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BLI E7

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BLI E7
Posted by tstage on Thursday, November 18, 2021 5:41 PM

I'd like to hear from anyone here who has/had one of the original BLI Paragon E7s?  How was the quality?  How well did it run?  Any issues?

Thanks,

Tom

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Posted by Ladder1 on Thursday, November 18, 2021 6:29 PM

look good, run smooth, sound good.  No problems, after checking the manual. 

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Posted by 7j43k on Thursday, November 18, 2021 7:15 PM

The mold seam on the side of the nose bothered me enough that I passed on the SP&S version.

 

Ed

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, November 18, 2021 8:02 PM

tstage

I'd like to hear from anyone here who has/had one of the original BLI Paragon E7s?  How was the quality?  How well did it run?  Any issues?

I bought a pair of new BLI Paragon C&NW E7As about a year ago. I didn't own them long because they were painted Zito Yellow which did not match the yellow color on my passenger car consists. But, while I owned them, they were very good runners and pulled twelve 85' passenger cars with ease.

I did experience one problem with the QSI Quantum decoders on those C&NW locos in that they would forget they were in a consist each time that I would power up the layout. So, I would have to reset CV 19 in each loco.

I also own a pair of BLI Paragon Union Pacific E7As and a pair of BLI Paragon Wabash E7As. Great runners, great pullers and no consist forgetfulness with the QSI Quantum decoders.

Rich

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Posted by tstage on Friday, November 19, 2021 7:26 AM

Thanks, fellas.  I was looking at possibly getting one of the BLI E7s but I think I'll stick with my 4-8-4 Niagara.  I found out this morning that the Niagaras produced over 4,000 drawbar HP from 31-100 MPH, over 4,500 drawbar HP from 38-88 MPH, and - with 275 PSI, over 5,000 drawbar HP from 52-72 MPH.  No wonder it only took one to haul a long consist of passenger cars vs 2-3 E7s.  The Hudson wasn't too shabby either with approx 4,000 drawbar HP @ 62 MPH.

Tom

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, November 20, 2021 6:09 AM

Late to this party, but in my view, the BLI E units are no were near as detailed as the Proto units, and don't run any better.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, November 20, 2021 7:39 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

Late to this party, but in my view, the BLI E units are no were near as detailed as the Proto units, and don't run any better.

Sheldon 

Interesting comments on the E-units, Sheldon. I am not in a position to dispute your conclusions about detail or performance, although I will say that all of my E-units, past and present, have been excellent runners and pullers. You mention that the BLIs don't run any better than the E-units and that could be. However, their performance are equal to one another in my experience. I am unable to pick one over the other in terms of performance.

Regarding detail, I will have to leave that to the rivet counters, no offense intended. They both look good to me. Of all the E-units that I have owned, I do have one pair of BLI C&NW E6As and one pair of Proto 2000 C&NW E6As, so I could do a side-by-side comparison without the distraction of different road colors. So, I plan to do that. Out of the box, BLI did a better job on the Mars light since BLI used LEDs and Proto 2000 used incandescents. 

Stay tuned. 

Rich

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Posted by n012944 on Saturday, November 20, 2021 8:49 AM

If you are doing a comparison to the Proto and BLI units, they both have their hits and misses.  The nose on the Proto unit is not right.  Walthers made it better in the mid 2010s but it is still incorrect.  The BLI is far more accurate.  The roof on the Proto unit tapers too much, compressing the side grills.  The fans on the BLI unit, for lack of a better word, suck.  There is no depth or real detail, like a blue box F7.  BLI does not do specific road name detailing, Proto at least tries.  

 

I have also heard many people who have issues with BLI's decoders.  I have never had an issue with any of mine, but it does seem to be a problem.   Proto seems to have an issue with cracked gears.

 

I do hope Rapido fixes many of these issues with their model.  While they only have an E8 coming out soon, I would think that an E7 and an E9 would not be far behind.  

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, November 20, 2021 8:57 AM

n012944
Proto seems to have an issue with cracked gears.

Does the cracked gear issue expand into the E units?

I thought that was primarily a GP hood unit issue.

I have a pair of Proto-2000 E7s, but I don't think I have even removed them from the boxes yet.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by n012944 on Saturday, November 20, 2021 9:12 AM

Walthers sells replacement parts for them, so I would assume so.

https://www.walthers.com/replacement-geared-diesel-wheelsets-fits-early-proto-2000-r-e6-7-8-9-pkg-3

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, November 20, 2021 9:27 AM

n012944
Walthers sells replacement parts for them, so I would assume so.

Hmmm.... not a bad price.

I wonder if these would be worth buying. I don't know if mine have cracked gears, and I don't know if they are "Early Life-Like" models or not.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, November 20, 2021 9:37 AM

SeeYou190

 

 
n012944
Proto seems to have an issue with cracked gears.

 

Does the cracked gear issue expand into the E units?

I thought that was primarily a GP hood unit issue.

I have a pair of Proto-2000 E7s, but I don't think I have even removed them from the boxes yet.

-Kevin

 

Cracked gears are very rare on the proto E units. It is a completely different wheelset and gear from the four wheel trucks that had the cracked gear problem.

    

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, November 20, 2021 9:38 AM

SeeYou190

 

 
n012944
Walthers sells replacement parts for them, so I would assume so.

 

Hmmm.... not a bad price.

I wonder if these would be worth buying. I don't know if mine have cracked gears, and I don't know if they are "Early Life-Like" models or not.

-Kevin

 

I would buy them.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by tstage on Saturday, November 20, 2021 9:41 AM

Kevin,

I picked up my Proto GP7 off eBay NIB and it arrived with the classic "tick, tick, tick" (cracked gears).  The Walthers gears in the link above are the same brand-type drop-in gears that I used to replace them and it was night & day.

