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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hope someone can help. Have the 616 engine that has always run just fine. Learned a year ago that the train had a whistle. (It was my dad's. Never heard or knew it had one.) Bought the control online and had a local repair guy clean up the whistle. (To my knowledge, had NEVER been used.) Set up the track as always this year. However... the engine runs very slowly. Had to remove some cars from the set to even get it to go. The whistle works great. The controller also allows me to put the unit in reverse. (Another "never-seen" in my lifetime - 56.)

Any thoughts on why the engine runs so weakly after this? Could the controller be sapping power?
 

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Paper Shuffler Extraordinaire
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Perhaps the single best suggestion would be a good thorough clean lube. Using 5w-20/30 motor oil on all the axles and exposed gearing. Carefully remove the top of the motor, taking care not to lose the brushes, remove the commutator. Clean the surface with 91% or better alcohol or GoGone if really grimy. Polish the surface with very fine sandpaper. Remove any old grease on the worm gear and corresponding spur gear. Apply a light coating of white lithium grease to those gears only. Inspect the brushes and holders cleaning them and replacing brushes if necessary. Odds are that alone will bring back the running of the train.

Your train was equipped with a horn, not a whistle. There should be a place for a single D cell battery. If the battery was left in, and corrosion occurred you'll have work to do there.

Any questions, try posting pics so we can see what we're up against.

Carl
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sounds great, but this is a prewar 616. No batteries involved.
This was put in use back in 1932 or so...
 

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I didn't realize the 616 was the "Flying Yankee" version from the prewar era, but the general advice I gave still holds. That's always the first step before condemning other components. Which transformer are you using? If you could post a few pictures it can help us a lot.

Carl
 

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What controller are you using?

It's possible that the controller is cutting down (otherwise) "normal" AC power going to the track. Whistle controllers generate a DC (not AC) voltage pulse that engages the whistle's relay switch, turning the whistle on. The whistle motor itself runs on AC power. But because Lionel didn't want the train slowing down when the whistle was engaged (running on AC), they essentially down-voltaged the AC power going to the loco motor when the whistle wasn't running, then bypassed this down-voltage drop when the whistle was running. It may be that you're controller is having some issue with this voltage "bypass".

We can offer a bit more if we know what controller (and transformer, too).

TJ
 

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Yard Master & Research
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OOOOO BABY the Yankeee! Now you are talking. They are relatively simple but are on the collector side due to rarity. How abut getting a learners model to get your fingers dirty? A good ol 259e would do the trick! Prewar who would of guessed.

I am shipping this thread to O scale. I just noticed.

I would like to see Pics of this baby.
 

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WOW eveything is in beautiful condition!

That makes the items very desirable. I have that gatehouse and yours looks brand new. That make them more collectable than they are toys.

Check your edit button to see how I did the you tube.
 

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When you said "pristine condition" you weren't kidding. Very impressive to say the least. :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

A few quick questions. Are you running any of the accessories or just the locomotive? If you are, I'd try disconnecting them and trying it that way. I'm just looking to simplify troubleshooting. Do you have a dvom (digital volt/ohm meter) to measure voltage output? They are fairly inexpensive, and extremely invaluable for checking many functions.

Carl
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
When you said "pristine condition" you weren't kidding. Very impressive to say the least. :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

A few quick questions. Are you running any of the accessories or just the locomotive? If you are, I'd try disconnecting them and trying it that way. I'm just looking to simplify troubleshooting. Do you have a dvom (digital volt/ohm meter) to measure voltage output? They are fairly inexpensive, and extremely invaluable for checking many functions.

Carl
Good advise! I'll get one and check that out.

I'm hesitant to take anything apart and start tinkering... unit just means too much to me and I'll not take the chance of messing something up. Had the engine rewired approx 10 yrs ago and the whistle (as mentioned) cleaned up a few weeks back.

I'm going to focus on the controller interfering with the voltage. I assume the power going in from one terminal and out the other (on the whistle controller) should be the same? Not with me here, but I'm thinking the controller is #166 or #167... I'll look and advise.

