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Discussion Starter #1
As title says I received my 303 Saturday. Happy with it. It does
have a first for me. Plastic wheels. None of my other steamers
has plastic wheels. It does have a rubber pulmor tire on front wheels. Only paid 15.00 plus shipping so it did not take much
to be happy with it. Cowcatcher was loose but not broken, just
came unglued, no biggie. Both front steps are present. The cab
numbers and tender graphics are as good as can be. Appears
very little run time. Is 100% complete. There is not a lock out lever on base of tender but I can see there is a reverse unit in tender so maybe a different unit than I am used to. Seller stated it does not run. I looked for a loose wire but saw nothing. I will try to get a pic soon. Neat little locomotive. Knuckle coupler. Seems to be a diecast shell but I thought it would be plastic. Has smoke and choo choo unit in it. Need to get this puppy running. I have not tried it. I think these are from 1953 but no 5 wire and no white smoke stack. The only thing maybe missing are the 2 rear light stands. There are holes for them. No biggie I have already bought a few (repos) of the
stands. And I have red jewels.
 

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MoPac, not sure what you have there. There is no documentation of a 303 with a diecast boiler. All 303's had a 5 wire connection to the tender. No 303's had plastic drivers because Gilbert first made plastic drivers in 1958 for the 21105 Reading Atlantic. These came in two configurations, all plastic black drivers with white painted tires or black plastic wheels with aluminum tires. None of the Reading plastic tenders had the light stands from the factory. If the tender has a reverse unit in it there should be a lockout lever because all tender mounted units were 4 position reverse unit designs.
 

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Sounds like you have a Frankenstein engine there buddy.. All my 303's are plastic boiler and tender, 5-wire, with pul-mor. I don't know what you have there.If you want a 303, let me see what I can do, like I said I have a few, IF I can find them,lol.
 

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It will be interesting to see a few pictures of your 303. I have 2 and they are both the same, plastic boilers and 5 wire direct with pullmor and metal drivers and 4 position reverse unit in the tender.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It does sound like mine is a Frankenstein. It will be fine. It says 303 on the cab and
I just wanted a different cab number. It might have been renumbered. Numbers look new.
The cowcatcher is plastic but glued to boiler. I will try to get pics tomorrow. Any idea of
an Atlantic with diecast boiler and plastic cowcatcher. It fits in place perfect. Its a diecast
boiler for sure. I actually like the new loco. Has a nice plastic shell on tender.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Chassis is like nothing I have seen. Driver axles do not go through chassis. There are grooves on bottom of chassis for axles to ride in. And then a half inch plate screws on to hold the axles. Motor looks like an AF motor. I can see the choo choo. I have heard of
plastic drivers but never seen them. Has a brass smoke tube. Its a strange duck for sure. A diecast boiler and a plastic cowcatcher is a new one for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
After some research this morning I think my new little engine started life as a
5 digit engine. A 21105 to be more precise. They had plastic wheels 1958-1960.
Some time in its life it got a new body (shell). Probably a 302 diecast shell. Not
a 4 piece. I guess a 2 piece. 1 piece diecast shell with a plastic cowcatcher. It has
a late 50s to 1960 drawbar. The shell was renumbered to 303. I will try to get pics
some time today. Got a little running around to do first.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If tender is correct for chassis it has a 2 position reverse unit. Maybe that's why no lock out lever. I have no idea how the reverse unit works but I am about to find out. I think
it should have 2 wires from tender. This has 4 wires to the plugs. Might be why it does not run. Need to remove tender shell and see what is in there.

I have 2 steamers that need to be put back together after repairs first, then I can start on this Frankenstein. I still like it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I jumped the 2 center holes and power to outside holes. Motor runs fine. So maybe
some problem in tender. Great smoker also. Choo choo is fine. This puppy will run
again. Still intending it to pull my Frontier cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ok, here are some pics. Pics would have been better if my flash
was on. The forum or my computer will only let me insert 2 pics
per post. First 2 pics are just the 2 sides.

IMG_0691.JPG

IMG_0692.JPG
 

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I agree a 21105 is a possibility. But there is still an issue to be resolved. All the 5 digit engines like the 21105 and 21107 had two position reverse units mounted in the cab behind the motor. These had a lockout lever on them as well. There were only two wires from the engine to the tender. There is no such thing as a two position tender mounted reverse unit.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Next 2 are of bottom of engine. Notice there is not a grease pan
like we are used to. You can see how the axles are mounted. Not
through chassis.

IMG_0695.JPG

IMG_0696.JPG

Looks like it would be easy to install metal wheels. The axles just lift out.


.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Tom, I am sure you are correct. It is a Frankenstein. I like the diecast shell.
I still need to pull shell off of tender. As I said, I got motor running so all
will be fine. Its ok with me that it s not original. It was only 15 bucks.

5 digit engines are a different animal.
 

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Now that I see the pictures the two piece chassis with all black plastic drive wheels was only used with the 21107. Here is my guess. The two position reverse unit in the cab failed, they are almost impossible to repair. So the owner decided to put an older style reverse unit in the tender to get it running again. Not sure about why the boiler shell was swapped, maybe the original was broken if the engine fell from a layout onto the floor. That scenario could also have resulted in breaking the original reverse unit.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Your thought on the shell could very well be correct. I saw pics of the all black plastic wheels. These do have whitewalls. When I pull the tender shell it should tell me a lot.
I can tell there is a reverse unit in tender but no idea what kind. Its a doozy for sure.
Glad I got it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
If I have to I will connect the 2 center plug wires together in the tender and wires
from the 2 tender trucks to outside holes. It just may not have reverse. I already had
it running like that so I know that will work. That thing could have an electronic reverse, I do not know. I don't reverse my trains very often. Just forward would be fine. I am not
picky.
 

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I have only 1 5 digit animal, a 21105. It has the 2 position e-unit in the cab.. Did I mention it is the most finicky loco on the planet. I don't like it nor do I run it. I have all the cars that go with it as well.It runs "good", as long as the track is as clean as Superman. The minute it hits ANY spot on the tracks it doesn't like, bang, it goes in reverse!! EEEEUUUUUWWW!!!!
 
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