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Any complaints about Intermountain products ?...

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Any complaints about Intermountain products ?...
Posted by marksrailroad on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 3:01 AM

Hello all. A friend of mine who is an N scaler has purchased several Intermountain locos over the years and they've all had issues. They not only have very fragile detailing such as railing and so forth but also came apart in his hands with the frame just falling out of the shell. They look nice and run fairly well but they just don't hold up like other brands. Anyone else out there with a story like this ?.

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 3:34 AM

My experience with InterMountain HO has been excellent! They have gone above and beyond what was necessary to solve the few minor problems that I have had.

I bought a used FP7A on eBay and it came with a squeaky motor. I asked them if I could but a new motor. They sent the motor complete with flywheels for free including shipping.

I bought a Loksound decoder from them to convert another FP7A from DC. I wanted to add a reverse light but the decoder, being designed specifically for their locomotives that did not have reverse lights, did not come with a reverse light function. I contacted then to see if it was possible to set the decoder up with a reverse light. They didn't know, but they offered to contact ESU on my behalf to see what could be done. I declined the offer because I figured out a work around that accomplished what I wanted.

I asked if I could order some winterization hatches for my Fs that didn't come with them. They sent me what I needed, painted in the proper CP maroon, and didn't charge a cent.

The HO F series locomotives have not proven to be fragile. There was an issue with a couple of the long side grills coming loose but a little CA solved that easily.

That has been my experience with InterMountain. I would certainly suggest that your friend contact them about the issues to see what they will do, although if the locomotives are several years old I wouldn't fault them if they declined.

Dave

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 5:05 AM

marksrailroad

Hello all. A friend of mine who is an N scaler has purchased several Intermountain locos over the years and they've all had issues. They not only have very fragile detailing such as railing and so forth but also came apart in his hands with the frame just falling out of the shell. They look nice and run fairly well but they just don't hold up like other brands. Anyone else out there with a story like this ?.

 

No experiance with N scale, but their HO products are among the best in the business.

BUT, like all the newer high detailed products, they are fragile. So if the N scale models have similar detail, they must be fragile but definition do to their size and scale.

I have heard this kind of complaint before about many brands, even in HO. You can't have fine scale detail and "train set" durablity - take your pick.......

Sheldon

    

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 6:21 AM

My only complaint about HO scale Intermountain diesels is that they are geared to run too slowly compared to that of other manufacturers for the same types of diesels.

Rich

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Posted by tstage on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 6:24 AM

I guess some folks are harder on details than others.  I've had no issues of fragility with my few HO-scale IM locomotives.

Tom

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Posted by joe323 on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 6:45 AM

Fragile details has always been a problem for me.  Guess thats why I have so many Bachmann locos

Joe Staten Island West 

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Posted by BRAKIE on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 8:25 AM

No complaints about my HO IM GP10..It's  a far better runner from the box then my Geneses GP9 was.

Larry

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Posted by BRVRR on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 8:54 AM

I have a pair of HO-Scale InterMountain F7s. One with Tsunami sound and the other just DCC. Once they were set up with DecoderPro they have been great runners. I've had no problem with the details so far. 

I'm pleased with them.

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Posted by SouthPenn on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 9:37 AM

I have 3 Intermountain F units in HO. They all came out of the box with some details laying in the bottom of the box. Two had windshields missing, and one had a coupler missing.

I could never get the decoders to work right. Leap frog starts and poor speed control. I eventually got that frustrated with them that I replaced all the decoders with TCS decoders. Now they run fine. To add insult to injury, the factory decoders have the goofy 23 pin connections. At the time that really limited replacement options.

Maybe they have improved??

South Penn
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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 10:11 AM

SouthPenn

I have 3 Intermountain F units in HO. They all came out of the box with some details laying in the bottom of the box. Two had windshields missing, and one had a coupler missing.

I could never get the decoders to work right. Leap frog starts and poor speed control. I eventually got that frustrated with them that I replaced all the decoders with TCS decoders. Now they run fine. To add insult to injury, the factory decoders have the goofy 23 pin connections. At the time that really limited replacement options.

Maybe they have improved??

