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 I fell for an engine just by it's looks. Sometimes I buy something for the wrong reasons but it always teaches me something. I feel the level of detailing this engine has is amazing. It's accentuated even more without paint to people like me that don't know all the features of a steam engine .

Here's some quick pics. I have to bring up my tripod and get better lighting to capture better pics. My camera works best on different settings but I can't hold it perfectly still. I'll take more later.

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I had thought about getting this to run. It's empty inside so that's a big order. I could just buy another one already running someday. This one may stay on the shelf strictly for display??

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Nice. I've seen that one on eBay.

I ended up buying a 3 rail Premier ATSF 2900 Northern directly from the eBay seller. He hadn't listed it yet but it was much cheaper than anything he has listed on eBay currently. Mine had no worm shaft, drive shaft, flywheel or motor when I got it. That's all be corrected and it now runs with a nice big Pittman 9434 roller bearing motor. I'm painting mine as ATSF 2903. Boiler, cab, and tender are painted. Just waiting on my decal guy and then decals go on followed by clear coat. It'll get my last PS3 kit and all LED lights. 

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Thanks guys.

That's so cool. Our club president has one of the Lionel "engineering" versions with Legacy and I think it's very cool, despite my urge to break out the satin black paint.  Two questions:

  1. Did you get that from Perry on eBay?
  2. Is it a scale-wheel version?

No, somebody else in Columbia, MD. …. & Yes it is 2 rail! 

Of course, as soon as I bought it, I found a RTR 2 rail version.

Nice. I've seen that one on eBay.

I ended up buying a 3 rail Premier ATSF 2900 Northern directly from the eBay seller. He hadn't listed it yet but it was much cheaper than anything he has listed on eBay currently. Mine had no worm shaft, drive shaft, flywheel or motor when I got it. That's all be corrected and it now runs with a nice big Pittman 9434 roller bearing motor.

Mine needs all that as well. It's empty inside. Nothing in there!

I looked to see if I could paint it for some other road (something easier!). I think it's set up for the GN version?

I always wanted a NYC Mohawk, but that's another story.

At first, I didn't have the money to make this run. I actually bought another 3 rail engine later on to get the working guts out of. That second engine came without the board. Another story. I wasn't sure if those parts would work anyways. I hate to wreck any engine that could be a runner.

I had emailed MTH in the beginning and was told there were no parts available for this. So this engine was destined to be a shelf queen. I got some parts from MTH after finding another engine's parts (gs4?) matched this one. It came from a tip here on the forum.

So I'm tinkering right now to see what I can do. I couldn't get the correct flywheel or motor mount. I have spare HO flywheels in my stock pile. I figure I could manufacture a motor mount fairly easily?

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I spun the drive with my drill to see if the gears meshed and spread out the grease. I was surprised at how low the gearing seems to be.DSC_1258DSC_1259

So just maybe this will run soon? I may borrow parts from that 3 rail engine or try not to? I have spare parts and old RK 3rail engines laying around that don't match up.

I may sell off that 3 rail to gain money to get this one running.  It's always tougher to find good 2 rail versions.

I was surprised to see that it was set up for the board installed into it's boiler. Most MTH engines that I own, are in the tender.

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I just wasted about an hour here. I used the motor and mount out of the 3 rail engine just for a test. That was easier to have that flywheel spin the drive. I couldn't use hose as there's no clearance. The shaft I got put the coupling right next to a frame cast protrusion. I tried using the 3 rail shaft but it didn't seem to fit right?

Anyways I then had to make my own short dogbone just to test. The mech had some noise and vibration so I kept blaming my homemade dogbone. No matter what I did the noise got louder?

I finally noticed that the flywheel was right against the motor mounting screws? The flywheel was not tight on the shaft from the factory. So it was slipping and causing all kinds of noise and vibration. I had checked the flywheel earlier for true and it passed. So later, as it slid against those screws it would loosen itself more and more.

Because I had already measured for the dogbone, not noticing the flywheel was too tight to the mount, I couldn't adjust it fully unless I scrapped my device. So I grinded down the motor shaft flat a little further towards the mount to provide a place for the set screw to sit flat and secure it.

