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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, I worked with the search function, and either it has a high degree of vacuum, or I ain't doin' it right...

Anyway, I need to get a feel for how well the MTH Big Boy has been received.

A colleague contacted me today, and asked if I'd be interested in buying one that is part of a friend of a friend's estate.

Figured I'd ask around MLS and see what they are relatively worth (no box, but never run - the dead guy just liked the way it looked - as the story goes), and I'm gonna presume that it's "box stock"...

So, any input from the group??
 

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Dunc, do you want to run the MTH system with all of it's fun points?

Or would you just run this on DC?

It's an important consideration at the top, no matter what condition the loco is in or how good a deal it is.

There's lots of threads on this system, and the trials and tribulations of some.

ALERT ALERT ALERT TO MTH LOVERS !!! NOTICE THE WORD WAS SOME, AS IN NOT ALL, BUT SOME. THERE ARE EXTENSIVE THREADS ON THE SUBJECT LOOK AT THE EVIDENCE BEFORE YOU GO NUTS...

ok, caps lock off... seriously it's got it's good points and not so good points, so how do you expect to run it?

Regards, Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Greg,
I'm not that sure that I'm interested in it for my self. Ralph may have a hankerin' for one, and if he doesn't I'm liable to wind up being the go-between between the selller, and a prospective buyer her on MLS...
If Ralph wants a go at it, it would probably wind up with some sort of other brand controller, runing on battery power...
 

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Hopefully the MTH experts will surface. I think there was a situation where the wheel centers were plastic, but not sure it was the big boy.

Not running the MTH system wastes the great (if slightly toylike in function) sound unit.

If it's a great deal, and you want a 1:32 loco, it can be a nice find.

Regards, Greg
 

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After playing with one for close to six months now...

Track slider screws need to be screwed farther in before ANY running is done. Leave them down, they short on a switch and fry half the boards in it.

Other than that, it doesn't like facing-point LGB R3 switches, but runs extremely well on anything else.

Gorgeous engine, really--if it had some weight in the front of the boiler to even it out, it could be the real thing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRIDHNXX_Rw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0Z1FRu7Ygw

Paid $1300 with tax brand spanking new, so I'd expect $1000 or less without the box--my personal thing, feel free to disregard it!
 

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Robbie, do you know if there was a plastic center wheel problem? I know some of the 1:32 MTH locos had this at one time.

Regards, Greg
 

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No it doesn't have plastic centers to the drivers. That is a problem for the original Hudson that is now 9 years old. Not quite sure what Greg is concerned with but Im sure he will speak up. It will work as well or better than any other engine you have. You should buy it, even if you don't have a DCS system. It runs fine on regular old DC. The sound and smoke it can produce are amazing and fun. I would not describe it as toy like, but last time I checked its a free country, so take that as you will.

The issue with the sliders is that they might, (not will, but might) have contact with the frog on certain switches which could cause a short in the power pickup to the rear engine. Its easy enough to check your own RR to see if this is an issue for you. It isn't for me, but then again I have never really had any problems with MTH equipment. Your milage may vary.

I bought a NIB one in April for 700 from Chuck Ro. I would spend that again in a heartbeat to purchase a second. I also have an Accucraft BB. It is more detailed, and absolutely requires 3m or 20ft curves. The MTH version can squeek around a 8 footer, but looks a bit off doing it. I do not know how many cars it can pull, but it is more than I have, which is 55. No USA or Aristo engine I have ever had could do that. Again, your milage may vary.

Don't miss the opportunity. Get it and then decide if you want to sell it. You cant go wrong.
 

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The Big Boy should pull at least 100-200 cars. Rayman4449 has done 120 with his, no problems.

It'll pull my Bachmann K-27 and ten AMS freight cars backwards up a 6% grade(K-27 has a failed gearbox and wheels are locked up).

Definitely no plastic centers to the drivers, they're all metal. I can grab a few pics of anything specific if you want them.

It's easily the second smoothest running(behind the Bachmann Connie), most pulling, and simply biggest engine I own. Buy it.


 

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Did not mean to cast aspersions on the Big Boy, that's why I was careful to ask and request comments.

The only thing you miss on DC is some of the remote stuff, but the sound quality and effects are very nice on DC. (My toylike comment was about some of the cab chatter stuff)

The only caution I have is that it is 1:32, and full size 1:29 box cars can look kinda big right next to it, but just run a few smaller cars, and most people would not notice.

I have heard the same on the sliders and making sure they cannot hit anything.

Regards, Greg
 

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Since I'm the actual owner of the Big Boy that Robbie, my brother mentioned I'll put in my two cents here:

The Challengers in their early stages had plastic driver centers. The Big Boy has a fully metal wheel and drive gear. The sliders are really the only difficulty, and I had Rayman4449 work his magic on those, and I have not had a problem since. It's a beautiful engine, runs extremely well, I'd even venture to say that it's smoother than the LGB Moguls we own, which used to be unbeatable. It is a bit of a pain to get a front coupler on, if you're into that, but it can be done. I can't really think of anything particularly bad to say about it. The widest turns we have are R3 (8ft diam. approx.) and it is capable of doing it, but it looks very odd doing so. If you've got at least 10ft diameter curves, and enough clearance, I would definitely buy it. I paid $1258 after tax, so I'd say $1000 at most for a used one.


Also, I originally ran my Big Boy on straight DC power, and I finally popped for the MTH DCS system, and I'll never go back. It's the most brilliant sound system I've ever experienced, and having the capability to control chuff rate, sound volume, smoke output, and speed in SMPH on the fly is absolutely amazing.
 

