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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

I was delighted to purchase a beautiful Lionel prewar 238E streamliner loco and matching 265W whistle tender from Leonard / LRB1200 a week or so ago. The set was his father's childhood toy, and I am rather proud to be its new caretaker. The Lionel train dates from 1936 / 1937, and is modeled after Raymond Loewy's Pennsylvania Railroad's K4 Pacifics. (Though this Lionel version is 4-4-2, whereas the real loco was 4-6-2.)

I'm starting this thread to show some of the mechanical details of the loco (and tender), and also to compare the physical size of the 238E to the more-common 1668 and 1688 streamliner locos. The 238E was one of Lionel's larger, higher-end O-gauge locos from that time.

The loco is generally in good mechanical shape. I fiddle a bit to loosen up the gears/axles, and have given the motor a very quick/inital clean and lube. I've had it running on the test track, and the e-unit cycles nicely. I orded from Jeff Kane (ttender.com) today a pair of replacement red marker lights and a boiler-front nose lens (which were missing), along with a couple of repro/replacement front truck wheels (2 were cracked). Other than that, the rest of the parts on the loco are generally OK.

The paint on the loco shows some surface pitting, though just a few tiny scratches. The paint on the tender is a bit more battle-scarred, with some surface rust. I'm not sure yet if I'll consider a strip/repaint restoration on this set. If I do, I would want to purchase true color-matched gunmetal restoration paint. But, to my knowledge, this comes in jars, and must be sprayed with an airbrush (which I don't currently have). There's no true gunmetal rattle-can paint, as far as I know. Can anyone correct me here???

Here's my 238E loco and 265W whistle tender ...













And here's a comparison of the "big brother" 238E loco to the "small brother" 1668E loco. (The 1668E and the 1688E locos share essentially the same shell.)









Cheers,

TJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
John -- thanks ... I ordered marker lights, a nose lens, and some front truck wheels from Jeff earlier today.

Ed -- THANKS! I wasn't aware of the Tamiya gunmetal. I'll look into that. Note that the can says: "For Plastics" ... ???

Has anyone else ever worked with Tamiya "gunmetal" spray paint ???

TJ
 

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Finally some photos comparing the 238E to the 1668/1688! I've been aware of the general difference for a long time but never seen a photo with them side by side to get the real idea. Definitely a nice locomotive there, and a nice whistle tender to match. All the coolness of the 1668/1688 but scaled up to an impressive, larger, truer O scale size.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Gerard,

I was excited to put the 238 and the 1668 side-by-side, too, and snap some pics. (I've never seen comparison pics like this on the 'net, either.) It's quite amazing how similar the shells are, yet the size difference really makes the locos very distinct.

Just for fun, I weighed each loco ... about 2.5 lbs for the 1668, and about 4 lbs for the 238.

I'm feeling somewhat vindicated (by dumb luck, really) ...

I ebay bought a 610/612 passenger car set recently, but was shocked to learn how big they are ... too big for my 1681's or 1688's. But they'll be a nice pairing to this 238. I got lucky!

Cheers,

TJ
 

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Railroad Tycoon
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I didn't feel like searching for where it was, I got limited time tonight.

Here is the link, I don't see why it wouldn't go on metal?
Some paints are not for plastic's, but I never heard of a paint not made for metal.

http://www.hobbylinc.com/htm/tam/tam85042.htm
 

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TJ,
Have you considered approaching a custom car shop or someplace with commercial grade painting equipment? Not sure how far you want to go with it but a reputable place like that might have the ability to really smooth her surface and paint.
 

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Thanks for the comparison pictures.:thumbsup:


For my 1668e I got some Krylon gloss grey. Wallmart stocks it and they had Rustoleom metallic in some interesting shades. With my last attempt in mind I went with Kylon.

I have found that older gunmetal paint doesn't hold up well and developes it's own defects. They sand out and that paint is thick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
TJ,
Have you considered approaching a custom car shop or someplace with commercial grade painting equipment? Not sure how far you want to go with it but a reputable place like that might have the ability to really smooth her surface and paint.
No plans as of yet. The 238 project is on hold for now. I'll keep the car shop idea in mind, though.

Thanks!

TJ
 

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Paper Shuffler Extraordinaire
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You might even consider the Dupli-color paint line. I know that the 1987 Trans Am's (among others) used a color of gunmetal. So perhaps that's a possibility as well.

Carl
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Me too, T ... cruised through their on Sat with my kids. Saw a very pricey 238!

I picked up a 1668 baby cousin for a steal ... wasn't really looking for another one, but offer was too good to pass. Might spruce it up just a bit, and do a quick resell.

TJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I received an interested PM question from member SoShoresGuy, which I am posting here ...

SoShoresGuy said:
Re: 4-6-2 on the 238E

TJ, have you ever thought about putting a 6 wheel driver motor on your 238E? I have a beat up 238E shell and I was wondering if I could put a 1668 or 1666 motor in it to give me a true 4-6-2 K4 Torpedo locomotive. I know that the linkages will be a problem but what else should I look for. I would like to get as close as I can with Lowery's Torpedo K4 as possible in tinplate.
For others, take a look at my first post in this thread ... I compare a big-brother 238 (4-4-2) to a small-brother 1668 (2-6-2). Very similar styling, but big difference in size.

So, with SoShoresGuy's question at hand, I snapped some pics of a 1668 motor held alongside my 238.

Anything's possible, perhaps, but fitting the 6-wheel motor into the 238 shell would be a tight fit. I believe the motor itself would fit (though you'd have to figure out how to mount it), but a couple of complications arise ...

1. The e-unit lever slot on the 238 shell is in the rear. The 1668 motor itself would fit better in the 238 shell if its e-unit were positioned forward. Doing so gets the drive wheel further aft in the shell. Conversely, if the 1668 motor were installed with its e-unit aligned with the 238 slot, that pushes the set of drive wheels a bit further forward.

2. Which gets into a problem with the drive wheel linkages ... mostly the valve gear assembly.

3. With either motor orientation, you might have to swap out the forward truck to be a 2-wheeler, yielding a 2-6-2, rather than a 4-6-2.

All of this is speculative on my part, as I didn't actually disassemble the shell and try a test-fit of the 1668 motor.

I'll note that these shells are NOT tinplate. Rather, they are cast.

Hope that helps!

TJ


1668 motor oriented with e-unit forward (2 pics)






1668 motor oriented with e-unit aft (3 pics)





 

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