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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...😉


@GeoPeg posted:

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:



thanks once talking to you on phone it confirmed what I thought

@harmonyards posted:

my 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

I mean it also helps when someone has a Big Boy tender shell and chassis sitting around to experiment with .  

I just finished my Premier ATSF 2900 class Northern and already have another project. I already have a massive Premier ATSF 5011 class Texas with PS2 3V. 


A friend (where I get my projects from) found an earlier PS2 5V 5011 class that had been around the shop a bit. Banged up from kicking around the MTH parts departments as a donor or warranty return it looked worse for wear, missing all electronics, motor, flywheel, and worm shaft. Friend was able to add a worm, flywheel, and a nice big 9234 roller bearing Pittman motor. Also threw in a ATSF Blue Goose tender chassis, and I sourced a Lionel ATSF 20K gallon tender shell. Ended up with this pile of parts.


Now if you're an ATSF guy you might know where this is going. I already have a 5011 class Texas. I don't like to own duplicate models of the same locomotive (ok except the 3 Premier ATSF 3460 class Hudsons I own) so this Texas needed to be different. I got inspiration from this article:

No one has made a ATSF 5001 class Texas in 3 rail O, so I'm going to make my own. I've already sourced the major components and an outside bearing pilot truck. The model is sitting like this now.


I'm going for accuracy, but some things won't be perfect, such is 3 rail. The 5011 class Boxpok drivers will remain as there are no equivalent size 3 rail Baldwin disc drivers like the 5001 class used. There will be other changes to match the prototype. The number boards will be relocated to the sand dome like on a 5001 class. The stack is going to be changed to the proper flip stack. No one makes the correct ATSF hand operated flip stack so my friend Pat, @harmonyards, is going to machine the proper stack out of brass, once I get him the correct measurements. I have to knock the incorrect stack out of the boiler first and take measurements. Locomotive will be numbered 5009 and it'll have PS3, so I can double head it with my 5011 class Texas if I want. It will be one of one when it's done. Only 3 rail 5001 class Texas. 


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Last edited by Lou1985
@harmonyards posted:

Not as awful as one would think, evening to figure it all out, half a day to make it all fit....the evening was just to say to myself, “ am I really going to do this??” ....😁


Hmmm ... some would agree with you, others like me are fraught with indecision, brought on by years of making wrong ones, plus a lack of experience in soooo many train repairs/upgrades/modifications which quickly leads to the "make every mistake you can" syndrome. The only redeeming factor is that I do enjoy it so!

Totally awesome that you can keep track of so many projects at once! Given my propensity for losing and mixing parts, I have learned to keep each one of my projects in just-right-sized plastic containers, which I stole from my grandson - he mixes his Legos with his Lincoln Logs, and a plethora of Minecraft figures, etc., so his are all now in a very large tote!

To regain the topic, I just wrapped up a 224 repair, a 261 repair, in the middle of a 671 repair, and have a very clean 2020 running around the test track, needing just minor touch-up! Steamer Days!

Just wrapped up a TMCC upgrade of this little jewel.  This is the SMR General Haupt, an actual scale model of a General locomotive.  The electronics are in the trailing boxcar, no way it fits in either of these pieces!

SMR General Haupt

As an interesting contrast, here's how much larger the MTH RK General is when compared to a true scale model.  The General locomotives were really small!

MTH General vs. SMR General Haupt


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Last edited by gunrunnerjohn

Today it was raining too much to haul my table materials to the house, so I decided to give the old 211 Texas Special another shot. I just cleaned the brushes and everything with rubbing alcohol and connected the rebuilt ZW transformer to the track. Either the cleaning or the high power got it going pretty well. Could have been a combination of the two. Once I had it running, I got to work on making a new horn for the top, from scratch. It turned out pretty well for a rush job. I then ran to the auto parts store and grabbed a couple of bulbs and cleaned and rewired the socket. It has a light again! I also added a lens to the front to make it look more like an actual headlight. Now I've got to come up with a plan for fixing that front apron and hope that will brace the front coupler up enough to keep the truck from derailing in reverse. My other project is to add some semi transparent plastic to the windows to hide the "hollow" look.

I also rewired and cleaned one of my two whistle tenders, bringing it back to life, for the second time in a week.

I also added a new headlight lens to my old 1666. 

The last thing I did was add new truck springs to my 2020 Turbine. The front truck was jumping off the track way to often today. The only other thing it needs is a switch to turn the new smoker on and off. It runs you out of the room in just a few minutes as it stands. 

I'm really hoping to get the table materials in the house tommorow and get started putting it together.

To think this journey started back in 2015.... It's taken five years just to get to the point where I can start a layout. I don't know how much more time will pass before I can get scenery on the table. I have some goodies coming, Thanks to Tom, which should give me a good start.

