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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few weeks ago I found my fathers 1952 Lionel train set and it was not in the best condition. The engine was seized up and the tender didn't function. All of the insulation on every single wire was cracking and falling off. It has seen better days that is for sure. My father had a 180 watt transformer but the wires had been cut at some point and the handles are broken so I opted for a new transformer. I purchased a MTH Z-1000 as I had read good things about it.

I took the engine and tender to a local lionel repair center and they were able to repair it but it took 3 weeks. From what I understand they had to order some parts, rebuild the e-unit, and do a complete cleanup and lube. When I got it back last Sunday it was working great for several days but I did notice a lot of arching as it ran from the engine and the tender. Here's a video of how it was working

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCiDmw-ch40

The night that I took that video it started requiring more juice to keep going and eventually just stopped. The train now doesn't seem to want to go into gear. It doesn't matter how I have the e-unit switch set it just will not run forward or reverse. I have tried cleaning the track and that did nothing. I have checked the lubrication and it all looks to be good accept for some of the gear box grease coming out one of the wheels. I also checked the voltage off the new Z-1000. I get 14v on the nose from the accessory ports and the variable 0 - 18.5 volts from the controller. This all looks correct to me. I have not yet checked the voltage on the track all the way around. I ran the caboose around it that has a light and there were no parts of the track where the light flickered so it looked good to me.

I have also tried minimizing the track down to just 3 links of straight brand new 0 gauge tube track. It still will not function. On top of all of that the tender has also stopped working. It clicks but the motor does not engage.

Today I went to a train show and found an old 90's costal limited set for under $100 which seemed like a good deal for all I was getting. Figured it would help me diagnose the issue and get a few more pieces to fill out the set.

It was complete but did look like it had been run. I figured I could use a lot of the pieces and have another nice looking engine and tender even though I can't use the track. Maybe I could do an inner loop or something.

I got the train home and tested it out on the track. It went 5 times around the track then came to a stop and made a horrible plastic burning smell. It too will not run on the track now. I pulled the new engine apart and checked the circuit board and nothing is burnt up. The motor still turns smoothly and everything seems nice and loose. I re-lubed all of the spots recommended in the manual with 3-in-1 oil. It looks like the plastic burning was coming from a wire going into the smoke unit as it looks like some melted plastic around there but nothing to bad. The train won't run though. I even tried it on the o-27 track it came with and the 40 watt transformer it came with. That thing is variable from 0.6-18 volts and seems to be working ok.

I'm completely at a loss here. I have now replaced almost all of the old 1950's track with brand new track from the train store, I'm using a lionel lockon for the connection. I guess it's possible both trains are having the same problem but it really seems like it's the track.

The train shop that fixed the berkshire told me to bring everything in and they will help figure out what is going on but they can't look at it until tuesday or wed. It's really getting to me so I'm hoping one of you might have an idea. I don't know what else to try.
 

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Don't use 3 in 1 oil. It dries out and gets gummy. Use only motor oil. Motor oil will never evaporate or get gummy. Some of the guys use a grease called Red n Tacky by Lucas. I cannot vouch for this grease as I cannot find data on it specifying the vapor pressure.

I believe your problem is poor lubrication. This will cause sparking as the current is higher than it should be due to the poor lubrication. You can take the shell off of the 726 by removing only 3 screws: One in the front and two in the rear. You do not have to disassemble the connecting rods. I suggest you learn to do your own maintenance as you can get a lot of help from this forum. I have three 736 locos and they all run just fine. One of them was locked up when I got it and I just used motor oil to soften the grease and I didn't spend any great amount of time cleaning it.

Oil everything that rotates or slides. Oil the axle bearings of the drivers. Oil the motor and the drive shaft that turns the wheels. Oil the worm gears. Oil the side rods as the inner two sets of drivers are driven through the side rods. Oil the front truck and the rear truck. You should be able to rotate the wheels by using your thumb. If they don't rotate easily, something is dry of oil.
 

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Might just be coincidental.

Your new locomotive,
Some locomotives will have a switch to turn the smoke unit off. Some smoke units have to have fluid in them or be turned off when you run them. If they don't they will burn out.
Does yours have a switch? Did you have fluid in it?
Could have been a bad wire too?
The 726,
When you have the 726 shell off look at the worm gear and wheel gear, take a picture of it.
Maybe the repair shop "forgot" to clean it and re-lube? Some repair shops are not really that good to bring your train to. Not saying yours is one of them.