Thanks Pete.

I looked at the Lionel parts from another post. I thought some would work. I have no experience with the steam engines and didn't know what was available.

In the past when I've ordered parts from Lionel, they arrived very fast. I've even got a few extras like a new auto carrier from their parts page. So if I knew what to get, I would order again.

Right now, I'm thinking a motor mount and the flywheel would do. My homemade dog bone doesn't look great. It does work well and nobody will see it.

Joe,

Beautiful locomotive.  I know what you mean about nothing inside.  I purchased 3 Engineering samples at the second Cabin Fever auction.  One of mine did not even have the worm, worm gear cover and gasket.  Purchased the large Pittman motors complete with 33mm flywheel and motor mount from Lionel.  MTH does not have those Pittman motors.  Be careful if you purchase flywheels from MTH, the 30mm flywheel does not have a 3x12mm headless set screw.  I modified a drawbar to fit, had to carve out some of the shell casting so the large motor with flywheel would fit.  Installed lights, Engineer/Fireman, interior lights, firebox light and had to deepen the back worm arched mount in the locomotive frame.  The worm did not even touch the spur gear when I received it.  Installed a PS-2 Steam upgrade kit, runs fine. I do not want to paint it.  How many people have Engineering Prototypes running?  very few.  Enjoy it, it will be worth all the labor of love you put into it.

Bruce

@Engineer-Joe: That looks nice and smooth! Smoother than the S1 I'm working on.  Does your setup use the MUX board for the PS2?  If so, would you mind sharing a few photos of the wiring?  I can't figure out the purple wire that goes through the tender harness and back to the MUX, and it doesn't look like a typical power wire to me.  (If you care to check on my S1 thread, I posted what I have figured out about the overall wiring diagram with a few questions).

I'm also considering leaving it unpainted like @bruce benzie mentioned.  He might be right, that there's just not that many engineering samples out there.  And if we decide to sell it (since we can't run on our O54 layout) then perhaps we would get more for it being unpainted versus an amateur paint job by me.

I had the issue of a slightly loose flywheel as well when I was trying to use the Lionel flywheel (I've since replaced with a factory MTH one) but I found a bit of light duty threadlocker held everything nice and tight without making disassembly impossible.

Beatiful loco!

@Norton posted:

Joe, FYI Lionel driveline parts work. Motor, flywheel, motor mount, dog bones even worm shafts, not sure but it might be the Lionel Dreyfuss shaft has the same worm. Pat knows for sure. Then its just a PS3 kit and bobs your uncle. My MTH FEF parts donor has a Lionel drive.

Pete

The Lionel Dreyfuss Hudson, N&W class A, and early C&O Allegheny all have wormshafts that will work with MTH locomotives. The bearings may need to be changed to the flanged type but that's about it. Those Lionel models were basically carbon copies of their MTH counterparts (involved in the MTH/Lionel lawsuit).

As far as that Northern goes the Premier SP GS Northern wormshaft should work fine. My Premier SP GS4, GS6, ATSF 2900 class, and UP FEF all have the GS wormshaft in them. Drops right in.

Last edited by Lou1985

Does your setup use the MUX board for the PS2?  If so, would you mind sharing a few photos of the wiring?

There's no wiring inside this engine. It was empty inside when I got it.

If you're talking about the other engine in the pic, it had the board set in the boiler.

I saw your thread back when posted but didn't have any info for you then. I look at it again and try and respond there.

I started wiring this engine from scratch with a PS3 steam kit. I noticed that what I thought at a glance were grease tubes, are actually spring loaded power pick-up points to the engineer's side wheels. I guess I haven't been inside enough two rail MTH engines.

Looks like what they use inside their diesel trucks.

I wire the three engineer's side wheels together, along with the trailing axles that pick up from the same side. I used an old black wire on the middle axle so don't let that confuse the power path. Other black wire goes to chassis for fireman's side power pick up.

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The middle engineer's side wheel isn't working and I wonder if it has to seat itself yet? I will test again afterwards and see if there's something else wrong inside.

