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I have quite a bit of info on wiring two E-unit controlled Lionel diesel locos together, plus, modifying a single motor unit to 2 motors.  There are electronic modules designed for 2 motors available, but am sticking with the mechanical.  The E unit contact rating as to total amps has eluded me, but I just found this from 2001,

"Lionel rated their e-units (mechanical units) for four motors; so you are not limited to single-motor locomotives nor to two locomotive units, as long as the total number of motors wired together is no more than four."

Is this a true statement?

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Well, I had concerns that the current draw would cause an arc when the contact drum rotated and made up or broke the connection, leading to burning the contact fingers, and pitting the drum such that it would become intermittent or useless.  Seems Lionel over designed the E unit, or just made the innards the same but arranged it  in different configurations to run 1 to 4 motors, unlike the solid state counterpart, where there are one and two motor capable electronic E units.

Last edited by CALNNC

When I had my Lionel back in the  70's  I had a few sets of 2333's with the horizontal dual  motors and they went trough fingers on a regular basis,( and drew amperage like a pig.  I wouldnt see vertical dual  motors being nearly as bad as long as they run well and smooth, Like I said running for may just be a matter of maintenance, replacing  fingers more often , I think the mechanical  e  units should do it

I agree with GRJ that the drum and wipers look small for amperage they handle, even with one motor.  The use of them to handle two or more motors is questionable.  Amperage is higher with heavy or long trains and frequent use like the E unit F N R cycles even with one motor.

For just running I like to lock the train in forward when I can, to take some of cycles off the E unit.

To run two or more motors on one E unit will probably buy you more wear and tear and repairs on the E unit drum and fingers.


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