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Discussion Starter #1
At a train show in Santa Clara California this past weekend I doubled my roster of K-Line steamers (to 2). I now own a K-Line Mikado with TMCC and a K-Line NYC Hudson with TMCC.
Overhauling these engines has revealed that the Mike has a ratio of 22 revs of the motor to one rev of the drivers. The Hudson has a ratio of 18 revs of the motor to one rev of the drivers. I have used TMCC commands to attempt to program driver diameter into the cruise control system on the Mikado. I'm not sure if the Hudson (made by K-Line/Lionel in 2008) has cruise control. I replaced the smoke element in the Mikado (as it was dead) with a 27 ohm Lionel element. This was difficult as a Lionel replacement element is actually too wide to fit well into the smoke unit chamber. The unit now works but the amount of smoke is low. I plan to replace this element with at 20 ohm element in the near future. I may drill out the hole in the stack to allow more smoke to pass. I found a K-Line/Lionel Steam loco owner's manual on the Lionel web site. This was pretty generic but better than no manual at all.
I am very impressed by the look and performance of both of these engines. I feel like it was money well spent: $125 for the Mike and $200 for the Hudson. Anyone have any comments?
 

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93 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
K-Line Mike: Now Smoking Much Much Better...

The installation of a 20 ohm smoke element in my K-Line Mikado has brought the puffing smoke generator back to life! The original element was dead when I bought the engine at a train show recently and I bought two 20 ohm smoke element replacements from Brasseur. They were not cheap due to the shipping cost but they exactly matched the original in size and appearance. And, now I have smoke. This engine is a lot of fun to run!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Smoke Element Details

Wow! The Digi-key website is surely impressive: thousands of electronic parts!
Unfortunately, other than the rating of 20 ohms and the description "wirewound," I don't
know enough about the K-Line K-3790-X033 smoke element to find it in Digi-key's extensive product list except by viewing parts one by one. I'll keep looking, but I'd appreciate a hint about where it might be found. I'm assuming it must be among the "flame-proof" group...
What other characteristics will allow me to track it down?
 

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I use This Resistor, I take the Dremel wire wheel and remove the powdered ceramic coating, if you're not heavy-handed it won't damage the nichrome wire. Once denuded, it is exactly like the expensive smoke resistors. I've used a number of these with excellent results, and I don't buy the manufacturer's resistors nowadays.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
K-Line Smoke Elements - roll your own!

Thanks to GunrunnerJohn for revealing a new inexpensive source for those pricey or hard-to-find smoke elements we K-line locomotive owners may need for replacement purposes. The installation of a 20 ohm wire-wound element in my circa 2003 K-Line Mikado locomotive produced a marked increase in the amount of smoke coming from the stack. I had previously installed a Lionel 27 ohm element and was merely getting wisps of smoke even with the smoke boost button depressed on the CAB-1 controller. GunrunnerJohn's solution is ingenious (and even a little sneaky) but requires a steady hand on the Dremel with wire wheel attached.
This is great. I'm always looking for an excuse to break out the Dremel and go to work.
So, my next question: Gunrunner, when is your book coming out? Because I will buy it if it contains repair tips and hints like the ones you have shared with everyone on this forum!
Digi-Key is a source for many types of electronic parts and their price for a 20 ohm resistor is amazingly low. Today I will run the K-Line Mikado and the K-Line Hudson side by side and I will enjoy the fact that they both will produce plenty of smoke as they race along. Sweet!
 

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K-Line makes some decent stuff. I have a set of their premium passenger cars (49er Madison cars) and some K-Line freight cars and they are as nice as any other mfr's cars. I also have their original little Pacific steam loco I used for years with my K-Line Coca-Cola train, runs great.
 
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