I have a lionel 4-12-2 with the whistle steam that has a fill hole in one of its domes with the rubber plug that keeps the hole from leaking, Just recently the smoke started leaking out of that hole at a surprising rate yet the rubber plug still is on the hole, I am not sure if these need replacing every so often cause the engine is over 7 years old at this point. Was wondering if anyone has encountered this and if they found a fix.

video is attached showing the rate at which smoke leaks and that the rubber plug is still present.

Update this was fixed by putting a drop of smoke fluid on the o ring and its brass fitting.


Videos (1)
Last edited by acrking76
Original Post
RON ARNDT 091718 posted:

I have found that rubber plugs deteriorate over time from smoke fluid and heat.  I am assuming that your rubber plug needs to be replaced.

Do you happen to know what to search on the lionel replacement parts page to get a new plug?

I have that same engine but have not had this problem (yet). However I agree that the rubber fittings, including the rubber pads, that Lionel uses on smoke unit fill opening parts will deteriorate (and in the case of the pads pretty quickly). The O ring on the plug on this engine should not be hard to replace. I have not checked whether Lionel list it as a separate part but in any case a substitute should be relatively easy to find on Amazon.  

I also agree that it looks from your video that there is a lot of back pressure forcing the smoke vapor back towards the fill hole but that is common with Lionel whistle and other accessory smoke features that use tubing to connect the smoke unit to the fill point.

Sorry, I haven't had the opportunity to look up the parts for this particular engine.  Hopefully someone else will be able to provide this information.

okay so Update, I was looking through the manual trying to find if the part number for the ring was listed and the manual had a strange fix that ended up working. The manual said to put a drop of smoke fluid on the o ring and its brass fitting, this worked fine and it is now not leaking. The smoke unit is pretty loud on this engine so I was planning on opening it up and oiling that I will check it there is anything in the tube connecting the smoke unit and whistle to see if anything is stopping the flow of smoke.

Also, the Owner's Manual for my whistle steam equipped engine (although different from yours) says that when putting drops in the fill hole to put 1 drop on the rubber gasket (attached to the done) to form a tight seal and prevent leakage. You may want to try that.

It pays to read the manual! If I ever knew that you are meant to put smoke fluid on the O ring, I totally forgot. In my case, whether I use a needle applicator or not, I usually end up getting some fluid on the fill opening and thereby on the stopper.

You can frequently find a commercial O-Ring that will fit for many of these issues.  I've looked at Lionel and didn't find the O-ring for my VL-BB, mine was gone about the second time I opened the hatch!

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