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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, so volcano might be a stretch, but that's how it looks to me when my dear train is freaking out.

It's from 1993, family got it when I was two. It was the family train and was used at Christmas and any time we kids wanted to play with it.
When I went off to college, I didn't get to see the train. So far as I know, they only ran it once during my college career.

Last year when I was home after college, I was told the train was missing and the coal car had broken and was thrown away. I had my sister find the train and she said it was a hopeless cause because it wouldn't work.

I tried to run it. It sparked and would hardly move. Then it would stop and sit there, billowing out smoke. So I took it apart, cleaned it up (filthy!) and tried to run it.

It does pick up energy better and run, but it starts sparking on the wheels and shorts itself out. When it decides to sit on the track with power, it starts spitting out smoke from the stack and all out from under it. I have no idea where to even start. I've never fixed a train that was sparking and acting so weird.

I have two little brothers who don't have the slightest idea how trains work and I'm afraid they might have played with it while I was gone and did something to it.

Sorry for the long message, just thought I could give as much information as I could. Hope someone can help or at least direct me to a place that can help me :D
 

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Paper Shuffler Extraordinaire
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You started with one step of the basics, a cleaning. I'd go a bit further like making sure the commutator is cleaned. You'll need to remove the brush holder to achieve this. Once you have it properly cleaned oil it sparingly with plain ordinary motor oil, no 3-n-1, sewing machine oil. a drop or two on all moving part will do the trick. Above all make certain nothing is binding, most loco's wheels will spin fairly easily by hand. Use a green scotch-brite pad to clean the track. This should help. Pictures of any problem areas will help out if you still have issues.

Carl
 

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My experience has been the same as Kwikster's.

The electrical engineer in me notes that pre- and post-war motors have a lot of reactance in their windings, and that means dirty wheels and contacts, or commutators, result in them pulling sparks at the rails when running. The model railroader in me notes that whatever the reason, nearly every time sparking happens, cleaning pickusp and wheels well, and the commutator, solves the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sorry to sound silly, but what is the communicator? I know what a few parts are in my head but when it comes to their actual names I fall short. This is the first train I've taken under my wing to fix, so I'm learning :) I appreciate the help!

The 'pickups,' or the parts that hit the middle rail for electricity, were very dirty when the train arrived. I got most of the gunk off but I could still do more for it I'm sure.
 

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Hobo for Life
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Lets start with make and model number:) this is 1993 so it can have a DC can motor right? You can clean those pickups, and track with a green scotch brite pad.then wipe down with alcohol and a rag.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I did as sjm9911 said with the contacts. I also noticed the bronze colored strip the contacts touch was really grimy under them, so I cleaned it up too.
The train ran fine. It was slow at first, the light sort of dim, but as it went around it gained speed and the light got brighter so I hope that means it's all sorted out. No more sparks that I could see!

Thank you all for your help. I'm so relieved it was just a cleaning issue and nothing bad was going on wiring wise.
 

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I have the same engine. I would recommend disconnecting the smoke unit. I have had shorting issues with the smoke unit that would do similar things and once I disconnected the smoke unit it ran fine. A replacement smoke unit is only $12 at most places if you want it to smoke again. You can't fix these as they are completely sealed. Those plastic smoke units are horrible and I recommend just disconnecting it and enjoy it without the smoke. Any time I use mine, even the new one, I smell plastic burning.

If you need pictures on how to disconnect the smoke unit I can take mine apart tonight
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I have the same engine. I would recommend disconnecting the smoke unit. I have had shorting issues with the smoke unit that would do similar things and once I disconnected the smoke unit it ran fine. A replacement smoke unit is only $12 at most places if you want it to smoke again. You can't fix these as they are completely sealed. Those plastic smoke units are horrible and I recommend just disconnecting it and enjoy it without the smoke. Any time I use mine, even the new one, I smell plastic burning.

If you need pictures on how to disconnect the smoke unit I can take mine apart tonight
That would be helpful! The smoke unit has this slimy mess all over it. I think someone dumped a whole bottle of smoke fluid on it. It does smell bad when it tries to smoke.
 

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Welcome to the site, no offense but you don't really know the right way, am I right?

I would recommend a thorough cleaning and lubrication to the locomotive.
Even though you cleaned some of it I would bet that there is some you missed.
Did you lubricate it? Right?

Pictures help a lot to point out some of the things you need to clean and lube.
Maybe we can find a diagram or your locomotive to show you exactly how and where to do it.

After I finish eating I will look, unless someone else finds it first.
I am hungry. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Welcome to the site, no offense but you don't really know the right way, am I right?

I would recommend a thorough cleaning and lubrication to the locomotive.
Even though you cleaned some of it I would bet that there is some you missed.
Did you lubricate it? Right?

Pictures help a lot to point out some of the things you need to clean and lube.
Maybe we can find a diagram or your locomotive to show you exactly how and where to do it.

After I finish eating I will look, unless someone else finds it first.
I am hungry. :)
No offense at all! I don't really know what I'm doing. I've seen my grandpa take train motors out but that's about it.
I did get some train lube and oiled it sparingly like I was told.

But yeah, I'm completely new to the repair side of the model train world.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Smoking and sparking is definitely a bad sign, but I'm surprised the motor runs. Try seeing if there's a way to test the motor directly, and see if the motor is still in working order.
The train does go around the track now that I got the contacts cleaned really well. So it works it just had a few issues...it makes a clacky sound that I don't remember it making before, but it's been years since I've heard it run so perhaps I just forgot ;) my diesel is so quiet compared to the other two I have haha!
 

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I have been looking for a picture showing your motor to explain the different parts.

The only thing I can find is this, https://www.lionelsupport.com/media/servicedocuments/71-1735-250.pdf

Not much help showing you that.

Have you took the body off the frame? Do you know how to pop the shell off?
The link above does show the smoke unit.

A diagram would show more detail, to me too.

This link here has a lot of supplements to download, https://www.lionelsupport.com/servi...oAction=search&product=6-11735&productNumber=

See where it says Product supplements? It has 47 of them, I went through a lot of them but could not find yours. Check out some of them it might have the diesel you have. It might even have your 6-11735 and I missed it?

In the smoke unit picture (in the first link) it says 2 screws holds the front truck (wheels) on.
That is half of taking the shell off, probably only a couple hold the back on.
Then you can see the motor, take some pictures and we will see what you got.

Between all of us you should be able to get inside and clean it right.
 

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The train does go around the track now that I got the contacts cleaned really well. So it works it just had a few issues...it makes a clacky sound that I don't remember it making before, but it's been years since I've heard it run so perhaps I just forgot ;) my diesel is so quiet compared to the other two I have haha!
Are there any other problems with it? As for the train smoking it could be that it has a smoke unit.
 
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