P2K Clunkers

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CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
Hi I'm kind of in the market for a LifeLike P2K RS10 or RS18. However they cost a lot of $$$ here in the boondocks, and I'm somewhat hesitent to purchase. My concern is Ive seen quite a few posts around the net concerning cracked gear problems. I guess a lot of the time you hear the bad points but rarely the good. So before I put out $200 to $300 for one of these locos I'd like to know a bit more about the lifeLike line. In your opinion would you buy one? why? or why not?
Please NO Trashing the manufacturer, If you have had a good experience please tell us about, and if you had a problem I'd like to know about it and what was done to fix it.
Cheers Willis
 

mushroom2

Non Rivet Counter
I like 'em. They run well with others, look real nice and LifeLike supports them.
Yes there have been issues with the older P2K axel gears. But, I've got a bag of thirty axels here thet LifeLike sent me no questions asked, no charge. And that issue has been resolved on their newer stuff.
I don't think they are worth $200 to $300 though. I'd sit on that for awhile. 6 months from now they should be a lot cheaper on line.
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
Ah! sorry $Cdn. a little conversion is in order 164 to 246 $US plus shipping. We don't have too much choice as we have to purchase from a Horizon Hobbys dealer. The RS18 with sound is about $499 Cdn.
but then again there would be a 15% tax on top of it
Cheers Willis
 

CP9302

Member
I'm a big fan of P2K. I've got SD60's, GP38-2's, GP18's and SW900's from them. I had one split gear on an original run GP18 and my dad had a split gear on one of his GP30's.
P2K engines look great and run well. They have a lot of weight to them so they pull well too.
I'm not a big fan of the QSI sound system though. It is nice to have sound out of the box, but I find Soundtraxx is an easier system to setup and use.
As a fellow Canadian, I feel your pain on the exchange rates, but at least they are not as bad as they used to be. You may want to consider E-Bay as an option too.
 

modelbob

Administrator
> We don't have too much choice as we have to
> purchase from a Horizon Hobbys dealer.

First of all, let me say I'm a firm believer in supporting your local hobby shop. They can't survive on just rail joiners and bright boys, so I try and buy local when I can. I've bought about 2/3 of my rolling stock from dealers, a few pieces from trains shows, and a few things online when the prices were simply too good to pass up.

That said, if the price is simply way out of line, can't you find an online store that will ship to you? I would think you could...
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
I'm a firm believer in supporting your local hobby shop.
Well on that, I also am a firm believer, BUT there isn't one close to here for me to support. When there was, I certainly was one of his best customers, and that statement was from the propritor himself. A lot of my locos I purchased from him. I guess not enough did support him and now there is none (Hobby Shop). However I do order my stuff from a hobby shop in the next Province, and they certainly have been decent with me as far as prices go.
Horizon Hobbys will not deal with a business unless it has a store front, or at least they didn't when they became a distributer for LifeLike. A lot of the LL models they distribute are Canadianized (sort of, MLW's and such) so I don't know if we could order them from the US online mail order stores. There is no doubt in my mind when the " Gotta Have it customers" are satisfied they will drop in price. However there's another catch to this, most of them are limited production runs, so who knows how long that will take. I'm pushing 70 so they have more time than I have to wait it out.

I'm not a big fan of the QSI sound system though
Hi CP well I certainly wouldn't pay $500+ shipping and 15% tax on top of the total for any plastic loco no matter what it had. I will most likely stay with my under the table sound systems ( which I haven't used yet :D ), I'd rather invest the money into a good DCC system. I do buy and sometimes sell on ebay, stung a couple of times but what the heck I got a lot of good bargins to make up for it :D
Have you had any problem with the LifeLike units you have purchased so far?
Cheers Willis
 

CP9302

Member
CBCNSfan said:
Have you had any problem with the LifeLike units you have purchased so far?
I had one split gear on an original run GP18. But that model was made 10-12 years ago. My dad had a split gear on a GP30. I havn't hear of any problems with the newer stuff (SD/GP60 SD50 GP38-2)

As another purchasing option, have you tried Pacific Western yet? They are out of B.C. and have a great selection of Canadian stuff. The prices are usually reasonable too.

http://www.pacific-western-rail.com/main.php
 

kenw

5th Generation Texian
one problem with the split gears was that the replacements would eventually do the same (mine all did). granted this was a few years ago, when the GP20 were new.

second time, i slightly reamed out the gear center hole so that it wasn't as tight on the axle, but still somewhat a press fit. Then a drop of superglue held it firmly.

In engineering terms, the hoop stress that the metal axle caused upon the plastic gear would cause the gear to split exactly at the knit line. The real fix is for LL to make the hole a bit larger to reduce the stress. Sounds exactly like what was done if newer units don't have this problem....
 

HaggisKennedy

Coal Shoveler
The only thing I don't like about superglue is that it's not really strong on the shear force aspect of the bonding. Straight-away pulling is top-notch strength, but at an angle (like 90 degrees), there's not much strength there at all.

