Make sure the switch mechanisms move freely by hand and does not bind by turning the Lantern Retainers by hand.
Clean the mechanism with Naphtha.
Open them up and make sure the Connecting Straps are tight, allowing power to flow through them properly. Make sure the contacts on the Moving Contact assembly are making solid contact on the Fixed Contact assembly.
Here's a long post by a guy that hasn't been around for some time, not sure what ever happened to him, SERVOGUY. He dropped out of sight on all the train forums about four years ago. However, his list is still pretty complete. I doubt you have to do all this stuff, but it'll give you and idea of where to look. I've probably repaired 30-40 of these, and I did some of this stuff selectively.
1. Remove the switch motor cover, the switch motor, and the back cover of the switch.
2. Lubricate the following places in the switch motor: The latch should be oiled at the pivots and where it slides over the moving piece that is connected to the solenoid. Lubricate the lantern pivot and the gear. Lubricate the slide that is attached to the solenoid. Lubricate the two rivets that hold the slide with the contacts. Put two drops of oil in the solenoid. Test the switch motor by putting a lantern in the lantern holder and turning it. It should turn very freely.
3. Solder all the crimp connections on the bottom side of the switch. These are often high resistance due to corrosion. I either wire brush them with a small soft wire wheel in a Dremel tool, or use a fine sandpaper wheel in the Dremel tool. There are a total of 6 places to solder: Two for the center rails, one for each of the rails that are the rails for the non-derailing feature, and two that connect the two outside rails together. To sand the clip that connects the two outer rails, I had to reverse the sanding disc on the Dremel tool. Don't put too much solder on this clip, or the solder may interfere with the operation of the switch motor. Use a Scotchbrite pad to clean the clip where it contacts the switch motor frame. This is the ground connection between the switch motor and the outside rails. Clean the corresponding area on the switch motor, and put a little WD-40 on things. Tighten the screw that connects the center rail to the strap. Work the screw back and forth a couple of times to burnish the contact area. Test the connections between the outside rails and the center rails. I use a cheap meter that you can buy from Harbor Freight for this. The resistance should be less than 0.1 ohms. These cheap meters usually don't read zero ohms when you short the leads together, but whatever they do read with the leads shorted you can use as your "zero."
4. Clean the silver contacts with WD-40. Most of the tarnish should come off of them. Do not use anything abrasive to clean them as it will probably damage the silver. Leave some WD-40 on these contacts as it is an excellent contact cleaner.
5. Use a wire brush on a Dremel tool to clean the 3 contacts on the bottom of the switch that connect to the switch motor. One of these is a flat brass strip that is spring loaded and connects to the fat center rail. The other two connect to the two rails that are used to make the switch non-derailing.
6. Clean the two contacts on the switch motor that mate with the two pins on the bottom of the switch that connect to the non-derailing rails. Bend these two up a little so they make a good contact, and put a little WD-40 on them. Clean the two brass contacts on each side between the silver contacts with a wire brush on the Dremel tool. These two contact are where the power comes to the switch motor from the center rail. One or the other is used depending on which side the switch motor is on.
7. Put a little WD-40 on the contact spring that contacts the pin for the constant voltage plug. Snap the spring a few times to make sure the contact is clean. If the rivet that holds this spring is broken (I had two switches with broken rivets), you can repair it by soldering it back together. Clean both surfaces with a wire wheel in a Dremel tool, and tin each surface with solder. Then hold the spring in place and heat the spring until the solder softens, and then hold the spring in place until the solder cools. You need to make sure the spring is somewhat bent when you do this so that it makes a good contact with the pin.
8. Put the switch motor back on the switch. Put a drop of oil in each of the screw holes so you can get the screws out 100 years from now. Check the switch for smooth operation. It should operate smoothly with minimal friction. Check the resistance between each of the outer terminals and the appropriate non-derailing rail. Once again, the resistance should be less than 0.1 ohms. Check the resistance between the center rail and the constant voltage pin. It should be less than 0.1 ohms. Check the resistance between the center terminal and one of the outside rails. It should be less than 0.1 ohms. Check the resistance between each of the outer terminals and the center rail with the switch points about half way beween the two outer rails. They should be about 7-8 ohms.
9. There is a solder tab on the constant voltage pin that is usually very near the pin. If you bend this tab away from the pin, you can use a blue crimp lug for a constant voltage plug. These crimp lugs don't come loose like the Lionel plugs do. Some switch motors have a pin that is too large to use the crimp lug, so for these, you will have to use a Lionel plug.
10. Put the covers on and again check the switch for smooth operation. You may have to move the switch motor cover around a little to make sure the lantern does not bind against the cover.
11. Check the end of the fat center rail to see that it is not bent down. If it is, your little 0-4-0 switch engine may stall on the switch. If you bend it up too far, it will open the electromagnetic couplers for you.
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