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Discussion Starter #1
I picked up a MTH Premier GP9 I really liked. It is a non powered dummy. It is number 20-20032-2.

Would it be possible to put a powered chassis under the shell with out too much conversion?

It wouldn't matter to me if it was a PS, PS2/3v or a PS3 chassis...

Tom
 

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Here is one I did on a Railking GP-9. I would guess that a Premier swap would be about the same. Since the Reading is short hood forward and the P&LE was long hood forward, some of the wires also had to be switched. John did that for me so the headlights would work correctly and it would start up in the right direction, but we forgot to do the couplers.

https://www.modeltrainforum.com/showthread.php?t=174304
 

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the flip angle of putting power into a dummy chassis seems just about not worth it to impossible... on the one example i have and got as far taking apart, etc...
 

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I wouldn't expect it to be plug and play. Swapping the lights, assuming MTH dummies don't have lights already, would be the biggest deal but otherwise not that bad.

Pete
 

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Like Lionel's current dummies. What I call a boxcar with windows except for the price.
That said I would assume Tom is starting out with another powered engine and just swapping shells so he should have all the lights and connectors.

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #10
One thing that never dawned on me is that the engine, being a Great Northern blue, grey and white scheme, I would need to change over a lot of things(trucks, fuel tanks, etc) as they are not black but a dark grey.

I may just search for a powered version and make a pair. They just seem hard to come by...

Tom
 

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Good Evening Tom,

I've done a few of these MTH Premier dummy shell swaps onto an MTH Premier powered chassis. The posts above have given you some good tips. I have a few suggestions from my experiences. Try to find a powered engine that will power up running forward in the same direction as your dummy shell.(if the engineer/conductor in your dummy are facing short hood forward, try to find a powered unit with them facing the same way or vice versa). It will save you from some extra work not having to pry the glued engineer/conductor figures loose to face them in the right direction. It will also save you from having to reverse the motor wiring(by unsoldering the motor leads/swapping them/resoldering or by removing and swapping the motor wiring leads in their plugs. Just changing plug positions in the board doesn't work) to start the engine in the right direction. Same situation with the f&r headlights. For the markers, there are variations in wiring & plug placement.. On some dummy engines, MTH uses green and red plastic lenses(that are not illuminated) to represent the markers. These can be carefully popped out and replaced with illuminated markers/harnesses. However the illuminated markers are larger in diameter, so the holes in the body must be drilled larger to accept them. I have a thread going right now where I'm having to do that. Anyway, just a few things I've run into.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Pete and Nick for the encouragement!

I found a donor engine in the form of a PS3 Grand Trunk Railroad GP9. They run long hood forward like my GN geep, so that is a break.

The GN geep has lights but I haven't powered it up yet. It has an on/off switch under the cab...

Tom
 

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You have most of the battle won with the two engines both running long hood forward-let us know how it worked out when you're done.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Nick, you are right about the holes for the lights. Big difference, but easily modified with a drill.

I am going to open up the dummy unit today to see what I am getting into. The powered unit is on its way. Should have it by Friday...if the USPS doesn’t lose it.

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Here is the dummy unit I want to power up. As far as I can tell, it is a Premier 2010 manufacture...

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #18
That was my thinking too. The chassis plate has all the switch “holes” for the various controls consistent with a PS3...

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The conversion went well. I didn’t do the marker lights yet, but I will do them after I repair the one light I accidentally pulled apart.

The GT shell had an extra lead for a cab top beacon light, so I just plugged it into one of the dummy’s open connectors.

I tested both units and they worked fine. The only bug is that the now GN engine appears on the DCS remote at the GT engine.

Some more pics of the MTH GP9 with a Lionel WV caboose...

Tom
 

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