MTH Ho Trains

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hamltnblue

Active Member
You can just google it but Home depot should have it.
We just did it for a kid at the club last night. He had a Bachmann steamer whose pilot spent more time off the track than on. One of the members had some lead in his tool box and had it fixed in about 10 minutes.
 

hamltnblue

Active Member
Oh and you might have to paste a small label on the loco saying that the loco contains lead and has been determined in california to hurt zoo penguins or something to the effect. Your call :D
 

Motley

Active Member
Thanks for confirming my idea, if MTH can't install a stronger spring, then I will just try that lead tape on the trucks.
 

hamltnblue

Active Member
It's actually what Cjcrescent was getting at. There are dozens of things that can be done to loco's and rolling stock by the average Joe to make things run better. Now and then you'll see an idea thrown out regarding repairs or fixes. Best thing is to make a note of it somewhere. You never know when it will affect you.
 

Cjcrescent

Master Mechanic
I have no idea how to fix it, what am I supposed to do, pull a rabbit out of my hat? I paid over $500 for this thing, it better work...flawlessly.
If you're paying $500 for a MTH loco, maybe you'll do better pulling a rabbit out of your hat.

So let me get this straight, you go buy a new HD TV at Best Buy and spend $1000, take it home and it stops working, are you gonna fix that your self? Or are you gonna call the manufacturer and have them fix it?
No I wouldn't, no without some good old fashioned research. But yeah, I'd let someone who knew what they were doing get into it. But I still wouldn't return it to the manufacturer at my expense. I'd either get the store to come get it, and fix it, or come to the house and fix it.
It's one thing to tear into a hobby item, that you've learned over the years how to repair vs something that you've never even seen before. I would use a more realistic example in the future

Don't tell me "This is part of the hobby". I spend thousands of dollars on all the high end stuff, and I have to return a lot these items due to manufactures defects. Don't ask me what and how many, but over the past year it's been quite a few. Caboose Hobbies my LHS returns the items with no problems after I show them what's wrong.
Then maybe your buying the wrong stuff. And yes I'm going to tell you that its part of the hobby, learning how to do minor tweaking and repair. So if a new hopper car has a busted stirrup, are you gonna get on here and complain, or are you gonna fix it yourself and in the future remind yourself to check for this kind of damage.

Sorry, but I expect to get my moneys worth. Talk about what is frustrating with this hobby, is exactly this. I'm new to the hobby (since childhood) for about a year. And yes I buy RTR stuff, and I expect it to work. I can do minor adjustments on rolling stock, replace couplers, etc. No big deal. But when my brand spanking new steam engine derails because of the lead trucks, then shorts out the system, then the decoder fries and goes completely dead. Now I have to wait almost 5-6 weeks before I get it back.
Uhh, I expect to get my money's worth as well. But at least if you have spent "thousands" as you claim on these locos and you have to keep sending them back, I would have least have learned which brands to avoid. But if you do keep pouring "thousands" into those locomotives, and you don't learn to tweak them when they are new and repair them yourself when they get older, you'll continue to be greatly disappointed.
 
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diburning

AlcoHaulic
No I wouldn't, no without some good old fashioned research. But yeah, I'd let someone who knew what they were doing get into it. But I still wouldn't return it to the manufacturer at my expense. I'd either get the store to come get it, and fix it, or come to the house and fix it.
Well, if you bought a TV at Best Buy, and it stopped working after a week, then would you expect them to come to your house to pick it up and exchange it? (I'm using Best Buy as an example because their customer service blows). Of course not. They'll exchange it for you if you bring it back, but they won't reimburse you for gas for your trip back to the store.

Buying anything online or in a physical store has some risk to it. Whether you're paying return shipping or for gas, theres always a cost involved to return/exchange it.
 

Cjcrescent

Master Mechanic
...

I just bought a new car yesterday. Now I own a auto repair shop and I can repair it but if the engine goes bad under warranty damn right I will take it back to the dealer.

You buy cheap stuff then I see your point. Some us buy quality high end so that we can enjoy running them, not working on them.