I'd say it's worth purchasing a back-up set for each now - if and when any or all do develop the cracked gear issue sometime down the line.  Cheap insurance.

Tom

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, November 20, 2021 9:45 AM

n012944

If you are doing a comparison to the Proto and BLI units, they both have their hits and misses.  The nose on the Proto unit is not right.  Walthers made it better in the mid 2010s but it is still incorrect.  The BLI is far more accurate.  The roof on the Proto unit tapers too much, compressing the side grills.  The fans on the BLI unit, for lack of a better word, suck.  There is no depth or real detail, like a blue box F7.  BLI does not do specific road name detailing, Proto at least tries.  

 

I have also heard many people who have issues with BLI's decoders.  I have never had an issue with any of mine, but it does seem to be a problem.   Proto seems to have an issue with cracked gears.

 

I do hope Rapido fixes many of these issues with their model.  While they only have an E8 coming out soon, I would think that an E7 and an E9 would not be far behind.  

 

The Proto units also have better diaphragms, close coupling is more easily achieved, and end detail is better overall.

 

 

 

Sheldon

    

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Posted by gmpullman on Saturday, November 20, 2021 11:22 AM

SeeYou190
I don't know if mine have cracked gears, and I don't know if they are "Early Life-Like" models or not.

An easy way to spot the "early" E6, 7 & 8s are to look at the truck sideframes. If the journal boxes are free-floating they are considered early. They require a unique wheelset that has a "journal" or projection that supports the small, plastic journal box.

 IMG_0128_fix by Edmund, on Flickr

Unlike the PA wheelset which the journal fits into an outside, bronze pickup strip the E-unit journal is decorative and the loco will run with the journal boxes removed. Check your packing when you remove the E7 for the first time. The journal boxes are notorious for popping out and getting lost in the nether regions.

Later L-L versions, post Walthers, eliminated the loose journal box and the small protuding pin was no longer used. Later still, Walthers again redesigned the gear-train using more robust, helical gears:

 Walthers_E7-gearcase by Edmund, on Flickr

These ran much smoother, albeit slightly slower (max top speed 65 SMPH).

Regards, Ed

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, November 20, 2021 11:33 AM

Kevin, 

If you can get the product numbers I have a list that will tell you when they were produced.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by DrW on Saturday, November 20, 2021 3:23 PM

While to me the overall appearance of the BLI E7/8 comes closer to the prototype than the P2K, I agree with Sheldon that these black, undetailed diaphragms on the BLIs look atrocious. However, there might be hope. Recently, BLI produced an EMD E1 (with the help of the Santa Fe Railway Historical & Modeling Society; the Santa Fe was the sole E1 customer) which is as prototypical as you can get. And these units have beautiful, detailed silver/grey diaphragms.

JW

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, November 21, 2021 1:05 AM

Unfortunately I cannot get to my E7 models right now. They are buried way back in piles of boxes.

The picture I posted is the only picture I have of them.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Sunday, November 21, 2021 7:16 AM

SeeYou190

Unfortunately I cannot get to my E7 models right now. They are buried way back in piles of boxes.

The picture I posted is the only picture I have of them.

-Kevin

 

Well they look like the fairly early runs, when you can get to them, let me know, I will look them up.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Ronvaaw9c on Wednesday, November 24, 2021 12:47 PM

I have quite a few LL and BLI e-8's and e-7's. Detail is a toss up with the edge going to LL. By The way, I'm talking LL and early BLI. Had the gear prob on the LL's. These are my finest running units out of a large collection. They are real bargains. Best thing to say about LL and BLI is that they are incredible units at almost a bargain price. Now if I could just get my large brass roster to run that good--------.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, November 26, 2021 10:14 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
Well they look like the fairly early runs, when you can get to them, let me know, I will look them up.

I went ahead and ordered replacement axle assemblies for all of them since Walthers had an additional 12% off promotion for Black Friday.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Friday, November 26, 2021 10:37 PM

SeeYou190

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL
Well they look like the fairly early runs, when you can get to them, let me know, I will look them up.

 

I went ahead and ordered replacement axle assemblies for all of them since Walthers had an additional 12% off promotion for Black Friday.

-Kevin

 

So how did you even find them? I have not been on their web site in a while, searching it seems impossible. What is the part number?

Found them - it was not easy.......

Sheldon

    

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Posted by tstage on Friday, November 26, 2021 10:40 PM

I think that's a wise move, Kevin.  I went ahead and ordered a set when I picked up a NIB Proto 2000 GP7 the other day off eBay.  Should I discover it needs new gears upon its arrival - I'm all set.

Tom

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Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, November 26, 2021 10:51 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
So how did you even find them? I have not been on their web site in a while, searching it seems impossible. What is the part number?

I found them in the link that n012944 shared in his post.

n012944

Walthers sells replacement parts for them, so I would assume so.

https://www.walthers.com/replacement-geared-diesel-wheelsets-fits-early-proto-2000-r-e6-7-8-9-pkg-3

 

With the additional 12% off for Black Friday (Promo Code "DC12OFF") that was only about $2.00 per axle, which seems very reasonable.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Friday, November 26, 2021 11:07 PM

Thanks Kevin, I did find them, that web site is a mess.....

Sheldon

    

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, November 26, 2021 11:25 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
That web site is a mess.

Yes, I completely agree.

The Walthers website needs serious improvement. It is way too difficult to spend money there.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by WilmJunc on Saturday, November 27, 2021 7:41 PM

I have had BLI E7 in the B&M Minuteman maroon paint scheme since about 2006.  It has always benn a good runner,

Modeling the B&M Railroad during the transition era in Lowell, MA

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