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Author Topic: Dapol Diesels Poor build quality  (Read 16785 times)

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Offline Elvinley

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Re: Dapol Diesels Poor build quality
« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2013, 12:18:20 PM »
It is frustrating, I know as this has happened to me. If you get a good running Dapol loco they are fantastic, but often you do have to be prepared to go through a few. At least it is free to return to DCC Supplies.

Offline SmileyFace

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Re: Dapol Diesels Poor build quality
« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2013, 12:21:24 PM »

[/quote]
It's been said before, and i'll say it again... If the likes of Kato, Atlas, Fleischmann, Arnold etc can produce superb runners that don't even need running in - why oh, why oh, why can't the big UK manufacturers even get close ?
I have had many good loco's from both Farish and Dapol so please don't add hundreds of posts about how great your loco's are and how reliable they are - I know !  But there are far too many failures out there for this day and age, and I certainly don't feel like i'm getting value for money...

[/quote]

I totally agree with this comment. When purchasing any new loco my expectations are now so low that I just naturally assume it will be faulty and am then pleasantly surprised if it is a rather rare 'good-un'. What a sad situation to have arrived at.

Regards,
SF

Offline EtchedPixels

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Re: Dapol Diesels Poor build quality
« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2013, 02:45:56 PM »
Because the UK market is way smaller than the European one or the US one, and the buyers are only willing to pay a fraction of the price paid in mainland Europe. In addition the UK *N* market is way smaller than the UK OO market.

You can have superbly reliable 'work every time' Britsh N scale models. People like CJM make them. You could do it mass production for somewhat less (my back of envelope numbers are around £200-250 a loco) but thats not a price people are willing to pay. You can have superb reliable quite cheap locos with less detail too (eg Union Mills). You just have to be prepared to spend the time adding the detail.

The killer though is volume. For plastic moulding you get to divide a very large up front cost by the units sold. In Japan or the USA the volumes are very large (especially Japan) so the costs per unit are way lower.

Alan
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Offline anselm

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Re: Dapol Diesels Poor build quality
« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2013, 04:34:10 PM »
Roy and Etched Pixels,

Many thanks for your advice and encouragement.  I have amended my letter to Joel Bright to reflect your comments and will report back when I have some news. I will also be writing to Bournemouth Model Railway Centre.

I was in correspondence with Joel last year, found him eminently sensible and helpful and hope for a similar response this time. 

Thanks again

Ian

Offline 4x2

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Re: Dapol Diesels Poor build quality
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2013, 05:26:33 PM »
Because the UK market is way smaller than the European one or the US one, and the buyers are only willing to pay a fraction of the price paid in mainland Europe. In addition the UK *N* market is way smaller than the UK OO market.

You can have superbly reliable 'work every time' Britsh N scale models. People like CJM make them. You could do it mass production for somewhat less (my back of envelope numbers are around £200-250 a loco) but thats not a price people are willing to pay. You can have superb reliable quite cheap locos with less detail too (eg Union Mills). You just have to be prepared to spend the time adding the detail.

The killer though is volume. For plastic moulding you get to divide a very large up front cost by the units sold. In Japan or the USA the volumes are very large (especially Japan) so the costs per unit are way lower.

Alan
I personally would happily sacrifice some of the detailing if it would improve the reliability, although i feel i may be in the minority. I do love the CJM models (the class 89 has been on my wishlist for a while :heart2:), but they are a bit too steeply priced for me... 
If it's got rails... you have my full, undivided attention - Steam, diesel and electric, 'tis all good !

Mike

Offline dr deltic

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Re: Dapol Diesels Poor build quality
« Reply #20 on: June 16, 2013, 05:47:08 PM »
I think i must be very lucky as the only problems i have had with Dapol have been dodgy lights on a 56 and my first Voyager in 2007 was a nail until it had run in, and i do have a large number of Dapol loco's.

My 'new generation' 47's by Farish have all been lumpy runners needing some form of fettling or other. Seem's to be the luck of the draw, much like anything else made with human input! Didn't test these prior to purchase i have to say. oops.

