Model Train Forum banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,812 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The search has ended
Serendipitously.


I've been looking for these for a quite a few years... they disappeared in these parts right after they were announced.

They happened to be hidden behind pallets of new LHS stock that kept getting placed in front of them... for all this time. Must've messed up the books something awful.

Anyway, they were now considered 'old stock', and qualified for huge discounts.
My good fortune.

So far I haven't slapped them together for a test run yet. They'll likely need their running gear cleaned.
But even if they need work, I figure I made out pretty good.
144168-002jpg_10b21055-5677-4409-9074-c24a2e6f5faa_1024x1024@2x.jpg
144161-002jpg_6246bcfa-e9c0-42d8-8212-c3ca91938c62_1024x1024@2x~2.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,948 Posts
Very nice! You’ll love them! Might need to address the “cracked gear” issue, but not all Proto 2000 had that problem. I have come across 4 of my 20+ Proto 2000’s that I didn’t have to fix....

But after fixing, they are the best locomotives I own now....
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,812 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Very nice! You’ll love them! Might need to address the “cracked gear” issue, but not all Proto 2000 had that problem.
I have a few Walthers Proto SD's, (and they run great) but these are my first Proto 2000's.
If I should have a cracked gear issue with these, trust me, I'll be right back here looking for suggestions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,238 Posts
I love the long nose on the GP-20's.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,812 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I love the long nose on the GP-20's.
I do as well.
It almost (almost!) looks like the RSD Gatornose.
That, and the humpback profile of the GP30 are what's always attracted me to these particular diesels.
I'm so glad I found them.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,812 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Got a text message from the LHS with two photos attached...
He says this is the only one left, but the back of the box is severely punctured, with "no apparent product damage"... $65, if I want it, w/sound.
I told him "yes", but now I'm curious...
It says Proto 2000, but I've never seen this box format.
It's fully assembled. Is this a newer version?

UP-GP20-b.jpg
UP-GP20-1.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,948 Posts
Fully assembled, the next version after the “blue“ boxes......one version before the name “Walthers” started appearing on the boxes after they bought the line from LifeLike.....gear issue was corrected in the version shown and versions that followed.....
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,812 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Hobo:
LifeLike DNA must be pretty darned good. I don't believe I've ever seen a product under the LifeLike label.
These Proto 2000's are superbly detailed for stuff that was produced several years ago.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,238 Posts
For $65 mit sound, who cares!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,948 Posts
Hobo:
LifeLike DNA must be pretty darned good. I don't believe I've ever seen a product under the LifeLike label.
These Proto 2000's are superbly detailed for stuff that was produced several years ago.
Here are the back of the grey boxes, with both manufacturers names....
544682
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,371 Posts
Hobo:
LifeLike DNA must be pretty darned good. I don't believe I've ever seen a product under the LifeLike label.
These Proto 2000's are superbly detailed for stuff that was produced several years ago.
Like-Like used to make cheap old train set cars and accesories. They really upped their game in the late 1990s by introducing the Proto2000 line, one of the first modern lines of well-detailed kits (and later RTR). The company and brand were later purchased by Walthers.

That grey/silver box is a later LifeLike production before the Walthers buyout.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,948 Posts
As in the photo, Walthers continued that same grey/silver box for a while after buying Lifelike, with their name on the back.....

Of course, the line is now called Walthers Proto.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
757 Posts
I have a number of the old Lifelike Proto 2000 engines, and a few of the newer Walthers Proto 2000 engines, as well.

The old ones will run as well as the new ones, but sometimes they need attention.
The axle gears on some of the 4-axle units are usually cracked, and need to be replaced. As others have mentioned above, the Athearn wheelsets are a direct replacement. You can also buy wheelsets from Walthers. Replacement gears (no wheels) are available as well.

The gearcases on the old models will probably be clogged up with dried grease that looks like peanut butter. They need to be completely disassembled and cleaned with alcohol. I was wary about doing this at first, but now am used to it. BE CAREFUL when popping off the bottom covers, the clips can break.

You'll also need to clean out and re-lube the worm gears up above, and the little brass bearings too.

Most (but not all) of the older Proto 2000 engines have a light board that has an 8-pin plug. On some of these (usually the 4-axles), they used an "upside down" female wire harness that plugged into a light board beneath it.

For these, a couple of decoder makers offer a replacement light board - just unplug the harness, swap the light board for the new decoder, and it's ready to go.

The GP20 looks like it could be problematic because I don't believe these came with an 8-pin plug and I don't think anyone makes a replacement board that will drop in without machining the frame. I haven't bought one of these because of that.

For the SD7/SD9 units, it's better to skip the 8-pin plug. I got entire new decoders (in the same form factor as the old light board) -- the ones custom-sized for Atlas units work well (don't have the board numbers in front of me right now).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
465 Posts
i always wondered how the whole proto2k came about
who was the driving force behind the huge game changing line ???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,948 Posts
Lifelike trains were behind it.....I think they realized that they had to up their game, or get out of the business......and they upped it big time with Proto 2000 (and Proto 1000).....it became the blueprint for the way the upper end of the train hobby has become......high degree of detail, reliable motors and electronics, and the incredible variety of locomotives and rolling stock.....IMO, of course.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Since the P2k locos were simply clones of the then current Athearn HO Locomotives, but made in China and selling for a higher price at the time, I don’t think you can fairly credit them for setting any real trends in the hobby, other than higher prices and the shift to Chinese manufacture. After Irv Athearn died, even Athearn moved to higher prices and Chinese production. However, that being said, the P2k models were very good as long as you were able to get the split gear problem sorted out, I used Athearn gears when I could get them, because the P2k replacements were also likely to split after they had been installed on the model. The Lifetime warranty went out the window as soon as Walthers took over and they refused to deal with stocking any parts. The P2k Alco PA’s and E-units had their own separate issues with different gearing that caused motor overheating and journal box bearings that came off of the side frames, usually to get lost on the layout some where. I believe the journal box problem was fixed on later runs. There was a very nice young woman who was usually in the Life Like booth at The NMRA National Train Shows (I believe her name was Kathy), who was very helpful, nice, and was also quite knowledgeable about the P2k locos. I was later told by a LifeLike sales rep that she was in charge of the P2k division, although I’m not sure if that was true or not. If it was true, she probably had a lot to do with the quality improvements made in the line, so thanks, Kathy! I guess we should be glad that Walthers was there to pick up the line when Life Like decided to get out of the model train business, I just wish they had followed through with making parts available and kept on supporting the Lifetime Warranty. When you look at how much better the quality was in the P2k products over the rest of the Life Like line, I think that alone was a major achievement.
Bill in FtL
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top