Poor quality control

Discussion of N gauge model railway specific products and related model railway topics (problems and solutions). (Graham Farish, Dapol, Peco)
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michaelasc
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Poor quality control

Postby michaelasc » Sun Jul 10, 2016 3:25 am

As many of you know, I live in the USA so have to order my new stock from the UK and pay overseas shipping. This is something I am used to.

I just took delivery of a brand new GF 46122 and Royal Ulster Rifleman and a Dapol B17 61664 Liverpool.

The Dapol won't even move when power is applied to the track. The GF arrived with a broken connecting rod as seen here:

image01.jpg
image01.jpg (150.89 KiB) Viewed 2801 times


I am staggered at the lack of quality control at both Dapol and Graham Farish.

I hope everyone else has better luck this week as now I have to box them and send them back then wait for the replacements.

Michael
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Grahame
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Re: Poor quality control

Postby Grahame » Sun Jul 10, 2016 4:09 pm

It's pretty much accepted that there is little QC on just about everything (not just model trains) these days - it's often cheaper to simply replace the few defective ones that slip through rather than the cost of a massive QC 100% operation. And, of course, such physical damage (as pictured) could well have occurred in the post. Plus legally (at least here in the UK) your recourse, and initial contact, should be with the retailer rather than the manufacturer and it is their responsibility to replace, repair or refund (depending on what you want) goods that 'are not fit for purpose'.

Good luck.

G.

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michaelasc
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Re: Poor quality control

Postby michaelasc » Sun Jul 10, 2016 6:56 pm

Hi Grahame
agreed, it could have been damaged in the post especially as the parts were loose in the box. Fortunately for me I always buy my brand new sock from Hattons and they have an excellent after-sales service. I have already been in touch and they are happy for me to send the locos back to them for an exchange. They will be on their way tomorrow.

Michael
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michaelasc
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Re: Poor quality control

Postby michaelasc » Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:40 pm

Update: replacements arrived and the new 'Liverpool' was fine but the Scot once again had an issue with a part not connected. Rather than waste another 10 days getting a replacement I took it apart and fixed it myself. I understand the warranty is shot now but golly, how many times do I have to go through the loop?

Maybe I'm unlucky, I don't know, but I bought a brand new Dapol 38xx class just over a week ago and it doesn't run right either so it is on its way back to the UK for replacement.

This is 3 consecutive steam locos that have had problems and I getting a little miffed. After all, these are not cheap models.

How about everyone else? Are you having better luck than me? I need some reassurance that perhaps I've just been really unlucky.

Michael
This is not my circus and these are not my monkeys!

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Bufferstop
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Re: Poor quality control

Postby Bufferstop » Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:29 am

Michael, under UK sales of goods law any dealer who later failed to honour their responsibilities because a purchaser had previously corrected a minor problem would get very short shift from the courts. If the owner is expected to carry out some degree of maintenance, or to fit additional parts, (as in fitting a decoder in a socket or exchanging couplers) then reasonable action has to be allowed for.
As an example, if you buy a pair of trousers and your wife shortens the legs for a better fit, you are still entitled to replacement if after a couple of months the fabric starts to wear through on the knees. If a repair is within your competence, and possibly avoids further damage by returning the item to the dealer your warranty would almost certainly be upheld in court.
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michaelasc
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Re: Poor quality control

Postby michaelasc » Wed Aug 10, 2016 5:56 pm

Bufferstop wrote:Michael, under UK sales of goods law any dealer who later failed to honour their responsibilities because a purchaser had previously corrected a minor problem would get very short shift from the courts. If the owner is expected to carry out some degree of maintenance, or to fit additional parts, (as in fitting a decoder in a socket or exchanging couplers) then reasonable action has to be allowed for.
As an example, if you buy a pair of trousers and your wife shortens the legs for a better fit, you are still entitled to replacement if after a couple of months the fabric starts to wear through on the knees. If a repair is within your competence, and possibly avoids further damage by returning the item to the dealer your warranty would almost certainly be upheld in court.


Thanks very much for that update. This is very useful information.
This is not my circus and these are not my monkeys!

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michaelasc
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Re: Poor quality control

Postby michaelasc » Wed Sep 21, 2016 4:20 am

michaelasc wrote:Maybe I'm unlucky, I don't know, but I bought a brand new Dapol 38xx class just over a week ago and it doesn't run right either so it is on its way back to the UK for replacement.


Update: a replacement 38xx loco arrived with yet another fault which went back (for the second time). A third loco arrived and wouldn't run right at slow speed and went back again. Now they are out of stock!

This year I've bought 7 Dapol steamers and ALL have had to go back for replacement. I can't see me buying any more new Dapol steam locos right now and I think I will just concentrate on buying Farish steam for the time being. I love the look and feel of the Dapol ones and I'd really like to keep buying as I don't want to cut myself off from 50% of the steam market. The Dapol diesels are great and I have many of their DMU and diesel locos. I have no idea why the Dapol steam locos are running so poor. It's really sad.

Maybe it is something to do with the driveshaft between the loco and the tender. I really dislike that and because of it, I think, even the good locos make a constant whirring noise. On the other side of the fence, the new Farish Duchess, Fowler 0-6-0, Merchant Navy and A2 all run silky smooth and very quiet with no whirring from a driveshaft. Don't get me wrong as I've also had to send some Farish locos back but when I get a good one it is quiet and smooth. A good Dapol seems to have that constant whirring noise.

