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A contact is offering to sell me a Lionel Southern 4501 Mikado that I had never seen before from 2005 evidently. I don't operate S anymore but it certainly is a handsome locomotive. Grew up with Gilbert Flyer but am  pretty much Scale 3Rail O now.

Any mechanical issues with these Mikes in case I am able to run it from time to time?   Thanks.

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Sam, there are no mechanical issues necessarily, however, the smoke unit is of the Seuthe style which leaves a bit to be desired aesthetically. Also, there are only 2 chuffs per revolution of the drivers. I had mine upgraded by Carl Tuveson a few years ago to remedy both of these shortcomings. Otherwise, it is a beautiful locomotive.

2 chuffs can be expected from Lionel then.  But a Seuthe style unit for smoke???  In 2005?  That's quite a let down; why would they incorporate something like that in a 'premium' steamer?  Especially with a $600+ price tag some 19 years ago?  I've had a MTH Mikado in HO that smokes (and sounds) very much like it's larger brethren.  C'mon Lionel. You could've done better than that......

Thanks Rich. What kind of smoke unit can be used here please?

IIRC, he used an MTH fan driven smoke unit but also gutted the TMCC electronics and replaced with Cruise Lite, new frame and micro switch, pilot truck, puffer board, motor and gear. It was kind of extensive but well worth it. I had my TMCC Pacific done also. Now, of course, we have the Pacifics back in Legacy but not the Mikado. I don't think Lionel had a small enough fan driven smoke unit that would fit at the time.

I have seven of the TMCC Mikado's and light Pacifics. They are very nice engines but were not as good as I really wanted for operation. Similar to FlyerRich, I had all of mine rebuilt by Carl Tuveson. It completely transformed them. One of the changes he made in addition to the extensive list above was to install a half speed worm gear.

All the details are on Carl's website, Unfortunately Carl is no longer able to rebuild these engines.

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