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Old 01-22-2009, 04:04 PM   #1
Steve0557
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1957-58 - 2037 Locomotive

I recently purchased a vintage set to replace one that my Dad got me in 1958. I haven't had my hands on trains in almost 40 years so I'm admittedly clueless. The person who sold them to me said the loco worked fine. I set up the track and connected the transformer and nothing is happening when I try to get it to go. The light does not light up. The tender does whistle so I know there's power going to the track. The engine is spotless. I doubt if was used too much in the past 51 years. The set was complete in the original box and individual boxes with all the paper work and the oil and spoke pellets. So, I don't believe there's anything drastically wrong with the thing. It's near mint. Is there something I am overlooking in the setup? Any help would be appeciated.
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Old 01-22-2009, 05:20 PM   #2
T-Man
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Simple eh

Welcome to MTF. I love the old steamers so lets think about this.
Holding the engine, you should be able to spin the wheels. This will rule out any rod problems.The rods also push a bar for the steam unit.
Are you referring to the engine light?
Does your engine have smoke?
Smoke makes it slightly complicated but it also has to move (chuff)and cannot be stuck or jammed.
The simplest is when you set it on the track all wheels must be aligned. Cause if the front pilot wheels aren't, it will short and the red light will show on the transformer. Make sure the track isn't shorted with a screwdriver . Very common problem.
I checked you do not have smoke but you have magnetration. Look at your drive wheels and axles and make sure you have no metal pieces shorting anything out. I know it's spotless but check.
Next put the engine on it's side and try to start it with two wires from the transformer. One to the center wheel one to the outer and listen to the click of the e unit. If it runs it should be ok.
Next the e unit look at the drum and see if it spins and the little finger contacts look good. Little fingers do not like to be poked leave them be.You want to be sure the drum didn't break at the ends.You may see enough of the eunit without removing anything.

Last scuff up the wheels and track and the small center rollers.
Do not over oil the motor.
This is the basics too bad you don't have a second engine to run the track.
If you find something send a picture.
Read the SPECIAL Basic O/ O27 manual it will help and is a good reference.
http://www.thortrains.net/index.html
Since your bulb is out, the center feed wire from ther rollers could be broken before it reaches the e unit.
If all this fails we need to remove the shell for a better look.
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Last edited by T-Man; 01-22-2009 at 06:49 PM..
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Old 01-22-2009, 06:48 PM   #3
Steve0557
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2037 Steam Engine

Hi,
Thanks for the quick reply. The engine does smoke. The light I was referring to is the train's "headlight". As I said, it does not light up when the power's turned on. The wheels move freely as do the center wheels. However,I did notice the the rear center wheel does not move as easily as the front.

I am in the process of downloading the basics manual you suggested. Thanks again for that. I will try powering it directly from the transformer as you described as well.

If there was a short in the track would the tender whistle anyway? My transformer does not have a light indicator. I have a feeling that if someone who knew about this were here they'd slap me on the back of the head and say, "no wonder it ain't workin', look how you set it up!" There is an off chance it got damaged in transport. Or that perhaps I didn't give the transformer time to warm up from being out in the cold for 2 days in a mail truck.

If you think of anything else please let me know. Thanks again. I've attached some photos.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1603WS Set.jpg (80.5 KB, 41 views)
File Type: jpg Bottom View.JPG (72.4 KB, 30 views)
File Type: jpg Track and Transformer.jpg (116.0 KB, 32 views)
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Old 01-22-2009, 07:22 PM   #4
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Follow Up

I tried to check it with power directly from the transformer. One wire to the center wheel, one to the outer wheel. The wheels do not move. The wires do spark on intial contact then get warm. I do feel a vibration but again, no wheel movement.
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Old 01-22-2009, 07:30 PM   #5
Boston&Maine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve0557 View Post
I tried to check it with power directly from the transformer. One wire to the center wheel, one to the outer wheel. The wheels do not move. The wires do spark on intial contact then get warm. I do feel a vibration but again, no wheel movement.
That sounds like it could be an e-unit problem to me... Does is make like buzzing sort of sound or anything?
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Old 01-22-2009, 08:28 PM   #6
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Try rotating the drum with a screw driver. Move the lever to the left of the engine.Move the drum a few times and test . The sparking is not good, it indicates a short. Because of the magnetration your e unit may be magnetised.
A good sign that the tender worked.
The transformer has a red button is it for the whistle?
Do you feel confident to remove the shell and do you have a solder iron and voltmeter?
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Last edited by T-Man; 01-22-2009 at 08:34 PM..
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Old 01-22-2009, 09:28 PM   #7
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Last and, thankfully final, update! I suppose if you follow advice from the right people it pays off. I gave the loco a closer inspection. The center contact wheels were both pushed up into the cavity and were not making contact with the track. I realized that the back was not spinning as freely as the front. So I started with that. I noticed that they are both "spring loaded" and with a delicate coax got them both back into place. Unfortunately one of the curved tracks has a minor dent and sometimes the Tender derails there. But, other than that she moves fine! Thanks again for the responses.
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Old 01-22-2009, 09:57 PM   #8
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Does the light work now?

Well I guess it was a roller problem.
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Old 01-22-2009, 11:03 PM   #9
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Yes the engine's light does go on when I power up. I forgot to mention the red button on that transformer works the whistle on the Tender.
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Old 01-23-2009, 08:40 AM   #10
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To finish up, the transformer is a 1063, 75 watt. Larger than the standard 45 watt. So keep an eye out for something larger.You may neef it in the future. Your whistle and engine will need lubrication. Hobby shops have oiler kits. I use a lithium grease on the gears. Oil on the spinning armature. I insert a piece of felt between the brushes to hold the oil. The common squeek area. The felt will work for the tender too. On the tender do not over tighten screws it's only plastic.
Bob
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Last edited by T-Man; 01-23-2009 at 09:06 AM..
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