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It actually looks OK to me in the first shot. Looks like the pipes under the walkway are separately applied. I’m surprised about the tether. I only have one modern Lionel loco (an LC+ camelback) and the wireless tether on that works well (better than the MTH wireless tether).
 

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There's actually a good reason for the tether. The rollers on the locomotive are closely spaced, and going with the IR link would have made for a very unreliable running locomotive. I have the Legacy version from a few years ago, it's exactly the same shell, they just updated the electronics to Bluetooth. Releasing old stuff as new seems to be the norm rather than the exception nowadays.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
There's actually a good reason for the tether. . . . Releasing old stuff as new seems to be the norm rather than the exception nowadays.
Yes, I realize why the B6 and the A5 both have tethers, being so short, etc. But the A5 has a regular "hook and slot" coupler which is so much easier. I'm going to look at changing out the B6 to that: certainly have plenty of spare parts in my discarded locos box. The "floppy bar" is unacceptable, particularly since it disconnects upon backing up.

A sure sign that "releasing old stuff as new" is standard procedure was the tender's control locations on this B6sb. The switches are now under the loco, but the holes where they were way back when are still in the tender. No big deal, but it would have been nice, if . . .
Slide10.JPG
 

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The B6 is originally a K-Line Model. AFAIK Lionel has made no improvements detail wise to any of the K-Line rereleases. The only K-Line steam engine that got an upgrade other than electronics was the B&A style Berk which got a bigger motor located in the firebox. All the rest have the small Mabuchi in the smokebox.
MTH has been pretty much ahead of Lionel in the detail department, not in all head to head cases but most of them. Their USRA Pacifics, Mikados, and USRA 0-8-0s are among the better models.

Pete
 

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My older Legacy B6sb has the switches under the locomotive, the tender just has the volume control. The reason for the move is the new 2020 Legacy board is an all-in-one board with audio and control, so everything is controlled from the locomotive. I'm guessing other than a speaker and coupler, there's nothing in the tender.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'll find out. I'm going to take it apart and replace that coupler bar with a regular coupler. Will look inside when I do . . .
 

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If this engine has the latest Lionel electronics there is no volume control according to Dave Olson. You can only adjust the volume with a remote.

Pete
 

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Thanks for the review, Lee! I was on the fence for this engine, and I think I’m still on the fence.
 

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Lee, not sure you noticed this thread but one person found max volume requires a Legacy Controller. Using a Lionchief control gives the least max volume. Using the App gives a higher max, and Legacy Contol gives the most volume.


I know I have suggested this before, even though you don't run trains with Legacy, there are times when its useful to use it for setup. Just another tool on the workbench.

Pete
 

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Overall I'm pretty happy with mine - I really like the multiple whistles and the chuffing. However, I'm trying to figure out how to adjust the rear coupler. It fires just fine, but I cannot get it to close when coupling with another car. If I push on the knuckle, it closes just ine, but will not close with another car. I have held the car and let the switcher back up until the wheels slipper, and "banged" a car into it with enough force it should close, but no luck.

Does anybody have a suggestion for a stubborn coupler?
 

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What brand of car are you trying to couple to the B6? Lionel knuckle couplers have different dimensions than other brands. The opening behind the movable part of the knuckle is not as deep as the other brands. I've found that Lionel couples well to Lionel (duh), couples OK to Weaver and Atlas and couples poorly to sometimes not at all with MTH. I don't have that many Lionel locomotives, but I always replace their electrocouplers with the ones that Atlas uses on their Erie Built diesels. These couple very smoothly with all non-Lionel brands.
 

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Thank you for the compatibility information; I wasn't aware that different manufacturers used different standards for their couplers. I'll keep this in mind when adding more rolling stock to my layout.

I have only tried one of the new Lionel plug door reefers (since they arrived at the same time. I will now give it a try with several different Lionel cars and see if the results vary - perhaps I should not have assumed it is the electrocoupler on the tender.
 

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I appreciate your suggestion. I grabbed three other Lionel cars (box cars) and they couple fine. So I guess the problem is with the couplers on the plug door reefers. In fact, the plug door reefers will not couple with several other Lionel cars. If the coupler on the reefer is open, it will not close when pushed against the coupler on the other car. If the coupler on the boxcar is open and the coupler on the reefer is closed, they will couple up.

On closer inspection, the couplers on the plug door reefer do have different dimensions than the ones on the older Lionel boxcars. Looks like Lionel changed manufacturers on the trucks,
 
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