Help: Strange noise coming from E33 (LC+ 6-82178)

So here is a video that captures this "grinding/grating" noise coming from my E33. It happens reproducibly from the same areas of the track. Anyone know what this might be? Note: There is only one lead from the transformer to the FT, not sure if that's a problem or not. The noise can be heard around seconds 39, 46, and most notably at 1:03.

Fingers crossed that it's nothing serious. Please help.

You could have a steam train, if you'd just lay down your tracks.

Original Post
Train Nut posted:

Sounds like semi stripped gears to me.

Anyone else concur?  That'd be just awesome. My first brand new purchase from Lionel. Hasn't seen but five minutes of run time. At least it's still under warranty.

The only thing that makes me think it's not something wrong with the train though, is that it happens at the same exact spots around the track. If it's a gear, wouldn't it be intermittent/randomly spaced around the track?

You could have a steam train, if you'd just lay down your tracks.

Jushavnfun posted:

Sounds like the engine is rubbing against the 1x4's  to close to the track need more room for overhang.

At 1:03, where the noise is loudest, the train is on a straightaway and not near the 1x4's. That's the first thing I checked. I thought maybe it was scraping underneath, but the noise sounds "electrical" in nature (to me at any rate) at 1:03.

You could have a steam train, if you'd just lay down your tracks.

With the speed of the noise it certainly sounds something like a dangling wire hitting the the flywheel sensor. This happened to me with a wire clip coming loose that was mounted directly above the sensor. It was a random sound. The shell must be removed to check. Good luck.

Rod Miller

romiller49 posted:

With the speed of the noise it certainly sounds something like a dangling wire hitting the the flywheel sensor. This happened to me with a wire clip coming loose that was mounted directly above the sensor. It was a random sound. The shell must be removed to check. Good luck.

I'll take her apart and check. Thanks.

You could have a steam train, if you'd just lay down your tracks.

Happy to read the above.  Don't allow what you read on this forum to make you revert to thinking that any issue is automatically a serious problem.  Train layouts require hands-on troubleshooting and in a case like this there are many things that could be at issue prior to immediately suspecting the locomotive has  a stripped gear or similar.

Ray Lombardo posted:

Happy to read the above.  Don't allow what you read on this forum to make you revert to thinking that any issue is automatically a serious problem.  Train layouts require hands-on troubleshooting and in a case like this there are many things that could be at issue prior to immediately suspecting the locomotive has  a stripped gear or similar.

I definitely hope it's not a serious issue. Since it happens at specific points on the track, I'm going to (when I have time) take those sections apart and use different FT pieces, and on the back stretch, I will take the elevation away and see if those changes make a difference. If the sound crops up in other places, I'll open her up and see if there is another issue. It certainly sounds electrical in nature (especially at that 1:03 mark), and hopefully it's nothing more than a stray wire or a loose connection somewhere that shouldn't be happening. Fingers crossed!

You could have a steam train, if you'd just lay down your tracks.

Deuce posted:
It certainly sounds electrical in nature (especially at that 1:03 mark), and hopefully it's nothing more than a stray wire or a loose connection somewhere that shouldn't be happening. Fingers crossed!

Yeah, make sure it isn't a "static" sound from the sound system.  Check the wires and especially the wire connections to the speaker.  If you can unplug some of the wires and then replug them back in, see if that seats the connections better.

Stu

Ray Lombardo posted:

Happy to read the above.  Don't allow what you read on this forum to make you revert to thinking that any issue is automatically a serious problem.  Train layouts require hands-on troubleshooting and in a case like this there are many things that could be at issue prior to immediately suspecting the locomotive has  a stripped gear or similar.

Poster says in first post its a "grinding / grating" sound.  Certainly is described as, and sounds to me personally like a gear issue in the video.  Now the poster changes his original words to say it "definitely sounds like an electrical issue" ???     In my experiences electrical  problems don't  sound like that and happen at the same spot all the time. Gear issues do.  Again i told him what it sounded like to me, not that it was definitely the problem! So why dont you stop trying to stir things up....

Train Nut posted:
Ray Lombardo posted:

Happy to read the above.  Don't allow what you read on this forum to make you revert to thinking that any issue is automatically a serious problem.  Train layouts require hands-on troubleshooting and in a case like this there are many things that could be at issue prior to immediately suspecting the locomotive has  a stripped gear or similar.

Poster says in first post its a "grinding / grating" sound.  Certainly is described as, and sounds to me personally like a gear issue in the video.  Now the poster changes his original words to say it "definitely sounds like an electrical issue" ???     In my experiences electrical  problems don't  sound like that and happen at the same spot all the time. Gear issues do.  Again i told him what it sounded like to me, not that it was definitely the problem! So why dont you stop trying to stir things up....

If you can find the precise word(s) to describe that sound, I'd be more than happy to use it. I honestly don't know what the issue is. 

You could have a steam train, if you'd just lay down your tracks.

I'll third that it sounds like the flywheel is rubbing something under the shell, maybe even the shell itself.

IMO its not quite "harsh" enough to be gear chatter. I'd think with that much noise from gears there would be some noticable slowing or lurching as the speed control tries to compensate.

