Marx Windup Motors...

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Posted by Papa_D on Sunday, June 10, 2018 7:44 AM

The other mechanical engine in the stamped steel category is the 635 Mercury produced from ’38 –’42 prewar and ’46 –’52 post war. They were produced in a multitude of colors: black, gray, red, and blue. Based on eBay listings, they are not nearly as plentiful today as the CV’s except for the version with whistle. This last artifact is mostly due to the CV with whistle only sold in ’42 while the Mercury with whistle version was sold for several years both pre & post war. GGtMTs states that the cost of the whistle quickly lead to it being abandoned. This statement is incorrect. Mercuries with whistles were produced prewar all the way through ’52. 

My advertisement coverage for the Mercury is sketchy. The W.T. Grant circa ’38 –’40 advertisement lists a Mercury with sparks, bell, handrails and side rods. Note this is an articulated passenger set which means a talgo style drawbar.

This Mercury version is also shown in a ’39-’40 Eaton ad.

The next ad I’ve found is a ’50 Montgomery Ward ad for a red whistling Mercury with handrails and side rods. This was the last year Montgomery Ward advertised a mechanical Mercury in their Christmas Year Book. Note that the set is no longer articulated.

The last ad I’ve come across is a ’52 Sears Christmas Book ad for a black whistling Mercury with handrails (and I assume side rods since handrails seemed to be one of the first things to go). The Sears Christmas Book didn’t advertise a Mercury in either ’50 or ’51.

Recently a post-war whistling Mercury with a working whistle and normal play wear sold for $122.50 plus $12.40 shipping while another post-war black Mercury in similar condition (but status of whistle not stated) sold for $90.88 plus $18.12 shipping. It included a tender and 5 cars all in excellent shape.

I got my Mercury with whistle for a reasonable price because the whistle wasn’t working. 

A quick inspection found the whistle impeller drive gear was spinning freely on its axle. I’ve read elsewhere that this is not uncommon. A couple of small dabs of red Loctite carefully applied quickly repaired this, and the whistle now works great. 

The whistle sound/sequence (long-short-short) is controlled by tabs that raises a flapper. The flapper falls back in place just by gravity. This is by far the best extra mechanical engine “gimmick” compared to a bell dinging or sparks, and much more practical than having either reverse or two-speeds capability.

Next up are the Die Cast mechanicals….

Papa D

 

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Posted by The Gnome on Sunday, June 10, 2018 8:27 AM

My wife called me from an estate sale yesterday and texted me some photos.  They had four tin plate cars that looked like the black CV, a tanker, a caboose and a PA box car.  I had her put in a bid for thirty dollars and the bid was accepted last night.  She will pick them up today.

here is the question: if the winder key is missing, is there a substitute that will work?

Jim R https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voS6dePOx3c&feature=share
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Posted by JamesP on Sunday, June 10, 2018 8:33 AM

I've always wondered why Marx made the Mercury, when it is so close in appearance to the Commodore Vanderbilt.  At first glance, it appears to be a CV with a different nose, but the shell is actually different than a CV - the most obvious difference being the smooth cab roof of the Merc, compared to the small angles that are present on either side of the CV cab roof.

Although it is hard to tell from the black and white picture, 1950 MW is likely the famous blue Mercury set, as the frames on the passenger cars are the same light color as the car body.  In that era, the red passenger cars had a black frame that made a stark contrast to the red carbody, whereas the blue passenger cars had a similar color on the frame.

Some of the very latest Mercury locos can be found with the die-cast 17 spoke drive wheels instead of the stamped steel 7 spoke drivers that were used for most of the Mercurys.  The early 17 spoke wheels mount the siderod to a diecast post on the driver that is swaged, but Marx quickly went to a siderod with a Z-bend in the end that engages a hole in the driver instead.  The Mercs that I have seen with the 17 spoke drivers have the early version, with the late version showing up on the 533/591 windups.

Looking forward to the die-cast mechanicals...

