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Units in question are the Rock Island K-28841. They came to me NIB so I couldn't be happier. Added a little oil and grease and off to the club they went. Now the questions:

1) Lost 2 traction tires on the lead A unit. From what I can see there is quite a bit of disassembly required to get them back on. Any tips???

2) The Mars light appears, to me anyway, to flicker way too fast. It almost looks like a turn signal! Is there anyway to slow it down.

I'll hang up and listen for my answers. Thanks!

 

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Short of fishing the tires on inside the sideframes, you have to drop the truck and remove the sideframes to change the tires.

Pretty sure the MARS light on these is the little K-Line MARS light board that uses a special 2-filament bulb, and the flash rate on the one in my parts box is pretty fast, 3-4 times a second. I have a pair of K-Line E-8's, and I replaced that with the www.ngineering.com MARS light simulator.
 

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Correct sized MTH traction tires should be a direct replacement for the K-Line ones. If you're taking it apart I'd just replace all the tires. Pretty simple operation. Just remove the shell, unscrew the motors from the trucks, remove the side frames from the trucks, replace the tires. Reverse to reassemble.
 

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I have this set. The flash rate on the Mars light is not only too fast but doesn't represent the motion of the real thing. I've never investigated the bulb or the circuit board that operates it but I have one similar to what GRJ describes.

The Ngineering Mars light simulator is much more prototypical and I have installed it in 3rd rail engines that don't already have it. It requires DC power but I assume that is what is fed to the existing circuit board. It's also genuinely tiny, being several orders of magnitude smaller than this image:

Sims1.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Correct sized MTH traction tires should be a direct replacement for the K-Line ones. If you're taking it apart I'd just replace all the tires. Pretty simple operation. Just remove the shell, unscrew the motors from the trucks, remove the side frames from the trucks, replace the tires. Reverse to reassemble.
I hope it's that easy!! :)
 
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