Lionel commodore vanderbuilt 18045, opinions,

Hello all

I ran into a fellow that has the lionel commodore vanderbuilt for sale, It is mint in the box almost like new. It was part of his dads collection and is offering it for sale. 300.00

The engine is gorgeous in my opinion, but would like to know if anyone here owns one, and if so your opinions on this engine. good and/or bad. Appreciate any comments on this piece as I am very interested in it, watched some videos and like the whistle. It was made in 1996 I believe.

Thank you for your time and consideration on commenting.

Original Post

It is a great looking engine. The whistle is the best Lionel has ever had IMO. It also has tmcc. 

The silver color is wrong, should be dark grey but who cares unless your a rivit counter.  The pulmore motor  is not the smoothest but it is what it is.

The price is more than fair IMO . I say go for it if you really like it. 

Dave

Like Dave stated, it has the Pullmor motor.  Not a good runner on it's best day.  Old school smoke unit.  The price is right.  If I could buy one for that price, it would go right to Frank Timko for a can motor conversion and then DCS or ERR.  Again, price is right.

 

 

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I’d say go for it. I was lucky to find  my silver Vanderbilt for $250 in very good to excellent condition. Despite the lack of legitimacy in color, I love the its heavy weight and shape, plus those scullin disc drivers. Despite being made in 1996, the sounds still sound very accurate for a NYC Hudson and just awesome to hear. I  would go Marty’s route with Frank’s can motor, fan smoke unit, and Electric Railroad Cruise. At least that way you can keep the older Lionel RailSounds.

Thomas

Somerset County 4-H Trainmasters

TCA Member11-66911

LCCA 30247

ERR Upgrades and Custom Artwork

I have both the Silver and the Rare Black Version. I disassembled mine, cleaned all the gears and shafts. I used Red N Tacky 2 for grease and oiled everything up with Labelle 107 and both of mine run extremely smooth and fast, but when it comes to pulling, it can only pull 6 out of the 10 Pullmans Lionel Made for it :-)

I know a few members on here, had a DC can motors installed, and was able to keep the original railsounds. I still might go that route, but wiring to the DC can motor board has me a little confused on how it was done.

Timko Repair Depot does the motor conversions, if your concerned about the pulling

Mark

TCA, LCCA,

All Lionel!!

Postwar, MPC, LTI Standard O, Postwar Celebration Series, Conventional Classics, All the way!!!

 

ZWPOWER13 posted:

I have both the Silver and the Rare Black Version. I disassembled mine, cleaned all the gears and shafts. I used Red N Tacky 2 for grease and oiled everything up with Labelle 107 and both of mine run extremely smooth and fast, but when it comes to pulling, it can only pull 6 out of the 10 Pullmans Lionel Made for it :-)

 

This frame is from an 18045. In addition to what Mark suggests, check the crossheads for drag. I found the guides on mine were not parallel causing significant drag. Also the main rod was rubbing on the siderods. 

I found an ammeter between the transformer and track to be a good diagnostic tool. If it jumps around or increases at the same point of every wheel revolution something is rubbing. 

CV_Mod

Pete

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I have this engine and even though the color may be off it still is a great looking engine.  It's whistle is also great.  Unfortunately, it is a dog when it comes to pulling a decent load.  Nevertheless,  the price you've been offered makes it a worthwhile purchase especially since modifications can be made.  

On mine, the boss on the center of the main rod was too thick, causing it to bind. Filing it down so there was some clearance solved the issue.

It wasn't much of a runner, but a can motor from Timko and a Cruise Commander from Electric railroad turned it into a really smooth runner.

RoyBoy

"it has the Pullmor motor.  Not a good runner on it's best day.

Well, no. As Pullmors go, these locos actually can run quite well and slowly (NOT cruise control slowly), especially if you have no grades. Like any 700E-based unit, the more you run it the better it runs. If yours is new, lube it well and run the h**l out of it - not the speed, but a lot. It will get better and better. Be patient. Keep the axles and so forth lubed.

The single chuff is so irritating that I turn off the RailSounds in mine - that can be fixed, but will I ever get to it?

A big old Pittman (etc) flywheel can motor would be better - but you may not find a conversion necessary.

RoyBoy posted:

On mine, the boss on the center of the main rod was too thick, causing it to bind. Filing it down so there was some clearance solved the issue.

It wasn't much of a runner, but a can motor from Timko and a Cruise Commander from Electric railroad turned it into a really smooth runner.

