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Hello folks, I wanted to see how the Lionel VL Big Boy tender coal depleting mechanism works so I decided to check it out. The tender is a die cast shell with an "insert" that contains the electronics and the depleting load mechanism. The design is fairly simple yet involves many reduction gears and is innovative. Some of the gears are brass and others are steel. Here are some photos to show how it works.

 

 

 

Tender  major pieces

IMG_3626

Tender Die cast shell

IMG_3627

The "insert" with complete electronics/mechanics

IMG_3628

 

Can this shell be converted to OIL tender to replicate the future #4014?

IMG_3629

 

The Rubber coal load and the dual speakers plastic enclosure, makes for great sounds!

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Gears!

IMG_3632

 

Springs to hold up the load. Note the fishing line!

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Closer view.

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DC motor and its initial gear box. The white stuff is grease I added.

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Closer look.

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The pull down fishing line

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Great design, lots of work and effort went into it.

 

Initially I did not care for this feature, but now I appreciate the engineering behind it and I play with it more in the "demo mode"

 

I do hope Lionel will offer an upgrade Oil tender kit when the real #4014 is running...MTH will be releasing the 4014 with an oil tender and a smoking whistle....game is on??

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Last edited by BigBoy4014
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Originally Posted by meter man:

Hello

Thanks for showing the guts.

There would be NO way I would open one up to see the insides.

Come a long way in loco tec

Hope one never has to replace that fishing line !

 

Originally Posted by Frank CNW:

Hi Sam,

Thanks for the pictures.

Frank

 

You are cwelcome.

 

Originally Posted by PAUL ROMANO:

Great tech info. Maybe Lionel will have a "depleting oil tender" on the next run.........  

LOL.....

Originally Posted by sinclair:

Couple questions, how think is the coal load membrane, and is there a limit switch in there so when it knows the coal is all the way down/up or is it going off of torque of the motor?

It is about 2.4 mm thick? just a guess...

 

There are micro switches at the limits of travel

 

Originally Posted by laz1957:

Nice overview.  I was wondering too if there is a shut off switch to stop the depletion of the coal load?

 

Yes, there is an on/off switch in the tender for this feature

 

Originally Posted by trainnut56:

 

Very interesting photos and information.  Not to be a wet blanket but won't this void the warrenty (spelling) , I hope not.  Jim R.

Warranty

 

I am doing Lionel a favor by showing people how nice their VL BB is so they will buy more of them....I think they will take that into consideration before they cancel my $2000, 3year loco warranty....LOL......

@DaveGG posted:

If anyone knows where I can find a replacement VL BB tender let me know.

Hi Dave ,

I happen to have an extra VL BB tender in full working order. Road number 4018. I repair BB all week long , only thing I did to it was repair the broken coal load.  Email me if you’re interested, my email is in my profile.

Thanks, Alex

Last edited by Alex M
@GOLDRAIL posted:

Ugh, my BB's coal load feature stopped working. You can hear the gears turning when you activate it, but I fear after seeing this that the line disconnected which pulls it downward. IDK if I want to tackle opening it up to try to fix it myself. Good to know what id be in for now. Great work.

Alex M ( posted just above yours) did a tutorial on the repair in this thread: Repairing Depleting Coal Load

Last edited by RickO

Hey everyone, I don't want to step on Sam's excellent tutorial about this tender. I've actually come up with a better way to repair this coal load. Some might like it better, some might like the other way. I feel this new method is stronger. I will only post it here if Sam agrees. This is his thread , so i go by his rules. I can post a new thread if everyone one wants .

Thanks, Alex

@Alex M posted:

Hey everyone, I don't want to step on Sam's excellent tutorial about this tender. I've actually come up with a better way to repair this coal load. Some might like it better, some might like the other way. I feel this new method is stronger. I will only post it here if Sam agrees. This is his thread , so i go by his rules. I can post a new thread if everyone one wants .

Thanks, Alex

Maybe do your own thread so we can all benefit.  That's what this forum is about.  Sharing of information.

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