I had a power failure in a MTH Dreyfus engine that I had to add power pick ups to. It was only getting power from one side of the engine (chassis ground?)

I may go back inside and see if these paths aren't hooked up properly.

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Last edited by Engineer-Joe

This engine is not really an engineering sample.  I purchased four engines from the same gentleman.  He described them as engines they pulled offIMG_9900.1IMG_9904.1 the production line to save if they needed to paint them up for a new engine they were considering producing.  They all have the grey primer rather than the typical unpainted finish.  I mainly purchased them based on the amount of brass they had showing.  Thought they looked really cool.

Have included a shot of prototypes/engineering samples acquired from Perry and other sources.  Some of them are fully functioning and painted.  Others bare metal, pieces broken and or missing.

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This engine is not really an engineering sample.  I purchased four engines from the same gentleman.  He described them as engines they pulled offIMG_9900.1IMG_9904.1 the production line to save if they needed to paint them up for a new engine they were considering producing.  They all have the grey primer rather than the typical unpainted finish.  I mainly purchased them based on the amount of brass they had showing.  Thought they looked really cool.

Have included a shot of prototypes/engineering samples acquired from Perry and other sources.  Some of them are fully functioning and painted.  Others bare metal, pieces broken and or missing.

If you go the ones from the guy listing them on eBay (Ryan from MTH) they had painted chassis but unpainted boilers/tender shells. They were actually locomotives pulled from the production line in South Korea and sand blasted to remove paint (check inside the shells, small amounts of the original paint is there). This was done for catalog artwork. They would take a picture of the bare model and use photo editing software to "paint" the locomotives in different paint schemes/road numbers. Apparently it was easier to do that with a bare model.

Just a fun little factoid about why those models were created. The ATSF 2900 I got from Ryan was used for this purpose. Although I fully finished mine and made it operational.

MTH Premier Santa Fe 2900 class Northern, or lets build a 3rd steam locomotive from junk | O Gauge Railroading On Line Forum (ogaugerr.com)

I wished they made more models with extra features like the smoking whistle. The thing I like about some of these models, is to see how far forward the detailing was moving. Like stated above, they were as good as it gets.

@bob2 posted:

Except for wheels, these look as good as any scale models one could reasonably get.  They do deserve to be painted, but if die cast and brass is your thing, a good stripping and very light bead blast would restore to almost original condition.

But if they were in grey primer, wouldn't it have been easier to just shoot the primer over the paint, rather than strip, blast, and repaint?  Or just shoot washable grey for the photoshoot, then wash it off and sell decorated?

I guess I can understand some desire for the engineering samples - look how much a 700K in grey is worth!  But don't understand the attraction of a stripped production model in grey primer.

I'm always the odd man out, but I really really like the unpainted models with all the brass detailing showing.

At one of the last "good" Cal-Stewart meets ten years ago, I found a mostly unpainted MTH Premier GS-4. Made a motor mount out of a car radio chassis, used a motor that I had from Sunset and lengthened the dog bone connector to the gear box (no flywheel). An ERR Cruise Commander completed the project.

Love it!

There was nothing special about the engines that Ryan was selling on ebay.  They were not engines that had become part of the MTH historical process.  Engineering samples/prototypes are another story.  If you had the opportunity to acquire Lionel prototypes back in the day I am pretty sure most would take all they could get their hands on.  I am also pretty sure that they would not have been used for repaints, etc.

It is not about what they may or may not be worth at some distant point in the future.  At 78 I don't bother looking that far.  MTH has been the most important player in the O Gauge market in the last 30 years.  Their contribution to the breath of engine production in steam, diesel and electric is unmatched.  So when the opportunity to purchase pieces that contributed to that process arose I got all I could.  If I can I will buy more.

Rejected pieces, working samples, photo samples are all part of the process that gave us things we could have never imagined when running our 671s, 2046s and berks around the track as kids.IMG_9909.1IMG_9908.1IMG_9910.1IMG_9911.1IMG_9912.1IMG_9913.1IMG_9915.1IMG_9916.1

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Hey, if you can get them cheaper that way, and you like them, you are doing it right!

