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I just received a new locomotive ( 20-20727-1 NS Dash-8) from Mr Muffin. No in depth operating instructions (not that big a deal since I've already got a few MTH loco's) but what if this was my first MTH Loco?  No "how to change traction tires, lights" and no parts lists. I believe that info should be included with your locomotive. I don't believe I should have to spend my time looking this information up online. Call me crazy and old fashioned. Don

Well, changing traction tires on newer MTH diesels is very easy, remove the side frames with the two easily accessible screws from the bottom, you have full access to the wheels.

As for changing lights, you don't do that.  All the lighting on PS/3 is LED, and they're supposed to last the life of the locomotive, same with the supercaps that replaced the batteries.

Now, they should have something on maintaining smoke units, those are arguably the most maintenance intensive items on most locomotives.


Fortunately I turn my smoke units off so that should eliminate a lot of potential problems. Good information on the lights, too.  The 20-2474-1 had the hidden screws. For some who has worked on them most of their lives it's a very simple thing, but for someone doing it for the first time on an expensive locomotive it's scary. My new loco 20-20727 Dash 8 has the easily accessible screws for the side plates .

I thank you for your input - your answers are always accurate and to the point.

Thanks again, Don

I was addressing the new PS/3 model,very limited internal maintenance on those.  Not that things don't go wrong and we have to open them up anyway, but that's another story!

The older models were indeed harder in that you either had to fish the tires in between the sideframes or drop the trucks to remove the sideframes.  Of course to drop the trucks, you have to remove the shell, etc. Then you get into all the complications of pinching wires, and blowing up boards, etc.

OTOH, they do have downloadable manuals for most of the older stuff that does detail these operations, unpleasant as they might be.


I'm trying to download everything I can now, do to the uncertainty of the MTH situation. I was able to drop the truck on 20-2474-1 w/o taking off the shell, otherwise it could have gotten ugly. I can't imagine the things you've seen and done on locomotives you've worked on. You've come through it with a vast amount of knowledge and I thank you for sharing it with us on the forum. Don


For once it turned out " it's better to be lucky than skilled" worked out. I downloaded the documentation for the 20-2474-1, they did say to keep the locomotive in the upright position at all times then loosen the truck and let it fall into your hand. I hung the locomotive off the edge of my bench and did just that and luckily for me it worked out. I do have another question since I'm bugging the heck out of you. I want to add PSX-AC's to my layout. I have one Z-4000 wired to my TIU going to 4 track blocks. From the Z-4000 I run a red and black wire to each of the "fixed" inputs to the TIU. I then jumper wires from the 2 "fixed" inputs to the "variable" inputs and change their state to "Fixed". The TIU is powered externally by a Z-750. I've seen threads with PSX-AC's but none exactly like my setup. The threads I saw showed 2 PSX-AC's between the Z-4000 and the TIU. Does that sound right? Or can you point me to the correct thread for my setup?

Many thanks, Don

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