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I have a set of Lionel PRR TMCC F3 units (ABA).  I think the product number is 6-14592. They’ve been running fine since I got them.  Smoke units work fine also.    After running them last weekend, when I picked up the powered engine to put it away, the shell, especially the top, was very HOT.  I mean uncomfortably hot.

Is this a common issue with older units?   I’m assuming it was th3 smoke unit.  If I turn off the smoke units (which I“m fine with), will they be safe to run?  Does this mean the smoke unit is taking it’s last puffs?

Any insight would be appreciated.  



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Vin, these have an AC regulator, and that's a common failure item.  It can fail shorted, which dumps around 40 watts into the smoke unit instead of the six or eight watts they normally run on.  That can melt the plastic shell in short order.

If the regulator has failed, they are no longer available from Lionel.  What I do in that case is convert the smoke unit into a non-regulator model by changing the resistor and wiring.

It'll be fine if you turn off the smoke switch, you just don't have smoke.

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