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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone. I'm hoping that someone here can give me some tips on this problem. I recently dusted off a 60+ year old set of Lionel Trains given to me long ago that I'm now trying to get up and running for my grandson. It's the 2034 model, simple 5 car set. I've cleaned all the track, cleaned and lubricated the locomotive and set up a simple figure 8 layout. Train appears to run fine with one problem. When it reaches the crossover in either direction it dies. I have continuity on both sides of the crossover in each direction and my volt/ohm meter registers 19.6 volts between the center rail and end rail at each of the four points after the crossover. I had noticed the rollers appeared to be a bit worn so those have been replaced. Even ordered and installed a new crossover but the problem remains. Any advice or tips anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated.
 

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My gut feeling is that there are 2 center rollers (based on memory of my old lionel set from childhood that is now boxed up in the attic) and they are losing connection in the crossover. You probably know that already since you mention they've been replaced. Can you post a picture of the engines under carriage?

I think you'll need a few more posts before you can upload pictures.
 

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turn you loco over and measure the distant between the pickup rollers. then go to the cross over and measure the distance between the center rail as it crosses over the other track until you get to the center rail again.
report back.
 

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Good call. If the train would run though it years ago maybe you can speed it up so it will 'jump the gap' so to speak and then let it run for a while and maybe break it all in again after sitting for so long.
 

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Yard Master & Research
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Bench test the motor and use each roller. One may not have contact. A lot of rust on the pin will do this. You can also lock the reverse unit to go only in forward. Once contact is lost the motor switches to neutral.

To get rid of the problem run a wire from the side of the reverse unit to a center roller on a tender.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Rails on the crossover are 2" apart. The shortest distance between the rollers is also 2" with the longest distance being 2 3/4". So one of the roller should always be in contact with the center rail.
 

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You are momentarily losing power on the crossover. That is kicking the E-unit into neutral. Hence the train stops.

You can lock the e-unit in forward to solve the problem. With the Loco going forward, turn off the power. Then "toggle" the E-unit switch. That will lock it in forward. The trains momentum will them carny it across the momentary power loss.

If you want to keep the F-N-R function, then your best bet is to put a center rail pickup-roller on the tender and wire that to the engine (a tether, common in modern locos). Altering the the gap on the original loco would be my very last choice (unless a gent here has a trick or two up his sleeve to do that).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You seem to have hit the problem on the head. Playing around with the toggle switch didn't appear to help any. Matter of fact I'm only getting the engine to run when it's in one position. Can you provide any tips on how you added a roller to the tender. Looking at the bottom of it, it doesn't appear to be any each way to do this. Also, I'm assuming the toggle you're speaking of is the three position switch at the rear of the locomotive. When I dug this out of storage it was set in the center position. I tried moving it both right and left but I'm unsure which position is the forward position looking at it from the bottom. Can you confirm. Thanks.
 

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The 2034 'E' unit lever has 2 positions - on or off. In the 'on' position, the locomotive should cycle between forward, neutral, reverse, neutral, forward, etc.
When moving the lever, you should feel a little resistance as it slides onto an eyelet, making contact. This is the 'on' position.

If the locomotive is locked in one position, move the 'E' unit lever to the opposite position. The locomotive should now cycle. Once the locomotive is running in the desired direction, stop the locomotive and move the lever to the opposite position.

If the locomotive does not cycle properly, the 'E' unit is defective and needs servicing, which includes replacing the drum and the 2 sets of contacts.

To add a roller pickup to the tender, install a 482-3 baseplate with roller to the front tender truck and wire it to the 'E' unit in the locomotive where the track power wire is soldered on.
http://www.ttender.com/weblistpictures/482-3.jpg


Larry
 

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You seem to have hit the problem on the head. Playing around with the toggle switch didn't appear to help any. Matter of fact I'm only getting the engine to run when it's in one position. Can you provide any tips on how you added a roller to the tender. Looking at the bottom of it, it doesn't appear to be any each way to do this. Also, I'm assuming the toggle you're speaking of is the three position switch at the rear of the locomotive. When I dug this out of storage it was set in the center position. I tried moving it both right and left but I'm unsure which position is the forward position looking at it from the bottom. Can you confirm. Thanks.
Before, adding a roller to the tender, you should ensure the loco itself is operating correctly on regular track. You should remove the motor/e-unit assembly by removing one screw on top of the boiler and two screws underneath. That will facilitate maintenance & repair.

As Train Larry mentioned, the E-unit lever is two position only. All the way left and all the right. T-Man provided a good picture of that lever.

Note Larry's post on the the lever's "feel" when moving it. If it's loose, that has to be corrected (easy). If it's tight, the next item I'd check would be the E-unit's electrical contacts (the "drum" and "fingers"). Are they tarnished or green? You can clean them by repeatedly spraying a contact cleaner (CRC @ HD, Goo-Gone, etc.) and cycling the E-unit (e.g., spray the drum and fingers, put it on the track and toggle transformer power several times, repeat, repeat, etc.). That may clean the electrical contacts to restore proper operation. If that fails, you need to service the E-unit (more involved).

If you have both the lever and E-unit contacts working well, then you should be able to lock the Loco in forward to solve the crossover issue. At that point, if you want the F-N-R control while also having a crossover, you need to add the tender roller to mitigate the momentary loss of power over the crossover cycling the E-unit into neutral.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Locomotive Dies on Crossovers

First off, I want to thank everyone for their responses. In all honesty I never thought I'd get this many responses in so short a time period. After digesting everyone's recommendations I have verified that the locomotive appears to work correctly on a simple oval layout. So it looks like I'll be ordering the necessary part to add a roller to the tender so that I can maintain the F-N-R control. That leaves one question. TrainLarry recommends part 482-3 to accomplish this while T-Man indicates 481-10. Which would be the better solution based on the picture of the underside of my tender and do either require any additional parts to complete the installation? It appears that these parts are held in place by rivets. It looks like at least one web site where these parts are available show a related part 481-10A.
 

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Yard Master & Research
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The 2034 is an early postwar. I suggested an early roller for a staple end truck. That is why I included the picture.You have plastic no rivet is needed, just insert the roller. Train Larry suggested the roller for the front truck without a knuckle. The 482-3 has an updated version the 581-10 They should snap in place.

This is close but may not be exact.

IMG_0581.JPG
 

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Railroad Tycoon
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Didn't we have a thread on the crossovers years ago?
The fix was soldering a wire or two underneath I think?

I seem to remember something about it, but I can't dig it up from the past.
 

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The 481-10 baseplate includes the coupler, which you could use if you wish to place the roller on the rear truck of the tender and replace the existing coupler.

The 482-3 baseplate has just a roller, and can be installed on the front tender truck with the drawbar, thus getting the wiring closer to the engine.

The baseplates have 4 tabs which you loosely bend over the axles to keep them in place.


Larrt
 
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