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I have 30 year old lionel train set 8141 o gauge, the engine will turn on via transformer but seems to be stuck, what could be the problem? dirty tracks or dirty rollers under the engine?
 

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Can you turn the wheels by hand when it is off the track? Does it make a humming / buzzing noise when you give it power? If you give it a little push, will it start moving? Is smoke coming from anywhere (I do not mean from the smoke unit)?

Does it have an e-unit? This is what changes the direction between forward, neutral, and reverse... If the engine has one it will have a lever somewhere that you can switch between two positions... One allows the engine to cycle and the other locks it in a particular direction... Is is possible that the engine is locked in neutral; if it is then there should be no humming sound when you give the engine power... Try switching the lever and see what happens... If it is humming when you give it power and switching the lever does nothing, then there may be something wrong with the e-unit itself...

Of course it may NOT be the e-unit... Another possibility is that something is shorting out, or maybe the motor needs new brushes...
 

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Yard Master & Research
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Remove the top. and check to see the e unit cycle. The drum may be broken. Remove all the grease and lightly oil.
Clean the drum with an eraser. Clean the top of the motor with an eraser and make sure there is no oil on the brushes.
This is assuming you have a mechanical e unit and a standard motor. It may be a can, where you cannot access the brushes.

With some leads try to run the motor by bypassing the eunit off the track.
Let us know the results.
Your engine is in the Lionel supplemental diagrams, under Customer service at Lionel .com you need to search it out from 48 downloads. Worth the time though.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
engine 8141

in responce to the second thread concerning the e unity. I have taken the shell off the engine and I really didnt know what to the look for.

To describe a little better about the condition of the engine, when power is applied to the track the engine does get energized. I havent gottne it to
go forward but I did get it to go reverse. But not really well.

the tracks are a little rusty and the two "rollers" ( or contacts) under the engine look dirty. Dirty meaning black dirt or old grease.. the whol train set
sat in a box for alteast 20 years in Texas and New York...


I believe the engine could be fixed since it ran a little bit backwards.

The top of engine does have a metal switch that toggles back and forth. should I just take this to a hobby shop and have some one take a look a look at it.
 

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Yard Master & Research
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Now I Understand the 8141.

Sorry, my sos tender, post belongs to the 8141, a Columbia type engine from 70 to 71 with train sounds. I thought I recognized the number. I looked under diesel, and didn't find it.
A train shop will clean it up, but be prepared for a strange look since the cost may be worth more than the train. For you, it might be worth it.
I can't find my lionel supp on it I know I printed one out.
The diagram isn't great do you want to take it apart?. Pictures would help of the motor and e unit
 

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I have 30 year old lionel train set 8141 o gauge, the engine will turn on via transformer but seems to be stuck, what could be the problem? dirty tracks or dirty rollers under the engine?
Try it on a DC track...I have 2 Lionel Steamers, both plastic, both made by MPC...they are both DC
 

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The MPC 8141 has a Pullmore motor with two field coils and the corresponding 2-position E-unit.

Sounds like the engine needs a mid-life maintenance (overhaul). A thorough cleaning of the gears, axles, & armature faces to remove all the hardened grease, gummy oil and soot. And the E-unit may need some servicing.

The switch on top controls the E-unit. In one position, the E-unit cycles between forward and reverse each time power is applied. In the other position, the E-unit is locked out and the loco will run in it's last position - either forward or reverse. Try moving the top switch to the other side and cycle power repeatedly to see if the motor cycles between forward and reverse.

After that, get ready for a good cleaning and lube. We'll guide you trough that. Not that hard. 15 minutes if you've done it before.

Take detailed pics of the motor and post them here.
 

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The first thing that needs to be done is to clean the track, locomotive wheels and pickup rollers. Use a ScotchBrite pad to remove rust from the tracks and any that may be on the wheels or pickup rollers. After all the rust is removed, clean everything with Naphtha to get rid of all the dirt and grime.

The reverse unit is a 2-position unit - forward and reverse only. Very little goes wrong with them.

Put a drop of oil on either end of the motor armature shaft to lubricate it, a drop of oil on the wheel bearings and a dab of grease on the gears and you should have a nice running engine.

You can do this at home and save yourself a service charge and learn how to service your equipment. That is what I did.

The service manual pages for your locomotive are here, pages 3-11 and 3-12.

Let us know how you make out.

Larry
 
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