I ordered the CSX version of the new American Flyer Legacy U36c on the premise that I could obtain scale wheels as stated in the catalogue. When I looked up the part number listed in the catalogue on the Lionel support page, I saw that these are the scale wheels for SD70Ace/ES44. I am very familiar with those wheelsets, and I know they do not fit the trucks of the U33c's.  So I hope this is not a misprint but rather that these U36c's have different trucks from the U33c's that are compatible with the SD70Ace/ES44 wheelsets.

Unfortunately Lionel customer service is closed for the day, so I'll have to wait to Monday to find out. But I sure hope I didn't just committ $500+ to a product for which scale wheels are not available.

Original Post
Roundhouse Bill posted:

I think you are early to make a complaint about this without information from Lionel.  This type of comment always gets scale guys all over Lionel.  My guess is when you call Lionel they will be able to help you.

I agree thus I have not complained but rather stated what I hope to be true. I'll get an answer for all of us Monday and hopefully get assurance for others considering a purchase of one of these. I want all of these U36c's to sell so Lionel considers more products with scale compatibility. 

Chuck K posted:

 I saw that these are the scale wheels for SD70Ace/ES44. I am very familiar with those wheelsets, and I know they do not fit the trucks of the U33c's.  So I hope this is not a misprint but rather that these U36c's have different trucks from the U33c's that are compatible with the SD70Ace/ES44 wheelsets.

 

I seriously doubt Lionel would change the truck blocks from previous runs.  Lionel should still have conversion wheels for the U33C still available.

My only gripe is they really should give the part number in the catalog.

Rusty

Rusty Traque posted
 
My only gripe is they really should give the part number in the catalog.

I wouldn't think they would change the trucks either, but they did give the part number in the catalogue, and it is the part number of the scale wheelsets for SD70Ace's and ES44's. Thus my quandry.

Rusty Traque posted:

 

I seriously doubt Lionel would change the truck blocks from previous runs.... 

My take on that is different, This is an old observation and may no longer be the case, but...

The Chinese factories tend to make products in a one-off fashion, as if everything they make is single use and disposable. Think cell phones and DVD players.

If they make a scale F3 and Lionel asks them to make a second run maybe 4-5 years later, they will make them. But... they will start almost from scratch, design-wise. In other words, the exterior appearance may be the same, but all of the innards will/can be different.

They are so "single use disposable" minded, that it is difficult to get spare parts from them - even if you specifically order spare parts as part of the production run. I saw boxes of the streamlined scale Hiawatha 4-4-2 loco from 2007 in pieces. The only way to get spare parts was by cannibalization.

I sincerely hope that has changed in the last twelve years.

RoyBoy

I don't think it is as much "disposable" as it is economics, sourcing, lead times, etc.  The result is definitely "one off". Our company used to buy a brand of laptop that had at least 6 versions of the same model number.  Outwardly, they were the same but internally, the components were different and not interchangeable.  Very frustrating when you are trying to repair them or replace parts.  I just think they use whatever they can purchase at a moment in time be it a better price, availability, etc.

Brendan   

The reason U33 ad SD/ES wheels are incompatible is the U33C's have a horizontal motor in the fuel tank and the SD70/ES44's have vertical motors above the trucks.  Lionel makes no mention in the catalog that the "U36C's" have dual motors.  "Powerful maintenance free motor"(singular) is all they list.

Frankly, I think any scale conversion wheels for the U33/36C's (and SD70/ES44's) are existing stock.  The only difference I know of is the gearing was different between the original and following U33C runs (which also includes the worm gear.)

Unless something drastically changes, once Lionel exhausts their supply of scale wheels, I strongly suspect it will not be replenished and the "scale option" will fade into history.  That's probably why the part number's not cataloged (After all, how much would it cost to take up a small patch of the catalog page for the conversion wheels?  It's not like there's no real estate available on the pages.) and you've got to call Customer Service for the secret part number...

Just as scale wheels are supposed to be available for the new run of cylindrical hoppers, but the only p/n I located is for the entire truck, which likely has the original style high bolster and out of gauge wheelsets.

BTW: I would love to be proved wrong.

Rusty

OK folks, I spoke to Lionel customer service. The catalogue is indeed a misprint. The scale wheels are the same as those for the most recent runs of the U33c's (not the original run), and they are available. The correct part number (includes all 6 scale wheelsets) is 640-8142-625.

banjoflyer posted:

It seems that you will have to contact Lionel customer support and speak to a live individual to order these scale wheel sets. Searches done on other U33C parts pages also do not yield this number.

Mark

Correct; the catalogue is accurate in that regard, i.e. you must call to order.

