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Lionel SD-40 from Erie Lackawanna Ltd set  and the separate sale SD-40 dummy.  Is it possible to add power to the dummy unit?  Power trucks are traditional pulmore motors.  Second item  what would be the best way to add TMCC to this pair?  Note I just purchased the units awaiting and trying to plan my project out if possible



Ed Samsen

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Check out ERR AC Commander (it think they are still available).  There is another vender who makes "drop in" can motors but it won't be cost efficient to change motors and convert to a digital system.

You have a very nice set which you can enjoy the way it is. A lot of my stuff is not prototypical, but they are toy trains, especially if they are older stuff, like the set you now have.

If you don't already have a digital system,  you are talking a bunch of money in addition to converting the SD40 to digital "whatevers."

Pulmor motors have been around since just after WW2 and just keep running.  They need lubrication and new brushes every every 10 or 15 years. Enough said?

Good luck and enjoy your "new" old train!

@Ed Samsen posted:

Lionel SD-40 from Erie Lackawanna Ltd set  and the separate sale SD-40 dummy.  Is it possible to add power to the dummy unit?  Power trucks are traditional pulmore motors.  Second item  what would be the best way to add TMCC to this pair?  Note I just purchased the units awaiting and trying to plan my project out if possible



Ed Samsen

For TMCC you need the ERR AcDc Commander. Plus the railsounds board. As ststed above you are better off hunting down 2 legact EL SD45's to be cost effective. Dont forget those "SD40's" are oversized as well as having fantasy EL paint scheme.

Last edited by prrhorseshoecurve

I have the Chessie SD 40 from about the same time with dual pulmors.

It is a smooth runner, great puller, and runs nice in conventional.

I also have the SP SD 40 with TMCC and dual pulmors.

It is also a smooth runner and great puller.

You can't go wrong keeping those units in conventional or installing TMCC.

When the SD40 first came out the official story in one of the Lionel collectors books is that scale guys bought the units and converted them to 2 rail operation because they liked the way they looked (and were affordable).

They may not be perfectly scale but they capture the "look" and also just plain look nice.

The EL set is a superb set.

I collect and run items from pre war all the way to the latest Legacy and DCS locomotives.

I like running them all and when I have visitors I enjoy showing and comparing different eras of toy train production and operation.

Enjoy the set.

I run all eras of Lionel and American Flyer O gauge.  At public displays of a club in San Diego, I ran a Lionel 156 set Flyer 3020 set representing the 1920s  AF Zephyr and City of Denver representing 1930s  226e with 2613s and 201 with 2650 series representing 1940s early  ( trying to use the magic electrol in the 201 to keep the 2 trains from *** ending each other after compensating load add or reduce consist by a car or two.  Classic 50s Lionel including 2344NYC F3s  60s not so much  70s and newer include Southern Crescent   SP Daylight F-3s with 4 motors  and GS4 with all cars including all add ons  16v  11a on a Z4000, 783 with Modern era Madison cars

EL Ltd  fits right in

Ed

@Ed Samsen posted:

I run all eras of Lionel and American Flyer O gauge.  At public displays of a club in San Diego, I ran a Lionel 156 set Flyer 3020 set representing the 1920s  AF Zephyr and City of Denver representing 1930s  226e with 2613s and 201 with 2650 series representing 1940s early  ( trying to use the magic electrol in the 201 to keep the 2 trains from *** ending each other after compensating load add or reduce consist by a car or two.  Classic 50s Lionel including 2344NYC F3s  60s not so much  70s and newer include Southern Crescent   SP Daylight F-3s with 4 motors  and GS4 with all cars including all add ons  16v  11a on a Z4000, 783 with Modern era Madison cars

EL Ltd  fits right in

Ed

Some of these guys forget that not everyone insists on scale accuracy.

@SIRT posted:

Fantasy model. El never had them or those road numbers.

So? Last I checked this was the toy train forum, not the 3 rail scale forum. I doubt a lot of folks here care if it's prototypical or not. I have begun to notice more and more of these type of comments in the TOY TRAIN FORUM where they are not actually appropriate. If this was the scale forum then yes, this comment has merit. Here we need to let folks enjoy their toy trains.

@Jeff2035 posted:

When the SD40 first came out the official story in one of the Lionel collectors books is that scale guys bought the units and converted them to 2 rail operation because they liked the way they looked (and were affordable).

They may not be perfectly scale but they capture the "look" and also just plain look nice.

The EL set is a superb set. Enjoy the set.

I would like to know who "those scale guys" are. I havent seen them displaying the jumbo Lionel SD40, SD50, C40-8, B40-8 in the NY metro area scale shows and clubs from the 1990s til today.

@Rich Melvin posted:

Just so we’re all on the same switch list here, the locomotive under discussion here is an “SD40” not an “SD-40.” EMD did not use dashes in the basic model numbers. They did use them in the “Dash 2” series, as in SD40-2.

