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Author Topic: Dapol Grange  (Read 484 times)

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Offline synojack

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Dapol Grange
« on: February 16, 2020, 12:33:41 PM »
Hi all,

I recently picked up a dapol Grange on special offer from dapol, thought it was a steal for 70 quid and didn't think to look into it until after it was purchased. After ordering it i started to notice more and more less than positive stuff online regarding the quality of dapols mechanisms and was a little nervous. Having been away for work this week i popped down to the post office yesterday to pick it up and try it out and after oiling and running in this is the result :

https://youtu.be/E450NGv2dug

It's incredibly noisy and stalls on anything less than 90% of the controller output, the vibrations are also severe enough for it to have thrown itself off the track on totally straight sections. I have an arnold db class 103 which will go around at less than a snails pace on every part of the track so i don't think dirty track has anything to do with it. For the record I am using a standard hornby dc controller which i planned on upgrading soon enough anyway but will this be enough to sort out the poor performance? I'm thinking whilst there might be a slight increase it's not gonna sort it out totally.

If anyone has any experience with these locos or knows what the problem could be I'd much appreciate the advice.

All the best, Jack.

Offline Chris Morris

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Re: Dapol Grange
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2020, 12:53:20 PM »
It will have been in store for some years so the oil might well have dried up . A little light oiling might help. The tender pickups are apparently not great on the small tender version so check they are working. Also check the wires between the loco and the tender. These wires are very delicate and do break. There is usually a spare wire in the goody bag or they can be re-soldered with care with a thin soldering iron. Watch you don't melt the cab steps though! Also check the drive shaft is fully in place. Check all the wheels are clean.

I find the Dapol tender drive locos are a bit noisy if they haven't run for a while but they generally settle down after a good bit of running. You could always return it if you don't want to invest time in it.
Working doesn't seem to be the perfect thing for me so I'll continue to play.
Steve Marriott / Ronnie Lane

Offline synojack

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Re: Dapol Grange
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2020, 01:38:23 PM »
Ah, thanks for the advice. Have just checked and it seems one of the wires connecting the loco to the tender has snapped /come lose. It looks like it was only screwed in place to begin with rather than soldered so I'll have a look. As for the drive shaft, I'm not really sure what I'm looking for, it seems to be inserted fully into both the loco and the tender but seems very loose, I suppose it has to be to allow for propper articulation?

Offline Paddy

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Re: Dapol Grange
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2020, 02:02:59 PM »
Hi Jack ( @synojack )

Sorry to hear you are having problems with your Dapol Grange.  Mine was poor when I arrived from Dapol so I sent it to DCC Supplies for repair immediately.  The service provided by DCC Supplies is excellent and within a couple of weeks the loco was back with all issues resolved.

Having said that, I sold mine on via eBay (with full disclosure) as my confidence in Dapol steam locos has been destroyed.  Sadly the Grange was simply the latest in a long list of Dapol steamers that I have purchased and found to be broken.  On a positive note, I have had a much better experience with Dapol's diesels.

Kind regards

Paddy
HOLLERTON JUNCTION (SHED 13C)
London Midland Region
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Offline synojack

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Re: Dapol Grange
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2020, 08:42:08 PM »
Cheers Paddy,

Sorry ro hear you've had problems with the granges as well. Good to know about DCC supplies, strange how there doesn't seem to be issues with the dapol diesels but i suppose the issue here seems to stem primarily from having the motor in the tender.

I tried replacing the broken connecting wire but those supplied by dapol are incredibly frail and frustratingly i broke the replacement trying to fit it. I then tried using a thin piece of copper wire instead which was much more sturdy. This actually seems to have sorted the stalling problem, however it remains incredibly noisy. Will stick with it for a bit i think to see if this improves as it gets more use.

Offline longbow

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Re: Dapol Grange
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2020, 11:21:09 PM »
The Grange is a noted problem child in the Dapol family. The culprit is the 3500gall tender that accompanies most versions, which is prone to vibration and pick-up issues and so will not tolerate broken connecting wires. In my experience Granges and Halls with the larger 4000gall tender work fine, as does the 38xx/3500gall combination which picks up from an extra loco axle.

Offline synojack

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Re: Dapol Grange
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2020, 11:28:36 PM »
I've noticed the tender vibration is the source of the noise and also occasionally manages to derail itself entirely from the vibrations. Do you know of it's worth weighing down the tender with something?

Cheers, Jack.

Offline longbow

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Re: Dapol Grange
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2020, 11:42:02 PM »
Adding weight to the tender does seem to improve things, but there's very little room for ballast inside the tender unless you strip out the PCB. My belt and braces approach will be to fit a smaller coreless motor to allow room for both extra weight and a chunky stay-alive.

