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Life Support Lionel 520

24873 Views 63 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  T-Man
This is about checking an engine to get it running. I purchased two today one without a shell Package deal. Both old and dirty. Engine one ran an inch. Two was quiet. Both are running now. I took pictures and will describe how I administered life support. I cleaned the motor and e unit. A fun time.

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I found this thread searching for a pantograph for mine. :D I think I may add lights to mine, I think I can sneak them into the shell. Even cooler would be directional lights...

Mine is actually in pretty good condition, no significant rust and all the parts are there. I just wonder if I should be modifying the shell of this one, it's in great shape with no cracks anywhere, even the problem screw hole.


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I'm guessing this would mostly be either local freight or switch yard service. That's just a guess, mind you. I saw earlier in the thread they used them in Chili for an ore train. :)
Sure, I've seen lots of them on the run between Phila and NYC when riding the train up the NYC. Many tracks are electrified in the Boston - WashDC corridor.
Well, bluing would require me to strip the chassis. It does have some slight rust in places, so it would be useful to refinish it. Since it's now blued, that would be the best option.

My repro pantograph stays on fine, maybe you need a new one. The Train Tender has them for $6.
For the plastic shell, I wash them in something like Dawn dishwashing liquid and warm water. Takes the grease and grime right off.
The Tandem Assoc page does not indicate any variation in the body mounting.
Well now, they'd be wrong. ;) Note the screw, that's what holds the shell on. See below the chassis, and I can assure you no wheels were missing.


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Sure Dave, but look closely, I don't have the two screws you point out.
I was thinking the same thing Ed, they sure don't look stock. :) It's certainly possible that there were variations in the cab design, it's not like that's never happened with other models. :)
How many of those #520's do you have? :D
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