Since the San Diego Model RR Museum is closed until further notice, I have had the opportunity to work on my own engines (instead of the club engines).  My workbench projects for the last few weeks have been:

1) Finished the TMCC ERR upgrade to the MTH Amtrak Genesis PS1 engine with excellent results.

2) Fixed two of my engines that were "jerky" runners by pressing the wheels (with gears) closer together.  Don't know if anyone has had this problem, but somehow the wheels with gears developed too much play and ran erratically.

3) Did some TMCC antenna upgrades on engines that were marginal at the SD3R layout.  I was doing one of these upgrades on a Century Club 2 TM-1 Trainmaster when I noticed two traction tires were gone.  I had to remove the truck in order to replace the tires and it was a PITA to get the wheels back into the right position.



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@Ted S posted:

@speed3 what did you use to darken the driver rims, and how did you do it?  That's something that really bothers me about pre-2003 MTH.  NOT looking for a full weathering job but if this mod isn't too difficult I would consider it.  Thanks!

I used Abaddon Black acrylic paint from Games Workshop to darken the rims and handrails.  It’s marketed as a “base” layer so you should only need a couple of coats.  I put the engine on its side and powered it with a spare transformer so the wheels could turn while I applied the paint to the rims.  You can use the paint straight from the bottle, but I found that dipping the brush in some water before loading up with paint helped achieve a better consistency.  The rims alone took about 15 minutes to paint.  I feel the same way about shiny rims and handrails on older MTH, so most of my PS1 steam engines get this treatment.  It’s super easy and elevates the overall appearance, in my opinion.

@Ted S posted:

What size brush?  And how did you avoid getting excess paint on the wheel "treads" (surfaces that contact the rail)?  Sorry for all the questions but I don't want to screw up locos that I paid several hundred dollars for, even though they aren't worth anywhere near that now.

I used a size 0 angular flat brush.  The paint is water based, so any that ended up on the treads or wheel faces was wiped off with a damp cotton swab.  Since the paint cleans up so easily, you shouldn’t come close to permanently messing up your locos.

I'm back to working on the 211 Texas Special. I'm trying to make a "frame box" part no. 202-54  (if I remember correctly.) I had been so busy with everything else that I hadn't even noticed it was missing. It would be so much easier to order one than to make one from scratch, but without a credit card or PayPal, you have to work with what you've got.

@Ted S posted:

What size brush?  And how did you avoid getting excess paint on the wheel "treads" (surfaces that contact the rail)?  Sorry for all the questions but I don't want to screw up locos that I paid several hundred dollars for, even though they aren't worth anywhere near that now.

Another option is gun blue/chemical blackener. Thats what I use. Same technique. Place the engine upside down in a cradle. Attach clip leads and hold a swab next to the rims. Takes about twenty seconds. You can use paint too. Pretty hard the do damage either way. Have some thinner handy if the paint doesn't go where you want.


@Norton posted:

Another option is gun blue/chemical blackener. Thats what I use. Same technique. Place the engine upside down in a cradle. Attach clip leads and hold a swab next to the rims. Takes about twenty seconds. You can use paint too. Pretty hard the do damage either way. Have some thinner handy if the paint doesn't go where you want.


I’m with Pete on this one....much more permanent to chemically alter the metal than to paint....too many good reliable products on the market today not to take advantage the long run, this is a better end product, permanent, and probably equal to or even cheaper than painting....both of these chassis are PS1 ESE’s with silver painted drivers and chrome tires....yuk!....bottom chassis has the silver paint stripped off with aircraft stripper, then dunked in Caswell Black oxide solution.....simply following their instructions......



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Working on 3 different 675 Lionel locomotives I picked up last year for next to nothing at our TTOS Southern Pacific Division meet auction. One tender whistle was not working and got that going. All 3 675 engines are not smoking so that is next. Broken trailing truck and missing smoke unit installed but not yet wired. I have some details and trim parts to finish. I need to find a stamp to re number one of them since someone removed the cab numbers previously. They will not be perfect but they will be great runners.

Fried the motor in this guy last Friday at the club...19183D5D-6AC7-42B5-AA2F-8A72C889F09499097157-11AB-4C18-A06F-AAA2110718EA

It had been running for a while, and at some point I realized it had been too long since it had gone around... found it barely crawling along, and it was pretty hot... was hoping it would be fine after it cooled off, but nope... you can see the windings on one pole are black... Atlas’ website says they actually have the motor in stock for this!


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@Alex M posted:

Hello all, 

Haven’t posted in a while , just wanted to say hello and figured I’d show you what’s currently being worked on. 


Thanks, Alex 

Too funny, I saw this post and the video and knew it was a CC II Niagara.


I have two to do on my workbench as well.

What do you use to trim the new drive shafts?

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