Skip to main content

Replies sorted oldest to newest

I had one, and there wasn't a smoke unit - but a Seuthe can be fitted in easily. Any other make will probably take a little more work. It wasn't a great puller, and doesn't have the detail of later Hudsons, but it was affordable to me at the time. Williams used to sell a flywheel kit, I don't know where you might find one now.

As an extra appeal, the tender originally had no coal load. I used to load mine with coal via a Lionel coal loader. It always impressed people.

I don't believe these had any kind of smoke, but there's plenty of room to add one and there are a lot of good choices today.

I would *definitely* add a flywheel if the loco doesn't have one.  Coasting is important, especially with four rubber tires and self-locking gears.

The factory motor is OK but it does draw a lot of current.  You might find a Pittman 9000-series motor to be too slow-turning by comparison.  The smaller 8x24-series has a no-load RPM closer to the factory motor and is still plenty powerful.  My $.02.

Last edited by Ted S

Originally it had no smoke or flywheel. There were some guys adding both when I got mine so I had it upgraded. Would a Pittman be a drop in or require some skills whereas I have none?

Not a horrible job to do a Pittman swap in one of these.....but, some skills are required, most importantly, being able to measure.....as mentioned above, the stock motor is a power hungry slob....these are geared awful, and the OE motor does have to spin to the moon, but a a Pittman will let you cruise very nicely, lots of torque, very smooth and low amp draws...I’d second a Pittman swap....

Pat

Originally it had no smoke or flywheel. There were some guys adding both when I got mine so I had it upgraded. Would a Pittman be a drop in or require some skills whereas I have none?

It would fit no problem. I think you just have drill a couple new mounting holes and maybe drill the coupling out to 4mm. Lionel has flywheels for Pittmans.

Far right is a Mabuchi 550, next to it is a Pittman 9344. A Pittman 9334 is the same diameter and length as the Mabuchi.

 

image

Pete

Attachments

Images (1)
  • image

The gearing isn't awful, it's probably geared like a scale model.  Which is to say, not fast like so many toy trains being sold today.  Before you choose a replacement motor you should figure out the gear ratio.  It's a little hard to do without a flywheel.  But if you make a little mark on the drive shaft and pay close attention, you can turn the motor shaft by hand and count the number of turns required for one revolution of the driving wheels.

The stock Mabuchi RS-550 is rated for 12000 RPM.  The big 9000-series Pittmans are about a 7000 RPM motor.  So your top speed will be much reduced.  Meanwhile an 8x24-series Pittman is a 10000 RPM motor which is closer to your original, that's why I recommended it.

IMO the most important upgrade is a flywheel.  Without it, the loco will stop on the proverbial dime.  If you're going fast enough, it can cut a bur into the drive gear, or bend a rod.  It's hard on those $%^#*&% rubber tires, too.  Coasting, at least a little, is a good thing!

Last edited by Ted S

I believe that Hudson is one of the ones with 44:1 gearing.  That makes for great low speed performance, but by the time you get to around 40 scale MPH, the motor is buzzing like an angry bee!  I wouldn't have an issue with that top speed, but some might.

If it's like the two I recently upgraded, the Williams K4 and the Williams Niagara, the stock motor was only good for around 8,000 RPM, that gave you about 42 scale MPH.  Free running with around 15 volts on it, that's as good as it got.  Running at 12V (it's rated voltage), it was drawing more than an amp with no load, i.e. the wheels were suspended.  I didn't have a suitable Pittman at the time, so I used a better Mabuchi 555.  Same top end, but the motor was drawing around 250ma with the same 12V unloaded test.

I believe that Hudson is one of the ones with 44:1 gearing.  That makes for great low speed performance, but by the time you get to around 40 scale MPH, the motor is buzzing like an angry bee!  I wouldn't have an issue with that top speed, but some might.

agreed....I still haven’t figured why some of these fellas are so worried about going Mach III down the rails.....guess they got a point to prove?...🙄

Pat

I was under the impression that the motors Williams used were rated for 12-30 volts.  Right-of-Way made a 400W transformer that went up to 24 volts, and Lionel's prewar Z transformer did, as well.  This kind of voltage and current are required to make these locos run at prototypical passenger speeds (IMO that only makes sense if you have a very long layout!)

