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@RickO posted:

But those Legacy A1 berks don't have whistle steam, and there was some grumbling because of it.

I'm guessing the forward facing motor frees up space for the whistle steam plumbing. Having said that, the whistle was missing altogether from the K Line as well as the Legacy version. I recall a thread trying to find it on the prototype.

Since there was an " issue" with the K Line tooling used for the original Legacy run. I wonder if the " new" A1 due in the spring will end up with a forward facing motor like everything else.

I'm hoping the new A1 Berks don't have the front facing motor. I have the 2013 B&A version and it has the revised gearbox and larger rear facing motor in the firebox area. The locomotive runs and pulls like champ. Adding the smaller front facing motor would be a step backwards, especially considering the original K-line Berks had the front facing motors which were prone to issues such as overheating.

@Peter B posted:

I'm hoping the new A1 Berks don't have the front facing motor. I have the 2013 B&A version and it has the revised gearbox and larger rear facing motor in the firebox area. The locomotive runs and pulls like champ. Adding the smaller front facing motor would be a step backwards, especially considering the original K-line Berks had the front facing motors which were prone to issues such as overheating.

Unlikely it will get changed back to the K-Line configuration. Besides the revised gearbox to accommodate the rear facing motor they added large post where the small motor used to be to mount the RCMC to now likely a new LCP board.

Pete

I just had my L1 return from the Harmon Shops. Pat took care of the motor shim and some other enhancements that he highlighted earlier in this thread (adding MTH figures, etc.) There's no more binding or flashing cab light errors here!

He darkened the side rods which made a big difference  - much better IMO than the polished look out of the box. I'll probably paint these driving wheel tires black too.
DSCF5065 copy
The show stopper is certainly the rod bolt detail Pat added. It's small but super impressive. I forgot I spoke with him about this so it was a surprise opening the box!
rod bolt detail
Here's the L1 alongside the H10 that had the Harmon Shops gearbox fix done last year. Even though the color isn't great, I'm still having a lot of fun with this engine!
Harmon Yards L1 and H10

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  • DSCF5065 copy
  • rod bolt detail
  • Harmon Yards L1 and H10
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L1 Post fix
Last edited by Alex W
@Lou1985 posted:

Bingo. The MTH chassis has a large motor in the firebox and a universal shaft that connects it to a gear tower. Works fine with MTH's setup of a larger board in the tender and a smaller board in the locomotive, with a tether or "wireless" drawbar. Lionel's board setup of a large motor driver board in the locomotive and a small sound board in the tender wouldn't work with the large motor and gear tower taking up most of the space in the locomotive, so instead of packaging everything in the tender Lionel redesigned the chassis to mimic their K-Line derived Mikado chassis, which is set up the way it is to clear Lionel's large locomotive mounted motor driver board. So basically it was cheaper to re-tool the chassis than redesign the motor driver board to fit the existing chassis.

If ^^this is true, that's appalling.  Eventually, Lionel will have to redesign the motor driver board due to component inavailability, etc., and the ongoing miniaturization of electronics will solve the issue.

Y'all know that I love me a low gear ratio  But a smooth, non-robotic motion and free coasting are equally important.  The thing is, Lionel has built locos with a large motor in the firebox AND back-drivable gearing.  The Lima A1 Berk was already mentioned.  Some of the first Legacy locos: the 11131 FEF, the 11147 M1b, and even the 11209 Vision Hudson had a multi-start worm driving a single large worm wheel mounted on the driving axle.  All of these last three that I mentioned have a "gearbox" of sorts cast into the chassis, which takes up the thrust play and ensures that the worm remains centered.  As I recall, they run just as smoothly as newer designs like my 11334 Crescent that has a "compound" gearbox.

To me, a sound mechanical design is more important than whistle steam, or a swinging bell.  Those features won't be much fun if the loco runs balky or wears itself out in a few years.  I really hope the folks at Lionel read these posts and take them to heart in their future product planning.

Lionel's whole steam electronics design puts the control electronics in the locomotive, I don't see that changing any time soon.

@Ted S posted:
The thing is, Lionel has built locos with a large motor in the firebox AND back-drivable gearing.  The Lima A1 Berk was already mentioned.  Some of the first Legacy locos: the 11131 FEF, the 11147 M1b, and even the 11209 Vision Hudson had a multi-start worm driving a single large worm wheel mounted on the driving axle.  All of these last three that I mentioned have a "gearbox" of sorts cast into the chassis, which takes up the thrust play and ensures that the worm remains centered.

There's no good reason for the L1 Mikado issues with the worm, it could have been solved very simply by just cutting the motor worm the correct length!  This looks to be a simple issue of saving two cents on machining a shorter worm!

