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Post  Goliewogs on Fri 25 Oct 2019, 9:09 am

I am very surprised that in the three years that everyone has been building this Mk2 Lykamobile, that there are only 69 postings?!! Just an observation.
Greg

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Post  futura9838 on Sat 14 Dec 2019, 5:35 pm

in response to gregs post i personally have lost a bit of intrest in the project it seems its an engineering exercise not an anyone can build one i got fed up with the engine stw sent me some new bits a couple of months ago and i have done nothing since then it seems every part needs tweaking which in a cnc world should not happen i would like to join in forums and will probly get stuck in over christmas cheers tony

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Post  Kiwiconnection on Sat 14 Dec 2019, 7:26 pm

It looks like some people need their grapes peeled for them...…..
Kiwiconnection
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Post  futura9838 on Sun 15 Dec 2019, 7:57 am

i dont need my grapes peeled for me i have a railway engine 7 and 1/4 gauge engine made by station road steam i can take it to bits and rebuild with no tweaking or filing or wondering if it fits comments like that are not helpful

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Post  Goliewogs on Sun 15 Dec 2019, 11:23 am

Dear Futura9838, I can't agree more with your comments!! I must say that after nearly 4 years now that I am almost completely demotivated with this project to the point of wishing I had never bought it. It all looked very good on paper to begin with but it was not as promised - for a start it was meant to be a 2 year project, I could be dead before this is completed!! The CAD/CAM and CNC mistakes are appalling, and unfortunately only got worse after poor Steve Baldock has passed away - I won't go into them here but the mistakes on the ISO's are blaringly obvious. My latest work was to complete and varnish the seat which arrived. I must say, that it took me two weeks yo assemble and stain/varnish to my satisfaction and, yes, I was very happy with the result!. But again, when I came to offer the completed seat up to the car - yes, you have guessed, it didn't fit!!! The control levers were interferring with it so I naturally had a go at STW, only to be told that the levers must be 'adjusted' bent to accomodate the seat! WHY? there should be no bending /alteration necessary at all. Anyway to cut a long story short, I did bend the levers and it is now fitted, albeit temporarily! The whole story of this car has been 3 steps forward and two back. Have you tried fitting your boiler yet?? If not, you can look forward to joyous times ahead!!! This is not easy and again required STW to send more/replacement parts to even get it near fitting. It is now in the car (after about three attempts), only for me to discover that I have to take the fucking thing out again in order to install the burner tray - this is not easy and I reckon it is at least a 2 person job if not three to hold everything in place whilst someone else is gently lowering the boiler with the engine hoist! (I had to construct a cradle to lift the boiler and install a chain hoist from the roof). To enable this, I had to remove the water tanks which had all been installed for months now which of course damaged some paintwork again! It is worth mentioning even now that I am not happy with the burner supports/rods as I think they are poorly made and not up to the job - not strong enough. The burner is heavy in itself let alone with the added weight of the actual oil burner - we shall see!! And so on and so on!! This has gone far beyond needing "one's grapes peeled for you" which is a stupid uneducated comment and as you say is to be disregarded! I had intended writing this long ago but never got round to it as I din't think anyone else felt as I did and was not interested in reading this forum or commenting! So, at the moment, all this is for you my friend - wherever you are! I am in France!
Kindest regards
Greg (Goliewogs)

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Post  Steam Traction World on Mon 16 Dec 2019, 5:29 pm

Okay, where do I start.

I guess the first thing to do is apologise, then maybe try to explain and go from there. (although to be fair Greg, i have had this conversation with you so to see what you have written is very disappointing indeed).

So firstly please let me apologise to anyone building the Lyka kit at the minute who feels disheartened and that the parts aren't fitting as well as you would have hoped or deliveries aren't as regular as originally agreed. I hear what you are saying and will not dismiss it in any way. You pay your money and are entitled to you voice your opinion and it is absolutely our job to get it right and put it right failing that so sorry once again. I do find some of the comments surprising though as for every comment i see on here negatively i have others who say (other than the delayed schedule which is even getting us guys down) how much they are enjoying it and how great it is. We will never be able to please all the people all the time but i'd really like to if possible and am happy to discuss any issues anyone has if they want to call me.

