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Discussion Starter #1
I'm not so new at this my first set was a Lionel - Quaker Oats promotion my grandparents bought me in the 60's. A scout no less!!

Anyway 10-12 sets later I have a question about some of the newer Lionel engines and their smoke units. I have a BNSF Dash 8 #18291 bought in 03. It was last run in 05 until today. Tossed it on the track, let it run 15 minutes or so and there was just a hint of smoke. I hit the smoke button on the CAB 1 and it got going a little better. I decided it needed a little more smoke fluid so I added about 5-6 drops. It didn't make a difference. I noticed the fluid appeared to be stuck in the grate and not going down so I blew into it. It appeared to help momentarily then it stopped again. I had the smoke unit replaced before I put it away so it was good.

Are these that sensitive or am I just doing something wrong???

I appreciate any and all comments! Thanks!
 

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I'm not so new at this my first set was a Lionel - Quaker Oats promotion my grandparents bought me in the 60's. A scout no less!!

Anyway 10-12 sets later I have a question about some of the newer Lionel engines and their smoke units. I have a BNSF Dash 8 #18291 bought in 03. It was last run in 05 until today. Tossed it on the track, let it run 15 minutes or so and there was just a hint of smoke. I hit the smoke button on the CAB 1 and it got going a little better. I decided it needed a little more smoke fluid so I added about 5-6 drops. It didn't make a difference. I noticed the fluid appeared to be stuck in the grate and not going down so I blew into it. It appeared to help momentarily then it stopped again. I had the smoke unit replaced before I put it away so it was good.

Are these that sensitive or am I just doing something wrong???

I appreciate any and all comments! Thanks!

do have a good battery in the loco?
is your transformer voltage at 18 volts?
did you set your rpm s up?
did you set your momentim on high?
are your sure you have enough smoke fluid in your loco? 5-6 drops is not enough for that loco also ,when ever you do add,it takes a llittle time for the oil to get hot
and last but not least, is your track clean? I know when I run any of my legacy locos if the track is not clean,the smoke unit does not put out as good.
also clean the wheels and center pick up,I know you said you was not a beginer at this, but the newer locos are more sensitive to dirt than the post war trains...........mike
 

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Have either of you added fiberglass for liqud smoke units? Or is that just for the conversion of a postwar pellet unit.

So far I have been a non smoker.


To read more threads on the subject. I have added threads to the tag smoke unit problem. Under SEARCH it's the TAG search.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Here's the answers and a few more questions:

do have a good battery in the loco? - yes, it's new. I didn't know the battery could affect the smoke unit??

is your transformer voltage at 18 volts?Set to max on a CW80. Should I use my old ZW instead??

did you set your rpm s up? Yes

did you set your momentim on high? No, but I will change that.

are your sure you have enough smoke fluid in your loco? 5-6 drops is not enough for that loco also ,when ever you do add,it takes a llittle time for the oil to get hot Probably added 10-12 overall

and last but not least, is your track clean? Yes

I know when I run any of my legacy locos if the track is not clean,the smoke unit does not put out as good.
also clean the wheels and center pick up,I know you said you was not a beginer at this, but the newer locos are more sensitive to dirt than the post war trains

Unfortunately I'm heading out of town til Friday night so I won't be able to make any adjustments til then. I'll fool with it when I get home and report back. Thanks Mike!
 

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In the modern era Lionel has always been a step behind with smoke. I have a very expensive scale anniversary Hudson locomotive from 2002 equipped with a 1960s type primitive smoke unit. Needless to say it barley smokes. Around 2003 Lionel finally adopted fan driven smoke units that produce tons of smoke when used properly. I'm not sure if yours is one of these but if it is here is a list of things to check:

Is the smoke unit turned on? Turn the locomotive upside down. There may be a small switch under the cab that manually disables the smoke.

Is smoke disabled from TMCC? Newer locomotives have a smoke high low command that is controlled from the CAB1 control. Check the manual and make sure you have sent the command to smoke.

If all else fails remove the body of the locomotive and open up the smoke unit. Sometimes the wick that soaks up the smoke fluid gets burned or dried up. Replacing it or shifting it so the burned part is not under the heater can bring it back to life.