 - James

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Posted by Papa_D on Sunday, June 10, 2018 9:25 AM

The Gnome

The screw-in type key was used on the ’35 and ’36 CV’s, with the square insert key used after that. The square key is basically 1/8” bar stock. It’s important that the key fully inserts into the hub to evenly distribute the wind-up force. Replica keys can be bought from Robert Grossman Company for under $5 plus shipping or off eBay for around $10 with shipping.  

 Papa D

 

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Posted by The Gnome on Sunday, June 10, 2018 11:37 AM

Papa D, thanks for the info about the key.

Jim R https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voS6dePOx3c&feature=share
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Posted by The Gnome on Sunday, June 10, 2018 12:06 PM

Papa D,

i think mine looks most similar to your third CV, except there is no name plate on the nose.  Only two domes.

the wheels turn, but it dies not spark.

https://www.shutterfly.com/picturepicker/viewTabletPicturePicker.sfly?fid=f16e0777eb9ef0646d9889752d9a603c

 

Jim R https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voS6dePOx3c&feature=share
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Posted by JamesP on Sunday, June 10, 2018 3:57 PM

The only thing that I will add to Papa D's key info is one caution: Sometimes, people will wind up the motor using a small straight blade screwdriver inserted into the mainspring hub.  I don't recommend doing this - even for a one-time test - as the stress will be concentrated in just a couple of corners of the mainspring hub, and will usually end up cracking it.  It most likely won't fail immediately, but it does compromise the part and may cause the motor to suffer a catastrophic failure down the road.

1/8" key stock can be found at hardware stores if you want to make your own key, but the Grossman keys are a top-notch product for just a few bucks.

James

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Posted by Papa_D on Sunday, June 10, 2018 4:06 PM

The Gnome

i can’t open your attached photo. A CV without an name plate is from ’40 or later. if you remove the motor you’ll be able to see if it has the spark mechanism or not. All the sparks engines I’ve purchased were missing the flint. Flints can also be purchased from Robert Grossman or any local shop that sells lighters. 

Papa D

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Posted by The Gnome on Sunday, June 10, 2018 5:06 PM

Jim R https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voS6dePOx3c&feature=share
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Posted by The Gnome on Sunday, June 10, 2018 5:10 PM

this is the bottom  https://www.shutterfly.com/picturepicker/viewTabletPicturePicker.sfly?fid=eb63ef31e73269e3f12f12eb75ef82b5

I give up.  How do i make pictures appear from shutterfly?

Jim R https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voS6dePOx3c&feature=share
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Posted by The Gnome on Sunday, June 10, 2018 5:26 PM

 

Success!?

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Posted by Papa_D on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 7:40 AM

The Marx die-cast mechanical type is an oddity. One (666) was made in very limited quantity, reportedly less than 100, and the other (999) most likely a custom-made or less likely a factory prototype. Both used the electric 999 shell which had a “keyway” feature on the right side of the shell. This “keyway” is the notch seen along the bottom edge in the photo below.

  

Background on the 999

The 999 was Marx’s first die-cast shell. It was produced in limited quantities in ’41 & ’42 and again after the war from ’46 to ‘54. The only pre-war 999 ad I’ve been able to find is from the Spiegel ’42 Christmas catalog. Note that is shows an open cowcatcher.

  

After the war, the Sears ’46 Christmas catalog showed a 999 also with an open spoke cowcatcher. 

The open spoke cowcatcher was reportedly easily broken.  Since Marx’s philosophy was to made low cost but rugged toys, this design was quickly changed to a solid spoke cowcatcher and then probably to save a few pennies to a solid cowcatcher as shown in this Sears ’47 Christmas catalog ad.

The 999 last appeared in the Sears Christmas catalog in ’50.

Montgomery Ward’s last Christmas catalog ad for a 999 set appeared in ’54.

The Marx ’54 dealer catalog in GMTC also  lists a 999 engine.

Recently on eBay there were 33 electric 999's being offered with the following cowcatcher types:  1 cut-off (aka broken), no open spoke, 1 closed spoke, and 31 plain (see photo). Marx sure sold a lot of 999 electric steam engines for them to be so plentiful over 60 years later.