I will also try to explain some of the issues. One of the reason this batch of Lykas has taken so long is the sheer numbers of changes compared to the 'batch 1' version. Many of these changes initially were in Steve's head!!! At the time we started deliveries (Feb 2017 which is nearly 3 years ago not 4) the order book was already almost full. This was the exact same time Steve received his diagnosis. After manufacturing Kit 1 we had a discussion about cancelling the project as the 'new' style Lyka was the only product out of the 17 we produce where the design wasn't yet completed in CAD (the old style Lyka was but not with the new changes) and we were concerned about the pressure it would put on him.
Initially Steve was told he had likely 5-7 years to live possibly even 10 so although in shock, he didn't even see it as an issue and wanted to focus fully on completing the design and implementing the changes. Because of this we decided not to cancel production as at the time we didn't have a crystal ball to see he would only last 19 months! Over the next 12 months things went quite well with Steve focusing a lot on the Lyka. Doing this like getting new boiler design approval (in between other things) and working his way through the design. However as Steve became progressively worse his priorities changed and getting the 'next' kit folder became more and more impossible. It wasn't that he didn't want to he just struggled to focus on anything for any length of time. This made things increasingly difficult and we all know what happened next.

This means for the last 12 months as well as dealing with the loss and manufacturing all our other products, we have been protoyping the Lykamobile as we have gone along. This is whats caused the delay. Every single part we've had to make or order a one off and prove prior to manufacturing the batch on a product that for the most part we only knew what we had picked from Steve's brain or I had learned from using my Stanley. This is something as a company we have never had to do. We'd produced over 1000 boilers so far but never produced a Stanley style one before and I'd never even seen one produced before, Steve had. He'd been to America and watched one being built. Unfortunately though he wasn't around to ask when we had issues along the way but did leave me a contact of an 'expert' who i could get in to give us some lessons. This in itself took a long time to organise and was a huge learning curve. The burner pan for example we had to order the plate work 3 times from the laser cutters before it was right and even then each set took almost 3 days to produce!! (three times what the steel one's would have taken!).
The guys on the shop floor normally make batches, not one offs. They usually have the confidence in the design that they just manufacture a batch and try the first one. For 12 months on the Lyka normal practices have been thrown out of the window and we've had to reverse engineer it. We've all had to firstly decide what was going where, then design something, then manufacture it, try it, see if it looks right, works right, alter the drawing accordingly etc etc. Despite all this and the issues you guys are experiencing (which again i will apologise for), i am extremely PROUD of what we have achieved and every single member of staff who has stepped up to the mark to make this batch so much better than the other Lyka's we have ever produced. Many of the changes we have made along the way are massive improvements (stainless steel burner pan, stainless steel water and fuel tanks, all the manifold fittings and cladding in stainless, wider seat with angled spokes) with a lot of these improvements added by us (not Steve) at no extra cost to our customers just to improve the product. There has been a number of mistakes along the way (some very costly indeed like not making the upholstery seat base and back wider so when the whole batch of 35 came in they were 200mm too short and had to be done again!) but we've not made them on purpose and caught a lot more than we missed (even on the bits Steve designed!).

Any any other design we could just have absorbed the changes with minimal distraction or notice to the customers however it has been impossible to do this on the Lyka as there has been so many and it has been so complex.

So why haven't mentioned it before?.....a few reasons really, first we didn't want it to come across as us trying to get a sympathy vote but also we didn't wan to panic anyone who was half way through their Lyka. We knew with a great team effort we could achieve something that by the end everyone with a little patience would be very happy with. We have mentioned it to a few customers who on the whole have been understanding.

On some of the issues mentioned. The problems you have with taking the boiler in and out, same as the burner etc is normal. Try doing it on a Stanley. Steve and I had many hours/days/weeks/months swearing and shouting doing ours. Its the nature of the beast. There's a lot of things in a small place and these things aren't easy to get to. Admittedly i'll hold my hands up and say it would have really helped if we had got 'some' of the kits out in the right order but then there would have been complaints about delays. We were trying to pelase everyone and do whats best by keeping the kits ticking over. This would have stopped things going in and out in and out etc as some parts like the burner and the boiler it's like the 'chicken or the egg'. Burners can't be manufactured until the boilers are ready to ensure they fit but the minute the boilers are ready a customer doesn't want to then wait for the burner and wants his boiler immediately as he sees that as the 'main expensive item'. He then fits it and is upset if it needs to be taken out. Maybe improved instructions saying do not fit boiler will solve this for next time?

Regarding the burner support rods, these are identical to the one's Steve and I had on our Stanleys. How do i know this? Because we produced them for these also. They were fine for our 20HP much big boiler and burner pan on two cars capable of doing 50mph+ so personally, based on experience, i don't see an issue. If they prove not to be for whatever reason then we will change them. There is no point worrying sometimes based on opinion with no prior knowledge or experience in the field. Maybe just ask the question first.

