Vision Line Challenger smoke unit questions

I have a Lionel Vision Line Clinchfield Challenger that runs and sounds great.  The Dynamo smoke has never really worked well but now the whistle steam effect no longer works.  Since the stack smoke unit supplies the smoke for stack and whistle effects and the stack smoke works good, why does the whistle effect also not work?

I have done a forum search with no results.

Appreciate any help.

Thanks,

Don

 

Original Post

Actually, there are logically separate smoke units, it's a dual unit.  Also, the smoke control board handles them independently, and those boards have been known to bite the dust.  The smoke control board has three smoke unit connections, it does all the smoke units.

 

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Thanks Rod and John.

I  could not figure out why if the stack smoke unit supplies smoke for the stack and the whistle effect and the stack smokes as it should there is no sign of smoke when I blow the whistle.  I gather from the parts explosion for the smoke unit, there must be a motor for the stack smoke and another motor for the whistle effect.

What should I be aware of before I try to remove the shell to see if the second motor is getting power and if so, does it run?

Thanks,

Don

Don

I’ve worked on and repaired a few of these in my time. This engine has a load of wires running everywhere, it has just as many wires if not more than the VL B.B. Be extremely careful when opening up this unit. 

Alex 

HOME OF THE JADA RAILROAD

 

  

INDEPENDENT LIONEL REPAIR TECH!

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I haven't opened one of these in a couple of years, but I recall what Alex says, it had more "loose" wires than the VL-BB.  In truth, the VL-BB is pretty easy to pop open, it's a later design and they did a better job with the wire harness, at least IMO.

I think there was two areas to reload with fluid...  my instructions are not handy.  Under a dome on top of engine?  It has been a long time...  cant recall...  but the dynamo smoke is my favorite on this engine...

Bob

Lionel Fan and Super "O" Track Enthusiast

Super O Bob posted:

I think there was two areas to reload with fluid...  my instructions are not handy.  Under a dome on top of engine?  It has been a long time...  cant recall...  but the dynamo smoke is my favorite on this engine...

The main stack and whistle smoke unit is refilled through the stack; the dynamo has a separate fill hole under the removable dynamo piece. Interestingly, looking at the manual again just now, Lionel recommended 30-40 drops of smoke fluid in the main stack, which is quite a lot more than they did for later engines. When I took mine apart (see below) the whole arrangement of the dual smoke unit at the front looked odd with the divider in it and no obvious way of ensuring both smoke chambers on either side were properly filled with smoke fluid other than with very slow application using a needle dropper.

I was also reminded that there are separate smoke on/off switches for each smoke feature under the sand dome. Might be worth checking whether the whistle switch has somehow got turned off.

Otherwise this engine is not that hard to take apart but getting it back together without pinching any wires is a nightmare. I had mine apart when new because the stack smoke was lousy and the dynamo never worked as advertised. After a failed attempt at reassembly it went back to Lionel. Mike R. tuned it up as best he could but the whole experience put me off working on VL engines myself.

I’m telling you all I’ve worked on quite a few of these , it’s easy to open up BUT there’s a ton of wires routed everywhere and that’s all it takes is one pinch or one wire to come off of where it was attached and you’ll open a huge can of worms.  This is probably the most  intricate  Engine with the most going on inside Lionel ever made. Proceed with caution. 

Alex 

HOME OF THE JADA RAILROAD

 

  

INDEPENDENT LIONEL REPAIR TECH!

INDEPENDENT MODEL BUILDER !

ERR UPGRADES !!

Thank you to all who replied.  At this point, I will consider myself sufficiently warned about the pitfalls of trying to repair this myself and am determined to be happy with  the smoke stack smoking correctly and not worry about the others.

Thanks for the help.

Happy railroading,

Don

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