Got a fix for a noisy brush plate?

We all know that sound – the “galled bearing” sound, something between a small screech and a slight moan. I used to believe that it was exclusively the province of metal parts, metal shaft against worn sleeve bearing, or worn sloppy gears spinning on a worn sloppy stud, type of thing. What I have discovered in working with older engines is that many times the fiber plate brush holders make that same sound. How do I know? One itty bitty teeny weeny drop of oil on the armature shaft, right where it goes thru the brush holder, and bam! Total silence. Problem is, the oil doesn’t stay put! It doesn’t take long and it’s noisy again. So I tried red n Tacky, also in very modest amounts – this works the same, but lasts a bit longer. Also the higher viscosity audibly reduces rpm by a very small amount, but it works fairly well … until now.

I have this one brush plate that just won’t quit. As you apply oil or grease, bam! Instant fix … for a few minutes. Then back to the noise! The surprise in this is that the armature seems reasonably stable in the hole, not much side play … but obviously there is enough to create this noise!

I will put a new one on order soon enough, but just before I do, does anyone know any tricks to make a more permanent bearing out of the fiber board used on these old brush plates?

The offending brush plate from a 224E shown below.

IMG_0499

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Original Post

Replacing it is the only permanent fix. The armature hole has worn too large. If you take tweezers to the armature shaft and can wiggle it at all, even a tiny amount, it needs replacing, the lube will just spin off or run down to the commutator face. I suppose if someone wanted to make a bushing to fit the worn out brushplate it can be done, but hardly worth the trouble. Lionel tried in the late seventies adding a bushing to the 2035 style beushplate, but they never repeated it.

Clean off the old oil and grease, and try Labelle 106.

I have some red N tacky loaded into a large syringe (similar to a turkey baster). Went to use a bit today on fiber whistle motor brush plate and found that the stuff near to nozzle was very thin and watery. Maybe Labelle 106 does the same thing, if so I haven't noticed it.

You'll probably wind up wanting that replacement brush plate.

C.W. Burfle
Chuck Sartor posted:

Replacing it is the only permanent fix. The armature hole has worn too large. If you take tweezers to the armature shaft and can wiggle it at all, even a tiny amount, it needs replacing, the lube will just spin off or run down to the commutator face. I suppose if someone wanted to make a bushing to fit the worn out brushplate it can be done, but hardly worth the trouble. Lionel tried in the late seventies adding a bushing to the 2035 style beushplate, but they never repeated it.

I thought that was probably the case. I just measured the slop, about 4-5 thousandths, much more than my uncalibrated fingers would have guessed! I considered a bushing or even (crude, I know) an eyelet, but there really isn't much space to work with between the commutator and the brush plate or brush holders, I think something would rub!

I think a better idea would be a piece of hardened metal, drilled with the appropriate size hole, then JB Weld applied to hold the metal plate on the top surface of the brush holder. The only caveat is that there is precious little room around that hole as the brush holders are so close to the hole - exactly 1/16" from armature to each brush holder! That would take some really careful crafting - much easier to get a new plate!

Thanks Chuck

C W Burfle posted:

Clean off the old oil and grease, and try Labelle 106.

I have some red N tacky loaded into a large syringe (similar to a turkey baster). Went to use a bit today on fiber whistle motor brush plate and found that the stuff near to nozzle was very thin and watery. Maybe Labelle 106 does the same thing, if so I haven't noticed it.

You'll probably wind up wanting that replacement brush plate.

Very interesting, I have never seen Red n' Tacky separate, but that's good to know it can. I agree, I think a new plate is in order. Thanks CW!!!

shawn posted:

I don't know if there is enough room. But, you could put a bushing in. I've done this with most of my whistle tenders. I would give Jeff Kane a call. I think I bought a bunch from him just for this purpose

Funny you should mention Jeff - I wrote him earlier this evening and he replied back already with the part number and description for a brushplate bearing, 622-216. It's .001" over the diameter of my armatures, so it looks like an excellent fit and a longer lasting solution, assuming I install it correctly! I like simple!!!

622-216

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How would one go about adding a bearing to a fiber brush plate?  In particular, I am wonder about how to get the proper alignment.

