Lionel MPC 8030 IC GP9 questions

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Lionel MPC 8030 IC GP9 questions
Posted by okiechoochoo on Friday, October 29, 2004 6:40 PM
I have always thought this engine was a very attractive locomotive. I am considering buying one mint in the box. I know the early MPC production does not get good reviews but just how bad is this engine. Can it be coverted to magnetraction and have better pickups installed. Perhaps the best thing would be to buy say a 2338 Milwaukee GP and put the IC cab on it. Just looking for opinions
Thanks [?]

All Lionel all the time.

Okiechoochoo

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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, October 29, 2004 8:08 PM
ITS A GREAT ENGINE, I HAVE 3 OF THEM, ALL FROM THE CROSS COUNTRY SET,
NO PROBLEMS WHAT SO EVER, JUST THE OCCASIONAL OIL AND GREASE.
HAS 2 TRACTION TIRES, PULLS ALOT OF MPC CARS INCLUDING THE DUMMY 8254 WITH NO TROUBLE
HOPE THIS HELPS

MARK
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Posted by brianel027 on Saturday, October 30, 2004 7:18 AM
There are some who knock the quality of Lionel MPC product. Changes were made that on some levels cheapened product (plastic gears, plastic rivets to attach trucks to rolling stock), and yet there were also positive changes made (like going to the fast angle wheels) that are still being used today.

I also remind folks not all postwar stuff is top line either... there was plenty of cheapening going on at Lionel by the late 1950's. I'd rather have an MPC Alco than one of those single axle gear drive low-end Lionel Corp. Alcos. Oh, and I forgot the dreaded Scout steamers with their bakelite enclosed motors... again, I'll take a cheap MPC steamer over one of those.

This #8030 engine was the very first Geep made by Lionel MPC in 1970. The handrail stantions are folded sheetmetal (like the ones on some Lionel flatcars) - which later went to plastic and then back to stamped sheetmetal around 1975. The shell on this loco is also unprimed on the inside so the inside cab lights cause the shell to glow. Masking the outside of the shell and priming the inside with flat grey would cure that problem. Other than that, it is pretty similar to most MPC kinds of locos mechanically. It was a then top-line MPC loco in that it had a 3-position reverse unit (many had 2-position). On a comparision quality level, it's not a postwar Lionel quality loco. But the MPC locos are not all as bad as they're made out to be. I have several and they all run fine.... they do take a little more TLC than some postwar locos. And they do have the potential for future problems due to cheapening of the worm gear.

CTT did a great article years ago on "tuning up" MPC-era diesels.

The Illinois Central 8030 has never been that collectible - even when compared to other MPC diesels. I've seen them on ebay and at shows for very reasonable prices. If the one your want is mint in the box (be sure it is and not someone just saying that) and it is in good conidition (not rusted from being stored in a damp basement) you'd be off to a good start as far as worn gear problems. Most MPC stuff is bargain priced as compared to other things available, so making improvements like adding additional roller pirckups or priming the inside of the shell becomes more affordable.

Lionel also made an Illinois Central U36B sometime in the mid-1970's that is slightly better quality than the #8030 Geep.

brianel, Agent 027

"Praise the Lord. I may not have everything I desire, but the Lord has come through for what I need."

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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, October 30, 2004 7:43 AM
I have one and it runs fine. It pulls the same loads as all my post war engines (no two motor units) and never complains. I love the paint job. Its a GREAT locomotive.
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Posted by daan on Saturday, October 30, 2004 3:06 PM
Have one too, but mine had problems with traction tires coming loose. I've glued them on the wheels. In my opinion they are too light, but mine has been dismatelled before I bought it, so the possible weight could have been removed. I put about 300 grams of lead in it, and now it runs fine. The gears do only show slight wear, no big problems there. The motor is a vertical AC motor which drives the 2 axles under the cabin. The problem with that arrangement is that it can't pull that much when you put the small bonnet in front. The bright colors are a real attraction and the machine looks great. It has the same diecast sideframes on the wheels as the F3, and those are very good in detail.
Daan. I'm Dutch, but only by country...
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Posted by Big_Boy_4005 on Saturday, October 30, 2004 5:44 PM
I have one too, but what I did was convert it to the can motor trucks. The problem with that is you will need an electronic E-unit for it to handle the DC can motors. In my case I was already running DC on my tracks, so it was a logical choice. I've never found magnatraction to be that great anyway.