Yes, things get noisy at high RPMs and the brass shell amplifies that sound.  There's a reason they don't make tubas out of die-cast metal!  I discovered that a piece of DynaXorb in the boiler shell quiets things down a lot.

Mike Wolf and Andy Edelman had a lot of experience selling Williams.  My theory is when MTH started making "scale" trains, they purposely chose a tall gear ratio to keep the RPMs down, because they didn't want to field complaints about NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness.)  Unfortunately, low-speed performance in the Proto-1 era left a LOT to be desired. 

The motors in most of the Williams motors from this period are early Hong Kong Mabuchi motors look for the stylized M on the plastic end.  These motors should have never been used in a model train as they have a static resistance of about .8 ohms it is not the quality of the motor that is in question it is the armature winding. The stall current of this motor at 12v is   "15A" and "25A" at 20v WoW.  Kiss your eUnit or TMCC driver board goodbye.  If you are trying to run one of these TMCC one stall and you are going to wipe out your motor driver board. I am guessing that cost was the governing factor. Mabuchi makes this motor by the millions Half the cordless drills in the world use this motor.  I would not doubt that they bought up a bunch of mfg. overruns.  Just a wild aaa guess this 30,000 rpm motor forced the decision to use the ridiculous 42:1 gearbox.  Cost cutting run amuck.   Other things which make you go Hmmmmm I wish others would count the turns on their Williams locos I am wondering if what I have observed is correct.  At one time or another I have owned over twenty Williams locos and did count the turns on every one of them and as far as I can tell they used two gearboxes  The infamous 42:1 and a 21:1.  The irony here is that all the locos which should have  a high top speed had the 42:1 box and the models of slower prototype locos such as the PRR B6 switcher and the Camelback have the 21:1 box. I am down to four Williams Steamers the PRR B6  0-6-0,  Camelback 4-6-0,  PRR L1s 2-8-2  and a N&W J 4-8-4.  The first three have the 21:1 gearing and the N&W  J has 42:1 gearing.  I think we could all live with the 42:1 box in the first three locos but the  "J" ?   21:1 would be just about perfect in the  J and  42:1 would not be bad in the 0-6-0 a loco which spent ninety percent of it's life under thirty miles per hour.  Now if this is not enough to fry your brain forget the Williams flywheel they have a .128 hole in the center and the motor shaft is .125 that three thousandths out of concentric is responsible for the crazy vibration that is amplified in the thin brass body shell.  The D shaft on the motor even makes it worse you can see a pronounced flywheel wobble at low speeds I have shimmed them with .001" shim brass and it helps but they still wobble.  A flywheel which runs true is half the cure and a motor with about 2 ohms static resistance would be the other half. Certainly no lower than 1.7 ohms which the Mabuchi 545 that I am using is. I have 3A polyfuse inline with the motor driving with TMCC motor drivers. Most TMCC driver boards are capable of 15V or close and a stall would be almost 9A which is cutting it more than close however that is much better than the 18.7A stall at 15V which the original motor would pull at stall.    What ever you do the original motor has to go .  You could opt for a $40 Pittman or a $9 mabuchi depends on how much you love the locomotive.         Drummer, as for the smoke unit all the Williams steamers came with a Seuthe smoke unit I don't think much of them. Cramming a cigarette down the stack would be more effective.  I think Williams was out of the brass business by the time the fan smoke units were designed.                                             j          

Wow John.  Of course if the loco didn't have four (4) rubber tires  the wheels would spin a little when it was overloaded, so you would never see that kind of current draw in real life.  For years, a cardinal rule of locomotive building and re-powering is that you don't weight a loco so heavily that the wheels can't spin when it's overloaded.  Add rubber tires, especially four of them, and who knows!  With gearing that low, the wheels might spin even with the tires.  But the current draw will be higher than it would with just two, or no tires at all.