So, and I know I've asked before but is it just me or do any others of you have a problem with the latest Dapol steam locos? I need to know that it might just be me otherwise, as I've mentioned before, I'm done with buying any more. I've had no problems with the older Dapol 9Fs, Britannias and even the Austerity and Terriers run fine. My gripe is with the latest Manors, the 3800 class, the Halls, B17 and the Grange. I've bought at least one of every one of these this year and sent back every single one.
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Bramshot
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Re: Poor quality control

Postby Bramshot » Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:03 am

Hi. I echo your comments re Dapol. I am re-starting railway modelling in retirement and getting into N gauge. I have only two Dapol locos, a Class 56 and an A3. The A3 is tender shaft drive and gave nothing but trouble from day 1. It also sounds like a 'bag of bolts'. I don't think it's the drive shaft per se, if you disconnect the shaft and just let the motor spin without the connection you will probably find that it is fine at low speed but starts to vibrate and hits a resonance which makes the whole tender vibrate on the tracks. Also I think that the torque that is exherted on the tender by virtue of the drive method has a tendency to make it a bit unstable. I tried adding weight to mine to damp the vibrations and give more stability, but it didn't help much.

The 56 is also very noisy, but at least it works well and has tremendous pulling power. It doesn't need sound adding, already sounds like a diesel!

After much trouble and frustration with the A3 it has been scrapped. Life is too short.

All the Farish locos (a mix of A1, Ivatt, Jinty and Blue Pullman ) are nice and smooth, though I did have to return the first examples of A1 and Ivatt with the same problem that you opened this thread with. Not terribly impressed with the pulling power of any of these, except the A1 with two tyred wheelsets in the tender, which will go up a house-side.
Last edited by Bramshot on Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

LittleReggie
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Re: Poor quality control

Postby LittleReggie » Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:58 am

When I tried to get back into this hobby after last dabbling as a teenager, I perhaps foolishly expected everything to work a lot better than it did back in the 70s-80s. I realise now that I was very wrong. Although the models generally look really good, I have barely had one loco out of about seven I have bought that has not had running issues of some kind, whether it be screeching noises, clicking noises (perhaps in one direction only), jerky running, faults with electrical pick-ups - the list goes on and on. This is with several different manufacturers. It's put me right off to be honest.

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michaelasc
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Re: Poor quality control

Postby michaelasc » Wed Sep 28, 2016 5:51 pm

I'd certainly pay a little extra for locos to be tested at the factory or the dealer before they come out. I just bought a new car and these days there's no need to run them in because the engine gets bench tested and checked out by the dealer before selling.

The cost of modern locos is not cheap at way over 100 pounds for most locos, closer to 150 for some. If there was a dealer who opened a box, checked a loco out for cosmetic issues and then bench tested it I certainly would be willing to pay an extra 10 to 15 pounds for that service. This way locos would go straight back or perhaps even get adjusted by the dealer for optimum performance.
This is not my circus and these are not my monkeys!

Bramshot
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Re: Poor quality control

Postby Bramshot » Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:55 pm

Cars have benefitted from advanced materials, improved machining tolerances and better lubricants, I don't think there're bench testing.

However, local shops that offered the service you suggest would perhaps then have an edge over the 'big H' in Liverpool with their slightly lower prices. I' m sure some of them must be doing this.

jaym481
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Re: Poor quality control

Postby jaym481 » Fri Sep 30, 2016 1:31 am

There certainly isn't any routine pre-sale bench testing of car engines. What's happend is the "run in" period is now up to the first oil change.

I queried Hatton's about test running any locos I purchase, and they said they would do that, as long as I specified it in the notes to the order.

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michaelasc
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Re: Poor quality control

Postby michaelasc » Fri Sep 30, 2016 1:40 am

jaym481 wrote:I queried Hatton's about test running any locos I purchase, and they said they would do that, as long as I specified it in the notes to the order.


Now that's very helpful because I buy from Hattons a lot. I will have to make sure I ask them to bench test for me before they send it to the USA
This is not my circus and these are not my monkeys!

Richard Lee
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Re: Poor quality control

Postby Richard Lee » Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:01 am

When I bought a Hornby M7 from Hereford Model Centre a few years ago, they had test-run it and put a slip of paper in that confirmed it worked. I found this useful, as I live in Bulgaria.

http://herefordmodels.com/

Haven't bought any locomotives from them recently, but I bought a couple of coaches from them in the summer and found that they are still quick at sending orders out. Taking into account postage to Bulgaria, that order was competitive in total cost.

LittleReggie
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Re: Poor quality control

Postby LittleReggie » Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:06 am

I'm not entirely convinced about the test running idea. Granted, it would pick up issues with bits dropping off and locos dead out of the box, but some things only show up after a few running sessions. How long is a shop going to test a model for and how fussy are they going to be in rejecting it? They're not likely to spot a dodgy electrical pick-up on one bogie, for example, unless that is something they specifically test for. Personally, I'd rather the quality control was better in the first place. Maybe I've been lucky, but apart from a shaver that broke after a few months use, I can't remember the last time I purchased an electrical item that was faulty out of the box. With model railway locos it seems the opposite is true.


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