I discovered very early on that one cannot win a contest with a beautiful scratchbuilt brass locomotive.  To compete, it must be painted,decalled, and weathered heavily.  I went from losing to factory painted models to winning no matter what the competition once I realized that the skill of brass model making means nothing in contests.

There was nothing special about the engines that Ryan was selling on ebay.  They were not engines that had become part of the MTH historical process.  Engineering samples/prototypes are another story.  If you had the opportunity to acquire Lionel prototypes back in the day I am pretty sure most would take all they could get their hands on.  I am also pretty sure that they would not have been used for repaints, etc.

It is not about what they may or may not be worth at some distant point in the future.  At 78 I don't bother looking that far.  MTH has been the most important player in the O Gauge market in the last 30 years.  Their contribution to the breath of engine production in steam, diesel and electric is unmatched.  So when the opportunity to purchase pieces that contributed to that process arose I got all I could.  If I can I will buy more.

Rejected pieces, working samples, photo samples are all part of the process that gave us things we could have never imagined when running our 671s, 2046s and berks around the track as kids.IMG_9909.1IMG_9908.1IMG_9910.1IMG_9911.1IMG_9912.1IMG_9913.1IMG_9915.1IMG_9916.1

Bill, did you get a lot of these from Perry up in MD?..I know Ryan from MTH was selling off a bunch of these stripped models as well, ....just curious as I’ve bought a ton of this stuff from Perry and Ryan both,.....Perry is a true gentleman, and a terrific host, I’ve spent many a day scouring through his piles of stuff. Ryan as well, he met me at his vacation house with a load of these engineering samples, never asked for a dime till the deal was done,....great guy,...

Pat

just another quick test. I ran it yesterday with the remote. When I used the playable whistle, the engine abruptly stopped and shut down? That may have been some coincidence?

Today I used the phone with MTH app. The engine ran well, yet jumped a few times. So I threw a roll of solder to weigh it down a bit.

I really enjoy the playable whistles using the app. I wish they all had them and smoking whistles too.

I should have upgraded several engines to PS3 years back. I did not have the money. I have run into several great deals and I'm thankful for all that I have.

It's been a fun ride....

most of the time.

@harmonyards posted:

Bill, did you get a lot of these from Perry up in MD?..I know Ryan from MTH was selling off a bunch of these stripped models as well, ....just curious as I’ve bought a ton of this stuff from Perry and Ryan both,.....Perry is a true gentleman, and a terrific host, I’ve spent many a day scouring through his piles of stuff. Ryan as well, he met me at his vacation house with a load of these engineering samples, never asked for a dime till the deal was done,....great guy,...

Pat

I have nothing but envy for you guys that live three miles away from everything.  I live in deep south Texas and the internet is the only vehicle I have to get anything.

I bought four engines from Ryan, mostly for the brass showing and the fact that he is one of the MTH guys.  Perry has moved a ton of stuff from the MTH warehouse in the past few years and I have tried to do my part.  There was another seller on ebay last year that was selling off a lot prototypes from an estate.  Apparently that gentleman bought from Perry also.

I am not sure we really own anything.  We just sort of enjoy it for a while and then someone else takes up the chase.

just another quick test. I ran it yesterday with the remote. When I used the playable whistle, the engine abruptly stopped and shut down? That may have been some coincidence?

Today I used the phone with MTH app. The engine ran well, yet jumped a few times. So I threw a roll of solder to weigh it down a bit.

I really enjoy the playable whistles using the app. I wish they all had them and smoking whistles too.

I should have upgraded several engines to PS3 years back. I did not have the money. I have run into several great deals and I'm thankful for all that I have.

It's been a fun ride....

most of the time.

I've never had one shut down but I have had some delay between pressing the SPW soft key on the remote and having the quillable whistle engage on locomotives I've used the PS3 kit in. Probably something to do with the PS32 board software. They usually only have a delay the first time the SPW key is pressed after starting the locomotive. After that they have no issue.

No, but I should hang them. I seem to prefer painting my hands!

