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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Check for over tightened and stripped screws. I found three in one case of 4 cars. 
1. While making fill blocks to fill the void around the coupler stud, I discovered a coupler mounting screw hole that had been stripped out. So the person at the factory merely superglued the coupler on the body and tacked the loose screw with a dab of glue under the head. 
2. I would have thought the first was an isolated incident, but earlier, when installing ball bearing wheel sets, I found a broken screw on one of the journal bars where the loose head of the screw had been super glued to the journal bar. Luckily in this case, there are two other screws in good shape holding the journal bar. 
3. In a third overtightening incident, I found a truck mounting hole to be stripped and the truck was just loose and hanging on the lighting wires. Fixing this required a slightly oversized and longer mounting screw.
 

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That's Chinese manufacturing and quality control!

The trucks are loosing their paint as soon as I touch them. The air tank came off when I opened the box. There was and still is a miserable stinking paint smell.

There are so many quality issues that I would say: It's the poorest quality AMS ever delivered! Little value for money. I wonder where Accucraft is going now. The first 1:20.3 car were masterpieces, the latest cars are just soso. While Bachmann has been improving their standards way above Accucraft (look at Bachmann's excellent cars!), Accucraft is becoming an average manufacturer. Medium or even low manufacturing quality, poor prototype research and lack of detail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Friedhelm,
I did not start this thread to bash AMS. I merely wanted to alert readers to a minor, fixable problem. This is not the place to bash any manufacturer. You can do that by contacting AMS directly with specific issues to be resolved. This way, AMS can do something about it. Quality control is Cliff's problem and he is working on it.
 

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Thanks Carl.

I don't know Cliff, he may contact me if he wishes.

Most of the issues (about a dozen) will be in my review in the next Gartenbahn Profi issue. In Germany, where the importer's price is 465 $, we expect quality from the start. Perhaps it's different (European) approach, but I don't want to discuss that either.

Sorry for disturbing you.
 

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Thanks to both of you for your pointing out some problerms.
I'll still be buying the RGS set, when available-it's just nice to know ahead of time what to look for.
I sure hope the paint does not smell by then, as I will have to return them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Don, 
Don't forget to also read the comments elswhere on Rolling Stock about the weak coupler post. As far as I'm concerned, I've had not paint issues and the problems I've found are easy fixes. By the way, I love these cars (I have 5) and they roll well with the AMS ball bearing wheels I put in them.

While you're waiting to purchase a set, watch my video at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHCq5ClWQIU
 

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Call me lucky, but for my coaches: they don't smell, the coupler mounts haven't broken off (though I have now reinforced them), the detail is great, and they were a bargain (
 

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The trucks are loosing their paint as soon as I touch them. The air tank came off when I opened the box. There was and still is a miserable stinking paint smell.

The paint on my trucks is chipping, but only where the journals slide through the pedestals, and a few chips where they've been knocked around on my workbench. This is to be expected.

There are so many quality issues that I would say: It's the poorest quality AMS ever delivered! Little value for money. I wonder where Accucraft is going now. The first 1:20.3 car were masterpieces, the latest cars are just soso. While Bachmann has been improving their standards way above Accucraft (look at Bachmann's excellent cars!), Accucraft is becoming an average manufacturer. Medium or even low manufacturing quality, poor prototype research and lack of detail.

I'd hesitate to call it the "poorest" effort (The short caboose wins that honor hands-down), but I do have to agree--there are some surprising shortcuts that I didn't expect to see on an Accucraft car. The poor rendition of the brake rigging is tops on my list. And while I'm pleased to see them include an interior, I think they could have done a bit better job with the details there, too. Having said that, I do think the cars are otherwise incredible. Knowing what it takes to build one from scratch, I'm here to tell ya--this car is a blessing. I'm pleased as punch to have the option to buy one.

