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

 

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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.

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