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Last week I went to a train show in NJ and a seller had a couple of Lionel #33 engines.
One pickup looked in bad shape and t\he other had a replacement no big deal on the replacement.
These are the stamped frame type with one pickup and no axle bearings.
Both loco's seemed to have worn openings in the frame for the axles (oval holes). When I turned the wheels by hand both engines experienced gear slippage due to the enlarge axle holes (maybe worn axles?)..
I looked on line and could not find any reproduction frames and I do not know if there is a service to put oi-lite type bushing into the frames.
I did not buy the locos as I did not want to have any problems and another shelf queen, but both a 10 loco instead.
Any info would be great or should I just stay away from the # 33 loco's.

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Most of the time the frames are not worn.  Must have run it for a long time with no lubrication.  No repro frames available. The other issue is the armature and commutators.  The armature is a 6 pole type and very hard to rewind.  The commutator is the barrel type and held in place with a phenolic ring.  This ring becomes brittle, breaks and the barrel commutator flies apart usually taking some of the windings with it. Better to be able to test the loco before you purchase it. 

Ron, I wouldn't say to stay away from 33's, they are neat little engines, I enjoy puttering with them and I think you will too.  The later 33's actually had a (modified) Super Motor in them, but the earlier ones were more like the old #5 steam locos; there is a long frame which acts as both the motor frame and the loco body chassis that the cab attaches to.  Looks like this:

33-1

They are pretty simple, and as long as the windings are good, you can usually get them to run. Parts like brushes and  pickups are readily available.  There are usually a few for sale; there's a motor and frame for sale on the auction site now.  

I've never seen one like you describe with the axles holes so worn that the gears disengage.  I'd keep looking. They can be an inexpensive loco even if running well, especially if someone has taken a paint brush to it at some point.  They are easy and fun to clean and restore, and the decals for it are also available.

the 33 wheels are precious commodities right now: Hennings sold out of the MEW wheels for the 33 and is not making any more, they are not available anywhere.

david

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  • 33-1
hojack posted:

Ron, I wouldn't say to stay away from 33's, they are neat little engines, I enjoy puttering with them and I think you will too.  The later 33's actually had a (modified) Super Motor in them, but the earlier ones were more like the old #5 steam locos; there is a long frame which acts as both the motor frame and the loco body chassis that the cab attaches to.  Looks like this:

33-1

They are pretty simple, and as long as the windings are good, you can usually get them to run. Parts like brushes and  pickups are readily available.  There are usually a few for sale; there's a motor and frame for sale on the auction site now.  

I've never seen one like you describe with the axles holes so worn that the gears disengage.  I'd keep looking. They can be an inexpensive loco even if running well, especially if someone has taken a paint brush to it at some point.  They are easy and fun to clean and restore, and the decals for it are also available.

the 33 wheels are precious commodities right now: Hennings sold out of the MEW wheels for the 33 and is not making any more, they are not available anywhere.

david

Thanks for the info, I will probably look for the 33 with the super motor (must be like the one used in the 10 loco). Yes these engines were worn especially the one with the work pick-up shoe. Just glad I picked it up turned it upside down and turned the wheels to notice the gears did not always mesh and did not buy it.
It also looked like someone built solder up on one of the engines pickup shoe to make it whole. I did some restores/rebuilds on # 8 locos and will to the 10 as it has a bad repaint and needs to be brought up to another level.

Jon G posted:

Most of the time the frames are not worn.  Must have run it for a long time with no lubrication.  No repro frames available. The other issue is the armature and commutators.  The armature is a 6 pole type and very hard to rewind.  The commutator is the barrel type and held in place with a phenolic ring.  This ring becomes brittle, breaks and the barrel commutator flies apart usually taking some of the windings with it. Better to be able to test the loco before you purchase it. 

Thanks for the info Jon, glad I did not buy any of the two I saw.

