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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, this is my first post here and I'm excited to learn more about model trains! A little background, my son (now 8) has loved trains ever since growing up. We have boxes of Thomas tracks and engines laying around our house, over the past year or so he's really gotten into model trains. We were fortunate enough a few years ago to see the 4449 roll through our town and ever since then my son has been in love with it. Unfortunately that train is usually quite expensive and I've never been able to afford getting him it.

Last week I found a "new" Bachmann 4449 Daylight GS4 on eBay and picked it up for ~$60. Looked like a heck of a deal. I received it today and clearly this train isn't new, it looks like from the box it is from 1984. The box is in good condition and is very cool as it has lots of information about the 4449 on it.

I've contacted the seller and he claims to have never ran the engine and that it should be in good shape. If I take his word and the train is truly "new" is this still a bad deal? If it isn't, is there anything I need to do to the train to make sure it lasts? I'm very green about model trains and am just learning about maintenance and stuff.

Any information or tips you could give me I'd really appreciate! He loves this train but if it wasn't worth the money spent I'd like to know.

Thanks so much!

5150cd
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Yeah, it was listed as a "new" item. eBay lists a new item as "A brand-new, unused, unopened, undamaged item (including handmade items)." Obviously it was opened as it shows it in the box, I guess I was just thinking that the engine was new as in age, not use. Not sure if I should try to get a discount or return the whole thing.

And yes, it was a eBay/Paypal thing. I'm sure I can get my money back and the seller said he'd work with me when I questioned him about it, just not sure how I want to proceed.

Also, who the heck would have a train that long and never use it!? Crazy. ;) I don't mind that the engine is used, and I want to keep the engine for my son, I'm just not sure what a fair price would be for this train if I were to ask for a partial refund.
 

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If you've got a copy of the ad that shows the New unopened condition listed, then he was dishonest in how he was marketing the item. Does it run well? That's the main thing.

$60 if it runs well isn't a bad deal, but at a minimum I'd ding the guy on feedback about mis-advertising the item (i.e. not as advertised - listed as new but 27 years old and opened package.) I always read the feedback on ebay - especially the negative stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I always read the feedback too and he's got 100% positive. I'm sure he'd like to keep it that way and I'd like to keep this engine so perhaps some kind of partial refund is in order...? I haven't ran the train yet and probably won't get a chance until my son is gone for a bit this weekend. Sadly I don't really know how to tell if it is even "running good." LOL Any tips on how to tell?
 

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80s Bachmann is an iffy proposition for a newcomer. They used a bad plastic in the drive gears on their big steam--and--the same motors that went into their trolleys. The plastic gears are notorious for cracking in them---yes, even while sitting on the store shelf waiting to be purchased. It was so bad that Bowser offered a drive kit to rebuild the locomotive that reused the rods, pilot and trailing truck. The reason for that was the locomotives were beautifully finished and popular for their looks. Bowser no longer offers this kit and ones available go for premium prices.

Run the locomotive pulling a good load, you may hear a tick or even notice a hitch in its movement. That's a sure sign the gears are wacked.

Again, a great looking loco, just fraught with things a newcomer may not wish to deal with.
 

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I have a "new" New York Central 4-8-4 (sitll in the box, 20+ years later), and got it for twenty dollars. It didn't sound too good till I got it home after a test run at my friend's layout. There not bad, but take care! If Shay is right, then you might want to consider looking at a newer model, that running gear from Bowser, or getting a junk one with intact running gear and make a working model of it. God bless you, your kid, and that locomotive!
 

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I will obviously agree with Shays cautions on certain older Bachmann engines but i to own that same engine and it is all still in top shape without any problems so there are special cases in the bunch like mine, don't run that "new" engine till you have completely cleaned all of the old grease and oil out of the motor and gears which by now could be solid rock which could destroy the motor or all of the gears. Also make sure to oil the engine often since it is prone to cracking keeping oil on it will help prevent this.

It is a great engine to have and is still normally 90 dollars if new in condition but oiling and maintenance will help you avoid that infamous gear problem.
 

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Getting parts to repair it if it does brake is near to impossible too.
Another word of warning some of the older bachmann GS4's do not like to be converted to DCC if your thinking you would like to go digital in the future.:D
 

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It didn't sound too good till I got it home after a test run at my friend's layout.
That's what I meant by under load...I had one of their old 4-8-4s that ran under load on the flat just fine, but, as soon as it hit a grade at the club, you heard a noticeable "tic, tic, tic" as it climbed up. I had another one of their 4-8-4 Mountains and it ran beautifully...it really is a hit-or-miss kind of thing.
 

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Well for your initial concerns, I'd try for a partial refund from the seller on the grounds that the package has been opened and the item was definately not 'NEW'. If you can get a screenshot of the listing before it disappears, that would be a big plus. Also, take pictures of the unit in the box and include pics of any wear marks on it that would lead you to beleive that it has been previously opened. After that, once you take the engine out of the box, check the wheels for wear (build up and noticable discolourations on the contact portions of the wheels). If the seller wants to keep his 100% rating, they should be willing to offer a partial refund and allow you to keep the unit or issue a full refund as well as paying for return shipping. The bottom line is, are you happy with the unit or do you 'feel' as though you have gotten less then you paid for?

Thats the problem with dealing with Ebay. Getting items that are not what was advertised. The Seller might consider this new only because it came in the box and they never ran it themselves. Its all about a person's concept of new.
 

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...but oiling and maintenance will help you avoid that infamous gear problem.
I have to add a caution here...if the engine shows to be working just fine then, yes, oiling and regular maintenance will give them a long running life. Most of the cracking shows up early, if it holds for several years then there is rarely an issue after that.

The problem was built into the plastic and the irksome thing about it was that they continued to use that plastic off and on through the 80s. At times, it literally would crack on the showroom floor, before the model was taken out of the box or even purchased. It involved most of their inventory from N scale all the way up to their G scale Big Hauler 4-6-0...it was a big mess and continues to haunt unknowing modelers to this day. They're wryly referred to as "Botchmann" in modeling circles to this day for that debacle.
 

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I don't understand why it is a huge deal that it is not recent model of this year new? I understand it was advertised as new and technically if it has never been used (the engine) it is indeed a new engine as it has had no wear, the box may have wear but that is to be expected after sitting on a shelf most likely for its life. I buy basically brand new engines off eBay all the time that have never been used but had in storage for a few years which are still new and run just fine as well as still worth the money, and most of the time even on the one or two time use engines they could be said to be new because of how pristine they still are. That is at least how I look at it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
The buyer came back and said he'd pay shipping to send it back to him. I asked him if I could try it first and he said "No, it wouldn't be new anymore" So, I can either send it back and try to find a better deal or roll the dice with this one. Any more thoughts on this? Thanks to everyone that has chimed in too!

edit: I suppose I could try to warranty the engine with Bachmann if it's bad and pay whatever they charge to replace it. Might still be cheaper than buying a new one.
 

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Read the wheels...Look for any ware marks on the wheels, No scuffs or scratches new, scuffs and scratches old used.:D
I would keep it and as you say if it's bad warranty it!:cool:
You have probably blown $60 on somethings with a lot worse of odds that you were getting what you payed for!;)
 
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