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$1,100.00 - $1,300.00 is what they bring on Ebay!! That's actually more $$$ than what they originally sold for at the pre-order price..go figure as big articulated engines will never sell in large scale..or that's what some folks want to believe. My MTH One Gauge Big Boy is packed up & heading to the HAGRS.
 

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Count me in as another pleased owner of MTH's Big Boy. Mine had some teething problems early on (the engine would quit when the boiler swung > 10 degrees or so away from the chasis), but my dealer and I were able to resolve the issues quickly. Since then, I've run it under all sorts of conditions and it's been a sterling performer. Frankly, I wish there were more 1/32 articulated engines in production. (I'm most likely going to join the waiting list for Accucraft's 1/32 Allegheny as Accucraft is waiting for more people to sign on before pulling the trigger on Allegheny production.) And while I think USA's 1/29th Big Boy is darn impressive, it's really too big for me to operate comfortably on current/temporary patio layout.

Here's a few pictures I took last summer of the Big Boy contentedly chuffing away in our backyard -



 

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Hi Duncan,

I too love my Big Boy (and Challengers) but I have not run any of them enought to give an honest evaluation.

Ray Manley (Rayman4449) is the guy to talk to. He has probably put more time and work on his Big Boys than anyone else.

I think $1,000 is reasonable even if they sell for more on eBay. Out of warranty service is not even available from MTH (they will NOT do it but instead insist that a dealer do the work). I just bought a new NYC Hudson from St. Aubin but they no longer do any MTH repairs. Even if the loco has never been run if it is past the warranty date (perhaps limited to the original buyer) I would NOT expect any free repairs no matter what the circumstances.

I LOVE the Big Boy but I do not love MTH's service policy which is unfortunate in that in my opinion MTH service used to be the best in the O Gauge market.

If you are thinking about running it on battery I WOULD DEFINATELY SUGGEST THAT YOU TALK TO RAY MANLEY FIRST!!!

MTH locos (and DCS) are totally different from any other G Gauge loco. The motors and electronics (sound) are interconnected and the motors are controlled in effect with a tachomoter. A DC/battery conversion may not be impossible but it would be a real challenge and probably destroy any resale value unless done professionally and Ray is the ONLY person I would even consider for such a conversion (if he would do it).

Jerry
 

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Boy Jerry, Where you're coming up with that story about MTH Service & warranty issues is beyond me. Heck they just warrantied my Hudson that's from the first production run what?? 8 years ago as it just received a new drive block.

Sounds like to me that St. Aubin's pumped you full of BS which isn't really suprising knowing those folks
 

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I need to chime in here and say that I believe that the issue may not be with MTH however maybe with the dealer?

I received both my Hudson and Triplex with damage. A few photos and my Dealer / MTH had replacement parts issued within days. This despite the fact that the shipping Company had caused the damage.

I have no issue with MTH and their ability to back up their product.

gg
 

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Posted By Chucks_Trains on 12 Aug 2009 09:15 PM
Boy Jerry, Where you're coming up with that story about MTH Service & warranty issues is beyond me. Heck they just warrantied my Hudson that's from the first production run what?? 8 years ago as it just received a new drive block.

Sounds like to me that St. Aubin's pumped you full of BS which isn't really suprising knowing those folks

Hello Chuck,

My comments are based on my personal experience other than the fact that St. Aubin said they no longer do MTH service. It is unfair and incorrect to say "St. Aubin's pumped you full of BS" because my comments have very little to do with them.

MTH may have changed their service policy (again) but I am 100% sure that their web site formerly stated that out of warranty repairs HAD to be sent to an authorized repair center. NOW they say an authorized center does not have to do non-warranty work on locos they did not sell. i don't knolw where the nearest MTH dealer is but that does not matter IF I can once again send MTH locos to MTH for repairs.

I am also 100% sure that years ago I was charged (by MTH - before thieir change to authorized service centers) over $200 for (electronic) repairs to a MTH O Gauge loco with about 15 minutes running time but that was out of warranty. The power supply was a MTH Z-4000.

I am NOT anti-MTH. I have a LOT of MTH trains in both O and G gauges.








Having said that I stand by my original comments and I would be hesitant to buy a used MTH loco without some sort of warranty or guaranty.

If MTH comes out with a G Gauge UP Northern preferably #944 I will be among the first to order one just as I ordered the G Gauge Big Boy and Challenger when they were first announced - YEARS before I ever saw them.

I think MTH offers great value for their prices. I have to be resold on MTH service but hopefully it will be years before I have to find out if and how it has changed. I welcome any comments that suggest my opinion of MTH service is no longer accurate and I am the first to acknowledge that I eventually (years later) worked out something with MTH regarding what I had paid for the repairs.

Regards,

Jerry
 

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As much as I love my MTH engines, I have to agree with Jerry on the service issue. Although my then-local dealer (G Scale Station in Waldorf, MD (great place)) fixed my Big Boy's teething problems, the owner indicated that MTH would pay him nothing for doing the warranty work. That strikes me as a crazy system - I can't imagine what servicing my car would be like if I had to send it back to Stuttgart each time something went wrong.

I'm afraid service issues are probably endemic to nich hobbies like G scale, but you'd think MTH realizes enough profit from its O and HO scale sales (and the proceeds from whatever litigation why recently brought!) to subsidize dealer service for its trains.

This was a few years ago, though, so perhaps things have changed.

BTW, Jerry, I'm drooling over your wall of trains!
 

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I don't know how MTH service is directly, as my engine has never been back there. My Big Boy was in for some service work at my local Authorized Service Center, and they honored the warranty and did a first-rate job on it. I do agree that if it is their policy to always have out of warranty service done by the dealer, then that is a little strange. My Big Boy is also packed up and ready to go the HAGRS show on Saturday, so if anyone wants to see it, stop by at Raymond's display and say hi!
 
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