Bringing a unused locomotive to duty?

Hi, Looking for a bit of guidance.  I inherited a old lionel 4-6-4  #8210 and has Joshua Lionel Cowen on the tender that has never been run.  The drive wheels seem frozen when I tried to turn them (I didn't put a lot of pressure on them though so as not to break anything).  I assume the gears need oiled but is there anything else I should do?  Also there are two wires in the cab of the loco, what are these for?  Are they supposed to be connected to each other?  I hope I can get this old steamer running without damaging it but the frozen drives are a bit scary.  


Original Post

I would oil (one drop) all the pins that the gears spin on, both ends of the armature, grease the gear teeth lightly just a dab on each gear. Let the oil soak in for a day, add another drop of oil where you did previously. Since the motor is a spur gear motor it should turn by moving the drivers. Try running the loco once things seem to be moving. Add about 5 drops of smoke fluid, since these locos don't have an on/off switch for the smoke unit. The two wires are for the "Mighty Sound of Steam" and maybe the whistle. There should be 2 connections on the tender for the two wires. They may be inside the tender as the previous owner might not have cared for the sounds generated. If you don't want to use this feature, tape the ends of the wires so they don't make contact with any metal on the loco. If you can't get it working, I would be glad to help, if you don't mind shipping the loco to me, or there should be a local craftsman if you don't want to ship it. I am a TCA member and an MTH ASC service person. 



Port Clinton, home of the Reading and Northern RR.

I am not familiar with the #8210, does this locomotive have SPUR gear or WORM gear drive?

If it is SPUR gear driven, then not being able to turn the drivers by hand would be a reason for concern, if it is WORM gear driven, then BEING ABLE to turn the drivers by hand would be a reason for concern. The nature of a worm drive does not allow the drive train to "Back Drive" the motor. While that is not the reason for the use of a worm drive in model trains, there are applications where a worm drive is used specifically for the reason of the gear drive acting as a load brake when the motor is not powered, winching and hoisting applications are examples of this.

If it is a worm drive, then I wouldn't be concerned about not being able to turn the drivers by hand, put some power to it, and see if it runs as it should.


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Most postwar worm drive locomotives (and their MPC/LTI offspring) can be "back driven".  They use a pretty steeply pitched triple-start worm.

That said, the locomotive in question is basically a 2046 Hudson. I would follow Train Doctor's advice, he nailed it. If it doesn't spin after that something is wrong.


Someone before you may have taken the rods off in past and not put them back in proper orientation.

If the eccentric crank rods on each side are not on properly you cannot spin the wheels a full revolution they will lock up.

Its the one screwed to the middle wheel on each side.


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Thanks to all for the suggestions.  I know the locomotive has never been apart as it was my grand father's who bought it new and he never put it on tracks save for the ones it was displayed on.  I put a bit of oil on the gears and the shafts the gears ride on and the drive will now turn but they are very stiff.  I'm going to put another dab of oil and let it sit another day.  Pardon my ignorance but the loco Bobby pictured is what I have is that considered a spur gear?  I'm a bit new to these older engines.  Also while digging for the tender wires I broke up a Styrofoam pad or something, I'm assuming that's to keep vibration off whatever creates the sound.  Should I pull the tender apart to replace or just leave well enough alone.  Thanks so much for the help gentleman.

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