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Tom,

I guess we posted at the same time.

The wires inside didn't look too bad and some have certainly been replaced. The leads with the plugs though are showing age bad. I'd like to at least replace those and the grommets at least. I've already considered just living without the fancy couplers.

Runs well enough otherwise. The e unit is sluggish but I've noticed that with my 763 also. I guess when they mostly sit on a shelf they don't get enough exercise 🤣

I sent my switcher off for repair. It had some issues inside the rear truck causing issues for the coupler as I suspected. The train shop I got it from offered to fix it under warranty so I let them handle it. Luckily I did as the sliding shoe needed replacement among the issues and I am not sure where I could have sourced one.

I have not had any time to mess with it but when I do I will record it.

David Johnston thank you so much for all your detailed information .Such a wealth of knowledge.I have been wanting to buy one of these switchers for a while and nowI thinks it's time to seriously hunt for one.I do have one question.When you have all the screw information what does the "ms" at the end of the screw description stand for.I understand all the other info in the description just not the "ms" .

John K

John,

  MS stands for Military Standard.

  MS- Military standard started around the 1950s and for the most part replaced the AN hardware series. However, a few of the AN standards have stayed around. The MS series was canceled in 1994 by the Secretary of Defense, at the request of contractors in order to save money.

 

Tom

Last edited by PRR8976

John,

  I encourage you to buy one of the 227-series switchers. If you get one, please post pictures here.

  I've been operating and collecting them for over 25-30 years now and they are lots of fun. However, if you can find one that actually is complete and runs, your life will be a little easier.

  This past year, for the first time, I've had problems getting parts for them including places that I have relied on for years. Hoping that will improve once COVID is over--but not sure.

  I picked up this #228 recently:

Lionel 228 bought from Trainworld March 2021 no5

Before anyone asks, yes, I will be changing the front pilot and dummy coupler to go back to the original prewar pilot & coupler.

Tom

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  • Lionel 228 bought from Trainworld March 2021 no5

John,

  I actually have one that I bought several years ago. Someone else made such a conversion and it ran sporadically. I think my path to these switchers may be similar to yours. I also had a #1615 then a #1656. (Those clouds were hand painted by me and I should have been a professional cloud painter!)

Here is a #1656 on a prior layout:

Layout-YardGoat-1-17-04%20[2%29

Tom

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Last edited by PRR8976

I think the 227 family of engines is the easiest Lionel locomotives to work on. They are put together with screws. No bent tabs, no tubular rivets. And the OO e unit is much easier to work on than the 259E eunit. The only exception is the front coupler. Replacing the super flex wire to the coil can be difficult. The downside to working on these locos is that parts are getting hard to find. Yes,  MS in a fastener description indicating Machine Screw.  The other common type seen on Lionel trains is ST, self tapping.

I think the 227 family of engines is the easiest Lionel locomotives to work on. They are put together with screws. The downside to working on these locos is that parts are getting hard to find...

As David wisely stated, parts are indeed getting hard to find including what used to be easy to find parts like headlights...I tried the usual, great parts providers and could not find one, so I posted another topic: https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...6#155152949933384406 and my new friend AlanRail came to the rescue.

Here are 2 photos, showing the newly installed headlight by the 3-D artist, AlanRail

IMG_1770IMG_1771

Before anyone mentions it, yes, I do have the parts to restore the original prewar couplers and pilot (I may have mentioned that before, earlier)...then will be happening soon.

Thanks again to AlanRail

Tom

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David had asked for a picture with the headlight on.

Here are some new pictures.

First is my last original headlight lens in my inventory (on the left) vs. the 3-D printed one from AlanRail (on the right). The 3-D printed one appears frosted instead of clear, but with the headlight on, I don't see a difference!

IMG_1773

This headlight search was done for my newly purchased prewar #228, bought from TrainWorld in Brooklyn in March. I never got around to unpacking it until yesterday and never was able to run it until today, life (work, outdoor yard work, etc.) just kept getting in the way. I knew from TrainWorld's original pictures that the headlight lens was missing.

IMG_1781

After test fitting the headlight yesterday I thought for sure it would never pop out but it did today. So, today a little Duco cement carefully placed inside the headlight housing and 2-3 gentle whacks with a small hammer on the lens got it positioned perfectly (I used an old t-shirt over the lens to protect it). By the way, thank you to TrainWorld for such a great running locomotive...this is the smoothest running of all of my prewar switchers.