Like comparing a Chevette to a Mercedes
If you can do a better repair than the dealer, then you're still gonna let him do it?

A wise man once said, "Cheap is not always defined by price, and expensive doesn't always mean quality". If you had to ship that car back to the dealer because he's in another state or country, or that it would take 4-5 weeks or longer to repair, would that make a difference in whether or not you repaired it yourself?

I always look several years down the line when deciding on a new loco to buy. I look at how easy is it to take apart for repair, how has their quality been as judged by others, and what has been their record in the past.

All I'm saying is, if you don't learn to do these minor things yourself, and from the minor tweaks and repairs go to the larger ones or stop buying from a company because of their cheap part quality or their need of frequent repair, then you always will be disappointed.
 

Cjcrescent

Master Mechanic
Well, if you bought a TV at Best Buy, and it stopped working after a week, then would you expect them to come to your house to pick it up and exchange it? (I'm using Best Buy as an example because their customer service blows). Of course not. They'll exchange it for you if you bring it back, but they won't reimburse you for gas for your trip back to the store.

Buying anything online or in a physical store has some risk to it. Whether you're paying return shipping or for gas, theres always a cost involved to return/exchange it.
I thought the Best Buy was a poor example, but thats beside the point. But before I buy anything like that I always find out how their warranty service is to deal with, I also go online looking for quality issues of the item, and what the service history is. If the company who makes it says they will come to the house and fix it, but the store says they won't, I don't buy from said store. If the car dealer doesn't have a locally free towing service to their repair dept, I don't buy that car. (There's quite a few dealers here who still do this.) I have bought many things from stores here that still do offer to come out and fix them under warranty. I don't have to worry about transport at all.

But buying a car, or heavy appliance isn't a model train. If your going to compare something, compare like items. There are many resources both on/offline for tweaking and repairing locomotives. All you have to do is be willing to look and learn. What repair works on one loco brand generally works on another brand just as well.
 
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Ericsauto

Active Member
If you can do a better repair than the dealer, then you're still gonna let him do it?
Answer to that question is YES . I paid for it , they offered it, and they should honor it.

To the rest of the replies you win because I can tell you only see your side.

The post was to vent the frustration with the lack of quality and service that so many places have started to do. The pride of workmanship and the pride of service is fading away from these big companies. When they start feeling lost of sales because of that then they will be back begging and changing their ways and it will be too late. It happens every day in business. People don't speak up and fix it themselves , how are they to get better?

I run a pretty successful business based on customer service and good quality but what the Hell do I know?

Enough said on my part have a great day. :)
 

Motley

Active Member
I'm sorry but you are missing my point Carey. I'm OK with performing tweaking or minor adjustments. But when the decoder is fried, that is a major problem and MTH is the only one who can replace it. They don't send you replacement parts.

Here are some examples of the defective items I have had to return in the past year or so.

Digitrax Supercheif - dead on arrival, wouldn't even turn on. Exchanged it for NCE PHP.

(3) Walthers Centerbeam cars - All 3 cars had the same exact issue. The wheels were scraping on the underside, called Walthers they said it was a manufactures defect no fix and told me to return them to the LHS.

Walthers City Series Streamliner Diner - derailing due to trucks hitting brake assembly - manufactures defect, no fix they reccomended I return to the LHS.

Walthers Heljion Transfer table - stopped functioning, control board went bad after 3 months, sent it back to Walthers and they replaced it with a new one.

Digitrax DCC Auto Reverser - kept shorting out, called Digitrax troubleshooting for hours, nothing wrong with install, defective return to LHS. Exchanged for PSX-AR that has worked flawlessly since.

(4) Digitrax DS64s - Throwing switches (Peco switch machines) on power up, called Digitrax, known issue with no fix. Return to LHS.

Those are the ones I can think of right now. Now you see my frustration with products that are very high priced that simply don't work with no simple fix?
 