 

666 Mechanical Engine

The 666 mechanical steam engine was a 999 with the number board and stamping turned up-side down.  Mechanical engines were always budget priced. Since the 999 die-cast shell commanded a premium price when first produced, economically it didn’t make a lot of sense to use it for a mechanical engine shell. Add to this, the less than 100 quantity is something that Marx didn’t do. They made their money based on volume. So, my guess is the mechanical 666 was some type of promotional item perhaps given to the major buyers at the annual Toy Fair in New York City to tout the Marx’s first die-cast steam engine offering. Since it’s reported these engines were produced with an open cowcatcher, in all likelihood their production year was ’41 or ’46. Promoting it in ’42 would seem unlikely given the coming war restriction. So, my guess would be ’46 as most likely. GGtMTs has no production year specified for the mechanical 666.  Like many things Marx, we’ll never know the 666 mechanical steam engine story for sure. 

 

999 Mechanical Engine

The existence of a “999” mechanical steam engine is described GGtMT.

Since all 999 shells had a cutout that could accommodate the wind-up key, all someone had to do was figure out how to accommodate the brake lever. Easiest solution would be the described “protruding rod” from the cab. It’s pretty easy to write-off the 999 mechanical engine as either a prototype or more likely a custom.

 

Next up are the short sheet metal mechanicals…. 

Papa D

 

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Posted by Papa_D on Friday, July 06, 2018 10:54 AM

The short sheet metal type mechanical engine consists of three distinct shell types; the 235, 897/898/833, an 591/592/593. The latter two types will be discussed in follow-on posts.

The 235 is the Canadian Pacific body type, commonly called the 3000. Greenberg’s Guide to Marx Trains, Vol 1 (GGtMTs) lists versions under both the 235 and 3000 designations. The 235 listing gives two production date for the 235; ’36 and ’39. No production date is given in the 3000 listing nor is a photo provided for either listing.  One thing I’ve learned is GGtMTs, at least for mechanicals, it’s full of errors.

My understanding is the 235 was first released in Canada in ’36 as part of their Jubilee celebration. Unfortunately, I’ve not come across any ’36 advertisements for it.  Two '36 production year CP-3000’s recently sold this spring on eBay.  One in excellent condition with a reversing motor and screw-in key went for $155 plus shipping. Another in good condition with a non-reversing motor went for $79.99 plus shipping.

A ’38 Montgomery Ward advisement depicts a mechanical 235 freight set.           This is similar in appearance to know mechanical 235’s with blue side boards with yellow trim and lettering.

Adding a mechanical 235 to my collection lies off in the future. Next up are the short sheet metal 897/898/833’s.

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Posted by Papa_D on Sunday, July 22, 2018 1:34 PM

The 897/898/833 are all the same shell. GGtMTs lists the 897 as having been produced in ’40, the 898 also in ’40 and then again from ’46 to ’48 and the 833 from ’47 to ’52.

The 897 was the only detailed lithographed mechanical steam engine produced by Marx. It can found in both a regular (black & white) and military (olive drab) versions with either a sparks or reversing late ratchet motor. Below are ’42 ads for the regular (Sears) and military (Spiegel) versions. 

Neither is uncommon with the military version a little less common. This suggests more than a single production for each one. I speculate the mechanical mirrored the electric production years of ’39 to ’42 for the regular version and ’41 & ’42 for the military version. 

Below is a photo of my 897 regular version with a reversing late ratchet motor. Note the bend in the brake lever.

Instead to this lever moving back and forth, it moves up and down as can be seen in the below photo.

The middle position engages the brake. Moving the level up released the brake and engages a “forward” gear. Moving the level down similarly releases the brake and engages a “reverse” gear. The below photo shows the bracket on the bottom of the engine that supports the movement of the drive gear that engages either the “forward” or “reverse” gear. This bracket is an addition telltale of a reversing mechanical motor.