 

Did you contact Intermountain about the loose or missing details? They have great customer service.

As for the DCC issues, or speed issues with DCC, that is a decoder issue. My DC versions run the same speed as my other brands within a reasonable margin.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 10:13 AM

richhotrain

My only complaint about HO scale Intermountain diesels is that they are geared to run too slowly compared to that of other manufacturers for the same types of diesels.

Rich

 

Rich, it is not the hard gearing, it is a decoder issue, voltage issue. My DC versions run plenty fast.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 10:38 AM

22 pin decoders are common as chips now. It's more or less the new standard, since the 8 pin is entirely inadequate for anything remotely modern with more than just basic headlights. All of the major decoder makers have 22 pin decoders now.

Tsunamis never had had the best motor control. Intermountain now uses ESU, much superior. They now use Lokpilot motor only decoders in many of the non-sound versions. 

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Posted by csxns on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 10:39 AM

I like Intermountain freight cars but their locomotives not so much.

Russell

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 12:48 PM

I'm a big fan of IMRC's HO freight cars and have quite a few, and plan on buying more.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 12:50 PM

My complaint with Intermountain is that all new releases are sound DCC or non-sound DCC, no DC version available. The jumper plug you need to remove the non-sound decoder is not included. You have to contact Intermountain to get one. I'll see how that works from Germany. Even Bachmann was able to include it.

I don't know if IM made a good business decision with about half of the modellers still running DC.

A few years ago I got an IM FT A-B set that was a real lemon. I contacted IM but never got a response.
Regards, Volker

Addition: I just receive the invoice for the DC-jumper-plug for the ET44AH. The costs are $5.00 plus international shipping. The plug is free if I return the LokPilot non-sound decoder. I would still pay 2 times international shipping.

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Posted by PRR8259 on Thursday, September 07, 2017 9:31 PM

I love the HO Intermountain PS 5277 boxcars...the second to last production model boxcar Pullman Standard ever had (last being the flat top PS 5344).  They are nice models, and I'm collecting all the colorful schemes of both models mentioned even though I run them behind steam.

My family and extended family worked for Pullman Standard in Butler, PA and also the power plant construction subsidiary...

John

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Posted by ricktrains4824 on Thursday, September 07, 2017 10:08 PM

My one IM loco is a good puller, has great motor control, and good detailing.

Yes, fine details are fragile, but that comes with the territory.

No complaints from me on it.

Ricky W.

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Posted by CajonTim on Friday, September 08, 2017 11:57 AM

Marksrailroad,

I have several N scale Intermountain loco's and freight cars.  I have had no issues to speak of.  I love the slow speed control of their locomotives and the detailing.  I did buy several IM freight car kits several years ago and they were a bit of work (more than I wanted to do!) but they look great!  I bought a couple of used IM locomotives on eBay a couple years ago and was disappointed with their pulling power (I have 2.25% grades on my mainline).  I decided to contact IM and they couldn't have been nicer (I was even up front with them and told them it was a secondary market purchase).  They helped me diagnose the issues (simple maintenance) and they now run and pull great.  Since then I have purchased several IM loco's and am a big fan of the company.

Tim

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Posted by TheWizard on Saturday, September 09, 2017 3:44 AM

My experience has been light on weight, light on lighting detals, and parts that fall off easily.

If I can buy from another manufacturer, I will, but if I can't, I'll buy I-M. I don't boycott them like I do MTH, and with some CV tweaks they run well enough.

But seriously, check them over well before buying, or be prepared to send them back. My last diesel from them was an U18B that had a broken cab chair and no cab window (it wasn't even in the box), 3/4 of the radiator grills had popped off, and one of the handrails was both popped off and broken in two.

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Posted by don7 on Saturday, September 09, 2017 5:27 PM

I only have HO Intermountain diesel engines and they are all DCC with sound. I did have an issue with one of the diesel engines, conntacted IM and they sent me a replacement unit. Really impressed with their customer service.

I also use their metal wheel sets in all of my rolling stock, excellent poduct as well. Had an issue with a couple of older Athearn trucks and IM sent me a bunch of their trucks to replace the old Athearn trucks which were an odd size and not standard at all.