Thanks, folks! Your comments and ideas are just what I was looking-for! I'm not as into this as most of you are, but I do visit the local Indianapolis area train shows when possible and really do want this set to endure and continue being passed down the line. Realizing it had one and then actually getting the whistle to work was huge in my mind. Should have seen the grandkid's eyes light up the first time they heard it! Priceless!
 

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Hope someone can help. Have the 616 engine that has always run just fine. Learned a year ago that the train had a whistle. (It was my dad's. Never heard or knew it had one.) Bought the control online and had a local repair guy clean up the whistle. (To my knowledge, had NEVER been used.) Set up the track as always this year. However... the engine runs very slowly. Had to remove some cars from the set to even get it to go. The whistle works great. The controller also allows me to put the unit in reverse. (Another "never-seen" in my lifetime - 56.)

Any thoughts on why the engine runs so weakly after this? Could the controller be sapping power?

I was wondering about the reverse functionality of the 616. Does the loco/power car have a different kind of e-unit or motor than other Lionel locos? Usually just powering down and restarting an engine will cause it to change directions (or go into neutral - depending on e-unit), unless there's an override switch to by-pass the e-unit.

Just curious.

Looks like a beautiful train. Articulated trains like that are facinating to watch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
This year was the first time I ever saw it go in reverse. The Controller may very well be the culpret, here. The button to make it go in reverse works sometimes, and doesn't others... I suppose it could be "operator issues" as well! lol (May also be the direction of the switch/lever on the motor... the first time it went in reverse, I couldn't get it back to forward... until I moved the lever, shut it down and stared at it for awhile. Pretty sure my "stink-eye" didn't make it work...)

So, it was a pretty enlightening year... heard the whistle for the first time and saw it go in reverse for the first time.
 

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I'm going to focus on the controller interfering with the voltage. I assume the power going in from one terminal and out the other (on the whistle controller) should be the same? Not with me here, but I'm thinking the controller is #166 or #167... I'll look and advise.
Actually, what happens is the controller will alter the voltage slightly. Changes it from AC to DC, the whistle relay will not work with AC. On transformer controlled whistle controls, it "boosts" the voltage slightly, to compensate for the whistle motor current draw. That was to prevent the loco from slowing down during whistle operation. My postwar LW transformer has a whistle button, sometimes when I press it the train speeds up and the whistle doesn't blow. GRJ or one of the other resident electrical guru's can likely explain it better. If you suspect it, temporarily disconnect it should only need to remove one wire to isolate it.

Carl
 

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This year was the first time I ever saw it go in reverse. The Controller may very well be the culpret, here. The button to make it go in reverse works sometimes, and doesn't others... I suppose it could be "operator issues" as well! lol (May also be the direction of the switch/lever on the motor... the first time it went in reverse, I couldn't get it back to forward... until I moved the lever, shut it down and stared at it for awhile. Pretty sure my "stink-eye" didn't make it work...)

The lever on the loco will either engage the auto-reverse e-unit, or disengage it. If the former, the loco will cycle between fwd-neutral-reverse-neutral when the track power is throttled down/up (or when the reverse button is hit). If the latter, the loco will stay in whatever direction setting (or neutral!) was previously set.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Update - disconnected the whistle control (#167) and the train runs great! Must be some sort of problem inside? Anyone know what or why? Repairable?

Wasn't very expensive when purchased on Ebay... maybe that was why.

The train show is coming to town this weekend... maybe I'll be able to purchase a new one, there.

Also found a new problem with the transformer... power chord is shorting out at the plug, but that should be an easy fix...
 

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John has directions on how to make one from diodes. This way it is dependable and works.

Or just update your transformer that has a whistle button. That would be a better option. You want dependability. Keep your old stuff, you may get it to work but at least update the transformer by 30 years, a 1033 fits the bill or get something larger. Before long you will ned another box for trains and eventally take over a closet.

You do not want to run the Yankee all the time look for a 1668,1668 or a 259 to use. Same time period and affordable.
 
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