Help with new Lionel SW7

Well this engine is fresh out of the box and it makes a terrible noise, but only in reverse.  While the tank is still bolted to the bottome of the chasis in this video, since I shot it I dropped it and ran the engine without it but it makes the same hideous sound.  I have also lubed the axles and gears.  It sounds to me that the noise is coming from the rear truck (the truck under the cab).  Any ideas what is causing this noise?

There are 2 screws in the center of the bottom of the truck.  Are either of those grease ports?

thanks for any help you can offer.  Also, please don't post anything about Lionel's crappy quality control.  That horse is long dead and it won't help me sort this problem out.

Original Post

Might be that the drive shaft to the truck is not seated properly, or that something is binding in the truck itself. My B&M NW switcher had a similar problem. I'd swap it out for a new one.  There are no grease ports - the screws hold the truck to the mounting post, which holds the assembly to the chassis, if I recall correctly.

My own little slice of happiness in 5' x 9' 

T4TT posted:

I dropped the truck, opened up the gearbox and found very little grease.  I added grease reassembled driveshaft and now it is very quiet.  I am going to drop the front truck now and do the same just in case.

Just my opinion but, I believe Lionel is becoming famous for delivering models without lubrication. My first Legacy SP GS-4 Daylight made all sorts of squealing noises, right out of the box. After lubricating all the side rods and axle bearings, it still squealed! After removing the boiler, discovered it was the motor shaft. The new ones at the local hobby shop all did the same thing.

Its good to hear you resolved the issue. Hopefully other SW7 owners heed your advice.

I grease the gearbox of every Loco before it hits the track. Lionel adds little to no grease and often times what is there is stuck on the side of the gearbox and not on the gears.

The new H10 has a removable bottom plate on the chassis which gives full access to the gears, this is a huge plus.

Needless to say, my H10 had just a bit of "Vaseline like" grease on the worm. The intermediate and axle gear were bone dry.

I also recall Alex M opening the VL Niagara gearbox revealing totally dry gears as well....on a $1700 locomotive



" No matter how far we travel, the memories will follow in the baggage car."

Glad to hear.  I dropped the front truck and its gear box was properly greased.  But I figured I better check while I was in there.  The front driveshaft, for me was harder to reassemble.  Anyone have any tricks on that?  I felt like I needed a third hand.

If not too much trouble, could one of you please give a step by step description of how to get to the gearbox to add some grease?

It would be greatly appreciated.

I don't want to break two things while trying to fix one.

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So, here is how I did it (only because I was not able to inject grease into the gearbox from the underside of the truck)

remove the cab and shell as described in a previous post.

remove the speaker housing by unscrewing its 4 screws.

That will expose the single screw holding the truck to the chasis

Unscrew that screw and that will allow the truck to fall away from the chasis.  Pay attention to how the coupler and p/u and ground wires are routed.

Unscrew the 2 small screws on top of the gear box.  There are two screws on bottom of the gearbox (underside of truck).  One is a grease port (i think that is what it supposed to be) the other is a long screw that holds the truck halves together.  I can't remember which is which, if you unscrew a short screw then tighten and go for the other one.

With a small flatblade screw driver I separated the gearbox halves a squezed lithium grease on the worm gear and in the cavity too.

I screwed the gearbox back together.  

The worst part of this was mating the driveshaft back together.  Once you get them mated screw the truck back to the chasis from the topside.

Here is how my SW7 after a little work...


Excellent sounds, the little fatboy speaker kills the ridiculous pancake speaker in my Legacy S2 switcher.

Fixed Pilot with SIMPLE Kadee installation-thank you Lionel!

Excellent detail, this body is actually an SW7, not the NW2 as advertised by Lionel a couple years ago (I left my dealer holding the bag on 2 of those supposed "NW2s").

This engine matches VERY closely the pics I found on line-even the color of the bell..good job Lionel.

This is a GREAT smoker!

This engine has the little PCB that emits the sensor track beam, which I think is very fun.

Come on, no grease in the gearbox?

Both truck screws were loose (how can a repeat of the NW2 debacle be allowed to happen?)

While I greatly appreciate the fixed coupler it would be great if Lionel offered a pilot insert to close up that gaping hole.  They go through the trouble of pre-drilling the chasis and providing a coupler shim so why not finish the job so we could have a more prototypical front end.

All in all I am pleased with this engine.  I was going to open it up to unplug the couplers and glue in Artistta figures, so working on the gearbox was not the end of the world for me.  But if I had wanted to play with this engine as soon as I unboxed it I would have been hacked.




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