Hi Everyone,

My trustee 2003 2-8-0 was stuck trying to move a fixed piece of scenery in an unseen part of the layout by accident. The can motor now smells and emits smoke. Oops. If I order a new motor from MTH (if they still carry it) is this something one can replace, or is it better to go to a service shop. Thanks, for your thoughts,



Original Post

You can replace it, but you may need a new tach strip and tach reader holder if the new motor doesn't come with the tach reader holder.

If the motor is not available, you may have to get someone to yank the worm off that motor and put it on a compatible motor.

First step?  What's the exact part number of the locomotive?

I had the same problem with 20-3563, a 2-8-0- PRR proto-3.  The motor burned out in the same manner as yours.  The engine was repaired by a certified tech under warranty.   The problem he had was that the replacement motor was not identical to the damaged one.  How he was able to mount it properly is a mystery to me, although the engine has performed admirably since the repair.  Good luck with your repair. 

The motor is mounted on a motor mount with standard screw spacing.  As long as the worm is correct, the motor can be slightly different and still function.

Post up the MTH item number, and possibly a picture of the motor if you already have the shell off.....as John stated, that’s step 1....I might have the motor you need if one is not available from MTH.........Pat

The Water Level Route.......You Can Sleep

Rubber tires, tach readers, and worm gears pressed onto the motor shaft, oh my!  There's a reason I sleep with a 1946 726 on the pillow next to me.  When I'm in a cheating mood, I swap her out for a 773!  

Creep, coast, and pull.  We're not talking about cold fusion here.

Ted S posted:

Rubber tires, tach readers, and worm gears pressed onto the motor shaft, oh my!  There's a reason I sleep with a 1946 726 on the pillow next to me.  When I'm in a cheating mood, I swap her out for a 773!  

Don’t forget your hand crank for your Model T ......😉...........Pat

The Water Level Route.......You Can Sleep

Thanks for the input  It is an MTH 30-1309-1. Mth has the replacement motor that is slightly different and a new tach top bracket which hopefully will still allow for compatible doubleheading.  So, when it comes in, it looks like two wires to resoldier, tach strip, mounting bracket... and the worm gears just mesh?

Hi all, been awhile, but I am back to this project. I have received the correct can motor from mth. I have the new motor ready to mount, but I have to change the tach wheel with a new reader bracket mth sent with motor. MY QUESTION please is how to remove the tach wheel. I don't want to just pull on it, unless that is the method.

Thanks in advance,


Actually, it looks as if I cut off the supplied bracket, the new one is designed to just clip around, as it has a gap in its circumference. ps I should change my name from "Atlas O dad" to "Ross track fan." I switched and found that track so much more trouble free and with great electrical conductivity and connection.

So, the saga of replacing the engine continues. I did change the tach bracket and installed the replacement engine. Everything works on the engine BUT,  it goes one speed only - " bat out of ****." So I guess the tach is not working. Should I have tried to remove the tach wheel from the old motor and somehow get the tach wheel off the new motor and swap them? Or is the tach reader very sensitive, and when kaput when I put in the new motor.

Anyone have ideas?


Robert likes Ross track really.

The tach tape works fine with the tach reader, no need to screw around with the flywheels, that will just lead to new issues if you don't have the proper tools to remove/replace them.  In any case, it's not necessary.

Check the spacing from the flywheel, it should be around 1mm, the thickness of a dime.  If it's very far off from that, either closer or farther, it'll likely not work.  Also, make sure you didn't break any wires from the tach reader to the board.

Well the bracket MTH supplied with the motor for this engine is what puts the tach reader a quarter inch away. I taped the sensor directly to the motor, and that just happened to work. Without a different tach reader mounting bracket, I can't think of another alternative as the one I have is not adjustable.

In that circumstance, I do it like I do my Chuff-Generator.  There are fiberglass shims, but I'm now using Styrene as fiberglass is too hard on the bandsaw blades.  I have various thicknesses, and I just dish the first one out to conform to the motor a bit better.  They're all secured with CA Adhesive (crazy glue).  I just stack the up until I have the required 1mm spacing.


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