LL cracked gears ..alive and well

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by metalfrog, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    Thanks for the advice Doc. I removed the covers and found all four axles are cracked. Walthers was very quick to reply. So I let them know the problem.

    Hopefully the new axles will arrive quickly. It's such a great looking loco otherwise. I may need some help getting the trucks apart and the new axles installed. I post up if I run into a wall. Figuratively speaking of course.

    Here is a cut and paste of the reply I received in case anyone else needs more details.

    Only Proto locomotives that were equipped with the "584408" geared axle are prone to splitting. These axles would split whether the locomotive was ever run or not, usually right out of the box; however, axles that did not split will not split in the future. This is primarily a problem with the earlier issued locomotives using this axle; the axle has been re-engineered and newer issued locomotives using this axle do not have the problem. The following locomotives are the "only" locomotives afflicted with this problem: BL's, E8's, F3's, FA1 & FA2, GP's - 7, 9-II, 9-III, 18, 20, 30 and 60. Only the axles that have split, 584408, for these locomotives are being replaced for free as a warranty replacement. No other Proto locomotive is afflicted with this problem. Let me know how many axles are split, include your mailing address, and I will ship you the replacements.
    Larry T
    Wm K Walthers/Parts Dept
  2. richhotrain

    richhotrain New Member

    This is a well known problem with the earlier version of Proto 2000 diesels. The problem exists on several models including GP9,GP18,GP30,GP7,SD7,SD9,SW9/1200. It only happens on engines from Proto with the geared axle #584408. Check the diagram that cane with your engine to see if you have that gear. Later versions, once Life-Like realized the extent of the problem, used a different geared axle.

    As an earlier post stated, Walthers bought Life-Like Proto a few years ago and will honor the warranty no where and when you bought the engine. The problem may occur sooner or later, no way to predict. You can get replacement gears from Walthers or use Athearn #60024 - - it is an exact fit.

    If you want to see an illustration of the cracked gear and to replace the gear, check out the following link:

  3. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Shane, there's no need to disassemble the trucks: with that bottom cover removed, simply lift out the wheelsets. I think that what Walthers is sending is only the plastic axle gears, so you'll need to remove the wheels and stub axles, along with the square bearings, from the split gears and re-install them into the new axle gears. To remove them, simply grasp a wheel in each hand and pull them out of the axle gear: the axles are stubs that are electrically isolated from one another in the axle gear. Simply re-insert the stub axle/bearing/wheel assemblies into the new axle gears, making sure to push them in as far as they'll go. This ensures that they'll be properly gauged. Drop the completed wheelsets into the slots in the trucks, align the bearings so they seat properly, then snap the bottom cover back in place.

  4. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    Thanks Doc. I went ahead and did some investigating. Of the four locos I have two of them have this problem. On one, all four axles are pooched. On the other just two. You are right, it was easy to pull them apart. Thanks again.
  5. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    The replacement gears were sent out on February 21, and arrived today. Contrary to my supposition that only the gears would be replaced, I received 4 complete wheel assemblies (gear, wheels and axles, and bearings). Shane, they drop right in, but don't forget to lube them. NWSL recommends LaBelle #102 Gear Oil. The loco now runs great. :thumb: :thumb:

  6. RioGrande

    RioGrande Member

    I've got a bunch of LL P2k diesels that have never been out of the box... I wonder if I should just contact Walthers and get sets for all these diesels? From what I"ve heard the percentage that need gear replacements is very high, almost all at some point.

    -11 GP30's
    -2 SD7's
    -2 SD9's
    -1 PA

    I think that is all I have but that from memory of some 90 odd HO diesels.
  7. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    This is a list of the locos affected, and the procedure to follow. On your list, only the GP-30's qualify. The original problem was corrected, so subsequent locomotives do not have problems with the gears.

  8. RioGrande

    RioGrande Member

    Thats good to know. Your list reminded me I have a GP60 as well.

    So thats still 12 loco's (11 GP30's and 1 GP60) which potentially need gear replacements - the most numerous versions I have of course!

    Does Walthers need any proof of ownership? Atlas required I send photocopies of the ends of my boxes for my my GP40's which had truck gear box issues for example.
  9. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    They didn't ask for any from me. The loco that I was repairing belongs to a friend, and he bought it used, and had never run it.

  10. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    Sorry to resurrect such a an old thread. However, I've had one of these bad boys in the box for over a year now and finally got around to wiring up a decoder for it. It is exhibiting the same problems as a couple of my other locos were. So I e-mailed Walthers to find out if they still fell under warranty. Here is the reply I got.


