Legacy Engine Woes--3 Differnt Problems

OK, I tried to run my Legacy Scale Mike (MoPac 1310, #6-11284) today for the first time in several months.  When last parked in the engine house, the engine ran fine, smoked up a storm, and sounded great on my TMCC system.

Today, the smoke unit is not working, the sounds cut out, and it keeps climbing off the track at one point. 

Specifics:

  • The engine will start OK, but the sound will often cut out at some point in the run.
  • The cab light is blinking repeatedly in three blinks.
  • The smoke unit is not smoking or blowing.
  • At one point--on straight track--the front drivers hop the rail to the right.  No other engine or car exhibits similar misbehavior, and this one didn't do so the last time it ran.

 

I don't have the manual on this engine, and I don't have Legacy, just TMCC.  I guess the 3 blinks means something, but I don't know what.

I'd appreciate any information/hints/ideas anyone can provide.

Thanks!

Frisco, MoPac, and T&P near Rolla, MO
Original Post

You have a smoke unit fan motor that has locked up.  Try some MegaSteam Eliminator to free it up, or take it out and work it free (could be an impeller interference issue) or replace the motor.  

Usually sound issues are dirty wheels, rollers or track.  

Check pilot pivot lubrication regarding the tracking issue.

TCA# 15-70824

Volphin posted:

You have a smoke unit fan motor that has locked up.  Try some MegaSteam Eliminator to free it up, or take it out and work it free (could be an impeller interference issue) or replace the motor.  

Usually sound issues are dirty wheels, rollers or track.  

Check pilot pivot lubrication regarding the tracking issue.

Thanks much for the tip on the eliminator.

I cleaned both . . . .  Hmmmm.

That's just it:  the drivers are coming off prior tot he pilot wheels.  I can watch it happen.   I just don't understand why.  I am going to try to run it through the area in the other direction in hopes that I might learn something.

Frisco, MoPac, and T&P near Rolla, MO

Well, the engine does NOT derail going the other way--this problem is strange.

I will order some of the Megasteam Eliminator and hope that it works.  I am really not confident in my ability to open up this engine and do anything useful to the smoke unit without messing something up badly.  At the moment, I have it turned off.  I may try the reset that the manual mentioned, but I'll wait till the Eliminator gets here:  three failed attempts locks out the system, according to the manual.  I want the best possible chance.

Frisco, MoPac, and T&P near Rolla, MO

Derailment issue.

Is it straight section, switch , or a curve and if so what radius?

I have some engines that wobble side to side on curves going in one direction and not the other and they derail in the same spot while other engines have no problem.  I'll run them backwards so they are long nose forward if I want the train to go a certain direction. I have 1 lionel gg1 conventional that is extremity tempermental and has a lot of wobble,  it only runs west to east on my layout.

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palallin posted:

three failed attempts locks out the system, according to the manual.  I want the best possible chance.

Until you power it down.  Once powered down if the problem persists, you can try again for another 3 times, and so on.  Ultimately you can try a little compressed air down the stack or open the unit and possibly fix it by checking that the impeller isn't rubbing or the motor being bad.  You said the second two are not an option so the quick shot of compressed air may help.  The eliminator may work but not sure as I've never used it.

BTW as mentioned above the 3 cab light blinks means the main stack fan motor is having an issue.  Whether stalled or drawing a bit too much current.

Marty Eibeck

 

Below the Signature Line...

"Crank up the AC, it's goin' to be a barn burner!"

 

palallin posted:

 

  • The engine will start OK, but the sound will often cut out at some point in the run.

 

 

Try installing a battery.   I have one or two legacy steamers that adding a battery fixed this issue.  I do recommend the battery alternatives such as a BCR or the battery replacement from Henning's trains.   sorry Cant I cant remember what version I got from Henning's is called.

As for your three blinks-   When this happened to my legacy berk it turned out the smoke unit had gotten particularly nasty and gummed up.   I assume from using to much fluid. I took the unit apart replaced the wadding and cleaned everything with rubbing alcohol and it seemed to resolve the issue. 

