Author Topic: Brand-new LL GP18s cheap  (Read 1795 times)

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OldEastRR

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Brand-new LL GP18s cheap
« on: June 05, 2018, 04:19:31 AM »
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More blowout sale stuff at BLW....

peteski

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Re: Brand-new LL GP18s cheap
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2018, 05:23:03 AM »
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These are EARLY PRODUCTION RUN locos with truck mounted RAPIDO COUPLERS and open pilots, They are NOT PLUG & PLAY and so not easily upgradeable to DCC.
But the $19.95 price is really tempting!
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Cameron_Talley

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Re: Brand-new LL GP18s cheap
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2018, 02:55:20 PM »
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I got one of these several years ago for about the same price and it's been one of the best bang-for-the-bucks purchases I've ever made.  Mine is a pretty smooth runner.  There's a Microtrains conversion kit that ads a pilot if you don't want the Rapidos. 

thomasjmdavis

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Re: Brand-new LL GP18s cheap
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2018, 03:36:23 PM »
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Will an Atlas shell fit over one of these, or is the LL chassis too wide?
Tom D.

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OldEastRR

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Re: Brand-new LL GP18s cheap
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2018, 10:29:43 PM »
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Too be fair, NONE of the LifeLike locos were ever plug and play types. But if you get a metal frame it's a good deal.

wm3798

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Re: Brand-new LL GP18s cheap
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2018, 11:35:39 PM »
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The open pilots usually indicate it's a "lead sled" with a plastic frame, wired electrical connections, and big lead weights... While the overall design is a throw back to the 70s (think Mehano), the motors were actually pretty good, and instead of worm gears, they had a clever spring-loaded drive shaft that did a pretty good job of coaxing it through spotty trackwork.

And the fact that it's all wire connections, I found them remarkably easy to convert to DCC, although over time, the solder joints on the trucks would tend to let go after a period of time as the swivel action of the trucks eventually breaks the wire.

Lee
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brokemoto

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Re: Brand-new LL GP18s cheap
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2018, 12:29:53 AM »
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These were very good locomotives for their time.  They ran well and pulled well.  As others have correctly indicated, one of the problems with the LL plastic frame four axles was the flexing wires soldered to pivotting trucks that eventually came undone.

Someone used to sell a kit to bash these into GP-20s, then LL came out with a split frame GP-20. 

I had a B&O GP-18 that I recently sold on FeePay. It is out of my era and I had not run it in some time.  It took off and ran just as it always had when I put it onto the track to test it before I listed it.  It had pretty good slow speed control.

 I still have a NYC GP-18-bashed into a GP-20 and custom painted and lettered, but, as I received it as a birthday gift, I will not sell that one.

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Brand-new LL GP18s cheap
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2018, 11:55:26 AM »
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And the fact that it's all wire connections, I found them remarkably easy to convert to DCC, although over time, the solder joints on the trucks would tend to let go after a period of time as the swivel action of the trucks eventually breaks the wire.


Teenage Ed learned how to soldering reattaching those damn truck wires to my fleet of LL stuff from that era. Those things, BL2s, an SD9 and those F-Whatevers.

mmagliaro

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Re: Brand-new LL GP18s cheap
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2018, 10:58:21 PM »
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I had some of those LL GP-18's and F-7's too.  Loved them.  For about 18-20 bucks, you could get a smooth-running, low-geared engine that tracked well and pulled great.  The paint was thick and the details weren't up to a Kato, but the price wasn't either!

I wonder about those truck solder joints breaking.  Everybody with those engines probably experienced that at one time or another.   I wonder if a short length of heat shrink tubing over the joint would prevent that.  All it needs is something to keep the wire from flexing right there at the solder joint.

(Why didn't I think to try this back in 1995 when it would have done me some good!)

Mark5

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Re: Brand-new LL GP18s cheap
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2018, 11:03:51 PM »
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The paint was thick and the details weren't up to a Kato, but the price wasn't either!

Shell is actually quite good. Kato's effort on Geeps was horrible.

Mark

nickelplate759

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Re: Brand-new LL GP18s cheap
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2018, 11:04:56 PM »
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I've got  a bunch of these. One thing - the flanges are on the ragged hairy edge of what works with Atlas Code 55 (same goes for the plastic-framed E units).  An easy solution is to replace the wheels with NWSL, but that pushes the price up a bit.
George
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peteski

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Re: Brand-new LL GP18s cheap
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2018, 11:11:54 PM »
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I wonder about those truck solder joints breaking.  Everybody with those engines probably experienced that at one time or another.   I wonder if a short length of heat shrink tubing over the joint would prevent that.  All it needs is something to keep the wire from flexing right there at the solder joint.

(Why didn't I think to try this back in 1995 when it would have done me some good!)

Yes, a strain-relief would be helpful.  I have done that, and I have also seen it done by model manufacturers in some models (like on the tender trucks in Life-Like/Walthers Mallet).
--- Peteski de Snarkski

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tehachapifan

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Re: Brand-new LL GP18s cheap
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2018, 11:37:10 PM »
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I picked up an undecorated one of these at a show some time ago but could never get the shell to come off no matter what I tried. Couldn't get it to budge even slightly. I'm fairly certain that a previous owner must have glued it down somehow. I started to damage the shell desperately trying to pry it off, so I stopped and shoved it in a drawer and haven't fussed with it since. That said, I remember I was extremely impressed with the shell detail and running properties.


brokemoto

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Re: Brand-new LL GP18s cheap
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2018, 12:20:50 AM »
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Teenage Ed learned how to soldering reattaching those damn truck wires to my fleet of LL stuff from that era. Those things, BL2s, an SD9 and those F-Whatevers.

Do not forget the plastic frame FA-2s.

The shells on those things actually were good, as were the GP-18s.  The BL-2s were not bad.  The FP-whatever left a little to be desired, but ran well enough.  Bev-Bel did several different road names:  SP Black Widow and Reading Company green stripe, for two.

Since the DCC era, manufacturers have gone back to the flexing wires soldered to pivotting trucks.  In fact, I had to send a Centipede back to BLI as it had come undone in shipping.  It will always remain one of the minor mysteries of N scale to me why the manufacturers have not gone to the LL plastic frame Es and PAs model of construction.  There, you have the live trucks that contact bronze strips, but, the electric is passed from the bronze strips to the motor through wires.  Thus, you have the isolated motor that the DCC requires,  You simply undo the wires  on one end or the other (or snip in the middle and splice in new wires, if you must)and wire in your decoder.

peteski

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Re: Brand-new LL GP18s cheap
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2018, 01:11:09 AM »
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Since the DCC era, manufacturers have gone back to the flexing wires soldered to pivotting trucks.  In fact, I had to send a Centipede back to BLI as it had come undone in shipping.  It will always remain one of the minor mysteries of N scale to me why the manufacturers have not gone to the LL plastic frame Es and PAs model of construction.  There, you have the live trucks that contact bronze strips, but, the electric is passed from the bronze strips to the motor through wires.  Thus, you have the isolated motor that the DCC requires,  You simply undo the wires  on one end or the other (or snip in the middle and splice in new wires, if you must)and wire in your decoder.

Yes, some factory-installed-DCC engines do use wires again. As I see it the most common split metal frame design is much cheaper to manufacture (fewer parts and much less labor involved). Also since lead is now considered hazardous, split metal frame provides maximum weight.  Remember, those plastic-frame locos had large lead weights which gave them good trackability, and lots of pulling power.
--- Peteski de Snarkski

-"Look at me, I'm satirical!!!"
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