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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am troubleshooting a Lionel #243 locomotive which I purchased on Ebay. (The original locomotive was stolen my basement when I was a teenager and the remainder of the set has been in storage since that time. I recently decided to resurrect it so that my 3 year grandchild could enjoy it). I did some maintenance and repairs on the original tender which needed to be rewired and although I had not used a soldering iron since shop class in junior high school, I managed to get in working order. The newly acquired locomotive works well except for the smoking mechanism. It worked for a little while after I received it, but then stopped except for an occasionally small wisp of smoke. I took the locomotive cover off the frame (see photo) and all the wiring seemed fine. I am wondering if there is anything that I can do to bring it back to life again or will it need a new unit? According to what I’ve read, the 243 was only available in 1960 and is identical to the 244. I’ve got the Repair and Operating Guide of Lionel Trains, but the model is not very well described in the book and I’m not sure how to go about fixing the smoke mechanism.
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I know next to nothing about Lionel, but I know small mechanical devices. An essential step is probably going to be cleaning and relubricating all parts of the drive train. Who knows how old the lubricants are, and old lubricants tend to become more like peanut butter or glue rather than retaining any lubricating properties. Since it worked once, that would be my recommendation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I know next to nothing about Lionel, but I know small mechanical devices. An essential step is probably going to be cleaning and relubricating all parts of the drive train. Who knows how old the lubricants are, and old lubricants tend to become more like peanut butter or glue rather than retaining any lubricating properties. Since it worked once, that would be my recommendation.
Thanks. I lubricated all the moving parts that were reachable with lithium grease or oil. I've also read up on repairing Lionel smoke generators, but this one is sealed in plastic and that does not appear possibile.
 

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Thanks. I lubricated all the moving parts that were reachable with lithium grease or oil. I've also read up on repairing Lionel smoke generators, but this one is sealed in plastic and that does not appear possibile.
Welcome to the site.
I never had one of those apart, I wonder if someone tried to repair that unit and added the white goop we see?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Welcome to the site.
I never had one of those apart, I wonder if someone tried to repair that unit and added the white goop we see?
It could be. From what I can tell, it looks like a bellows apparatus pushes the smoke out. When I manually turns the wheels, that appears to function correctly. Since I am using a Lionel smoke fluid, I can only assume that it is the resistor in the unit or the batting or both. Perhaps someone here has rebuilt this unit or knows about a replacement that would fit in the 243 locomotive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I would say resistor, but have never worked on one like yours. And it will need air flow from somewhere, so see if anything is blocked up?
I did not see not see any blockages, but then again, I did not see any area where the air intake would take place except for the place where the bellows goes up and down. That appears to operate properly.
 
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