I have been thinking about this mod for some time. I have a few Pullmor NYC Hudsons from the '90s. I also have a K-Line Hudson with the smaller Mabuchi motor and while a fine looking engine I was never impressed with its pulling power. Checking the Pullmor frames it was obvious a Pittman would not be a drop in mod. What finally pushed me to start this project was learning that Lionel is beginning to offer its early legacy boards for sale. In particular was the sound board for the Vision Hudson, cab number 5344. It seemed only appropriate to start with a Commodore Vanderbilt Hudson as it was built on 5344.

I thought it would be a good idea to start with a spare frame to cut up in case any mistakes were made. I don't claim to be a machinist but have the equipment and know how to make chips. As any machinist knows one mistake with a hand wheel and 2 days work and $$$ can go down the drain.

Here is what I started with after removing the electronics. I was hoping that simply removing the motor mount would allow placement of the Pittman.

CV_Chassis_Before

CV Body Before:

CV_Body_Before

Well I was wrong but this is what I ended up with. (Smoke unit tilt is a lens aberration)

CV_Chassis_After

Between the first photo and second these were the mods required. The mounting posts in the body were too close together for the Pittman to fit between. Not only did the posts have to be removed, the fame needed to be widened for the new screw locations and body modified for screw mounts.

Below are the frame mods with attachments for screw mounts, motor mounts, plus fan smoke unit mount.

CV_Frame_Mods

Modification to the CV Body. Aluminum blocks were attached with JB Weld after the original mounts were machined off. No room for screw holes into the body.

CV_Body_After

Other minor mods were shortening the worm shaft and resizing from English to metric to match the motor shaft diameter. Also the smoke unit stack to fit the CV. Then adding one of my Lionel Niagara driveshafts. I had tried a shorter driveshaft with a single U Joint but found the angle too steep. The longer double jointed U Joint has less of an angle but required redrilling the frame to allow the motor being moved further back. Another good reason for starting with a spare frame.

Also the flywheel was modified to fit the short shaft and still allow fitting the driveshaft.

 

While doing this mod I learned a lot about the Pullmor Hudsons and even about the modern Hudsons going back maybe to the 700E. I don't have any pics of a 700E chassis but have seen the the 1950 773 and the chassis from then through the '90s appear to be essentially the same. I can only guess the 700E is also the same given many of the more modern replacement parts still carry its ID number.

While short on detail they were built like tanks with quality parts. They were also built using English dimensions and many parts do not interchange with the later metric Hudsons. I was hoping to replace the plain bearing rods with roller bearing items but wheel spacing went from 1.75" to 44 mm or 1.732". Close but no cigar.

Here is an example of the worm gear from a Pullmor Hudson compared with the one from Lionel's Niagara. The Niagara gear is the small dot in the middle of the brass gear. Any surprise they failed?

CV_Gears

Here are the side rods from the CV Hudson (right) next to the siderods from a Niagara. Note the bronze bushing in CV rods

CV_Rods

Anyway, other than repainting this pretty much completes the mechanical mods. While tuning the motor and driveshaft placement I used my DC power supply and made adjustments for minimum current draw. Starting at over 1 amp I was able to reduce it to .35 amp at 10 volts.

 

Next step, installing the Legacy electronics. I was going to add a swinging bell but as its buried in the CV shell its nearly invisible and there is very little room for movement so that will wait for another project.

 

Pete

 

 

 

 

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Last edited by Norton
Original Post

WOW Pete,

   This is masterful craftsmanship   This is what i call BIG LEAGUE  WORK !!!

  Looks like you used the driveshaft parts from the Niagara rebuilds we do.

Alex

Excellent mod/job.  Craftsmanship at it's best!

I tried to change out a pull-mor in my Lionel "War-Horse" a few years ago. Was going to replace it with a can motor (Timko).  Total disaster!!! I was trying to use the original boards by modify them to accept DC.  There was an article by a fellow that did that type of mod on American Flyer engines.

Ended up selling the can motor.  Reinstalled the pull-mor and sold the engine (or should I say...gave it away).

Your mod should be a resounding success!

Thanks guys. Alex, that is one of my spare Niagara driveshafts. I first tried the one I got from Stock Drive Parts but didn't like the angle. It also drew a tenth of an amp more indicating more resistance. The flywheel from the Niagara would have been perfect as it has an extended motor shaft machined in but they are listed as out of stock at Lionel.

What do you think of the Pullmor worm gear? What was Lionel thinking when they designed the Niagara?

