Hi everyone, trainfam here for Christmas I received a Lionel mfg era 38 engine painted in black, with red window trim and red trim on the base of the shell. Here’s a photo: The reason I’m posting is because I’m going to search for the cars to make it a set again. Again it’s a mfg era 38, my guess is it was made from 1916 to 1917 I am not sure if it came with freight or passenger cars ether, so any help would be appreciated. Thanks, trainfam
Happy new year everyone! Trainfam here. I recently received a number 5 engine for Christmas, and needless to say, it’s going to need some cleaning to get it running. You see, the commutator inside the motor is very dirty, so I have to run it on a high voltage just to get it to move at a slow pace. The locomotive motor has been restored with the wiring being replaced, so really the commutator can be the main problem. My main question/ problem and reason for posting is because I need help with...
Hi Trainfam, I have a passenger set with a #38 loco, “Mfg. Co”, vents in end doors, pedestal headlight... c. 1916-17. Maroon with gold window trim. The passenger set was Catalog Outfit #40, and included (2) #35 Pullman coaches, and (1) #36 Observation car. My cars are also maroon, to match the loco. There was also a cataloged freight set with a #38 loco. I would have to look up the specific cars. I do not know if the black loco suggests that would have belonged with a freight set... I am not...
Short answer, yes. David Doyle’s “Standard Catalog of Lionel Trains, 1900-1942”, reproduces a Lionel catalog page from 1917. It lists the following outfits with a #38 electric locomotive: “No. 38 ...outfit includes 8 sections of curved track, making a circle 3-1/2 ft. In diameter. Has electric headlight. Reversing controller and connection for lighting interior of cars. Price $12.00” ”Electric freight train outfit No. 39. Comprises No. 38 locomotive, 1 No. 116 coal car, 1 No. 117 caboose,...
Both the freight and passenger cars from the same period as your loco would ride on black 100-series trucks ( no journal boxes ), and would probably have hook couplers with the little “ears” at the bottom of the tab.
Also, the 38 features a strap headlight. Not pedestal headlights like yours and most 38’s, I find this strange as it seems as if strap headlights were mainly featured on corporate era 38’s. Unless my 38 is from the tail end of mfg era? But there’s also the chance of my headlamp being replaced (it is much clearer compared to the rest of the finials). And the paint is a little rough around the tabs.... take a look:
Trainfam- Thanks for the additional photos! Do you know anything of the history of this engine? It seems both the headlight and whistle on your black 38 are brighter / newer than the rest of the nickel trim on the unit. The strap headlight is supposed to be “later”; most of the 38’s I see on e-Bay and in the train books seem to have the strap headlight. That said, the strap headlight is secured to the shell by tabs & slots, which would be difficult to add as a field or DIY change. Also,...
Thank you for the info Fran. I will leave the name of the post alone so it is easier for you to find the post. Unfortunately, I do not know the history of this engine. It was purchased on eBay, most likely not from the original owner or any family members of the original owner of the 38. So I really don’t know any history of it. I feel as if I have seen one of these engines with the thumb nut before?.... (however it could have possibly been a 38 in a different color, or not even a 38 at all)...
Additionally, it appears someone drilled holes on the back of the shell. Possibly to customize the shell and put a number 5’s cow catcher (which had the screw holes in it around the same area as these holes are drilled. Take a look:
I think your engine has "had some work done" during its life... Looks like the wiring was replaced... (not uncommon). According to a wiring diagram I have seen based on a hobbyist's #42 on tinplate times, the wire from the lighting post may have been run from the headlight, or perhaps a dedicated run to the same terminal on the reversing switch. The sliding shoe pick-up is proper, and the "Manufacturing Co." stamping on the reversing switch agrees with the brass plates on the end-doors. I...
When it comes to cleaning or polishing the nickel plated pieces on the 38, I think I would rather leave this piece alone. It seems to run well enough also, but if it comes down to the dirt on the nickel plated parts risking its mobility I would be willing to clean it. But for now I think I will leave it alone. Trainfam
OK guys....and you know who I am talking about....make light about our policy of staying on topic and make funnies about "the picture police...etc" ....do it again and you can laugh your way to another forum! If you don't respect our TOS and policies, then find another place to make fun of us. If you want to talk about motor cycles and other non-train related topics, then go to those kinds of forum or do so privately via email.
