Upgrades and RepairsRick Kiehle2023-08-02T12:58:02-07:00
Upgrades & Repairs
With our backlog we are NOT accepting additional projects. Current backlog is into 2024 & going to retire.
Feel free to drop us a line with questions.
Repair Station & Upgrades for Sunset Models,Weaver & Williams Products. Sunset Models includes 3rd Rail, Golden Gate Depot and ERR Products. Primarily cover brass engines for 2 & 3-Rail O Gauge of most manufacturers. We are no longer accepting work on Lionel and MTH due to our backlog! Brass & scale detailed engines are our primary focus! Yes, we can still make recommendations on what you need to upgrade to TMCC! Please contact me via email email@example.com to let me know what you are interested in doing! We can talk about options and your needs! Minimum charge of $60 for assessment of received engine before I start work. General options for upgrades and repairs opportunities are described below!
Pleasedownload the Repair Request document below and include with your item to be repaired or upgraded after contacting me! It can help reduce back and forth emails (and your cost)! Occasionally I receive an engine without the Repair Request. My time is charged as I attempt to determine who it belongs to and what they want. On one occasion there was no Repair Request and the engine was shipped by a third party! Bottom line is engines received without a completed Repair Request cost the customer more!
Following video shows a Sunset Models Selkirk after modification to full ERR capability, added LED headlight and chuffing smoke unit in sync with sound. The focused LED headlight provides a distinct round beam when projected on a wall which gets smaller as the engine approaches then continues around a curve.
Drop me an emailwith your challenge! My parts are limited for Weaver, but so far I have been able to effect repairs on all engines received. When Joe Hayter transferred this work to me, he had already sold the remaining parts! Yes, we can direct you to some viable parts locations.
Want to save shipment costs? You can bring your engine to the TCA York meet in April or October and I can either bring it to the next meet or ship to you upon completion! If you ship ahead of York, please contact me first to make sure there is adequate time!!!
Labor Rate: $100/hour. As of August 2023, working on engines received in April 2023. Curious when your engine will get attention? Just drop me an email and I will give you my best guess. Warranty work gets immediate priority, either Sunset or mine (fortunately very little of this!). Think this is a little high cost? In Dec 2021 I repaired work done by another service location that charges over $100/hour! As part of all engine work I do a full lubrication and ensure the mechanical parts of an engine are properly adjusted and working correctly. A good bit of my work is repeat customers!
I Suggest using USPS Ground for engines with insurance. Yes, FedEx and UPS will work too! I have had the best luck with USPS and also the lowest cost. If at all possible please use the original manufacturers shipping container; it was designed to ship your valuable engine safely!! If shipping a 3rd Rail/Sunset Models Engine, carefully secure the engine to the provided wooden base and use all the original packing material!!! The engine/tender should not be able to move around inside the box!! If you do not use the original/manufacturer’s box, I will do my best to fully pad the engine on return, but problems may occur in transit (either direction)!
Shake Test – Once packed, shake the box…if you hear anything moving around; open and add more foam/packing. It is your engine and you won’t want me telling you damage occurred during shipment!! Occasionally a poorly packed engine arrives and I will do my best to fix damages from shipping at your expense.
DO NOT ship any thing to me without letting me know! SeeContact Us for shipping address.
Providing Repairs and Upgrades for all manufacturers of O Gauge Toy Trains for over 40 years. First learned Lionel toy train repair in a Lionel Service Station starting in 1978. Experience broadened with the addition of Williams and later MTH trains to the market place. Provided over 10 years of volunteer service for all makes and most gauges of toy trains at the National Toy Train Museum (NTTM) of the Train Collectors Association located in Strasburg, PA. Designed and built the repair stations at the NTTM in 2000!
Estimates for upgrades supporting TMCC & QSI. Note that these are estimates not quotes! All too often I find additional challenges from “other’s work, undisclosed problems, manufacturer’s problems”. Upgrades may include addition of electronics, lighting, smoke units, etc. Can add traction tires to most steam engines. Let me know what you are looking for! Some brass steam engines may require relocation of lead weight in boiler to accommodate blower smoke unit and can not be fully estimated without inspection. Most scale size engines can be converted from Seuth to blower style! Some diesels have adequate room. The biggest challenge are the brass engines with metal bodies as a lot is required to fully isolate them to create an antenna for the TMCC conversion!
So, how good is the estimate? It all depends on what you want, what other problems I find, and how well defined the work is. Send email of your project with details to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or stop by my booth at York in the Orange Hall (Row DD) to discuss your repairs and upgrade work. I am next to Sunset Models. I specialize in brass engines and generally have a multi-month backlog of work.
Completed work on a 3rd Rail RDC to add LED interior lighting, direction controlled headlights and red/green marker lights. Also provided on Williams commuter cars! Let me know what you want to do! Custom upgrades on just about anything!
Repair Estimate may be provided if I have enough information, but detailed estimate not available without inspection. Better estimate after inspection will be provided with minimum cost of $50 plus shipping and parts. The minimum charge is required if work is refused. Additional costs may occur if damage or additional repairs/problems found during disassembly. We will contact you before proceeding if the later occurs.
Payment for Repairs – Due upon billing. After 30 days payment delinquency, the repaired item may be sold to recoup expenses. Fortunately I have only had to do this twice in 8 years. Yes, we can hold your completed item until the next York meet after payment is made.
Examples of upgrade work done or Parts to support:
Add TMCC and Smoke (blower) to 3rd Rail/Weaver/Williams/Lionel/MTH engines
Improve smoke output of Lionel smoke unit (blower version)
Replacement of Electronic Board for Blower type units (supports TMCC control and chuff)
Add TMCC to postwar engine (we can provide all the necessary parts)
Add Marker Lights and Backup Lights to tender
Replace headlight/backup light with focused, warm white LED
Add/repair QSI reverse and sound to older engines (subject to availability of boards)
Add LED driver to periodically ramp/dim rear facing light on streamlined cars (like the Zephyr)
Add blower smoke unit to older steam with chuff and diesel engines (as room permits)
Add directional marker lights (red/green) to RDCs, passenger cars and directional headlights
Add custom lighting to passenger cars; options for vestibule, flashing rear light, EOT lights, random “operating” compartment lights
Add Traction Tires to steam engines
Don’t see what you want to do? Just drop me an email and ask; I may have already done it!!
I stock Upgrade kits for Electric RR and support. Also newest blower smoke unit with chuff from Sunset, tethers, electro-couplers, LED upgrades, etc.