Like the others have said, do try to stick to the modern cars for best results.
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Posted by ChiefEagles on Saturday, October 30, 2004 9:23 PM
I have two of the CN MPC geeps. They run great and have miles on them. Kept them lubed. I did add lead bars to weight them down. Also took the fuel tanks off and filled them with weights. Pulls good. Did have them lashed together using only one E unit. Separated them and now run as single units. If I can find some good running Geeps or UBoats, I'll buy them. I repaint the shells CN or NS. Enjoy.

 God bless TCA 05-58541   Benefactor Member of the NRA,  Member of the American Legion,   Boss Hog of Roseyville Laugh,   KC&D QualifiedCowboy       

              

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Posted by lionelsoni on Sunday, October 31, 2004 10:44 AM
You don't need an electronic e-unit to use DC motors, just a rectifier.

Bob Nelson

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Posted by cwburfle on Tuesday, November 02, 2004 6:04 PM
When these engines were originally released, there were several companies that were converting them to magentraction. Perhaps you can find a converted one.
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Posted by JTrains on Sunday, January 17, 2016 9:31 AM

brianel027


CTT did a great article years ago on "tuning up" MPC-era diesels.

Does anyone happen to know the issue this was in?   I really would like to try and get my #8030 pulling better - the boy has now taken a shine to it.

IT consultant by day, 3rd generation Lionel guy (raising a 3YO 4th generation Lionel Lil' Man) by night in the suburbs of the greatest city in the world - Chicago. Home of the ever-changing Illinois Concretus Ry.

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Posted by bobhwalker on Monday, January 25, 2016 11:36 AM

I have six IC GP-7/9's of various vintages and one dummy unit. I converted all to DC operation with a bridge rectifier cross wired to the Pulmor universal motor. They are all running smoothly.

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Posted by railroaded on Saturday, January 30, 2016 7:43 AM
Anyone remember the issue that tune up article was in?
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Posted by ADCX Rob on Saturday, January 30, 2016 10:16 AM

bobhwalker
...I converted all to DC operation with a bridge rectifier cross wired to the Pulmor universal motor...

Could you describe/draw the circuit you used?

Rob

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Posted by ADCX Rob on Sunday, October 06, 2019 7:47 PM

ADCX Rob

 

 
bobhwalker
...I converted all to DC operation with a bridge rectifier cross wired to the Pulmor universal motor...

 

Could you describe/draw the circuit you used?



Anything?

Rob

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Posted by lionelsoni on Sunday, October 06, 2019 8:13 PM

A simple way to do it is to insert a bridge rectifier upstream of the motor brushes:  Detach the wires from the brushes and connect those wires instead to the ~ terminals of the bridge rectifier.  Connect the + and - terminals of the bridge rectifier to the brush terminals.  If the locomotive runs in the direction opposite to what you want, swap the + and - connections.

I should add that, if you don't need the DC-operation feature of reversing direction by reversing voltage polarity, you don't need to modify the locomotive at all--a universal motor will run just fine on DC.

Bob Nelson

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Posted by bobhwalker on Thursday, October 10, 2019 7:16 PM

The bridge rectifier circuit described by Bob Nelson is the preferred circuit for converting AC motors to DC polarity sensitive direction and is the way all of my GP9's are wired. However, there is a very old fashioned way to do it which also works: a crosswired DPDT relay which reverses the brushes with the coil fed by a reverse connected diode so that it pulls up only on negative DC picked up from the track. I did this once back in the 60's, but went with the rectifier circuit across the board as a better solution. 

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Posted by lionelsoni on Thursday, October 10, 2019 8:20 PM

That one's new to me.  But there are a lot of ways to do it.  For example, it doesn't matter whether you put the bridge rectifier on the brushes or on the field winding, as long as you don't put one on each.  And it's optional whether you leave the e-unit in place and connected but shut off, or wire around it.

Leaving the e-unit operational actually has a benefit:  Two-rail DC locomotives have the useful property that, if you pick up a northbound locomotive, turn it end-for-end, and put it back down on the track, it continues to go north.  This allows you to run (particularly) Diesels in haphazard orientations, just like the prototypes.  Three-rail locomotives lack this feature, but you can turn on the retained e-unit and step it to the opposite direction to get all the power synchronized. 

Bob Nelson

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