Some pictures from the first running on Saturday, May 1, 2021 at "Tom's Home for Old Prewar Switchers" as it should be known!

IMG_1775

IMG_1776

...and my favorite of the bunch, a panning shot with the rods in a socially acceptable angle of "Rods down:"

IMG_1780

Tom

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Picked up another Lionel prewar #228 with the 2228B tender...just came in the mail today. Have not gone to run it yet, maybe this weekend. Looked good except for the broken front marker lights (which I have fixed several times before on other PRR switchers), the tender lettering, slightly bent railings and the tender wiring:

PRR 228 July 2021 no2

PRR 228 July 2021 no1

PRR 228 July 2021 no3

These are good therapy for a stressful job--but I guess that could be true for any similar Lionel locomotive.

I got this Snapple "Real Fact" at work also today--maybe a good omen! It's sort of rare considering all the other Snapple facts under the lids...I will probably opt to still run this locomotive using a conventional Lionel transformer!

PRR New Snapple Cap Electric Trains

Tom

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Last edited by PRR8976
@PRR8976 posted:

Picked up another Lionel prewar #228 with the 2228B tender...just came in the mail today. Have not gone to run it yet, maybe this weekend. Looked good except for the broken front marker lights (which I have fixed several times before on other PRR switchers), the tender lettering, slightly bent railings and the tender wiring:

PRR 228 July 2021 no2



I love the headlight on a 228! Looks good!!

George

I had a question asked about repairing a broken marker light on a 228.  The answer is a little complicated because there are at least three different replacement marker lights out there. The marker lights are made of brass. I assume they are a screw machine product. If possible, I use a file to get a flat smooth surface on the broken part. Then I center punch trying my best to hit the center of the part. Then I drill the broken part out. The zinc appears to have gotten quite hard, so in my experience I have not had trouble with the drill walking into the zinc. The old brass post cuts like soft butter.  

The size of the drill depends on the replacement marker light I am going to use. I have run across four distinct marker lights, all requiring a different drill size. I do not want a tight fit, as the marker lights on the boiler have to be removed to change the boiler hand rails.  The first marker light I identify as early prewar.  It is 0.076” diameter over the shaft and 0.078” over the serrations.  To install one of these I would use a #48 drill, 0.076” diameter. The second marker light I identify as late prewar. It is 0.076” diameter over the shaft and 0.086” over the serrations. To install one of these I would use a #45 drill, 0.082” in diameter.  The third marker light I believe is made for the 1989 remake.  It is the part most commonly available. It is 0.086” diameter over the shaft and 0.088” over the serrations.  To install one of these I would use a #44 drill, 0.086 in diameter.  On this application it might be best to drill out the broken post with the #48 drill first, then open up the zinc die casting with the #44 drill as a secondary operation.   The forth marker light is probably from the repro market and is of such poor quality that I would not install one. On any of these, if it is felt that the marker light is going in too tight, file the serrations to a smaller diameter, maybe putting a little taper on them. If the marker light is loose in the hole I use a little Walter’s Goo. This will hold the marker light in, but not so tight that it cannot be removed if necessary.  When installing the 1989 marker light on a prewar loco, even if drilling out a broken stub is not required, the shaft is so large that the hole needs to be drilled out to get the new part in.  

In a technical note regarding the prototype B6 switcher, I do not know if these are marker lights or classification lights. Maybe class lights on the loco and markers on the tender?  It would be interesting to know for sure.

David,

  Thanks again for the thoroughness of your post on the various drill bits.

  In return for that, I have this from my friend Mac who says about your question of class vs. marker lights for the PRR B6 switcher classes:

Classification lights were boiler mounted ,as it denoted class of train and whether it had the right of way.  As switchers didn’t get priority they normally had marker lights only.  Originally mounted only on the pilot or tender these normally showed as red as it was seldom doing more than switching various industries or handling locals.  They were Pyle national markers.  However, during the 40’s pilot mounted markers were often replaced with boiler mounts  which were smaller almost can like mounted on a bracket above the handrails smoke box side below the stack and generator.  ---Mac

Tom

Reviving this thread a little.  I went train hunting today and came back with a decent collection.  There were two unusual items in it. A boxed 394 Beacon with red base and silver tower, which I have not seen before.

