Lok n Roll F3 arrived!

Lok n Roll F3 arrived!

Postby Petercat » Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:40 pm

Well, my Lok N Roll Santa Fe F3 has arrived, and is running around a small oval as I type.
Mind you, I have very little experience with TT scale engines, so bear with me as I give my initial impressions of this one. I can only compare it to engines from Z and N.
First off, so there are no misunderstandings, let me state that I am VERY happy with it overall, and feel that the price was below what I would have expected to pay for what is essentially a hand-built mechanism. Money well spent.
It ran very smoothly right out of the box, but was very noisy. I mean gear whine and a weird whistle that was barely below dog-whistle frequency.
It's been running forward for a little over 30 minutes now, and is noticeably quieter. At first, it was equally noisy in forward and in reverse. Now, forward is much quieter than reverse. The break-in is working. But the whistle is still there.
The detail quality of the shell is not good enough to satisfy a rivet counter, but it does look good on the track. This is a very subtle distinction. I think I can best say that there is nothing that jumps out to the eye and says "toy train". Which is pretty good, since the shell started life as exactly that, a toy train! Unless you are very familiar with the F3, you won't notice anything wrong. Repeat: It looks good on the track.
Whoa! The fuel tank just now fell off. Apparently the heat from the motor softened the sticky tape holding it on. There are two thin brass strips that the tape is applied to. Maybe I can replace them with steel and the motor magnets will hold it on. The glue holding the brass strips to the fuel tank also failed, which made replacing the fuel tank a real rectal discomfort. But without the fuel tank, the motor runs cool. A ventilation issue.
Low speed operation is great. As I reduce the power, it gets slower and slower until it just isn't moving anymore. There is no sudden transition between crawling and stopped. Or between stopped and crawling.
It has a directional headlight, which appears to be an incandescent bulb. I don't know how to get the shell off (yet) but I'll change it to an LED soon.
No documentation at all from Lok n Roll. I would like some maintenance and disassembly instructions, please.

My rating so far? Out of 10 possible, I give it:

8 for build quality. Would have been a 9 at least, but the method of holding the fuel tank on is just too poor.
10 for operation. Remember, I am comparing it to N and Z, which would average 6-7 compared to this F3.
6 for Lok n Roll communication. Slow response to emails, no documentation for the engine, didn't acknowledge receipt of
payment. Did send me an email when it was shipped about a week later.
9 for appearance, but I'm not a rivet counter, and the Warbonnet is my favorite scheme, so I'm biased. And this sucker
looks GOOD rolling on the track!

Overall? I'll give it a nine. That may rise or fall in the future, because my frame of reference is just too narrow right now. How happy am I with it? I'm going to order another with two Kadee couplers with my next bonus check. I like the looks of an A-A pulling a long freight.
But then I'll have to spend the money for the long freight. 'DOH! This is getting expensive.
It's been running for over an hour now, and it just keeps getting quieter. But that barely-audible whistle is still there.

I just hope Lok n Roll doesn't run out of shells. Is Lionel making them any more? Maybe we TT enthusiasts should buy them whenever they show up on the market, just in case. I already have five- another Santa Fe F3, a D&RG F3, an SP F3, a Chessie GP-9, and a Pennsylvania GG1. Just in case, y'know. Some other TT'r might want one later.
"It's Peter, not Pete. Pete sounds like a bird fart.
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Re: Lok n Roll F3 arrived!

Postby AstroGoat760 » Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:58 pm

Petercat wrote:I just hope Lok n Roll doesn't run out of shells. Is Lionel making them any more? Maybe we TT enthusiasts should buy them whenever they show up on the market, just in case. I already have five- another Santa Fe F3, a D&RG F3, an SP F3, a Chessie GP-9, and a Pennsylvania GG1. Just in case, y'know. Some other TT'r might want one later.


No, Lionel is not making anymore of those models, and has not for quite some time. I have got quite a few of them myself, and I know that some have turned to making resin copies of the shells to make more of them.
Course Set, Speed - Maximum Warp, PUNCH IT!
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Re: Lok n Roll F3 arrived!