@BobbyD posted:

IIRC Lionel printed it as "SD-40" on the box. We just use what they call it.

@Rich Melvin posted:

The box is wrong.

Seeing as what Lionel sells is not an actual EMD SD40 but rathera model of an SD40, and actually printed “SD-40” on the box, correcting someone in this case seems like an effort in futility and off-topic at best.

If this were in the real trains forum it would be more welcome and expected to correct mistakes like this.

@BobbyD posted:

Not Lionel's first or only mistake Rich! Unfortunately that is what Lionel labeled it so folks search by what the label says.

Yes, Lionel has incorrectly used dashes in EMD locomotive names many times and when looking for an elusive model, you often have to search by what they called it, not what it actually is.

@rplst8 posted:

Seeing as what Lionel sells is not an actual EMD SD40 but rather a model of an SD40, and actually printed “SD-40” on the box, correcting someone in this case seems like an effort in futility and off-topic at best.

If this were in the real trains forum it would be more welcome and expected to correct mistakes like this.

Yes, Lionel has incorrectly used dashes in EMD locomotive names many times and when looking for an elusive model, you often have to search by what they called it, not what it actually is.

Whether it is a model or the real thing, "SD-40" is wrong and "SD40" is correct. It's just that simple. Just because Lionel got it wrong all these years is no reason for knowledgeable modelers to repeat the same mistake.

All I'm trying to do is pass along a little accurate information about the trains we model. If you truly think it's an effort in futility, then you can continue to get it wrong.

It was a great set for its time. Lionel was in transition back then. A scale diesel with some non scale cars was all we had. Scale was still limited to 2r then and this was the next best thing offered for 3r. I sold this set years ago as I discovered more accurate and detailed scale in 3r and became more advanced in my modeling efforts. I also sold off 85% of my non scale toy items as well. If DCS-sounds and Premier were never offered, I probably would have returned back to H.O

Some like to stay the same, some like to advance to the next level.

It's all good.

Last edited by SIRT

True the 80s were a time when Lionel came out with entirely new items not just repackaged / repainted  same old same old F3 sets  GP7/GP9 sets and Baby Hudson Sets.  THis SD40 was entirely new in that era.Late 80s brought us more new items  Lackawanna MU cars, Scale Hudson and Semi Scale switcher with the semi-scale cars of the 1940 era plus 2 new ones It was the start of a new direction for Lionel

Ed

This was the set that changed the O gauge world  I remember when it first came out   It was that ground breaking  A completely new tooling  Not a retread  I immediately bought it and then the dummy SD-40.  It ran smooth as silk  I liked it so much I bought two more

As for powering the dummy it will cost you more in parts than it would to just buy another and swap shells   You can sell the other as a dummy

Enjoy your set and dont worry about what the dash police say 

Lionel could benefit by making the frame on dummies the same as the powered unit and put an adapter plate over the motor cutout, upgrade kit could be sold consisting of  power truck cores with motors and plug and play wiring kit.  No changing handrails detail parts etc  I think Williams did this with some of their locos to power dummies or add additional power trucks to single motored units

In the past I powered the trailing A unit on a silver spike set for a young man I knew as the single power unit would not pull a full load of 6 cars.....slaved it to the lead unit reverse using Marklin plugs as the jumper.  I also powered the dummy A of my SP Daylight F3s for the same reason  2 motors not enough for 8 aluminum cars

I had the CP Rail set with the SD40 and two dummies. Later I sold those and bought the IC SD40. I converted it to TMCC using maybe Digital Dynamics, can't remember. Lionel made replacement coil couplers for the SD40s but they would not center, I spent all this time including filling in with JB weld only to get mediocre performance.

I also had two frames for Santa Fe 2343 F3 diesels, the earlier ones with horizontal motors and a coil coupler on the nose, and made both dual powered with TMCC. Yes could pull, but also pulled alot of current. I used Rich Melvin's notes on TMCC "lashups" to control the pair.

I am predicting if you build the quad motor beast you will end up with something that has to be on its own transformer and still will not have cruise control.

I agree with some other peoples advice, just buy some engine that fills the bill - maybe find a K-Line EL Trainmaster that has TMCC (will have CC at the end). I do not know if K-Line made any with cruise control - I recently bought a K-Line NH EP5 and it does, and I have a K-Line 4-6-6T that has TMCC and K-Line's cruise control that still works.

Failing that, I like the previously mentioned idea of shell swapping with some other powered SD40.

I did a search on eBay, and plenty of EL SD40s pop up. But I did not see one Legacy engine. TMCC, yes, Legacy no. I tried MTH and boom boatloads of Erie Lackawana (sp?) engines with PS2 or PS3, maybe it time to try out DCS.

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