ALCO from '91 or '94 brand new but has issues

Hey -

I have two of these powered 8112's - the first one acts like old AF to change direction, but the neutral in the middle is silent - the other one only runs in one direction (yes I know about the switch in the bottom) it won't go into neutral and then into reverse ... the screws in these things tend to strip out so I want to learn the problem and fixes if possible before I take it apart - I've had to fix quite a bit of stuff ... part of the fun I guess ... also, I want to run this pair of powered A's back to back, what's the easiest way to do that?  And in both directions ..           Thanks!

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The electronic reverse unit may have failed, I had to replaced an 80's era Alco with a Dalee reverse unit, had no problem since.  I have had success with running multiple diesels with electronic reverse units in each. Just make sure they are all in sequence together, and keep their wheels and track clean!!!

 

As noted above, it's possible that the reverse units have failed.

BUT before you go changing them out, what transformer are you using? The reason for asking is that some newer electronic transformers never go fully to "off" and therefore never trigger the reverse unit.

TRW

I have not had one of the electronic reversing units fail from Lionel although another member in our club did suffer a failure.

Now if you never think that you might go to Legacy or TMCC buying the Dallee may well be your solution, but if you may be looking to go to wireless control I would consider the Cruise Lite from Electric Railroad. It will operate as a reversing unit on a conventional layout. If you later decide Legacy is something you want to do you would not need to pay again to convert this engine. I have put these Cruise Lites in several PAs and am very much an advocate of the Legacy system. The Cruise lite will be more expensive (price about $85.00) but down the road may save you some money.

Ray

Hi -

I am limited to original tech - the first 8112 unit works fine and reversed direction like the older stuff (with a neutral), the other 8112 unit from '91 only goes in one direction and doesn't pause in the neutral state, so unless there are different motors in them or different direction switching the second one needs repair.  I'm an EE and have a multi-meter and an oscilloscope etc. I just need to know what I am looking for when I open it up - what do I check or measure, what part might need to be fixed or replaced? Again, I'm not lazy, I just want to learn from others what to check before I tackle things .. my biggest issue so far is screw stripping when putting things back together, I've bought older AF things for my new layout and sometimes 2-3 screws that hold the bottom on are stripped out so I only want to open this thing the one time ... oh, neither headlight appears to light 

I had a problem with my Alco MP. Would while running stop,start shudder and take off. Also had a problem with a GP it stopped being able to go into reverse.

but locos from the same era and the same reverse board. In both cases the trouble was a capicitor on the the board. The leads were not well solered. The cap in question is the (looking at the board on the component side) one in the upper top right corner.gentley try rocking it while checking the solder side. If you see or feel the cap leads move on the solder re solder the leads. This corrected the two troubles is had with the alco and the Gp.

 

You fellows are talking shop with the uninitiated ... don't know what a 465 is, where to get one, etc.  I have two powered units I want to pair, the first one acts like "old AF" - 1) power up, goes forward   2) power down, then power up to "shift" direction, pwr down, no movement 3) power up, reverses.

 

The second brand new unit seems to have a bad shifter, in step (2) it goes in the opposite direction, then you can do step 2, it reverses, but for 3 cycles (pwr up, pwr down) it always goes forward, THEN reverses .... pattern is repeatable.    I have an oscilloscope and meters, I don't know what to check.  Nothing seems

loose ...20170923_150814[1]

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I'll leave the electronic issue to our more experienced members of this forum.  The issue of stripped screw holes can be avoided by a simple procedure upon re-assembly.  When you insert the screws in their original holes, take the time to slowly back out the screw a turn or so, while applying no pressure to the screw.  When you feel the screw slightly rise and then fall, you've found the original threads that were cut when the unit was first assembled.  Follow those original threads, and you can re-assemble the unit without cutting more threads.  The more threads you cut, the weaker the screw will be in the hole.  If you feel a lot of resistance, that is, you need to apply more torque to insert the screw, you are cutting more threads.  When more threads are cut, you are essentially making the hole bigger by weakening the plastic in the hole.  On the older AF items, previous owners didn't heed this simple piece of advice.  And it took me a while to come to MY conclusion on the threads. 

I'll second (or third) the advice on the Dallee reverse units.  Good luck on yours.

 

 

 

Good advice from Jerry.

And it doesn't apply to just trains. Over this past weekend a lawnmower repair required the removal of numerous plastic parts held in with the same style screws that are often used on trains. The same technique avoids damaging those parts too!

C.W. Burfle

Also do not apply what I call  Gorilla Torque. Do not overdo the tighting  snug is fine. The screw will not fall out.

