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Discussion Starter #1
I have a Lionel 145 Automatic Gateman. The little guy was always a little lazy to come out but after a few passes of the train he usually showed up. Often then his door would stick open and after a few more passes he was in full operation. So, I decided to make him work from the" get go". After a little analysis I realized that the plunger was sticking. I proceeded to use some emory cloth and then oil to free it up. The result was now it's much worse. The plunger is stiffer than before and the little guy wants to stay in his shack.
Are there any tricks to loosen the plunger? I even tried slightly bending the base because the plunger seems to be scraping along the opening. If all else fails is there a replacement available for this piece?

Oh, I have a similar problem with a crossing gate plunger.
 

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Paper Shuffler Extraordinaire
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Avoid oil on the plunger. Take it back apart and clean it really well. Before putting it back together, make sure the plunger is free. Inspect the bore carefully, may have some rust inside it. A small cotter pin with a small piece of scoth-brite can be used there, possibly some sand paper to break the rust. Some powdered graphite is all the lube you'll want, plungers don't like oil for the most part.

Carl
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Plunger

I can't see how to "take it apart". I mean out of the coil. It only goes up and down but not out. Am I missing something here? I can only get to the exposed sections on top and bottom; The rust or corrosion is probably in the center hidden section.
I did think graphite would be better than oil but was too lazy to make the trip upstairs to the garage to get it. Will now.
 

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Service manual pages here View attachment acc145p1.pdf

Service Manual says:

Sluggish operation of the Gateman mechanism may
be caused by any of the following: improper tension
of the return spring, excessive friction between the
gear segment and metal base of the shack, sticky
plunger or distorted coil spool.
To eliminate excessive friction apply a light coat
of lubricant to the bottom surface ol the base where it
bears against the upturned fingers of the moving gear
segment. Adjust the tension of the return coil spring
either by stretching the spring slightly to enable the
door to open more easily or by taking off a few turns
to increase the return force. After a long period of
operation the plunger and the hole in the coil spool
may become dirty and sticky and should be cleaned
oft. If the coil spool has been overheated it may hecome
distorted. Occasionally the coil will return to
normal after it has been allowed to cool off. If the
distortion is permanent, however, tbe coil assembly
should he replaced.
In case!ol where the figure of the gateman rubs
against the Lase Washer RCS-40 may he inserted as
a spacer between the gear segment and the figure
mounting stud .
 
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