LCCA memeber

Appalachian Model Railroad Society.

 

In my world there is a cold beer and vision big boy for everyone.

When you use the Eliminator, be sure to let it soak for a bit.  It acts as a lubricant.  Oftentimes the impeller gets stuck from smoke fluid residue or due to an improperly installed position (the Eliminator helps break the residue up and allows the impeller to move).  I've also seen the impeller installed too low or too high on the motor shaft causing an interference bind.  It usually works itself free, and gets better with use.  Once you get the unit going, give the engine a nice long run with the EFX labor chuff set to max, refilling the unit with Eliminator as required.

TCA# 15-70824

I know I had the same issue on my Legacy M1a.  3 blinks and no smoke from main stack.  I had not run it in a long time.  Before that no issues.  But I just put in some eliminator in it to free it up, let it sit overnight and next day it works fine.  I know everyone wants to send it in to get smoke unit replaced, but sometimes it is just a little stuck from residue and there is no issue. 

Sean

I had a similar problem with a 2 8 0 climbing off on one curve 0 54.  No others did that.  I discovered that my track was not level and when I worked it, the engine tracked just fine, my problem not the engine although the more drivers perhaps the better the track needs to be. 

Jushavnfun posted:

Derailment issue.

Is it straight section, switch , or a curve and if so what radius?

I have some engines that wobble side to side on curves going in one direction and not the other and they derail in the same spot while other engines have no problem.  I'll run them backwards so they are long nose forward if I want the train to go a certain direction. I have 1 lionel gg1 conventional that is extremity tempermental and has a lot of wobble,  it only runs west to east on my layout.

Straight track.  The engine doesn't wobble at all.  And it inly happens in one direction.  Very strange!

Frisco, MoPac, and T&P near Rolla, MO
jeremy ferrell posted:
palallin posted:

 

  • The engine will start OK, but the sound will often cut out at some point in the run.

 

 

Try installing a battery.   I have one or two legacy steamers that adding a battery fixed this issue.  I do recommend the battery alternatives such as a BCR or the battery replacement from Henning's trains.   sorry Cant I cant remember what version I got from Henning's is called.

As for your three blinks-   When this happened to my legacy berk it turned out the smoke unit had gotten particularly nasty and gummed up.   I assume from using to much fluid. I took the unit apart replaced the wadding and cleaned everything with rubbing alcohol and it seemed to resolve the issue. 

Where does the battery go?  In the tender?  I've never had it apart.

Frisco, MoPac, and T&P near Rolla, MO
palallin posted:
Jushavnfun posted:

Derailment issue.

Is it straight section, switch , or a curve and if so what radius?

I have some engines that wobble side to side on curves going in one direction and not the other and they derail in the same spot while other engines have no problem.  I'll run them backwards so they are long nose forward if I want the train to go a certain direction. I have 1 lionel gg1 conventional that is extremity tempermental and has a lot of wobble,  it only runs west to east on my layout.

Straight track.  The engine doesn't wobble at all.  And it inly happens in one direction.  Very strange!

Are both outer rails connected to common?

Volphin posted:

When you use the Eliminator, be sure to let it soak for a bit.  It acts as a lubricant.  Oftentimes the impeller gets stuck from smoke fluid residue or due to an improperly installed position (the Eliminator helps break the residue up and allows the impeller to move).  I've also seen the impeller installed too low or too high on the motor shaft causing an interference bind.  It usually works itself free, and gets better with use.  Once you get the unit going, give the engine a nice long run with the EFX labor chuff set to max, refilling the unit with Eliminator as required.

Success!  Thanks for the help!  Two multi-day soakings in the eliminator did the trick.

Now, I am running the engine, but I don't think I can control the EFX Labor Chuff without Legacy, right?

Frisco, MoPac, and T&P near Rolla, MO
BobbyD posted:
palallin posted:
Jushavnfun posted:

Derailment issue.

