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I recently purchased a Lionel Postwar Celebration Series C&O NW-2 switcher.  Much to my dismay, the locomotive has a warped frame (see photos).  Does anyone know if this is a common defect with these locomotives?  I believe that Lionel also reissued the Seaboard NW-2 switcher as part of this series.  

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They also issued a NYC version, but I don't recall for sure if it was part of the PWC series (but I think it was not).  Probably very similar design though (volume on the brake wheel up front, switches on the back near the cab door).

While I agree the picture you show is certainly not "perfect", I expected to see much worse.  Is it bad enough that the engine doesn't run properly because of the slight arc noted by the slight gap along the seam of the frame/shell? (assuming I am looking at the right detail that you are calling out for the warping?)

-Dave

In the photos it doesn't look too noticeable... yet.  Time (and more people chiming in) will tell if this is caused by a dimensional mismatch between the shell and the frame, or beginnings of the dreaded zinc pest that affects a whole batch.  The shell is plastic, right?  What year were these made?

Last edited by Ted S
@O-gauger posted:

I think 1999. 

 

So I'm embarrassed to say I had temporarily forgotten I actually have one of these exact engines.. .  I bought it at a Nicholas Smith summer Tent Sale a few years ago.

The shipping carton and manual for mine are dated 2000.

I don't have any noticeable separation ( so no warping that I can detect), looks good on both sides.  I did not try to run it yet (but it's definitely going for a few laps later today at least now that it's out of the box ), but just popped it out of the box for a quick look at lunchtime.  I know I did try it after I bought it, so I'm suspecting it will be fine.

-Dave

Last edited by Dave45681
@Dave45681 posted:

So I'm embarrassed to say I had temporarily forgotten I actually have one of these exact engines.. .  I bought it at a Nicholas Smith summer Tent Sale a few years ago.

The shipping carton and manual for mine are dated 2000.

I don't have any noticeable separation ( so no warping that I can detect), looks good on both sides.  I did not try to run it yet (but it's definitely going for a few laps later today at least now that it's out of the box ), but just popped it out of the box for a quick look at lunchtime.  I know I did try it after I bought it, so I'm suspecting it will be fine.

-Dave

I bought one used a few months ago and all is well with mine too, fortunately! 

I can confirm there were production issues with the bowed frame on the 18978 C&O. They didn't look too bad until they were put into the holding fixture to print the frame stripe.

David, there's only one frame tool and these C&O's used the original, which was modified later in 1950 after the initial run. (They were modified again slightly for the modern re-issues.) Even though there was low-level production of many parts and subassemblies, finished 622's didn't start rolling off the assembly line until early 1950.

TRW

Last edited by PaperTRW

I have a 1949 622. After reading David's post I checked mine and it did have a very slight bow, less than the C&O above. Took the shell off, placed it upsidedown on a pair of wood blocks under the end platforms on my drill press and placed another block across the fuel tanks and pressed down easily. Bingo, straight frame. No other disassembly required. 

Pete

Last edited by Norton

Here are a couple of service manual pages that illustrate the differences between the 622 1949 frame and the 622 1950 frame. The 1950 frame is reinforced around where the motor truck attaches. The manual states this was also done to add a little more weight on the driving wheels.

1949 frame

7CF41390-B98A-4B9B-B698-3EFFAD67B7A1

1950 frame

13FB5808-AC23-4BDC-913F-B4FECC33B759

Service manual comments on differences between 1949 and 1950 622 locos.

40346347-7FD3-4EFD-B485-D44AA3586687

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Last edited by David Johnston
@PaperTRW posted:

I can confirm there were production issues with the bowed frame on the 18978 C&O. They didn't look too bad until they were put into the holding fixture to print the frame stripe.

David, there's only one frame tool and these C&O's used the original, which was modified later in 1950 after the initial run. (They were modified again slightly for the modern re-issues.) Even though there was low-level production of many parts and subassemblies, finished 622's didn't start rolling off the assembly line until early 1950.

TRW

TRW, thanks for your post, I find it very interesting. If what Lionel refers to as the 1949 622 did not get released until early 1950, it would never have seen a Christmas season.  There must not have been very many of the early 622s sold. If I understand the history of the 622 correctly, the 1949 622 was the first released magne-traction loco with the small magnetic axles.  This is the version of magne-traction was considered a failure. 