Later,

K
 

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I'm with Kevin on this. Having built a couple of coaches, I'm more than happy to fix the weak spots on this car. It's not perfect, and you can do better if you build one from scratch, but for everyday running, these are impossible to beat. My only complaint, really, is that we didn't have them six or eight years ago.
 

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I'm with Kevin on these J&S cars. For the money, I can definitely do the simple fixes. I'm looking forward to the RPO car. I have two of these cars and have NOT had the paint problems or the coupler problems yet.;)
 

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No, an RPO is 1) wishful thinking, 2) idle speculation, or 3) a really well kept secret.

Actually, some time ago when I complained to Ida at Accucraft about changing the road numbers for the coaches to eliminate #284 (the undoubted prototype for the model and a Chili Line bay-window coach), the explanation was that Accucraft planned to bring out a Chili Line set sometime in the future which would require an RPO assuming they did any research (as they did with the San Juan). So it may come to pass.
 

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But Vance, if we had them 6 or 8 years ago, would we have built our own? Then we'd have nothing to compare them to. ;)

Regarding the bay window on #284, I wish I had my camera with me last weekend at the train show. One of our club members had a C-19 #346 pulling two of the Accucraft coaches. The second one he renumbered #284, adding the bay window. That was a SHARP lookin' train. If you're ever at the Colorado RR museum on operating days, he's the regular conductor. His biggest complaint about the project--matching the paint, and not being able to remove the glazing from the original window.

An RPO car would be cool. I was just watching some old footage the other day of C&S #9 pulling an RPO and a coach. There's just something cool about small locos pulling 2-car passenger trains that's just the right size.

(And for the record, I'm not warming up to Colorado narrow gauge. I appreciate good aesthetics no matter what the railroad. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/tongue.gif )

Later,

K
 

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Scott,

That's why I imported my coach directly. All in all it cost me 285 $ including shipment and tax. That's acceptable.

K,
I didn't buy the short caboose after I saw photos on MLS. I remember gaps and wrong ladders. So this model may have been the worst. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/tongue.gif

But why is this? AMS designers should have the same books and drawings as most of us have in stock. Why is there no primer on the white metal and brass parts of the trucks? Why are 50 % of the journal box covers mounted pointing in the wrong direction? Why a smooth roof that wasn't smooth at the prototype? Why are cables running under the seats and the electronics sitting in the aisle?

Time is money, but don't designers and engineers really care for quality and prototypical details? Is it a cultural problem?

I admired AMS' first box car. There were truck issues but everything else was outstanding at a rather low price. Now prices are rising, but quality has decreased much (sorry for my limited English).

We had the same problems with LGB after they started part of their production in China. The thing is that USAT, Bachmann and Aristo are improving their quality more and more, but so-called quality producers like AMS are spoiling their positive image with half-way done designs and production quality issues. It's a waste of our money and our time. Sometimes it's nice to add some details, but I don't want to spend time and money on improving trucks and power pick-ups, repainting metal and closing gaps.

This is a very special industry â€" but they should learn that customers want value for money and models that are obviously correct. Because it doesn't (much) cost more money to do things right. And no, I'm not a nit picker because I know about economical and design issues. So I don't care for the missing nits and NBWs on the coach trucks.
But I'll add the chains. Ever noticed they're missing? /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/tongue.gif

Just my 2 (Euro-)cents (= 3 $cents). ;)
 

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I really like the AMS coaches. The only problem I've seen is a little paint chipping around the wheel bushings and I've lost a couple of the springs from the couplers. The coaches are heavier than a couple of my locos (making derailment highly unlikely), the lighting does not flicker (as it does on the Bachmann) and the details are awesome. Are they worth 3 times the Bachmann D&RGW coaches that I have, in my opinion, yes. Would I have paid $400 for each coach to have every detail perfect, no.

My only complaint is they drag too much. I'm hoping that Phil's Narrow Gauge will be able to provide a ball bearing service. He is considering a kit for about $30.

If the paint came of my coaches or I had a serious problem I would contact Accucraft. They are excellent, the best, at taking care of their customers, or at least the manufacturers I have dealt with including LGB, Bachmann and Aristocraft.
 

