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Discussion Starter #1
Just retired after selling my auto detailing business and getting back into this. Long story short, back in 1961, my parents stretched their budget and bought me a Texas Special Passenger Train. Over the years I picked up several engines.
One engine spins very smoothly until I load it, then it sputters and struggles and finally stops.. Two do nothing unless I spin by hand then it turns maybe 1/3rd of turn and stops.
I contacted The Motor Doc, and he told me the magnet(s) are probably gone, and "Thanks for asking:)" I realize they are 60+ years old, and lost my magnetism after 60 years too:D

Question of the Day: Has anyone ever converted or heard of anyone converting Postwar rubber band drive engines to a better drive system?
Or is there a newer chassis I can put the shells on?
Or the obvious third choice, they will make a nice display in a yard on the layout.
This has more sentimental value than anything else. My Dad and I spent a lot of time together putting up a very nice layout back then. I would like to get these running if possible
Thanks
Steve
 

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I've converted a couple a few different ways but nothing that I suggest doing as far as conversions go. If you haven't burnt the armatures out due to the weak magnets, I would suggest getting some neodium magnets off ebay (tiny ones) and stack them on top of eachother untill they slide into the bottom of the motor chassis. I did this with a good outcome. Then you still have to worry about replacing rubber bands.


I do have a flywheel chassis that was a very very very close fit, but I dunno the manufacturer. It's under one of my texas specials now but will require slight grinding on the body.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've converted a couple a few different ways but nothing that I suggest doing as far as conversions go. If you haven't burnt the armatures out due to the weak magnets, I would suggest getting some neodium magnets off ebay (tiny ones) and stack them on top of eachother untill they slide into the bottom of the motor chassis. I did this with a good outcome. Then you still have to worry about replacing rubber bands.


I do have a flywheel chassis that was a very very very close fit, but I dunno the manufacturer. It's under one of my texas specials now but will require slight grinding on the body.
Excellent, Thanks for the answer.
I spent the afternoon poking around and found a magnetizer specifically for electric motors. Ordered it, , but I like the magnet idea and there is room to stack them, so will also try that. One never knows what would work.
I have the new rubber bands, and have that drill down pat, although I need to order new clips, as a couple broke while being removed.
I suspect the demand is not there for these motors.
I also stumbled across an RSO Santa Fe engine which has a direct drive with a flex joint. The shell fits on it. When I fired it up the armature smoked so I shut it down, but at least there is a possible option.
Steve
 

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Steve

Did you check and clean the gear trains in
the trucks? The lube gels after a time and
hinders the efficiency of the loco. Replace
it with a plastic friendly grease lube such as
LaBelle's. They also sell a liquid 'oil' for the
motor bearings.

If you haven't done so, clean the loco wheels
also. This can be done easily by making a spot
of alcohol on a paper towel. Place this on the
track and run the front wheels of the loco onto
it. Hold the loco with your hand as you run up
the speed, spinning the wheels in the alcohol.
Repeat with the rear wheels.

Don
 

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The shell swap is probably your best option. The most readily available chassis that may fit the shells would be Athearn F7s. Notice I said may. Some alterations would almost certainly have to be done.
These seem to regularly show up on eBay.

If you get the motor running and keep the rubber band drive I would suggest using synthetic bands rather than rubber. They last much longer.
They are available for the old Athearn drives but I don’t know about for Lionel.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Steve

Did you check and clean the gear trains in
the trucks? The lube gels after a time and
hinders the efficiency of the loco. Replace
it with a plastic friendly grease lube such as
LaBelle's. They also sell a liquid 'oil' for the
motor bearings.

If you haven't done so, clean the loco wheels
also. This can be done easily by making a spot
of alcohol on a paper towel. Place this on the
track and run the front wheels of the loco onto
it. Hold the loco with your hand as you run up
the speed, spinning the wheels in the alcohol.
Repeat with the rear wheels.

Don
Don,
Yes I did that, in fact I disconnected the rubber drive shafts so the motors can run with no load. One will sputter along with a single gear hooked up. I like your idea, but these motors won't run under load. I have a track cleaner that looks like an eraser, and used it to clean the track and the wheels. Took the trucks apart and cleaned the gears. However as I type this I did not relube them, so they are dry.. I will lube the "sputterer" tomorrow and see what happens.:appl:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The shell swap is probably your best option. The most readily available chassis that may fit the shells would be Athearn F7s. Notice I said may. Some alterations would almost certainly have to be done.
These seem to regularly show up on eBay.

If you get the motor running and keep the rubber band drive I would suggest using synthetic bands rather than rubber. They last much longer.
They are available for the old Athearn drives but I don’t know about for Lionel.
prrfan, I have been watching. I did buy the synthetic rubber bands, as I had several motors that would spin and figured they were good to go
As it turns out the "magnetizer" is a service. I send the motor to them they put it through the process and send it back. I will send the two strongest running motors that fail under load and see what happens
Thanks for all the answers. It is why these forums are so great:appl:
 

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The shell swap is probably your best option. The most readily available chassis that may fit the shells would be Athearn F7s. Notice I said may. Some alterations would almost certainly have to be done.
These seem to regularly show up on eBay.

If you get the motor running and keep the rubber band drive I would suggest using synthetic bands rather than rubber. They last much longer.
They are available for the old Athearn drives but I don’t know about for Lionel.
prrfan, I have been watching. I did buy the synthetic rubber bands, as I had several motors that would spin and figured they were good to go
As it turns out the "magnetizer" is a service. I send the motor to them they put it through the process and send it back. I will send the two strongest running motors that fail under load and see what happens
Thanks for all the answers. It is why these forums are so great
You are welcome. I applaud your efforts to rehab a loco your parents gave you. We can spend hundreds on modern, detailed sound models but at the end of the day, those that come from the family are always the most treasured ones in the collection. Enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just to keep this up to date. I ordered some neodymium(rare earth magnets) that come very close to the actual original magnet. Let's call it an experiment in terror, to see if new magnets in place of the old work. The idea came from x_doug_x and the conversation with justtrains doing the service on another engine. It appears the magnet in the motor I sent was very weak and they were not able to get it up to original specs.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ok, HUGE progress on a permanent fix for anyone interested. The new magnets which are a bit too big, work like a charm. Stuck one on the side of the motor and got a lot more torque.
 
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