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Model Engine
 from Fort Worth, TX,  Mar 5, 2011

The engine is fun to assemble when you have all the parts needed. My recommendation is verify that all parts are included before starting the project. Maybe not such a good idea to get this toy from Overstock? Then send one email to NSI. So, far NSI International has sent us the first part and we have requested the second at the time of writing this review. My ten year old is able to assemble the engine with just a little help. There are a couple of mistakes in the instructions. On step 18, follow the sequence A,B,C,D,E,F,G and H for the camshaft but don't try to match the orientation of the parts to the drawing. Instead, A & B, C & D, E & F and G & H will point in opposite directions. Also, on step #19, ignore the drawing showing that the camshaft parts have changed sequence in that step. This was confusing to my son.

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not at all happy with this product. the crew alignment was off and the whole toy had gaps and didn't fit nicely together. never got it to work properly... most likely because of the alignment

  • Please tell us about the quality of the product. poor quality in screw hole alignment, very difficult to build due to this
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fun plastic model tombuild
 from kenmore, washington,  May 18, 2013

detailed,realistic. Can see operating parts inside a 4 cylinder overhead cam engine.

  • How accurate was the sizing? DNA
  • Please tell us about the quality of the product. good
  • Was the product free of any manufacturer defects? yes
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Super cool for preteens
 from Florence Al,  Jan 8, 2013

I ordered this for my 11 year old grandson. He was so excited perfect gift!

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parts missing, poor quality brittle plastic-cheap
 from Redmond, Washington,  Dec 31, 2011

Camshaft pieces were missing. I had all 8, but instead of all being different I had a mismatch of 4 of the same, 2 of the same ect. Many pieces already had cracks out of the box and while installing screws usually cracked and not from over tightening, like half way in they would crack. Pieces were badly molded and featured a lot of parts needing deburring before they could be assembled, Instruction illustrations were very poor and incomplete leading to confusion on many steps and having to look at all the other steps to see proper orientation. Several times these were even inconsistent. My daughter got frustrated with this and rightfully so. I'm a mechanic and I think it's garbage. Buy the visable V8 for another $10 it is a lot better made. Still waiting to hear about the missing cam pieces, probably be thrown away....beware.

  • Please tell us about the quality of the product. brittle plastic is cracked out of the box, half the screws cracked while installing at maybe 1/2 way in. Some parts had bad flashing left
  • Was the product free of any manufacturer defects? Missing parts
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packaged like crap!
 from North Dakota,  Sep 13, 2011

I ordered this for a christmas present for my nephew. It came in the mail packaged in a regular old envelope with no padding. I opened it and the box was literally falling apart! I was no pleased. I'm hoping all of the pieces are there.

  • How accurate was the sizing? good
  • Please tell us about the quality of the product. unknown yet
  • Was the product free of any manufacturer defects? unknown yet
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motor works engine
 from Detroit, MI,  Dec 12, 2012

easy to order and shipped quickly price was fair and something my grandson had been asking for

  • How accurate was the sizing? toy
  • Please tell us about the quality of the product. Christmas gift
  • Was the product free of any manufacturer defects? Christmas gift
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Son and husband loved it
 from Los Angeles, CA,  Jan 29, 2012

I purchased this as a gift for my son. Dad and son worked on it together and had a really good time. Dad got to explain the car engine without all the grease!!

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Great Christmas gift for my 11 yr old nephew. He enjoyed building it and learning how an engine works! Great educational gift.

  • How accurate was the sizing? good
  • Please tell us about the quality of the product. good
  • Was the product free of any manufacturer defects? yes
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Don't Bother
 from Helton, KY,  Nov 18, 2011

I had to return this model because there was a piece missing and Many of the pieces didn't fit together properly and some wouldn't go together at all.

  • Please tell us about the quality of the product. poor quality
  • Was the product free of any manufacturer defects? no
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Great Choice!!!
 from LA, CA,  Jun 18, 2014

This toy is the bees knees, legs, and his arms! I would get them for my whole class as an activity if I were a Physical Science teacher!

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Very fun
 from Columbus, OH,  Jun 18, 2014

This toy was extremely fun to assemble with my son I think it taught him a few valuable lessons. It works great and it also looks really cool sitting on the dresser in his room.