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The more I think on this, the more I'm coming to think the interior of the designers of this car figured the interior needed merely to be suggestive; that no one was going to be looking that close at it. If I recall, the interior of the plastic caboose wasn't museum quality, either. Trouble is that passenger cars are inherently see-through with all the windows, and interior details (or lack thereof) stand out like a sore thumb. I think if the designers of the car had intended the interior of the car to be anything but suggestive, they would have made it easier to get to the interior of the car. Having to physically pry the floor out from underneath the sides isn't exactly "user friendly."

I did notice the missing chains, but given that the car (which is right about 25" long) is stated to fit around a 2' radius curve (!!!), methinks the chains would be dragging on the ground. I'm curious--has anyone actually tried running two cars coupled together on a 2' radius curve? A 3-car train would take up half the circle! I think wouldn't be a stretch to accept the engineering principle that any piece of rolling stock shouldn't have to fit around a radius that's smaller than the car is long! At least they didn't articulate the center. :)

Later,

K
 

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The movement of the trucks is very limited by a pin next to the coupler. It will never fit a 2' radius. I measured that the coach needs at least a 3' radius or a few inches more. Only LGB thought that every car should run on 2' radii. Nonsense and causing a lot of troubles with overhang and coupler, as we know. On a 4' radius, which should be the minimum radius for such a long vehicle, the AMS car should not have problems with the rather short chains. I'm preparing to mount chains and believe it will work.

I cleaned the brass trucks parts from the chipped paint with acetone and found that they didn't use primer before airbrushing the parts. Therefore the chipped paint. The rest of the material (as well not primed) is white metal, but the paint sticks much better on it. I will also reinstall the brake shoes closer to the wheels. They never looked that awful on an AMS car.
 

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Just for fun, I coupled my two now-removed end platforms together and looked at the tightest angle possible between them--right around 45°. So, given a coupler-to-coupler distance of 27", the tightest practical radius (regardless of truck swing) is just under 3'. Perhaps someone should ask Accucraft about their stated minimum radius?

Later,

K
 

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"They never looked that awful on an AMS car"
 
WTF!?!?  /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/crazy.gif
 
Are you just here to bash AMS/Accucraft!?  
 
I don't know who you are - or where you are - but for months now, folks here on this board, and elsewhere have been overjoyed and thankful to have such an affordable passenger car in 1:20.3.  Your incessant need to continually say something nasty about the AMS coach in each of your posts seems to be a conscious effort to force negative comments on Accucraft into the public discord. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/angry.gif
 
Elsewhere people have noted the problems and the fixes to them. There is nothing wrong with pointing out manufacturing defects, and in fact that is encouraged here on MLS, but not in the caustic way you seem to be thriving on it!  Get over it (...and yourself)!! 

As for your "look at Bachmann stuff - better than AMS" type comments - BS:mad:  Their new tank cars may look good - but boy howdy do they have operational issues!  Mine won't even stay on the track - all three of them! /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/pinch.gif
 
But then again - I'm not here taking a swipe at Bachmann in every post I make... rather I'm sucking it up and learning to work through the problems as the tanks cars are 1/3rd the cost of the alternatives from 3-Foot.
 
I and I'm sure others agree with you that QC could be better on the cars.... as with just about EVERYTHING out of China these days... /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/doze.gif but if we're gonna start listing the companies that suffer from QC issues... let's start at the top... the VERY TOP of the list... a far cry from where AMS ends up in the list... let's start with the MSRP $1400.00 K-27 that I can't run because they F*CKED UP every single stink'n counterweight they shipped!
 
You wanna come in here and bash AMS - fine - but be prepared to learn the painful truth that those you hold up as examples of "bettering quality" have in fact just screwed a thousand plus modelers and hosed a million and a half dollars in merchandise.
 
Sheesh!! /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/plain.gif
 
 
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