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Old 02-10-2018, 09:09 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: UT
Posts: 2
Lionel post war locomotive 2037 e unit

I am working on this locomotive and have come across something new to me. The e unit seems to be functioning correctly mechanically, but when I cycle it I get forward..neutral..reverse..neutral..nothing..neutr al..nothing..neutral..forward..neutral..reverse..n eutral then the nothing cycle again.

Any ideas? I am stumped.
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Old 02-10-2018, 10:18 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Detroit, Michigan
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Scales Modeled: O, HO, N
Sounds like the contact drum and/or fingers are either dirty or not touching properly. They're a bit tricky to work on, but it's all replaceable if you're up to the task. Take a peek and check for cleanliness first though, as they sometimes get dirty and don't make solid contact.

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Old 02-11-2018, 10:04 PM   #3
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Thanks santafe158, I had cleaned it up, so I did it again. It seems to have helped for a while then it went back to the previous issue. Now, it seems to have good power in reverse but almost no movement going forward. Is that an e unit issue also? I have fixed a bunch of engines, but this one has a new suprise around every corner.
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Old 02-12-2018, 10:33 AM   #4
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Location: Hamilton, NJ
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Scales Modeled: Postwar/Prewar tinplate "O" scale
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One thing you can try with the E unit, is alcohol (91% isopropyl, from drug stores), and Q tips. Remove the E unit from the frame, so you can get access to the drum & fingers. Wet the Q tip, and rotate the drum around the complete rotation, while rubbing the Q tip on the copper segments. That should cure the E unit problem, plus make sure all the fingers are making good contact. The issue of running better in reverse, than in forward, sounds like you need new brushes, and a good cleaning of the armature faces. I typically use 1200-1500 grit emery paper, to polish the armature faces. These steps should cure your issues.

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Old 02-13-2018, 10:31 AM   #5
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Scales Modeled: O-gauge 3-rail
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If all else fails, pick up a rebuild kit, around $12-15, it has the drum and all the fingers. It'll be an interesting experience to rebuild your first E-Unit, but they go faster after the first one.
MTH ASC Certified Tech, Factory Authorized Lionel Service, ERR Dealer
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e unit , o gauge

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