Last edited by Ted S

If the OP really wants to make a descent locomotive out if this for simple, reliable conventional operation, two simple things to do: stick a Pittman in it, and a MTH PS1 smoke unit......Both easy installs with minimum tools....I’d be willing to bet at a descent cruising voltage, it’ll make great smoke, and cruise for ever...no John A & Ted, it won’t do warp speed, but it’ll do 20-25 mph very nicely, which is moving along nicely for a toy train.....and with a 9XXXX Pittman it’ll be right in that motor’s power band, so it’ll hum along with out crying......the only thing I could possibly see need tweaking would be the smoke resistor in the PS1, if it’s too much smoke, knock the resistor back...

Pat

I know the old Williams draw a lot of power, I never figured out what the reason was, just knew it wasn't going to work with the command upgrades.  I dropped in a Mabuchi 555 into a couple of them, simply because it was a bolt-in fit, and it was a much better motor.  Not a Pittman, but easier to fit.  The Pittman would have required new mounting holes and drilling out the flywheel for the larger shaft, something that I wasn't keen on doing.   The specific 555 motors I was using had an 8,000 RPM top end, which for the 44:1 gearbox ended up being about 43 scale MPH.

@Ted S posted:

Wow John.  Of course if the loco didn't have four (4) rubber tires  the wheels would spin a little when it was overloaded, so you would never see that kind of current draw in real life.  For years, a cardinal rule of locomotive building and re-powering is that you don't weight a loco so heavily that the wheels can't spin when it's overloaded.  Add rubber tires, especially four of them, and who knows!  With gearing that low, the wheels might spin even with the tires.  But the current draw will be higher than it would with just two, or no tires at all.

Ted that 42:1 gear box will peal a rubber tire off, like you peal a potato, if it is not glued on. The motor is never really loaded up on any of these 42:1 Williams locos they could get along with a 385 motor just fine. I think the ultimate upgrade would be a Maxon coreless the size of a 385.  Pat I don't run trains very fast and I could live with 25mph on a freight loco especially on a switcher but a passenger loco should at least be able to run quietly at 50mph.  Pittman does make some motors which will twist fast enough to do that.  The closed case will keep the whine inside but the one thing that concerns me is the duty cycle with no vents to let the heat out.  Your going to need 14,000 rpm to get to 50mph with 1.5" drivers and 42:1. The only way I know to deal with the heat in a closed case is a coreless motor but your not supposed to twist them that fast not because of heat or current draw their problem is the cup shaped armatures at high RPM set up standing waves and it deforms possibly causing the armature to rub on the field. Knowing this I have tested one, running it without a load, for almost an hour at 20K so far no problems. I have a mabuchi 545 in my J chassis right now but think I will stick a Maxon in it and give it a test drive.  I need to work out the linkage to the gearbox.                            j

Last edited by JohnActon

One little problem with the Maxon Coreless motor they detail in their literature.  Virtually all the command stuff uses PWM for the motor drive.  I imagine that back-EMF would be minimal, so forget about ERR Cruise.

Your right choke and 20K + PWM.   The ERR board will do, probably no cruise.   Do you know the frequency of the PWM on the DCS boards ?   If high enough you might be able to cruise with a Tach.   I keep looking at H bridges on eBay and they have some that operate at 80K supposedly designed to play nice with coreless motors.   The HO crowd have DCC boards that do so.  I know one thing the DCDR and other non legacy Lionel boards don't get along at all with coreless.           j

I found this motor on a popular auction site.  It seems like it might be a good choice if the original one is really bad.  BTW the drivers should be about 1.625"   I'm not a fast runner, I've been advocating lower gear ratios (slower) for years.  But if you want RPMs you need more voltage!  Even Lionel's 700-series Hudsons were rated for 20 volts.  I'm pretty sure Right Of Way developed its 16-amp, 24-volt transformer with these Williams locos in mind.  Circa 1990, that's the way the hobby was going.  Those transformers still command a good price when you can find them.

Attachments

Images (1)
  • mceclip0
@Ted S posted:

I found this motor on a popular auction site.  It seems like it might be a good choice if the original one is really bad.  BTW the drivers should be about 1.625"   I'm not a fast runner, I've been advocating lower gear ratios (slower) for years.  But if you want RPMs you need more voltage!  Even Lionel's 700-series Hudsons were rated for 20 volts.  I'm pretty sure Right Of Way developed its 16-amp, 24-volt transformer with these Williams locos in mind.  Circa 1990, that's the way the hobby was going.  Those transformers still command a good price when you can find them.