@Alex W posted:

I just had my L1 return from the Harmon Shops. Pat took care of the motor shim and some other enhancements that he highlighted earlier in this thread (adding MTH figures, etc.) There's no more binding or flashing cab light errors here!

He darkened the side rods which made a big difference  - much better IMO than the polished look out of the box. I'll probably paint these driving wheel tires black too.
The show stopper is certainly the rod bolt detail Pat added. It's small but super impressive. I forgot I spoke with him about this so it was a surprise opening the box!
Here's the L1 alongside the H10 that had the Harmon Shops gearbox fix done last year. Even though the color isn't great, I'm still having a lot of fun with this engine!
Harmon Yards L1 and H10

Looks great and runs to match. Another successful job from the Harmon Shops.

Enjoy it Alex.

I just posted about the I1. I noticed the same thing on the L1.

For those who bought one of these L1s. Check the wire slack going to the i.r. sensor on the tender. It's a bit cramped with the kinematic drawbar and my wires were pinched between the kinematic mechanism and the tender floor limiting movement in one direction and stressing the i.r. wires.

I removed the tender shell , loosened the kinematic  mount screws just a bit to release the pinched wire  Then unscrewed the sound board from its mounts and unplugged the i.r. from the board and adjusted the slack accordingly.

I also added a piece of electrical tape at the front edge of the tender just behind the drawbar because the wires can rub a bit there when the engine is going in reverse.

Not a big deal if your handy with a screwdriver , this will help prevent an i.r. short if the wire were to rub through on the tender edge. I also added a bit of grease to the kinematic track to smooth out its operation.

This something I've had to do in the past with the traditional drawbar. I think with the extra complexity of the kinematic assembly. I.r. wire slack should probably be one of those " out of the box" inspections.

Again, like the I1, not a big deal. Just a quick and easy adjustment.

Last edited by RickO

Add one more model to the worm getting stuck in reverse because the threads are too short!  I just added a shim to the motor mount of the 6-84069 B&M Legacy Mogul that was doing the same thing!  When you backed up, it would throw up a motor stall about one in ten times.  For this one, all you had to do is reset with the AUX/0 and drive away, it didn't totally lock the gears.  I added a shim under the motor mount to pull the motor out a bit, and smooth running after that.  I had done the same fix to the L1 Mikado for another customer.  This is probably one more glitch in the first Legacy Mogul that contributed to it's demise, but one was saved today.

@gunrunnerjohn heck John, I didn't think there was any of those that made it out of the box other than the one(s) Pete fixed.

A few made it out.  This one had the obvious issue with the rods having a sloppy fit and locking up the works at certain times, actually Pete sent me the bushings he made to fix that.  I didn't realize it had the issue with the worm gear, but now that's fixed as well.

I think the first release of the Legacy Mogul came with the same gearbox as the TMCC engines, only missing the rod bushings. The few that got sent back to China may have returned with the new style gearbox but those engines had issues too. All the ones I worked on had not been returned to China and the bushing alone solved the problem.
Sounds like the latest release all came with the wonky gearboxes.

Pete

@Mark Boyce posted:

John and Pete, that is a sad story!  I’m glad there is a fix, but how many owners don’t know what to do?

That's an easy one, shelf queen owners or those that don't take time to read or talk to folks. I know here someone will tell someone what is going on with their engines straight up. Other online places is a most likely depending I guess on the place. Now if you have someone that doesn't engage much at their train store or hobby shop presuming that the proprietors are in the know on a specific problem, that could be an issue. I do know that some hobby shops or train stores may have gaps in knowing about issues like the Mogul or some other engines, or quite frankly, maybe all issues as a whole. Again though, that really depends on the people. Best bet is to ask about anything, especially if you have an ounce of interest in whatever the item may be.

Mine was a case in point.  I ran it, but not extensively.  After I sorted out the rods with Pete's help, I never saw the issue with reverse.  Really, how often to you back up multiple times in a row?  It usually took a few starts and stops going backwards to create the worm lockup issue, that's not something I normally do.

That's also true to John. Most people do tend to not back up a ton.

@Sams Trains posted:

Ugh.. well, before I could even open one up it’s already crapping out on me. Just got it back from customer service too. I suspect an antenna, as it would occasionally run fine, but 50/50 it would not respond and have a headlight flicker (as shown).

Any luck it's just the antenna shorting, I had an early challenger that would run for maybe 10-15 minutes then  short out, I looked everywhere for a short and it took two trips to Lionel before they replaced the board.

@MartyE posted:

Does anyone know if the Atlantics have any issues with the gear boxes?

