I stopped by Guitar Center this afternoon to try out some other pedals, just to get a feel for what is out there and how good condition pedals feel (ie the aforementioned 1/4" or less of play in the u-joints). I now realize just how wobbly/worn my pedal is and am definitely going to return it - no sense in collecting more doomed gear.
I'm going to look at an IC Rolling Glide double pedal off Craigslist tomorrow morning. Besides the u-joint test MrInsanePolack described, is there anything else I should look for? I don't want to get another dud and the amount of u-joint wear a pedal has is not something usually mentioned in online ads/auctions, so I figure in-person is the way to go. Since, whether I like it or not, now I know how to deconstruct an Iron Cobra, so cleaning it up/fighting off squeaks and clicks won't be an issue, but if anyone has any advice or common deal-breakers for these kinds of things, I'm all ears.
I'm not sure exactly which model it is, hoping somebody here could identify it. According to the IC history on Tama's site (http://www.tamadrum.co.jp/ironcobra_20th/history_e.html
) it's the 1998 model, but the cam has the big R on it of the 2011 model (rather than having "ROLLING" spelled out the way it is on the photo of the 1998 model). So, obviously, it's from between 1998 and 2011. Anybody know anything about this era/specific model? Here is what it looks like (minus the price tag - I talked them down to $100 via email...so I'm a little suspicious):