Model Train Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Since getting our lionchief+ Mikado a few years ago I've been really focussed on the higher end trains with all the bells and whistles. I've added legacy and generally keep all the top of the line stuff at my house and leave most of the older stuff I inherited from my dad at my parents house.

Over Christmas my Nephew came down from NY and I setup a little loop around the Christmas tree with a post war 2037 loco and 2466wx tender. To say they had been a little neglected is an understatement. The Loco was a bit finicky to start moving but moved well once underway. The tender sounded like it was going to brew the worlds largest cup of coffee with no whistle at all.

Decided to tear into the tender last night and really had a good time learning about it and fixing it up. It's beautifully simple and after a good cleaning, lubricating, and resoldering of a wire that I broke off by accident it was as good as new. No more grinding noise and actually quieted down I'd say about 90%. I was actually surprised how much it quieted down, it's barely audible over the whistle. I ran it with the shell off for a bit and it was really cool to see everything working under the hood.

I'm going to dig into the loco tonight and hopefully it will be as good as new with the same treatment.

Truly was a great and enjoyable experience. There's plenty of joy to be had with those old simple trains!
 
P

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
All part of enjoying the hobby. glad it worked out so well for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
202 Posts
Can't beat Lionel pre-war, postwar and even a little MPC. Doesn't take much to bring them back, fun to work on and no need to worry about to worry about gremlin electronics. Sweet and simple.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,607 Posts
Can't beat Lionel pre-war, postwar and even a little MPC. Doesn't take much to bring them back, fun to work on and no need to worry about to worry about gremlin electronics. Sweet and simple.
And with the reliability and obsolescence of various systems (e.g. TMMC) and the lack of support and parts, I see a lot of loco's not making it past the next generation.

The older stuff may outlive the newer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the feedback everyone. Here are some pictures.

I did run into some trouble with the loco. Lube and cleaning went well but I think something might be wrong with the e-unit. When you power it on it will sit there and buzz until you give it a little push. Then it will run really well. I could barely give it half power with the zw without it going too fast around the curve so I know the motor cleaning did it some good. Was also much quieter when running. It's not running consistently though sometimes it will start to move without a push but it runs sluggishly and then all of a sudden it will take off. Does this sound like the e-unit?
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,778 Posts
IMHO those postwar steamers are some of the best ever made. They can be dropped, neglected, abused and after minimal care continue to run like a top.

Try dropping a Legacy engine from a layout to a concrete floor. :eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
598 Posts
Clean all the wheels, roller pick-ups and track with Naphtha. Dirt anywhere will cause intermittent problems similar to what you describe.

An 'E'-unit problem would likely cause the train not to sequence properly, or if severe, not to run at all.

After you have cleaned everything as noted above, if you still have problems, remove the wires from the 'E'-unit to the motor. Disconnect the field wire connection to the 'E'-unit. Connect the wire from the rollers to one brush terminal. Connect a jumper wire from the other brush terminal to the field winding. Finally, connect transformer power to the rollers and the metal motor frame. Power up, and the motor should run. Reverse the brush wire connections, and the motor should run in the reverse direction.


Larry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,607 Posts
The E-unit "buzzing" is not unusual for an older unit. The E-unit's solenoid is energized as long a there is track power.

Did you clean the commutator and brushes (and the brush) silos? A dead spot on the commutator can cause the motor not to start until you give it a push. Then the motor's momentum will ride through the dead spot.

The other electrical issue may be a poor connection in the E-unit (dirty/burnt finger and/or drum) causing a high impedance connection. That may not allow sufficient amps to start the motor but enough to keep it running.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,408 Posts
Clean all the wheels, roller pick-ups and track with Naphtha. Dirt anywhere will cause intermittent problems similar to what you describe.

An 'E'-unit problem would likely cause the train not to sequence properly, or if severe, not to run at all.

Larry

Midnight, I agree with Larry. There are two other possibilities.

#1 It could also be a binding problem if the drive bearings are worn. When you push, the alignment gets better and once it's running it will run OK.