That motor is good for like a cordless drill ....no??.....looks to be an amp hog....

 

Pat

Ted one question are you planning to run this motor with TMCC, DCS, DCC ? If so forget it. Does the seller give the static resistance I would be willing to bet it is not much higher than the original which is .8 ohms  There are several problems with using high current motors.  All those amps they pull eat up pick-up rollers and track.  All those amps create arcs and affect DCS and TMCC signals. You may get away with that current draw using an original mechanical e-unit or the Williams electronic e-units which use relays, not the ones with triac outputs. However no motor driver board is going to stand up to the load it will create. Well perhaps a TAS board with the 15A triacs, long out of production.  That Johnson motor with vent holes is going to squeal like a pig on a pitch fork at 14k.  I keep looking for alternative solutions to the 42:1 problem. An intermediate gearbox may be a solution we have not considered.  I have boxes of small gears and the idea of making an intermediate gearbox with somewhere between a 1.5 and 2 step up keeps gnawing on me. A 1:2 step up would bring that 42:1 ratio down to 21:1 since even in an oil bath box there will be losses due to friction so perhaps 25:1 should be the target which would be a 1.68 : 1 intermediate box.  A 12 tooth turned by a 20 tooth gear will be 1:1.66  close enough. Though I have all the parts you can buy brass gears shim brass and bronze or ball bearings on eBay cheap enough that such a intermediate gearbox should cost less than $20.   By the way, my measurements for wheel diameter and gear ratios are based on my N&W J not the Williams Hudson with approximately  .1" larger diameter wheels.  The proto J only has 70" drivers while the Williams drivers are a scale 73".  The motors and gear ratios which work well with the J would also work well with the Williams NYC Hudson. The Hudson will just be about 7% faster.          j

Even though the Mabuchi 550 and 555 have high stall currents, you can still run them with command control. I upgraded a couple Williams Niagaras (550 equiped) for two local clubs using ERR Cruise Commanders and they are still running today even after logging hundreds of hours. While running currents are higher than a comparable Pittman they are still a fraction of their stall currents. 

My personal engines get Pittmans but its not necessary to replace a Mabuchi for every upgrade.

Pete

John I don't agree 100% with your line of thinking.  There's nothing inherently wrong with a high-ratio gearbox.

In NMRA modelling contests, to get full points a loco has to run smoothly at 4 scale mph (which is also the maximum coupling speed of the prototype.)  If the drive "leaps" from zero to 4 mph, that greatly detracts from the observed realism.  But the 4 mph number is a good starting point.

My experience testing many different locos in O gauge over the years, is that common can motors, including Pittman motors, just don't run consistently below about 800 RPM when the loco is running "light."  Depending on how quickly current consumption increases near stall, and the characteristics of the drivetrain, it might run slower for short distances.  But a drive designer shouldn't bank on that.

With 73" drivers, to achieve 4 scale mph at 800 RPM, you need -- surprise! -- 44:1.  Samhongsa knew this, because they built many brass locos in other scales before they took over and improved the Williams Crown Edition line in the late '80s.  That's why those Williams gearboxes say SAMtech.

Personally I think the top speed, or even the typical speed of the prototype is irrelevant.  On a small layout with typical 3-rail curves, 60 mph or even 45-50 mph is plenty fast.  So if 800 RPM = 4 mph, you'll need at least a 9,000 RPM motor to reach track speed.  This has been the reality in all other scales, for years.  If you need a bigger power supply, or special attenuation of NVH for high-RPM operation, that amounts to built-in quality of design.

This is the direction 3-rail O scale was headed too, until MTH entered the market circa 1992.  Coming from a tinplate background, their designs were a throwback to 1950s toy trains.  Tall gear ratios.  No separate gearbox or "bottom plate" with removable wheels & axles.  Only small-drivered models (like the Y6b) were capable of smooth operation at switching speeds.  This was definitely a step backward!

