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Lionel Alco AA set - one powered unit with Pullmor strains to pull three passenger cars on level track and I'm planning a steep grade to a second level.
Also ERR or other cruise control will be added after power upgrade, I have two unused ERR Cruise Cmdr-LITE boards that I'd like to use.

Considering these options:
1) Powering the dummy with Pullmor motor from donor loco.
2) Converting Pullmor to can motor, and likely the dummy A.

I'm a DIY guy so if anyone can point to source of can motor conversion parts please reply.

Lionel Alco ARR in foreground - K-Line MKT in background

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Last edited by Kelunaboy
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I have had the same experience with K-Line Alco's.  I added a second motor to the A unit and powered an additional A unit too.  Now longer trains are fine.  I would suggest that you add a second Pullmor. Or, you may want to choose the Williams powered trucks with can motors.  I've done both.  Converting a Pullmor truck to a can motor may be problematic, I've not tried that. The easy swap is the integrated truck and motor.

Last edited by Ahitpy

This is the way I went a few years ago. You may want to borrow an idea or two - or not.

WBB 027 FA2's. AA. I added Alco sound, ERR Cruise Commander (can motors required), an Electrocoupler at each end, directional headlights, and I moved one powered truck to the dummy, so both are powered. Not needed; I just liked the idea.  Big upgrade for a little locomotive, but it's a jewel. Fantastic switcher.

Added side numbers. Always loved the Erie scheme, but it no longer says "Erie".

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My "tether" - isn't. I have to pick these up together, but they are easy to handle. One day, a diaphragm will hide the wires.

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For the F3, you might want to consider grafting a second power truck in, it makes an amazing difference!  I added the rear motor to the Lionel Phantom, and it turned an anemic puller that had trouble pulling it's four cars  on level Atlas track into a totally different locomotive!  It has sufficient pulling power to haul a dozen diecast hoppers all around the club layout, including the large grade.

Link to topic: Improving the Lionel Phantom Locomotive

Last edited by gunrunnerjohn

Thanks for all the suggestions!  I think my best option would be powering the second A with a donor Pullmor chassis and installing the ERR AC Commander.  I like this set
because it matches the Lionel Alaska O-27 Streamliner set (6-29041) that I have, and gotta love the Pullmor sound!

Chuck - good point on the Magne-traction.  I used FasTrack on a previous layout in Hawaii but had major problems with rusting rails.  I have moved to Washington State and
switched to MTH Realtrax,  I will test using steel tubular track for my layout incline to planned upper level.

D500 - Nice conversion of those Williams!  I have Williams Santa Fe F3 ABA and FA-1 AA - wonderful looking and running models - they are projects for the future.

Ahitpy - been on a K-Line buying bender, have MKT and Golden State (GS) AA passenger sets, and the GS has dual powered AA units and sounds, the sounds aren't
to my taste and may upgrade to a RailSounds board and swap in the MKT shells and use the GS set for parts.

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Last edited by Kelunaboy

I don't know about that Chuck.  My Phantom on Fastrack was a lousy puller with the single motor as well.  It also had really rotten speed control, basically stopped or warp speed!  Adding the second motor gave it much more controllable speed as well as way more pulling power.

A motor in the front is the worst place to put it, and it totally escapes me why if it would fit, they didn't put the single motor in back!

The motor in front pulls better.

We'll have to agree to disagree on this point!  I actually did some tests on the single Pulmore motor SD-11 engines as I had a customer that wanted to upgrade five of them.  Obviously, a second Pulmore motor was not an option in these models due to the narrow shell.

However, just turning the engine around and running it in reverse putting the motor in back increased it's pulling power by over 30%, a significant difference.  I did the same test with the Phantom before I did my mods and got similar results.  If I currently had a single Pulmore motored unit, I'd do the test again, but I don't.  However, I'm pretty convinced that the tests I did were accurate.

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