As I mentioned, best Customer Service I ever had.

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Posted by nealknows on Saturday, September 09, 2017 9:08 PM

Here's one for you... I bought 2 of the NMRA 2017 Tropicana freight cars since I model a Juice Train. Detail is nice, they roll great. However, I don't use scale couplers so I wanted to put in the standard #148 (#5 in whisker version). To my surprise, you can't change the coupler. They glued it shut! I called and was told that is the way they came. Very disappointed with that car...

Neal

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Posted by BMMECNYC on Saturday, September 09, 2017 9:16 PM

nealknows
To my surprise, you can't change the coupler. They glued it shut! I called and was told that is the way they came. Very disappointed with that car...

Yep,

That's probably my only complaint about intermountain.  

If you are careful, and lucky, you might be able to drill out the peg holding the coupler box shut with a 2-56 clearance drill, change the coupler, then install a 2-56 screw.  Ive had mixed results.  I did it with one car.  I will probably get to the others I have.   

I had an SD40-2 with a warped truck.  I called and they gave me the option to replace the truck myself or send the locomotive back for repair.  I elected to send it back, and for the cost of one way shipping, the locomotive was repaired.  

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Posted by rrinker on Saturday, September 09, 2017 9:24 PM

VOLKER LANDWEHR

My complaint with Intermountain is that all new releases are sound DCC or non-sound DCC, no DC version available. The jumper plug you need to remove the non-sound decoder is not included. You have to contact Intermountain to get one. I'll see how that works from Germany. Even Bachmann was able to include it.

I don't know if IM made a good business decision with about half of the modellers still running DC.

A few years ago I got an IM FT A-B set that was a real lemon. I contacted IM but never got a response.
Regards, Volker

Addition: I just receive the invoice for the DC-jumper-plug for the ET44AH. The costs are $5.00 plus international shipping. The plug is free if I return the LokPilot non-sound decoder. I would still pay 2 times international shipping.

 

 Since they use an ESu motherboard and a standard 22 pin connection - you should be able to source a jumper plug locally, given that ESU is a German company. 22 pin is 22 pin, so there should be nothing proprietary about the Intermountain one.

                        --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by tstage on Saturday, September 09, 2017 10:57 PM

Volker,

Is it a 2-prong or 3-prong jumper?  You could fashion one yourself from 30ga solid wire and short them together with solder.

Tom

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Sunday, September 10, 2017 3:40 AM

tstage
Is it a 2-prong or 3-prong jumper? You could fashion one yourself from 30ga solid wire and short them together with solder.

I don't know. Having zero experience with DCC I don't know how the single pins on the 21-pin are used.

I have ordered one and will see.

As Bachmann provides it with their locomotives I assume it costs just cents and not $5.00. Perhaps IM uses the $5.00 as deposit to get the LokPilots back cheap.

Two times international shipping to/from Germany plus customs paper work make it make sending back useless to me.
Regards, Volker

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Posted by BMMECNYC on Sunday, September 10, 2017 8:53 AM

VOLKER LANDWEHR
Two times international shipping to/from Germany plus customs paper work make it make sending back useless to me. Regards, Volker

Did you try contacting ESU directly?  They might be able to get you the part you need as they are a German company.  

 

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Posted by VOLKER LANDWEHR on Sunday, September 10, 2017 4:51 PM

I thought IM is the better, safer source.
Regards, Volker

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Posted by ATSFGuy on Monday, September 11, 2017 4:25 PM

Do the Intermountain ES44AC GEVO's run well? I was planning to get 2 in the SF Warbonnet Scheme, can they be paired with an Athearn Genesis ES44AC GEVO?

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Posted by SETH CRAWFORD on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 7:55 PM

I think it's a case of some companies are better at one scale than others, another example is Kato being best at N scale and Lionel being only good at O-scale 

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Posted by Metro Red Line on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 6:06 AM

I have an N scale Intermountain SD40T-2. The shell will crack if you look at it the wrong way.

Intermountain should have made their N scale loco bodies out of eggshells - I mean, it's a much stronger material than what they're using.

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