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New victim, a TMCC JLC Challenger getting an upgrade.  Super-Chuffer, Chuff-Generator, and also the Cruise Commander M.  Of course, a smoke unit tune-up to give it decent smoke is also part of the upgrade. 

Almost done, just have to get the chip LED into the headlight and then solder all the wires to the Super-Chuffer and we're ready to hit the rails.

JLC Challenger S-C Upgrade


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Last edited by gunrunnerjohn

My JLC Allegheny does not seem to have this issue, but I have no access to my pictures of the engine at the moment, to see what it's funnel actually looks like.

One solution is a fabricated brass collector-distributor like the one I made recently for the Lionmaster Challenger. It works great, but it is crazy time consuming to make. There is no way you could charge a customer enough to make it worthwhile IMO.

Another option is a 3d printed version like the one Bruk did for an LM Bigboy I think it was. But I dont know if he is prepared to do custom designs for sale to other people. And he would need some key dimensions off the current funnel to do the design.

just some thoughts,


Well, the smoke output is actually dependent on the tuning and/or type of smoke unit.  The Super-Chuffer is controlling the fan and doing some lighting enhancements, but it's not determining the volume of smoke.

Here's an upgrade that is using the MTH smoke unit and the Super-Chuffer.  This is what is possible.

Really nice work John - Love that smoke!

John and Mack, 

They're very reliable motors, this engine has something funny going on. The DCDS motor driver is shot, and the  Buhler is burnt up inside. It even had parts floating around inside, so i will definitely have to replace it. 

John, thanks for the offer on the Pittman, customer 100 percent wants all original parts, the way it came from the factory.

Once i replace the motor and motor driver, I'm sure something else will be wrong. Seems someone had their hands inside this engine in the past . 


I see your beverage, Ben (bluelinc4) and raise you something that is German!  Whats on my workbench?  A bunch of RR signs that I removed

( and will reinstall) from my lil' barn so I could powerwash it yesterday in 100 degree heat!

Also....waiting on cooler dads old cash register that I'll finish renovating. Then some train mucking about type o' repair...


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Last edited by redjimmy1955

I don't have one of these engines; I avoided them when they came out mainly because of cost but I vaguely remember that it turned out they were underpowered - irrespective of having a Buhler motor. Can't track down the old threads on this although CC2S definitely rings a bell in the pulling power issues department.  

Have an older weaver rs3 I'm trying to get running without much luck so far. Have to give it 10 volts just to move, runs very rough, and the drive shaft keeps coming off the pittman motor. It appears to have a Dallee board. Anybody have any tips? Would the shell fit on a lionel chassis? I have tried oiling rotating points and use some light grease on the gear tower with no improvement.




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Not offered in diecast that I know of, on the bench is a Lehigh & Hudson River R1 4-8-2 ....this was made from a Lionel Mohawk, lots of leftover MTH parts, some scratch built parts, and some PSC parts....Tender WAS a MTH UP tender that was clearly too tall, first order of business was to split it length wise, and graft the two halves back together to get the correct tender height...then had to ditch all the Mohawks crosshead and guides in favor of laird cross heads, and better looking valve linkages courtesy of some spare MTH chassis I have laying around, a custom smoke box cover with correct lights, and a much better looking headlight/reflector/lens arrangement....and of course, a big ol’ fat Pittman....😁............Pat0C2E015E-D891-4D94-B3B3-810F716655800DA61516-C466-40D5-BF19-B79160D3ADD93111F55C-480C-49FD-AFE3-12C8F220F21FFE863A45-8001-482D-8444-001AC9EFE9398422CDE1-C756-4EC5-8EC7-B5B80E07704F5B05E773-3F8B-4EAA-9238-550C2BAA33622D41D438-2592-43C9-B276-E84245D3BEA07EF28A5E-9F07-4F60-97E5-DA7168AD6A9018BBE763-D706-45FA-AB27-3ABF6DE1481E2EC2F58D-0F49-40CD-AF75-0B4BD1AF37DC38D52581-25B3-412A-9AD4-EE3F58CDD74513399E18-1E6A-4E19-8163-9C0D4AEE48778FB74BED-8FB2-4DE7-BF78-F3B96DFA29047AB468B2-5CE5-4371-B0C6-6B4F091F4BE023B19443-B1DF-4EEC-86DB-95310B4F90902E45EC9B-630E-4F28-9B7F-F898D63E4CAE29C6F10E-6832-4B05-900F-05C1E57ADBBB910A6E49-E1E7-4031-9710-02B9809EC8E029C4E14E-65C2-41A3-9967-F40A490A26671DC3F34B-8BE6-47D8-814F-48127D8B8736580E5509-08E4-4612-9B89-84CEDE32F06BD983F74A-E641-42AD-AB95-D54DAC00A936D3AD61AF-63CD-4BF9-8134-F76E730E7EF4D3C4661B-83DC-4B46-946B-CC6451B969D6AA9A33C4-FDFD-4306-835E-5F2C0EFA143F


