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Offline CyrilW  
#1 Posted : 22 February 2021 15:23:19(UTC)
CyrilW

United States   
Joined: 19/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 3
Location: South Carolina, Conway
I purchased this Z scale Crocodile new and am having running issues that I hope someone can help diagnose. The engine will run normally along a straight section, but stops once it hits a curve. You can see from the video in the link below that if I lift up one end, it starts to run again. Nothing happens if I pick up the other end. I'm guessing it's a short because the lighted car will not light up when the engine stops.

My other trains run fine. Track is clean and I'm using newer Marklin and Rokuhan controllers.

Thanks for the help,
Cyril

Edited by user 22 February 2021 19:02:28(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline marklinist5999  
#2 Posted : 22 February 2021 16:12:46(UTC)
marklinist5999

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 54
Location: Michigan, Troy
Welcome, I'm not a Z scaler, but experienced. Due to the smaller size of the motors and gears, may I suggest first cleaning the gears, wheels, and areas of the motor armature where oil and dirt may have solidified. This can happen sooner than with N, or ho loc's. After that, inspect the motor brushes for excessive wear. Just use a cotton swab with alcohol, and a toothpick between the gear teeth and grooves between the armature winding poles.
Offline Carim  
#3 Posted : 22 February 2021 18:38:16(UTC)
Carim

United Kingdom   
Joined: 15/09/2014(UTC)
Posts: 469
Location: London
Have you checked that the pickups are making good contact with the wheels and then the rest of the mechanism? The fact that it seems to work when you touch the engine (put pressure on it) suggests that there is a poor connection somewhere.

Carim
Offline husafreak  
#4 Posted : 22 February 2021 18:58:49(UTC)
husafreak

United States   
Joined: 09/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 255
Location: California, Bay Area
I also have the 88564 and mine runs excellently. I agree with the above poster that since lifting the loco by the end restores power (that is unusual!) it may have something to do with the power pickup. An out of place or gunked up wiper or wheel, something shorting out inside the chassis, etc. If you bought it new consider returning it for service. If you got it new on fleabay I'll bet $ it wasn't new and the original owner pawned his problem off on you. Ebay is a minefield but OK if you can fix these things yourself. If you are indeed on your own with this I suggest contacting Frank (Z Scale hobo) as he does service Marklin and is very easy to contact, a great asset to Z scale. If you send it back to Marklin you have to be patient. I sent back a new 88889 in September and just got it back from Marklin last week, they do good repair work but very slow.
Offline CyrilW  
#5 Posted : 22 February 2021 19:05:06(UTC)
CyrilW

United States   
Joined: 19/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 3
Location: South Carolina, Conway
Thanks for the input. I updated my post to include that the engine runs ok along straight sections of track. It's not until it hits a curve that it stops.
Offline Poor Skeleton  
#6 Posted : 22 February 2021 20:22:08(UTC)
Poor Skeleton

United Kingdom   
Joined: 09/10/2015(UTC)
Posts: 324
Location: England, Cambridge
Originally Posted by: CyrilW Go to Quoted Post
Thanks for the input. I updated my post to include that the engine runs ok along straight sections of track. It's not until it hits a curve that it stops.


I would check the wipers on the top of the bogie that make contact onto the underside of the chassis. If one is bent it can short on to the metal of the chassis block when the pivots causing a short circuit.

Hope that helps


Chris
Online Zme  
#7 Posted : 22 February 2021 20:46:23(UTC)
Zme

United States   
Joined: 02/10/2013(UTC)
Posts: 260
Location: West Texas
Hello. Welcome to the forum.

That is a great Krock! It has their latest bell-armature motor and should run quietly and smoothly.

