Just bought and received a brand new ,sealed in wrap Lionel Century Club 773 Hudson from Ebay. Have not opened it yet as I was going to gift wrap it and give it to "Myself" on Christmas morning as a much needed gift. My faithful 2037 and 243W tender have provided 60 years of dedicated service and enjoyment. But I have always wanted a "Real" Hudson so my dreams have come true.

      My question is this: Can I unwrap it Christmas morning and run it, or should I wait till AFTER the holidays and have it professionally serviced?  My fear is that over 20 years have passed and I am afraid the oils and greases, although new in 1999 , may have hardened and cause damage.  Please advise,  and thank you all VERY much!

P.S. I was forced to spend last Christmas at the V>A>  Hospital and some group brought in trains for us vets there. If anyone knows who it was I wanted to thank them from the bottom of my heart. you should of seen all the smiles and fun as even WW2 vets ( in their 90's now... wow ) were having a ball. It was Bay Pines V.A. Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida. In the CLC 2.

 

Original Post

Well, it seems like you may still have time to have it serviced now, and it would be ready for Christmas morning....find a reputable repair center in your area, or perhaps someone on the forum could recommend one that ps close to your location. Maybe one of the sponsors???....

it’s a tough question to answer, due to the fact none of us have a clue about how or where it was stored....dramatic changes in temperatures, humidity, and time, can greatly affect petroleum products. So I’d have to say have it looked at before you run it, I understand your plight, in not wanting to see it before Christmas, so just have the service center check it all over, lube it up and give her a whirl....then box it back up, this way your Christmas morning isn’t a static display............Pat

The Water Level Route.......You Can Sleep

After sitting that long I would take the shell off and grease/oil everything. Pullmor motor comes out and is disassembled and all thrust bearings are greased. End of the motor shaft in the brush plate is oiled. Remove cover from the worm gear and grease. All axles oiled. All side rods and linkages oiled. Put it back together and test run. If you are comfortable working on trains or have some mechanical aptitude it's a very easy process. 

Santa Fe, All the Way

My problem is I really want to see and hold it for the first time on Christmas morning, AND run her too. This whole idea probably comes from the joy and wonder of my first Lionel. And I guess I am trying, in some childlike manner, to go back to that exact moment that I can still remember so dam well.  You don' have to be a phychitrist to guess I am not alone here with that same deep issue. Maybe I am saying this because out of all the forums in the world you folks would understand. And hence give experienced advice. I guess there is no perfect answer...

      I have made up my mind to definitely have it serviced. For sure. Just how to go about it I am not sure. 

If  I was in your shoes I'd find someone very reputable and let  them lube it go over it  smoke unit and all might  have to re-wick it and improve it  .. then have it shipped back to you ... Wrap it up.. Wait till Christmas morning and Enjoy.. I could be wrong I never  paid anyone for a long time but it should be under $150.00 ??   Enjoy her she will be a sight on the rail .. PS make sure you have at least have 042 track  !   (don't ask me why) lol  ...daniel

Another thing to consider if you are getting it serviced, this is the peak time of year for hobby shops.  They might be developing backlogs that could cause you to not have it back by Christmas if you don't take it in SOON. (it may even be too late now, depending on the shop and what their backlog vs service personnel ratio is)

Don't worry, absolutely no one ever forgets about their trains until Thanksgiving time and then hopes to have them back in hand by Christmas.  No one!    (kidding of course(a LOT of people do that), the first paragraph was serious though!!)

-Dave

well IMHO you could run it before getting it looked at but I would recomend that you try to move the engine wheels by hand and make sure they  turn freely. as long as the turn freely  you would probably be ok tom run it then. the worst thing that could happen is if your E unit might stick after being put away for so many years but should not cause you any damage!

Alan

o gauge  trains ,music ,computer repair windows 7 and 10!

ASC Tech MTH school completed! 2019 !

Sigwally posted:

Just bought and received a brand new ,sealed in wrap Lionel Century Club 773 Hudson from Ebay. Have not opened it yet as I was going to gift wrap it and give it to "Myself" on Christmas morning as a much needed gift. My faithful 2037 and 243W tender have provided 60 years of dedicated service and enjoyment. But I have always wanted a "Real" Hudson so my dreams have come true.

      My question is this: Can I unwrap it Christmas morning and run it, or should I wait till AFTER the holidays and have it professionally serviced?  My fear is that over 20 years have passed and I am afraid the oils and greases, although new in 1999 , may have hardened and cause damage.  Please advise,  and thank you all VERY much!

P.S. I was forced to spend last Christmas at the V>A>  Hospital and some group brought in trains for us vets there. If anyone knows who it was I wanted to thank them from the bottom of my heart. you should of seen all the smiles and fun as even WW2 vets ( in their 90's now... wow ) were having a ball. It was Bay Pines V.A. Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida. In the CLC 2.

 

As others have stated, I would (or have someone qualified) check over your CC 773 before running it. Be sure that there is enough smoke fluid in the puffer unit. Then, re-wrap it for Christmas. If it might make you feel more confident, I am an original owner of a CC 773 and it still operates superbly. This 773, BTW, is a TMCC engine and will run the best under TMCC control.

Having been on a TCA factory tour in Chesterfield, MI during the period that Lionel was assembling the CC 773's, I have an extra nostalgic fondness for this engine ... made in the good ol' USA! 

Enjoy!

