The K Line by Lionel Porter is a great little engine, but due to its short size, it would benefit from some additional electrical pick-up. I made a little tender, see plans below, but any piece of rollingstock can be added for the additional pick-up. Because the Porter is almost impossible to reassemble, don't open it until you have a failure. I merely fished a wire, 22 gauge stranded, through an existing hole and soldered it to a center rail roller pin. This wire then connects to the additional center rail source. Outside rail (ground) is just connected to the cab frame. (See Photo)
Oiling/lubricating the gears can also be done externally. The gears on the drive wheel axles are barely visible, but accessible from the underside without opening the unit.
One gear is more easily noticed than the other.
This is a photo of the "corrected" LED headlight. The harsh bluish LED headlight is easily toned down to resemble an incandescent bulb by painting it with a translucent wash of reddish orange acrylic paint mixed 1 part paint to 2 parts acrylic clear varnish. First remove the lens from the lantern front by prying up from the edges with a dull hobby knife, then clean the LED with rubbing alcohol. After the alcohol dries, paint 2 very light coats of the wash, allowing to dry between coats. The lens is actually 2 clear parts, so removing the inner ring will give more room (if necessary) for the painted coating around the LED when replacing the lens. The lens is Lionel part #620-1320-048 and the inner retainer ring is #620-1320-049 should they become damaged or scratched. (The "wash" can be removed from the LED, even after it has dried, by wiping with rubbing alcohol.) Notice how it almost matches the look of the incandescent bulb on the tender (below).
2 large egg-shaped fishing weights were added inside the tender cavity for better tracking in reverse.
A Lionel truck (610-9150-050) with snap-in pick-up (600-9050-150) is centered under the tender.
This project of mine was publsihed February/March 2008, "Making a cowcatcher and tender for the O27 K-Line by Lionel Porter locomotive"
Run 227 of O Gauge Railroading Magazine
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