So I finally got around to putting this engine on the tracks. I now have a brand new MTH Z-4000 transformer which I love. I took the engine shell off to lubricate it where I can. Of course all the side rods. I usually clean out the gearbox and replace with synthetic grease but this one had so many circuit boards on top of the gearbox I didn't bother. Hopefully this American Made (?) engine has better grease than the stuff I find in the MTH engines. Anyway, a good oiling and I put it back together. The tender takes one standard 9 volt alkaline battery not the rechargeable type like the MTH tenders.
I got it all ready to go - turned on the juice and let it idle for a few minutes to allow the capacitors etc. to "wake up" after sitting for 20 years. And she huffed and puffed and started breathing like an engine! - really cool!. Then I blew the whistle and the top of the tender popped off! I laughed my head off! What quality you just gotta love it. So I re-seated the thin plastic "coal" load on the tender. Hit the whistle again and POP! Off came the coal load! So I bent the plastic locating pin a little and so far it seems to be holding. Great sounding whistle though!
Beautiful motor and drive system. VERY well done. Everything fits together quite well. The plastic volume control pot is quite flimsy being supported only by its connection to the board but it isn't used a lot so I guess it isn't a big deal. I wish there was a physical switch to turn off the smoke.
I am very happy with this engine and love the sounds. The infra-red connection makes it so easy to use without having to mess with plugging in wires. It pulls like a maniac. It came out of the box with the blind center drivers that have a tire. There are a pair of flanged wheels in the box to replace these if so desired. And when the tires wear out I am going to do just that.
It looks magnificent in the display case - but now that it is on duty I have my 1950 773 in the display case in its place.
Check the video - the tender thing is hilarious! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVB2PrWZGi0