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Author Topic: Slow Diesel Engine (Santa Fe 8263)  (Read 233 times)


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Slow Diesel Engine (Santa Fe 8263)
« on: March 25, 2018, 12:00:42 am »

I'm pretty new to trains, inherited some O gauge Lionel over Christmas, and have been buying a few things from a local train shop and eBay. I recently purchased a Santa Fe 8263 Diesel engine (GP-7 unit, 8263 ATSF (low cost) - I'm not sure what all that means, but that's what I found in the Lionel Product Supplement 1-9). Thing's slow. It does alright on its own but get a half dozen cars behind it and it slows to a craw and usually dies when it tries to cross over a turnout. I also have an 8915 western maryland diesel which goes the setup seems OK, even with my crappy 25 watt/13 volt transformer.

So, what might be wrong with the engine? Is this type of engine historically underpowered? Seems odd though that Lionel would put out an engine that couldn't even pull 6 cars. Maybe the motor truck is old/bad and needs replaced (where to buy replacement, part number?)? I noticed that there are no pickups on the motor truck but there are on the collector truck...this seems odd, no? Could I get a second motor truck and replace the collector truck and double the power? Or toss is and buy something new?

Any advice would be useful. Thanks!


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Re: Slow Diesel Engine (Santa Fe 8263)
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2018, 11:54:23 am »
Welcome to the forum, Greg!

First off, your transformer is very anemic. I would suggest stepping up to a more powerful transformer, such as a postwar 1033 rated at 90 watts.

Next, clean the track, all wheels and the pickup rollers on the locomotive with Naphtha to get rid of any dirt.

No pickup rollers on the motor truck is normal.

Get everything cleaned up and a bigger transformer and your train should operate normally.



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Re: Slow Diesel Engine (Santa Fe 8263)
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2018, 12:57:06 pm »
Thanks for your reply Larry. Is that really all it could be? Part of what I inherited is a 250 wt type Z transformer (1950/1960 era) which is currently out for repair (to check and replace some old/bad wiring) help is on the way! I also inherited the aforementioned transformer which is all i have to work with right now...i'll probably use it to exclusively run the switches and such once I get the 250 wt back.
Is it odd that the Western Maryland 8915 runs just fine on ~12-13 watts whereas the SF 8263 is so weak? Granted the 8915 has two motors and the 8263 has just one...but if I run the 8915 all alone it will roll off the track on a turn it goes so fast! I have to attach some cars to slow it down ;-)


« Last Edit: March 25, 2018, 01:00:14 pm by gms4b »


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