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I offer this possible solution to poor or non running Baldwins. I have heard all the stories of how poor Baldwins were and that most become "shelf queens". A friend of mine has one, shelf queen that is. But I never had one and felt I needed to add one for my collection. I ended up with two. You may have seen them, got them recently on Ebay. Two 355's, not running for parts or repair. Got them, one had the four position E unit, the other two position. Aside from the typical crack around the screw hole the were amazingly clean and in good shape. I started with the oone with the four position E unit first. The E unit was clean, the fingers were excellent and it cycled perfectly. The motor tried to turn but did not without a little coaxing from a toothpick pushing on the armature. Still, it would only turn a few revolutions and stop. I cleaned the commutator in place with electrical contact cleaner and pipe cleaner and oiled the bushings, still not running. But I did notice the bushing at the armature end trying to turn with the armature. I took the end frame (I am calling it an end frame because that is what it is, Am Flyer calls it "brush & bearing cap - XA14B162-ARP) off and the brass bearing fell out. I took some very thin, 0.0015 stainless shim stock, made a shim and reinstalled the bearing (really a bushing). Okay I thought, should work. No, bearing still trying to turn/work itself loose. This time I cemented the bearing with the shim in place with JB Weld making sure the bearing was perfectly flush in the frame. Put the motor back together the next day but still not running. Took the motor apart again. Holding the end frame in my hand I put the armature into the bearing and immediately noticed the armature was not perpendicular or parallel. It was angled up at a pretty high angle. So when assembled would put considerable side stress on the bearing. I figured I had nothing to lose so I took a machinist drill, #29, which is slightly larger than the armature shaft and drilled the bearing inline. By hand by the way, no need for super accuracy I figured. Over the years I built many car and motorcycle racing motors and learned that things that were too tight were much more detrimental than things that were too lose. Put the motor back together, the armature seemed to spin much easier and the thing ran beautifully!! Ran smoothly and quietly in both directions, more importantly reliably. Hooked up 4 weighted cars and a caboose and ran it for an extended time. Ran great, didn't seem to be overheated and ran reliably the next day and the next! Found the same issue on the other locomotive, did the same treatment with the same result! Only the bearing was still tight in place but again, out of alignment. I suspect that the plastic end frame distorts from heat, causing side stress on the bearing, which compounds things and eventually things completely break down. My hope is that after 65 years the plastic end frame has settled and will not continue to distort. So far so good. And no need for expensive can motor conversion. If this works for you feel free to forward this post. Thanks and good luck.
 

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Thanks for the info. It will help someone. I do not have any of the original diesels.
I am sure some day I will end up with some.

Oh, and welcome to the S forum.
 

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Thanks for the info. It will help someone. I do not have any of the original diesels.
I am sure some day I will end up with some.

Oh, and welcome to the S forum.
 

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Welcome KCampbellNH.
Here's my Baldwin 355 story; kinda long.
Last winter I discovered this site while trying to get my 355 running again. It was my first AF; X-mas 1957.
I've always had issues with the brushes. I tried soldering up a couple of sets of new brushes. They're tough to do.
Not happy with the results, I have an order placed with www.Portlines.com for parts in general + a Can motor and reverse unit for my Baldwin. I'm waiting on my order now. Once I get them installed I'll let everyone here know.
And yes, mine has that cracked screw hole. Dad did it while showing me how to put it back together, a learning process for both of us.
 

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Not far back in the forum, just a few days, we have some info on repairing those screw
holes. JB Weld is your friend.
 

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I learned all about JB Weld here. I've used it on a couple of holes (successfully). I'm gonna leave my Baldwin patch in place. Whenever I see it I remember Dad and his lessons.
 

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Welcome to the forum.. I have 3 Baldwins, and they all run perfectly.. I bought one of them at a train show, and the seller told me it was just rebuilt, and runs perfectly.. Well, I got it home, put it on the track, it went 2-3 feet and burned up...Some rebuild... The most important thing to remember is to center the armature in the field, precisely. Dad bought me the set in 1957 too!!!
 

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Welcome to the forum. Thanks for the tip on the Baldwin motors. Always good to have another "S" guy to share information with.
 

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Good morning Fred, how are you doing/feeling??
Not too bad for an old fat man. Thanks Loren! However I ended up getting Influenza A that put me in bed for about three weeks. All seems better now. I always look for your posts, so please keep them coming.:eek:
 

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Welcome to the forum.. I have 3 Baldwins, and they all run perfectly.. I bought one of them at a train show, and the seller told me it was just rebuilt, and runs perfectly.. Well, I got it home, put it on the track, it went 2-3 feet and burned up...Some rebuild... The most important thing to remember is to center the armature in the field, precisely. Dad bought me the set in 1957 too!!!
Now I'm wondering if my problem is the armature is not centered. Is it complicated/difficult to check this?
Thanks.
 

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Now I'm wondering if my problem is the armature is not centered. Is it complicated/difficult to check this?
Thanks.
No, not complicated. I just eye-ball mine, sometimes it's a hit or miss but it can't hurt.Flyer diesels are VERY finicky!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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My first AF was a Baldwin 355, X-mas 1957. Over the years I've fiddled with it mostly short term and Finicky is the word.
Last winter I put a can motor & Dalee reverse unit in it. Problem solved; it now runs great. I highly recommend it. It will pull 8 cars until the Pulmors need cleaning.
I discovered this site while looking for a solution. I couldn't be happier!
 
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