Restoring a 1964 Lionel Set. Need Help!
I am brand new on here, and to model trains. I recently acquired a 1964 Lionel 6 Unit Ready To Run train set #11450 from my girlfriends family.
I would like to restore it and get it running again but I am unaware of how much that would deplete the value of the set.
I had ran it for a few seconds just to be sure it would run, but quickly realized there are a few problem spots in the track.
Would cleaning the residue off the tracks, and cleaning and regressing the engine and cars deplete the value this set at all?
As well does anyone know the value of the set just in general? It has the original box, all the original track, all the original cars and engine, original transformer, and original instruction.
No, working is better than not. So clean the track, and use a scotch-bite. Do
a search on here for track cleaning, and engine maintenance. Plenty on the
And welcome the group.
First off, doing maintenance is not devaluing the set. If you take to painting it, now that will devalue it. :D
Cleaning the track is the top topic. I use ScotchBrite followed by a rag with Isopropyl Alcohol to clean track. Next would be to lube the locomotive and trucks on the cars. I don't know what "regressing" is, so I wouldn't recommend that. :)
"regressing" = regreasing
Don't use grease. It dries out and gets hard. Use 5W-20 motor oil. It will last forever.
Oil everything that turns or slides. A drop of oil on everything should be enough. You can use a toothpick or bent paper clip to oil everything. Make sure you oil the armature bearings on both sides, the idler gears that drive the wheels, and the axles for the wheel. Oil the gears with several drops of oil.
Oil the wheels on the cars. Oil the bolster that the trucks swivel on.
Oil the roller pickups on the loco and any cars that have pickups.
Oil the couplers on the cars.
What transformer do you have?
David Doyle's postwar Lionel Train Sets book lists the 11450 set at approximately $150 is excellent condition, $250 in like new condition. A scarcity of 2 (relatively common). Condition affect value greatly, as does the completeness of the set (boxes, paperwork, etc.)
The set features a #242 2-4-2 Scout loco.
Here's some basic info on generic Lionel motor service (open each icon image as a stand-alone pdf) ...
And some info on the #242 loco ...
http://pictures.olsenstoy.com/233.htm (this is for several similar Scout locos)
http://pictures.olsenstoy.com/242.htm (and parts for the 242)
The rule of thumb I like to use with trains is, 'If it was valuable then it's valuable now'. This was a low end O27 starter set so it's value then and now is on the low side. That being said, If it is truly complete with box and instructions and it looks like new then there will always be value there.
There is a fine line between repair and restoration. If everything is in good shape and you only want to clean and lube the locomotive that should be fine. Do not use grease, only use model train approved lubricants as described in the threads. If the track is rusty or very dirty toss it and buy new track. O27 track is inexpensive and readily obtainable.
Before you put a lot of time in, check the wheels and rollers on the locomotive. They tend to get hard gunk caked on them and that will cause sluggish operation. Use a wire brush and a small screwdriver blade to scrape that off. Then lube carefully. A tiny drop of oil is along with a small drop of gear grease on the gears is all you should need.
Once again I will say, don't use grease. It dries out and gets hard. Use 5W-20 or 5W-30 motor oil or something similar for everything. Motor oil never dries out. It lives in the crankcase of your car at elevated temperatures, and doesn't evaporate. I talked with a petroleum engineer who is also a model railroader, and he advised against using synthetic oil as it might damage the paint. I had a 2025 stored for 45 years that had been lubed with 20W-40 Valvoline and when I took it out of the box a year ago, it ran just fine. I did lube it again. I have dug a lot of dried grease out of locos. I have many post war cars that have dried dirt and grease on the wheels. Most likely it is a mixture of dirt and dried Lionel Lube.
Thanks guys for the help. Ya then I will restore it then, because from what I understand it needs a cleaning and lube to the gears.
I don't want to do something wrong and break anything so how would I take the engine apart? And yes its the set 11450 with the Scout 242 Engine.
Also I noticed the coupler on one of the cars is broken, do you know any places I could get a part like that?
Also the box has a bit of grime on it, is there anything I could do to some what clean it?
If you're talking the coupler knuckle (the movable part), they're readily available for cheap. :)
Ditto. Local hobby shop, likely. If not, East Coast Train Parts (NJ); Jeff Kane online at The Train Tender; etc.
Some knuckles have a tiny spring. Others have a flexy "whisker" integral with the kunckle that acts like a spring. See if you can identify which from your set. For '64, I'd guess the latter.
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