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I have a few lionel 3 rail switches which I would to bench test without actually incorporating into the track plan. I have an extra transformer to use, so other than the switch controllers how do I hook up power? (To wfich rails, etc)

Thanks
Trainrick
 

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If you connect to power to the center and one outside rail of the incoming track to the "y", you will always have a correct power connection. Connect the switch controller the same way as with a real layout. I have a switch controller with clips on the wires for easy switch testing.

You can test the non-derailing feature with a jumper between the outside rails on the entry sides of the "y".

I cycle the switch 20-30 times and see if it goes completely over. Next, I do it a couple more times and check the lock of the rails to make sure that works each way. Finally, I check the non-derailing feature a couple of cycles with a jumper.

Of course, for 022 switches, I also put a bulb and lantern top on them to make sure that's not binding as well.
 

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John, The 1122 & the 022 switches should be reconditioned for best reliability. I did a number of 1122 switches and posted a procedure on this forum for fixing them. The plastic they are made from will cold flow, and this caused the crimped connections inside the switch to become loose.

You know I did a long post on the CTT forum about restoring 022 switches. Use Google to search for it: 022/711 switch operating pblms

After 50+ years, both types of switches can use some reconditioning.:D
 

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The 1122s have a problem with the connections getting loose due to the plastic cold flowing. This causes a high resistance joint which gets hot and melts the plastic. The power for the center rail then does not get through the switch very well if at all. You can compensate for this by putting a lockon on both sides of the switch.
 

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One other thing: if the normal reconditioning procedure doesn't give you the snappy performance you want, consider pulling the plunger for a buff and hone.

I was going through a batch of switches the other day, and three in a row were lazy even after disengaging the sliding contact and lamp. After removing the plunger and cleaning the light dirt and corrosion, they work flawlessly.

Cleaning is simple: I chuck the plunger in a drill press, then polish it with 0000 steel wool/scotchbrite/etc. I hone the bore with a piece of fine sandpaper to remove any burrs or bumps.
 

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John, The 1122 & the 022 switches should be reconditioned for best reliability. I did a number of 1122 switches and posted a procedure on this forum for fixing them. The plastic they are made from will cold flow, and this caused the crimped connections inside the switch to become loose.

You know I did a long post on the CTT forum about restoring 022 switches. Use Google to search for it: 022/711 switch operating pblms

After 50+ years, both types of switches can use some reconditioning.:D
I found the post here to link over there. to Classic Toy Trains
 

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I also purchased the rivets required to repair the lamp holder and the lantern holder on these. I've had a few with broken holders, and it's easier to take both pieces off, and rivet them properly. I initially tried to solder the lantern holder pin on a few and was only successful about 60% of the time. Having the correct tools and rivets makes this repair easy now.
 

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John, Having the correct tools and parts is cheating.

I remember when I was a kid, parts were not available except by mail order and so I made things, including the pickup shoes for my Scout.
 

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I got tired of screwing around trying to get those two parts on correctly, so I went the easy way. Cheating? I hope so! :p:p

After I got the Brakeman's Riveting Kit, I found all sorts of things that were easier to fix with the correct tools. :)
 

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I have always replaced the lantern holderss by drilling out the rivet that holds them. I remove the old lantern holder and rivet and install the new lantern holder and old rivet. Then I solder the rivet in place. Quick and easy. It is important to make sure the lantern holder is clocked correctly with the slider. Soldering takes a fair amount of heat and so I use a soldering gun, not a small iron.

I salvage the lantern holders out of 042 manual switches.
 

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I just didn't have 100% success soldering them, and I did use my 140W gun for the job. Also, if the bulb socket is loose on the holder, sometimes it's nearly impossible for me to get it tight, there's nothing to brace against to bend the tabs. :)

I also like the idea that I have a repair that's just like the original, and with the right stuff it's easy to accomplish.
 

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One other thing: if the normal reconditioning procedure doesn't give you the snappy performance you want, consider pulling the plunger for a buff and hone.
What is the procedure for removing the plunger? I'm interested in knowing if it can be removed without also removing the frame and coil assembly.

Thank you.

Pete
 

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If you remove the lantern holder, the plunger should come right out.
I think I used a screw and nut to hold back in place. I did it al least once.

The plunger may be taken out if you lift it over the nub. Be careful not to bend the shaft.

 
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