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Lionel 773 1950 Smoke Lever Operation Question

Hello -

I'm new to this forum, and I joined in the hope that someone here can help me with a technical question. I recently acquired a Lionel 773 Hudson (1950 version) and it runs great, but there's an issue with it. The smoke element gets hot and smoke will rise from the stack in a thin wisp when parked in neutral, but the smoke lever doesn't operate when the loco is running (no puffing smoke). I took a close look at it last night, but I can't see where there's anything to push the smoke lever forward when the crosshead moves forward. There's a little tab where the piston rod goes into the cylinder that looks like it's purpose is to move the lever backwards, but I can see nothing that would move the lever forward. I have a 726 (1946 version) that has a special longer crosshead bolt on one side that is used to push the smoke lever forward on it, and I realize the two locos are very different, but is it possible that the 773 should have a similar arrangement? Maybe someone serviced it and put in the wrong length bolt? The smoke lever moves freely if I reach in with a small screwdriver and operate it manually. My Greenberg's Repair Guide is an older version, and for some reason contains no info on the 773 (I see that the current version has it), so I'm really in the dark here. I'm hoping that someone here can tell me what actually moves the smoke lever forward on this engine.

Thanks,

Tom West

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