Servoguy forgot to state that back when the train was new Lionel used a grease the after a few years would harden like cement.
He is saying to get as much as you can out and use motor oil instead. What little grease that is left will be broke down by the motor oil. He uses motor oil on everything, a lot here do the same but for the worm gears use a more grease like product.


2 repair manuals here, you should get one?
They are both basically the same thing, prices vary greatly for each.
The blue one I have seen go for a hundred bucks!
Text Book cover


Transport Engine Automotive engine part Locomotive Auto part



There is not much difference in the books. The K line is hard covered the other is not.
This store is asking $25, if you shop around you might get one for less. The same info is in each book.
http://www.kalmbachstore.com/10-8160.html
These won't really get into get technical detail but does have a lot of info on post war trains. Engine and operating cars. Now it won't have that new locomotive but you can apply a lot of the basic info to it.

Here is a link for the 726, http://www.olsenstoy.com/726-47.htm
click on the diagrams to enlarge.

What you see here is some of what are in the books. Note that the 726 was made in different years, try to find out what year yours is from. I picked a page there that had the pictures. There are ways to ID them.

Don't be afraid to ask here too, once you learn how it is easy to work on trains.:smokin:

Oh....welcome to the site. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks so much for all of the suggestions. It is the 1952 726RR. My father told me the year he got it so I'm pretty sure about that one.

For the motor oil, something like the 10w40 that I put in the car?

I'm surprised that the 726 could need lube as it just came back from the Lionel repair place. It's the only one in the Northern Virginia area as far as Lionel's website states and they have been really nice so far. I have been giving them a lot of $$. We have only run the train for maybe a total of 2 hours since I got it back from the repair place. I would have thought a lube up would have lasted longer. I have never used the 3 in 1 on the old train and now I'm glad I didn't :smilie_daumenpos: Thanks for the warning

Attached are some pictures of the vitals of the 726RR. I've attached a picture of what looks like the grease coming out of the wheel along with closeups of the drive gears. It looks like that has a good amount of grease in it. I don't know enough to know if those brushes are worn or not but the motor looks a little rough to me. Finally I've attached pictures of the e-unit. I think those are all of the items you all were asking for. It doesn't look like there would be binding anywhere.

Thank you so much. You have no idea how frustrating this has been. If it wasn't my dad's old train and my 4 year old son was so jazzed up about it I probably would have given up a long time ago. Although last night he did ask me to go run the train and I told him it wasn't working right now and we said to me "ugh not again". Kids :)

I've done a lot of research on the train but I am scared to touch it and break it or destroy the value. I guess I gotta get over that or I'll be spending a ton of $$

I'll take apart the other train next and get some detailed pictures in the next post.

Gun Transport Firearm Auto part Trigger


Wheel Vehicle Auto part Automotive wheel system Car


Auto part Metal


Auto part Screw


Furniture


Fastener Metal


Auto part Coil Metal


Brown Cylinder Metal


Electrical connector Technology Electronic device Electronics accessory Wire


Auto part Machine Metal


Bumper Auto part Metal Muffler
 

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Railroad Tycoon
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One thing you should do is go back and click edit
then advanced edit
the look up top and click the paper clip
when that opens click insert all

all your pictures will then show as pictures, when the thread gets large and you have a lot of pictures it is easier for all to look at.

You only have a little time to edit, 24 hrs I think it is, might be 48??
Go back and try it.

One thing I see is this e unit, the way the lever is set the train won't run right?
See the top first red arrow? That part is supposed to be down on the rivet to run properly.
Fastener Metal


The gears looks like they serviced them.

I will go back and look again, go back and try the edit. It is easy.
Just find the paper clip (by the white smile face) in the advanced edit. And click, then click insert all.
 

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What did you do edit as I was typing?
They are all showing now?:p
 

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Yes, the motor oil you put in the car most will use a 5/20 weight.

Don't over oil, just a little will do otherwise you make a mess on the tracks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sorry about that, I didn't know you could insert them. I looked but didn't see that. They are all inserted now. I edited it after seeing your post :) I'm quick hehe

The way the lever is set it is not running. When I have it set within the divit it is supposed to cycle reverse - neutral - forward - neutral. When it is in that mode sometimes it will move if I give it a ton of juice. It seems to go backwards a little easier than forwards. When it is in the current position I believe it is supposed to be set to always go in whatever the last run mode from other position. I could not find a lot of documentation on how that lever works but that is how it was working. Now when it is not in the divit it does not even try to run.
 