Most of the time for me is the loose or poor solder joint. The capicitor will fail and the loco will not reverse. It is the capicitor on the top right edge of the board. The lead is not in contact with the solder. And you must take a very close look(magnifying glass).

poniaj posted:

I'll leave the electronic issue to our more experienced members of this forum.  The issue of stripped screw holes can be avoided by a simple procedure upon re-assembly.  When you insert the screws in their original holes, take the time to slowly back out the screw a turn or so, while applying no pressure to the screw.  When you feel the screw slightly rise and then fall, you've found the original threads that were cut when the unit was first assembled.  Follow those original threads, and you can re-assemble the unit without cutting more threads.  The more threads you cut, the weaker the screw will be in the hole.  If you feel a lot of resistance, that is, you need to apply more torque to insert the screw, you are cutting more threads.  When more threads are cut, you are essentially making the hole bigger by weakening the plastic in the hole.  On the older AF items, previous owners didn't heed this simple piece of advice.  And it took me a while to come to MY conclusion on the threads. 

I'll second (or third) the advice on the Dallee reverse units.  Good luck on yours.

 

Been doing that for years! Especially useful on engines that are problematic and require frequent servicing, or even just following up on some previous gorilla's repair efforts!

poniaj posted:

...The issue of stripped screw holes can be avoided by a simple procedure upon re-assembly.  When you insert the screws in their original holes, take the time to slowly back out the screw a turn or so, while applying no pressure to the screw.  When you feel the screw slightly rise and then fall, you've found the original threads that were cut when the unit was first assembled.  Follow those original threads, and you can re-assemble the unit without cutting more threads.  The more threads you cut, the weaker the screw will be in the hole.  If you feel a lot of resistance, that is, you need to apply more torque to insert the screw, you are cutting more threads.  When more threads are cut, you are essentially making the hole bigger by weakening the plastic in the hole.....

Jerry,  I have to say that you very eloquently put to words something that I've experienced in the past, but just never really thought about until you outlined the steps.  It was so refreshing to read your well-crafted description.  Thanks for posting it and I'm sure it will help prevent some stripped out holes in the future!

Thanks, Mike A.

milwaukeeroadtrackman posted:

I'm dealing with already stripped or missing screws ... what, add some paper in the whole?

 

Tom

Try bits of a wooden toothpick. I use a razor blade to shave off some thin strips and then add them a few at a time until the screw feels as if it will stay tightened. If the hole is way oversized add an end of the toothpick and break it off flush with the top of the hole. Don't try to use too much of the toothpick at one time. Eventually you'll get a feel for how much to use.

An alternative method is a bit of fine sandpaper with the grit side facing "out" towards the plastic.

Mark

I'll take a stab at your original question.

If one of the reverse units isn't working you might try to have the one working board operate for both engines. It looks like the engines have DC motors in them? I don't know what the current draw would be for 4 motors operating at once. Perhaps others could supply this info.

If the board could handle all 4 motors AND THEY ARE DC MOTORS you could reverse the wiring of the motor leads on the second engine's motors. That way when the front unit starts in the forward direction the rear unit (pointing towards the rear) would start in reverse. The engines would now be paired to operate in the same direction at all times.

Of course you would have to devise a tether between the engines. That would be the easy part.

Hope this idea helps in some small way.

Mark

 

milwaukeeroadtrackman posted:

I'm dealing with already stripped or missing screws ... what, add some paper in the whole?

 

Tom

Tom,

Get the ALCO running right, then worry about assembling the shell.  But when that time comes, you're not far from wrong.  Instead of paper, I usually use three or four thin styrene strips, perhaps.020" thick and .060" wide.  Then I use a solvent cement to affix them around the inside of the hole, and allow to dry completely.   It helps to have the original size screws, so try to find them (many of our great parts suppliers will have them available).  I have a small stash of them just for that purpose.  Then SLOWLY screw them in and like has been said, don't apply too much force.  When the bottom out, that's it.  They're going nowhere. 

In regards to the faulty reverse unit, I too had one that did the same thing.  It runed out to be a loose connection.  Once re-soldered, it now works fine.  But you may have to resort to a Dallee replacement.  They're just about bullet-proof and will do the job.  Complete instructions are included, and easy to follow.  Keep us all informed as to what happens.  We're always here.

 

 

 

What a headache ... so there's a board inside these -91 Alco's, when you say "replace the E-unit" is it the whole board, I'm guessing? 

Item Number: #400  from Dahlee
would be my guess.  Anybody know which headlight kit is needed?   If I have dummies, can I solder the headlight components together in some order so the headlights are upgraded?    Lionel makes a replacement part too, about $10 cheaper ...   
691EUN2A01E-UNIT / HIGH CURRENT $32.00
Modern technology has changed the way of dealing with the screw holes. Toothpicks, etc. put too much pressure on the mounting posts, leading to cracks. I use super glue, then put the screw in gently, let the glue set. if the screw doesn't just easily back out after the glue sets, put the tip of a soldering iron on it, and then unscrew it. If the post is cracked, I glue it back together with the super glue, then, making certain there's still an open hole in the post (only as big as the center of the screw), I will start a screw in the hole, then use the soldering gun tip while still holding the screw with the screwdriver. When the temperature is right, the screw will easily turn in--remove heat, and carefully back it out--repaired hole!

S'incerely,

David "two rails" Dewey

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