AZL is offering to customers who have first generation GP38-s an opportunity to upgrade the chassis and running gear to the current 2020 chassis. The 2020 chassis features an upgraded split frame chassis, improved motor, AZL standard PCB, and newer trucks.
This program is only for first generation GP38-s. To be eligible for the program, customers are to place their order online via www.azldirect.com. Once the order is placed, the customer will be required to return the original chassis, including motor, and trucks. For those with a damaged chassis, this program covers those chassis as well. Return the chassis including motor and trucks to the following address:
Upon receipt of the chassis, AZL will send the replacement chassis to the customer. The replacement cost includes domestic shipping to US addresses. International replacement cost is higher to accommodate for the increased shipping charges.
The following replacement packages and eligible locomotives are:
62599-1 Black fuel tank and black trucks GP38-2 Chassis
So I have a SP Don Bouchard GP38 purchased late in that schemes availability. The chassis appears to be in good condition an runs well. I assume you wouldn’t recommend replacement of a non-problematic chassis. I got it from a supplier that direct ships from AZL, and it came with pilot inserts. As far as I can tell, the chassis looks identical to the new version. Besides a cracked frame, is there a way to tell the original chassis from the new version?
Matt we never swapped chassis with new versions. So all frames from the locos listed would be first generation. Not all chassis will be affected by the degradation that we have seen on a select number. So you may be good to go. But we are offering these to all owners of first generation GP38s should you want to upgrade to the newer version.
Looks nice but for only $15 dollars more I have a complete new locomotive....
Yes, a complete new one that might be days (minutes?) away from crumbling in your hands. And if you're talking the new post-2016 "non-crumbling" version, then you don't need to (and can't) upgrade anyway.
And, besides the shell, it *is* a complete new locomotive. (at least that is what they are advertising.)
Maybe not the ATSF version but nevertheless.
That's sort of the rub though, right? That's kinda important for those of us with ATSF locos, or UP, et al. Otherwise you're color matching paint, etc. Can it be done, sure. Is it worth $40 to avoid that headache...yep, to me it is. (obviously the extra $45 international shipping charge stings a bit and might make it more of a decision point...totally get that.)