Chuck K posted:

OK folks, I spoke to Lionel customer service. The catalogue is indeed a misprint. The scale wheels are the same as those for the most recent runs of the U33c's (not the original run), and they are available. The correct part number (includes all 6 scale wheelsets) is 640-8142-625.

CORRECTION 

I received the scale wheelsets that customer service told me I needed. However, they are not the ones that will fit any of my U33c's. They must be the ones from the first run of U33c's.

So I called customer service just to make sure that they sent me the correct ones for the forthcoming U36c.  Interestingly, this time they told me the catalogue is in fact correct, i.e. the U36c's will use the same wheels as the SD70ACe's and ES44's. Now I am very curious...does that mean these U36c's have dual vertical motors which would be quite a change from the single horizontal motor of the U33c's?  We shall see.

On a slightly related note...

In a recent email to Lionel one of the suggestions that I made was a GE U30c. The U30c is very similar to the U33c and U36c with a slightly smaller radiator grid. I figured since they went forward to the U36 perhaps they could backup to the U30. Anyone else interested? I asked for a pair of Chessie System.

Photo from Trainweb.org:

 

-Jonathan

 

jonnyspeed posted:

On a slightly related note...

In a recent email to Lionel one of the suggestions that I made was a GE U30c. The U30c is very similar to the U33c and U36c with a slightly smaller radiator grid. I figured since they went forward to the U36 perhaps they could backup to the U30. Anyone else interested? I asked for a pair of Chessie System.

Yes, but only a Legacy version. Esp. if an L&N and/or an ICG version was made.

Foiled again. I received my U36c. The scale SD70ACe/ES44 wheelsets DO NOT fit despite what they told me.  As I suspected, the motor arrangement is the same as the U33c's and the trucks are the same. So now it is time for a 3rd phone call to get a third set of wheels sent to me. Hopefully someone there can figure out what scale wheels I need and send the correct ones this time. Now my original fear is back and worse, i.e. did I spent $500+ on an item based on a mistaken catalogue.

Chuck, I just dug out the scale wheel conversion set that I ordered for my 1st run Erie Lackawanna U33C back in 2012.  I never installed them and they're still in the original packing.

As you guessed, the 6408142625 part number is indeed for the first run of U33C locomotives.

To be honest, I don't think anyone in Parts is aware that the gear ratio was changed between the first and successive runs and I'd wager a part number for a "new" U-Boat 6-wheel scale set for the latter doesn't exist.  Frankly, given the "scale" buyers are few and far between, I don't think there will be much motivation at the Circle L Ranch to create one. 

As I mentioned in another post, I think that even once the scale wheel conversions for the SD70/ES44's run out, there will be no more.  I would love to be wrong with this theory.

Rusty

Rusty Traque posted:

Chuck, I just dug out the scale wheel conversion set that I ordered for my 1st run Erie Lackawanna U33C back in 2012.  I never installed them and they're still in the original packing.

As you guessed, the 6408142625 part number is indeed for the first run of U33C locomotives.

To be honest, I don't think anyone in Parts is aware that the gear ratio was changed between the first and successive runs and I'd wager a part number for a "new" U-Boat 6-wheel scale set for the latter doesn't exist.  Frankly, given the "scale" buyers are few and far between, I don't think there will be much motivation at the Circle L Ranch to create one. 

As I mentioned in another post, I think that even once the scale wheel conversions for the SD70/ES44's run out, there will be no more.  I would love to be wrong with this theory.

Rusty

Thanks Rusty. So then it appears that I need to figure out what the part number is for scale wheels for the 2nd run and beyond. I looked through some catalogues and didn't see it listed.

Posted this under another U36 topic but fits better here.  If no scale sets end up truly available, you might consider turning down some hi-rail wheels.  HO folks with code 100 wheel equipped engines, but code 83 or less rail, do that.  It sometimes involves a bit of art as well as science.  There's more to a flange than diameter - proper cross-sectional profile helps too.  

Dave

S happens

TCA, NASG, ACSG W&OD

x-Chief Wrench & Bottle-washer of Precision Flyer Repairs 

Sgaugian posted:

Posted this under another U36 topic but fits better here.  If no scale sets end up truly available, you might consider turning down some hi-rail wheels.  HO folks with code 100 wheel equipped engines, but code 83 or less rail, do that.  It sometimes involves a bit of art as well as science.  There's more to a flange than diameter - proper cross-sectional profile helps too.  

It's a little more involved than just turning down and profiling the flanges.  Hirail/Flyer wheels are wider than scale wheels by almost 50%.  The wheels also have to me narrowed to prevent shorting on some turnouts.  I'm not sure how well Lionel/Flyer diesel wheels would respond to a lathe.  I know when S Scale Locomotive and Supply was converting Y3's for scale operation, he had to make new driver tires and reduce the width of the driver cores.  The pilot, trailing truck and tender wheels were replaced.