I own a number of CJM loco's, whilst the running and reliability is peerless, they are being left behind in some respects by products a fifth or quarter of the price.

I read many reports of people being dissatisfied due to receiving defective goods. Just to re-dress the balance then folks, it ain't all doom and gloom and  my own local chaps at Trident Trains and Haslington models will gladly test anything first prior to purchase.

Maybe thats the solution for trouble free purchasing.....

We all wanted more detail, lights, DCC thingies etc and it has made these ready to run models far more complex than was once the case. I guess if quality control is not paramount at the point of manufacture, the increase in problems should not come as too much of a surprise.

I do wonder however how many failures per batch run there are as i seem to be disproportionally lucky with my purchases.


Offline Sprintex

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Re: Dapol Diesels Poor build quality
« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2013, 06:15:25 PM »
Don't have any Dapol locos as such but I do have an HST set and four Class 156 DMUs and so far not a problem with any of them :thumbsup:


Paul

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Re: Dapol Diesels Poor build quality
« Reply #22 on: June 16, 2013, 06:58:56 PM »
I do love the CJM models (the class 89 has been on my wishlist for a while :heart2:), but they are a bit too steeply priced for me...

:o Just looked this up; £450 for the basic model, plus £50 for detailing (like anyone would spend £450 and not bother with getting the details as well).

Still, a nice model.

For what it's worth, I've got seven Dapol locomotives, and of these, two have "gone bad". One was the Hymek, which repeatedly wore down the gears at the top of the bogie towers, and I now just keep a supply of spares to fix myself. The other is my Class 86 which now only runs lights in one direction but not the other. I'm hoping to send that one off to DCC Repairs this week, as it happens.

(I'm not counting design issues like the lack of springs on the pony trucks of the two 9Fs, the ridiculously noisy Class 66, or the inability of my two Class 73s to go around Kato #4 points reliably. Whether you blame Dapol for these issues is up for debate.)

Other times my Dapol locos have needed repairs have been my own fault (e.g., dropping the poor loco on the floor) and Bob Russell has usually managed to get them fixed without too much fuss or expense. I gather he only does Farish stuff now, which is a shame because he seems a good bloke.

I do have two non-British locos, a Kato SD45 and a Roco V200. Never had the least trouble with either of them, and they're both around 15 years old but run as smoothly and silently as ever. Never even had to lubricate them!

Cheers, NeMo
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Offline Maurits71

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Re: Dapol Diesels Poor build quality
« Reply #23 on: June 16, 2013, 07:50:07 PM »
I think Alen (EP ) has got a very good point. we all don't want to spend much but we do expect everything. grown up with Fleischmann/ minitrix in Holland I was really keen in switching over to Dapol/ Farisch as they are a third of the price of the locs I was used to pay.

Having a lot of experience in buying in China I know that it's not that difficult for both Dapol and GF to buy more expensive products overall all the factories are situated close to each other anyway. But the main question is are we all happy to pay double the price ?

comparing both I think overall I am happy to give them both a positive judgement with the if that I have decided for myself there are only two places where I want to buy my stuff. one if I haven't got time is in Liverpool they other one is in Peterborough, both are comparable price wise . Peterborough has my preferences as I can see the trains running before I buy, Liverpool as they stock more Dapol. prices are competitive.

It;s interesting to get some comments from people either Dapol or GF now as I believe everybody has made their point now

best regards

M.
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Offline red_death

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Re: Dapol Diesels Poor build quality
« Reply #24 on: June 18, 2013, 11:00:33 AM »
There seems to be quite a few comments about poor pick up and chemical blackening.

Pick ups are normally relatively obvious to adjust (if fiddly!).  If you are not sure which wheelsets are not great then apply power to each axle individually with a pair of wires.

On the chemical blackening - sometimes it is overdone or done in areas you don't want it, but the solution to it is normally pretty simple ie run the locos in for a decent amount of time.  It can be pretty incredible seeing the difference an hour can make. If that doesn't shift it then look at the problem areas and if absolutely necessary use some sort of abrasive, but I would only do that as a last resort.

