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Thread: Zinc Pest in Life Like Locos?

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by randgust View Post
    I contacted him and requested a shot with the body shell off as it looks like a cracked frame. See what happens.
    Good idea.

    We could also ask the seller if they might connect us to the eventual buyer to see if they might provide us with an update / more pictures since we are looking for patient 0 in an important worldwide investigation of a potentially new epidemic...

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    That's a classic case of Ebay 'he said / she said' where the buyer usually looses. The description says for parts, clearly shows as broken, and one picture shows what appears to be frame cracks. So you get it, pull it out of the shell, and you have a pile of metal fragments.

    You can't claim to Ebay that it was misrepresented, or information was concealed. It was for parts only, and defects were shown on photos.

    I had a wood carving that had a crack in the base that I sold, and photos clearly showed the crack. Buyer complained, took to Ebay, Ebay backed me up saying description said defects and picture clearly showed a crack. End of discussion.

    I read once where you can sell old dirty socks on Ebay as long as you label them 'old dirty socks'. Never forget that.

    Update from seller: "The cracks seem to be just on the surface as if there is some sort of coating over the cast. I'm not real sure how to separate the shell from the mechanism and I'm afraid I might break something else. This is the reason I listed it as project / parts. Its a gamble"

    OK, so there you go. Feel lucky?
    Last edited by randgust; 6th Jun 2017 at 01:31 PM.
    Randgust N scale kits web page at www.randgust.com

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    I don't blame the seller -- I hate removing those shells also -- I have broken the walkway in the past taking off the shell.

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    I used to see a similar failure in attached parts on diecast cars years ago. Definitely zinc issues in the metal. Some early N scale had similar problems (Europe made). I've always tried to purchase the "better" grade of model, because as they say, "you get what you pay for".

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    I'd agree that there has been some serious heat damage here, I had a similar LL SW8/9/1200 come to me with the walkways melted in the same spot this ones broken but mine also had a melted truck. You can definitely see the heat damage and I'd be willing to bet the frame is definitely going to have some issues. I got lucky with mine and was able to reuse the chassis but the motor was definitely not discolored like that, it should be in a black casing and not that brown color.
    Tim

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    If that is the genuine, original chassis and not Silly Putty , it has zinc pest, or Zamacitis, as I call it. The cracks and malformation are unmistakable.

    The motor color is normal for these locos.

    I also don't believe a hot motor will cause this. If an incident like that occurred, the frame was already affected and the cause mistakenly applied.

    It doesn't matter where a casting was made. If the metal formulation is wrong, deterioration will occur. It has been seen in some other Asian-made locomotives too.

    Doug
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    Another example -- http://www.ebay.com/itm/202068630035

    "We have a logging set of Chehalls Western (Microtrains Collector Trains). The log cars and caboose are fine. Unfortunately the diesel chassis is disintegrating. We think the engine is only good for parts."

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    Well I learned a new term - "zinc pest". Thanks!

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    Although there are no pictures it sounds like the second case that I have seen on Ebay from that description.

    Very worrying if this affects a broader range of Life Like locos (although both examples are Microtrains Switchers made by Life Like so maybe the chassis was sourced somewhere specific for the Microtrains OEM). I just got a Microtrains switcher in a trade and first thing I did was check the chassis (although I did not have time to take off the shell and test loco the chassis looks good).

    Wonder if Microtrains is aware of this issue and how widespread it is.

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    Anybody know the release date on those switchers? The chassis's may be from the same batch??
    Did someone say whitcomb?

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    Another example -- interesting that this is another MTL Spirit of American Patriot Switcher -- same type of train as the original one that I shared (although seems like a different loco since the original one had both trucks off and a broken walkway).

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/N-scale-Mic...E/401556176950


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    I just fell victim to one, another micro trains set. This time Navy set #2
    Did someone say whitcomb?

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