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Rating
Smithsonian Motor Works
 from Lewisville, Texas,  Jul 25, 2011

One of the best operating models that I have seen in a long time. Fit and finish were exceptional.

  • How accurate was the sizing? Very Accurate
  • Please tell us about the quality of the product. This product had excellent quality
  • Was the product free of any manufacturer defects? Yes
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Grandpa fun!
 from Central Wisconsin,  Mar 17, 2011

As a grandparent I try to purchase gifts for my grandkids that are not only fun but also educational. This Smithsonian Model Engine fits that criteria to a tee. Affordable, nicely made and affords the kids an entertaining (EDUCATIONAL) experience interacting with their grampa.

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Parts Missing
 from Mi\I,  Feb 17, 2011

It took me about 1.5 hours to assemble the kit. When assembling the camshaft, I found that I was shipped 2 of cam C and 0 of cam A. The importer has promised me a replacement part, but I've not seen it yet (2 weeks later). Also, the numbering on the spark plug wires was incorrect; but I know enough about engines to fix that problem. Other than that, an easy kit to assemble and it worked well for teaching a basic engine class.

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A good gift for a father and son
 from KY,  Feb 2, 2011

I got this model as a Christmas present for my boyfriend and his little boy who is 6 years old. The model came with a missing part, but when I contacted Overstock, they have quickly resolved the issue. The number to contact NSI customer service is 1-888-425-9113 if in case anyone is missing a part. The engine actually works and my bf and his son had a fun time building it. :)

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Fun Project
 from Olympia, WA,  Jan 13, 2011

I bought this product for my10 year old son (and his dad) to work on because my son and husband really enjoy doing projects like this together and my son is so interested in how things work. As expected my husband did most of the work when it came to reading to reading and understanding the directions putting most of It together as my 10 year old would not have been able to do it himself. And of course my son was the one screwing thing together and putting and doing as much of the work as possible so he could learn, I think it was a bit pricey (all plastic) however it was lots of fun for the two of them and that commercial says it was "priceless". Wish they would come out with a inexpensive "fuel cell" project they could work on.

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**NOT FOR KIDS**
 from Industrial Iowa,  Dec 28, 2010

This model CAN NOT be built by a child and be an accurate model of a real working engine. However, an adult with a mechanical aptitude can figure it out without too many problems. First of all, the cam-building instructions in step 18 are incorrect and give you an engine that has one of two valves alternating open on every up stroke. On a 4:1 crank/cam ratio the cam has to be built with the (IT/Ex) lobes 90 degrees off of each other, not 180 like the instructions show/say, and the next firing cyl's (IT) lobe matching the (EX) lobe of the firing cyl before. This also means that you can't pay any attention to the letters they have stamped on the cams. But since the images for step 18 and 19 have conflicting cam orders, I don't know how you would use it in the first place. Second, the timing of the distributer isn't the same as the timing of the engine. I had to swap wires to cyl's 3 & 4 to get a firing order of 1-3-4-2. Next, my model came with two crankshaft pulleys and no fan pulley. That had to be "Jerry-Rigged" in order for it to have a working fan. Finally, the exhaust manifold snaps into the intake ports and the intake manifold snaps into the exhaust ports. Who thought of this idea? Like I said before, if you know how a engine works already you can probably figure this out without too many issues. However, if your knowledge of engines mechanics is to be developed by this model, KEEP LOOKING!!!

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This is a perfect gift for a young person. It is not to difficult to assemble for them and is perfect for learning the working of a car engine. I would recommend this for a unique desk display also.

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Engine Education
 from Austin, TX,  Dec 7, 2010

For the price and educational value this is an excellent product. The main drawback is that there are a ton of little screws and I don't think there's any way a child under 12 could get them all in alone. That's a tall order even for an adult. I put it together with 3 children ages 4, 6, & 9, and it held all of their interest to varying degrees, but I had to do 90% or more of the assembly b/c the screws are so small and it was tough for them to keep a hold of and tighten the screws. There were a few assembly issues along the way, but figuring out those issues and getting everything working is part of the fun of a project like this and everyone was very pleased with the final result.

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