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Well after further looking, the bracket on the back of the 342AC is bent and also the left housing of the engineer's cab. It obviously has been dropped. I was able to straighten it to my satisfaction, so will leave it. It runs, but the e unit is all green. Sprayed with contact cleaner but still crap there enough to see the fingers aren't lined up right. Tried to take the e unit off and they soldered the wires from underneath and there is no wiggle room, they are VERY short. All four wires are old cloth wound as well as the protective sheath, so can't tell which wire goes where. Should I just scrap the old harness and re-wire it with a new plug for the loco? I am kind of an originality type so hate to just cut and go. Does anyone have a wiring diagram for one of these units? Plus, how are the wires hooked to the plug that goes to the loco? Mine looks like just a touch of solder on the end. Thanks all.
Flyernut, am so looking forward to getting mu 312 back. YEAH!!! PS: I found the damn screws. I put all my parts in small magnetic dishes from Harbor Freight and close the tops with painters tape so I mark them to where the pieces go and I found out the screws are not magnetic and they stuck to the tape. Embarrassing to the max.
Like Tom says, you can buy the pre-maid wiring harnesses on ebay, or you can make your own. They do sell the 4 wire, cloth-covered harness in bulk, I buy 12' at a time as I do quite a few locos. It's also cheaper that way. When I work on the male jack plugs, I heat up the metal ends until the solder melts, and then pull out the left-over wire. I do this on all 4 posts. I then re-visit the male ends, heat up the metal prongs, and fill them with solder.
 

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Well after further looking, the bracket on the back of the 342AC is bent and also the left housing of the engineer's cab. It obviously has been dropped. I was able to straighten it to my satisfaction, so will leave it. It runs, but the e unit is all green. Sprayed with contact cleaner but still crap there enough to see the fingers aren't lined up right. Tried to take the e unit off and they soldered the wires from underneath and there is no wiggle room, they are VERY short. All four wires are old cloth wound as well as the protective sheath, so can't tell which wire goes where. Should I just scrap the old harness and re-wire it with a new plug for the loco? I am kind of an originality type so hate to just cut and go. Does anyone have a wiring diagram for one of these units? Plus, how are the wires hooked to the plug that goes to the loco? Mine looks like just a touch of solder on the end. Thanks all.
Flyernut, am so looking forward to getting mu 312 back. YEAH!!! PS: I found the damn screws. I put all my parts in small magnetic dishes from Harbor Freight and close the tops with painters tape so I mark them to where the pieces go and I found out the screws are not magnetic and they stuck to the tape. Embarrassing to the max.
I've straighten out many bent cab corners, cow catchers, and the like using either a plumbers torch, or one of those small, hand held torches that are refillable with butane. The plumbers torches work quicker..
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Thanks everyone, I never thought of looking there and then to find it where I did. I suppose I should follow the 4 pin drawing since the 342AC is not directly listed. Question about oil. I have a 1oz. bottle of oil bought online called Liberty oil products. They said it was for S scale, but I can't get the needle down to where I need it between the wheels and chassis on almost everything I have. Does anyone have a thinner needle so there is not such a mess because oil is everywhere? I see Portlines.com has 2 listed. Any thoughts on which one? I have an order for them ready tomorrow, could add that before then.
 

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I have an assortment pack of HobELube oils and greases. I use their white lithium grease. For an oil I am using Labelle 107, which is a medium oil. I find the light oil too thin to be long term effective. Medium is similar to the old 3 in One oil. I also have Bachmann Conductive oil for axles and wipers that conduct electricity. I use Challenger smoke fluid but have not tried their lubricants. the Labelle applicator works fine.

Liquid Bottle cap Bottle Fluid Solution
 

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The oil containers with that long thin needle is a must for oiling steamer axles.

I think my bottle of oil is Liberty also but it came with the long thin metal needle.
The oil is automotive synthetic oil. Works good for me. I also use white lithium
grease. Lionel is recommending white lithium for their trains.
 

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I use Hob-b-lube oil in the needle oiler, a medium oil which I like. Because I'm a pack-rat and save everything, I have 3 needle oilers here at home, you're welcome to one..however.. I don't know if it would be cost-effective for you to pay for the shipping, and then have to pay for some oil.
 

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I have an assortment pack of HobELube oils and greases. I use their white lithium grease. For an oil I am using Labelle 107, which is a medium oil. I find the light oil too thin to be long term effective. Medium is similar to the old 3 in One oil. I also have Bachmann Conductive oil for axles and wipers that conduct electricity. I use Challenger smoke fluid but have not tried their lubricants. the Labelle applicator works fine.

View attachment 583715
Doesn't Labelle advertise the 107 oil can be used on electrical points, even to the point of applying it directly to commutators? Does anyone here have experience with this?
 

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Labelle states in their advertising it is ok to use 107 directly on motor bearings and brushes. Its two big advantages are first, 107 is a medium weight oil, good for postwar AF engines, and second, it is plastic safe. No problem using it on motor and truck bearings. I recommend against using any lubricant on the motor brushes. First, none is necessary, just keep the commutator face clean and polished. A medium non-conductive oil will cause the motor to spin faster for a while. In the long run it causes a conductive gunk to build up between the commutator segments. Without oil, just carbon dust accumulates in the commutator gaps, it is easy to clean out. With oil, the carbon and oil combine into a conductive gunk that fills in the gaps. The only thing I put on the commutator face is electrical contact spray cleaner.
Here is another oil I use, but sparingly and carefully. This is an ultra light conductive oil. It can be used on the brass axle wipers on the Gilbert steam engines to improve performance. Used incorrectly this can cause short circuits and is not easy to clean out.

Bottle Liquid Fluid Glass bottle Alcoholic beverage
 

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If you have coil springs pushing down on the brushes, they should be the newer style, shoulder brushes. If you have the springs that look like safety pins, they're the older style, and take slotted style brushes.. That black thing is called the "brush bracket assembly", and yes, if you don't put your finger over the brass clips, everything will fly across the room, (brush springs). Smoke oil will turn into a very nice glue after all the years. You were right in using carb cleaner to loosen the screws, I use CRC tuner cleaner, and have never had a screw I couldn't remove. Be sure to check all the white insulators on the wheels to see if they are loose. If so, CA,(super glue), is the correct fix. I'm just about finished with your 312, just working on the tender shell, got it yesterday. Still have to test drive everything.
Hate those old style safety pin style brush springs even though the shoulder slotted brushes and springs can be tricky if you are not paying attention. Don't ask how I know. That is why I keep lots of spare parts on hand.

Kenny
 
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