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Discussion Starter #1
Hello friends. I am new to this forum. Purchased a vintage Mantua 2-8-2 steam engine. I was wondering if there is a way to test this motor if it is out of the chassis? If the motor tests bad can I find a replacement? If not I suppose I could just reassemble and use the engine in static display. All pieces of the main drive wheels and other parts complete and function well. Sold my HO collection about 12 years ago to get into rc aviation but have had the urge to start collecting trains again. Any information is appreciated! Donald.
 

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yes, it is easy to test. You need to have your current & voltage measurement in series with the motor and power supply. This will give you a current to voltage function. I actually prefer to measure the data in the engine. This includes scale velocity and pulling functions. It the full is weak, The speed is slow and the current is near the stall value, then the motor likely near the end of its time. If the problem is in the windings in the rotor, then a replacement is in order. An option to try is replacing the magnet shown at the right end of your picture. There are rear earth magnets that you can buy for not much money that will do wonders for this motor. They are stronger, so the required input electrical power will be less. This will show up as lower current draw. The improved magnets will also bring the pulling power back to the original level. Good luck with this,
Larry
www.llxlocomotives.com
 

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Hi Larry. Thanks for reply. I visited a youtube video where the fellow used a 9 volt battery across the drive wheels on a steamer to test it. I tried that but the engine did not respond so I decided to take it apart and clean everything well. I tried to use the 9 volt on the motor only but it did not work. If I use the transformer do I just clip one lead to the black wire and another to ground on frame?
 

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Yes, that should work. Basically your wanting to put the voltage difference across the brushes. It is hard to connect directly to the brushes, so a connection that is in the circuit will work. Before you do any more, try turning the rotor by hand. You should no feel any resistance. You you do then there is a bid of some sort. The magnets will attract any loose metal and these can get lodged between the rotor and the casing. not responding to 9 volts is worrisome.
 

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Larry, I can turn the the rotor by hand with no problem at all. Very smooth. All of the parts are there and the bearings are good with no slop or play. Perhaps the brushes or armature is bad?
Anyway, I would assume that finding a motor of this vintage would be hard to find. Was hoping for an after market replacement but maybe they don't make such a thing. I will get the transformer and try that.
 

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Good, lots of ways to replace the motor. The cheapest and likely easiest is the rare earth magnet approach. I will post a link in a few mins.
 

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Hey Larry, just walked in from the shop and saw your post. Thank you for the great info!! And also for spending the time to offer suggestions. I tried the 9 volt again and the motor sprang into life!! Runs smooth and sweet! Do you think I should replace the magnet as you suggested anyway or wait till I have run the engine?
 

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Put the engine back together and seen how it runs. with cars in tow, how fast & slow and how many cars. I have seen these start at 5 volts and run quite fast at full power. Should be able to pull more the 50 cars on a level track. Without some instrument readings you will have to be the judge, visually. Is it good enough for you? Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Had a couple of these great little locomotives in my last collection and loved them. Glad to have been able to get a couple of replacements. The real heartbreak was that I also had a Tenshodo A&B matched set F model that went with the collection. Wish I hadn't sold that. Don't suppose that I will find anything like that again....
 

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Welcome to the forum. I had an old steamer that wouldn't run. I tested and cleaned it every which way from Sunday and had no luck. I started the process of looking for a replacement motor. I then found a can of CRC electrical cleaner that I remembered a trusted hobby store told me to give a try. I figured I had nothing to loose so I did. I sprayed the bushings and the contacts and wiped them down real good. I put the engine on the track and it really surprised me. It took off like it was running from the devil himself. I only ran it up to half power because I was afraid of it flying off the track. My cleaner was from NAPA. There is also a plastic friendly version which would be what I recommend. Glad to hear you got it running.
 

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Commutator cleaning

Hello friends. I am new to this forum. Purchased a vintage Mantua 2-8-2 steam engine. I was wondering if there is a way to test this motor if it is out of the chassis? If the motor tests bad can I find a replacement? If not I suppose I could just reassemble and use the engine in static display. All pieces of the main drive wheels and other parts complete and function well. Sold my HO collection about 12 years ago to get into rc aviation but have had the urge to start collecting trains again. Any information is appreciated! Donald.

Donald;

I've just read through this thread. I'm glad you got that motor running. :)

For your general information, and future reference, the round drum at center left in your first photo is called a "commutator." (From the left, the white plastic worm gear, a tiny bit of the silver drive shaft, the motor frame, and then a brass arm coming down and rubbing against, the commutator.) The outside of the commutator plates are black in the photo. They are supposed to be an orange copper color, since the plates are copper. The black is a buildup of carbon from sparks between the two carbon brushes that ride on the plates, and the plates themselves. The next time you do any cleaning on the inside of this loco, clean those copper plates with a pencil eraser. They should be a shiny copper color, not black. A buildup of enough carbon on those plates can cause the motor not to run. If you look at the motor again, now that you have run it, I doubt that the commutator plates are as black. There is probably some copper showing through.
,

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Traction Fan, thank you for this great information. I will give it a good cleaning as per you instructions. Looking forward to posting again as the help I have received here is tremendous! Donald.
 

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More info if you want it

Traction Fan, thank you for this great information. I will give it a good cleaning as per you instructions. Looking forward to posting again as the help I have received here is tremendous! Donald.
Donald;

You are quite welcome! You said in your post that you had sold your HO collection years ago and gotten into RC models, but you were thinking of collecting trains again. Are you planning to build a layout for your trains, or do you prefer straight collecting?

If you do plan to build a layout, you can find information on that in our "Beginner's Q&A" section. Check inside the "Help a new modeler to get started" sticky post at the beginning of that section. There you will find lots of good info, including many pdf files that I've written, and contributions from other experienced members.

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Traction Fan, I would like to build a layout but am still trying to figure out where I can do it. Our home is somewhat small and my workshop is pretty full as it is. We will see after I have given it some thought. Thanks again. :)
 
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