Bernd's Lionel General Project

Bernd's Lionel General Project

Postby Bernd » Thu Dec 31, 2015 5:41 pm

A new project arrived in the mail today.

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It's all Alex's fault. Back on the 1/144 functional plane model thread in the Photos'/Video Section I mentioned wanting to try doing spoked wheels as a project. He mentioned looking at the possibility of motorizing one shown in the picture above. So off I went to E-bay. I thought $30.00 was a bit high for a static model. So I waited and the seller relisted it at $15.00 and I snagged it up.

Taking a closer look at the possibilities of motorizing one. It's going to be quite a challenge from what I can see. It's going to have to be a tender drive with a drive shaft to the engine. It also looks like the tender is one solid piece possibly requiring a whole new tender. Engine looks to be almost on solid piece also. I'll have to keep looking at it over time and just someday I may get an idea of how and what to do.

Here's a comparison of an HO engine of same design and time period. Note the drive shaft between tender and engine.

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P.S. While proof reading the post my mind said why not start from scratch and build a brass one using this model as a prototype. Yup, I'm off to have a stiff drink on that one. :wave:

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Last edited by Bernd on Sat Mar 18, 2017 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Project

Postby Bernd » Thu Dec 31, 2015 6:01 pm

Just after I got done with this post I spotted the N scale steamer I had of this vintage. Here's all three scales in one picture. The "N" scale has a tender drive. Runs pretty good to.

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Re: New Project

Postby areibel » Thu Dec 31, 2015 6:18 pm

Looks like you've got your work cut out for you on that one Bernd!
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Re: New Project

Postby AstroGoat760 » Thu Dec 31, 2015 7:28 pm

Let us know how that turns out, as we have been mulling the idea of making our TT General run as well.
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Re: New Project

Postby Richard-B » Fri Jan 01, 2016 2:28 pm

Bernd wrote:<snip> It also looks like the tender is one solid piece possibly requiring a whole new tender. Engine looks to be almost on solid piece also. I'll have to keep looking at it over time and just someday I may get an idea of how and what to do.
I previously had the thought of disassembling the engine and tender... and milling-out the firebox and tender shell.

The biggest issue is that the material used on these Lionel die-casts is a secret alloy of unmillabium and kryptonite.
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Re: New Project

Postby Bernd » Fri Jan 01, 2016 2:34 pm

Richard-B wrote:I previously had the thought of disassembling the engine and tender... and milling-out the firebox and tender shell.
The biggest issue is that the material used on these Lionel die-casts is a secret alloy of unmillabium and kryptonite.


I looked it over more carefully after posting yesterday. My opinion is that milling out he cavities' would be a pain in the butt. Most of the metal on any manufacturers product is a very gummy cutting material prone to tool breakage. I think it's a no go as far as conversion is concerned. I'm going to look into a scratch build sometime in the future on this one. Have taken a closer look at the N scale model for ideas.

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Re: New Project

Postby areibel » Fri Jan 01, 2016 3:09 pm

Richard-B wrote:The biggest issue is that the material used on these Lionel die-casts is a secret alloy of unmillabium and kryptonite.

LOL!
I had that alloy tested (my son tests alloys at work), the shells are 88% aluminum and 12% zinc. Hard enough for die casting but I'm not sure how that would work as a bearing surface? I've never torn a General apart to see if the upper boiler section could be used on a scratch built chassis or not, I'll have to investigate a bit.
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Re: New Project

Postby ConducTTor » Fri Jan 01, 2016 3:43 pm

I'm proud to be the spark for this madness :mrgreen:

I've been mulling this guy over for quite some time :geek:
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Re: New Project

Postby Bernd » Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:30 pm

areibel wrote:LOL!
I had that alloy tested (my son tests alloys at work), the shells are 88% aluminum and 12% zinc. Hard enough for die casting but I'm not sure how that would work as a bearing surface? I've never torn a General apart to see if the upper boiler section could be used on a scratch built chassis or not, I'll have to investigate a bit.


Well that explains the gumminess of the material.

Looks like once you tear it apart it's not going to go back together again. Everything is riveted. No screws. I'm taking my queue from the N scale engine.

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Re: New Project

Postby Bernd » Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:32 pm

ConducTTor wrote:I'm proud to be the spark for this madness :mrgreen:

I've been mulling this guy over for quite some time :geek:


Take a bow for that sir. I don't need much of a spark to set me off in another direction.

I think it would be a monumental job without some machine tools to help in the process. I'll have to stick with scratch built would be the best effort.

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