Cjcrescent

Master Mechanic
Which brings me back to my original comments. Which are, boiled down to their simplest;

1. Learn to fix them.

2. Can't fix them, due to how or what they are made of. Just don't buy anything along that line from that manufacturer.

Pure & simple. I know at times that I may get a little "wordy", but I try to make sure that everyone can understand what I saying. Its hard to communicate clearly at times when its not the spoken word.
 

Motley

Active Member
1. Learn to fix them - easier said then done. I don't have 20 years experience in the hobby. Like what was said before, what if fixing and repairing don't interest me? Not everybody in this hobby wants to tear down and rebuild a locomotive, or has an interest in doing so.

2. Don't buy from these company's. - OK I agree, and Digitrax has been on my do not buy list. Now Walthers, sometimes they are the only ones who offer a product I want, even though I'm dissatisfied with them, I will probably purchase more products from them.
I guess I'll have to add MTH to the list here. Depending on how well they fix my Challenger, and how long it takes. The jury is still out.

Oh ya it's very simple, real cut and dry.
 
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cmcgloughlin

New Member
I can see both sides here. I tend to be a "newbie" at fixing stuff ...so while I am ready and willing to enter the learning curve, I am a little hesitant to start tinkering with something that cost me $450. I think thats part of the hesitation with me. Perhaps thats the problem with buying such an expensive loco -- the fear you are going to make the problem worse.

But, a simple fix like throwing lead weights on the pilot (which, btw, I intend to try!) is an easily implementable fix which is passed on from expeirenced modelers to novices like me. And, thats part of the hobby in my opinion.

I wonder, did the Pennsy send their brand new locos back to the loco shop if they had minor issues out of the gate? I would think they would have fixed it themselves. But, if the thing plumb wont run, then def it was sent back. I guess its a matter of degrees.

I think Im going to buy a couple of Bachmanns 2-8-0s to "practice" on and run that MTH Mikado when I get my sea legs.
 

Cjcrescent

Master Mechanic
...

I think Im going to buy a couple of Bachmanns 2-8-0s to "practice" on and run that MTH Mikado when I get my sea legs.
Couple of other good "practice" locos, are just about any older Mantua steamers and older Tycos and any old AHM steamer. Junkers of these can be found at train shows, garage sales, estate sales. Whats fun is to pick-up a couple of junkers at a sale for $10-20 a piece and learn how to restore them to running condition. After that sell them for a tidy profit.

I rebuilt an old AHM 2-8-4 berk. I found it in a junk box at a flea market for $1. Took it home, straightened out bent linkages. Replaced fallen off detail parts, remotored and regeared it. Spent a total of $75 bucks on it. After it was painted and decaled, I sold it for $250.00!:D I used the money to grab up another piece of brass.
 
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Cjcrescent

Master Mechanic
1. Learn to fix them - easier said then done. I don't have 20 years experience in the hobby. Like what was said before, what if fixing and repairing don't interest me? Not everybody in this hobby wants to tear down and rebuild a locomotive, or has an interest in doing so.

2. Don't buy from these company's. - OK I agree, and Digitrax has been on my do not buy list. Now Walthers, sometimes they are the only ones who offer a product I want, even though I'm dissatisfied with them, I will probably purchase more products from them.
I guess I'll have to add MTH to the list here. Depending on how well they fix my Challenger, and how long it takes. The jury is still out.

Oh ya it's very simple, real cut and dry.
What will you do when its time for regular maintenance on your locos, or some detail parts come off?

As for not buying of course that's again, your decision. I vote with my wallet quite often. Based on my repair experience with both BLI and mth, my wallet stays closed on both of them. I don't buy Atlas locos either. They don't make any steamers. I have one Athearn steamer, and am looking forward to taking care of its issues and getting it running in regular service. If MDC would ever bring back their Harriman line of steam kits, I could use a couple of those.
 
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MustangRockstar

New Member
If you want the front pilot trucks to stop derailing, try pasting a section of lead sheeting on top of it. It only takes a little extra weight to get it to stay on the track. This is with anyone's loco's
Do you have recommended thickness for the sheet (1/32, 1/64, etc.) and about what size section do you recommend pasting?
 




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