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I have a JCL Lionel GG1, the Congressional version, that was suffering from zinc rot in the truck frames. I purchased a replacement set of frames from Hennings and proceeded to install them.

During the disassembly, I noticed that both driver trucks seemed bound up and wouldn’t turn. I removed the truck from the chassis and I could barely get the wheels to turn. The gears were clean and meshing correctly but the wheels just didn’t want to turn.

I used a wheel puller and removed one set of wheels and the axle. The wheels now turned effortlessly. It seems the one axle was pressed against the bronze bearing sleeve in the truck casting. This was true for both power trucks. I reset the clearance so the problem axle would turn but this made the wheel gauge too wide. I ended up pressing the bearings inward and achieving the needed clearance and proper gauge.

The engine runs fine now. I was wondering if anyone else has encountered the issue with the bound up drivers. The Hennings frames look fine and basic replacement was simple.




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I hate to ask but is it possible your power truck block is also suffering from the pest albeit more slowly?  When old wheels grow from pest, one of the directions they grow is thicker.  This usually makes them get tight on the motor frame..  Is it possible the frame is growing thicker?  Because if you ran this before, it would seem odd that the bushings somehow moved out and got tight.....

Hi Dave. Thanks for the response.

The engine was new to me. It came in the decayed condition, so judging by the wheels and rollers, I doesn’t appear to have been ever run.

The possibility of zinc pest in the motor/gear block definitely crossed my mind. The block didn’t appear to be distorted, but it wouldn’t take much to throw the wheels out of whack.

The gear block seemed fine except for the one axle on each truck being seized. It was the inner wheel set on both trucks. The wheels seemed fine too.

I was hoping to hear if people have ever had the same experience. I am hoping it was simply a production error and not widespread…



Not really on topic related to the zinc pest issues that some of the JLC GG1s suffer from, but the Silver GG1 was not painted that color for the Congressional.  The Congressional was delivered in 1952 and the GG1s that were originally assigned to it were the 10 that were painted Tuscan Red with 5 stripes.  The Silver GG1s were painted to pull SAL, Southern, and ACL through trains to NYC which got streamlined equipment later than the Congressional.

To the topic, I have the JLC 4925 and I have not experienced any issues with zinc pest.  Mine has run fine over the years other than the automatic pantographs are a bit touchy.


I never knew that. I did notice that photos I had seen of the Congressional had Tuscan GG1s on the headend, but I assumed the silver versions were just scarce on the roster. Thanks for pointing that out.

I have a Brunswick Green JLC five stripe GG1 and that seems to avoided the zinc pest. I have another silver G that I am going to tackle soon. I never ran that one either, so I am curious to see if it has any issues other than the rotten truck frames.

The pans on my silver GG1 needed some adjustment to get them to go down all the way. They have worked fine since…


Last edited by Krieglok

I bought one of these engines last October with the intention of obtaining the replacement frames as you did.  Mine does not have the wheel problem you are describing.  Unfortunately, Henning's has been unable to get any more replacement trucks made by their source so far.  I spoke with Harry by phone and he is still trying to get some, so I am hopeful it will eventually happen.

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