Pete

Nice work; I bash things, but i have never attempted anything quite this "deep".

Mechanically, the 700E and descendants were/are mechanically magnificent. A Pullmor can be OK...but...

If only someone would produce an actual kit for this - or a similar - flywheel/DC can conversion for these locos (and the AC Mohawks). The motor need not be as large as the one you used, or a Pittman, though that brand would be esthetically preferable.

A basic kit that does not require the machining (would fit under the existing shell) that you did: motor, flywheel, u-joints only requiring the shortening of the original worm gear shaft, some "adapter" mounting brackets or the like. I feel that many of us would like to enjoy these tank-like beauties in a modern way, with new ERR DC cruise and command and the like. It seems that there could be an actual market. 

I have the abilities to install a decent motor kit, but I am not sure I want to dig as deep as you have (though I am abusing an "ATSF" Warhorse Hudson right now - we need a Dreyfuss/Mercury version of the 5344, and I am using an old Williams brass Dreyfuss as the brass streamlining donor...it's a journey).

Your motor installation appears impressive. 

If you're not pulling huge trains the Timko motor is a drop in with no mods to do. The Timko motor and ERR cruise brings you up to date.

Rod Miller

Frank Timko and his folks are excellent Fabricators, and Machinist. I've seen several engines that he has re motored, and they do fantastic work. Plus he won't BS you .

 

D, it might be possible to use a DC motor with more torque than a Mabuchi RS385 but it would have to be quite short to fit on the existing motor mount. The motor I used is 61mm long. I have another Pittman that is 56mm long. I was hoping that would fit on the existing mount but even that is too long. Maybe someone makes a pancake motor that would fit?

Lionel is selling the frames with wheels for the Vision Hudson that might work. The  mounting holes in the rear of the frame are located near the edge of the frame like my mod. You would still have remove the mounting posts in the body and glue in new mounts similar to what I did. It could be done with saws and files. Just take a bit longer.

Vision Hudson Frame.

image

Pancake motor similar to this.

http://www.maxonmotorusa.com/m...ilterCategory=ecflat

 Maxon 200189:

image 

Pete

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Last edited by Norton

Ah, another Lionel Hudson thread to peak my interests.

Superb work as always Pete.

For the record, the chassis' of the Lionel scale Hudsons was the same from the 1950 773 up to Gold Hudson of 2000, and I think a few others after. It was when Lionel brought out the J3a's and the later Vision 700E the frame was made completely different.

I'm doing something very similar (but significantly less intricate) with my Lionel Hudsons, so I'm looking forward to seeing how the control and sound electronics are going to go in.

Frank has no worries. I am one and done. No interest in mass production for me. However, the idea of a pancake motor has piqued my interest.

Pete

Last edited by Norton
Norton posted:

D, it might be possible to use a DC motor with more torque than a Mabuchi RS385 but it would have to be quite short to fit on the existing motor mount. The motor I used is 61mm long. I have another Pittman that is 56mm long. I was hoping that would fit on the existing mount but even that is too long. Maybe someone makes a pancake motor that would fit?

Lionel is selling the frames with wheels for the Vision Hudson that might work. The  mounting holes in the rear of the frame are located near the edge of the frame like my mod. You would still have remove the mounting posts in the body and glue in new mounts similar to what I did. It could be done with saws and files. Just take a bit longer.

Vision Hudson Frame.

image

Pancake motor similar to this.

http://www.maxonmotorusa.com/m...ilterCategory=ecflat

 Maxon 200189:

image 

Pete

 Maxon 200189:

http://www.maxonmotor.com/maxon/view/product/200189

Is a brushless (synchronous AC motor) DC  motor. How would you control the RPM's as voltage fed to the motor does not change RPM's? You would need to install a variable frequency drive.  That is certainly doable.

You may be able to take speed controller from the RC world. The AC from the track would need to be changed to DC before being fed into the speed controller. The speed controller then would take the DC and change it to an AC waveform to control the rotational speed of the rotor. 

You would also need to find a way to have either Legacy or DCS control the variable speed controller. 

It would be quite the accomplishment to pull this one off. 

Norton posted:

 

Well I was wrong but this is what I ended up with. (Smoke unit tilt is a lens aberration)

CV_Chassis_After

 

Have you test fitted the shell yet?  I'm surprised that you didn't have to keep the motor parallel to the track!  Also, I know there are shorter versions of the Pittman 943x if clearance to the cab wall is an issue.  Great work, and can't wait to see the finished product, especially a video of it in operation.

"Creep, coast, and pull.  It's not that hard!!"

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