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Have been searching ebay in quest of a new GP9 ish diesel that will work with my 027 siding switches. Have narrowed it down to 3 and wondered if there was any difference in the motor performance in them. 1. MTH 30-2117-1 , 2 precision flywheel motors.   2 Lionel 6-11863 ,pullmor motor.  3. Lionel 6-28874, dual maintenance free motors. They're all made around 1997 and very similar in price, Appreciate your input.

 

 

Original Post

The Lionel 11863 is going to have a Postwar style open frame AC motor but with TMCC control and rail sounds.  I have one of the GP9s with early TMCC in the NYC paint scheme and enjoy running it.  It's not up to today's standards of fine speed control or sound quality, but it runs well and sounds pretty good for what it is.

The Lionel 28874 should have dual can motors in it which is "usually what maintenance free motor" suggests.  None of those locomotives are wide enough to fit a pullmore motor in the long hood so I find it highly unlikely that it contains anything but a can motor.  It should run somewhat smoother than the 11863, but won't have the sounds or command capabilities as it's a simple conventional locomotive with a basic horn board.

I don't know much about MTH stuff, but all of their locomotives come equipped with can motors which will give you smoother running capabilities.  I see they made that locomotive in a conventional version and a Protosounds 1 version.  I believe Protosounds gives you sound effects and perhaps remote couplers through whistle/bell button commands but lack the speed control and such that later PS systems provide (don't quote me on that part).  Protosounds also requires a rechargeable battery to function and can have issues with scrambled sound boards if powered up with a dead battery, so be aware of that when looking if you go that route.

Last edited by SantaFe158

I guess it all depends on how picky you are.

I've never had any trouble with MPC era pullmor motored engines and they run slowly enough to suit my tastes. You do have to maintain the motors, but you don't have to replace them like a DC can motor.

The Lionel 28874 has the DC can motors mounted in the trucks. These sorts of engines were made in larger production runs across a wide variety of models, so the motors are available, if not through Lionel, then through parts dealers or buying a used one to strip for parts. I find it's good to have a multi-volt type Lionel transformer for these can motored engines. I use the 1033. You can choose between the two track voltage settings for the best performance. The Lionel engines of this type do a little better on the AU setting of 6-17 volts whereas the similar K-Line engines do far better with the BU setting of 0-11 volts. For switching in a yard setting, you can get that Lionel engine to run slow with the BU setting. Or really any modern transformer that starts with a 0 setting. Most postwar Lionel transformers start off with 6 volts to the track: The pullmor motored diesels need that.

The MTH engine has vertical mounted DC can motors that are much larger than the Lionel ones I've mentioned above. I'm not as familiar with the MTH engines. I had one at one time, and it certainly didn't disappoint with performance with running. For me, the size was just too big. Mine was a horn-only engine, referenced by a "-0" after the product number. Time with tell though, how readily available parts will be for MTH products. Might be a good idea to buy a motor or two from MTH while they're available. Again, eventually DC motors just fail and stop working. Though of the many engines I have, I've only had 3 fail so far: One on a Lionel industrial switcher and 2 from different K-Line S-2's. If the motors in that are similar to other models, then once again, you could always buy a second one to strip for parts.

Last edited by brianel_k-lineguy

Power on hand can have impact on post war operation. You want a little more amps on hand for hard stàrts mostly, and more volts ..as some older stuff took 25vmax(vs 20v...then 18v) the 1033 is "medium-small" at 4.5a ish & 15vmax fyi.(90w)

It's a different feel at the throttle too. Some folk love it, some hate it, some land in between.  

Id say if you have 90w your ok. More? Now you're gold. 

I go with can motors in a heartbeat.  They're quieter, draw much less power, and the dual motored locomotives will easily outperform the single Pulmore motor in any contest that I can think of except perhaps generating Ozone.  As far as replacing can motors, I do a LOT of locomotive repairs, I very rarely replace a can motor, they're way more reliable than some people suggest.  Also, with can motors, that audio you paid extra for can actually be heard over the grown of the Pulmore motor.

The GP9 with the single motor running short hood forward will be an anemic puller.  How do I know that?  I've had a number of them over the years.  I had a more unique single motored engine with a front end motor, and I took the bull by the horns to make it a decent runner.

Improving the Lionel Phantom Locomotive

 

Bottom line?  Buy one with the dual can motors, you'll be a way happier man.

Id say Mth from that list. Motors aside, the Mth will have finer detailed railings where the lionel ones will have stamped flat metal railings. Mth will pull best but I’ve never had an issue with a pullmor moving 6-8 modern plastic cars same for the dc powered Lionel. Passenger cars with interiors get a bit heavy so the Mth or Williams would possibly be better.

@SantaFe158  Protosounds also requires a rechargeable battery to function and can have issues with scrambled sound boards if powered up with a dead battery, so be aware of that when looking if you go that route.

Hey SantaFe, 

I've had excellent results installing  BCRs in place of the batteries .  If you have a multitude of locos  it could be a little expensive but once the BCRs are installed you can go on to solve other  ' small world ' issues. 👻 

I go with can motors in a heartbeat.  They're quieter, draw much less power, and the dual motored locomotives will easily outperform the single Pulmore motor in any contest that I can think of except perhaps generating Ozone.  As far as replacing can motors, I do a LOT of locomotive repairs, I very rarely replace a can motor, they're way more reliable than some people suggest.  Also, with can motors, that audio you paid extra for can actually be heard over the grown of the Pulmore motor.

 

John, I agree. The failure rate of DC motors for me is not even 5%. And on this particular mentioned Lionel engine, the DC can motors are readily available.

Still in my thinking, availability of parts is something I consider when purchasing either used, or a product from a company no longer in business with no service support. I'm certainly not paying anywhere close to top dollar for a locomotive I know I can no longer get parts for, regardless of the size of the original production run and/or, market value. Again, just my thinking. 

Yes, I too prefer DC can motors to an open frame AC motor, but I have both and am against neither. But DC motors do eventually fail, and it's nice to know that you can find a replacement.

And it's not just the high end, lower production run products that have parts availability problems: The early runs of the Lionel starter set Dockside have obsolete frames and motors. So anyone purchasing one of those is basically buying a product not practical or worthwhile to repair. And even with Lionel, who is still in business, you often look on their parts listings to see DC motors (along with many other essential parts) listed as unavailable.

 

 

I agree with all, especially gunrunerjohn. IMHO, if you get the Lionel single motor, run it long hood forward, I think such engines pull a bit better that way.  If you go with the MTH, I would ensure that the PS1 system is functional, otherwise you will be in for an additional cost to get it "unstuck" or even worse, replaced. 

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