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The super motor is native to the #8 loco, it is the only motor the 8 ever came with.

The #8 was designed to fit the early super motor in 1925.  In 1926, Lionel redesigned the super motor and made it longer wheel-based (distance between axles).  They redesigned the motor mounts on the #8 frame to accomodate the new motor, as Rob mentioned.  This combination stayed the same through 1932.  You have to match which motor goes with your frame, unless you are up for major frame modifications.

However, when the #8 frame was redesigned, they did not change the exterior part of the frame.  The external side trim, journal covers, etc.,  stayed the same, designed for the short-wheelbase motor.  So on later #8's, from 1926 on, the journals and trim do not line up with the axles.   Lionel apparently didn't think that was important, and #8's were built that way 1926-1932. 

The longer wheelbase is more common, and also more desirable if you are an operator, because the early short-wheelbase super motors also had a larger wheel gear which will not go through Lionel switches.

david

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