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Messages - Terry

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General Discussion / Re: Double heading postwar Lionel
« on: February 23, 2021, 04:21:23 PM »
The 236 loco stank last night.  Only god knows what was poured in it over the years. The "cylinder smoke" is the unit's glued seams failing. That would have been failing before.

Otherwise I don't smell it. I can't stand any of the flavored smoke fluids.

You can test the smell by trying it in a 675 just before you're done for the day. If it bothers you, by the time you're back the next day it will be gone. Just do a real short squirt. That will burn out in a few minutes.

I've been using it for 30 years and never had a problem.

How To and Technical Information / Test tracks and rollers
« on: February 23, 2021, 01:51:03 PM »
I was asked about my roller base. So here's a whole topic just for test tracks and rollers.


The wooden base unit was made in texas in the late 1960s or early 1970s. HO units are somewhat common, the O gauge are harder to find but out there if you look. The label fell off mine years ago so I can't be more specific about the maker. This unit is always within arm's reach.

You don't need a roller set for each wheel. For a 6 driver steam loco you just put a roller set under the two outside wheels. For a single motor diesel the dummy truck goes on the uncoupler track.

The similar wood roller HO units are OK for diesels, but don't work well for steam locos or DCC. There just isn't good enough electrical contact for them. I sold the last one I had because it wasn't worth the space to store it. More on HO later. 

There are also really common O and g gauge roller sets that sit on the tracks. You can see them in the pictures below:




I keep the rollers in a drawer. I thought about selling the extra O gauge rollers, but decided I'd modify them to make S gauge rollers. 

The roller sets that sit on the tracks are sold under as Polk's Hobby  (# PLK50101 is the O gauge), and under the ARDUK name.

The big LGB track has strips of brass glued to the ties. Those are to test smaller trains. With the smaller trains it's just too hard to put it on the track to test it.

OO and HO just ride on top of the brass to test.


For N gauge, the loco is put on the wide strip then pushed back until it touches the smaller strip. It sits in the gap.


I can test the small locos as fast as I can place them on the enegriozed strips and wiggle them around. I could probably do it blindfolded.

General Discussion / Re: Lost shipments in mail
« on: February 23, 2021, 12:57:21 PM »
I had a complaint from an eBay buyer in Texas.

Tracking says "Due to severe weather, packages may be delayed."  I 've never seen that before.

The box made it 35 miles and has been sitting in the regional sorting center for 7 days.

General Discussion / Re: Double heading postwar Lionel
« on: February 23, 2021, 12:43:45 PM »
The smoke units have a hole in the underside where air comes in  If the hole is blocked or the ram cup underneath isn't moving freely the smoke unit won't smoke well.

You can take it all apart and clean it - that's where the dish of smoke pill crumbs in the video came from.

For locos that smoke poorly a quick fix is to flush them out.  You put leads on them and spray WD-40 into the stack and set them upside down over a garbage can or a tray.

The heat and the wd-40 will liquify the smoke pills, and it will drip out of the stack.

General Discussion / Re: Double heading postwar Lionel
« on: February 22, 2021, 08:23:12 PM »
Here's a video:

I bought some trains today and got a plastic 027 loco with liquid smoke unit so I ran that one first with a shot of WD-40. Then I ran a 682 Turbine with pills and WD-40.

I always buy those little cans of WD-40 because the big cans have hoses on them that spray all over and make a mess if you don't get it lined up just right.

They all have the two-tone whistle.

Push the whistle button in all the way to sound the whistle then let it out just a hair. It will change the sound. Once you get it going you can go back and forth and it will keep changing. Then your brother will come in and yell at you.

This may only work with postwar transformers that have the drectifier disk.

Layouts / Re: Terry's Standard Gauge Layout
« on: February 22, 2021, 03:44:03 AM »
Here's this weekend's progress on the standard layout. I ripped wood with the table saw and then painted it on Saturday so it doesn't look like much happened, but on Sunday I put all the sticks in.


The two sides of the layout are divided by a river. The river will run at the lower level with the two hellgates on the raised level.


The front edge of the layout will have two thru tracks and a long passing siding I can park a long freight on. Should be 16-18 feet of straight siding there.


I decided to add a siding along the west edge so I can park a work train on it. This will be the only parking siding with a bumper.


Here's a view from where the hinged bridge will be into the control area. The two lower loops go over the hinged bridge and along the wall where the TV and tools are now.


