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I'm hesitant to ask this because I'm sure it's been discussed thoroughly but here it is. I've started out with a starter set, lionchief images [1)John Deere steam locomotive 0-8-0. The smoke output is decent but lacking what I'd like. I've researched the smoke unit and I don't believe it is fan-driven  with that being said could I change the resistor in it for more output? Like a 20 ohm 3 watt? I realize the best solution would to upgrade to better locomotive but for now would that work? I read somewhere that when it is in park there is no current running to the resistor which is a good thing preventing damage. Any thoughts? By the way, I've been reading this forum for a couple years now and have really appreciated a lot of knowledge I've gained. Thank you!


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No, stop.

In a Lionchief engine, the smoke unit uses an 18Ohm resistor and will not support a different resistor. It is driven and controlled by the Lionchief PCB.

It is a puffer unit being a standard 0-8-0 common chassis and a known fault of that smoke unit and chassis is the piston getting gummy and stuck up thus not puffing.

Further, over time, the cam follower can wear down against the cam limiting the length of each puff stroke.

Last edited by Vernon Barry

Go to Lionel support and look up the diagram.

I often open the image in a separate tab in the browser so I can zoom in

#57 is the plastic cam follower and does wear shorter and shorter the longer and many miles a given engine is run


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  • mceclip0
@Matts6foot8 posted:

So being fairly new to O scale I've got another question. If I upgrade and buy a legacy or dcc locomotive with fan driven smoke and more pulling power would I need a special controller? Sounds silly but they don't come with controllers I'm sure?

Most trains can be run conventionally. This includes both MTH and Lionel models. Conventional control is varying the track power, and also allows 3 additional controls, horn/whistle DC offset, Bell DC offset, and a momentary direction button that interrupts power to the track.

You happen to have one of the few that does not support conventional control- Lionchief, but all higher level models of Lionel and all engines that MTH has sold to date all operate under conventional.

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