Step By Step Lionel Smoke Unit Upgrade

OGR Forum Member
 
May 29, 2012 12:08 AM

In response to a question on another topic, here FWIW is a step by step for getting your Lionel smoke unit to actually make smoke!

 

First dissassemble the boiler (or shell) from the base.

There is the smoke unit at the far right. In this case it has an plastic adapter manifold to fit the boiler stack placement. Most do not have this.

Note that this is a 2006 2-6-0 Mogul with a 2 piece cast smoke unit. Its a newer Lionel design that already uses an 8 ohm element, so there is no need to replace the element.

Older units are similar, except the casting is one piece, and it will more than likely have a 27 ohm element. If this is the case, I suggest replacing the element with a 16 ohm MTH unit. The 27 ohm elements usually just don't get hot enough to make a useful amount of smoke.

 

P1050916

 

Here the smoke unit has been dissassembled by removing the 6 small crosshead screws holding the top board to the two casting pieces.

The fan housing is fastened to the mounting plate from underneath and can stay in place.

Note the thick spongy gasket stuck to the side of the fluid chamber. This must go back exactly as it came out.

P1050917

 

Note the scorched fiberglass sleeve around the element on the left, and the wad of scorched material in the fluid chamber on the right.

If you are retaining the current element, the sleeve is cut off VERY CAREFULLY using tiny cuticle type scissors, so as to not damage the fine nichrome wires. If you are replacing the element with a lower resistance unit, just discard the sleeve with the old element.

Once the old sleeve is cut free, discard it as well as the scorched wad from the fluid chamber.

P1050919

 

 Next step is to drill out the air intake hole as seen below, to 3/16" diameter if it is smaller than this.

The hole is midway between the element and the electronics on the board.

When done, remove any flashing around the hole so that the fan blade does not snag it.

Next prepare a length of tiki torch wicking about 4" long, and almost as big aroud as a pencil.

It works best if you slightly dampen it with smoke fluid. This will help to hold the fine stray ends together.

P1050922

 

Next push one end of the wicking between the element and the board, then loosely twist the wick ends together.

Now slip the twisted wick ends into the fluid bowl and re-attach the bowl to the board with 4 of the small screws. Just snug up the screws!!

Then fasten the board back onto the fan housing, making sure the soft black gasket is snug in place between the two castings.

Note that there is no gasket between the top board and the castings on these newer smoke units. Progress I guess.

P1050925

 

Thats it. Re-assemble the engine per below, and you are ready to test it out.

P1050926

 

Thar she blows!

P1050958

 

Rod

 
 
 
Photos (7)
P1050916
 
 
 
OGR Forum Member
 
May 30, 2012 10:03 AM

Thanks for the excellent Smoke Upgrade sequence.  It's saved in my files for future use.

 
 
 
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May 30, 2012 10:47 AM

It's always about the trains!

San Diego 3-Railers - live trains 11-4 pacific time

All Gauge Toy Train Association

San Diego Model Railroad Museum - Life Member

LCCA

 

 
 
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OGR Forum Member
 
June 2, 2013 3:44 PM

I know this reply is an antique but I have tried lots of wick materials only to find the best is pink owens fiberglass lionel's batting melts as does tiki torch wick on the resistor causing a smothering effect. one other thing you do not want to restrict air flow by putting any batting on top between the board and resistor.

 
 
 
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OGR Forum Member
 
June 2, 2013 6:13 PM

Originally Posted by julianna:

I know this reply is an antique but I have tried lots of wick materials only to find the best is pink owens fiberglass lionel's batting melts as does tiki torch wick on the resistor causing a smothering effect. one other thing you do not want to restrict air flow by putting any batting on top between the board and resistor.

My experience was quite the opposite, IMO, DO NOT use pink insulation, the fibers are too small and instantly burn onto the resistor. I was nearly unable to remove it and that was only after a brief operating period.

 

I've also found that Lionels new "precut batting" is highly resistant to burning and charring as it is made from larger fiberglass fibers.

 

 

 

 

 

"But you don't want to be bamboozled. You don't want to be led down the primrose path! You don't want to be conned or duped. Have the wool pulled over your eyes. Hoodwinked! You don't want to be taken for a ride. Railroaded!"

 

 

 
 
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