i have a postwar 736 berkshire and every time i let it cool down/stop running it for a while, when i start it back up it takes about a whole minute because it starts up like its in slow motion, and the tender whistles alot while its starting. what is this issue? and how do i make it stop?

Original Post

A lot of things it could be. When troubleshooting, you want to divide and conquer. You want to eliminate as many variables as possible so as to zero in on the problem.

1) Test your setup with an engine that is known to be good. If that engine runs with no trouble, then we know the problem is not the track.

2) Test your Berkshire using a different transformer. If it acts the same way regardless of which transformer you use, then we know the problem is not in the track, and not in the transformer, which leaves the engine.

3) Test your Berkshire without its tender. Remove the tender from the layout entirely - don't leave it sitting on a side track or anything. If the engine runs fine, then the problem must be in the tender. If it still runs poorly, then you can look closer at the engine to figure out why.

Re: the gears: On the 736, the gears are internal. There is a worm screw on the motor, which drives a worm gear mounted on one of the axles. The side rods transmit the rotation to the other the wheels.

This page has exploded diagrams for your engine (.pdf format), to help you get oriented. http://pictures.olsenstoy.com/736.htm

This might be hardened grease on the worm gear, but it sounds electrical to me.  More likely brushes & brush springs.  Clean the commutator, especially the slots between segments.  Clean any oil out of the brush wells.  Put one DROP of oil on the cotton wick at the top of the motor shaft.  If that doesn't solve your problem, get authentic Postwar replacement brushes from a local service station, and make sure the brush springs have enough tension.

Please post back and let us know what solved your problem.

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

Ted S posted:

This might be hardened grease on the worm gear, but it sounds electrical to me.  More likely brushes & brush springs.  Clean the commutator, especially the slots between segments.  Clean any oil out of the brush wells.  Put one DROP of oil on the cotton wick at the top of the motor shaft.  If that doesn't solve your problem, get authentic Postwar replacement brushes from a local service station, and make sure the brush springs have enough tension.

Please post back and let us know what solved your problem.

i honestly have never taken apart an engine that much and have no clue how to.

Bennett, It appears that you are fairly new to the hobby, and I am not making slight of you.  A good website you need to bookmark is WWW.OLSENTOY.COM, which is Olsen’s Toy Train Parts, in Ohio.  The website has a section call “Library”, which is a reprint of Lionel Service Manual.  It appears on my page in the lower left corner.  If you click on that, it lists many subjects, with the top one being Postwar locos.  You can scroll down to the 736 and it shows you the complete diagrams of the 736.  The ‘gear’ that probably has hardened grease is on front of the motor, under a square metal cover.  That needs to be cleaned out, and new grease put back.  The diagram lists part numbers for brushes, brush springs, etc., which probably need replacement.  Check out the site, and any further questions, just ask.

TeleDoc posted:

Bennett, It appears that you are fairly new to the hobby, and I am not making slight of you.  A good website you need to bookmark is WWW.OLSENTOY.COM, which is Olsen’s Toy Train Parts, in Ohio.  The website has a section call “Library”, which is a reprint of Lionel Service Manual.  It appears on my page in the lower left corner.  If you click on that, it lists many subjects, with the top one being Postwar locos.  You can scroll down to the 736 and it shows you the complete diagrams of the 736.  The ‘gear’ that probably has hardened grease is on front of the motor, under a square metal cover.  That needs to be cleaned out, and new grease put back.  The diagram lists part numbers for brushes, brush springs, etc., which probably need replacement.  Check out the site, and any further questions, just ask.

it says i need to add an extension. is that good? im fairly cautious because this isnt my computer, its my moms. mine broke and is getting fixed.

Bennett, I don’t understand what you mean by adding an extension.  If you go back through this thread, look at the response that “NICKAIX”, posted, at the very end of his response.  That is the one link to view the 736 loco information.  If you get to the website I posted, you can search the page, to get a feel of what is available.  The best section is having access to the “Library”, which is an on-line Lionel Service Manual.

explain the “extension”?...

The link TeleDoc posted is broken for me. This one has always worked for me: http://pictures.olsenstoy.com

They have been in business a long time, and you never hear a bad word about them, except sometimes it takes a while for an order to get filled. I absolutely trust their website. I don't know why it says you need an extension, though. I am using the latest version of Firefox, and it is working first try.

On the Olsen's site, look for the "Library" link near the bottom of the page. On that page, click, "Enter the library." There, you will see all the categories of engines they have the drawings for. Yours is at the top, "Lionel Postwar Locomotives", click and then scroll down to find the 736. Or just use the link I posted yesterday - it goes the same place. The drawings are .pdf's, so you will need to use Adobe Acrobat or similar to read them.

You said earlier that the whistle was blowing continually. This makes me think that the problem may not be the engine itself. The whistle is in the tender (coal car) - that's why you should try running just the engine by itself. Or, there could be an electrical problem in the transformer that is causing the whistle to blow when it shouldn't, which is why you should try a different transformer, too.

Repairing old trains can be intimidating, for sure, but it is also very rewarding. And, they are pretty simple machines, really. Some tips:

1) Olsen's site has a lot of additional information on servicing locomotives in the section "Lionel Loco Service Info" (just below "Lionel Postwar Locomotives" in their Library). It makes for a good orientation and helps you understand what you are looking at.

2) I use an old baking sheet (the type you bake cookies on) to put the engine on when working on it. This prevents dropped parts from rolling off the table, never to be seen again. And a rolled-up old towel to protect the paint on the engine.

3) As you take things apart, take pictures. You'll be glad you did when you go to put it back together!

4) Use screwdrivers that fit well into the slots in the screw heads. Too big or small and you can mar the screw, which looks bad, and makes it more difficult to use. For the same reason, use pliers that don't have serrated or knurled jaws.

5) When you remove screws or small parts, put them in separate ziploc bags, and put a piece of paper in the bag describing where they came from - e.g., "side rod screws"

6) Be extra attentive to how the side rods and connecting rods go together. If these are installed wrong, the mechanism will bind.

7) Clean the parts you remove of old oil and grease. I use old toothbrushes, q-tips, and toothpicks (the round ones). Mineral Spirits works well as a solvent (but don't use it on paint); you'll want to do this part outside.

8) Don't let it intimidate you. At the end of the day, it's just an electric motor bolted to some wheels!

Ted S posted:

This might be hardened grease on the worm gear, but it sounds electrical to me.  More likely brushes & brush springs.  Clean the commutator, especially the slots between segments.  Clean any oil out of the brush wells.  Put one DROP of oil on the cotton wick at the top of the motor shaft.  If that doesn't solve your problem, get authentic Postwar replacement brushes from a local service station, and make sure the brush springs have enough tension.

Please post back and let us know what solved your problem.

so it turned out to be the tender. i changed to a lionel lines scout tender and the problem stopped almost immediately. it was either the tender or the fact that it had been sitting in my grandmas basement for a year and a half.

nickaix posted:

 

 

7) Clean the parts you remove of old oil and grease. I use old toothbrushes, q-tips, and toothpicks (the round ones). Mineral Spirits works well as a solvent (but don't use it on paint); you'll want to do this part outside.

All excellent info. and great tips, NICKAIX.  But as to point #7, I wouldn't get too worried if some mineral spirits gets on paint.  I've never had mineral spirits dissolve paint yet (as long as the paint is well dried, of course).  It makes one heck of a grease-cutting solvent, though! 

Paul  

Ship Rock Island ROCKET FREIGHT

 

2 Rails?  3 Rails?  Doesn't matter, I can't count that high anyway.

I love the smell of fresh-brewed creosote first thing in the morning.

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