Is it straight section, switch , or a curve and if so what radius?

I have some engines that wobble side to side on curves going in one direction and not the other and they derail in the same spot while other engines have no problem.  I'll run them backwards so they are long nose forward if I want the train to go a certain direction. I have 1 lionel gg1 conventional that is extremity tempermental and has a lot of wobble,  it only runs west to east on my layout.

Straight track.  The engine doesn't wobble at all.  And it inly happens in one direction.  Very strange!

Are both outer rails connected to common?

Yes.

Frisco, MoPac, and T&P near Rolla, MO
palallin posted:
Volphin posted:

When you use the Eliminator, be sure to let it soak for a bit.  It acts as a lubricant.  Oftentimes the impeller gets stuck from smoke fluid residue or due to an improperly installed position (the Eliminator helps break the residue up and allows the impeller to move).  I've also seen the impeller installed too low or too high on the motor shaft causing an interference bind.  It usually works itself free, and gets better with use.  Once you get the unit going, give the engine a nice long run with the EFX labor chuff set to max, refilling the unit with Eliminator as required.

Success!  Thanks for the help!  Two multi-day soakings in the eliminator did the trick.

Now, I am running the engine, but I don't think I can control the EFX Labor Chuff without Legacy, right?

Well, !  No sooner had I posted this than it cut our and started blinking again.  I am soaking it for another couple days, I guess. . . .

Frisco, MoPac, and T&P near Rolla, MO

Put a strait edge on the track. It sounds like a small dip or rise in the road. The transition over it is steeper one way than the other.

   I.e. it is hanging off a cliff stiffly on the drivers. (while the pilot wheel drop a bit and stay railed) The right rail may have a dip, or the left a slight rise, or the combo.

You could also try to see if it teeters (front to rear) there at all by slightly pushing down on the nose & cab.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





palallin posted:
palallin posted:
Volphin posted:

When you use the Eliminator, be sure to let it soak for a bit.  It acts as a lubricant.  Oftentimes the impeller gets stuck from smoke fluid residue or due to an improperly installed position (the Eliminator helps break the residue up and allows the impeller to move).  I've also seen the impeller installed too low or too high on the motor shaft causing an interference bind.  It usually works itself free, and gets better with use.  Once you get the unit going, give the engine a nice long run with the EFX labor chuff set to max, refilling the unit with Eliminator as required.

Success!  Thanks for the help!  Two multi-day soakings in the eliminator did the trick.

Now, I am running the engine, but I don't think I can control the EFX Labor Chuff without Legacy, right?

Well, !  No sooner had I posted this than it cut our and started blinking again.  I am soaking it for another couple days, I guess. . . .

So close!  How much are you adding between soaks and how long did it run?  Yes you need the Legacy 990 to increase the labor... otherwise the smoke output defaults to "medium".

TCA# 15-70824

Adriatic posted:

Put a strait edge on the track. It sounds like a small dip or rise in the road. The transition over it is steeper one way than the other.

   I.e. it is hanging off a cliff stiffly on the drivers. (while the pilot wheel drop a bit and stay railed) The right rail may have a dip, or the left a slight rise, or the combo.

You could also try to see if it teeters (front to rear) there at all by slightly pushing down on the nose & cab.

That's just the mystery:  no dip, no rise, it is level side-to-side and along the route.

Frisco, MoPac, and T&P near Rolla, MO
Volphin posted

So close!  How much are you adding between soaks and how long did it run?  Yes you need the Legacy 990 to increase the labor... otherwise the smoke output defaults to "medium".

