Motor mounting with Zamac Rot

Discuss Hornby Model Railway products and related topics here. This includes (Lima, Rivarossi, Jouef, Electrotren).
Bigmet
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Re: Motor mounting with Zamac Rot

Postby Bigmet » Mon Jun 08, 2020 4:13 pm

Firefly16 wrote:Why stop at changing the designs? Why not change the makers? In other words, bring production back to the UK...

That's Lyndon Davies declared long term aim: lifetime in the diecast toy business, owner of Oxford Diecast, and now MD at Hornby. To make ths work, assembly worker pay rates in China and other currently low cost manufacturing locations have to approach UK minimum wage. Then the question will be whether the workforce can be found, trained to a suitable standard, and retained for long enough, to make it economic.

I was engaged in very high added value physical goods manufacturing in the UK and Western Europe into the 1990s, and it was tough going. It was largely an ageing experienced manual skills workforce that allowed us to go on that long; because recruiting from the young was dire. They could see that the same money could be got for less effort in an office, with a carpet on the floor, wear your smart duds, flexible working hours including options for home working and strolling out for a two hour lunch easily negotiable, take personal phone calls any time, no shift rotations, etc. Those that joined and were good performers quickly enough made comparisons with their contemporaries, and went off for the better working conditions available elsewhere. The workforce disciplines involved in making a manufacturing plant investment pay, by keeping it fully loaded making product, is not that appealing to most; even to the Germans!

Firefly16
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Re: Motor mounting with Zamac Rot

Postby Firefly16 » Mon Jun 08, 2020 10:44 pm

Lysander, there's nothing I'd like more than to post a photo of my E1 conversion along with some of my other projects but ongoing laptop problems make this impossible for the moment. However, for an idea of what it's like, see my reply to your post 'Updating the venerable Tri-ang L1' on the Workbench page.

gunnadoogaz
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Re: Motor mounting with Zamac Rot

Postby gunnadoogaz » Sat Feb 13, 2021 9:40 pm

I am new to this thread, having only just discovered the Zamac Rot in the motor mount of one of my Hornby T9s.
Has no one considered making a claim against Hornby for a product that is "not fit for purpose" under British consumer protection laws?
Hornby should have been aware of the consequences of using this type of die-casting metal as a similar metal was used in the manufacture of their 0 gauge clockwork range back in the 1940s and 50s. The wheels on these locos disintegrated over time, much the same as the motor mounts. Although the disintegration of the mounts has occurred a lot quicker post manufacture.

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Bufferstop
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Re: Motor mounting with Zamac Rot

Postby Bufferstop » Sat Feb 13, 2021 11:50 pm

You are right Hornby knew about MAZAK/ZAMAK rot in the 30s, and during WW2 they made the Ministry of Supply aware of it when they were asked to make some parts for the RAF. The response was a team of top metallurgists who identified the cause, lead in the mix, and developed practises to make sure it stayed out. The problem has returned with the shift in production to the far east where the casting is often outsourced to what we would call back yard workshops who from time to time fail to keep the mix pure. What any manufacturer using diecast parts needs is a policy that recognises the problem and puts in hand a swift supply of replacement parts for any incident. It's having and operating such a policy that they should be judged on.
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gunnadoogaz
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Re: Motor mounting with Zamac Rot

Postby gunnadoogaz » Sun Feb 14, 2021 1:56 am

I suppose the real problem here is getting Hornby to acknowledge that there is a problem and that they will then supply a replacement part. Ha! What are the chances of that?
How good are the consumer protection laws in the UK?

The Peters Spares replacement may be an option for those in the UK but at 35GBP for postage to Australia it is not really viable.
Has anyone had a go at scanning an undamaged motor mount and 3D printing a replacement?

Bigmet
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Re: Motor mounting with Zamac Rot

Postby Bigmet » Sun Feb 14, 2021 8:37 pm

gunnadoogaz wrote:...
Has no one considered making a claim against Hornby for a product that is "not fit for purpose" under British consumer protection laws?...

All of Bachmann, Heljan and Hornby have had OO product fail due to 'Mazak rot'(as have several HO manufacturers). The UK's consumer protection is limited for this class of product, which are classed as toys, as compared to the greater protection afforded consumer durables and the like. All three manufacturers have exceeded what would be provided by strict compliance with the applicable consumer protection - which would be 'nil' - by supply of replacement parts or complete mechanisms for a limited period after the faults were acknowledged. So, not perfect, but better than nothing...

I would hope that with suitable hand held non-destructive test equipment now available at modest cost this problem can be screened out on receipt at the assembly operation before any contaminated casting ever makes it into a model.
Bufferstop wrote:...The problem has returned with the shift in production to the far east where the casting is often outsourced to what we would call back yard workshops who from time to time fail to keep the mix pure...

While the assembly operation would very definitely prefer not to have to engage in incoming QC, in my opinion the above factor probably makes this the best policy.

Bigmet
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Re: Motor mounting with Zamac Rot

Postby Bigmet » Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:50 am

gunnadoogaz wrote:...The Peters Spares replacement may be an option for those in the UK but at 35GBP for postage to Australia it is not really viable. Has anyone had a go at scanning an undamaged motor mount and 3D printing a replacement?

Part 2!
Never had a T9 to look at so had to find the diagram. This mechanism shares the mechanically inept design of motor securing with all the early 'newly tooled' Hornby steam tender loco models out of China, from their first half dozen years with Sanda Kan. I have a good selection of these, some now nearing 20 years in service on the layout, and have gone a different DIY route since I first saw the problem of the motor not adequately secured.

Nothing high tech, just used Evostick impact adhesive (original solvent type) to bond the motor underside to the chassis block over the full area that makes contact, and then given a week to fully go off in a warm location to ensure maximum bond strength. That relieves the screw on components from having to do any significant work, and 'so far so good'. If the motor ever needs replacement, then patient work with a scalpel blade and a little acetone will release it.

If you can find someone to scan the mount for a 3D print, get them to add material for a stiffer component if possible (no way of telling without the model to hand what room there is inside to do this). ATB

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PanzerJohn
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Re: Motor mounting with Zamac Rot

Postby PanzerJohn » Wed Feb 17, 2021 2:47 pm



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