Of course if you have a new model with a warranty, the best service is available at Marklin, but it will take a while to get it back. Frank at Z Hobo does a great job too. If you have the nerve you could take some of the steps already suggested. To know the insides of the locomotive, here is the parts diagram which does not seem as detailed as it once was.

https://static.maerklin....edf0ca325b1578565666.pdf

I have had similar problems like this and would suggest checking that little spring (I think it is called a spring, but it doesn't really look like the kind of spring we think of at first) at the top of the front of the pilot trucks. (The first set of wheels at each end) you can see the spring riding on top of this truck if you just look with the truck flopping down when you lift it up. It seems the little copper springs can get out of place. If you look at the diagram I think the part I am talking about is #9. Notice in the top of the pilot truck there is s small groove for this little spring to guide into. If this spring is missing or bent, it will not work properly. Likewise if it is not laying in the slot, it may not work properly. Sometimes it rides off to the side and fails to make contact correctly.

If this is not a new locomotive, a good cleaning is always a well considered idea, but on a Krock may seem a bit unnerving. Those wheel sets are a challenge to get right if taken apart.

I hope checking this will solve your issues.

Take good care.

Dwight
Offline CyrilW  
#8 Posted : 22 February 2021 21:32:47(UTC)
CyrilW

United States   
Joined: 19/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 3
Location: South Carolina, Conway
Thank Dwight. I'll take a look.
Offline Ricinport  
#9 Posted : 23 February 2021 15:11:35(UTC)
Ricinport

Portugal   
Joined: 14/01/2021(UTC)
Posts: 17
Location: Faro
I purchased a crocodile on Ebay a couple of weeks back. Mini-club 8856
It was described as being in good condition and running. 2- out of 5

It arrived in it's clean and tidy box and it was in really quite good condition.
It runs like an absolute pig though.
I've purchased quite a few things on Ebay Spain recently and frankly most of it has been disappointing.
Used marklin fetches really quite surprising prices but the items never quite live up to their images on the auction page.

I have never asked for a refund as I feel that it's my own stupidity for bidding too high and purchasing used on Ebay.

However in the case of the crocodile I feel I was a little 'conned'. So for the first time ever I've asked for a refund and suprissingly the seller has been very accommodating.

I'll actually be sad to see it go as the crocodile is an unusual and strangely attractive piece.
I had in mind to look out for a new one but your experience @CyrilW has made me think again.
Could it be that the complexity of the bogies is at it's limit on such a loco and it's rather asking for problems?
I note that the 3 rodded and connected larger wheels on my 8856 is a long connection. I'd suggest it is too long for my tightest Marklin curve. Could that also be your problem?

Offline husafreak  
#10 Posted : 23 February 2021 16:18:47(UTC)
husafreak

United States   
Joined: 09/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 255
Location: California, Bay Area
I run my 88564 on 195r no problem. The Marklin web page for this loco does not have a limit for radius so I would guess it could even handle 145. Not sure about that though.

Fixing eBay Marklin seems to fall into two basic categories, first are the gummed up or dirty ones that just need maintenance, second are the ones that didn’t survive a botched repair, those are the worst! I’ve never gotten one that was just worn out.
Offline Ricinport  
#11 Posted : 23 February 2021 16:33:27(UTC)
Ricinport

Portugal   
Joined: 14/01/2021(UTC)
Posts: 17
Location: Faro
@husafreak

To be fair to the Ebay seller he did mention a slipping clutch. (It still negates the 2- classification though).
I'm new to this and I've a lot to learn. Is this something that is easily fixed? Would it explain the very jerky/rough running?

I'd like to keep it as it's a nice example. But it cost too much to not be useable.
Offline husafreak  
#12 Posted : 23 February 2021 17:00:25(UTC)
husafreak

United States   
Joined: 09/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 255
Location: California, Bay Area
A slipping clutch? I doubt there is a clutch in there ;) I hear you though, if it was expensive and is not running that is not a good situation. If it was cheap then maybe you could fix it and if unsuccessful it's not that bad. But for good money you should not have that risk. Wait for a better one to come along.
I have not had a Crocodile apart, I have two, the German version also, but they are modern and purchased new, they both run very well. Just out of curiosity I wonder how difficult these are to work on? Or is it like any other Marklin "under the hood".
Online Zme  
#13 Posted : 24 February 2021 02:13:44(UTC)
Zme

United States   
Joined: 02/10/2013(UTC)
Posts: 260
Location: West Texas
Hi. I hear what you are saying about this Krock, they are very expensive and should work well for the price.