Offline synojack

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Re: Dapol Grange
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2020, 01:04:20 PM »
Thanks for the advice. I think I'd just send it back before faffing around fitting a new motor. It's such a shame as it seems such a simple problem, if i apply a little pressure to the tender it runs really smoothly with absolutely no noise. Surely dapol must be aware of these problems and that being the case why are they still supplying them without what i imagine to be a fairly simple solution.

Offline Paddy

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Re: Dapol Grange
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2020, 04:23:08 PM »
Hi Jack ( @synojack )

You would think Dapol would either fix the damn problem or use the larger tender.  What is the point of keep selling the same model with a known fault - it just upsets your customers!

Kind regards

Paddy
HOLLERTON JUNCTION (SHED 13C)
London Midland Region
http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=11342.0


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Offline synojack

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Re: Dapol Grange
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2020, 05:11:37 PM »
Hi Jack ( @synojack )


You would think Dapol would either fix the damn problem or use the larger tender.  What is the point of keep selling the same model with a known fault - it just upsets your customers!

Kind regards

Paddy



Exactly, if the other tender functions then why continue to sell the dodgy stock. I imagine that's possibly why they were on sale, trying to get rid of remaining stock, still doesn't excuse it. I'll be alot more cautions about purchasing anything from them in future.

Seem to have got it working reasonably well now, still the amount of alterations I've had to make to a product that's supposed to be ready to run is a joke.

I noticed it was strangely working much better up a 3% gradient as the tension induced in the coupling rod was forcing the tender down into the track. A combination of replacing the supplied connecting wires with plain copper wire, removing the traction tyres, putting a slight bend in the coupling rod to force the tender down and finally sanding down the plastic block the guiding wheels sit on to allow for better connection between track and driving wheels seens to have sorted it. Still pretty loud but will do a good crawl without stalling now.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2020, 05:13:07 PM by synojack »

Online Dr Al

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Re: Dapol Grange
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2020, 06:36:55 PM »
What is the point of keep selling the same model with a known fault - it just upsets your customers!

These are all the original production models, so they haven't had the opportunity to revise anything on further runs.

However, the designs are poor to start with in a number of areas - the small GW tender has poor axle bearings - holes with circular axles running in them, which are terrible for pickup as compared a proper pin-point (which almost always makes good contact; whereas the holes tend to make very poor contact without significant weight).

The loco bogie design is poor as it tends to raise the loco drivers off track fractionally, reducing the effectiveness of the front driver pickups in particular, as the middle and rear are minimally effective anyway due to traction tyres on rears and middles not bearing much weight.

These can all be improved, but this is certainly not one of Dapol's best, and shows a lack of mechanical design understanding and testing to demonstrate these issues prior to coming to market.

The really frustrating thing is that they ditched the superior Ixion Manor chassis for this under the late manors also, meaning they often have similar issues.

Cheers,
Alan
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Offline Paddy

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Re: Dapol Grange
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2020, 07:38:13 PM »
Thanks Alan ( @Dr Al ).  I am fortunate to have an Inixion Manor (correct scale version) which I purchased new.  Must have been a fair few years ago now.

Paddy
HOLLERTON JUNCTION (SHED 13C)
London Midland Region
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Offline Bob G

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Re: Dapol Grange
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2020, 08:12:51 PM »
The Grange is a noted problem child in the Dapol family. The culprit is the 3500gall tender that accompanies most versions, which is prone to vibration and pick-up issues and so will not tolerate broken connecting wires. In my experience Granges and Halls with the larger 4000gall tender work fine, as does the 38xx/3500gall combination which picks up from an extra loco axle.
I couldn't sum this up any better myself.

When I did get a small tender on a BR green early crest model that worked (no 3 of the ones I tried, I think) I had the idea of renaming and putting a later crest on it. There were about three that could have taken this re-branding, but the supplier with the crests is the NGS and they are not yet for sale, so I sold the model on in the sure knowledge that although the livery was fictitious the model did run ok!

My Grange with the Hall tender is wonderful, BTW.

Best
Bob
« Last Edit: February 17, 2020, 08:13:58 PM by Bob G »

Online Rabbitaway

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Re: Dapol Grange
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2020, 08:23:32 PM »
Dapol were selling new Manor's for £35, sold as seen, at Ally Pally two years back, I understand with the same small tender. I bought one and luckily it is a good runner although a little noisy. They never seem to have discount the Grange to anywhere like this price

 

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