Also, how would a 622 bearing be affixed?
When Lionel put metal bearing on fiber plates, I believe they typically used a flanged bearing. The Oilite site does show some 1/8 inch ID flanged bearings, ID:  .1250 -.1260

C.W. Burfle
C W Burfle posted:

How would one go about adding a bearing to a fiber brush plate?  In particular, I am wonder about how to get the proper alignment.

1) Square up the plate on a drill press.

2) Drill out the bearing with an appropriate bit (in this case, a #12 bit, .1890 inch diameter).  

3) Press bushing into place.  Secure with ACC or epoxy glue.  

4) Reassemble, lubricate and run!  

In a pinch, one can simply drill out the bearing hole with a hand drill or Dremel, but precision is not guaranteed using this method.  ;-D 

Mitch 

It's crackers to give a rozzer the dropsy in snide!

 

Remember, SCROUNGE!

Oilite sintered bronze is the best but I have machined shoulder bearings out of brass too or bronze from old valve guides. One problem with pre sized bearings is they will be oversize for the worn shaft. Reinforced phenolic which the brush plate is made of is pretty abrasive. If you measure the armature shaft where it contacts the plate I will bet you will find it undersize.

Pete

1) Square up the plate on a drill press.

2) Drill out the bearing with an appropriate bit (in this case, a #12 bit, .1890 inch diameter).  

3) Press bushing into place.  Secure with ACC or epoxy glue.  

Maybe I am over thinking this.
Getting the drill bit square with the brush plate is no big deal. positioning the hole is what I was thinking about. I guess one would assume that centered on the worn hole is the correct position?
Oilite bearing are oil impregnated, will glue stick?

I saw some .125 ID flanged oilite bushing on EBay. As was pointed out earlier, they might not fit between the brush holders.

Some time ago I thought somebody wrote about using brass eyelets.

Machining my own parts is not possible for me, and I suspect for many other folks. I don't have any machine tools.

C.W. Burfle
C W Burfle posted:

1) Square up the plate on a drill press.

2) Drill out the bearing with an appropriate bit (in this case, a #12 bit, .1890 inch diameter).  

3) Press bushing into place.  Secure with ACC or epoxy glue.  

Maybe I am over thinking this.
Getting the drill bit square with the brush plate is no big deal. positioning the hole is what I was thinking about. I guess one would assume that centered on the worn hole is the correct position?
Oilite bearing are oil impregnated, will glue stick?

I saw some .125 ID flanged oilite bushing on EBay. As was pointed out earlier, they might not fit between the brush holders.

Some time ago I though somebody wrote about using brass eyelets.

Machining my own parts is not possible for me, and I suspect for many other folks. I don't have any machine tools.

It's as if you guys reached out and probed my brain!! That is one of two methods I was considering, the other being to leave the armature hole as is, and just slip the bushing over the shaft  and glue in place. Not as physically strong as pushing the sleeve into the brush plate, but it might hold. I don't think I would use any super glue, too thin, might run down into places it doesn't belong. Epoxy is the ticket for me.

IMG_0501

So in an effort to see just how much room I have, between the brush holders, I used a 600-129 nylon thrust collar as a test gauge, and had to trim the edges to fit between the solder tabs. This nylon collar measures 0.212" OD. It seems to fit ok and if it were metal, wouldn't short the brushes. I think it's quite possible to flatten (Dremel) two sides of the 622-129 (metal) bearing sleeve near one end, just enough to clear the solder tabs, then glue in place with epoxy.

If I thought that epoxy would hold the nylon collar in place, I might give that a go also, just to see how it does! Nylon wouldn't be much of a bearing surface, but then neither is the fiber board Lionel used! Must not be much in the way of side loads on that shaft.

Norton - to your point, I found one very thin band of wear on the armature shaft, and it measured 0.001" smaller than the outer portion (0.024" vs. 0.025") Best I can do, measurement-wise!

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I just read through this entire topic, and am awed by the collective expertise here. Here's my 2 cents:

All these opinions assume we have the same objective. We don't.

