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 Post subject: Lionel 0-8-0 smoke question
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 6:18 am 
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Location: Fort Mill, SC
I just picked up the strasburg set from train world the other day & while the set looks beautiful, the smoke output from the engine is very anemic at best. Anyone know anything I can do that help boost the smoke?

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 Post subject: Re: Lionel 0-8-0 smoke question
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 8:11 am 
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Location: Westminster, MD
We have a Western Union set we bought when my daughter was a member of TTOS. The set was made by Lionel, and is powered by a 2-8-4 similar to the Polar Express loco. It has never smoked worth a dang...every once in a while you might glimpse a faint wisp, but nothing significant. I recall reading that there was an issue with units being factory-installed with the fan inverted, but I don't believe this thing has a fan. It runs and sounds great, but no smoke... :( I'm curious to hear what folks recommend.

Healey


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 Post subject: Re: Lionel 0-8-0 smoke question
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 8:34 am 
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Pretty sure this is not a fan driven smoke unit.

First step I do is to open up the smoke unit, cut the sleeve off the smoke resistor, and toss the old wick. Pack the chamber with some new wick that pretty much fills the chamber and is in solid contact with the bottom of the smoke resistor. Make sure you don't block the holes from the puffer cylinder. The factory wick and sleeve are pretty lame, even Lionel recommends removing the sleeve from the early fan driven smoke units in one of their videos.

I've tried enlarging the air input holes on some puffers, I've had pretty good results on a couple, and no improvement on others, something you might consider.


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 Post subject: Re: Lionel 0-8-0 smoke question
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 8:46 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:00 am
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Location: South Central Texas
Here's how I improved the smoke output on my Polar Express set loco. It took me a couple of tries.

When I cracked open the smoke unit it was tightly over packed with wick material, which was blocking the air intake holes. The wick was also badly scorched where it came in contact with the heater resistor, which had no sleeve. I removed the factory supplied material and replaced it with pink insulation from the attic like some folks recommended, being careful to not block the air intakes, and not packing it too tight. This helped some, but not much.

I removed the attic insulation and repacked with polyfiber from an old pillow, this time arranging it so that the resistor was snuggled down in the wick material instead of just touching the top of it and once again taking care to not block the air intakes. This did the trick and the smoke output is now "acceptable."

I have a theory that the smoke on the P.E. is intentionally weak so as to not aggravate Mom on Christmas morning.

Pete

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 Post subject: Re: Lionel 0-8-0 smoke question
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 8:53 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2005 6:57 pm
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Location: Berlin Hts Oh
These newer mechanical puffers use a 30 ohm ceramic element, or what ever lionel calls it. Replace the element with a 27 ohm wire element PN 600-8141-055 and follow above suggestions and you will increase the the amount of smoke.

Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Lionel 0-8-0 smoke question
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 9:34 am 
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Location: Fort Mill, SC
Thanks for the suggestions. And, no its not a fan driven unit.

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 Post subject: Re: Lionel 0-8-0 smoke question
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 8:08 am 
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Interesting Pete, most of the factory fresh steamers I open have very little in the smoke chamber, certainly not "packed". Several had a little round chunk of wick cut to the chamber size, it barely contacted the useless sleeve on the smoke resistor. Fixing that at least doubled the smoke output of the unit.


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 Post subject: Re: Lionel 0-8-0 smoke question
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 8:23 am 
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My youngest has a (more or less HO) TOMY set that runs off AA batteries and produces 'smoke' using water. It smokes quite well, enough to be clearly obvious although not like some really copious smokers I've seen.

Since the batteries last at least a week of heavy use and they drive the motor as well as the smoke producing unit, I cannot for the life of me understand why someone hasn't done this with O gauge unless its protected nine ways to Sunday by patents.

The water is administered with an eye dropper and the smoke is produced for a surprising length of time. It doesnt make the engine wet either so I cant see it being a nuisance with our rails or a danger with the electricity.