Bob

Sigwally, as Bob stated above, this is a great running engine, although simple by todays standards, I would think you can do a "lube' job yourself. Actually, beside filling the smoke unit, I would probably just run the engine "slowly" before doing any additional work. Just to see if it actually works. Than do the lube job.  Easy to overlube and really screw things up so be careful and use very little.

Regardless, I had recently run mine at two shows and thought I might give it a quick clean... did not need to,

CC 773 Hudson

but I find working on engines relaxing.

So... here you go. This is a picture of your engine just about ready to go back together. If you have any questions let me know.

Charlie

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SIGWALLY........Here is some good reading on the AC Pullmore 773 type locos. http://www.justtrains.com/Hudson/773-1.asp

I seem to remember that on the ones I have, wheels cannot be turned by hand, however I think you can check for solid grease by turning the motor  commutator by hand. I would lightly oil the points shown in Lionel 's instructions and then try applying power.  If it is laboring to move stop. Good luck and congratulations. You are going to need some scale NYC passenger cars!

Richard 

Charlie that exactly like my 773  lionel 38015 .. I was told here on OGR from a member how to use a tooth pick to check and add some red grease that mine was dry (three screws under  chassis get removed  )

Also as a tip I opened up my smoke puffer and put a 18 Lionel ohm  resistor  and used @4"inches of tiki rope pulled apart and put in that little bowel . I  made sure just to put a little behind the resistor and leave the other side with out a sleeve.. pre primed it.. and You won't believe the difference! Holds a lot more fluid than the 4-8 drops it says  in the manual..

I oiled the motor bearings and linkage

Last thing for my 042  curves I got rid of the center traction tires got a new set (lionel says in owners manual they supplied them . (I used blue lock tight  on linkage when resembled ) My  L/N  773 didi not have any in box. But once I got em it crawls around my curves perfectly compared to the traction tires ones..

Last thing I did was gently removed the Lionel men on the firebox and for me at least makes  it  more realistic on the rails....daniel

DON'T try to turn the wheels.  See what Richard ^^ said.  The drive wheels on Lionel's 700-series Hudsons can sometimes be turned by hand after a LOT of break-in running.  I wouldn't try to do it on a mint or low-mileage example, especially one from the '90s which are known to be 'tight.'

If you take the shell off, you could try to turn the drive shaft where it emerges from the motor.  If it turns freely, you're in good shape (at least mechanically.)  It would still be prudent to put a drop of oil on the motor wick, axle bearings, and after a few minutes of break-in running, on the side rods.

Creep, coast, and pull.  We're not talking about cold fusion here.

Sigwally, in no particular order;

Don't try to turn the wheels. This not the type of locomotive that you can do that to.

Not sure I would worry about the front or rear driver in terms of adding grease to the grease holes. Just oil the axels with a needle point oiler and you should be fine. The middle driver, along with the drive rods power the front and rear axel. Actually, you can discount the drive rods and you should be able to push the engine on a flat surface. Not sure what Lionel used in 1999, but it was/is not the same formula as the old prewar/postwar stuff that hardened. I'm not saying that you should avoid getting to the gear box, but just don't be surprised if the old grease still looks good.

Dan brings up some good points about the smoke unit. Mine is "ok" with the small puffs, but if you want more you will have to do the mod that Dan wrote about, should be easy.

As for the driver tires, I run on 054 min, so I don't seem to have this issue. Actually normally run on 072 and larger so really is not an issue there.

Richard wrote of turning the commutator by hand and I think this should be sufficient to see if there is any binding. You can see the wheels turn as you turn the commutator

Mine is back together and running just fine. Total time was about 1 hour and that included looking for a e-ring that I dropped. I agree with those who said to open and run now. If everything is fine, wrap it up and wait for Christmas morning.

Charlie

Thanks everyone for all the advice. Really appreciate it! Concerning the minimus radius of 054, about 7-9 years ago I bought all new 072 Lionel Fastrak.  I was running my original trains on 50+ year old Lionel steel " O Gauge" track that would cut up my hands, come loose, etc.  And I got fed up. When I discovered the new track systems I settled on Fastrak and am glad I did.  072 looks great so the decision was easy. Plus I have plans for big steam and big diesels one day. One day...

    I may get myself banished from this forum forever, but I was happy to throw all that old track in the trash.

Sigwally posted:

My problem is I really want to see and hold it for the first time on Christmas morning, AND run her too. This whole idea probably comes from the joy and wonder of my first Lionel. And I guess I am trying, in some childlike manner, to go back to that exact moment that I can still remember so dam well.  You don' have to be a phychitrist to guess I am not alone here with that same deep issue. Maybe I am saying this because out of all the forums in the world you folks would understand. And hence give experienced advice. I guess there is no perfect answer...

      I have made up my mind to definitely have it serviced. For sure. Just how to go about it I am not sure. 

Although I completely understand your desire to unwrap it on Christmas, it's ALWAYS a good idea to immediately open any engine purchased online (including from a reputable train dealer) and verify that everything is present and accounted for.  Many of us, myself included, have mistakenly assumed that "new in box" equates to "perfect condition".  Unfortunately, there are a lot of factors that can cause this to be a faulty assumption. 

Well here is what I decided. I will gift wrap my 773 Hudson, enjoy it on Christmas morning and have it professionally serviced after Christmas.  To give myself something new to play with I just bought a Lnib Lionel 6-19820 Railsounds 2 tender. It will give my railroad Lionel railsounds to my beloved 2037 and should keep my happy and thankful until my Hudson is ready.

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