Happy Thanksgiving to the friends and family of all forumites!  I have a 2004 Polar Express.  It is on its second motor.  Not much of a puller but the family loves it.  On the Lionel website for this engine, it shows a series 1 and series 2 photo and parts numbers.  Which is correct?  Does this steamer have one motor or two?  Thanks in advance.

Original Post

If I recall correctly, the early series 1 locomotives have a small can motor in them that isn't very good for much more than the three cars the set came with, although Lionel continued producing add on cars that it couldn't pull.  Series 2 locomotives have a much larger can motor installed to help solve this.  

All of the PE locomotives have one motor.

There were two versions.  The Series I has the small flat sided motor, the Series II has the larger Mabuchi round motor.  The small flat sided motor is pretty weak, and any significant running with load will kill it.  I've heard conflicting reports on the possibility of putting the Series II motor into a Series I chassis, but I believe it's not easily done as the mounting is different. 

I'd consider looking for a Series II locomotive and just swapping out the one that keeps eating motors.

SantaFe158 posted:

If I recall correctly, the early series 1 locomotives have a small can motor...

Correct. Mine would pull 7+ cars but it had a bad habit of smoking the e-board. Ultimately I installed a WbB board. That engine was sold for parts and has since been replaced with the LionChief version with the larger motor. It routinely pulls 11 cars for hours w/o any issues.

The locomotive shell will swap between the 2004 chassis and the LionChief versions. The current offering has cast in place handrails where the older ones had separately applied wire handrails. I had also added Lima brass builder plates and cab figures to my 2000 engine. The tender received a real coal load. 

I converted a Series II to TMCC, and added fan driven smoke and my Super-Chuffer, turns out to be a nice little locomotive.

I have a bunch of the passenger cars, nine or ten.  It pulls all of those with no issues at all.

Gilly@N&W posted:
SantaFe158 posted:

If I recall correctly, the early series 1 locomotives have a small can motor...

Correct. Mine would pull 7+ cars but it had a bad habit of smoking the e-board. Ultimately I installed a WbB board. That engine was sold for parts and has since been replaced with the LionChief version with the larger motor. It routinely pulls 11 cars for hours w/o any issues.

The locomotive shell will swap between the 2004 chassis and the LionChief versions. The current offering has cast in place handrails where the older ones had separately applied wire handrails. I had also added Lima brass builder plates and cab figures to my 2000 engine. The tender received a real coal load. 

Tom, I, like you, swapped out the boilers, I also swapped out the tender body. So I'm asking, where did you get the boiler plate and figures? Have a link?

Thanks

Chris

Chris

Jayhawk500 posted:
 I also swapped out the tender body. So I'm asking, where did you get the boiler plate and figures? Have a link?

I swapped tender bodies as well. The builder plates came from candoplates.com. He has since gone out of business. The cab figures are from MTH.

PICT4610PICT4611PICT4612PICT4613PICT4614

It was this train that re-sparked my interest in O Gauge trains. Today, my primary focus is N&W scale. However, I have a real soft spot for Christmas trains, and this one in particular.

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I guess my confusion comes from the exploded image of the original PE loco on Lionel's parts page.  It shows a series 1 and a series 2 motor with gear assembly.  That infers, to me, anyway, that both motors will work in that particular engine.  Yes?

I don't really know.  I do know that one of the Series 1 models did not accept the Series 2 motor.  I also would have liked to put the series 2 motor in the Hogwart's locomotive, but it didn't work there either.  I have one of the Series 2 motors that I tried in both places, hence my reluctance to say that it'll fit in any of them.

POTRZBE posted:

I guess my confusion comes from the exploded image of the original PE loco on Lionel's parts page.  It shows a series 1 and a series 2 motor with gear assembly.  That infers, to me, anyway, that both motors will work in that particular engine.  Yes?

No, the frames and drivers are different. The series 1 frame is 6208640058  and the series 2 frame is 6208649058. The easiest solution is to just get a new engine.

POTRZBE posted:

Mr Gilly, I have a Lionel tech near me.  If he had a series 2 frame and a series 2 motor, he could modify my 2004 PE, no?  I really don't want to invest a lot in an "under the tree" train set.

Check out item # 293331087010 on eBay. Per the Lionel spare parts list, you're looking at $106 in parts, IF you can find them. Several of the parts are listed as unavailable. I think you'd be hard pressed to convert a series 1 to series 2 for the price of a complete replacement.

As I mentioned above, this is what I did. The locomotive and tender shells swap. The older ones have better detailing than the newer ones. Sell your old one for parts (~$50?) and recoup some of your costs.

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