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I just noticed your video.
You should really screw the track down to secure it.

Are you using that track piece with the red button for powering the rail?

You should be using what is called a lockon, this one has a light the older ones don't.
Shown are both,


Flash memory Technology Electronic device Computer data storage Material property


You could just bring the wires up from the bottom and insert them into the tubes and solder them to. Some will do that as they don't like the look of the lockons.

What are you using to power the tracks from the transformer?
 

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This piece could be a little cleaner, take a green scotch brite pad (the kind you use in a kitchen) they sell packs of it |Lowes or HD has them, don't use sandpaper or an emery cloth OR STEEL WOOL. Make that whole top nice and shiny.


Auto part Coil Metal


Where the brushes ride clean out the holes they sit in, they need to ride up and down.
See the picture of the one brush top? It has a slot in it, does the other have a slot? Are they the same length? Or is one shorter then the other? Clean those up too. Make sure you put them back in the right way, the slot mates with the little spring.

Electrical connector Technology Electronic device Electronics accessory Wire
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm using a lockon like in the second picture you attached. It's underneath the tunnel and I have 18 gauge speaker wire going to it from the Z-1000 controller.

That piece of track is an old uncoupler and accessory track piece and runs off of track power.

I have several screws in the straight sections. I took the ones out of the turns because the train was derailing a lot. Without the screws I have to have it really hauling to derail. This is just a temporary setup. I have some switch tracks coming that I plan to do 2 loops that can be switched between. This setup is really just to test everything out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
One brush is a little shorter than the other but they both have the slots in them. In the picture above the shorter one is on the right. I'll try cleaning all of that stuff up. I'm about to head to home depot to see if they have some grease and car oil and will pick up some of those pads while I'm there. Thanks.
 

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A second look looks like your using that track for power.
No good, that is for uncoupling cars there is a magnet when you push a button it pulls on the cars button underneath and uncouples the car. Your might have a dump function too.

Unhook that and just stick the 2 wires in the tubes underneath for now and try it.

The center rail is the hot one either of the outside rails will work for the ground wire.
Hot to the center
Ground to the outside.

Here is a good site for someone who needs to know some of the basics,
http://thortrains.net/manualx.htm

But like I said (I think I said) don't be afraid to ask here if you have a question.
I say that so much I can't remember to who I have said it to.:eek:
 

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OK..........you hid the lockon! :p

Try unhooking the remote section, maybe that is bad?
It might heat up after a while and be causing problems?

Easy to take it out and put a straight in there to see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ok, I'll pull the uncoupling track out as well. It was also repaired by the lionel guys. I didn't even know what it was until a few days ago. It does work so I don't think it's shorted out or anything.

I just got this in the mail from Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001EYTM8M/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I was reading on one of the sites that this stuff is recommended to clean the track and the contacts on the trains. Hopefully that stuff is good to use.
 

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Try cycling the E-unit by hand. If the lever is touching the connection but not properly engaged it will act like a loose wire and totally screw up your running. It has to be completely in contact or completely out of contact. With the engine trying to move forward move the lever out of contact and let it run and it will always run forward.
 

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That is fine.
When you run out of it just go to the drug store and pickup a bottle of rubbing alcohol. 91% or if you can find it 99%. That is the stuff they use in a hospital to wash you up. It won't harm you unless you drink it.:p

Cheaper then that stuff I think.
I haul chemicals I get all my liquids for free.

Some use a petroleum naphtha, I use the IPA 99%.
They tell me 99% is hard to get, I don't know.

I got stuff to do be back later.

I should think someone else should jump into the thread too?


I don't know, a lot just argue about the government, taxes, environment etc or whatever.
They are too busy to talk trains.......on a train site.:rolleyes::smokin:

Learn how to take care of the trains yourself, spend the $$$ you are throwing away on the trains.
It is not that hard to do.
Later.

edit, there you go....hello Dano.
I am out of here for now.
 

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Looking at the pic of the comutator, and brushes, they are both arc etched/burned.

Having pulled apart dozens of Lionel motors, I have never seen a com with that much arc damage. Something is pretty wrong here. In some point in that Locomotives life (maybe recent), it must have looked like an arc welder blazing away inside the motor while it was running.

Also, that wheel with all the grease oozing, may indicate that the wheel is loose on the axle. This could cause binding, poor running, serious load on the motor, and, possibly is the cause of all that arcing..........

On the other hand, none of the above may be true, but, from the pics, and, your description of what is happening, that would be my best guess.
 
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