Postby Marquette » Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:29 am

I've been led to believe that the person responsible for having produced these models (at Lionel) in 1:120 instead of 1:160 was fired for it, too, so if this is true, I think we can say with certainty that there'll be no more of these made, either...
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Re: Lok n Roll F3 arrived!

Postby AstroGoat760 » Sun Sep 16, 2012 1:33 am

Marquette wrote:I've been led to believe that the person responsible for having produced these models (at Lionel) in 1:120 instead of 1:160 was fired for it, too, so if this is true, I think we can say with certainty that there'll be no more of these made, either...


There was a 1:160 collection that was made as well, with some of the same locomotives (Chessie GP-9, the General, GG1), with far worse detail than the 1:120 collection had. For example, their GP-9 had filled in areas between the handrails, making the model unable to be used on a display layout. The 1:160 collection was far smaller than the 1:120 collection was.
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Re: Lok n Roll F3 arrived!

Postby railtwister » Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:53 am

Peter,

Re: The noise - a whistle or squeal probably means a dry bearing somewhere, usually somewhere on a shaft with the highest RPM. With a half hour of run time already, you should not hesitate to put a drop of Labelle #107 or #108 oil on the motor bearings and the bearings on either side of each worm to prevent further wear. Also, take a close look at the drive gears to be sure they are clean and also lubed. A bit of LaBelle #106 grease or even their 90 weight gear lube wouldn't hurt, just be sure any lube you use states that it is "plastic compatible" (Labelle makes both plastic compatible and non-compatible lubes, so be careful).

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Re: Lok n Roll F3 arrived!

Postby Petercat » Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:39 am

railtwister wrote:Peter,

Re: The noise - a whistle or squeal probably means a dry bearing somewhere, usually somewhere on a shaft with the highest RPM. With a half hour of run time already, you should not hesitate to put a drop of Labelle #107 or #108 oil on the motor bearings and the bearings on either side of each worm to prevent further wear. Also, take a close look at the drive gears to be sure they are clean and also lubed. A bit of LaBelle #106 grease or even their 90 weight gear lube wouldn't hurt, just be sure any lube you use states that it is "plastic compatible" (Labelle makes both plastic compatible and non-compatible lubes, so be careful).

Bill in FtL


Do you have any idea how to get the shell off? It's difficult to reach some places, or even be sure that I'm seeing them all, with the shell on.
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Re: Lok n Roll F3 arrived!

Postby jmass » Sun Sep 16, 2012 3:23 pm

Peter, you need to get yourself three or four goldcoast 40 ft boxcars. then check out shapeways for conducters freight cars. one tank car a gondola and a ps2 covered hopper will make for a nice freight train. then round it out with whatever you can find on ebay. dont worry about the rivets, enjoy running your trains!
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Re: Lok n Roll F3 arrived!

Postby Arseny » Sun Sep 16, 2012 3:29 pm

And also I'd recommend to draw your attention at the RailTT cars. They are cheap enough and have a good quality.
(BTW I hope he will produce a caboose soon)

Maybe also Rob's gondolas and/or railboxes are still available?..
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Re: Lok n Roll F3 arrived!

Postby Petercat » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:55 am

Arseny wrote:And also I'd recommend to draw your attention at the RailTT cars. They are cheap enough and have a good quality.
(BTW I hope he will produce a caboose soon)

Maybe also Rob's gondolas and/or railboxes are still available?..

jmass wrote:Peter, you need to get yourself three or four goldcoast 40 ft boxcars. then check out shapeways for conducters freight cars. one tank car a gondola and a ps2 covered hopper will make for a nice freight train. then round it out with whatever you can find on ebay. dont worry about the rivets, enjoy running your trains!

Sounds like a plan!
Of course, eventually I'm going to have to build a layout...
I've ordered some Auhagen sets,
001.png
002.png

and some Noch people.
003.png

I think that these will be my favorites, though:
004.png

Just have to make sure that one of the houses has a balcony or two. Maybe an Amsterdam window...
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Re: Lok n Roll F3 arrived!

Postby j p » Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:57 am

Your selection of people reminds me of this H0 layout: http://www.kolejiste-zdar.cz/web/foto/jedlova/album/slides/P6260004.jpg
:lol:
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