I have a boxed Lionel Junior set that I picked up years ago. Now that I'm retired and have time, I would like to get it running. The motor works. The only thing I am missing is the spacer and shoulder screw that secure the eccentric rod to the drive wheel. I checked Olsen's and they don't show these available. Anyone have any ideas on where I might find them?

Original Post

I have to ask what wheels are on your engine?  Are they the 8 spoke wheels, and the bottom plate says Lionel Jr.?  If that is what you have, they don't have spacers, and the drive rods slip onto the hub, which was peened over at the factory.  I have three 1681's I am restoring at present time.  A photo of the drive wheel with hub would help.  Which would give a possible fix.

The possible fix if the hub has been torn up, is to drill and tap down the center of the hub with a 3/48th tap, which would accept a hex head screw part number 700E-45c which is a short threaded 3/48th" screw for attaching side rods.  That is your only alternative, depending on the condition of the hub, if the side rods were taken off, or broke off at some point.  You won't be able to just replace the drive wheel, as whatever is available is ONLY sold in complete set of 4, at a typical price of $40 per set.  The 1681E and 1661E are basically the same, with the 1661E listed as Lionel-Ives on bottom plate, and 8 spoke wheels.

Last edited by TeleDoc

I guess I need to go dig the set out of storage. I know that the engine has a shoulder bolt and spacer on the drive wheel. One side is ok. The other side is missing the spacer. Without the spacer, the eccentric rod is at the wrong angle and it binds up the motor when running. I suppose I could have the engine number wrong, but I think there were only two Lionel Junior steam engine numbers.

You have to have the set in hand, and know exactly what loco number you have.  The 1681 loco has one single side rod that was peened onto the drive wheel, on both sides.  There are no spacers or screws used on the 1681 linkage.  

Edit: Is the train in question, Prewar or Postwar????

Last edited by TeleDoc

I am posting a photo of one of the 1681's I am working on, to see if this is what you are referring to.  You will see that there is one single rod, and the attachment to the rear drive wheel gets the hub "Peened" over.  The cure if it too mangled, is what I explained in previous post, using a 700E-45 hex head nut, but the hub has to be drilled and tapped for the proper screw threads.1681 progress


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Last edited by TeleDoc

A little history with Lionel Jr. was that Lionel along with AF acquired Ives around 1929.  Lionel continued to manufacture some of the Ives small steam engines, such as the 1661/1681/1688 that used the small motor.  In 1931-32 Lionel created "027" track, which came from Ives, that was used on their inexpensive sets.  These first series of locos, had a nameplate marked "Winner Lines".  In 1933 Lionel again changed the nameplate, which read "Lionel-Ives".  The following year in 1934, it changed again to "Lionel Jr.", which distinguished the inexpensive trains, from the rest of their line of "0" locos.  The Lionel Jr. was used from 1934 until 1936, and then changed to "Lionel 027" nameplates in 1937.  This was due to the fact that they were issued with "027" track, which was the inexpensive sets.  All of the small steam engines considered Lionel Jr., had 8 spoke wheels, not the normal counterweighted 12 spoke wheels.  

I have not had a chance to go get the set yet. I have not looked at it for probably 10 years. The set box, as I remember, has a yellow cover with blue graphics and lettering. It came with a small lithographed train station and three tin passenger cars with brown roofs. I have also seen these cars with Ives lettering.

I'm thinking the engine may have been re-wheeled at some point (or maybe re-motored). The reason is that I went on Ebay and looked at pictures of the 1688. Mine is definitely not a 1688, but it has the same spacer and hex head screw for the side rod as the photos show on the 1688. Wheels look similar, also. Olsen's does show the screw and spacer for the 1688. I'm guessing Lionel did not do this, but who knows. I may have a 1681 with a 1688 motor.

Mike,  You possibly have a transition piece that could be when Lionel took over Ives, and from the sounds of it, it may have had a motor swapped, from the original.  There are versions of the 1688 "Torpedo" that had motors that could be used in the 1681E.  The 1688 throughout its full run did actually have three separate motors that were used.  One version, that is most likely what you have, is the one with 12 spokes, (middle production), which calls for a spacer and screw to connect the linkage.  That version of motor uses #264E-21N spacer, and #700E-45N screw.  The "N" signifying nickel.  Both parts are available, for that motor only, as compared to the first version with 8 spoke drivers, and Peened rod connection.  The last version that was used on the 1688 torpedo, resembles a 1655/1656 motor, where it gets mounted with two long screws that pass through the body.

Remember we are talking about a 1681E and a 1688.  Certain motors could be swapped between the two, as could the late 258, which also uses the similar motor.  You will have to get it into your hands, and examine it closely, as to the motor used, and how the side rods are connected.  Take photos, and I can identify it for you.  I have three 1681's, and four 1688/E's, and am in the progress of figuring out the exact year each version is made, and what motor it used.  The 1688 & 1688E, actually have 8 different castings from 1936 until the end at 1941/42.  The rarest being the 1936 1688E with forward facing open windows in the cab, a square roof hatch molded into the casting, and a winged keystone, above the headlight, and just under the smoke plate.  This was produced ONLY in 1936.  The casting changed numerous times after that.

