I have an Lionel MPC-era GP9 (8357 Pennsylvania) with a sticky e-unit.  Starts out able to go forward and backwards, then just sticks in one direction or the other.

While I could get the e-unit fixed/replaced, I was wondering about the possibility of putting the 8357 shell on top of a newer GP9 chassis and, effectively, getting a whole new engine.  It seems straightforward to put this on another MPC GP9, but I also was considering a mid-90s GP9 with two motors and electronic e-unit.  I know that the mounting bolts are different (front and back on MPC, 4 on the base for later).  Has anyone tried putting an MPC shell on a newer chassis?  Any tips or suggestions?

Appreciate your assistance and insights.



Original Post

No have not tried swapping a shell. Have a GP9 from the early 90's with 2 truck mounted motors and electronic e unit. Have replaced that electronic e unit a couple of times. On similar engines have replaced electronic e units on those also. I usually just run them in one direction but they still just don't hold up. Maybe  pulling to many cars up and down grades . I don't know just don't have much luck with them.

As far as I know, the shell and it's mounting points are identical.  MPC, LTI, Postwar, and Williams (at least pre-Bachmann.)  Take your choice of chassis.  There were even a couple of Pullmor motored GP9s with Legacy! (although no speed control.)  Plenty of good choices.

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

Last edited by Ted S

Two significantly diverging paths there.  Least expensive is probably to learn how to service the e unit. (Not one of my skills. )  Second is install an aftermarket e unit like a dallee.   Simple job, reliable product.   If you just like the looks and don't mind a hybrid,  put the shell on a wbb chassis, but you may want to rewire the motors first to slow it down.   In my experience these are a direct fit.

May God Bless us all.

Try using CRC electrical cleaner once you get the shell off. I think others have recommended this. Fixed the e-unit is not for the faint of heart, so I hear.

Have swapped Willams can motor and Lionel Geep chassis in the past, no problems.  Depending on the shell, you may need to put an internal brace in so the shell clears the Williams flywheels...  


It's crackers to give a rozzer the dropsy in snide!


Remember, SCROUNGE!

I've put older MPC and LTI Geep shells on at least five (I think) newer chassis. I use command control, though, so all the swaps I've done were using the chassis of newer TMCC/RailSounds-equipped engines. It's quite easy, and it would be just as easy if you were using a newer non-command chassis.

There are a couple of different shell to chassis mounting systems Lionel used over the years, but those can be adapted without any major issues. Without taking time to go into all the details, suffice it to say the adaptions necessary are pretty obvious, and not very difficult to accomplish.

The only type of adaption that takes a little more time is mating a chassis that uses a 4 screw attachment system to a shell with the old front and rear screw attachment. That may require gluing 4 small blocks of plastic or wood to the shell and threading the 4 screws into those, but that's not a big deal. Or epoxy small L shaped brackets to the front and rear of the chassis inside the shell, after drilling a hole through them, and put a screw through the front and rear of the shell into the bracket, which mimics the older mounting system on those types of shells. Whatever combination you find, it's not hard to figure out how to mount the shell to the chassis.

just get a new E-unit....and be done with it...not hard to install...good luck...joe



Joe Krasko LCCA 17199

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