I had a Lionmaster steamer that lost a motormount screw. The motor would rise up out of the chassis creating a very similar rubbing sound to what you have.

RickO posted:

I'll third that it sounds like the flywheel is rubbing something under the shell, maybe even the shell itself.

IMO its not quite "harsh" enough to be gear chatter. I'd think with that much noise from gears there would be some noticable slowing or lurching as the speed control tries to compensate.

I had a Lionmaster steamer that lost a motormount screw. The motor would rise up out of the chassis creating a very similar rubbing sound to what you have.

So the consenus seems to be:open it up.

I'll report back when I have a chance to do so (hopefully Thursday night). Thanks everyone.

You could have a steam train, if you'd just lay down your tracks.

RickO posted:

I'll third that it sounds like the flywheel is rubbing something under the shell, maybe even the shell itself.

IMO its not quite "harsh" enough to be gear chatter. I'd think with that much noise from gears there would be some noticable slowing or lurching as the speed control tries to compensate.

I had a Lionmaster steamer that lost a motormount screw. The motor would rise up out of the chassis creating a very similar rubbing sound to what you have.

Yeah, it appears to run very well. Loose motor-mount or truck-mount screws can do this - open it up and check those flywheels.

Does it do this in both directions? Lose motor/truck situations can cause binding/noise in one direction, but not the other, owing to the pitch of the worm turning the spur gear and motor shaft direction. 

D500 posted:
RickO posted:

I'll third that it sounds like the flywheel is rubbing something under the shell, maybe even the shell itself.

IMO its not quite "harsh" enough to be gear chatter. I'd think with that much noise from gears there would be some noticable slowing or lurching as the speed control tries to compensate.

I had a Lionmaster steamer that lost a motormount screw. The motor would rise up out of the chassis creating a very similar rubbing sound to what you have.

Yeah, it appears to run very well. Loose motor-mount or truck-mount screws can do this - open it up and check those flywheels.

Does it do this in both directions? Lose motor/truck situations can cause binding/noise in one direction, but not the other, owing to the pitch of the worm turning the spur gear and motor shaft direction. 

I need to check to see if it does this in reverse. At the very minimum, I'll see if I can get out there tonight and check that, even if I can't get her opened up. Thanks.

You could have a steam train, if you'd just lay down your tracks.

John H posted:

I would check on the warranty. “Opening up” might not be covered 🤔

Hrm.  There is this comment in the manual:

Modification to this product in any way; visually, mechanically or electrically and / or evidence of any attempt of consumer repair voids the warranty in its entirety.

Well, that's inconvenient. I sent an email to Lionel with a link to the video. Do I sit on my hands and just wait until they respond to me?

You could have a steam train, if you'd just lay down your tracks.

Deuce posted:
John H posted:

I would check on the warranty. “Opening up” might not be covered 🤔

Hrm.  There is this comment in the manual:

Modification to this product in any way; visually, mechanically or electrically and / or evidence of any attempt of consumer repair voids the warranty in its entirety.

Well, that's inconvenient. I sent an email to Lionel with a link to the video. Do I sit on my hands and just wait until they respond to me?

Well, there's that. I assume that you have lubricated your gears?

I forget the warranty thing as I buy mostly used items, when I buy at all these days. But, most of my items - Lionel, MTH, etc. - have been fine, so don't let that "my first brand new purchase from Lionel" eat at you too much (I see a lot of that on the Forum). It will only make the repair process more unpleasant, and won't resolve the problem.

Not that we all don't sympathize. 

D500 posted:
Deuce posted:
John H posted:

I would check on the warranty. “Opening up” might not be covered 🤔

Hrm.  There is this comment in the manual:

Modification to this product in any way; visually, mechanically or electrically and / or evidence of any attempt of consumer repair voids the warranty in its entirety.

Well, that's inconvenient. I sent an email to Lionel with a link to the video. Do I sit on my hands and just wait until they respond to me?

Well, there's that. I assume that you have lubricated your gears?

I forget the warranty thing as I buy mostly used items, when I buy at all these days. But, most of my items - Lionel, MTH, etc. - have been fine, so don't let that "my first brand new purchase from Lionel" eat at you too much (I see a lot of that on the Forum). It will only make the repair process more unpleasant, and won't resolve the problem.

Not that we all don't sympathize. 

Yep, all lubricated.  I'll at least try running it in reverse, and mess with the track a bit to see if I can troubleshoot a bit more. And then ... wait for Lionel to call ... as patiently as I can muster. LOL.

You could have a steam train, if you'd just lay down your tracks.

As far as voiding the warranty goes. That depends how comfortable you are opening it up.

As long as you don't strip out the screws for the shell, or causing some other obvious damage. Its not like Lionel has a team of forensics investigating each warranty loco for tampering.

 However, if your not comfortable, by all means don't, just be very patient and let the RA process do its job.

RickO posted:

As far as voiding the warranty goes. That depends how comfortable you are opening it up.

As long as you don't strip out the screws for the shell, or causing some other obvious damage. Its not like Lionel has a team of forensics investigating each warranty loco for tampering.