  

The 898 and 833 story is a bit more confusing. Both have black shells although the 898 may be dull and the 833 shiny. 898’s from the ’40 production year appear to be very rare as I’ve not seen any 898/833’s with anything other than the post-war blackened motor side plates. Also, it seems unlikely that Marx would overlapped the production of the 898 and 833 in ’47 and ’48. Back at the beginning of this thread JamesP wrote that he believes that the 833 designation is proper for the windup version, and the 898 number is actually proper for the electric version. Makes sense to me, so I’ll go with just the 833 designation.

The first ad I’ve found for a 833 is from the Sear’s ’47 Christmas catalog. 

A similar ad appeared in the Sears ’48 Christmas catalog and again in ’50 and ’51 (I currently have no access to the ’49 catalog).

Montgomery Ward carried ads in their Christmas catalog in ’50, ’51 and ’52 (I currently have no access to their ’46 to ’49 catalogs). Only in the last year was a 833 shown without handrails and side rods.

 The 833 is one of the more common mechanical engines being sold on eBay only slightly behind CVs and 401s. Below is a photo of one of my two 833’s. It has blackened motor side plates and stamped wheels, handrails, side rods, bell and sparks. The paint on the shell is shiny. 

My other 833 is the same except it has die-cast wheels. 

 All the post-war ads appear to show stamped wheels. GGtMTs states that only the ’40 898 had die-cast wheels. However, since the one shown above has blackened motor side plates, it is definitely from the post-war years. It’s always possible someone along the line switched motors. Ah, the mysteries of Marx mechanical engines.

Next up, the short sheet metal 591’s.

Papa D

 

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Posted by Papa_D on Friday, August 24, 2018 8:07 AM

GGtMTs gives the production years for the short sheet metal 591 (or possibly designated 533) mechanical steam engine as ’50 to ’58. GGtMTs also states that from ’50 to ’52 it came with a stamped metal front, with and without side rods and/or handrails. This is at odds with my observations. I’ve not seen a 591 up to this point with anything other than a plastic boiler front, and never with handrails. The production years also seems a little off. Marx was producing 833’s and long sheet metal shell 734/735/933/933M/943 (take your pick on which number or numbers are correct) in ’50, ’51, and ’52. It’s hard to believe Marx felt the need to be producing a third sheet metal steam engine particularly when their business strategy to turn a profit was low cost/high volume. Added to this is the first year ads appeared in the Sears and Montgomery Ward Christmas catalogs for the 591 was ’53. The last year given for production, ’58, appears to be correct as this is also the last year the Sears Christmas catalog carried a 591.  Below is an ad for the 591 in the Montgomery Ward '53 Christmas catalog.

  

The 591 is a somewhat common mechanical steam engine, although not as plentiful as the 833. This is probably indicative of the overall decline in train sales starting to occur in the mid 50’s.

Minor variations of the 591 are numerous. Most came with side rods, a few didn’t. Similarly, most came with die-cast wheels, a few came with stamped sheet metal wheels. There are two major variations; one came with a 2-speed motor, while another came with a battery-operated headlight. Below is the ad that appeared in the ’54 Sears Christmas catalog for the 2-speed motor. 

There is a video on u-Tube of this engine. The brake level appears to have three positions. In addition to the brake and brake release positions there was a third that engages a gear system that spins what looks like an inertial weight to provide a slower 2nd speed. Seems more like an additional speed governor than a second speed. Apparently, it wasn’t that effective, didn’t offer much if any additional play value and was produced only this one year. I’ve seen every other Marx mechanical steam engine offered for sale except this one. It might be the hardest to find.

The headlight variation was advertised by Sears from ’53 to ’56, as well as Montgomery Ward (’53 shown above) and Spiegel’s (’55).  Here’s a photo of my 591 with headlight. (Yes, there is a piece missing out of the cowcatcher.)

It was a basket case 591 when I bought it. All it had was the Smoke Stack switch. 

I obtained the headlight bulb (1.5 V) from Robert Grossman.