hello everyone trainfam here, As a collector, I have come across some items that are hard to locate, however I believe that the dorfan 417 is the toughest so far (at least in pre-war). That being said, I would like to ask everyone on the form to ether help me find one, or if someone on the form is willing to sell one, tell me a price and I can see what I can do... Trainfam
hello everyone trainfam here, I have an Ives accessory that needs new wiring to replace the old, dirty wiring. Thankfully, enough of it is left for me to make the decision that the original wiring was cloth covered. So my question is, where can I find this cloth wiring at? Any help would be appreciated. Trainfam
Someone here will probably have some sources for you, lots of folks have the older trains and accessories. You might try searching Google or ebay for 'vintage radio wire' or something like that. I have seen wire available for folks that restore old radios and things like that. Maybe even a search for 'vintage train wiring' would turn up something. Or maybe even 'vintage wire'.
hello everyone trainfam here, Around a year ago, I purchased a dorfan switch. This is the switch: (Please note that the switch in the photo above is NOT mine, rather is the same model as mine), that being said, MY switch has no paint left. So that being said, does anyone know where I can find and purchase the red paint to restore the switch? I know that I can purchase the decals from Joe Mania, but I have no clue where I can find the paint. Any ideas would be appreciated. Trainfam
@TrainFam are you working on a red/black or green version? Are you concerned with getting the inside portion of the tower girders completely covered without excessive outside coverage or drips? Sounds like a fun project....enjoy and post some pics.
Old time trick! Way cool!...old lacquers don’t stand a chance against vinegar or vinegar spirits....what top coat are you using? rattle can enamel? If so, just use an appropriate rattle can primer and follow the directions on the can....biggest part, have fun doing it.......Pat
Hi harmony, thank you for the help. Yes, I will be using rattle can enamel (specifically rust oleum) just seems to work better than with any type of brush on enamel. Easier to use without the finished product looking sloppy. I will try to post pictures of the finished project as soon as possible. But with the weather here you never know when the repaint process will be possible. Thanks, trainfam
What did you use to strip the old paint? That’s the million dollar question. Painting any object is 99% prep and 1% painting. If you used a chemical stripper, clean & prepare the raw metal. Wash with alcohol first, then use scotchbrite to abate the metal. Then clean once again with alcohol. Prime, and topcoat as per paint mfr. instructions.......what primer you need to use will depend on the topcoat being applied. Not all paints play well together.......Pat
Hi Rich. Regarding the colors of the signal, it’s the red/black variant which I am working with. I am not too concerned with dripping or outside excessive coverage. I suppose that the only thing that I am worried about is the weather and painting the parts that don’t need to be painted I.E. the light fixtures. Also, if anyone could tell me how to rewire this piece without access solder? But thankfully I was able to disassemble the whole piece so that overlapping of different colors does not...
I love these, and have about a dozen on my layout. Some things I’ve noticed in restoring the ones that required a respray... The tower’s individual components rely on conductivity between all the metal parts to supply the grounding circuit. I’ve restored several that a repaint was applied too thick, and were sold to me as ‘non-functional.’ Simple removal (or reduction) of the paint between sections remedied this. I believe Marx’s choice not to prime was intentional for this reason. While I’d...
hi everyone trainfam here, I am in the midst of restoring a Marx 416 light tower, I have found matching paint, but still have a question about preparing the repaint. Will I have to prime the metal before putting on the paint? I am questioning this because when I removed the paint, I did not see any primer underneath the paint. So that being said I just wanted to make sure that I should prime the signal and what primer to use. trainfam
hello everyone trainfam here, I have a 38 in a collection, which I adore very much, however it seems to be having some issues. I just got some restored track off of eBay and decided to run my 38 on it. However when it goes around the curved track, the wheels seem to bind and won’t budge. Could anyone tell me how to fix this problem? Trainfam
Are the wheels gauged properly? Is the track gauged properly? Are the wheels in good condition, or are they starting to bulge and distort and disintegrate due to zinc pest (almost a given if original - if not original, they may have incorrectly been installed (mis-gauged))?
You probably have a worn compound gear -as stated above. This would account for the fact it runs in reverse but not forward.. the gear gets more wear in the direction it is most used—Forward. Just replace it and check all other gears for wear too. Your wheels might be slightly out of quarter also. This some times happens if they slip on the axels and are out of gauge (get wider and pop off the the compound gear).
Hello Ron, I ran the train in the opposite direction and the gears didn’t bind. So that being said I think that there might be something wrong with the gear the small gear, here is a picture of the gear I’m talking about:
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