A foreign vendor may be talking about the coupler when they use the word clutch.

I have had these apart and if the wheel sets are taken apart, they are a challenge to reassemble. When I took it apart, I lost one of the small rubber insulators between the motor and palatine. The are very small, and cheap, but who has them handy. Quartering the drive wheels is something which needs to be correct, but is not easy with so many wheel sets. Seems an extra hand would come in handy here. At the same time I would have to admit, it is not impossible. A newbie may have to spend more time trying to complete this job.

I would not like to start my zscale maintenance lessons on this one. Maybe a br 89 or v 60 or something like this would be good practice.

It is not possible that radius of the track is an issue. From the Marklin website it says “With their articulated design they can master all of the Z curves with no problem.”

I still think it is that small spring at the top of the pilot truck, but if you decided on getting a refund, I am not going to try to talk you out of it. That likely is your best solution. Just a side question, does the locomotive operate the same with a Marklin controller? Or is this what you are using. I was trying to draw a line between the bell-armature motor and a Rokuhan controller, but this may not be the problem.

Best wishes

Dwight



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Offline Ricinport  
#14 Posted : 24 February 2021 14:47:32(UTC)
Ricinport

Portugal   
Joined: 14/01/2021(UTC)
Posts: 17
Location: Faro
Originally Posted by: Zme Go to Quoted Post
Hi. I hear what you are saying about this Krock, they are very expensive and should work well for the price.

A foreign vendor may be talking about the coupler when they use the word clutch.



Spot on Dwight. I've checked and it has a broken coupler.
To be honest that's even more reason it should have run smoother, as that was mentioned as the only problem.

Meantime my Ebay experience gets worse.
yesterday I received my latest purchase the triple Rio Grande 88198.
https://www.marklin.com/...ts/details/article/88198
Another Ebay purchase but this time specified as being New.
I placed it on the track and to my huge disappointment only one of the locos has a working motor.
Both end lights work so there is power getting though just no drive one end.
This one cost me €269
The seller couldn't seem to understand why it wasn't working and simply repeated it as being new.

So both have been returned.

And that's it now for me and Ebay.
3 Locos: All problematical even one described as brand new.

I'll stick to purchasing direct from Marklin or retailers with their own web presence.
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Offline husafreak  
#15 Posted : 24 February 2021 17:47:16(UTC)
husafreak

United States   
Joined: 09/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 255
Location: California, Bay Area
Bummer. You have had bad luck. But my early EBay experience was similar, we all come into the hobby and want locos that are no longer available from Marklin or its dealer network. And we find them on EBay. In two years of model trains I have purchased a dozen probably and had 3 or 4 not run well. But I have gotten a couple of new locos from dealers which were also faulty. And one of those took about two years to go from pre order to a working train on my layout. I had good advice in the beginning from my favorite dealer, he said Marklin Z was a great and rewarding pastime, but you have to be very patient, or you will not enjoy it. It is really true!
Now weren’t the ABA set 88198 actually made by AZL? For Marklin? I have found my AZL American locos to be very reliable.
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Online Zme  
#16 Posted : 24 February 2021 18:08:39(UTC)
Zme

United States   
Joined: 02/10/2013(UTC)
Posts: 260
Location: West Texas
Hello, Sorry to hear you have another issue.

I just wanted to point out, that 88198 RioGrande could have been a good one. I always look for wear when I receive items from Ebay sellers. If there is no damage and the wheels look shiny and new, with no wear, I usually believe I got a decent item. Attempting to run it might still disclose a problem. With these small locomotives, there is a problem called hardened oil syndrome (HOS) . The locomotives are lubed and tested at the factory and sent to the vendor. If the item is not sold or sits on the shelf for a time, this lube hardens and prevents the locomotive from working. Just laying the box on its side instead of upright (Wheels pointing down) may cause the oil to seep to one side of the locomotive and then with time, when this oil hardens it will not work. It locks up in the old oil. That locomotive set was first produced in 2016 and it is possible it was not stored correctly. After five years on the shelf it is locked up. This should be considered normal, and most sellers may advise you of this condition. When the lights come on, but the loco will not move, this is a pretty good sign.