Kennedy
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
Straight-away pulling is top-notch strength, but at an angle (like 90 degrees), there's not much strength there at all.
Hi Kennedy agreed on that point and it should be noted. Also to be noted is it's fast setting time, which is necessary for tasks like putting metal corner pieces in an Alco RS11 to make a MLW RS18. Yes the super glues, well they are kind of a crystaline bond in fact a shock ( like a trip to the floor) can send parts flying everywhere, believe me I know. However most parts I mount with it, are like Horns which fit into a drilled hole like the grab irons also. On the C630's the big intercooler filters are also recessed into the carbody so side pressure on the bond in most cases is almost non existant. Athern handrails to stanchions joints is another place I use it. Plasic details and reforcing pieces ect. I use the Testors only not only for strength in the bond but it does allow a little slight adjustment time.
Cheers Willis
 

kenw

5th Generation Texian
well, the superglue is still holding on mine, albeit with very infrequent use now. The glue wicked under the gear and set up in the microscopic gap between the axle and gear. note that i didn't have to apply it until after i had the gear pressed on and located.

I would suppose a smear of 5 minuite epoxy would suffice and take shock loads much better, altho in my experience it doesn't bond as well to polished surfaces like axles.
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
would suppose a smear of 5 minuite epoxy would suffice
I don't know about that. I believe you've made the right decision with the super glue. As you say the glue wicks into the open spaces making a bond all around including shoulders where the axel meets the side of the gear. this would not happen with the epoxy.
Cheers Willis
 

HaggisKennedy

Coal Shoveler
The smooth surface is a key. You're press-fitting a gear onto a smooth axle. If it's tight enough, I don't really think that an adhesive is needed for normal running. By that I mean not pulling the max load during operations.

The next key is initial torque caused by the motor applying force to the gear, to move the loco. It this torque causes the gear to slip due to no friction surface on the axle to provide a grip, then one would logically use an adhesive to hold the gear tight against the axle. Superglue, due to the wicking, works here.

But, the fact that you need superglue to hold the gear to the smooth axle to avoid slipping also means you are applying a shear force to the bonding characteristics of superglue. Which isn't it's strong suit.

In summary (!), if you're using superglue to hold something in place so it doesn't move, superglue shouldn't be your first choice, given the above. However, a lot of people use it just for this purpose, and it seems to work. So, I'm probably missing something.

:)

Kennedy
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
a lot of people use it just for this purpose, and it seems to work. So, I'm probably missing something.
No, seriously I doubt that you are missing anything, the facts are there to support what you are saying, its just that the forces being applied in this case are not powerfull enough to break the bond. If the torque developed was strong enough ( greater than what it takes to stall a model loco engine) the bond could possibly shatter like glass. Just a thought.
Cheers Willis
 

HaggisKennedy

Coal Shoveler
In that case then, the most likely explanation is that the torque applied to move the loco is great enough to slip the gear on the axle, but not enough to break the bond via shear. The other element which I thought of in my previous post, but not articulated clearly, is that the torque application is gradual, not sudden. Which will keep the crystalline bond intact.

But, if your loco is speeding forward, and you flip the direction switch without turning off the forward throttle setting first, you may have a good chance of shearing it off. Depends on the flywheel momentum cushioning the direction change....

Kennedy
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
if your loco is speeding forward, and you flip the direction switch without turning off the forward throttle setting first, you may have a good chance of shearing it off
Hmmmm! why would you want to do that? I sure wouldn't Ouch! I can smell the dynamic brakes already :D
Cheers Willis
 

ak-milw

Member
I have two SW1200 switchers,one SD7, one GP9 and I have never had a problem with any of them. They run and look great! :cool:
 
C

catt

Guest
To my way of thinking the best thing to do in this situation would be to take a small file and rough up the axle where the gear sets.

This with or without the superglue would help keep the gear from slipping on the axle after the hole is opened up.

This would also give the glue something to grip as it wicked into all those little places.
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
I have two SW1200 switchers,one SD7, one GP9 and I have never had a problem with any of them
Yes I can believe that and there are many others that have no problems that we never hear about. I guess we hear mostly from people who do have this same problem. It sort of put me into a wait and see attitude. However it's comforting to know that Life Like is backing their product with service to the customer. I most likely won't hold out any longer at least from a few pictures here on the forum it looks like a good product details wise.
Cheers Willis
 

NBEC_6900

New Member
CB&CNSfan,

Do you have a CBNS GP50 on your layout?? I got one about 2 years ago, bought it at the local hobby shop, paid about 60$, but I a good deal, and it was bought by a guy, he did a custom weather job, and sold it about 80$ I think. The engine just itself is worth about 100$. I'll post pics of the unit. It's my favorite one right now!! Runs very well, and I keep the wheels cleaned regularly, the strongest unit in my bunch. I have a old Athearn CN C630M (don't know if it's rare. If it is, I might restore it), a Athearn SP SW1500 and a Bachmann CN GP40 from a starter set. The Geep 40 I'm having problems with, looks like the fuse is burnt out, but is there a way to bypass it?

Edit: I'm not sure if the C630 is either a Tyco or a Athearn, but I think it's Tyco. Is it rare???
 




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