I would paint it gloss darker green. I then have to repaint all the plumbing and fixtures black. It would be so easy, if all the plumbing was removed for painting. Taping around pipes and fixtures is not good. So I think it's staying black.

I'm not really good at painting but I grab a can and shoot it. I have a brand new air brush still unused and maybe 20 years old now? I had a cheap one and got tired of cleaning it and trying to get good paint flow.

Because my eyes are so bad, I can't see most of the flaws anyways. Until I take a picture and see it on the computer. Then I really see the flaws!

I just spent a few hours making a motor mount and it didn't work right. I'll see if I can salvage it tomorrow. Good thing I didn't brave the zero degree temp wind chill and weld it up.

Last edited by Engineer-Joe

This engine is set up for the PS3 boiler board and tender board. It also had the wireless tether already there.

I bought the steam upgrade kit (w/PS32) and installed it thinking I'd shove it in there and make it work. After moving the motor back towards the rear, it was getting tight in there and I would have had to cut the cab rear for the included tether connector.

I decided to take the board set out of a Weaver engine that shorts itself out. It has the MTH boiler board and is set up already for the MTH wireless tether. I needed another PS3 tender board for the set up I had intended to use.

Here's a quick video of this engine now. The old PRR sound set is still in the board. I will update it tomorrow. The drive is not finished and there's a temporary flywheel inside. For some reason the chuffs are very short sounding like abrupt or ending quickly? Hard to describe. I'm hoping the new sound set may fix this.

I have many engines waiting for attention and more have acted up. I just had another diesel throwing sparks. The last time, it was pieces of ballast causing a dead short. My Williams challenger just went south again too. Took off like a rocket on our grandson.

One step forward, three steps back!

That green boiler is really sharp!

And I always get a kick out of you guys that can tell the difference between different steam sounds. I'm happy as long as it doesn't rumble like a diesel. Chuff-chuff? Good enough!

(I'm going to trademark that, BTW. Y'all aren't allowed to use "Chuff-Chuff? Good Enough!" without significant compensation paid to me in the form of an MTH premier Metra Gallery car set, silver with no blue and red stripes and a cab car)

That green boiler is really sharp!

And I always get a kick out of you guys that can tell the difference between different steam sounds. I'm happy as long as it doesn't rumble like a diesel. Chuff-chuff? Good enough!

(I'm going to trademark that, BTW. Y'all aren't allowed to use "Chuff-Chuff? Good Enough!" without significant compensation paid to me in the form of an MTH premier Metra Gallery car set, silver with no blue and red stripes and a cab car)

Don’t worry Jeff, .....we won’t use your phrase buddy!....good enough doesn’t cut it in our world!...😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆.....couldn’t resist!,...just picking’ on ya buddy!..

Pat

I "kinda" like the other sounds better so I put them inside today. The movement of the engine is fairly smooth. I struggle to run the engine and the camera at the same time. I'm watching thru the camera and loose track of operation. So I usually hit the gas to get her moving.



I have a new problem that the tether seems to be intermittent? The boiler board must loose signal for a second. The engine sounds stay on. I loose all running functions. So I believe there's a wire problem. That maybe why the board set was removed from the stock engine. I will trace the problem down.

If I just touch the bottom of the tether at the tender, the headlight comes right back on and restores movement. It's fully seated so the problem is hidden. I need to dig out a spare tether.

Another step forward and back. Urrggg.

Last edited by Engineer-Joe

OK, re-soldered that tether.

Now she doesn't stall, she shorts out?

Luckily the very last time I actually saw the approx. spark area. It appeared at the back of the engine. So I went thru any spots that may short.

I don't even have the rear step plate swung up in position, so that's not it.

I found that a spring on the engine's tether post could touch the 6 wire harness side contacts so I wrapped that harness jack with tape.

I swung the rear trailing assembly and noticed spots where it could short. So I took a grinder to some areas to increase the gap around the wheels. I also bent the power pickup strips as they could possibly touch the mounting post of that trailing truck.

I don't see any arc spots yet and the engine made it around the layout once now without a short! Yahoo.

I quit.

Last edited by Engineer-Joe

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