#2 The brushes on the motor could be worn and need to be replaced. Same diagnosis as above. Push it and once it starts running it runs OK.

My early layout was all Postwar. It was so much fun to clean and repair all of my equipment. Moving to command, my skill set rendered me useless on repairs and I send broken equipment to GunrunnerJohn. It is one part of the hobby I miss.

If you choose to work more with Postwar, I would recommend purchasing Greenberg's Repair and Operating manual for Lionel Postwar trains. It was the most important reference I had for repairing all of my childhood engines and accessories.

https://www.amazon.com/Greenbergs-Repair-Operating-1945-1969-Manuals/dp/0897784553

There is no question that basic mechanical equipment will outlive the modern command systems, and it is a lot of fun tinkering and repairing this equipment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,029 Posts
I also have a 2037 which got me back into the hobby after it was restored. Last year I bought a 671 Turbine and I'll be adding more post-war locos this year. Once you get it cleaned up it will run like a champ. I'm taking my 671 to the club today and run it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the feedback all! I'm thinking the issue might be the motor. I took the e-unit out and sprayed it down with some contact cleaner. It doesn't look pristine but didn't have time to take it all apart yet. I verified that the plunger was actuating and engaging the ratchet part. Contact looks good on all of the fingers. I'm wondering if one of the old wires is shorting somewhere when I put the cover back on.

The performance has degraded since I first ran it after cleaning it up. It's seems as if when electricity is applied to the motor it locks up (hard to push in either direction). I've taken the cover off about a dozen times though so possible one of the wires got buggered up. Nothing obvious is standing out though. When actuating the wheels by hand theres no binding and everything turns smoothly. Heading to New Orleans for a bachelor party today so won't have a chance to work on it again until next week. I'm frustrated that it has degraded but still enjoying the process and learning how to troubleshoot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,607 Posts
Forgot to mention ... check the drive wheels on the axles. I had a 2037 where one drive wheel was loose (press fit failure on the axle). That alloedw the drive wheel (and it's brother on the other side of the loco) to move side to side; only held in place by the drive rod(s). When out of alignment with the other gears it cause the same systems you described.

I removed the drive rod and failed wheel. Cleaned the axle and wheel hole with 90% alcohol to to remove any grease. Then glued it back on with JB (2-part) weld. After that fix it ran like new.

Note when attaching/gluing the wheel, connect the drive rod first. That will insure it goes back in the proper rotation angle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
528 Posts
Sloppy motor bearings will allow the armature to rub on the field plates, causing this exact problem...….

In particular, the one on the gear side. The gear side motor bush, is quite often very loose in the frame, allowing quite a bit of armature movement...….
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Forgot to mention ... check the drive wheels on the axles. I had a 2037 where one drive wheel was loose (press fit failure on the axle). That alloedw the drive wheel (and it's brother on the other side of the loco) to move side to side; only held in place by the drive rod(s). When out of alignment with the other gears it cause the same systems you described.

I removed the drive rod and failed wheel. Cleaned the axle and wheel hole with 90% alcohol to to remove any grease. Then glued it back on with JB (2-part) weld. After that fix it ran like new.

Note when attaching/gluing the wheel, connect the drive rod first. That will insure it goes back in the proper rotation angle.
Thanks I will inspect for this issue hopefully sometime this week.

Sloppy motor bearings will allow the armature to rub on the field plates, causing this exact problem...….

In particular, the one on the gear side. The gear side motor bush, is quite often very loose in the frame, allowing quite a bit of armature movement...….
Interesting, what would the fix for this be?

I also noticed the brushes seem to have a slight slant to the wear on them. Does this support the sloppy motor bearings diagnosis or is that somewhat normal?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,408 Posts
I also noticed the brushes seem to have a slight slant to the wear on them. Does this support the sloppy motor bearings diagnosis or is that somewhat normal?

No, it is somewhat normal. It is created because it runs forward much more then reverse. Reverse is not created by shifting gears, it is created by reversing the polarity of the motor and it runs in the opposite direction. If they have a significant slant they should be replaced.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top