The big prize was a 231 0-6-0 Switcher.  As far as I can tell, it is pretty scarce.  The shell was off the frame and I can see that it will need work on the E unit, some couplers on the engine and tender, and probably some parts for the tender.  I can't seem to find out if it should be a bell ringer but that part is definitely not there.

What I need is a parts diagram for this engine.  I was not able to find it on-line but thought the experts on this thread might know where to get a parts diagram so I can start to figure out what I need. 

Am I crazy trying to fix this myself or should I turn it over to an expert?  I can do some general work but this may be over my head.

Thanks for any help.

Unique and delicate e-unit in the line of the switchers.  Same one used in oo gauge. Fingers are fragile and parts scarce if available at all. The 233 is one if the tougher ones to find with the primary difference in the brush plate/number of plugs and the tender  where the major mechanical differences lie. They used the dc current surge to either do remote reversing or uncoupling and also different coupler heights! Interesting marketing with the 227,228,230,231,232 and 233 and of course the  701 scale switcher

Congratulations, 231 is the most difficult switcher to find. It was made for only one year, 1939, and has the high manual couplers. It was the strip down version and did not sell well. If your couplers are missing, that will be the most difficult item to find.  The couplers from the other locos will work, but the 231 has the 700E brush plate with only one plug.  The left hand plug on the other switchers was to operate the front coupler, which was manual on the 231.  Denis Waldron had some 231 couplers.  His parts all went to Trainz when he died, and they are very difficult to work with when it comes to looking for individual parts.

As Jagrick said, the e-unit is a OO part.  Be very careful with the contact fingers, there are no replacements. To get drum off, the shoulder screw is threaded into the fiber plate.  Use a nut driver to unscrew the lock nut, while holding the screw with a screw driver.  With the nut off, then take the screw out. With the drum out you can clean up the copper buttons on the fiber plate. If you are going to solder new wires in to the contact plate, do that with the drum removed. The drum fingers are with silver plate or solid silver. When cleaning remove as little metal as possible.  When you put the drum back on, tighten the screw just enough to get good contact with the fingers, but not so tight that it will not turn freely. Then hold the screw in that position while tightening the nut with the nut driver.

Most everything about this loco probably has been discussed above. See following for parts list. Some parts from the 1989 remake are interchangeable, some are not.

3AC6E308-7F6B-4FA9-9191-2DA9215121F016E788F1-652D-4957-B305-700B6C66CA37496D41F2-DCEA-42A5-9B62-DF7E7FF3E99D

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@lionelflyer posted:

Reviving this thread a little.  I went train hunting today and came back with a decent collection.  There were two unusual items in it. A boxed 394 Beacon with red base and silver tower, which I have not seen before.

The big prize was a 231 0-6-0 Switcher.  As far as I can tell, it is pretty scarce.  The shell was off the frame and I can see that it will need work on the E unit, some couplers on the engine and tender, and probably some parts for the tender.  I can't seem to find out if it should be a bell ringer but that part is definitely not there.

What I need is a parts diagram for this engine.  I was not able to find it on-line but thought the experts on this thread might know where to get a parts diagram so I can start to figure out what I need.

Am I crazy trying to fix this myself or should I turn it over to an expert?  I can do some general work but this may be over my head.

Thanks for any help.

Yes, please post pictures so we can take a look.

My opinion is that you should let an expert do any wiring work. These locomotives, in my opinion, are beyond complex. David J., who is such an expert, posted above has been very kind to post many of his repairs on this post, if it helps you. Having said that, I have a friend who used the "Motor Doctor" for a different Lionel engine and he was very happy. I have emailed the owner back and forth a few times and he seems to be a nice enough guy and competent, I just have not needed his services so far.

Good luck!

Tom

I have a 228 that I have disassembled and repaired.  See my notes on the 228 engine.  Many of the 18000 parts will work on these engines. Those with 227 or 700E prefix on the part numbers.    On my engine I had to fabricate a coupler mount for a postwar coupler.  It didn't have a coupler when I got it.    Once cleaned and problems corrected, they are nice runners. 

I found a NOS brush plate for these engines in a parts bin, the equivalent of finding hens teeth.   The guy said $2, I couldn't do that to him and gave him more. 

The different numbers refered to the options of high/low coupler height, bell ringing/no bell, Teledyne couplers or Magic electrol for E-unit activation or standard 5th rail coupler activation only.  One of the wires to the engine was to connect the couplers.    I think the tenders all had a light.   the Teledyne and Magic Electrol both used the same small "DC" relay in the tender, it was wired to couplers or the e-unit, but not both.   1662,1663, 201, 203 were different designs but used the Teledyne, Magic Electrol, or Bell funcitons in their smaller tenders.