If your objective is solely to get the armature spinning freely on its axis, then buy a new brush plate assembly (Part # 289E-23) and be done with it. Train Tender sells a used one for $3.00. Olsen's sells a new one for $9.90.  Others are probably all in the same range.

If you get satisfaction and enjoyment, however, overcoming challenges and tinkering and fashioning your own solutions, then enjoy spending a dozen hours creating a bearing for the armature axis. If you are going this route it seems like cheating to buy a bearing from Jeff. Why not bore the tip of a cheap ball point pen to an acute tolerance, cut it,  and adhere it to the brush plate? No doubt there are many items around the house which could serve equally well.

Old fiber brush plates tend to warp slightly with exposure to repeated wet and dry cycles over decades. Going to all this effort, when the foundational piece itself might not be squared,  seems a bit much.

Bottom line: do what you want and enjoy the process.

Pete F.

Mahwah, NJ

TCA# 18-73568

Pete, et al, I just finished ordering three different bearing sleeves, one of which is shouldered and was a Lionel experiment on the 8801 Blue Comet brush plate, per Jeff. I'll get them installed later this week and will update.

In the meantime, I'm still eyeballing that nylon thrust washer and my JB Weld … 

And I will be looking at my supply of ball point pens!!

No doubt Jeff will come through but if you try the nylon option, forget the JB Weld. Nothing sticks to nylon.

As for making one if you have a lathe, its a 5 minute job, not days. Probably about the same amount of time as it takes to order one from Jeff.  

Pete

Norton posted:

No doubt Jeff will come through but if you try the nylon option, forget the JB Weld. Nothing sticks to nylon.

As for making one if you have a lathe, its a 5 minute job, not days. Probably about the same amount of time as it takes to order one from Jeff.  

Pete

Actually, while waiting for my bearings to arrive from Jeff, I amused myself by gluing a nylon thrust collar to the brush plate. Knowing that it wouldn't stick, I used the epoxy to surround and encompass the nylon washer, and it held! It totally quieted the bearing and made things run smooth as silk. Thought I'd give it a life test (short life test) before the real bearings arrive. Looky here

Pretty sure I will use the Oilite flanged bearings that should be here today, but I just had to see if this would work. It Did!

I have this engine. Have had the same problem. Replacing the brush plate did not help as the armature shaft had worn down where it goes through the plate. Ending up having to replace the armature as well. That involved pulling the wheels as there is no room to get the armature out. If your bushing idea works from Jeff let me know. I may do the same to mine which would give it a much longer life.

Chuck Sartor posted:

I tried that once and wasn't successful. There was not enough clearance between the bushing and commutator face.

And that's exactly what I'm afraid of - clearance. Therefore plan B will be to experiment with various size washers under the brush plate to provide clearance. Plan C will be using a straight bushing, pressed into an enlarged hole, even with the backside of the brush plate - then glued. I gotta believe that will work, and it should take care of Joe's issue (a worn armature where it went through the brush plate) due to the bearing's added length. If it works and it's nice and long, that should never be an issue again!

I was expecting all three types of bearings today, but something must have happened in the US mail - should have been here Tuesday, nothing today - in fact NO mail today - highly unusual. Did I miss a holiday?

GeoPeg posted:
Norton posted:

No doubt Jeff will come through but if you try the nylon option, forget the JB Weld. Nothing sticks to nylon.

Pete

Actually, while waiting for my bearings to arrive from Jeff, I amused myself by gluing a nylon thrust collar to the brush plate. Knowing that it wouldn't stick, I used the epoxy to surround and encompass the nylon washer, and it held! It totally quieted the bearing and made things run smooth as silk. Thought I'd give it a life test (short life test) before the real bearings arrive. Looky here

As it turns out, the "life testing" is an interesting experiment. So far the nylon washer is doing a super job - no increase in play at all. It has developed a noticeable squeak in the past few hours. I re-oiled everything, even the tread and flanges on the wheels! No change. I removed both connecting driver rods - still squeaking. Finally I remembered that this thing has pickup rollers - never heard them squeak before, but that's what it was. Got a lot of oil cleanup to do!

