Model Train Forum banner

1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
980 Posts
After doing a lot of digging around, I just couldn't find any detailed photos of what it takes to do the smoker conversion. I've been really looking forward to getting it done, so decided to do my own photos as I did the job and post them here.

I picked up the engine a couple of weeks ago, and it ran well but the old smoker just didn't work. I ordered the conversion kit from Jeff at http://www.ttender.com, and he sent it along with some nice instructions.

Using his instructions, the job was pretty easy. Here's how it went:

Step 1: Take the engine apart and pull out the guts. This isn't too bad, just make sure you have a small blade screwdriver for some of the finer screws. This is what you'll end up with:



Step 2: Take out the single screw holding the smoker unit in place, and cut the wire going to the element in the unit. Here's a closeup of the unit with the old felt gasket, and another that shows the wire going to it. This wire and the headlight wire are both soldered to the same point on the e-unit.




Step 3: With a screwdriver, pull the metal cover off the smoker. I just put the blade in the center whole and the kept working around the inside, pulling up. It came apart pretty easily. When it comes apart, you'll find a world of old residue in there. You can discard this metal lid and the element inside.




Step 4: Clean up everything. Get all of that residue out of the pot, and make sure that little air hole is clear. When the train is pumping, you want to be sure every bit of air gets through that hole. This is a good time to just clean everything. I cleaned the smoker, my headlight, inside the body, pretty much everything I could reach with some towel and Qtips.





Step 5: Now comes the fun of putting it all back together! Break out the brand new conversion kit and marvel at just how clean and pretty all those new parts look.



Step 6: Slide the white fiberglass cover over the resistor / heating element, and then slide the supplied heatshrink over one of the legs. It doesn't matter which leg. When this is done, use a heat gun or some heat source to shrink the heatshrink.



Step 7: Bend the legs of the resistor at 90dg to the body, and slip them through the holes in the new cap. Couple of notes here: a. You'll want to bend them as close to the element as possible or it won't fit correctly in the smoke pot. & b. make sure the leg with the heatshrink goes through the larger hole in the cap.



Step 8: Place the supplied felt in the smoke pot you just cleaned.



Step 9: Slide the cap with the resistor into the smoke pot. You'll want to make sure you have the leads where you want them. In the next step you'll be running the lead with the heatshrink back to a power source, and the other lead to a ground. Just be sure they're oriented the way you want.



Step 10: Run a power wire to the lead with the heatshrink. You might be able to get away with using the wire that was originally run, or you could splice into the headlight wire. I didn't like the condition of the original wire, so I remove it and ran a new piece from the e-unit to the smoker.

I then ran a wire from the ground lead to the smoker unit mounting screw on the chassis.

Of course I totally forgot to take pictures of this part, but it's pretty simple.

Step 11: This is a great opportunity to get everything cleaned and lubed. I even fixed a problem with my e-unit. It wouldn't turn off, and with some cleaning and a little adjustment it now works great.

Go ahead an mount the smoker unit back to the driving gear. Note: Before you go sliding that back into the body you need to put your new felt gasket in place! I learned this from experience. ;)

Step 12: Add a few drops of smoke fluid and have fun!

 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,666 Posts
Erkenbrand,

EXCELLENT how-to thread! I hope you don't mind, but I used my super-Mod powers to embed your pics into the post, for easy viewing.

And just to clarify for others reading this thread, by "Conversion", you mean adapting the old pellet-burning smoke chamber to run on newer smoke fluid.

Well done!

TJ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
980 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! I'm glad you liked it. It looks better with the pictures embedded as well. :)

One thing I forgot to mention - in the kit from Jeff is a return spring for the air pump. That's a new piece that wasn't part of the original equipment. It makes a huge difference in the train. All the clackety-clack from the pump is gone, and now it's a lot quieter to run.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,666 Posts
What drives the air pump? I'm assuming a wheel crank? Can we see that in one of the photos above, and where the spring would go?

TJ
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,666 Posts
TJ if you look at the first photo the plunger unit is to the left. The rods push it for the puff effect.
Thanks, T-Man ... got it. I've never seen one of these pellet smoke generators "up close" before. I've only recently had the opportunity to play with the 1960's version on my Scout 233. On that one, the drive rods push a little flapper to work the air plunger, too.