The battery holder came from a 591 junker that didn’t have the smoke stack switch. I used epoxy to secure it to the plastic boiler front.

  

Finally, here’s a photo showing the C-battery installed. Note the front steel strut used to attach the motor to the shell has its flange reversed to make room for the battery.

The smoke stack switch doesn’t work particularly well. It’s more effective to “switch” the headlight on and off by turning the lightbulb.

One interesting thing about the 591 headlight variation is it came with the rise gear motor which dates introduction of this type motor to ’53. Marx produced both the late ratchet and rise gear motors from ’53 to sometime around ’63, and only the rise gear motor thereafter until ’75 when all Marx train production ended. Sparking, reversing, 2-speed or puffing engines all used the late ratchet motor. Non-sparking engines used the rise gear motor. It follows that 591’s equipped with the rise gear motor had their key hole on the right side while 591’s equipped with the late ratchet motor had their key hole on the left side.

Next up is the long sheet metal 734/735/933/943/994 (take your pick on favorite designation).

Papa D

 

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Posted by JamesP on Friday, August 24, 2018 9:43 PM

My research also indicates that the 591/533 mechanical was built from 1953 - '58.  I believe that GGtMTs confused the 591/533 with the 898/833 mechanical in the entry about the pre-'53 loco w/ stamped boiler front. As a side note, your 833 with the black sideplates and 17 spoke diecast drivers w/ post mounted siderod is original in my opinion.  I believe that this driver was introduced around 1952-53, right at the time the 833 and Mercury was being phased out and the 533 introduced.  Examples of the 833 and Mercury with the 17 spoke diecast driver w/ post mounted siderods aren't extremely common, but can be found.  I think that Marx converted the 17 spoke from the post mounted siderod to the Z-tab siderod by '54.  Marx also made stamped steel 7 spoke black wheels with a hub in the 50's... interesting that they made two types of drivers for the windups in that era!

 

I have just a single example of the Marx 2 speed motor in my collection.  As you mentioned, the slow speed is accomplished by having an offset weight spinning very fast, creating extra drag and slowing the motor.  It is located where the sparker wheel would normally be located.  When the brake lever is pushed all the way forward, it moves the gear/weight assembly slightly forward in a slot to disengage it from the mating gear.  This allows the motor to run using only the normal governor to control the speed.  It is a somewhat complicated mechanism, and it isn't very effective.  In addition, the pinion gear for the offset weight tends to wear rapidly.  As you noted, the 2 speed motors are very hard to find.  I only know of a couple more in existence, although there are surely more squirreled away in various collections across the country!

 

Just one minor point - locos with ratchet motors tend to have the keyhole on the right, and riser gear motors tend to have the keyhole on the left.  I think that inadvertantly got switched around in your post.  

 

Thanks for your interesting posts!

James

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Posted by Papa_D on Wednesday, October 03, 2018 7:37 AM

The Marx long sheet metal class mechanical steam engines were produced in the early 50’s to counter Unique Art’s attempt to break into the low end of the toy train business in ‘49, something that Marx considered to be their exclusive turf. The head-to-head competition in ’50 caused Unique Art to withdraw from the toy train business. Unique Art went out of business completely in ’52. 

All the engines in this group have the same sheet metal shell except for decoration. The Mickey Mouse Meteor is lithographed with Disney characters. The others are painted either solid black or red (rare). The number designation for these engines is complete anarchy. GGtMTs lists three versions for this mechanical steam engine: the 734 lithographed Mickey Mouse Meteor (MMM); the 735, a plain black version of the 734; and the 994 which appears to be the same as the 735 except one variation was red instead of black. In an earlier post, James P gave the following designations for the large mechanical engines:

“I believe that 933 is correct for a forward-only windup, 943 correct for a reversing windup, 933M is the Mickey Mouse litho'd windup, and I think 994 would be correct for the electric version.”

It appears over time it became customary for people to refer to mechanical steam engines using the Marx designation for the corresponding electric steam engine, hence the “994” designation. So, I’ll proceed with this write-up using the 933 designation for the lithographed MMM, and 934 for all other versions. 