The seat DOES fit. The seat is an absolute work of art and fits perfectly (it should do it cost us almost £1000 which is almost twice the cost of the kit!). Its the handbrake lever that hasn't been bent. Yes this was a 'cock' up that was missed sorry but at the time of sending it we didn't have the seats and it hadn't been spotted it clashed on the design. Prior to the seat going out it was spotted but then the guy on the factory floor forgot to feed it back!! This meant we didn't put in the instructions that the handle needed bending slightly or if that was a problem we would provide a replacement. An error that was spotted and then missed. We are all human.

I personally believe the batch 2 Lyka is numerous times better that the original and far superior in EVERY way. I should know, i had a batch 1 Lyla of my own that a drove the majority of the time when we did the John o Groats to Lands End charity run. If you or any other customer are genuinely that unhappy with your purchase from us please give me a call and we can have a chat about the options available. I want our customers to be happy, enjoy what they are doing and enjoy the build and experience. I don't want customers to be upset as it does nothing for our reputation.

On a quick side note. I am working dam hard to improve a lot of things since we lost Steve. I've interviewed production managers to assist on the factory floor and am now in he position to make an offer to someone. We've implemented a stock control system in the last 6 months and more recently i've implemented a new production system that will hopefully improve deliveries and be easier for us to manage customer requirements. Things are moving forward and a lot is being done behind the scenes (including completing the final kits for the Lyka).

I spend a lot of my days currently between the office and the factory floor but if any one ever wants to speak to me then leave a message and i will eventually come back to you. Alternatively email me and i can even pick them up at home.

Dean

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Post  TheFodenBrothers on Thu 19 Dec 2019, 12:19 pm

Personally having met Dean, Steve and the team, plus having built a 4.5" Foden before the Lyka Series 2 I so far have been over the moon with the kit.

Yes its frustrating when bits dont fit quite right and yes sometimes the instructions could be a bit better but I for one have never ever ever ever been able to fault the service, kindness and generosity from the team at STW.

Like Dean said, its 100% the nature of the beast, while they are CNC machined parts, welded parts distort and twist etc and its always going to need some fetling to get it all to fit nicely. When there is a genuine fitment issue STW have always bent over backwards to either send new parts out or give advice on making it fit - just drop them a line or email.

I realised when I started the Lyka kit that a lot of it was new and so there were always going to be teething issues, but it was going to be worth it for the much better Lyka at the end. I have a lot of respect for the decisions STW have made to improve the Lyka - decisions that will have certainly cost them a lot more from listening to the views of series 1 owners. STW could have easily have just churned out the series 1 again....

I guess I can understand that some customers that started the kit would have expected a perfectly timed monthly kit that just slotted together, but A. steam isnt really like that and B. the family feel of the STW team and community in my eyes far outweighs a commercial giant that has no face and just churns out kits without care or passion.

Even with the relatively small issues I have seen with the Lyka kit so far, I wouldn't hesitate to start a new kit with STW tomorrow, on the knowledge and first hand experience that whatever issues arise along the way, no matter how big or small, STW will always put it right.

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Post  Vapor on Tue 24 Dec 2019, 8:30 am

TheFodenBrothers wrote:Personally having met Dean, Steve and the team, plus having built a 4.5" Foden before the Lyka Series 2 I so far have been over the moon with the kit.

Yes its frustrating when bits dont fit quite right and yes sometimes the instructions could be a bit better but I for one have never ever ever ever been able to fault the service, kindness and generosity from the team at STW.

Like Dean said, its 100% the nature of the beast, while they are CNC machined parts, welded parts distort and twist etc and its always going to need some fetling to get it all to fit nicely. When there is a genuine fitment issue STW have always bent over backwards to either send new parts out or give advice on making it fit - just drop them a line or email.

I realised when I started the Lyka kit that a lot of it was new and so there were always going to be teething issues, but it was going to be worth it for the much better Lyka at the end. I have a lot of respect for the decisions STW have made to improve the Lyka - decisions that will have certainly cost them a lot more from listening to the views of series 1 owners. STW could have easily have just churned out the series 1 again....

I guess I can understand that some customers that started the kit would have expected a perfectly timed monthly kit that just slotted together, but A. steam isnt really like that and B. the family feel of the STW team and community in my eyes far outweighs a commercial giant that has no face and just churns out kits without care or passion.

Even with the relatively small issues I have seen with the Lyka kit so far, I wouldn't hesitate to start a new kit with STW tomorrow, on the knowledge and first hand experience that whatever issues arise along the way, no matter how big or small, STW will always put it right.

Could not agree more, that said Merry Christmas to all the Happy STW fellow builders and not for getting the few not so happy ones, just remember one thing "The man who never made a mistake never made anything"
there are many builders on this forum who are able to attend and quite rightly show off the wonderful engines they have built, this would not have been possible for me or many others without all the hard work of the STW staff. Merry Christmas and PLEASE have a HAPPY new YEAR!!santa
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