I can't recall when the last time I heard of an HOer turning down flanges.  Even before AHM went out of business in the mid-1980's, they were having Rivarrossi make some loco's with RP25 flanges.  None of the major HO manufactures have deep flanged US prototype equipment anymore (Except for Marklin on their US prototype stud rail AC equipment.)

Rusty

Mike, 640-9879-625 is the part number for the SD70/ES44 wheels.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chuck...  Unfortunately, the only numbers I was able to locate were for the current U33 scale-wheeled power trucks:

6408186770 / FRONT6-WHEEL POWERED TRUCK / A-F U-33C / 'SCALE WHEELS' 
6408186772 / REAR6-WHEEL POWERED TRUCK / A-F U-33C / 'SCALE WHEELS'

which are, of course, listed as "Unavailable" at 60 bucks each.

And of course, Lionel has a parts breakdown for the Flyer wheeled power trucks, but not the scale wheeled trucks.

The only other option I see is to use the original scale 6408142625 conversion wheels and also change out both worm gears.  I checked, it's different from the current U33 worm part numbers:

6408142520DRIVE SHAFT W/ WORM GEAR / A-F U-33C / 200914$12.00

Rusty

Lionel has now confirmed that the catalogue was incorrect, and there are no scale wheels available. So I spent $500 on an engine that does not provide the functionality promised in the catalogue. Their response was "In regards to the catalogs, it is noted that any details may change during manufacturing or production."

Chuck K posted:

Lionel has now confirmed that the catalogue was incorrect, and there are no scale wheels available. So I spent $500 on an engine that does not provide the functionality promised in the catalogue. Their response was "In regards to the catalogs, it is noted that any details may change during manufacturing or production."

Ahhh.  The good old "disclaimer" get out of jail free card.

Two words:  That sucks. 

Unfortunately, there probably isn't enough interest in the U33/36C's from the hard-core scale side to encourage Lionel to make the correct scale wheelsets for the U-Boats available.

But, in a roundabout way it also confirms my suspicion that once the SD70/ES44 scale wheels in stock are exhausted, they won't be rerun.

Along those lines, I recall Ryan indicating the retooled trucks for the cylindrical hoppers will need different scale wheelsets than from the previous offerings.  I wonder if those will fall by the wayside, too.  Fortunately, it's not too difficult to mount MTH/SHS or AM trucks on the hopper.

Rusty

Sorry to hear that Chuck.  I know you were counting on those and are doing a great job to carry the flag.  Never a good thing when the "subject to change" snake bites.  Hopefully it won't again for awhile.  

Run 'em if you got 'em.  

They're trains, not trophies.

Dave

 

 

 

Dave

S happens

TCA, NASG, ACSG W&OD

x-Chief Wrench & Bottle-washer of Precision Flyer Repairs 

That's really tough to hear. I sympathize. This is exactly why I decided to go Hi-Rail though. The common denominator between what new S product is being made is Hi-Rail. Not what I would want to hear if I were a scale modeler though for sure. Perhaps you could contact NWSL once the new owner get up and running to see if they would make a set for this application?

-Jonathan

 

The problem is the folks who worked to make these things "scale friendly" are no longer with Lionel.  I wonder who made the decision that the original U33C's ran too fast.  I surely didn't get that feeling with my EL unit.

I think the only change made was to the worm and worm gear. 

It's only a theory, but it might be possible to pull the hirail wheels off the worm gear axle and replace them with the scale wheels from the 6408142625 conversion wheel set.  Only the worm gear wheelsets should need to be changed.

A lot of trouble that shouldn't be necessary, but a possible work-around.

Rusty

The gear change was done based on testing I helped Jon Z. with. It was mainly done to help with a lurching problem that the first run was experiencing at very low speeds. Jon made several code changes to the motor control and he felt that the gear change would also help.

-Jonathan

 

Rusty Traque posted:

It's only a theory, but it might be possible to pull the hirail wheels off the worm gear axle and replace them with the scale wheels from the 6408142625 conversion wheel set.  Only the worm gear wheelsets should need to be changed.

A lot of trouble that shouldn't be necessary, but a possible work-around.

Rusty

That's a good suggestion Rusty. I will try that.

jonnyspeed posted:

That's really tough to hear. I sympathize. This is exactly why I decided to go Hi-Rail though. The common denominator between what new S product is being made is Hi-Rail. Not what I would want to hear if I were a scale modeler though for sure. Perhaps you could contact NWSL once the new owner get up and running to see if they would make a set for this application?

Definitely disappointing. I can run on my home layout which accommodates scale or high rail wheels, so all is not lost.  But I bought it with the intent that I would mainly use it on our Houston club layout which is scale only.

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