The Montgomery Ward ’50 Christmas Book contained an ad for the 933 MMM. A similar ad appeared in their ’51 Christmas Book. No further ads for either the 933 or the 934 appeared in subsequent year MW Christmas Books.

The Sears ’50 Christmas Wish Book contained an ad for two 934’s, one with a whistle (Huh, where did this variation come from?) and the other with sparks. Only the sparks variation appeared in the ’51 Christmas Wish Book, and similar to MW no further ads for the 933/934 appeared in subsequent year Sears Christmas Wish Books. 

During the 50’s, Sears and MW were the two largest retailers of Marx Trains with several tiers of other regional and local sellers. This leaves me to believe that in ’52 Marx was merely selling off left-over inventory to smaller accounts. Marx depended on each seller to advertise their Marx train offerings. Tracking down the advertisements of all these lower tier sellers is somewhere between difficult to impossible. Marx was also willing to provide “customized” products to sellers to hit price points and/or marketplace uniqueness. This is why there’s a phrase “never say never when it comes to what variations Marx produced/sold”.  

Based on what I’ve seen on various model train sites, at train shows, or being sold on eBay, here is my list of the Marx long sheet metal mechanical steam engines: 

·    Lithographed Mickey Mouse Meteor with sparkling motor (expensive, up to $600 eBay for complete set)

·    Black with sparking motor (surprisingly, somewhat uncommon)

·    Black with reversing motor (not uncommon, several listed on eBay thus far this year)

·    Black with whistling motor (uncommon, only one listed on eBay thus far this year)

·    Black with battery operated headlight (uncommon, only one listed on eBay thus far this year)

·    Red with ?? motor(s) (rare, I’ve only seen on train web site)

I bid $85 for the Marx black long sheet metal mechanical steam engine with battery operated headlight but was outbid by $1. It had a CV type battery holder and on/off screw in the forward simulated truck wheel similar to the one shown below taken off the internet.  

Below is my long sheet metal mechanical steam engine (minus the reversing motor). 

I bought it off of eBay even though it had the dreaded phrase “untested”. My guess is if something doesn’t work, a seller will frequently use this phrase instead of the truth. So, I wasn’t all that surprised that it wouldn’t wind-up.  A chip was also missing in the spring hub probably caused by someone attempting to use a screw driver to wind it.  

Fortunately, I have James P booklet on windup train repair and watched his YouTube video. Upon disassembly (easier than expected), I found the main spring was fractured where it inserts into the cast hub. 

The brass transfer gear that meshes with the main spring gear also had several of its teeth stripped.

Using a donor engine (removing the main spring was a challenge), I first replaced the transfer gear assembly. Next, I used a PVC tube to keep most of main spring out of the way to facilitate installing it and hub assembly as a single unit. Note the main spring attachment to the hub shown better in the second photo.

Using a pair of plies I then squeezed the side plates back in place. After making sure the engine worked, I re-peened the cross-brace ends and applied a bluing solution to cover some tool marks.  Finally I reinstalled the wheels. I had to use a dab of red Loctite to secure the rear wheels. 

After reinstalling the motor, I ran the engine on a loop of test track. Success! 

It wasn’t as easy as my narrative above might convey but overall it was rewarding to bring the motor back to life. With this mechanical motor repair under my belt, the next one will be much easier. 

Next up is a look at Marx mechanical steam engine numbering before moving on to plastic mechanical steam engines.

Papa D

 

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Posted by Papa_D on Tuesday, October 16, 2018 9:01 AM

This post goes back to the posts about the CV and the Mercury with post-war whistle. This past summer I got a good deal on a red CV with beat-up body paint that had a pre-war motor with a whistle (which didn’t work). I got this to have an example of a pre-war whistle in my collection.

  

As stated in a few posts back, the only reported CV with whistle was produced in ’42. It came with a red body and black boiler front. So it’s likely a previous owner swapped out motors in the above engine (although never say never when it comes to what Marx produced). 