Okay, my memory is not so good. It is a 1661E, does not have spacers, but does have screws attaching the side rods. I am going to assume this is a transition set as the cars and tender are marked for Ives. The only thing really wrong with this set is the station/transformer is missing the base and guts. I paid $110.00 for it and it is not that bad for about 85 years old, so I'm not going to complain.


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As a purist on some of these where they were peened over originally and the peen is gone, I will actually drill out the area and place a short piece of aluminum rod and then peen that over

Okay Mike,  You have the Lionel-Ives 1661E set#1052E, which is the passenger set.  They also issued it in a freight set #1051W, and both date to 1933.  Lionel and AF both bought out Ives in 1928-29, when Ives went bankrupt in 1927.  The exact date is up for debate, as Ives went under late 1927, so the other two finished the deal in early part of 1928.  Lionel bought out American Flyer shortly thereafter.  There was a 1661 that was produced in 1931 with Ives on the nameplate, even though it now belonged to Lionel.  I think the original 1661 (not the E version) came with a manual reverse (con-20), which differentiates that from the later one of 1661E, that had an E-unit.  The 1661E was labelled "Lionel-Ives" on bottom of the motor.  In 1933 the nameplate was changed to read "Lionel Jr.", and those were produced from 1933 until 1936.  You will find locos that were produced after 1936 that had the Lionel Jr motor, and most likely using up left over stock.

Lionel used the same shell and colors of the 1661E for a later issue of the 1681/1681E.  The 1681/1681E were made 1934-1935, and used the "Lionel Jr." motors.  The wheels on the 1661/1661E/1681/1681E were 8 spoke wheels.  The same motor was used in the 1688/1688E 'Torpedo' streamline train, issued in 1936.  The 1681 and "E" came in black body with red frame, and also red body with red frame.  The 1681 came with manual reverse, the 1681E came with an E unit.

The following year 1937, the nameplates were changed to read Lionel 027, as the 027 designation was becoming the standard.  From 1937 until the end of Postwar, the motors had Lionel 027 nameplates.

You didn't include a photo of the transformer out of the box, but it could be any one of three transformer stations.  Lionel issued #'s 1012, 1017, and 1027, all produced between 1931-1934.  From Doyle's Catalog, it says the #1012 came with an ORANGE roof, so that may be what you have.  It may also say "Winnertown" on it somewhere.  Winner Toy co., was actually Lionel, and they created that line, to offer inexpensive sets.   Winner existed from 1931-1933, then Lionel changed the name to Lionel-Ives for 1933, then it became Lionel Jr. from 1934-1936, which all used "027" track, not 0 track.  The 027 came from Ives in 1901, and Lionel started producing it in 1915, and then mass produced from 1933 onward.  The 027 track was for the inexpensive sets, which was thinner steel, and stood 7/16" tall, compared to the heavier 0 track that stood 11/16" tall.

Last edited by TeleDoc

Thank you everyone for your input. So, this is a 1933 set, and the side rods were originally attached by peening. Now I just need to see if I can get it running.

Mike,  What do you need to get it running?  You can use any Postwar transformer temporarily, if the "Transformer Station" isn't functional.  It's a simple motor to get running, with most work to get it running is good cleaning.  If you take the motor out, use contact cleaner to clean up the E unit.  Take the brush plate off, and clean the face of the armature (copper surface) with a Scotchbrite pad.  Check the brushes to see if they need to be replaced.  Use isopropyl 91% alcohol to clean out the brush tubes with a Qtip.  Once it's all cleaned, reassemble it, and you should be good to go. 

Any questions, just ask, or contact via email.  Not a problem.

I have a small 5x9 layout at my sisters house in her Florida room. I have never tried running this, so I will take it over there and see where it's at as far as operation. Thanks again.

Mike, At least get some spray electronic contact cleaner, and give the bottom of the E-unit a good shot and make sure that the roller on the E unit is clean.  You can use a Qtip with some alcohol (91% isopropyl from a drug store) and clean as much as you can.  If it has been sitting for a long time, it will probably need a good going over in the motor to get it running in tip-top shape.  If you have a transformer at all, you can take two test leads and connect one to one of the slide shoes on the pick up, and connect the other lead to any metal part of the loco, and while holding the loco in your hand, turn up the power on the transformer, and it should run, if everything is in good enough shape.  It's a quick and dirty test, without having to put it on tracks to run it.  I usually do this when I get something new that I get, but knowing that it is something that is going to need work.  My eBay purchases, for restorations.  Like I said earlier, I have three 1681's I am presently restoring, and four 1688's also.  The motors are almost identical in all of them, and really easy to work on.  The 1661E is the earlier loco, that the 1681E was based on, and are similar construction.

Last edited by TeleDoc

I have contact cleaner, alcohol, lubricants, tools, and other supplies. They are all at my sister's as that is where my layout is. I just got a postwar 2037 set that I was given cleaned up and operational. I'm sure I can have this running, also. Thank you for your help.

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