The catalogs explained the Magic Electrol was so you could run 2 trains at the same time.   It didn't carry on in Postwar models.   Neither did the Teledyne coupler control. 

Hey David,

What problems have you had with "His parts all went to Trainz when he died, and they are very difficult to work with when it comes to looking for individual parts." ?

I am guessing that would be if you email our customer service department and ask if we have a particular part that we don't have listed on our website? Yes, that would be a problem. BTW you can use our Wishlist function (you need to login [Free]) to be notified when we restock a particular part if we have ad it before and it is in our database/catalog.

Currently we have around 20 or 30 pallets of parts from Tebolt, Waldron, Rossbach, Pride Lines, and several more smaller parts deals. So we may have something, but until we get to it and identify and put it into our inventory system, we literally have no idea where it may be.

The good news is we have recently expanded the team to 7 full-time team members + 2 summer helpers working on just parts. Identifying them (trying really hard to get the correct original part number), fixing, them, assembling them, counting them, photoing them, entering them in the system, and putting them away. We currently are adding about 200 parts per day (both new ones and adding quantity) and I plan to get that to 300 per day in the coming months.

So, it is pretty crazy, but we are hacking through it!

If there is any other issues let me know.

It is the most challenging part of the company, but I am pretty sure I was born with a defective gene that makes me want to provide the best and most incredible train parts selection imaginable online ...

Thanks!

Hi Scott,

   I agree 100% with what David said, and need to say I have bought several items (happily) from Trainz, including a nice Lionel prewar switcher.I believe David is referring to the parts supply from our friend Dennis Waldron.

   However, when I asked for a prewar front coupler assembly for these switchers, knowing that you guys had the Dennis Waldron collection of parts, this was the exchange and she might have been the third person involved in my original email (and I sent a good picture of a similar prewar front coupler assembly):

Hi Tom,

Thanks for your patience. Our parts department is processing this deal daily. Due to the number of items, it's going to take extra time to process. Unfortunately, we do not know when we will get to the parts you're looking for. I would suggest checking our listings daily. If you need further assistance, please let us know.

In Your Service,

XXXXX
Customer Service

On Wednesday, November 17, 2021 at 9:30 PM, Tom.panettiere@purchase.edu wrote...

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

I X'd out the person's name to be fair (contact me on my email if you need to know), but this email request was from 2021!!!...so, that begs us to ask, why is it taking so long?

Thanks,

Tom

Last edited by PRR8976
Tom,
Her reply is exactly correct. We prioritized the George Tebolt deal. That deal would have filled a 53' semi trailer from floor to ceiling, front to back. We brought it out in 26' Penske trucks - 3 trips including some trains.
I think we started on the bulk of the Waldron parts about 3-4 months ago while still working on the Tebolt and other stuff too. We are still not done with it.
We also had some staffing challenges in our parts department and we were nowhere near the 7 people we have on it now.
Sorry, we are going as fast as we can figure out how ...

Hi Scott, the problem that both you and Tom identified is the same problem I experience.  Trainz has purchased several old line parts suppliers.  Parts I have purchased from these people for years go off the market and are gone for years.  These suppliers had online lists and sold parts regularly, there parts must be organized and labeled, yet there is no way to contact anybody at Trainz and access parts that we all know exist.  

I am a regular buyer of parts from Trainz and have purchased a few parts that I know came from George Tebolt or Denis Waldron.  But I know there are so many more parts there, just no way to get to them.  Dealing with Trainz is not like dealing with Jeff Kane or Bill Harrison.  When I call these men looking for parts they know what I am looking for, can discuses my problem, and can suggest alternative solutions, even suggest other venders.  

Trainz is a valuable resource which I use regularly.  But the loss of supplies of parts which I have counted on in the past is difficult to work around.  

David Johnston

On rewiring these switchers, I have rewired 10 or so and have been happy with the results. From my experience I make the following recommendations. Do not use wire that is too large. There is not the space in this loco and the flexibility of the smaller wire is needed. I used 22 gauge solid push back cloth insulated wire. This is the same wire Lionel used when they built the loco.   It would be best to keep the same colors as Lionel used, the two wires from the e-unit to the brush holders is yellow and the wire from the e-unit to the field connection is green.  All the other wires are black. The wire from the front coupler to the brush plate should be cloth insulated super flex. The only color available is black, which is correct.

