Saturday, August 13, 2011

It's getting laughable with Lionel

I received my replacement BNSF ES44AC diesel engine from Lionel and carefully but eagerly unpacked it for a test run.  Initial inspection revealed 3 loose or broken pilot steps which I was able to glue back on.  The cab windows had small scratches and fingerprints, and overall the loco didn't look "brand new in the box."  Further investigation revealed a covered shipping label where it went to some other guy's residence in Michigan in January 2011.

After an initial lube and oil of the gearing, I gave it a test run.  Since my Legacy remote system is still at Lionel for repairs, I had to use my older TMCC remote.  The engine didn't respond consistently to commands, lurched when running, and exhibited the infamous "smoking coupler" as seen in this video:

Feature reset commands didn't help the situation with the antenna or signal issue.  The chain detail on the trucks had excessive slack, and the contact circuit board under the rear hatch had a stripped screw. Lastly, several contacts, circuit boards, and solder points had the appearance of corrosion of some sort.  Ultimately, it went back to Lionel for the 2nd time after spending a full 11 hours in the house.

I am now waiting for a 3rd replacement from Chesterfield, MI, and of course today my supposedly repaired Legacy remote showed up…and I have no Legacy engines to run with it.