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I recently acquired from an estate several AF/Lionel engines. Very little indicators of wear. Two are SD70's. One is a CN #8100, 1921071. One is a UP #8461, 6-48168. I can't get them to move. What am I doing wrong? 18 AC volts on the track. I  reprogrammed the CN engine with the legacy remote. Legacy is version 1.4. I get the confirming signal from the engine. Switch on engine moved back to "run". The sounds (crew talk, horn, bell) work as well as the couplers. I increase the throttle on the remote and the engine immediately looses power (lights go out, no more sound) and the engine doesn't move. This happens even with moving the throttle (round, red, knob on remote) just a click. Thinking I may have a bad engine, I go through the same process with the UP engine but same results. I also get the same result when the legacy base and remote are turned off with engine(s) on another track powered "conventionally". Is there some setting I am missing? Is there a way to do a hard reset? Is there something different between my legacy system and the previous owners (Don't know what his legacy system version was)? A SD70, I have had for some time. operates just fine. What do I do next? Thanks for any help/hints you may have.

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Sounds like the estate engines aren't 100%. First step is to see if there's a continuity issue that when you start to draw power you lose the track connection.  Cleaning the wheels and any wheel wipers would be first.  Does the smoke work?  That would draw enough current to verify if it's the added motor current that is the issue.

Other than that, the fact that they completely cut out as soon as the throttle is cracked tells me either the motor is stalling or the boards may be toasted.


One thing you might try, though it would be unusual for all engines to have this happen, but on my Y-3 when the smoke motor failed I had the same results you are experiencing, when I would start to crank the throttle the engine would die. Try turning off the smoke switch on these engines and see if they might run, it's worth a try.


Thanks "GRJ" and "RS" for the help and hints. I did turn the smoke switch off before I started to do anything. I didn't know how long the engines were inactive, was concerned the smoke reservoirs were dry, and would "burn" out if inadvertently turned on. I will definitely look closely at the wheels/wipers, clean them up, and verify good continuity. It seemed very strange that the first two engines I randomly tried had the same malady. I do have more engines to try but figured I'd better regroup and get help in the event I was doing something wrong. Thanks again and if you think of anything else, let me know.

Pulled out another SD70 engine. Better but unacceptable results. It did move but soon stopped. Did look over the wheels and "duh" they are dirty. Never had this problem with my own engines so that's why it caught me off guard. So what's the trick to cleaning the wheels? The truck at the back end is easy. Lift the cover to expose the switches and motor at that end. Spin the flywheel on the motor to rotate the wheels and "viola" clean them. What's the easy way to clean the cab end? Or do I need to remove the shell? Or since it does sorta run, put it on a track, test or otherwise, wet down a paper towel with "cleaner", energize track, and run the engine holding it stationary on the paper towel while the wheels spin and clean themselves. I think I may need 3+ hands to do this? And this may not be the easiest/best thing to do since these engines have a set of rubber traction wheels on each truck. Any tricks and hints are appreciated. Thanks, Bill

For cleaning diesel wheels, I turn off the smoke and put them upside down in my foam cradle.  I fire up the engine and get the wheels moving at a decent clip.  I first use a small flat bladed screwdriver to scrape any gross caked on goo from them, then a Dremel wire wheel to finish the job.

For steam, I do that with many of them, but there are engines that don't like to run upside down and will jam the drive rods.

Thanks for the prompt reply. I do have a foam cradle so that's easy.  What, how do you use to connect power to get the  engine wheels turning? Excuse me for being "anal". These SD70's are American Flyer so no roller wheels. I've got alligator clips to easily go from transformer to engine. But since the wheels are the normal conducting path, what's there  to clip to? Again, sorry for being dense. Maybe I just need to look and put my think cap on...  Thanks again

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