Royboy, were you able to keep the original Railsounds?

Mark

TCA, LCCA,

All Lionel!!

Postwar, MPC, LTI Standard O, Postwar Celebration Series, Conventional Classics, All the way!!!

 

Could not agree more with the idea of a Timko motor.

Many years ago I spent considerable time with one of these (CV) and 5 new motors.  Only 1 of the motors turned out to provide modest performance.

Later I discovered Timko motors and felt like I died and went to heaven.  Best $50 I ever spent.  Cannot comment on the peripheral issues but the improved performance made the engine I put it in  all kinds of fun.

Never got to put the CV and tender on a scale but it would seem to represent a worst-case scenario in terms of weight, one more reason to scrap the motor. 

John

tr18 posted:

I have the dark grey one. Just curious, what does one of these can motor upgrades cost?

Also, if it has tmcc then why ERR?

The factory TMCC is designed for Pullmore motors and has 32 speed steps and no cruise control.

Electric railroad's Cruise Commander works on DC motors, will give 100 speed steps, and will maintain constant speed around curves and up/down grades and over places where the track power is not as strong.

RoyBoy

ZWPOWER13 posted:
RoyBoy posted:

On mine, the boss on the center of the main rod was too thick, causing it to bind. Filing it down so there was some clearance solved the issue.

It wasn't much of a runner, but a can motor from Timko and a Cruise Commander from Electric railroad turned it into a really smooth runner.

Royboy, were you able to keep the original Railsounds?

Yes. The output from the cruise commander operated the railsounds just fine. At first, I tried the data output from the radio board, but that didn't work. When I hooked the sound board to the buffered output on the cruise commander, it worked.

RoyBoy

Roy,

If you could give a small wiring diagram for that arrangement, that would be great. I'm in the process of updating my TMCC USA Hudsons - Vanderbilt, Yellowbelly, 5344, etc. - to can motor and ERR Cruise, and want to keep the original (and more accurate) RailSounds in them.

I figured it would just be as easy as hooking up the ground, and serial data wire to the ERR Cruise Commander output like an ERR sound set does.

Thomas

Somerset County 4-H Trainmasters

TCA Member11-66911

LCCA 30247

ERR Upgrades and Custom Artwork

Just curious...

The CV has an LCRU2 for the TMCC radio and motor driver functions, and these were designed for AC Pullmor motors.

For the guys that have upgraded to a can motor, have you also had to replace all the electronics, or is there some sort of hack that will allow an LCRU2 to control a can motor?

TRW

PaperTRW posted:

Just curious...

The CV has an LCRU2 for the TMCC radio and motor driver functions, and these were designed for AC Pullmor motors.

For the guys that have upgraded to a can motor, have you also had to replace all the electronics, or is there some sort of hack that will allow an LCRU2 to control a can motor?

TRW

I think what they are doing is tossing the LCRU and replacing it with an RxLC and motor driver, preferably ERR Cruise. Keeping the RS2 board.

BTW since Timko uses a Mabuchi RS385, you could use the ERR Cruise Lite instead of the full Cruise Commander.

For mine (frame pictured above) I plan to replace all the electronics with Legacy.

Pete

Jeff2035 posted:

Timko questions.

For example, if I want to use a Timko motor in the Lionel Commodore Vanderbilt:

1. What do I send to Timko?

2. What comes back from Timko?

3. Is it straightforward to put the new Timko motor in?

Send him the old motor with the brass coupling on it. He will move the brass coupling to the new motor and send both motors back to you (If you ask him for the old motor).

It's a simple one screw installation as I recall, but you then must remove the Lionel LCRU from the loco boiler and install a Cruise Commander.

RoyBoy

RoyBoy posted:
ZWPOWER13 posted:
RoyBoy posted:

On mine, the boss on the center of the main rod was too thick, causing it to bind. Filing it down so there was some clearance solved the issue.

It wasn't much of a runner, but a can motor from Timko and a Cruise Commander from Electric railroad turned it into a really smooth runner.

Royboy, were you able to keep the original Railsounds?

Yes. The output from the cruise commander operated the railsounds just fine. At first, I tried the data output from the radio board, but that didn't work. When I hooked the sound board to the buffered output on the cruise commander, it worked.

OK, I am a little confused....

Mark

TCA, LCCA,

All Lionel!!

Postwar, MPC, LTI Standard O, Postwar Celebration Series, Conventional Classics, All the way!!!

 

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