Speed control came along in 2001, introducing a new set of possibilities (and headaches!)  Like a giant band-aid, it greatly masks what I perceive as a tragic design error.  To me, 30:1, even 36:1 with a 10,000-12,000 RPM motor would be ideal.  With a balanced drivetrain in a die-cast metal body, that shouldn't pose insurmountable problems with NVH.  This combo would maintain a wide range of realistic speeds without cruise control, and run phenomenally with it.

The command setup is icing on the cake, and it should NEVER be the constraining factor.  If there isn't a control system and decoder combo on the market that can handle a 12000 rpm motor with enough torque for O scale, then someone needs to invent one, pronto.  Because ^^this is the right way to build a train!

Last edited by Ted S
@Ted S posted:
Speed control came along in 2001, introducing a new set of possibilities (and headaches!)  Like a giant band-aid, it greatly masks what I perceive as a tragic design error.  To me, 30:1, even 36:1 with a 10,000-12,000 RPM motor would be ideal.  With a balanced drivetrain in a die-cast metal body, that shouldn't pose insurmountable problems with NVH.  This combo would maintain a wide range of realistic speeds without cruise control, and run phenomenally with it.

I don't get the animus toward speed control.  Truthfully, even when I have had the Williams with the 44:1 gearbox, it still needed speed control for consistent speeds on grades and curves.  I also am not enamored with the idea of 12,000 RPM motors, it has to be a pretty high quality motor to keep the screaming noise down at those speeds.  I have absolutely no issue at all running any number of my Legacy locomotives at 3-4 scale MPH all day, so your idea that can't be achieved with current models flies in the face of reality.

Instead of going wayyyyyyyy off the deep end.....which these threads always seem to do with all the Maxwell & Farady equations, why not wait and see if the OP actually says what his plans are for the model....THEN make the best suggestions based on what he’d like the locomotive to do....all the nomenclature and mathematical equations are worthless until we know what the OP would like to see the locomotive do.....I’m not sure at this point if we’re running a Hudson or firing up the Enterprise to go where no man has gone before......geezzzzzzz....

Pat

I don't "hate" speed control; I think of it as a way to make something that's already good even better.  If the speed control is too "tight" or reactive it can take away the feeling of momentum and mass.  And a lag can make it feel like you're operating a robot, instead of running a train.  It's better to achieve smooth operation the natural way, embracing the laws of physics instead of fighting them.  It's a bit like the discussion of a tube amp vs. solid state, vinyl vs. mp3, or drive-by-wire vs. a cable throttle.

Two years ago we almost lost ERR.  Now as MTH closes its doors, the future of Protosounds and DCS is unknown.  Historically Lionel hasn't offered it's Legacy electronics in a retrofit kit.  With a conservative gear ratio, quality motor and drive train, ANY of the non-proprietary R/C systems such as Airwire (which has been around for YEARS) would give you individual control with Legacy-like performance.  The only sacrifice is a muted top speed.

The Williams by Bachmann 4-6-0 is a good example.  I've seen this loco in action, and everyone on this Forum says it's a great runner even without speed control.  Williams uses the common RS-385, but at track speed, I'm pretty sure the RPMs get way up there.  It coasts nicely too.  It's well-enough engineered that I've heard few complaints about NVH.  I would like to see more locos use this gearing as a starting point.

At some level, even MTH has admitted the error of its ways.  They didn't make a big deal about it (probably so as not to devalue existing inventory.)  But beginning around 2008, many of the RailKing locos got lower gear ratios.  The Mohawk, Pacifics, and Hudsons gradually changed to 26:1, which is lower than most 3-rail trains marketed as scale models!  And the "new" 726-style LionChief Plus Berks were geared at 25:1, which is the slowest I know of in any postwar-styled train.  Hopefully more will follow this pattern.

I'm not saying that they should stop selling trains with speed control, or that people shouldn't consider a thoughtful upgrade if a train has a lot of sentimental value.  My point to JohnA is that Williams (Samhongsa) wasn't wrong.  A 42:1 gearbox isn't a disease to be excised.  For use on a typical small layout, 800 RPM = 4 mph is an excellent starting point.  Whatever issues of NVH and current draw might arise from that can be addressed through careful motor selection and quality design.  Then, speed control becomes the cherry on top of the sundae.

 

Last edited by Ted S

Add Reply

Post
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×