The pre-war whistle differs from the post-war whistle in the way that the flap which produces the whistling moves. The pre-war flap moves horizontally while the post-war flap moves vertically. The pre-war whistle mounted to the motor is shown below.

  

Both flap designs are moved by gear tabs. The spacing and size of the tabs produce the long-long-short-short whistle sequence.

I finally got around recently to troubleshooting why the whistle didn’t work. First, I inspected the gears in the whistle drive train to make sure none of the gears spun freely on their axles. All appeared to be good. Next, I removed the whistle from the engine. This is done by removing two screws and gently prying the side plates a little to pop the whistle axle out of its side plate hole.

I then removed the 2 screws that fastens the cover plate to the whistle housing. Note the upper screw secures a tang that closes the flap over the whistle slot. The only potential issue I found was the gasket material was crumbly. 

  

I reapplied a gasket sealant to the housing edges and reinstalled the cover plate. After letting the gasket sealant dry over night, I reinstalled the whistle onto the motor. Success the whistle worked….a little bit. Finally after adjusting the flap to close tighter to the whistle slot, the whistle functioned normally. 

Just an observation: The post-war whistle sounds much stronger that the pre-war whistle. By its very design, the vertical movement flap closes tighter to the whistle slot. Marx deserves credit for always looking for ways to improve the quality and reliability of their products while keep the retail price low.

Papa D

 

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Posted by Penny Trains on Tuesday, October 16, 2018 6:54 PM

Bless me for my sins Marx purists, but, I added self-stick repro Lionel CV plates to my Marx CV when I restored it.

I run it with the Lionel tender so I can pull latch coupler cars, and also the 4 Hornby cars I have of this series:

I also used repro Sunoco stickers and added aluminum plates to this set:

 

A waking Lithium Flower just about to bloom

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Posted by JamesP on Tuesday, October 16, 2018 10:13 PM
Penny Trains - The custom Marx looks fantastic! I like the look of the Lionel nameplate on the Marx CV, too... Papa D - It is very likely that the all-red body is original. While it is true that the only known advertisements in the Sears catalogs of the 1942 whistling CV shows the red w/ black nose paint scheme, I have seen several all red whistling CV examples that appear to be original, including one in very good condition in my own collection. - James
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Posted by Papa_D on Wednesday, October 17, 2018 9:33 AM

Penny Trains- Creative restoration & consist adaptation. 

JamesP- Thanks for the additional insight on the pre-war red CV with whistle. Question: Is there any way to identify a 2-speed 591 mechanical steam engine from a bottom view?

Anyone- Does anyone have any information or photos that show a “Marx Train Dealer” in the 50’s? There is a lot of information about Lionel and American Flyer dealers/hobby stores from this time period, but I’ve not come across anything covering Marx train dealers/hobby stores.

Papa D

 

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Posted by Penny Trains on Wednesday, October 17, 2018 7:16 PM

Papa_D
“Marx Train Dealer” in the 50’s?

The Sears Wishbook archive has a lot: http://www.wishbookweb.com/the-catalogs/

 

A waking Lithium Flower just about to bloom

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Posted by JamesP on Wednesday, October 17, 2018 9:45 PM

Regarding the Marx 591/533/5XX two speed windup... they are easy to identify from the bottom in person, but very difficult to identify from the bottom in a picture!  The problem is that the only difference between the two speed motor and a sparker motor is the offset weight and shifting mechanism, and all of that is located at the top of the motor.  Add to that the fact that the offset weight is close to the same size as the sparker wheel, and it can be extremely difficult to spot the differences from the bottom unless looking at it in person.  I like to look for the tell-tale sign of the bottom edge of the sparker flap at the front of the motor to eliminate the possibility that it is a two-speed windup.

 

I only have a single example of a two-speed motor in my collection, and have searched high and low for another example for quite some time.  I know there are other ones out there, but it seems they are about as rare as Marx 666 windup!

 

 - James

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