Marty, I haven’t seen any of the Atlantics on my bench exhibit any gear box woes….I’ve had a few with bad motors, but the case on them was fair wear & tear, …the motors had gotten so much end play they raised the encoder ring off the sensor enough to make it do stupid things,….or vise versa, the encoder ring would land on the sensor, and make noise…..however, I hardly call 3 in the past decade a cause for concern……definitely nothing like the K4’s where I was buying brass stock by the linear foot, …..😉

Pat

@harmonyards posted:

Marty, I haven’t seen any of the Atlantics on my bench exhibit any gear box woes….I’ve had a few with bad motors, but the case on them was fair wear & tear, …the motors had gotten so much end play they raised the encoder ring off the sensor enough to make it do stupid things,….or vise versa, the encoder ring would land on the sensor, and make noise…..however, I hardly call 3 in the past decade a cause for concern……definitely nothing like the K4’s where I was buying brass stock by the linear foot, …..😉

Pat

Thanks Pat!

@harmonyards posted:

Marty, I haven’t seen any of the Atlantics on my bench exhibit any gear box woes….I’ve had a few with bad motors, but the case on them was fair wear & tear, …the motors had gotten so much end play they raised the encoder ring off the sensor enough to make it do stupid things,….or vise versa, the encoder ring would land on the sensor, and make noise…..however, I hardly call 3 in the past decade a cause for concern……definitely nothing like the K4’s where I was buying brass stock by the linear foot, …..😉

I remember one of those Atlantics with the bad motor, it was the nightmare I sent you.

I think the forum at large has covered, both good or not, the following:

  • the K4 Pacifics
  • the light/heavy/brass-hybrid Mikados
  • the H9/10 Consolidations
  • the L1s Mikados
  • the I1 Decapods
  • the Strasburg 90's

The only ones I'd consider looking at that haven't been covered are:

  • the Harriman-style Consolidations
  • the 4-6-6T tank engines

The tanks because they're the only other K-line derived locomotives left that Lionel has been using since the buyout in the current product line that hasn't been discussed, and I'm not sure if the Harrimans use the same chassis as the H9/10 series.

@Mikado 4501 posted:

I think the forum at large has covered, both good or not, the following:

  • the K4 Pacifics
  • the light/heavy/brass-hybrid Mikados
  • the H9/10 Consolidations
  • the L1s Mikados
  • the I1 Decapods
  • the Strasburg 90's

The only ones I'd consider looking at that haven't been covered are:

  • the Harriman-style Consolidations
  • the 4-6-6T tank engines

The tanks because they're the only other K-line derived locomotives left that Lionel has been using since the buyout in the current product line that hasn't been discussed, and I'm not sure if the Harrimans use the same chassis as the H9/10 series.

I sort of wonder what is the difference between the Harriman and the H9/10? Maybe the Harriman are shorter or longer than the other?

@MartyE posted:

Does anyone know if the Atlantics have any issues with the gear boxes?

The Atlantics use a different design from the "problem children."  Most, if not all of the failure-prone locos have an idler gear on an intermediate shaft that engages an offset spur gear on the driving axle.  This allows for additional gear reduction.  So the worm on the motor shaft can have a higher lead angle, and be back-drivable.  This is actually a good approach.  But Lionel's implementation allowed for excessive side-to-side play and perhaps poor choice of materials for the intermediate shaft and its bearings.

Conversely, the Atlantics have a fine-pitch worm on the motor shaft directly driving a large worm wheel on the axle.  They are geared low-- 36:1 on the two examples I tested, and are NOT back-drivable.  My 6-11225 has a removable "bottom plate" so the whole axle with the worm wheel can be replaced if it ever wears out.  Some of the Atlantics made before (like 6-11117) and since have a one-piece chassis with captive axles.  Weird!  This serves to illustrate the vagaries of contract-based production.  The flywheel is attached with a set screw, but the worm gear is pressed onto the motor shaft.  So if and when the motor fails, you'll need an exact replacement.

Both examples I have exhibit st-st-stuttering or juddering at certain low speed steps (perhaps around 7-10 scale MPH.)  You can see it, and hear it because the drawbar chatters.  My guess is that the feedback interval for speed control just happens to match some fundamental frequency in the drivetrain.  Again, these are self-locking gears, so the mass of the loco and trailing load doesn't damp it out.  This is exactly the type of issue Lionel was trying to prevent by adopting the back-drivable idler setup.  When I first got my 11225 it bothered me, and I thought about trying to eliminate it by shimming the motor at its mount (sound familiar?)  But when I opened the loco up, there was so much circuitry in the boiler, I coudn't even get to the gearbox!

Someday when I get my layout built I'll have to test my locos with the speed control turned off.  That'll confirm whether it's a feedback issue with speed control, or a gear mesh problem.  I consider my Atlantics good runners, but the shuddering issue is a detraction not shared by my 11150 Ten-Wheeler with its back-drivable gears.  Overall I think the Ten-Wheeler is more fun to run.  My $.02.

Last edited by Ted S

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