Lionel HO Challenger

A friend would like to know if anyone here used a Dremel on the chrome wheels to give this engine better pulling power?

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Frank Eva
http://www.digitalrailroader.org /
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I would not do that when there are better solutions. I have had two Lionel Challengers looked at and fixed due to slow speed stalls and low pulling power. The store I purchased them from fixed them both. They each can pull over 60 Proto tank cars plus and another 10 Proto flat/box cars with no slipping. Their is an article coming out in one of the model magazines on how to correct a lot of this. You may wish to contact Grand Central LTD. in Lincoln NE and talk to Randy. He is the one who fixed both of mine. If you had purchased it from that store he would fix it free. There are others who have sent their Challengers to him to fix but he charges for purchases outside the store. They now both start and pull like the Trix Big Boys.
Scott
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Can you tell me what he does to fix them? I don't suppose Randy frequents this newsgroup, so he could give the directions for all of us to see?...
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Frank Eva
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Frank, Tony's Train eXchange has a review of this engine with a few tweaks;
http://tonystrains.com/technews/loconews/lionel-challenger-tweak.htm
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Frank, I can't tell you for sure, but I watched him take the boiler off and remove the gear on top the towers to free up the wheels. Randy then moved the wheel set with his thumb until he felt a "catch". He used a small file but I did not watch that process. He also oiled everything including the tender wheels which he said were causing a lot of drag. A new article just came out in Railmodel Journal and Randy said none of the improvements he did were addressed in the article except for the lube job. The article talks about being able to pull about 30 cars after the fix. THAT IS HALF what either one of my improved Challengers pull. You may consider shipping it back to Lionel to have them address it. They got to see the second Challenger and consulted with Randy at Grand Central LTD. on the fix. I am not stretching the truth on this fix and I don't get any commission on work for Randy. I will check with Randy and see if he will give a more detailed description of his work. Frank if could send me your email I will contact you direct. I tried to send you an email direct but it bounced.
Scott Arnold
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It's come full circle. You need to do all the work on a plastic (Well the Lionel is diecast) that you needed to do on brass to make it run good.<VBG>
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wheels to give this engine better pulling power?< It depends on what the tires are made off or if they are plated. I'm quite sure they are not chrome but might be bright nickel. Nickel tends to slip more than brass, which might be underneath, but not enough to grind it off. Just the suggestion of using a Dremel one should probably not let the person near the engine<VBG>.. If they are solid nickel silver then grinding to nubs won't help at all. The best thing to do is tune up the engine. Most of the Lionel pulling problems is bad QA at the factory so many little things are wrong that will decrease traction. Better to send it to the shop "Rick" suggested.
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