I need to add some cross braces in areas where I will be climbing up when trains derail. Then I can put the sheeting on. 

Collector Corner / Re: Marx 1950 M-10005 UP Streamliner set
« on: February 21, 2021, 04:32:41 PM »
Jim will surely know about the pickup sliders. I bet they are the same on any, and Marx junkers are common so you can get one easily froma junk box at a show once we get herd ammuniton.

General Discussion / Re: Recent Additions
« on: February 21, 2021, 04:30:28 PM »
You always ground the outside rail. one wire to center rail, one to an outside rail. The two outside rails are connected with the ties.

General Discussion / Re: Recent Additions
« on: February 21, 2021, 03:42:53 PM »
If you want the loco to not work while the light is on, first try to put the reverse handle in nuetral. In the middle should work.  If you can't find neutral, take the wire that goes from the field to the reverse unit off.

Collector Corner / Marx 1950 M-10005 UP Streamliner set
« on: February 21, 2021, 02:47:32 PM »
I posted pictures of the 1668E set on Friday here, but didn't think of posting this MARX set. It's probably the most common of the Marx Streamliner Sets.

A neat set that looks cool.


The cars couple together with pins and only have rear wheels. The cars also have different names on them. I know the prewar sets in other colors come with more car names, but I am not sure about these postwar cars.



This is a large motor like used in a steam loco. No headlight, but there is a reverse unit but without an on/off lever. There might be a version with a smaller motor that only has one pair of wheels powered?


I think early sets have only dividers for the track and transformer with the cars in sleeves. The later sets have dividers for each item. This box would have the track in the long slot, the transformer in one square and the locon, wires and transformer cord in the other square.



Box is dated May 1950.


General Discussion / Re: FAKE lionel 1921 calendar on eBay
« on: February 21, 2021, 02:14:06 PM »
I bought one of these for my dad for Christmas 15 years ago. Pete in Hilton Head contacted me to tell me I got ripped off. I was doubtful of his claim until he explained how the dirt was prinetd on and I looked closely.  I really wanted the one I bought to be original.

The seller refunded my money and let me keep the calendar. It might still be hjanging on the wall in my dad's office. I'll look next time I'm over there.

Years ago there was a group of sellers all in the south selling these and other fake things like McCoy cookie jars and such. As far as I could tell one of the people in the south - it was small cluster of towns all in a 40-50 mile radius - was making the calendars. The pottery and stuff was Chinese imports sold by a wholesaler in the DC/Virginia area. The wholesaler had photos online of a warehouse full of fakes. Everything had peel off stickers saying "Made in China."


General Discussion / Re: Double heading postwar Lionel
« on: February 21, 2021, 02:04:50 PM »
Jim - The high coupler came from a ratty 3814 Merchandise car. It mates with the low coupler 2226W tender without needing to be bent.

Jim's layout is neat because of the clutter. Specifically the closeup views.

"Hot Tip" when you want lots of smoke a short shot of WD-40 into the stack works well. I give all the postwar locos a shot of WD-40 and then run them for a minute. Then I run them for a few minutes upside down over a garbage can to clean out the old remains of smoke pills. It seems to help clear the hole to the air ram cup.

Regarding the X. It's the search for the difference that makes us collectors.

The X means "There's something different THAT LIONEL NEED TO KEEP TRACK OF."

Keeping track is the important part. The 229 steamer comes with the e-unit in the front or back of the motor, but Lionel didn't care so there aren't any 229X boxes out there.

The 6468X might explain the 2338X. The boxcar was made for a specific set because the catalog showed brown boxcars. Maybe the orange cab locos were only put into one set?

It's fun for me to try to figure these things out.

General Discussion / Re: Double heading postwar Lionel
« on: February 20, 2021, 04:30:06 PM »
You all seemed to be having so much fun I decided to make up a steamer with a front coupler.

I used a 225E that had the cab window broken, but I think the pilot/cowcatcher is the same for a 226E. It turns out a high coupler taken off a beat up 2800 series freight car truck is the right height to mate with a low coupler on a 2224W 2235W or in the video below a 2226WX tender.

The coupler shank is shortened and then drilled with the same size hole as a siderod. The hex head screw is a shouldered driverod screw.


I need to blacken the file marks on the coupler shaft and put a hood on it, but I wanted to see if it would work first.

It does:

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