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@Darrell the nylon that Weaver used in the drivetrains of those locos was not fully "cured," and it tended to shrink over time, usually splitting on the metal shaft.  You may have one or more of the following problems:

(1) The universal joint collar (sometimes called a "helmet") is split, and no longer has a good grip on the motor shaft.

(2) One or both of your chain sprockets is split, so the spacing between the teeth is no longer constant.  The motor is straining to overcome the increased resistance, and this causes the main drive shaft collar to spin on the motor shaft.

(3) One or more of your axle gears is split, which may cause increased or uneven friction down in the truck.  This causes inordinate resistance in the drivetrain, leading to slipping of the motor shaft.

All of the parts for this drivetrain are probably still available from P&D hobby shop.  Even Weaver brought out an improved version of this drivetrain before they were done with it.  The updated version had a flywheel on the motor, and white nylon sprockets that were less prone to cracking.  The flywheel makes a huge difference, and is a really worthwhile upgrade no matter what.  It can be a little tricky to press one on yourself.

Your options are to order a bunch of new parts from P&D, or find a slightly newer Weaver (the black box mk2 version of this drivetrain) as a parts donor.  These remain the best-looking RS3's in 3-rail, and will run very smoothly if you have the patience to tweak them and sort them out.  But they're not durable or great pullers, not a lot of room to add sound, etc.  Since this was made, MTH, Atlas, and Lionel have also offered the Alco RS with speed control, sound, operating couplers, etc.  Unless this loco has a ton of sentimental value, I might just save my money for a newer model.  My $.02.

Last edited by Ted S

You guys are way above my pay grade.

I am just removing my Lionel Southern Pacific  AC-12 from its box. 6-38071.  After last years taxes were done, it was an expensive purchase and has sat in its box for over a year. Purchased used with very little run time on it, the first operating session revealed why it had so little run time. It runs like cra... um... poorly - jerking and herking, loping along.

Hope I can figure it out.

Last edited by RoyBoy

Thanks @Ted S, gives me things to check. No chain in this loco, the tower has 3 gears leading to the truck gear. I think I will disconnect the drive shaft to the rear truck and see if that narrows down the problem area.

 Well just found the problem, the drive tower is cracked almost all the way through. So it either binds the gears or makes them not mesh at all depending on which way you are driving them.

Last edited by Darrell

@Darrell  wow your original photo wasn't super-clear, I see it now.  If yours has gears instead of a chain then it was either modded by a prior owner, or it's a rare early variant (and not too successful.)

If the gear tower is the only thing that's cracked, you're lucky.  Check out this link:

This aftermarket gear tower should be a "drop in" replacement for your existing one.  The large lower sprocket also increases the gear ratio for excellent slow-speed performance.  I would still add a flywheel.  You can get one from Northwest Short Line (NWSL), from MTH parts, etc.  If you can't find a flywheel with a bored recess that accommodates the U-joint collar, then substitute a dual-shaft motor and put the flywheel on the opposite shaft.  It will work just as well.  You might need to file a little flat spot(s) onto the motor shaft for the set screw to grip.