It also changed gears a couple of times, i.e. went into neutral - both times I was out of the room, so I will run it some more. I may ditch the CW-80 in favor a nice sine wave 1033 and run it all night to see if that changes anything. Hmmmm…… maybe it's that oil I put on the rollers!! 

Also quite surprisingly, no heat! I can easily touch the metal brush holders - not even warm! Of course there's almost no load since the engine is only pulling itself, but that kind of speaks to an efficient motor design - some motors seem to get hot just running with no load!

Just realized I posted this summary in the wrong thread, so here it is in the correct thread.

I got three different pairs of bearings from Jeff Kane, two were just sleeves, one longer than the other, third was a flanged bearing which was a total bust! As others were telling me, there's simply no room for a flanged bearing on this engine. But at a buck a piece, I just wanted to see for myself - it could be done, but you better have some serious machine shop skills!

I used the short ones, only slightly longer than the thickness of the brush plate - drilled 0.006" under the armature diameter, cleaned up the hole, wiped a bit of Gorilla 5 min epoxy on the inner rim of the hole and pressed in the sleeve. Looks so good you would think Lionel did it!! With the short sleeve, I found alignment was touchy - when I first assembled and screwed things down, the armature was binding. So I while the glue was still setting up, I loosened things the screws, pulled the brush plate up away from the side plate but still sitting on the shaft, and eyeballed the brush plate. It was pretty easy to see which way things needed to be tweaked. I didn't try the longer ones but will on the next install - their advantage would be easier to do a final positioning in the armature hole to get perfect alignment.

So the sleeve bushing worked great, the nylon thrust collar worked great but required careful encapsulation by the epoxy, and the flanged bearing just wouldn't fit.

A Lesson Learned: these old brush plates were assembled by sticking a solder terminal under the brush holder and installing both into the brush plate, then applying a four pronged crimp to the opposite side. While this probably made a nice tight fit at the factory, over the years the solder lug becomes loose - loose enough to cause intermittent operation of the motor in my case. Recrimping is next to impossible because of the delicate nature of the brush plate, and how close the brush holders are to the edge of the plate. Yep, broke one trying it with hand tools. Donor was in a box and it's solder lugs were tight, so the day was saved. I think with the proper crimping tool in my press, this would have been easy - not sure what that tool would be, but it is very similar to the way Lionel installed the flanged axle bearings in 600 series diesel side frames.

Thanks to all for the good ideas and recommendations! Fun stuff, these trains 

 

I think with the proper crimping tool in my press, this would have been easy - not sure what that tool would be, but it is very similar to the way Lionel installed the flanged axle bearings in 600 series diesel side frames.

I was the back bidder on a crimping tool set designed to do the brush holders on a #50 gang car brush plate. An important feature was a round bar that went into the brush holder to prevent any of the metal being displaced by the crimp from entering the brush well.
That brush plate is a little different in that the terminals are underneath the plastic plate, right next to the openings for the brushes.

Some folks create a little solder bridge between the brush holder and the solder terminal to resolve the issue you describe.

C.W. Burfle
C W Burfle posted:

I think with the proper crimping tool in my press, this would have been easy - not sure what that tool would be, but it is very similar to the way Lionel installed the flanged axle bearings in 600 series diesel side frames.

I was the back bidder on a crimping tool set designed to do the brush holders on a #50 gang car brush plate. An important feature was a round bar that went into the brush holder to prevent any of the metal being displaced by the crimp from entering the brush well.
That brush plate is a little different in that the terminals are underneath the plastic plate, right next to the openings for the brushes.

Some folks create a little solder bridge between the brush holder and the solder terminal to resolve the issue you describe.

Solder bridge was Plan B, and it's done and it solved the problem.

So, was the round bar separate? Or was it part of the tool? I've never seen one

So, was the round bar separate? Or was it part of the tool? I've never seen one.

As I recall, the round bar and the blades that formed the crimp were one tool, with the blades sticking out from the sides of the bar like wings. I doubt the tool set was anything from the Lionel factory. It was probably a custom tool.

I should have captured the photos from that EBay listing. Unfortunately, I did not.

C.W. Burfle
C W Burfle posted:

So, was the round bar separate? Or was it part of the tool? I've never seen one.

