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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Once in awhile these types of Lionel trucks need to be repaired. Sometimes it involves removing the bottom plate that holds the sliding shoe.

To accomplish this task I have always taken a pair of needle nosed pliers, reached into the truck on the coupler end and bent the two half round tabs out. Then after one end of the plate is loose, I use the pliers to unbend the remaining two half round tabs on the inner axle.

Replacing the plate goes in reverse. However, the end of the plate that is toward the coupler sometimes deforms in the removal process. Ideally, the truck would not be still fastened to the piece of rolling stock, thus allowing the pliers to be at right angles to the plate from the top.

Does anyone have a different method for this task ?
 

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I have always done it with the truck off. Lift the inner tabs slightly just enough that the back can squeeze off the axle, then lift the front tabs even less and it can be pushed off the front axle.
Less the angle of the bend, the less likely it will break off. If someone has done it before then the odds of breaking them go up.

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I would agree. However, trying to solder a wire to the fifth rail shoe with the truck off can be challenging. Most of the time the factory wire is just long enough to reach the shoe, let alone with the entire truck removed.
 

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I solder the shoe first. The original wires are always bad on mine. If I kept it I would undo the frame side first.
Make it easy on yourself. I use a toothpick to move the copper if it is for a coil coupler,
 

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I solder the shoe first. The original wires are always bad on mine. If I kept it I would undo the frame side first.
Make it easy on yourself. I use a toothpick to move the copper if it is for a coil coupler,
In virtually every case I do this, I replace the wire with a piece of that “super flex” wire that is ultra flexible. Old, stiff wires almost always have brittle & cracked insulation, so while I’ve got the thing apart, it just seems prudent to replace the wire. Also, with very flexible wire, it allows the pickup shoe to float more evenly.
 
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