 EDIT: After looking more closely, I don't think the replacement tower kit includes the upper shaft.  You may or may not be able to fit the upper sprocket on yours in place of the gear.  If it doesn't fit on yours, you'll have to order a new upper shaft from P&D.  You'll have to order some chain from P&D, or directly from the company that makes it, Serv-o-link.  You can also get dual-shaft Pittman motors from P&D.  Good luck!

Last edited by Ted S

Thanks for all the links @Ted S ! This is turning out to be some project! The loco was a custom run for the Gadsden Pacific Division toy train museum in Arizona and it did come in a black box. I'm thinking the drive tower was modified at some point to enhance  low speed operation. I have been slowly collecting the yearly museum cars which are mostly lionel custom run ore cars so wanted the matching loco to pull them with.


Thanks WinstonB, ....I stumbled across the L&HR looking for a road name to use a for a Decapod I’m putting together....( only to find out they didn’t have any ) totally immersed in the L&HR......and had to make an R1 ...figured a Mohawk would be a good candidate for the buddy Lou (Lou1985) looked at the prototype with me, and said it looked like a squashed down big boy tender behind that locomotive....that’s why I had to section that tender shell.....everything else was fairly simple.....I think I wound up taking 11/32” out of the center ....or close to it......Pat

Last edited by harmonyards


You are a master craftsman; good to see your recent work.

Just sort of messing around today.

1: Like most of us, my hearing isn't what it used to be: age and been in too many rock n roll bands, I guess. Anyway, I find that the "bell" and "whistle" sounds are at just the right/wrong frequency to be harsh and annoying. I have turned them down as low as I can and still have them work, but it's not pleasant. I wanted to dampen the sound, so I got out some of these:


...just the right size. I simply removed the body, loosened the speaker, tucked one up under said speaker and re-assembled. Still works, but is much more pleasing to these ears. 

2: The very small (I would think S scale) couplers on the front of my TMCC steamers has always troubled me. I just got some Max Gray couplers so I took one and modified it (original on right):


... to more or less match the Lionel (on left):






Even though it looks large, the Max Gray is (obviously) "correct" O scale. Now to correct my other locos...

Not much I know, but these little projects were fun and easy...and they worked!  

Mark in Oregon


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I'm still trying to figure out if these two brass looking prods are where I would hook up coil couplers on this Liontech system. I was sent a diagram of a later version of TMCC. this Is like a year before that. this engine is 1995 and the diagram I got matches my 1996 NYC 18563. I do not see 

Okay, I have found B it is next to the blue box. But nothing I can read is beyond that going towards the right. Now the two red wires from the board are front light and rear light. So I'm guessing the two metal posts/pins pointing up that kinda brass color in the middle between the headlights and that blue box. does anybody know for sure. I can't see  d,c,e,f, 



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Bill, I'm pretty sure yours has an LCRU in it, the original TMCC board. The newer version LCRU2 has a 6 pin molex connector on the end of the board with the heat sinks, just to make the distinction. The wires to your motor, pickup rollers and ground are all hard-wired to the board. The Front/Rear couplers, the headlight, strobe, and the prog/run switch all connect to the pins as shown below


I think you said yours had a strobe, so it would be this one:




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@Strummer......thanks Mark, ,....I wasn’t sure what you were up to with the cotton pads....for a second I thought you were going to pack your ears with them!..😆😆😆😆....thanks for the comments!.

@Engineer-Joe.....thanks buddy, ....your work is beautiful too...I’m always in awe of you guys....namely, you, Pete, John, Alex ( who started this thread) Bob2,.. and a whole host of others.......I’m small potatoes...😉


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