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Discussion Starter #1
A friend loaned me his MTH-brand Shay locomotive a year or so ago, and it could not run around my O-31 radius curves. For that & other reasons, my layout now has O-72 radius curves. Sadly, the locomotive only ran once around the track before stopping suddenly with a bad mechanical noise. After making sure the external running gear was lubed & free of obstruction, as seen in the video it now only sits still and overloads my power supply.

I have been successful in repairing old locomotives in the past, and would like to "look under the hood" myself at the locomotive before sending it off somewhere. Based on the video, what is probably wrong here?

Thanks,
Tom
 

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Do you have the product number? 20-****-1? That will tell what running system in in the engine. It helps with troubleshooting...

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm not looking in the right place

Do you have the product number? 20-****-1? ..
Tom - at first glance I did not see any identifying information. Where should I be looking? Do I need to pull the shell off first?

Thanks,
Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Oops, I remembered I had the box out in my shop

It is item no. 20-3023-1 with proto-sound

Tom
 

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Okay, it has Proto sound 1. That means you need a good battery installed before trying to start up the locomotive. You want a new MTH green battery...

http://www.activepowersports.com/m-t-h-electric-trains-protosound-battery-8-4v-501008/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI2JPnlLLn4AIVF4zICh3jagpLEAQYASABEgKYl_D_BwE

Install a new battery, and let the system power up. Use a battery as described in the manual. Here is a link to the MTH online manual for your engine...

https://mthtrains.com/sites/default/files/download/instruction/20st12911i.pdf

Proto1 is very dependent on a good working battery in order to operate properly.

Tom
 

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Thanks for posting that Tom. I plan on purchasing a MTH engine at York in October.
 

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My take is that I have had no end of troubles with Shay locos, both MTh and Lionel, on curves. Like you did I had one that just won't run on tight (even O-42 curves although it is supposed to). It has "unfixable" (meaning I can't, and no one I sent it to satisfactorily could either) problems with its drive, specifically the U-joints and their telescoping rods. It makes bad noises and then jams and the motor overloads and trips a breaker if I don't stop it soon enough.

A suggestion: turn it around and see if it has the same problem when going around the curve in the other direction. Both of my "problem Shays" will bind and make awful noises, and in one case stall, when going one direction, and behave nicely in the other. If this occurs to yours, then the problem is probably with something in the Shay-related axles and drivers and U-joints (and they are a nightmare to adjust/fix).

But if you can free up any binding in the driver mechanism and then run your loco, and it has the same problem going around the curve in each direction, then you may have a more basic problem, not at all related to anything having to do with this being a Sahy, but only to it being an MTH PS1 loco, used and a bit old and therefore in need of perhaps some more common types of service.
 

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For the issue you have, I'd be looking at the external gear train, that's where all the problems seem to occur. I've had to add shims and adjustments to several of these to make them run. I have a couple Shays, and I examine the gear train carefully before running.
 

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Get another transformer other than that one and try it again. I have had some PS1 engines and even the newer PS2 or PS3 locos not respond to Lionel Transformers but will work fine with MTH Transformers.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Imagine my surprise...

...Proto1 is very dependent on a good working battery in order to operate properly.
Well, I feel silly.

The advice about the battery would have been good had the battery not been replaced around last summer. But I was certainly going to check the voltage while under the hood.

So I got my voltmeter and disassembled the tender and... there's NO battery. Period.

It started coming back to me then: I had replaced the battery back then but after finding the locomotive would not run on my O-31 curves, the battery was moved to another locomotive. I even taped a yellow sticky to the Shay to tag it out of operation. So much for Scotch tape!

So after installing a new battery, the Shay appears to be happy on the new, larger curves.

Thanks for the help, Tom - you nailed it.

Tom
 

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Since the PS/1 locomotives won't move without a battery, I'm totally confused as to what you have. The symptoms sure don't match the solution.

I don't know what really happened, but as long as it's running now, I guess all is well. ;)
 

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Tom, my PS1 experience is extremely limited, mostly what I have learned reading here at MTF, so I tend to start with the simplest ways of fixing things.

The battery issue is pretty common on PS1 stuff. Bigdodgetrain mentioned installing a BCR, which would be a good idea.

Glad to help.

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I don't get it either

...I don't know what really happened, but as long as it's running now, I guess all is well. ;)
The whole thing is odd to me too. But Lee Willis mentioned tons of linkage issues, and since that was my first thought, all the external U-joints & associated journals were lubed after the bad noise.

In retrospect, the only reason I can think of for it to run without a battery is that a capacitor held a charge from the last time it was run (yes I know that's weak).

But it is running now, and it made my friend who loaned it to me very happy to see it in action again after a long time.

Tom
 

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All's well that ends well, whatever the cause and cure. I'm glad your sis working. A good shay is a joy to have on the layout - a lot of fun to watch.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I tried that with odd results

... I always make sure they ... come by really slow. :D
When I run this Shay too slow, Proto-sound decides to hold on to the whistle cord to the point I know the locomotive would have low boiler pressure i.e. it never stops whistling. I have to cycle track power & boost the running speed to make it stop.

But I sure am enjoying the new O-72 curves; My friend's Big Boy is in heaven with the new layout.

Tom
 
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