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Looking to convert a Lionel TMCC F3 to 2 rail DCC power…am considering using dual NWSL powered 40” trucks to do so.

As this will be my first loco conversion, I have no experience with their pulling capability, smoothness during running, torque at slow speeds/gearing, etc

can someone give their thoughts / things to consider?  Are there other options for power / trucks out there to also consider?

thx!

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If you are talking Stanton drives, several folks have used them over the years for two rail locomotives repowers/builds.  They seem to work great for traction but are generally found to be lacking in capability for pulling any sort of a train.  This is based on second hand information, however, I asked around a bit over the years and the consensus I got was using them for O Scale was asking the pony to pull a beer wagon.

@Tom Dempsey posted:

If you are talking Stanton drives, ... I asked around a bit over the years and the consensus I got was using them for O Scale was asking the pony to pull a beer wagon.

Maybe a wagon full of Bud Lite?..................dilly-dilly.

I just finished installation of a Stanton drive on an HO Doodlebug...railcar.  It was an old Hallmark model...zinc truck block casting had pestified...the open frame motor and sloppy gearing had been noisy, anyway.

It turned out to be the absolutely perfect solution for this sort of application.  I'm sure it has enough power to pull an extra car or two, as did the prototype 'bugs.

But I would agree that these might be marginal, at best, for an O scale locomotive seeking to pull a couple dozen...or more...NMRA-weighted cars...freight or passenger.  OTOH, an email inquiry to NWSL might yield a prudent piece of opinion.  After all, they would be most negligent of their reputation to recommend one of their products for an application that probably would exceed its capability.  Ya think, maybe?

As for DCC compatibility, my HO doodlebug runs perfectly...including crawl speeds.  The pre-wired Stanton makes that installation easy.  And, if you're into detailing interiors, the Stanton is an awesome solution.  In fact, for conversion of an O3R doodlebug or RDC to 2-rail, it'd be an easy first choice.....IMHO.

FWIW, of course...

KD

Last edited by dkdkrd
@vacuefactor posted:

Looking to convert a Lionel TMCC F3 to 2 rail DCC power…am considering using dual NWSL powered 40” trucks to do so.

As this will be my first loco conversion, I have no experience with their pulling capability, smoothness during running, torque at slow speeds/gearing, etc

can someone give their thoughts / things to consider?  Are there other options for power / trucks out there to also consider?

thx!

You might be better served picking up either an All-Nation or CLW drive with a can motor.

P&D Hobbies offers a generic drive kit based on the Weaver single motor drives.   It has motor, gearboxes, shafts, wheels, tower, etc.    You have to get truck side frames and bolsters someplace.    It requires the side frames to actually hold the axles, so MTH, Lionel, Atlas sideframes would require boring out the journals and scratch builidng bolsters.

P&D used to off a beautiful EMD brass truck.   Not sure if they still stock it or not.    It would be drop in fit for the drive.   

They also used to offer a complete drive kit for an Intermountain GP9 which would also work for an F unit.

Thx tom.  Super article.  You touched on a lot of great points.  My issue with the Lionel power is the noise of the worm gear drive and inability to run slow.   Looks like the horizontal motor/chain drive is needed and I’ll have to see how to adapt the loco to accomodate that change.

Appreciate the advice from all.  Will reach out to P&D and all nations and see what they say

Last edited by vacuefactor

I’m using two Stanton drives in my ALCO C415 scratchbuild/3dprint project.   I used two powered trucks, so a little bit of $$.  I tested them on the raw frame, with DCC, and they pulled a dozen or so cars on flat and level track fine, but when I started going up a grade, and we have some ridiculous ones at the Cherry Valley Club, the wheels started to spin.  However, NWSL strongly suggests a good amount of weight placed over each truck.   I added some weight, and the grades were no problem.   I will be doing more extensive testing, but satisfied.  Compared to other locos I run on the layout, I’d put the dual Stantons pulling power somewhere slightly better than an Atlas SW-8, and slightly less than a Weaver or Atlas China Drive.   They are quiet and smooth, and have real nice low speed running - real nice, as in so slow you can barely tell loco is moving.   Built in pickups are nice and whole wiring deal is a piece of cake.   I’m not sure anything else would have worked for me - the C415 hoods are narrow and would have been hard to fit a motor and drive train.  Also, the slightly off-center cab would have meant placing the motor inside the cab.  With the Stantons I can fully detail the cab interior, and have plenty of room for decoder and sound.    If and when I ever get back working on the C415 and finish it,  I have a few more switcher projects, and will use these drives.  

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