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Old 05-03-2010, 08:35 PM   #1
fizgig
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Restoring these 50s Lionel Trains

I am looking to get this set up and running, I just inherited it when my father passed on, his and my uncle's sets are mixed together.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/4229645...7623986948302/

I plan on scrubbing the track with a green scrub pad and water, and cleaning, lubing and oiling the engine cars, is that a good start? Should I just take them in to a professional? Do the transformers need to be looked at? I know they were run in the 70s, but beyond that, I don't think they've run for 30+ years and are not operational currently.
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:40 PM   #2
Boston&Maine
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Wow, what a collection! You have a nice little fortune on your hands
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:53 PM   #3
tjcruiser
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Fizgig,

That's a great set there.

The track doesn't look too bad. I'd shy away from the water, and stick with 3M ScotchBrite pads ... green for medium work, brown if you need to get more aggressive.

The biggest question regarding the transformers is safety, especially in way of the power cord. Check carefully to make sure it's not frayed, brittle, etc.

Our local O expert T-Man has an excellent compilation of his tutorial tips ... track cleaning, engine tune ups, etc. See this link, and scroll down a few posts to see his "encylopedia" ...

http://www.modeltrainforum.com/showthread.php?t=2355

Cheers,

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Old 05-03-2010, 09:44 PM   #4
fizgig
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I have no idea what they are worth and just want to get them working, it would mean a lot to the family.

I'll check out those links, thanks. I don't even know what all the handles and levers do, the cords are fine, surprisingly soft even for their age, the wires to the track are brittle though, probably need new ones.
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Old 05-03-2010, 10:58 PM   #5
big ed
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Use Wd40 instead of water. That VW was made in 1948 & 49.
The 1044 was made from 1957 through 1969. That looks in good shape? It doesn't work?
Whats the engine #? Looks like the wheels need a little cleaning and most likely the engine will need some cleaning too. Yes check the power cords on the transformers as most came with a cloth cord. You can by a nice heavy duty one from your home improvement store.
Theres a lot of threads in here to help you. And don't be afraid to ask. It's not that hard to get most of the stuff operational. The transformers you might need help with.
More later I got no time now.
T-Man I am sure will help out a lot do a search of his threads. T stands for teacher.

Welcome to the site too.
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Last edited by big ed; 05-03-2010 at 11:01 PM.
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:26 PM   #6
tjcruiser
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Fizgig,

Some more info re: your Lionel VW transformer ... bio, detailed service info, and a little video talking about service repair (for a ZW which is a big brother to the VW):

http://www.tandem-associates.com/lio...ransformer.htm

http://pictures.olsenstoy.com/searchcd31.htm?itm=670

http://pictures.olsenstoy.com/searchcd31.htm?itm=630

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LC1R_EhPdY

One other safety point of note ... VW transformers were built with an internal circuit breaker to prevent accidental heat and/or short circuit overload. (Some old transformers were not!) If you attempt to use this, you (or someone) should check to ensure that the circuit breaker is still functioning OK.

TJ
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Old 05-04-2010, 12:02 AM   #7
T-Man
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What first caught my eye was the two engines. They have class and are above average as engines go. Keep the 12 wheel tender and guard it. You have a lot of boxes, keep them in good shape. Store the trains in something else. The engine shells are brittle try not to break off any marker lights. Overall everything appears to be in very good shape with paperwork that is attractive to collectors. Yes you can clean the surface rust. The small transformer should work fine, the VW is older and more complicated.The condition of everthing is what stands out.
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Old 05-04-2010, 05:24 AM   #8
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nice stuff
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Old 05-04-2010, 05:44 AM   #9
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After sleeping on the subject I have a few more suggestions.

The 1957 manual has some good information that you can use. Copy what you need to reference and place the material in clear sleeves and a binder. Like valued comic books.

The next step is your mechanical/electrical sense. Do you feel confident messy with a family heirloom? Keep in mind this set has value and you have never worked on it. The immediate problem is screws. Will it come apart. At this point you do not want to break them off. All too often people over tighten screws. On the other hand if you get it running you will have to be aware that screws get loose.


Electrically you have to know about e units. Yours are old and subject to failure. If you apply current it is possible to burn the engine out. So what to do?
You did will well, to contact us. If I may suggest going on E bay and for 30 bucks find a nice used 2026,2018 or a 2016 2-6-2 engine and practice on that. In the long run it may be cheep insurance. To start your adventure in the hobby, start with a runner.
Just something to keep in mind.

The value part. The TCA has a grading system. Your best bet is to contact them for an apprasil. The tender I mentioned recently sold on e bay for 160.In better condtion with a box is more. That is just one piece. Your cattle accessory has very little scratches I am almost embarrassed to show you mine. Then again, you can get a price guide and dream.
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Last edited by T-Man; 05-04-2010 at 05:50 AM.
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Old 05-04-2010, 07:42 AM   #10
fizgig
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Thanks everyone, I'm a software developer by trade, I take computers apart and put them back together, and an avid mountain biker, I often have to degrease and lube up my bike, I'm pretty confident I can do some basic maintenance but the tougher stuff like wiring or winding I might need to take in to be fixed.

As far as I can tell, both transformers work, I probably should not have done this after what I've read since, but I tested the trains on the track when I got them home, the big transformer powers up and the smoke stack on the older engine was smoking, and it was buzzing a bit, trying to run. I should have cleaned and lubed them.

The manual says what to lube and where to add drops of oil, any recommendations on brands or should I just go to the hobby shop? anyone know what the top hatch in the milk truck is for?

Last edited by fizgig; 05-04-2010 at 07:46 AM. Reason: added question
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