All of these tips apply only to fan driven smoke units. If you have the older manual flap design then it's possible the smoke heater is bad. The battery should have nothing to do with smoke. The battery only holds the memory settings when you power down the locomotive. I'm pretty sure smoke-on is the default.

I know it's tough to hear but in this modern solid state ere sometimes it's best to just RTFM. :)
 

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FWIW, for some of my smokers, I have to give them a boost for a few seconds to get the smoke started. Many of the diesel fan driven smoke units require a surprising amount of fluid to work properly. From the manual for my SD-80...

Add 10 to 15 drops of fluid into the stack of your locomotive as illustrated in Figure 4.

There are some Lionel recommended modifications you can make to fan driven smoke units to increase the smoke output, basically it's a larger hole from the fan chamber.

Oh, and TMCC and Legacy locomotives remember the smoke settings between sessions. If I turn off the smoke from the CAB-1 or CAB-2, it's off the next time I power up and run the same locomotive.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
In the modern era Lionel has always been a step behind with smoke. I have a very expensive scale anniversary Hudson locomotive from 2002 equipped with a 1960s type primitive smoke unit. Needless to say it barley smokes. Around 2003 Lionel finally adopted fan driven smoke units that produce tons of smoke when used properly. I'm not sure if yours is one of these but if it is here is a list of things to check:

Is the smoke unit turned on? Yes

Turn the locomotive upside down. There may be a small switch under the cab that manually disables the smoke. It's on

Is smoke disabled from TMCC? Newer locomotives have a smoke high low command that is controlled from the CAB1 control. Check the manual and make sure you have sent the command to smoke. It's on as well.

If all else fails remove the body of the locomotive and open up the smoke unit. Sometimes the wick that soaks up the smoke fluid gets burned or dried up. Replacing it or shifting it so the burned part is not under the heater can bring it back to life.

All of these tips apply only to fan driven smoke units. If you have the older manual flap design then it's possible the smoke heater is bad. The battery should have nothing to do with smoke. The battery only holds the memory settings when you power down the locomotive. I'm pretty sure smoke-on is the default.

I know it's tough to hear but in this modern solid state ere sometimes it's best to just RTFM. :)
Mine is fan driven. I opened it up yesterday, but I should have snapped a few pics for reference. I keep reading you cab kill the units by overfilling them so I'm always on the cautious side.
 

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From the manual:

The smoke generator requires the periodic addition of Lionel smoke fluid in order to function. Pierce the tube end with a pin, then add 10-15 drops of fluid into the locomotive’s stack.

I also normally give a blow into the stack, since many times a bubble forms which screws things up. :)

Also from the manual:

WARNING: Never operate the smoke unit when dry. This will cause the smoke unit to overheat and may damage your engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
From the manual:

The smoke generator requires the periodic addition of Lionel smoke fluid in order to function. Pierce the tube end with a pin, then add 10-15 drops of fluid into the locomotive’s stack.

I also normally give a blow into the stack, since many times a bubble forms which screws things up. :)

Also from the manual:

WARNING: Never operate the smoke unit when dry. This will cause the smoke unit to overheat and may damage your engine.
So to be clear. The manual does state 10-15 drops at start up and then 4 -8 drops. Are you saying every year when I use it I should add 10-15 to get it going? I always stayed on the cautious side, which might be part of the problem.
 

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After it's been sitting for a year, I'd probably add 8-10 drops and see how it goes. Don't ever run it dry, when the smoke output is noticeably lower than normal, add fluid or turn it off!

What I also do after adding fluid is give it a few seconds of boost by holding the on key to get the ball rolling.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
After it's been sitting for a year, I'd probably add 8-10 drops and see how it goes. Don't ever run it dry, when the smoke output is noticeably lower than normal, add fluid or turn it off!

What I also do after adding fluid is give it a few seconds of boost by holding the on key to get the ball rolling.
Thanks for all the help John. :thumbsup: Tried the boost as well with little results. Like I said, headed out til Friday when I can try a few more things.

I may open up the smoke unit so see what's going on! That should be interesting!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Once I get home I'll open it up, take some pics and post them.
 
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