Cheers,

TJ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
980 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I'll get a couple of photos of the pump and spring location tonight. I was in such a hurry to see it smoke last night that I got a bit ahead of myself. :)

Now our basement smells like Arctic Mint . . . according to the smoke bottle. My wife doesn't mind it too much. I'm glad I didn't get the Classic Coal scent. ;)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,666 Posts
Are you using Lionel-brand smoke fluid? I couldn't find any (much to my surprise) at a MA train show a couple of weeks ago. I bought some other brand, instead. It's yielding pretty whimpy puffs in my 233 loco. (Though I honestly don't know if that's a result of the fluid itself, or rather the power of the '60's style smoke generator.)

TJ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
980 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
No, I'm using some other stuff I found at a show here in Rochester a few weeks ago. After I bought two bottles of it, I found one guy who was selling the Lionel liquid. I just couldn't justify spending the extra money . . . I was spending that on the 2026 engine.

This stuff seems to be OK. I'll need to get some cars hooked up so I can start driving some amps through the engine to really see. I was getting some smoke last night, but that was only after the 'hard' pull on the hill.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
No, I'm using some other stuff I found at a show here in Rochester a few weeks ago. After I bought two bottles of it, I found one guy who was selling the Lionel liquid. I just couldn't justify spending the extra money . . . I was spending that on the 2026 engine.

This stuff seems to be OK. I'll need to get some cars hooked up so I can start driving some amps through the engine to really see. I was getting some smoke last night, but that was only after the 'hard' pull on the hill.
I'm assuming you're referring to the RIT show, which I also attended.
Did you happen to buy the set from the guy who wanted $125 for it? :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
980 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
That's the one! I wanted that O gauge diesel set as well, but just couldn't bring myself to drop the $75 on it after buying the 2026. :)

I also picked up another transformer and box of track from him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
That's the one! I wanted that O gauge diesel set as well, but just couldn't bring myself to drop the $75 on it after buying the 2026. :)

I also picked up another transformer and box of track from him.
I've been reading your other thread on your set up in the basement & wondering if you were the guy that bought that set.
I was the one looking at it first & decided to pass it to you. Small world, huh? :)
I did buy a set from another guy a few rows over. Not as good a deal as yours, but I'm happy with it.
I had a 2026 set as a kid in the '50's & always wanted to get another set some day. Still have the locomotive, but it needs some serious cleaning.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
980 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I'm glad you found another set. Did you pick up another O gauge set?

I've had HO sets for years, but I'm liking O more in some ways. My HO set is going to go on a shelf that I'm going to build in 'my' room in the house. My wife isn't receptive to my suggestions that I run that rail around and through all of the bedrooms. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Yup, wanted to stick with O gauge, since that's what I had. It's a nice set & had the original boxes. The loco is 2056.
That was a pretty neat show & plan to go more in the future. I can see I'm going to get hooked on this & may go into a smaller gauge at some point....maybe N or HO. For now though, I'll stick with O. I do have a lot to learn & why I joined here. Seems like the forum to be on for model trains.
That's a nice set-up in your basement...have fun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
980 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Have fun with your layout! I'll keep an eye out for what you're building in the 'Layout' portion of the forum.

Have fun! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
980 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Finally! I got some pics of the pump and the added return spring:

The pump is located beneath the front gear, and the cam is driven by the wheels.





Here's the pump:







Here's where to place the new return spring:



That completes all the photos for the conversion. :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,666 Posts
Erkenbrand,

EXCELLENT pictures ... very clear and revealing.

You did a GREAT job with this how-to thread. Really detailed and easy to follow descriptions. I hope you'll continue on along this path ... it makes for fantastic reference material for future forum members.

Along those lines, I'm gonna stick a few tag words here for future Searches:

Lionel postwar smoke generator
smoke pump
smoke unit
smoker unit
smoke conversion

Thanks!

TJ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
980 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Thanks! I'm happy to help. I'll try to do the same with the eunit repair, but it's hard to top the thread that already exists. :)
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top