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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,
Hope all are well.
I have a Lionel Legacy Vision Challenger 3989, 6-11220. It was stopped on part of an elevated trestle and I was trying to align something and the locomotive and tender fell off. Only about 6" drop but still. Now, I can't get it to go in either forward or reverse. I am running conventional / traditional (old-school) transformer. The sounds work fine on both the locomotive and the tender and the lights light up, but no matter how many times I press the direction button it won't budge. I tried turning off the Odyssey speed control and no effect. The reason I had it stopped was I saw some sparks along the sloped portion of the trestle, so not sure if sparks could have shorted something out. Also, when I press the Direction button with power applied, the engine completely shuts down and a second later comes back up, it plays that startup spin-up sound sequence every time I press Direction. Something tells me it might be a problem with the optical transmitter or receiver.
Appreciate any thoughts.
Kind regards,
'Dubs
 

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Since it had a fall, the first thing to check is the drive linkage between the wheels, I'd guess a rod got bent and is jammed. The locomotive will run without the tender at all, so forget about looking at the optical link, it has nothing to do with motion control.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
John thank you for the reply. I checked the rods and they are fine, also I can push the locomotive by hand along the rails and the wheels turn without any binding. I can't find any evidence of damage to the locomotive or tender, it kind of fell straight down a few inches.
I just put the engine on the rails without the tender. Apparently the tender has the brains of the sound, without the tender the engine doesn't make any sounds. Needless to say the engine doesn't run without the tender either.

EDIT: If memory serves, before the accident the wheels would not turn if I tried to push the locomotive along by hand. Now they do.
 

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I think you'll have to open it up and see if the motor mount is broken and allowed the worm gear (if it uses a worm gear) to lose contact with the drive gear.
 

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John thank you for the reply. I checked the rods and they are fine, also I can push the locomotive by hand along the rails and the wheels turn without any binding. I can't find any evidence of damage to the locomotive or tender, it kind of fell straight down a few inches.
I just put the engine on the rails without the tender. Apparently the tender has the brains of the sound, without the tender the engine doesn't make any sounds. Needless to say the engine doesn't run without the tender either.

EDIT: If memory serves, before the accident the wheels would not turn if I tried to push the locomotive along by hand. Now they do.
The VL Challenger has back driveable gears and you can turn the wheels without power. I can assure you it was possible to turn the wheels by hand before you dropped it if it ran at all. There is also a sound board in the locomotive, so without the tender, it will still make sound, it just won't have the stereo effect of the dual sound systems. Again, ignore the tender and solve the problem of the locomotive not running, because that's where the problem is. Any issues with the IR link would ONLY affect the tender sounds.
Factory Authorized Lionel Service

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi all. I took the top of the engine off. Did not see anything that looks like it broke, became disconnected or fell out of place. I'm starting to think that maybe some of the electronics were zapped from that sparking I saw when the engine was going up the elevated trestle. Two things of note, without the tender I don't get any sound and also, if memory serves the firebox would glow red - the firebox now has no lighting. But I can't remember if the firebox only glowed red when the train was in motion, don't remember if it glowed red while stopped.

The amount of electronics and wiring underneath that shell was impressive.

I imagine I need to send it out for repair. Anyone know someone who is really good at repairing these highly digital Lionel locomotives? I heard Mike Reagan at Trainworx is pretty great, I emailed him but not heard back. I live in Dallas, TX but am expecting to have to mail the locomotive out.

EDIT: Also in case it matters when I apply power (again I run in conventional mode), I don't even hear the motor trying to turn.
 

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As a last couple of checks ...

(1) Reseat all the connectors; and
(2) Look for burn indications of the PCB(s).

If you can post high-res, close up pics of the PCBs, we might be able to spot issues as well.
 
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