I have a Lionel 8516, 0-4-0 switcher, 1984-6 MPC that has a DC can motor and electronic  E-unit in tender, a metal body, smoke and has an operating front coupler.  My Lionel 8310, 0-4-0 switcher has a plastic cow catcher on front with no coupler.  I believe it was made for Sears in 1973-74, has a standard post war 4 wheel metal frames motor and standard E-unit, no smoke and has the same metal body as the 8516 but was cheaper without a working front coupler.  Both run very well and are great small switchers.

 Lionel 8516, 0-4-0 switcherIMG_1147

IMG_1146

 

Lionel 8310, 0-4-0 switcher

IMG_1150

IMG_1149

 

A front pilot step frame is available for the 8516 but 8516 has metal steam chest assembly including the piston housing and pilot.  The 8310 has a cheap plastic piston housing, pilot and cow catcher.  To convert the 8310 to have an operating front coupler like the 8516, a piston housing, pilot, front step and operating front coupler will have to be purchased.  All these parts probably will cost more than I paid for the Lionel 8310.  I decided to make these parts one that will fit the 8310 as I have a spare operating coupler.

 I measured the thickness of the front pilot step (5/128”) of the 8516, with a Vernier caliper, and found an old metal book shelf to be the same thickness.  I found I could barely cut the metal with a pair of aviator shears.  I measured up the pilot front pilot step on the 8516 and sketched the pilot and front step and cut it out of the metal.  I could not cut the front step bar to be attached to the pilot and made a bar and soldered it on.

IMG_1155

 

I uses a small piece of 1/8 thick Basswood make the metal pilot thicker and J W welded the together. 

IMG_1185

 

 

I then added pieces of a popsicle stick to add extra thickness on the outside edges.  I drilled holes in the pilot to match the holes on the engine.

IMG_1189

 

I measured out how tall a pedestal of 3/8 dia tubing was needed to mount the operating coupler in the middle of the pilot and front step and match the height of the coupling on a Lionel car.  I J B welded the tubing pedestal to the pilot and installed the coupling with washers, a long screw and two nuts. 

IMG_1192

IMG_1195

 

I found the front hand rail of the 8615 was 5/128” dia and found a large paper clip was the same, straightened it and installed it on the pilot.  I painted the pilot with Krylon satin black spray paint.

IMG_1196

 IMG_1198

 IMG_1215

IMG_1228

Actually the new coupler 8310 looks more handsome than the 8516, whose metal pilot and piston housing looks like bare metal, but I dare not paint it cause its value would be reduced!

 

This little project took lots of measuring and testing and required a week of a couple of hours each day, and allowing over night to fully cure the J B Weld several nights.  It took way more effort than I first thought but was worth the time and I think it turned out very well.  I enjoyed turning cheaper, ugly 0-4-0 engine into a great running 0-4-0 switcher with an operating front coupler.

Charlie

Attachments

Images (13)
Last edited by Choo Choo Charlie
Original Post

Thanks for the comments.  It was a needed and fun project.  I now have three good running switchers with front couplings, a 0-8-0 and two 0-4-0s.  I have now placed adding operating couplers to a few diesel switchers to my "to do list" as well as to procure a few more operating couplers at the TCA train shows.

Charlie

You mean before Lionel chose to recognize a can motor was already considered a can motor by most folk.... and stopped trying to market them as something they weren't. They were just as often, maybe more-so early on, as  "Toy" motors... and God knows how popular that term is with some modelers, so can motor won  (imo )

Add Reply

Post
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×