Cheers, Mike



Offline Dr Al

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Re: Dapol Diesels Poor build quality
« Reply #25 on: June 18, 2013, 11:20:18 AM »
There seems to be quite a few comments about poor pick up and chemical blackening.

I found this surprising too. I've only had one with poor pickup because of this - a Dapol B17 bought new which had some sort of residue from the blackening process on the drivers meaning they weren't just poorly conducting, but completely insulating. Cleaning it all off with fibre tipped pencil restored conductivity.

Cheers,
Alan
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Offline macwales

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Re: Dapol Diesels Poor build quality
« Reply #26 on: June 18, 2013, 11:40:48 AM »
Hi

Isn't this always a popular type of thread. That alone should tell GF and Dapol something.

I am not so sure that the problem is solely connected with price. If it was many more products from both manufacturers would give running problems. I have some exquisite looking excellent runners from both manufacturers albeit (in some) after repairs by them and me and always cleaning from new by me.

I think the problem lies with quality control and basic design. GF models have a diabolical pickup system on their steamers, Dapol motor quality is very suspect and mechanical assembly seems very hit and miss with both types.

Although I have said it before I think  that they have become obsessed with getting detail correct - they both take great care with this. But have they taken their eye of the necessity for perfect running? Why else would Dapol abandon the great axle point pickup system for the slop hole type they now produce on tender drives? Why else give up on on all axle pickup?

Either models are not checked running before packing (essential if no Quality Assured (Q.A.) system is in place) or there is no Q.A. system as they do not 'get it right first time' or even most of the time. If there is to be no proper quality control they should run the locos in at the factory so duff runners are rejected.

At least Dapol's no expence to the buyer warranty system does ensure that you can eventually get a good runner - albeit if (and its a big if due to short production  runs) you are fast enough to send it off so there are still replacements available if your original is not repairable.

Making buyers, under the seemingly widely held view that running in is needed, the QA system is not acceptable.

What else do people buy that needs buyer inspection and running in? Nothing, not even cars these days!!

Thanks for reading my rant!!

Cheers

Mac

 :beers:

Offline EtchedPixels

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Re: Dapol Diesels Poor build quality
« Reply #27 on: June 18, 2013, 11:48:50 AM »
There seems to be quite a few comments about poor pick up and chemical blackening.

I found this surprising too.

I've certainly seen this on both Dapol and Bachmann locos, but it seems to sort after a little bit of running so I'd never worried about it or considered it a fault !
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Offline StufromEGDL

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Re: Dapol Diesels Poor build quality
« Reply #28 on: June 18, 2013, 01:02:57 PM »
Hi Guys....

I have just received two locos....

Farish 70006...didn't work from the box, some downward pressure got movement but stalled on curves. Red lights did not work in one direction.  Adjusted the bogie tower pick-ups and the lighting contacts and all was well.

Dapol 27032...Ran well straight out the box(and lub'ed) ...lights all fine.  After running in (with the 70) for about 30 mins, I reversed direction and ...NO LIGHTS. Original direction OK, but reverse...NOWT.  Took the body off, reseated the plugs, checked the wires etc...same result.  Wrote an e-mail to the trader requesting return details etc etc...About an hour later, tried it again out of curiosity...and ALL LIGHTS OK.  So this is probably a thermal issue, but as the loco will probably only work in short bursts...I'll probably live with it instead of returning it.

Conclusion....poor assembly and/or transit protection in both cases.  However, both are  acceptable runners and I can live with the lighting glitch.

Later;
STU from EGDL
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Offline Phil Hendry

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Re: Dapol Diesels Poor build quality
« Reply #29 on: June 18, 2013, 01:37:42 PM »
I think the problem is twofold - poor assembly by relatively unskilled/uncaring workers being one of those, poor design the other.  But poor assembly can be mitigated by good design.  If the models were 'engineered' in a similar way to Kato/Tomix/Atlas, where everything sort of 'clips' together, and there are no 'loose wires' and no soldering to be done 'on the model', final assembly would be a more reliable process, and would result in a lower proportion of 'duffers'.
I am not a complete lunatic - there are pieces missing!

 

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