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Or in my case spit. Since the advent of whistle steam in which I have three. Doesn’t matter if it’s a engine with one dual smoke unit or separate smoke units, they all spit/upchuck smoke fluid. Doesn’t matter, how much, how little fluid you add, how much you blow down the stack, use Aero duster, shop air. I’ve even tried rewicking the units. If I turn them on, fluid gets everywhere. All over the shell.

Anyone else see this? Engines in question are

ESE Hudson with two smoke units
Light mikado with dual smoke unit
New J3 Hudson with two smoke units

Now could it be the smoke fluid? I use mega smoke. Does Lionel smoke fluid have a different viscosity?
 

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They will still spit with Lionel fluid. The problem is worse with any smoke unit that has a funnel at the top. Seems a little fluid always stays in the funnel and gets blown out.
I am no fan of Legacy smoke units. More hassle than they are worth. On my upgrades I always use early dumb units. Minimal circuitry and simple construction.

Pete
 

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I get varied results, the issue really is the airflow through the smoke unit. If there is sufficient airflow, you'll have less issues with the smoke unit. That applies to MTH as well. Lionel has done some of the most convoluted stack designs I've ever seen, and those are also the most problematic. The models with a straight shot out the stack seldom give me major issues in any brand.
 

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Lionel has done some of the most convoluted stack designs I've ever seen, and those are also the most problematic. The models with a straight shot out the stack seldom give me major issues in any brand.
I couldn't agree more!!

I wish the parts diagrams online gave a better picture of the smoke unit to the exhaust opening. I "try" to stay from engines with weird funnels for the smoke fluid to travel down, or try not to run the smoke at all. I usually fail miserably at the latter.
 

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I get varied results, the issue really is the airflow through the smoke unit. If there is sufficient airflow, you'll have less issues with the smoke unit. That applies to MTH as well. Lionel has done some of the most convoluted stack designs I've ever seen, and those are also the most problematic. The models with a straight shot out the stack seldom give me major issues in any brand.
That must be it. Not all my Lionel engines spit fluid either. My mikado has a straight stack and doesn't spit. My RS11 has 2 stacks and spits fluid no matter what I do. I hold the bottle with one hand and a rag with the other.
 

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Well, anything with more than one stack and only one smoke unit has a manifold that routes the smoke out of the smoke unit. Those are problematic for all makers, I get lots of queries about models like the F3 engines.
 

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I am surprised when I get a Lionel that smokes great.

I am surprised when I get an MTH that doesn't smoke great.
 

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Those are problematic for all makers, I get lots of queries about models like the F3 engines.
I always try to fill using the side of the funnel with the steeper angle. It seems to help. I've actually filed the opening a bit bigger so the funnel will fit in. This helps eliminate the fluid on the underside of the shell from just using the dropper.
 

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While I still think MTH makes the best smoke unit hands down. Lionel’s output has gotten better. The one thing I learned was when you change smoke brands, I would drain it so I would see no smoke. Then put in the new brand. When I converted from Mega steam to Lionel and MTH, I did this step on all the engines. Some of my early Legacy engines got Eliminator a couple times before I used Lionel’s as it’s usual brand.


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I agree that Lionel smoke units have gotten better in terms of smoke output although they are not as prolific or as easily serviceable as MTH units.

But I also agree that they definitely suck in terms of reliability, ease of maintenance and indeed operation. However, one problem I have not had is spitting - sure, there is smoke fluid residue around the stack and whistle smoke outlet but I have never had fluid shot out of those openings.

When servicing a Legacy smoke unit, I always saturate the wicking and let the fluid soak in before operating it. I also use a needle dropper to try to get fluid on the wicking rather than the resistor and don't refill a unit when the resistor is still hot. I can see that fluid might be propelled off the top off the resistor if it was wet and heated up quickly, but only where there was no manifold or other assembly right between the resistor and the outlet in the body shell.

The only other thing I can think of is fluid getting on the impeller blades but the result of that is usually the fan motor binding if the fluid gets in the spindle/bearing.

So go figure :dunno: but maybe in my case the particular models I have are not susceptible to the spitting problem.
 
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