery and the date of my initial complaint to you. 

Please check your records and get back in touch with the manufacturer. I will not accept any further expense associated with this item. I paid for a new locomotive and I expect to receive one, in good working order — or a full refund of all my expenses. 
 

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katoftw

Wow that sounds painful.  Hopefully a good outcome arises.

 

Did you pay using paypal?  An option as a last resort if all else fails maybe?

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Sheffie

Yes, I did use PayPal. That’s a good idea. Thanks 

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chadbag

Based on a note in the Hobby Search topic in the Suppliers section, they are closed from Sept 10 -- 20, so you may be waiting a week and a half for an answer.

 

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Kiha66
38 minutes ago, chadbag said:

Based on a note in the Hobby Search topic in the Suppliers section, they are closed from Sept 10 -- 20, so you may be waiting a week and a half for an answer.

 

I believe they were closed for Aug 10-20th, as far as I can tell they should be available this week.  Whether they respond promptly is another matter...

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Yavianice

Dumb question maybe, but isn't the thing covered in warranty? Even if you run it normally it will get grimy... doesn't mean that it should break. Not that I say that you did that, but even if you would have, wouldn't warranty cover that? Or don't they offer warranty?

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katoftw
2 hours ago, Yavianice said:

Dumb question maybe, but isn't the thing covered in warranty? Even if you run it normally it will get grimy... doesn't mean that it should break. Not that I say that you did that, but even if you would have, wouldn't warranty cover that? Or don't they offer warranty?

It was sent back for a warranty job. MA's response was it is very dirty and will not cover warranty costs. Sheffie has used the train for less that two hours run time. Hence the very dirty response doesn't make sense.

 

I had a Tomix shinkansen that ran very similar to Sheffies issues. The motor car had so much excess grease applied, that it had flicked up everywhere onto all the copper springs and strips. It had collected some dust.  A clean solved my problems.

 

I' d hazard a guess the Sheffie unluckily got an over greased train also. Hence the poor running and dirt build up.

Edited by katoftw
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Sheffie

In my case, I only ran the locomotive for a couple of minutes. There was no point in running it for longer—as you can see from the YouTube video. 

 

Im very happy I made that! It’s dated August 1, which is the same day I got delivery of the train. Thanks to tracking numbers, I have proof that the engine was bad on day one. 

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cteno4

Microace has had a habit of over greasing or no greasing in my experience. It’s usually been no greasing in my experience but I have had a couple that sputtered after quite a bit of running and I was surprised how much grease (and then associated schmutz) was in them to be cleaned out.

 

hopefully they will push back on microace that the train being there only one day there was no way to build up that much crap. But over greasing will buck up crap fast. Also run a rag on your tracks as they can really get splattered. This has happened on the JRM layout when an overgreased train has been run for just a short bit. Obnoxious to clean off the rails and such.

 

jeff

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chadbag
5 hours ago, Kiha66 said:

 

I believe they were closed for Aug 10-20th, as far as I can tell they should be available this week.  Whether they respond promptly is another matter...

 

Yes, my bad.  I mis-read the note in the other topic.   Thanks for setting the record straight!

 

Back to your regularly scheduled programming.

 

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Yavianice
10 hours ago, katoftw said:

It was sent back for a warranty job. MA's response was it is very dirty and will not cover warranty costs. Sheffie has used the train for less that two hours run time. Hence the very dirty response doesn't make sense.

 

So this classifies as user error? And thus isn't covered by warranty, even though the item was purchased within the last year? That's my issue with this whole debacle. If the item breaks because you used it, it should be covered under warranty. Unless you drop it or alter it. Stupid if you ask me.

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cteno4

Most warrantees cover manufacturer defects and errors and exclude normal ware and tear use of the item. Couldn’t expect to return s train that has worn out from running 24/7 for months.

 

I think they thought the problem was running in a dirty environment to pick up a lot of gunk, but obviously could not have happened in a day. Heavy overgreasing I would call a manufacturing error (if that’s what this was).

 

jeff

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