I have a MTH NW2 that also had a warped frame.  Tried to straighten it and it cracked so be VERY careful.  I ended up JB Welding mine back together plus some brass reinforcement and so far that's held.  I even bought a 3/16" thick piece of 3/16" brass to make a new frame but haven't do so yet, I need a milling machine to make the openings required.

Thanks to all who have contributed to this thread.  

Until a couple of years ago, I was blissfully unaware of warped frames, zinc pest, etc.  Now, I hold my breath whenever I open a box.  Overall, I've been lucky - only one mishap on a $400 set of MTH F3s.  

I have a 613 Union Pacific conventional classics set from around 2010 that was still in the shipping carton until today.  Since it's a similar engine, I thought I'd take a look - thankfully it appears to be OK.  And while digging it out, I ran across a K-Line die-cast hopper car NIB - I'll save opening that for another day.

My takeaways:  No more buying sealed "new" sets at train meets without opening for inspection.  Not even going to think about buying any new, high-dollar engines.  Thinking about reverting back to an emphasis on postwar and MPC trains - smaller investment, problems are well-known, and replacement parts are easier to find.  Might even think about the smaller scales - problems like this seem to be rare, and relegating a $200 engine to the parts bin isn't as traumatic.

@cwp_ogr posted:

I recently purchased a Lionel Postwar Celebration Series C&O NW-2 switcher.  Much to my dismay, the locomotive has a warped frame (see photos).  Does anyone know if this is a common defect with these locomotives?  I believe that Lionel also reissued the Seaboard NW-2 switcher as part of this series.  

This may be of interest to you.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lione...ndrails/392890633252

If this was mine I would take it apart as straighten it. Heat would be a good idea as the rear reinforcing creates a stress riser and possible place for a crack to start. My early 622 doesn't have this and was easy to straighten without heat.

I restored a Post War 624 and found Floquil Dark Blue to be a perfect match if you find you need to replace the frame with the one above. There are still a few sources for this paint. Here is my PW 624. In this case the frame is original and the body repainted.

image

Pete

 

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@Mallard4468 posted:

Thanks to all who have contributed to this thread.  

I have a 613 Union Pacific conventional classics set from around 2010 that was still in the shipping carton until today.  Since it's a similar engine, I thought I'd take a look - thankfully it appears to be OK.  And while digging it out, I ran across a K-Line die-cast hopper car NIB - I'll save opening that for another day.

 

The 613 Conventional Classic appears to have a stamped steel frame like the later PW NW2s so should not be a victim of zinc pest. PWC engines have the diecast frames like the early PW NW2s.

Pete

TRW, thanks for your post, I find it very interesting. If what Lionel refers to as the 1949 622 did not get released until early 1950, it would never have seen a Christmas season.  There must not have been very many of the early 622s sold. If I understand the history of the 622 correctly, the 1949 622 was the first released magne-traction loco with the small magnetic axles.  This is the version of magne-traction was considered a failure. 

622's were definitely in production in 1949, but everything I've seen points to those not being completed until early 1950. Engineering records and production control files do exist, but to my knowledge, availability/inventory and shipping records haven't surfaced. Original records that survived are not necessarily complete, but it's still possible to make some educated guesses when things hit the market.

Having said that, it's likely that few, if any, of the following items were available to John Q. Public in their introductory year: 2332 GG-1 (1947), 2333 F3 (1948), 622/6220 (1949) and 773 (1950). Modern toy train companies aren't the only ones to have had problems getting things out the door in time for Christmas.

TRW

@Norton posted:

The 613 Conventional Classic appears to have a stamped steel frame like the later PW NW2s so should not be a victim of zinc pest. PWC engines have the diecast frames like the early PW NW2s.

Pete

Correct. Stamped steel frame as seen in this pic of my PWC #613:

        IMG_1212

These are interesting engines. They utilize a stamped steel frame but unlike other NW2s of this genre are fitted with a GP/F power truck and separate vertical GP/F motor. Also has an electronic E-Unit and a sound board and speaker for bell and horn sound.

         IMG_1241

In this closeup one can see the GP/F style separate vertical motor:

         IMG_1240

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Last edited by geysergazer

Thanks Lew!  Since the F-unit style truck block has a collector roller, there might be an NW-2 with dual motors in my future!  My brother's favorite loco growing up was the Chessie 8556.  I would love to surprise him with a dual-motored version of it!

Where did you find a selection of truck blocks and worm shafts to choose from?  Just your own personal collection, or a commercial source?  This could turn out better than a custom-painted 624, which was my original idea when I saw this thread.

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