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Just Wondering

11409 Views 87 Replies 29 Participants Last post by  rbednarik
I was wondering if it might not be a good option for Accucraft to offer their engines in a "Custom tuned version"? When someone places their order they could take their chances on getting a good runner, or pay extra upfront and be assured that it would be. There are other products that are offered this way, why not Accucraft Loco's. If you are mechanically inclined and like to tinker you can take your chances with what is right of the assembly line, and if not up to par, get it running right yourself. If not, (Like me) it would be well worth the extra money charged to get a well tuned runner right out of the box. As it is now, if you have problems you spend a lot of time and shipping expense to and from Accucraft for warranty work, let alone the chances you take with the shippers messing up your prized Loco in route. I think many would be happy to pay more to get a good runner up front and avoid the hassles down the road. What do you think? :)
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When you are talking about Locos in the 3.5 to 5K price range already...........I would be happy to pay 3 to 4 hundred more to avoid the frustration and get a well tuned runner. As far as Locos that could not be tuned by a competent Locosmith, I would hope that Accucraft would realize that it should go to the parts bin and never be released to a consumer. I mean if a true craftsman could not get it running it's a junker anyway.
I/we as customers should not pay for something that is as basic as a properly running engine out of the box.

Charles, I agree with this statement, however customers are paying for Accucraft Locos that are not running well out of the box, and then going to a lot of time, money, and trouble anyway. I agree, it would be asking too much for the Chineese to tune some at the assembly line. Maybe Accucraft U.S.A. could have a certain percentage of each run of a new model sent direct to a few trusted Accucraft licensed locosmiths that could get them running right for a extra charge. It could be a bussiness deal between Accucraft and their chosen locosmiths. Make it worth these American craftsmans time and effort (cash that is). I think that you would be amazed at how many would pay up to an extra 4 to 5 hundred bucks to get a well tuned running engine when you consider that they are already paying 4 to 6 K for one thats a crap shoot on quality in the first place.
There are a handful of folks out there who work on live steam models for pay

This is true. Accucraft realizes this, and also knows that the folks that expect their engines to run right will go to the time, effort, and money to seek these people out. If they can not do it themselves. Then, after all of this effort, and, or money spent they come on MLS and sing the praises of Accucraft. Accucraft sure must make a good margin of profit on their Loco's, when you figure how much it must cost them for warranty repair. I guess things wont change until the cost of doing warranty work and exchange outweighs what it would cost to figure out a way to test locos in China before shipment.
Hello Charles, I'm not sure, but I think that you are making my point?????? /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/blink.gif Guys like you and the others mentioned keep figuring out these Accucraft problems, but we do not see them put into production at the assembly end on new runs of Loco's. (as of yet that is) It is still very hit or miss on running ability, assembly and over all quality control. These are no longer $600.00 Locos but 3.5K and up Accucraft engines. Hit or miss should no longer apply.
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Why would a "Aster Snob" like myself even care?????? Well, I have heard that Accucraft is taking orders for a S.P. 2-10-2 just like the engine that sits on static display outside of Minute Maid field here in Houston. That engine was last inspected by my Grand Dad many years ago. Every time I drive past it I feel like I am seeing a old member of my family. So, for the first time I am getting the hankering for a Accucraft engine /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/shocked.gif (I know Jeff, say it aint so......it's sentimental reasons only). Every engine that I own has been factory built and runs great. Because I am not a tinker'er, builder, or good at adjusting /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/blush.gif I have some concerns about buying a Accucraft engine. All I can do is run em' and tighten the occasional bolt and screw that gets loose from running. I do not want a engine that needs to be rebored, retimed, steam admission changed, resprung, or sent back and forth for warranty work until it runs right. I think I could maybe get used to the valve gear being backwards but that should have been changed years ago too. Maybe this is asking too much for a engine from Accucraft in the 4 to 5K price range. The Factory built Aster Mikado and P8 are in this price range and run great right out of the box. Not all Asters are over 5K.
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The problem is that it is so "hit or miss" on if you get a good runner. There is no doubt that "some" run well out of the box, its the rest that are the problem.
Case in point:

If you go to the "Informative Threads Index" at the top of the Live Steam Forum you will find that 8 out of the 14 listings are on how to improve/fix "Problems" with Accucraft engines.

We all agree on:
Because of their production in China, they have been able to produce Locos in the price range that has resulted in so many new folks getting into live steam. This is very good. Their attention to detail (Labor intensive) for the price is great. They have offered many, many models in a short period of time (maybe part of the problem). Anyway, I still think that if Accucraft could figure out a way to ratchet up the quality control on the design and running side, people would be willing to pay more for their products in the end because it would result in overall better running and longer lasting engines.
I'm amazed no one has mentioned the fact that Roundhouse runs in all their locos before shipping. Subsequently, they have the well earned reputation-- "runs like a Roundhouse".

Hello Keith, this was metioned a while back on this thread. Many feel that doing something like this would:

Throw a wrench in the works in China, or if it were done here in the U.S., after the fact of the loco being built would add too much to the end price of the engine. It would be tougher to do then it sounds. Just packing and repacking a engine would probably take more time then it would take for a craftsman like Dave to tune it. I am not saying that this could not be figured out and done, and I do believe that most would pay more to be insured that they would get a great running engine out of the box each time.
Please,........Please,..............Lets not let this turn into a political debate.
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