I wanted to share my findings and teardown photos of the new Lionel 2-8-0 Lionchief engine based on previous MTH tooling. Lionel 2323060 New York Central 2-8-0 Consolidation LionChief Bluetooth 5.0 Set
I'm not reviewing the entire set, but more of a technical what did they change from the MTH tooling to make it Lionel Lionchief.
#1 They removed the MTH fan driven smoke unit and fitted the Lionel plastic piston based puffer system used in many other Lionchief steam engine setups. In order to do that, they did modify the MTH frame, made a complete bottom plate held with many screws, all so the front axle could have a cam. Again, It's almost crazy the modifications made to make this assemble like some other Lionel engines (I'm thinking of the Berk Jr).
#2 They changed all the screws to metric and typically smaller size than previous MTH screws in the same locations. Honestly, this is the one that boggles the mind. Screws in bulk cost money to install. I don't get how these mods make it any easier to assemble at the factory, if anything they increased costs and complexity. Do I even need to link to the recent screws falling out of new Lionel engines topics?
#3 They kept the same basic gear ratio and worm gear arrangement, although I'm not confident the Lionel gears are the same quality as previous MTH. The photos do not do it justice- the worm wheel is a different alloy, and the worm gear on the motor is a cheaper machined bare steel finish. Flat out- this is going to wear at a faster rate- you read that here first. Again, the MTH gears are a different alloy on both sides of this, and better smoother polished finish, along with way better factory grease. Lionel is building this as cheap as they can.
#4 They did add figures to the MTH cab and it is a nice touch
#5 Lionel is using only one LED for the headlight, where MTH used 2 LED for the plastic green indicators on the sides of the boiler.
#6 The pilot front 2 wheels assembly now is riveted where the MTH used a E-clip during the manufacturing process. Normally you have no reason to take that apart for maintenance but another slight but important manufacturing change.
#7 MTH 2-8-0 shells do directly fit on the Lionel chassis. The mounting screws are different, but the exact same holes and do fit.