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fisherdoc  My understanding is that the "too-long" drive shaft initially seen on the 1977 tuscan 8753 was continued on the next year's 8850 black PC. That is what angered Glenn Uhl-he wanted Lionel to place those aprons on the black PCs.   I have a few of them and, as I remember without digging them out, they all have the bottom of that worm drive gear poking out of a hole on the bottom of each powered truck. Again from this old guy's memory ( which admitted is beginning to fade ), the other question about this GG1 is whether some still had nylon gears from the prior year 8753 run. I think that all the relevant Greenbergs and the Tuohy/McComas book on MPC, all suggest that the 8753 had nylon gears which was corrected the next year to metal ones on the 8850s. I also remember some OGR discussions saying the same.  However, at one point in time I had an interest in these-and inspected at least 100-150 of these at various train shows and I swear that I have seen a few new-in-box looking 8850s with nylon gears-in fact I have one.  They may have been switched with 8753s ( easy to do but I am not sure why one would do that for such an admittedly somewhat strangely painted tuscan GG1).  Well that's my understanding of the issues-I really do like all the MPC GG1s-especially the two made after the 8753&8850.  Enjoy.   turtle7

I have a feeling there were variants, although I agree I think the 8753 were all the same with one vinyl gear per power truck. That's what mine has. Even though I have mine since new when I bought it back in 1979 I never took a motor out so I never noticed the open gearbox. Its been in storage since 1983 and when I took it apart this week I noticed this. The hole is pretty much hidden behind the roller frame and when I removed it there was a big blop of grease sitting on the roller bracket. 

I mentioned this to someone else and he claims he has a Penn Central and it does NOT have the open gearbox. Maybe he doesn't realize that you really gotta LOOK under that pickup roller who knows. Another fellow told me they do not have the open gearboxes too. After all I missed it for years on mine until I recently took it apart. Or maybe there are variants. I just purchased a Penn Central 8850 and until I get it I won't know but I can't wait to see. 

As far as the vinyl gear is concerned, they may have had mingled stock and just used up what they had until the metal ones came into use. And I know what you mean abut that "Tuscan" color of the 8753 - the one thing I never liked about that engine!

I think by "later" ones you refer to the Amtrak 8303 and the silver 4866? I have those also nice engines for sure.


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I have both the 6-8753 "Tuscan" and the 6-8150 Green MPC era GG-1's. The 6-8753 does have the dreaded nylon gears which have held up well. Both locomotives are solid runners and, perhaps for nostalgic reasons, are still equipped with their original E-units which have been trouble free.

Maybe I'm color blind, bout I have no issue with the Tuscan color:



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Doc-my 6-8150 has all metal gears and runs great. The 6-8753 with the nylon gears is actually slightly quieter, but both are smooth, powerful performers.

I can't see that either has an open gear box and I've had them both apart for complete servicing recently. Also, I've had no issues with losing lubricant.

I'd also like to pick up the Penn Central version. Not the prettiest of the GG-1's perhaps, but I have a soft spot for the ill-begotten PC.





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When these first came out I thought the Penn Central was the ugliest thing on rails. Now my collector nature wants me to have one so I have one on its way. Also, I watched some videos of the real ones and figured its part of history so I should get one. I recently bought the Amtrak version which I think is from 1991 and it is fine so plastic gears and no hole in the gearbox. It also appears that sometime (probably with the advent of the 8753) the chassis went from steel to aluminum. But its amazing how the basic chassis design remained the same from the 2330 onward. Next I should find the 8150.

For what its worth, I received the Lionel Penn Central 8150 GG 1 and it has the same "issue" as the 8753 with the hole in the gearbox to clear the motor shaft. With the 8753 I used a high temperature (450°) synthetic grease and made sure not to  overload it. I've run it a few hours so far and no grease ran out. It sure does run fine and what power! 

I can’t believe when I saw this topic come up...well resurrected in this case.

I sold my entire MPC collection over 25 years ago and I do remember my PC GG1 having one truck with metal gears and the other having plastic gears. I never really ran it much so I could have cared less...I cared even less after the collection was sold.

I did recently replace (for about 22% of what I paid for it in 1987) the MPC 783 Hudson and about 3 years ago I bought a small to midsize postwar collection that had some pieces that I wanted to upgrade in my existing collection. In that collection was one MPC item a 8850 GG1. I didn’t think much of it so I took it out of its box and placed it on a back shelf and forgot about it until last Sunday night when I was rearranging some stuff on the display shelves.

I put it on the track (bone dry) and needless to say it ran awful so I put it in the foam cradle and started to tear it apart to clean it up and grease it. I couldn’t believe when I saw the bottom of the armature shafts peeking out of the bottom of the trucks when I removed the pickup rollers. I thought for sure this this thing had hundreds of hours on it and ground through the trucks. I continued to service anyways and was surprised to see it ran just fine after I finished it.760824ED-C5B4-49AE-B9AB-64CA5613B5453019FCAE-3293-4D4C-9057-E9328D3A6045


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The green 4935 with 5 stripes was most likely the best of the bunch but I liked them all including the 8753 Tuscan red which looks ok to me.

Back when they just came out  a dealer had a bunch of the Penn Central ones stacked up on table at York I THINK?  But wherever it was it was bad. Kind of forget the price he had on them but when he went to the bathroom his wife I think sold 4 of them for $35.00 ea.  by mistake. Boy that got around fast. Yes he was upset but there was nothing he could do. None of the guys who bought them never came back even after it was announced.


Last edited by david1

I see this has been revitalized! Well since my post I purchased the Penn Central and the one I got has the open hole under the trucks. Then I bought the green one that had a repair station note stating that a truck had been repaired and this GG1 has one closed truck and one open truck! I suspect it originally had 2 closed trucks from what I hear. I can't imagine why one would require replacement. The repairman either had the truck in stock or ordered it from Lionel I guess we'll never know.

So I recently purchased a few trucks and will at correct the green GG1 so it has 2 closed trucks. Sheesh!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!


Just to confuse people later on............I have both Gs in question in my PRR by Lionel collection.  A couple years after they were new I was repairing for a Lionel Service Station.  Not completely satisfied with the negative reviews the power trucks were receiving, (hole and nylon gears), I ordered two complete chassis from Lionel parts.  I also ordered four pilot trucks to replace the ones with the 'seeking' fast angle wheels.

So while my 'improved' Gs are here with me, the original chassis and pilot trucks are somewhere out there.

Have fun.

I also changed out the traction tired trucks on my MPC PRR green and tuscan F3s with newer Magnetraction trucks.

Last edited by Johnsgg1

Just recently found this thread in a search as just few weeks ago bought new in box 8850 gg-1 .

I was surprised when it was turned over to take off the base to re-grease and oil it one truck had metal gears and open gear box the other truck has the plastic gear type on the 3 drive wheels the 2 idlers are metal the gear box open.

Been searching for a 2330-25 truck but seems like finding a needle in a haystack.

Either way it runs fine and the red n tacky has not leaked out the gear boxes so far.

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