If you decide later to give Ebay sellers another try, look for listings which indicate the item was tested, lubed and serviced. Look for positive reviews for the seller, perhaps read a few. There are a few sellers which don't know a thing about what they are selling. They may have come across a Z item, at a bulk sale or estate sale. They just want to move it along. This is very common too.

This is also possible with a vendor. Z is often a small niche for their sales and as a result, they may not really know of the true condition of an item. Their stock may sit for a time before it is sold. Few sellers even work on them. I have heard Frank from Z Hobo is not like this. He specializes in Z item, and I think he actually tests the items he sells to make sure they are going to work when you get it. Perhaps you can find someone like this in your location.

With the F7 Marklins, it may not be that difficult to clean one up and get it going yourself. It uses a common motor, there is no wheel timing to be concerned with, and once the oil is cleaned up, it should work.

Well, that is beyond your control now, since you have already returned it. Like all the z scale item, there are a few small parts, and loss of a part is a potential. But it can be a fun learning experience. I would be disappointed to pay that much and then still have to do this work, but in most cases, I expect to do this.

Purchasing from a vendor has been a good experience for me but I have not been treated badly from eBay sellers too. I Just adjust my expectations.

Best wishes for future purchases, let us know how it works for you.

Dwight









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Offline Ricinport  
#17 Posted : 24 February 2021 21:05:38(UTC)
Ricinport

Portugal   
Joined: 14/01/2021(UTC)
Posts: 17
Location: Faro
@husafreak & @Zme

Many thanks to both of you for the detailed and sincere responses.
I think Dwight that you may have summed up the situation with the ageing oil. If I was more able I'd have had a go at loosening it. But at this stage I worry that I'd only further mess things up and then definitely void any warranty.

On the bright side the seller of the Rio Grande has accepted the problem.
I mailed back the faulty loco this morning and he says tomorrow he will send a replacement as he has another new one.
I've asked him to test it first.

So my faith is restored somewhat.

I find it interesting that Marklin release new models each year but don't continually produce older ones for long.
Currently they only have 9 locos ready to ship.
Once these sell out that's it. No re-runs of production.
There are of course the 2021 models coming.

Is the demand that limited that there is no longevity in continually producing more popular models?

I do appreciate that I will have to learn to service and repair locos.
That will come once the layout is finished. Something to aspire to.





Offline zscalehobo  
#18 Posted : 24 February 2021 21:33:19(UTC)
zscalehobo

United States   
Joined: 22/01/2014(UTC)
Posts: 136
Location: CALIFORNIA, Irvine
Thanks for the nice post Dwight. At ebay - I've even seen someone selling an MTL A-B as a Märklin 88606! Hahaha it was in the Marklin 88606 box. What a surprise that would be.

About z scale hobo - Yes we test immediately prior to shipment and post a YouTube video of the run.

On 88198... That's an A-B-A set. There are wires going from front A to the trailing A. Any compromise of that connection will kill the 2nd A. It's a master-slave arrangement and as I said, the connection is broken: #2 doesn't run.

Frank Daniels
Owner - z.scale.hobo
A Noch "Top Dealer"
Marklin Dealer and Z Locomotive Service
Irvine, California, USA
www.zscalehobo.com
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Online Zme  
#19 Posted : 25 February 2021 02:51:32(UTC)
Zme

United States   
Joined: 02/10/2013(UTC)
Posts: 260
Location: West Texas
Hi Regardless of your setbacks, now is good time to join the Z Scale crowd.

This is a time when there are some very exciting things going on in Z.

To name a few, 3d printing, laser cut models, a transition to a new bell-armature, making adequate models with the old motor more reasonably priced, a switch from analog to digital operation, a choice of track, a free monthly online magazine which is in a language we know and understand, and finally this forum which allows us to discuss and offer solutions to the Z World. It is a great time indeed.

I know things will work out.

Best wishes

Dwight

Edited by user 25 February 2021 22:50:49(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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