I don't have any specific question, just want to tell how excited I am, making some inroads into the world of Lionel (sorry for such a lengthy, rambling post).
Of course, I very much appreciate any advice and suggestions regarding maintenance, known issues to be aware of, or whatever info you think you may want to share about these engines.
I am not a collector, and my budget is quite limited. I buy trains mainly for running them, and I enjoy tinkering with them and fixing them up. But maybe the 623 could be collector material?
As I have mentioned in earlier posts, I am (or at least have been...) mainly an HO guy, but lately have been aquiring O-scale Lionel trains. This weekend i went to a local train swap/show and doubled my Lionel engine inventory from 2 to 4 engines .
My first one was a brand new Christmas set back in 2002, including a 4-4-2 steam engine. Then fast forward to this year, when I found a MPC 634 diesel switcher (or possibly fake 8010, who knows) at a local private sale.
So this weekend I bought myself the 623 switcher, along with a 1960's low-end 242 steam engine. I might use the steam engine for some garden railroading, maybe, and add a smoke stack to it.
I believe the 623 is early 50's. I can tell it hasn't been run in a very long time. Looked like it was in good shape, except everything, including the wheels, were covered with a film of black sooth or dust.
At first try, it did buzz, but didn't move at all. I did a quck clean and oiled & greased the moving parts, and cleaned the wheels and brushes. After that, the engine started working properly, including the forward-reverse function on the e-unit. The e-unit had that loud buzz in all positions, so i took it apart and cleaned it all up, and that reduced the buzzing sound to what i assume is the normal level.
I set up a temporary track, and hooked up the few o-scale cars i own at the moment, a total of 9 cars, and the switcher didn't have any trouble pulling them.
So looks like this almost 70 years old engine is still going strong! There are signs, though, that this engine has been worked on before (mismatched screws, cut & resoldered wires, etc...).
In the attached video, I am running the train at about 65-75% throttle.