Hi, I’d like to bring down the speed and hopefully also make the headlight brighter on this locomotive so I’ve attempted to put the motors in series. Please see pics…The wires coming from each motor are blue, red, brown and black. The blue and brown wires all were attached to the small white board. I snipped one motor’s brown wire from the white board and did the same to the blue from the other motor. To test, I joined them together by hand and tried the train on the track. It wouldn’t run. Any thoughts on where I went wrong and suggestions? Thanks Chris
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Hi gang. I've been "helping" Chris via email on this project. I've series wired many K line engines but I dont have any with this small white board so my assistance is limited.
Any help you can provide is appreciated.
@brianel_k-lineguy. sounds like this is right in your wheelhouse.
For starters, the Lionel parts webpage is down, probably due to volume of the weekend sale. I was going to check, but I think the white board is nothing more than a terminal board, replacing wire nuts. The black behind the white board appears to be a self adhesive foam insulator.
K-Line and Lionel's reverse boards had different color wires. The wires on the Lionel board are also heavier like shown in the above photos. I'm pretty sure that the Lionel by K-Line products used Lionel product reverse boards. In that case, it would be the red and black wires that go to the DC motors. You can check by turning the engine over and looking beneath the trucks. You should be able to see the color of the wires running to the truck mounted motors. On the Lionel engines I have of this DC motored variety, it is the red and black wires that go to the motors. The blue and brown are the center rail pickup and the ground from the wheels.
In this case, it'd be difficult to get the brown and blue wires back into that white terminal board. You might have to ditch that board and go with wire nuts on everything. K-Line, always trying to hold costs down on their starter products, used masking tape for a number of years.
Thanks so much for the reply Brianel. I’ll look to see what color wires go to the motors. Did you mean to write red & “black” wires go to the motors and the blue & brown are center rail pick up and ground? If it is the red and black to the motors, would I splice the red wire from one motor with the black wire from the other motor?
Yes, that was a typo. The first time I wrote it, I got it right... goofed in the next sentence, which I've now fixed.
If you've looked under your engine and the black and red wires are visible going to the motors, then yes: One red wire from one motor truck gets connected to the black wire from the other motor truck. Like I said, you'll probably want to ditch the white terminal board and go with small wire nuts, so the brown and blue wires can be properly placed again. Unless you're good with a soldering gun. Then you could loosen the white terminal board and reattach the wires, and then use a piece of double adhesive foam tape to put back the terminal board.
Then if you want to get creative, I use an E5 socket with a mini T 1-3/4 bulb for headlights. I used to get these from Radio Shack. Now you'd probably have to find them online. The T 1-3/4 bulbs come in either 6 volt or 12 volt. With the motors wired in series, probably a 12volt bulb would be best.
I use a piece of craft foam (available in various thicknesses from Hobby Lobby or Michaels). I use the foam to make ties for my 027 track, and for scenery, so I keep the foam on hand. I remove the headlight lens, then glue a small piece of the foam on the inside of the shell, right over the headlight opening. Then I use a small screwdriver to make a hole and I insert the bulb into that. The foam helps with any heat generated from the bulb, and I've never had any shell damage from this. You'd connect the bulb leads to the brown and blue wires. But I'm handy with a soldering gun. Actually I solder alligator clips to the bulb wire leads, covering those with a clear piece of drinking straw as an insulator, and clip them over my ground and hot engine wires.
You could also go with an LED, but you'd need one that is prewired to run off AC current and one with a somewhat flexible voltage range.
The plot thickens. I resoldered the blue and brown wire back on to the board. The train ran fine, but at the usual 200 mph. Hard to see what color wires go to the motors. Definitely red. I tried red from one motor to black from another and the engine was dead. After careful scrutiny, it looked like brown ran to the motor. Tried attaching red and brown from each motor and the train ran, but at still what seems like 200 mph. I’m tempted to forget the whole thing unless someone has some wisdom. I suppose I can try blue and red?
Just as an aside, what type of transformer are you running it with? There have long been complaints about the "jack rabbit" starts of these starter set K-Line types of engines. But they're always from folks using something like a ZW or any Lionel postwar transformer that starts with a minimal 6-7 volts to the track.
I've long said I think the Lionel 1033 is one of the very best transformers ever made for running a variety of non-command types of engines. The B-U setting of 0-11 volts is perfect for these sorts of engines: No rewiring necessary. I have the K-Line built version of your New Haven Alco and it runs slowly with no alterations. Are you then running a postwar or MPC engine next: Switch to the A-U setting for a more typical voltage to the track. There's a couple other what Lionel called "Multivolt" transformers, which have the possibility of lower starting voltage to the track.
I once had someone here suggest the 1033 is nothing more than a good door stop. Well sadly, he's passed on, but happily my 1033's are still going strong, as they always have.
I’m running a ZW. I still haven’t gotten my head around why the engine had no speed change when I joined the red and brown wires.
@Madlove On a good many of my engines I've removed the reverse board since I have the option of running my layout on DC power. For smaller locos, the space taken by the circuit board can be used for added weight. The circuit board complicates your wiring idea just a little bit. Here's a previous thread that may help you out.
You need to find out definitively which wires go to the motors. Each motor will have two wires attached, presumably the colors of the wires attached to motor A will match those attached to motor B. Let's say each motor, A & B, has a green and an orange wire going from the motor to a circuit board. Keep orange to board from A and green to board on B. Connect green from A to orange from B.