20 or so drops; it's hard to be perfectly accurate ;-)

The exact behavior: 

  1. First start up after 2 nights soak:  the cab lights still blinked, but I had to shut down after a a second or two because a conventional engine left on the tracks accidentally got power and took off.
  2. Removed offending engine and started back up, and I noticed the cab lights were not blinking, and a wisp of smoke.  There was much rejoicing.
  3. Let the engine run laps--about 12--on a 5' x 10' 054 oval.
  4. Noticed low smoke output but NO blinking lights, so slowed the engine and put in more Eliminator, again about 20 drops.
  5. Let it run again, smoking.
  6. On about the 4the lap, I noticed the smoke stop and the lights start blinking.
  7. Stopped the engine to let it soak more.
Frisco, MoPac, and T&P near Rolla, MO
palallin posted:

That's just the mystery:  no dip, no rise, it is level side-to-side and along the route.

Can you post photos of the track of video of the problem? Its most likely a track problem, especially if the loco ran fine sat for a bit, and now derails.  The mechanics of the loco shouldn't change because it sits.

Regarding the sound dropout, I'm 99% sure it is dirty track and/or pickup rollers on the locomotive. These particular models, along with the K4 offered at the same time, 2011, are EXTREMELY sensative to dirty track and rollers. Just because either looks clean does not guarantee that it is.

I usually use Lionels track cleaning eraser first, then wipe the track down with 90% ispropyl on a paper towel as it leaves no lint.

My legacy K4 from 2011 is ALWAYS the first to act up on seemingly clean track. Actually cleaning the track resloves the issue every time. In fact, Lionel made a change electronically in locos released later, so sounds would not drop out so easily.

 As far as the smoke unit. These mikados ( as well as the 2011 K4) were produced during the height of Lionels defective smoke fan motor epidemic. Its likely that you may have to replace the motor to correct the issue, especially if its noisy.

( I'm a skeptic about JTs eliminator( at least for this particular model) as it really can't reach the smoke unit bushings unless you REALLY overfill the unit.

The smoke unit fan on this mikado is mounted in a separate housing horizontally and connected to the reservior via clear tubing. It would be a feat for it it reach the motor shaft bushings in any amount to work. Most likely it would just run out of the bottom of the fan impeller housing and ooze out onto the pilot of the loco)

Many of the defective smoke fan motors had shaft bushings that were out of round causing the fan to oscillate around creating excess voltage draw and noise from friction until it eventually quit.

Here is a "textbook example" of a defective fan motor:

I will take and post a photo of the track later, but no other engine I have derails in the same place.

As for the fan motor, you may well be right, but it is as silent as a ghost:  no bearing noise, hum, squeal or buzz.  If another soak or two doesn't work, then I'll have to find time to drive 100 miles to the shop.

 

Frisco, MoPac, and T&P near Rolla, MO

  The only other things I can think of is something sticky on the inside edge of the rails or an ambient or direct vibration. If you aren't screwed down, something like cloth or cardboard under the track may dampen vibration, worry about the aesthetics and a better fix after a test. 

An off center driver or bent axle? The others might keep it stable most of the time.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





palallin posted:
Volphin posted

So close!  How much are you adding between soaks and how long did it run?  Yes you need the Legacy 990 to increase the labor... otherwise the smoke output defaults to "medium".

20 or so drops; it's hard to be perfectly accurate ;-)

The exact behavior: 

  1. First start up after 2 nights soak:  the cab lights still blinked, but I had to shut down after a a second or two because a conventional engine left on the tracks accidentally got power and took off.
  2. Removed offending engine and started back up, and I noticed the cab lights were not blinking, and a wisp of smoke.  There was much rejoicing.
  3. Let the engine run laps--about 12--on a 5' x 10' 054 oval.
  4. Noticed low smoke output but NO blinking lights, so slowed the engine and put in more Eliminator, again about 20 drops.
  5. Let it run again, smoking.
  6. On about the 4the lap, I noticed the smoke stop and the lights start blinking.
  7. Stopped the engine to let it soak more.

You have definitely used enough.  I wouldn't add any more after this.  I'd go digging for the smoke unit. If you are new to repairs, sometimes it's easier to just replace the whole smoke unit.  If you can take out six screws (4 on the engine shell, 2 on the smoke unit) and plug in a small connector you would be home free.  

TCA# 15-70824

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