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E-Units - Postwar

Lionel began redesigning its reversing unit in the early 1930's, with the new drum type E-Unit actually surfacing as a production item in 1933. Some argue that Lionel's E-Unit was a design by Harry Sparks patented in 1923, while others argue that Lionel copied the reversing unit from Ives or Leon Rosenthal (patented in 1932). Great supposition, but from a concept point of view, the Rosenthal design is closest to that of Lionel's. When you actually examine the devices manufactured from the Sparks, Ives and Rosenthal drawings and compare them to Lionel's, there is little similarity to the Lionel E-Unit.

All of Lionel's drum type E-Units follow the same essential design. The only differences that occurred were to the length of and placement of the switch lever, or its absence in the case of the 773 and horizontal E-Units of the of the 671, 726 and 2020. Over the course of its production, Lionel's E-Unit experienced very little change. Indeed, there were changes to the coils as well as the material used for the two and four finger contacts, but other than these small changes, all of the 3-position E-Units were essentially alike in design.

Lionel had numerous part numbers for their various E-Units, but many times the only difference between one and another is the length of the wires that allowed the E-Unit to be connected to the field and brushes. As an example, Lionel specified the 726-90 E-Unit for the 1947 and later production of the 726. The 726-90 E-Unit was replaced by the 100-25 with longer wires. There are eight (8) basic 3-posiiton E-Unit types from which all of Lionel's E-Units emerge. By clicking on the following link you can see a page from the Lionel Service Manual referencing these eight basic types. This information may seem trivial, but if you need to make a repair it is helpful to know that you may be able to scavenge what you need from your parts draw! We stock all of Lionel's E-Units in our store, just click on this link!

Below you will find two guides that we feel may help you determine which E-Unit you need for your engine. The first uses the E-Unit part number and where that E-Unit was used. The second guide allows you to scroll to your engine number to locate the part number of the E-Unit you need.

E-Unit #

Where it's used!

001E-185 001, 002, 003, 004, 227, 228, 230, 231, 701
100-1 Substitute 100-25
100-2 250, 2034
100-3 1615, 1625
100-4 400, 404, 2038, 2328, 2329, 2337, 2338, 2339, 2348, 2349, 2350, 2351, 2352, 2358, 2359, 2365
100-5 622, 623, 624, 2240, 2242, 2243, 2321, 2331, 2333, 2334, 2343, 2344, 2345, 2353, 2354, 2355, 2356, 2363, 2367, 2368, 2373, 2378, 2379, 2383, 6220, 6250
100-6  41, 42, 51, 53, 56, 57
100-7 601, 602, 611, 613, 616, 621
100-8 520
100-9 625
100-10 Substitute 100-25
100-11 44, 45, 204, 205, 208, 209, 210, 216, 217, 218, 220, 224, 226
100-12 1872
100-14 600, 610, 626, 627, 628, 629, 2341, 2350, 2351, 2352, 2358
100-15 2031, 2032, 2033
100-16 58
100-20 Substitute 100-5
100-25 221, 224E, 637, 646, 665, 671, 675, 681, 682, 685, 726, 736, 746, 1101, 1654, 1655, 1656, 1666, 1666E, 2016, 2018, 2020, 2023, 2025, 2026, 2035, 2036, 2037, 2046, 2055, 2056, 2065, 2245, 2330, 2340, 2360
100-114 See 100-4 or 100-14
101-1 202, 212, 219, 225, 228, 229, 230, 231, 243, 244, 247, 249 (Incl. 221/222 Alco)
101-2 68
101-3 614
101-4 1862, 1882
102-3 MPC Engines
102-12 MPC Engines
103-1 MPC Electronic E-Unit
226E-35 224, 224E, 225, 225E, 226, 226E (or substitute 100-25)
259E-25 259, 259E, 264, 264E, 265, 265E (or substitute 100-11)
260E-72 250, 250E, 255E, 263, 263E
262E-10 238, 238E, 249, 249E, 262E
289E-25 289, 289E
385E-50 385E, 1835E
392E-50 392E
400E-150 400E
616E-10 616, 616E, 616W, 636, 636E, 636W
622-90 622 (1948-49 version) (or substitute 100-5)
671-50 671 (1946 only!) (Horizontal E-Unit) (or substitute 726-51)
671-90 671 (1947 and later) Incl. 681 and 682 (or substitute 100-25)
700E-155 700E, 700K, 763E
726-51 671(47), 726(46), 2020(47) (or substitute 671-50)
726-90 726 (1947 and later) (or substitute 100-25)
752E-2 752, 752E, 752W
773-300 773
1661E-5 229, 1664, 1664E, 1681E, 1688, 1688E, 1689E
1668E-36 1666, 1666E, 1668, 1668E
1700E-10 1700E
2330-300 2330, 2340, 2360
2332M-10 2332
2333-80 2333, 2334, 2344, 2345, 2353, 2354, 2355, 2356 (or substitute 100-5)
 

To determine the E-Unit you need by engine number, scroll through the list below!

 Engine         E-unit

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