 However, if your not comfortable, by all means don't, just be very patient and let the RA process do its job.

trnluvr posted:

I agree that it's the flywheel rubbing on the shell. With the engine moving that slowly you could put your hand on the engine by the motor or motors and feel if it's rubbing.

Doug

I'll give Lionel some time to reach out to me. I can handle a screwdriver (even tiny ones) so if it's taking too long and I can't establish contact, I'll give it a go. It seems simple enough of a check.

trnluvr, I have not done that, but I can certainly give that a go as well.

Thanks everyone. Perhaps I can use this opportunity to break out all the Thomas and Friends rolling stock I've purchased, along with the Thomas LC train (which is not under warranty) and let my son play with those ... instead of "Daddy's Train".

You could have a steam train, if you'd just lay down your tracks.

Good luck Deuce..   My newer NW2 started making noises and I had to take it apart.   From somewhere a small piece of plastic had got up into the flywheel/sensor area.    What a noise it made!  

Jim

Anything can be accomplished, with proper funding. 

Update

1. Sound does not happen when running it in reverse.

2. Sound appears to be coming from back of engine.

3. Didn't feel vibration when touching it, but I was also running it pretty slow and wasn't exactly sure where the motor might be. Yeah, probably just above the trucks, but I didn't feel a vibration at all.

You could have a steam train, if you'd just lay down your tracks.

After listening to your video again. It still sounds like a rubbing flywheel.

Turn the Loco over. There should be a Phillips screw recessed into the bottom of each truck.  See if one is loose or missing.

D500's explanation of the worm gear pitch would keep it from rubbing in reverse. In essence, in reverse the motor will be pulling itself into the truck due to the rotation of the worm turning the drive gear. This keeps the motor flush in its mount preventing the rubbing.

If the motor mount screws are there and tight. It could be a loose wiring harness hanging down from the shell making intermittent contact with the flywheel.

You could also try rotating the Loco 180 degrees on the track and see if it gets better or worse. The motors turn with the trucks something could be shifting in and out of the turns causing the rubbing on the flywheel.

Could it be the coupler(s) firing inappropriately? This can happen if there's a short in the coupler wires that only occurs when the engine goes around a curve. I've had that happen before. In my case, the culprit was a coupler wire where the insulation had gotten peeled off and the bare wire was exposed. When the engine rounded a curve, the bare wire touched the metal frame and coupler would start buzzing.

-Eric Siegel

ericstrains.com posted:

Could it be the coupler(s) firing inappropriately? This can happen if there's a short in the coupler wires that only occurs when the engine goes around a curve. I've had that happen before. In my case, the culprit was a coupler wire where the insulation had gotten peeled off and the bare wire was exposed. When the engine rounded a curve, the bare wire touched the metal frame and coupler would start buzzing.

-Eric Siegel

Eric,

I thought that might be it when I first heard it. If it's happening, I assume it'll have to be the front coupler because I was pulling a pretty long consist and it didn't uncouple last night even when the "chattering" (yeah, I changed the name to describe the sound) was at its loudest.  I'll couple the consist to the front coupler tomorrow and throw her in reverse and see if I get the noise to happen. I'll also check the screws underneath while I'm at it, to see if they're all tight.

In the meantime, I'll see what Lionel has to say. Tomorrow and Thursday are going to be bears of a day for me, but I hope to either hear from Lionel or figure this out on my own by the weekend.

Thanks for the leads to check so far everyone.

You could have a steam train, if you'd just lay down your tracks.

shurlock1 posted:

I wouldn't take it apart if under warranty. Get another from store you got it from. Suppose you damage it when taking it apart or more problems arise and they say you did it. Just not worth it.

I shot them off an email. They said to call today and talk to one of their technicians. I assume they'll have me look at all the screws I can access externally to fix it.  Hopefully they don't ask me to break warranty.  Of course, I'm at work and it's a long day, so I won't be able to look at the actual train until late tonight.

You could have a steam train, if you'd just lay down your tracks.

"1. Sound does not happen when running it in reverse."

Ah. That's a good sign, actually. The motors move a bit back and forth depending upon their direction, so, a loose truck, loose motor mount screws, or just something barely touching (direction-dependent) a flywheel.

Try putting some mileage on it in reverse; the piece may move out of the way with time. Turn the engine over and over in your hands several times (very high tech).

Still nothing from Lionel. Finally was able to talk to the fine folks at Trainworld and they talked me through a fix. We'll give it a shot. Said if the issue wasn't resolved, to call them back and they'd work with me further. Thanks Trainworld!

You could have a steam train, if you'd just lay down your tracks.

Update: Tried to get the screws underneath the engine out ... could not do so. Didn't want to strip them (and then try to send it back to Lionel) so I boxed it up and got it ready to ship out. 

Train World graciously offered to swap the problem engine for a new one if I wanted, and Lionel opened a ticket for it and sent me a shipping label. Which one am I better off going with?

You could have a steam train, if you'd just lay down your tracks.

Waited too long to get back with TrainWorld and they said it was past a point where they'd accept it. So I boxed it up and shipped it to Lionel. Fingers crossed that it comes back in better shape then when I sent it!

You could have a steam train, if you'd just lay down your tracks.

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