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I have a 385e and 400e, both with non-working chuggers. Both have switches and chuggers in them but I have no idea what wire goes where. Admittedly, even if wired up I don't know if they're gonna work. Wiring is a start anyway, so if anyone has good photos/diagram of what goes where, I'd be grateful.

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I have one but its not on my PC here at work. Basically, the chugger mounts to the frame which is a grounding point. For standard you need a reed switch that mounts to one of the crossbars on the motor frame and works off of a cam on the closest axle. One lead from this switch goes to the chugger unit, the other goes to the switch in the cab. The switch in the cab then gets wired to a hot lead from the motor pick up. That motor pick up lead goes to one of the screw terminals on an early reverse unit or an alternate point with a modern reverse unit. As the loco runs the reed switch is closed as it runs up the cam lobe and the chugger makes the noise. You can cut power to the chugger to stop said noise by flipping the switch in the cab and cutting power to the circuit. Chuggers are available, the reed switches are very scarce.





Images (3)
  • 385E-84CAXLEASSYWCAM: Axle Cam Standard Only
  • CH-26CAMSWITCH: Cam Switch Standard Only
  • CH-35CHUGGER: Chugger Standard or O
Last edited by LionelTin

Okay, the chugger does have two contacts, one for hot and one for ground, I've never seen one grounded to frame through the bracket.

There are three components, the chugger coil, the leaf switch (triggered by the axle cam) and the switch in the cab. 

First I'd check the coil for function (does it buzz when power is applied), the cab switch (is it all intact) and the leaf switch (are the copper contact strips intact). 

If it all looks good you can begin wiring it. All the components are wired in series and as such it really makes no difference what order they're wired in. I wired mine (400E) from the hot terminal on top of the motor to the switch in the cab, from there to the chugger coil, and from the coil to the leaf switch. The leaf switch usually has a short piece of wire attached to one strip which is then wrapped around the switch mounting bracket screw in order to ground it out.

As stated, the coils and cab switches are available but the leaf switches are not. If your leaf switch is damaged, it may be possible to repair it or replace it with a modern micro switch. On my 400E, one of the copper strips was broken. I removed the rivet holding the switch together, drilled and tapped the bracket for a 2-56 screw, and screwed a short length of coil spring to the bracket. Then I reassembled the switch with a small (4-40, I think) screw. Now instead of the copper contacts closing together, the remaining copper contact contacts that coil spring which is connected to ground and completes the circuit.

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