Where the wires go from the area of the e-unit to the brush plate is difficult routing as there is little clearance under the front cab wall and over the front motor plate. Three wires need to go to the right and three to the left.   The power wire, which goes from the headlight, then to the two collector roller assembly, and on to the right hand plug on the brush plate, I make up as a single harness. Where the wire attaches to the two solder lugs I make a 180 degree turn and put this through the lug. Then fold the two wires over and solder them to the lug. Do not forget to slide the short piece of fabric loom over the two parallel wires before attaching the lug. This will slid over the lug after it is attached to the collector assembly.

The motor needs to be fully serviced, reinstalled and tested prior to connecting the wires to it. Using the brush plate as a terminal board was Lionel’s big mistake on this loco. It makes servicing the motor impossible without disconnecting many wires first. As I indicated above, remove the e-unit drum prior to soldering the wires to the e-unit to avoid heat damage. On the fiber contact plate, the lower left contact should be connected to a wire coming from the e-unit coil, then it goes down to a rivet on the e-unit frame.  This wire provides the frame connection for both the motor and the e-unit. The connection up and to the right is where the green wire from the field is connected. The upper left and lower right terminals are where the two yellow wires from the brush holders go.   The other connection from the motor field goes to the right hand plug on the brush plate, which is center rail power.

On using parts from the 18000, the 1989 remake, some times Lionel used the original part number on parts that are interchangeable with the original prewar switchers.  Sometimes they used the original part numbers on parts that are not interchangeable.  And sometimes they used new numbers on parts that are identical to the original parts.  But the strangest one is they used the 701 numbers on the wheels, which are nearly identical to the original 227 wheels, not the original 701 wheels.  I think they kept original numbers on all the gearing, but they changed the pressure angle to 20 degrees from the original 14.5 pressure angle.  Gears with the two different pressure angles might mix depending on how worn the gear teeth are and how much slop there is in the center distance.  

As for changing to post war couplers, on the tender this is usually done by putting on post war trucks.  They have smaller wheels so the tender sits lower.  If you can live with the way this looks, a “S” bend will have to be put into the drawbar to get to connect to the loco.  To raise the tender on the post war trucks, there is a filler part that is used on the postwar crane trucks to raise the crane.  It looks like a thick washer with a grooved pin on top for the horseshoe washer.  On the bottom there is a pin that is intended to be clinched into the postwar truck frame.  For the front of the locomotive, go up about 5 pages in this thread and there is information on how to make the front coupler out of currently available parts.  The one part that might be a problem is the bracket that screws to the frame.  I believe this bracket was used on other locos and can be found. I would have to do additional research.

I have not posted in some time due to life getting in the way, mainly retirement back in October.

Happy holidays to everyone who has found this topic helpful and/or interesting.

I hope to be posting more soon. If Santa brings you a Lionel prewar steam switcher, you know where to post...here!

Tom

I have been finding and documenting what options each of these switchers had, along with the 201-203 and 1662-1663.   Something I noticed is the female plug  ports on the brush plates for the 227,228, 230-233.  Some have a standoff, others are flush.  Or is it they all came with the standoffs and over time they fell out and the flush hole works well enough?  Does anyone know if there were 2 options from the factory or just one?

Last edited by VHubbard

The flush mounted plugs were used by Lionel in the 700e, 763 and switchers through 1939. The jack pin was split into thirds to make it springy in the hole. Because the pin was so small in diameter this made it very fragile.  In 1940 Lionel changed to the surface mounted plug. It had the sides split to move the spring to the plug. The jack is a solid hollow pin. It was used by Lionel well into the post war era and is still really available. If you put the solid pin into flush mounted hole there is no spring action to hold the pin in place and assure a good connection. The early split jack looked to be a commercially manufactured jack that Lionel purchased on the outside. The black Bakelite insulator screwed on to the threaded brass or bronze pin. Very nicely done. The only place I have ever seen them available was from Denis Waldron and he was asking about $60 each. What ever remaining stock he had would have gone to Trainz.  If you can find someone who knows prewar electronics they might be able to shed more light on where the early Lionel jacks came from.  If you learn more please keep us informed. Thanks.

Last edited by David Johnston

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