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Discussion Starter #1
Glad to find this forum. I’m new to model trains. I’m hoping to find information from your expertise on this forum. I recently acquired my first used Lionel O gauge train but the power supply it came with is not a Lionel brand. It has a 16 volt DC output. I’m wondering if I could use it to power the train. I’ll attach photos of the train and power supply.
 

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I looked for a manual for 6-8568 at Lionel. Does your loco look like one of these? If your loco has one or two Pullmor motors like the ones pictured, it will run on either AC or DC. Lionel made a few locos in those days that would only run on DC, but most will run on either AC or DC. BTW, it looks to me like your MPC AMPACK has both an AC and a DC output.

View attachment 1982 F3.pdf

View attachment 18363Complete.pdf
 

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The AMPACK 402 had variable DC for the train and a fixed AC output for accessories. Lehigh74's loco diagram seems to indicate the loco has AC universal motors (i.e., they'll run on AC or DC).

The issue is the capacity of the 402 at 20 VA (1.25 amps @ 16 V). That may not be enough to drive the dual motors in the F3.

I think you should try it with just the loco. If that gets the loco moving at any type of reasonable speed, then add cars. Once the the loco's draw exceeds the 402's limits, it will shut down.

At that point, an optimum choice for a transformer upgrade would depend on your vision of trains in your future. A simple, seasonal Christmas tree set-up or building a multi-train layout in the basement, attic, where ever ...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you so much for all the replies. Yes my train looks like it’s the one in the manual. I will try running the train by itself on the DC output. The tracks have lots of oxidation from being stored for a while. I’ve been sanding them down with very fine steel wool. I’ll update how the set up goes...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I will eventually get a proper power supply for this train. I purchase items on EBay. If anybody can suggest a power supply on EBay that would work for this train, I would appreciate the item number so I’ll have an idea what to look for. I plan to run no more than 7 cars on this train. Thank you again.
 

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I will eventually get a proper power supply for this train. I purchase items on EBay. If anybody can suggest a power supply on EBay that would work for this train, I would appreciate the item number so I’ll have an idea what to look for. I plan to run no more than 7 cars on this train. Thank you again.
Any Lionel Postwar transformer of 90 watts or higher would be sufficient for this locomotive. The very reliable 1033 Lionel transformer is available at usually a pretty good price.

Bill
 

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Thank you so much for all the replies. Yes my train looks like it’s the one in the manual. I will try running the train by itself on the DC output. The tracks have lots of oxidation from being stored for a while. I’ve been sanding them down with very fine steel wool. I’ll update how the set up goes...
Sorry to tell you but ...

Don't use steel wool on tubular track. It strips the protective tinplate and leaves the underlying soft steel - prone to lots of red rust.

Use a "scotch Brite" pad, any sponge that has a "scrubber" side. Or those thin green scrubber sheets. Use either with 90%+ isopropyl alcohol (~$3 / qqt at any discount drug store).

If the track is badly rusted, you can use the scrubber with distilled white vinegar or consider replacing it. There's some bargains for old tubular track on eBay.
 

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Thank you so much for all the replies. Yes my train looks like it’s the one in the manual. I will try running the train by itself on the DC output. The tracks have lots of oxidation from being stored for a while. I’ve been sanding them down with very fine steel wool. I’ll update how the set up goes...
Using steel wool on the track will make it look better but it presents a hazard to the locomotive as the locos motor will attract the small pieces of the steel wool that are left on the track and eventually can short out the motor.
I am sure that others here will be able to advise better than I on cleaning track.
Good luck. And have FUN.
 

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BTW: You should "change the oil" on the loco: remove old grease and give the gears and axles some fresh lube - light oil on the axles and grease on the gears.

Then I'd test it with the AMPACK "on the bench".
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Okay I’ll check YouTube for some videos on “changing the oil” as I have never done this before...
 

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Nice looking locomotive. I agree, don't use steel wool. Use the green scotchbrite pads.
From any grocery store. That transformer is probably under powered for the engine.
Get a Lionel with 90 or more watts. Have fun. Better than the scotchbrite pads would be
new track. If you have a Menards check their track. They are about the cheapest for track.
I use Menards track and it is fine.
 

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Any Lionel Postwar transformer of 90 watts or higher would be sufficient for this locomotive. The very reliable 1033 Lionel transformer is available at usually a pretty good price.

Bill


Ditto on the 1033. There should be enough power to run the loco and a few accessories.
 

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Don't just limit yourself to the 1033. You may want something with more power in the future. Take a look at all the PW transformers that are out there. If you want to use the whistle, make sure whatever you choose has that feature.

Also know that shipping will probably be substantial since these are heavy. Depending on where you live there may be a local hobby shop, train meets or a vendor that deals in PW transformers.

https://www.tandem-associates.com/lionel/lioneltransformers.htm
 

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A little patience and bidding finesse and a Lionel PW 1033 can be had on eBay for <$30 shipped. If advertised as working and there's an issue, it can always be sent back as "not as described". Or we can recommend a well regarded restorer of Lionel PW transformers (e.g., checked/serviced/rebuilt PW 1033s for $35 but they'll also be a shipping charge).

That's where I'll be going for my next transformer purchase. I have enough prewar tinplate restoration projects in the works that for a few extra bucks, I won't need to mess around with the transformer.

The $35 1033s are listed near the bottom of the This page. Note the KW listing is an error. You won't get that for $30.
 

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I have these two controllers that I can send to you.
$10 + shipping for the 25 watt.
$25 + shipping for the 60 Watt.

They are just taking up space and they will get your train going on a simple track. they aren't the best if you want to run accessories / lights, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thank you so much for all your suggestions. I’m learning much about older Lionel train. I did remove the cover on the train to see what the motor looks like. Is there a way to find out if the motor is a DC or AC motor? Also how do I check if the motor is burned out or still in running condition without connecting the motor to the power supply? I’m familiar with using a multitester.
 

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