    We are honoring the warranty on these. You may notice however that the terms
    of replacement may have changed since you last got axles (depending on when
    you got them). Since March 1st of this year we're adhering strictly to the
    terms of the warranty when replacing axles on the older Proto locos with the
    cracked gear problem. If you would please read the following it will give
    you all the information you'll need to obtain replacement axles.

    The parts you have requested may be covered under warranty provided the
    following warranty criteria are met:

    Warranty applies only to the original purchaser of a Walthers product and
    only when purchased from an authorized Walthers dealer or directly from
    Walthers. The warranty covers defects in manufacturing or missing parts on a
    new product. Damage caused by the owner and normal wear are not defects but
    we will make every effort to assist you on such requests. Authorized dealers
    purchase products from Walthers and sell them through their retail stores.
    Items purchased on E-Bay, from private sellers, auctions, swap meets etc.
    are not eligible for warranty coverage. However, many dealers do have online
    stores as an extension of their retail sales stores and these internet
    purchases are eligible for warranty coverage.

    Under the terms of the warranty, you may be required to return any defective
    parts with a copy of the original sales receipt. You may also be required to
    pay for return shipping and handling charges. The sales receipt must include
    the dealers name and store address. An itemized receipt is preferred but a
    cash register tape is acceptable providing it has the dealer information
    printed on the tape. A tape without dealer information is not acceptable.
    These warranty requirements apply to all Walthers, Proto and Life Like

    Proto axle warranty replacements:

    Some, but not all, very early released Proto locomotives have drive axle
    gears that can possibly split. Not all axles on a locomotive may need to be
    replaced. This issue has been corrected in later productions. To receive
    warranty replacements for any axles with split gears we require that the
    faulty axles be returned to Walthers with a copy of the original sales
    receipt for each locomotive in need of axles. Return shipping and handling
    charges will apply, the amount of which will depend on the number of axles
    needed. For return information and shipping and handling charges, please
    contact Walthers parts department at 800 773 9350 or via e-mail to
    custserv@walthers.com , please indicate parts department in the subject box.

    Axles are available for purchase if your locomotives do not meet warranty
    requirements. The part number of the axles is 922-584408 and they can be
    purchased by calling our sales department at 800 487 2467. Two axles are
    provided per package and the current price is $3.00 plus shipping and
    handling. Please note, prices are subject to change without notice.

    To check axles for broken gear: Remove the bottom cover of the truck
    assembly and remove an individual axle; Hold a wheel in the finger tips of
    each hand and GENTLY twist the wheels in opposite directions, they should
    not move. DO NOT force as this will cause even good axles to break loose.

    Wm. K. Walthers
    Parts & Warranty Dept.
    1-800-773-9350 ext 7428
    ---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
    Subject: Customer Service Message
    Date: Mon, October 27, 2008 3:34 pm
    To: custserv@walthers.com

    Customer Number:
    Name: Shane
    Daytime Phone:
    Good Afternoon, I purchased a Proto 2000 GP 9 loco sometime last
    year and recently wired up a decoder to run it on my DCC equipped
    layout. I own a couple other of the Proto 2000 locos GP9's and ran
    into the cracked axle gear problem. This recent loco is exhibiting
    the same symptoms as the previous two. I have checked the trucks and
    found all four axle gears are cracked. I was hoping that the warranty
    for this problem is still in place. If not then could I please get
    some assistance on how to order replacement parts? Any assistance
    that you could give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks,


    Since I purchased mine off of e-bay then I surmise that I'll have to buy my replacement axles. No big deal at 3 bucks a pop I'm sure, I'll live.

    ** Certain parts of the e-mail have been removed to protect my privacy...I don't need any crazy gaugers phoning my house at all hours of the night. sign1
  11. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

    In other words, if you're not the original purchaser, didn't buy it from Walther's or one of their dealers or don't have a receipt proving you bought it, you're screwed. No free replacements. Glad I saved all those old Athearn gears over the years.
  12. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    No free replacements does not, to my mind, equal "screwed".

    $3 per pair isn't outrageous. It's not like you can't get the parts at all.

    My guess is that Walthers was inundated with requests for free axles with no proof of original purchase. Standing by the terms of the original warranty is hardly "screwing" the customer, is it?
  13. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    Agreed. I don't mind paying for the parts (I ordered five pairs yesterday) at all. I also understand that as a business they also have to protect themselves from unscrupulous or "cheap" customers who don't think they should have to pay for anything. Besides, this over a year now...I think its fair to say that the "grace" period for this particular issue is over now.

    My 2 cents.

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