I keep meaning to buy another and dissect it to see if it can be transplanted.


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 Post subject: Re: Lionel 0-8-0 smoke question
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 3:34 pm 
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Location: South Central Texas
gunrunnerjohn wrote:
Interesting Pete, most of the factory fresh steamers I open have very little in the smoke chamber, certainly not "packed". Several had a little round chunk of wick cut to the chamber size, it barely contacted the useless sleeve on the smoke resistor. Fixing that at least doubled the smoke output of the unit.


Got my P.E. set from Ro March '08 on a good closeout; sealed master carton, sealed set box, I don't guess it could've been any more "factory fresh." Smoke unit came overpacked, resistor is ceramic no sleeve, set came with the bell.

Pete

ps - I see you've grown quite fond of that DeoxIt D5 I turned you on to a while back. :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Lionel 0-8-0 smoke question
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 8:27 am 
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Texas Pete wrote:
gunrunnerjohn wrote:
Interesting Pete, most of the factory fresh steamers I open have very little in the smoke chamber, certainly not "packed". Several had a little round chunk of wick cut to the chamber size, it barely contacted the useless sleeve on the smoke resistor. Fixing that at least doubled the smoke output of the unit.


Got my P.E. set from Ro March '08 on a good closeout; sealed master carton, sealed set box, I don't guess it could've been any more "factory fresh." Smoke unit came overpacked, resistor is ceramic no sleeve, set came with the bell.

You have me there, I'm thinking of some slightly more "vintage", but still with the factory packing. I found that in my NIB LIONEL 18072 K-4 and another one I'm struggling to remember as I no longer have it. Both had the little wedge of wick and the sleeve over a wire-wound resistor.

Pete

Quote:
ps - I see you've grown quite fond of that DeoxIt D5 I turned you on to a while back. :mrgreen:
Great stuff, it's my new favorite spray. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Lionel 0-8-0 smoke question
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 10:17 am 
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Location: Westminster, MD
Thanks for the suggestions. Once I get my MTH battery issues resolved, I'll crack open the Berk and see if I can get this sorted. Hopefully I don't make it worse (which would be unlikely)...

Healey


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 Post subject: Re: Lionel 0-8-0 smoke question
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 1:09 pm 
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Location: Lakewood, CA
britbloke wrote:
My youngest has a (more or less HO) TOMY set that runs off AA batteries and produces 'smoke' using water. It smokes quite well, enough to be clearly obvious although not like some really copious smokers I've seen.

Since the batteries last at least a week of heavy use and they drive the motor as well as the smoke producing unit, I cannot for the life of me understand why someone hasn't done this with O gauge unless its protected nine ways to Sunday by patents.

The water is administered with an eye dropper and the smoke is produced for a surprising length of time. It doesnt make the engine wet either so I cant see it being a nuisance with our rails or a danger with the electricity.

I keep meaning to buy another and dissect it to see if it can be transplanted.

Very interesting! Unfortunately, my searching has turned up only one ebay-UK listing - but then, I'm not very good at this. Please keep us apprised, if you do indeed follow-up.


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 Post subject: Re: Lionel 0-8-0 smoke question
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 6:05 pm 
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I replaced the wicking in mine with some fiberglass insulation. I don't remember it having a sleeve on the resistor. I was just running it today and it's not great, but it's not bad for a starter set smoker. I'm really starting to like my conventional locomotives again. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Lionel 0-8-0 smoke question
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 6:32 pm 
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Location: pembroke,ga
GRJohn mentioned the puffer unit.Sometimes these also need some adjustment.
I think there may also be some locos without a puffer.I don't think the Williams locos have them.
I do not have the Lionel 0-8-0 so can not really add much.

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 Post subject: Re: Lionel 0-8-0 smoke question
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 6:43 pm 
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The Williams locomotives have seuthe smoke units which really like to spit fluid all over and just make a mess when they actually work. They just produce a stream of smoke.

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