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Yard Master & Research
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So you have come into an old engine and have found this thread.This a common situation and I have an answer. The first question is what
is the make and model. Discussing large scale there are three common ones. LIONEL, easy marked on the bottom, engine number on the cab.

Marx, A steel stamp with a circle MAR on metal,with a big copper center pickup.

American Flyer. Has white rimmed wheels, two rail operation not three, and needs the tender to operate and reverse.


These are the common ones there are exceptions of course
For maintenance, the engine needs to be cleaned, it's an electric motor. How many train sets over the years have been used through the Holidays till one year they won't budge or are just left in the attic. Can you get it to run? A simple cleaning of grease and dirt, and electrical contacts on the wheels and armature plate, with a light oiling does wonders. Next, how worn is the engine. Is there a lot of play in the axles. Can you remove the deep grooves in the armature plate. Does the engine reallly get hot when run.
One problem is a broken drum in the e unit. This shorts the engine and ruins the motor.
So, the easiest way to get the engine top notch is to get a new/rebuilt e unit through a parts dealer or a sevice station,( an exchange may be necessary), and purchase a new motor or one that is completely rebuilt. Of course if it works just keep it original and enjoy it.
If you want, we can evaluate the engine. Just give us the number, then we can tell you about your new gem. :)
 

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...don't forget there's guys here who slobber at the thought of one of these puppies makin' it to the work bench:eek::eek::eek:...



...heck, some of mine come to me with the skeletal remains of their last owner still walking the rails...



If they's hope fer those, they's hope fer your'n.:thumbsup:
 

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Yard Master & Research
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Discussion Starter #3
Well said, there are those who fix and those who pay. One of these days I will buy an old Mantua Pacific, just to get it running. That's my only HO itch. Next oldie, I will have to get more detail into resuscitation measures. The interest is there.
Not to mention in my neck of the woods there are many repair gents. I find them at local shows. Being old timers they don't do computers. I met one gentleman Sandy, in 15 minutes I couldn't believe how much I learned. He has a nice postwar layout and I didn't bring my camera.:mad:He started me on researching 1.5 voltage regulaters to replace the d cell on trains.
 

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Yard Master & Research
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Discussion Starter #4
Another year

For help, information is a key. lionel postwar is easy, all I need is an engine number. The 70's and 80's get technical. MPC started making DC can motors with DC power packs. Later they went back ( sort of) by using an electronic eunit with a bridge rectifier. So now they run an AC transformer with a DC motor. So be patient the number doesn't always help me.

Pictures always help. The wear on the parts is always telling of the general condition. By now the information of cleaning would fill a book. So please be specific if you can. There are many threads on cleaning.
 

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Yard Master & Research
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Here is a general previous post that made me think of this thread.

How long has it been in storage?

""The 1615 is nice . For reference you may want to take pictures at each step.
I have one in great condition,but most of these postwar steamers are alike.
First step is screws. You don't want to break any. Use oil or heat if you have too.
Cleaning, you want to remove carbon and old oil. Paint thinner or WD 40 will do. I even use automatic transmission fluid. Q tips ,a good rag.
The e unit is the second warning leave those little contact fingers alone.
The actual brush, the black cylinder is carbon, wipe it and gently rub on cardboard once or twice then it is ready.Post pictures if anything looks worn.
For oil I use car oil, and a lithium grease for the gears. You can get a piece of felt and place it on the armature top to hold some oil. A little goes a long way.
A picture of the e unit drum, and armature (under the brush plate)would be nice.I am curious to the wear on these parts""

Before you start you can ask the forum just to make sure you know about the engine and you can do the cleaning or it is very rare and valuable and should be done professionallly.
 

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I think this thread is an excellent idea---thanks for putting it together. Can I offer a suggestion? Edit your first post to add "how to identify your locomotive/cars and manufacturer". Most arrive here like I did, ignorant of the significance of the unit number and manufacturer when asking for help. And pictures! Everyone loves pictures!!!
 

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Thanks for accepting my advice on the opening message---it looks terrific. This thread is going to tun into a primer on how to get involved in model railroading.:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
 
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