Ives 3242 returned to service.

This was my wife’s late Grandfathers train, I inherited it , it came with a Parlor and Buffet car in the same condition, they are unlighted and look like they can run.

The 3242 shorts as soon as power is applied, I have looked it over and can’t find the problem.

Can anyone please recommend a shop, or someone who can locate and repair the short, I also think the cloth covered wiring should be replaced, along with a general clean up and oil and lube.

Think I will leave the exterior as is in “played with” condition.




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Just my opinion: Given the family history, and your photograph, that loco is way too nice to restore. Definately put it in working order. If the original cloth covered wire is in good shape then leave it be. If it needs rewiring, have your repairman use reproduction cloth covered wire.

I think you inherited a very nice item.

C.W. Burfle

The exterior looks very nice. Cloth covered wiring can rot over time. You may look at it and think it is OK. If it is hard to the touch, it is likely rotted. Then, the movement of the train will cause a short where the wire goes over the frame. If you try to move the wire away from the frame, it will begin to crumble if it is really bad. C.W. gives good advice; using reproduction cloth covered wire will preserve the original condition of the engine. It is not hard to rewire them if you remove one wire at a time and replace it with the same length as you go. I did a Lionel, but did not have the repro wire. I probably need to procure some and do that job over...


Thanks for all the advice, I took it to a friend last night who volunteered to repair it.

I will post a movie when I get it back, in running order.

Ives 3242 restored, and back in service.


The restoration was done by Albert: http://themotordoctor.com.


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Thanks for all the nice comments, we are thrilled to have this inherited family heirloom set running, it hasn’t run in probably 60 years. I wasn’t sure anyone could get the set to run again.

Here is what was done to get it working: the armature was rewound, commutator replaced, lamps repaired, lamp wiring replaced, brush holder plate fixed to repair wear due to armature shaft contact and the manual reverse unit adjusted.

Hopefully the set will run for another 100 years.

If you need help like this, Albert “The Motor Doctor” was great: http://themotordoctor.com.

The family, as well as the repairman, all seemed to agree that leaving it in the current "played with" condition was the way to go.

I would like to find a 189 Observation car to round out the set.

I am afraid to clean the set with any liquid at all. If you look closely at the first picture in this thread, you can see discoloration of the paint in several places, some places are more red than others, some places are a milky red.

Maybe the discoloration is where someone tried a cleaning before, or maybe just the effects of time?

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