As I recall, the round bar and the blades that formed the crimp were one tool, with the blades sticking out from the sides of the bar like wings. I doubt the tool set was anything from the Lionel factory. It was probably a custom tool.

I should have captured the photos from that EBay listing. Unfortunately, I did not.

I had Carl at Hobby Horse make a custom tool for me for in-situ side plate crimping, but it was simple, and straightforward and not expensive. That tool sounds complicated and expensive to make! Like to see a pic, but I don't think I would have one made without a significant need, like building 1,000 brush plate assemblies 

CW, I was likely the one recalled who used tiny brass grommets/hollow rivets (vintage, no source..baby shoe shoelace eyes?). Once on a brush plate, on a Marx truck, and for bobber axle bearings after the original holes oblonged ... somewhere else too that I'm forgetting, I'm sure. I'll recall better if they fail

Handy little grommets   (thanks Gramps    

 

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





I had Carl at Hobby Horse make a custom tool for me for in-situ side plate crimping, but it was simple, and straightforward and not expensive. That tool sounds complicated and expensive to make! Like to see a pic, but I don't think I would have one made without a significant need, like building 1,000 brush plate assemblies 


I don't think the tool for crimping gang car brush plate holders was a Hobby Horse item. I imagine that whoever made it was putting together a lot of brush plate assemblies.

I'd like to know more about the tool you had Carl make for you. What does it do to what side plate?

C.W. Burfle
C W Burfle posted:

By the way, I have tightened up those brush tube crimps by just deepening the crimp with a small chisel and hammer. one has to be careful not to push any material into the opening for the brush. But I guess that could be cleaned up if necessary.

Yep, one of the first "cures" I tried. Unfortunately the flat end on the pin punch must have slipped because in a blink the entire end of the fiber plate cracked clean off!

C W Burfle posted:

I had Carl at Hobby Horse make a custom tool for me for in-situ side plate crimping, but it was simple, and straightforward and not expensive. That tool sounds complicated and expensive to make! Like to see a pic, but I don't think I would have one made without a significant need, like building 1,000 brush plate assemblies 

I don't think the tool for crimping gang car brush plate holders was a Hobby Horse item. I imagine that whoever made it was putting together a lot of brush plate assemblies.

I'd like to know more about the tool you had Carl make for you. What does it do to what side plate?

If you have, like I did, a 602 Seaboard with loose side plates, re-staking the topside of the motor plate is easy-peasy - just use the cross hair tool on the topside. It's the bottom side that's a problem - there's no room to get a small anvil situated under the motor plate - in fact it's the sideplate itself that causes a problem by not allowing a "normal" size anvil in the right spot. So I had Carl make this skinny anvil

IMG_0565

and it is narrow enough to not hit other edges on the side plate, but large enough (diameter) to provide a good anvil surface. It is only useful if you have first removed the rectangular motor frame from the top plate, something most folks don't do unless replacing the worm gear. My evolved technique nowadays is to grind off the staked points on each side frame, remove them, then have full access to gears, wheels and axles, while still attached to the motor plate. Things get a wee bit squirrely when you have to remove the motor plate - it's easy to bend the soft aluminum frame, as I'm sure you're aware.

That said, the tool has found other uses in acting as an anvil for various hard-to-get-to rivets on cars.

 

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It was for the side frames - it was needed for clearance issues when using a press.

For re-staking the top plate to the rectangular motor frame, I supported the motor frame with this

IMG_0567

Just set the frame on top, and hammer or press your way to happiness!

IMG_0566

I must add that I never like to hammer on my press tools, likely would get them out of round a bit!!

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I must add that I never like to hammer on my press tools, likely would get them out of round a bit!!

Hennings had a handle to hold the press tools for use with a hammer.
I have an assortment of brass and non-metallic hammers that I use with my press tools. It's been almost 35 years, and so far I have not damaged any of them.

I agree that hitting a press tool with a steel hammer is a bad idea. Even dropping a tool can create a problem. It doesn't take much to get a tool jammed in the press.

C.W. Burfle

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Diverging ClearAlan Mancus


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