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Old 11-07-2019, 06:38 PM   #1
Grzldvt
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: San Jose
Posts: 11
Postwar Lionel HO Engine Rubber Band Conversion

Just retired after selling my auto detailing business and getting back into this. Long story short, back in 1961, my parents stretched their budget and bought me a Texas Special Passenger Train. Over the years I picked up several engines.
One engine spins very smoothly until I load it, then it sputters and struggles and finally stops.. Two do nothing unless I spin by hand then it turns maybe 1/3rd of turn and stops.
I contacted The Motor Doc, and he told me the magnet(s) are probably gone, and "Thanks for asking" I realize they are 60+ years old, and lost my magnetism after 60 years too

Question of the Day: Has anyone ever converted or heard of anyone converting Postwar rubber band drive engines to a better drive system?
Or is there a newer chassis I can put the shells on?
Or the obvious third choice, they will make a nice display in a yard on the layout.
This has more sentimental value than anything else. My Dad and I spent a lot of time together putting up a very nice layout back then. I would like to get these running if possible
Thanks
Steve
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:46 PM   #2
x_doug_x
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Join Date: Jun 2010
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I've converted a couple a few different ways but nothing that I suggest doing as far as conversions go. If you haven't burnt the armatures out due to the weak magnets, I would suggest getting some neodium magnets off ebay (tiny ones) and stack them on top of eachother untill they slide into the bottom of the motor chassis. I did this with a good outcome. Then you still have to worry about replacing rubber bands.


I do have a flywheel chassis that was a very very very close fit, but I dunno the manufacturer. It's under one of my texas specials now but will require slight grinding on the body.
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Old 11-08-2019, 02:33 AM   #3
Grzldvt
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Join Date: Jan 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x_doug_x View Post
I've converted a couple a few different ways but nothing that I suggest doing as far as conversions go. If you haven't burnt the armatures out due to the weak magnets, I would suggest getting some neodium magnets off ebay (tiny ones) and stack them on top of eachother untill they slide into the bottom of the motor chassis. I did this with a good outcome. Then you still have to worry about replacing rubber bands.


I do have a flywheel chassis that was a very very very close fit, but I dunno the manufacturer. It's under one of my texas specials now but will require slight grinding on the body.
Excellent, Thanks for the answer.
I spent the afternoon poking around and found a magnetizer specifically for electric motors. Ordered it, , but I like the magnet idea and there is room to stack them, so will also try that. One never knows what would work.
I have the new rubber bands, and have that drill down pat, although I need to order new clips, as a couple broke while being removed.
I suspect the demand is not there for these motors.
I also stumbled across an RSO Santa Fe engine which has a direct drive with a flex joint. The shell fits on it. When I fired it up the armature smoked so I shut it down, but at least there is a possible option.
Steve
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Old 11-11-2019, 03:51 PM   #4
DonR
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Jacksonville, Fl
Posts: 8,097
Steve

Did you check and clean the gear trains in
the trucks? The lube gels after a time and
hinders the efficiency of the loco. Replace
it with a plastic friendly grease lube such as
LaBelle's. They also sell a liquid 'oil' for the
motor bearings.

If you haven't done so, clean the loco wheels
also. This can be done easily by making a spot
of alcohol on a paper towel. Place this on the
track and run the front wheels of the loco onto
it. Hold the loco with your hand as you run up
the speed, spinning the wheels in the alcohol.
Repeat with the rear wheels.

Don
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