RonH posted:
 
look for the 33 with the super motor (must be like the one used in the 10 loco). 

It is, except that the 33 cab is so small, Lionel lopped off the upper corners of the supoer motor frame to make it fit, like this:

super motor 33

 

You can see the lopped-off corners through the windows:

33-3

 

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  • 33-3
hojack posted:
RonH posted:
 
look for the 33 with the super motor (must be like the one used in the 10 loco). 

It is, except that the 33 cab is so small, Lionel lopped off the upper corners of the supoer motor frame to make it fit, like this:

super motor 33

 

You can see the lopped-off corners through the windows:

33-3

 

Never new this, how does it mount to the frame since the original mounting holes ahve been cut off. Hojack you are a wealth of information and thanks for sharing

RonH posted:
how does it mount to the frame since the original mounting holes ahve been cut off. 
 

Lionel continued to use the long internal frame/chassis that was in the earlier 33's, and the modified super motor slips inside and mounts to that, using some threaded holes lower on the super motor frame:

33-4

Thanks, Ron.  Fun stuff.  At first I stayed away from anything Lionel that didn't have a Build-a-loco motor.  Then I gradually got warmed up to Super Motors and like them better now.  The super motor is the one that was reproduced by McCoy, and Andy Kriswalus, and others to power MESG trains, so I got familiar with it.  Then, a few years into this, I finally started looking at the 5 and the 33 and the early locomotives that didn't have what I call an interchangeable "cassette" motor like the BAL or the Super, but had the motor built into the loco chassis.  They were more intimidating at first, but they are all pretty simple when you get down to it.  I can do brushes and springs and rewire the motor and reverse unit; disassemble and clean and lubricate, replace parts.  But if it needs rewinding an armature or replacing or rebuilding the commutator, I send it to The Motor Doctor and get it back shiny and running!

I like looking at the design of these old things and noticing what they did and why. On the 33 (and 38, etc.), it's the bolts that hold the cowcatchers on, which actually hold the whole thing together.  Take the machine screws out of the cowcatchers, and the cab, frame and motor all fall apart. That's pretty ingenious.  Later, all the locomotives got more predictable with the way the separate motor mounted into the loco frame, and then the cab srewed down to the frame.  But the early ones were funky.

david

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PD, looks great!  They are fun little things to restore/repaint.  Unlike later Lionel with all the brass plates, these are more like old Ives locos to restore: the railings are all soldered on, so you just spray the whole thing and then paint the railings & windows by hand after.  You can get all the other trim from Hennings.  Originally the lettering was rubber-stamped, like Ives, but you can make or buy decals that do the same thing.

There was a headlight on one end of these: on the other end of the roof is a hot terminal with a knurled nut, to connect a wire to run back to early passenger cars with light kits - the early passenger cars did not have their own power pickups.

I'm working on a couple of 38's right now, they are almost identical to the 33 but just a little bit larger/longer.  But I only have the shells, no frame or motors.  So after restoring the cabs, I'll be experimenting with alternative ways to power these.

Thank you all for the information, I just keep learning as the books I have do not show all on standard gauge. Next time I see a 33 I will just make sure the wheels are solid and that it is nor worn. Super motor would be better but I may try the earlier version as long as it runs. Just started with standard gauge about a year and a half ago. Have just 3 locos two 8's one with the large gear and the other with the small and just got a 10 that I will be restoring. Have a bunch of 112 gondolas and other rolling stock. I like to use rubber stamps and the investment is not that much as I will use them more than once.

RonH posted:

Saw this Lionel 50 listed it only has one wheel gear and the wheels look steel is this factory just with one drive wheel or has it been altered?

This is probably original.  The medium-size early electrics (38, 50, 62) did come in an early version c. 1915 or so, which used only one wheel gear.  The drive wheels were cast iron and they had side rods, so the second pair of wheels were powered – through the drive rods rather than being geared.  These were larger diameter wheels than on the 33. 

 

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