Upon trying my new (old stock) Polar RR K4 circa 2011 via Legacy it had no sound and the cab light blinked in intervals of 3-blinks. The instructions say that is a diagnostic code indicating a smoke unit problem. I re-programmed and reset per the instructions but still no-smoke and the cab light still blinks 3-times. The whistle smoke works fine.

I left the engine alone and came back and tried it again today. Again, no sounds but this time it did NOT give the 3-cab light blinks - and, the main smoke unit made a loud whine. Am not sure why it would give the 3-blink diagnostic code one day and not the other?

So, I re-programmed again, and the sounds came up full volume, and the smoke unit started smoking! But, the whine is still there - loud enough to make it annoying and it almost drowns out the engine sounds!

 Anyone know if this whine will go away over time?

Original Post

Paul, the whining is 100% sure to be the fan motor, so it's obviously having a problem.  Even on a locomotive that wasn't run.

The Oilite bushings should never need oil, and oiling them is only a temporary fix.  If you're going to open up the unit to get to the smoke unit, replace the motor.  The top bearing is typically the one that is howling, and it's inside the smoke unit.

I use the MTH motors as a rule, they seem to have a longer life.

Oil can work and once the motor heats up the oilite bearing releases lubrication.  As it cools back down it reabsorbs oil.  I have had good success with oil.  G

MTH Authorized Service Center

Authorized ERR Dealer

Lionel Independent Repair Tech

Virginia Train Collectors Member

I just figure I have the locomotive open, might as well replace the cheap motor while I'm in there.  That goes double for the problematic Lionel motors from a few years ago.  I've had to replace the motor in my similar vintage K-1, the two Legacy U-Boats, and several other similar age Legacy units.  When they fail almost immediately, I don't see the sense in trying to "save" a $5 part!

This is a very common problem and it is the the smoke motor and needs to be replaced. As stated before it is not advisable to lubricate this motor and if you go that far just replace it.

 

Ed Goldin

Lionel Authorized Repair Station

Specializing in American Flyer, S-Helper and

American Models TMCC Installations

Authorized ERR Dealer

Member TCA & NASG 





 

 

Maybe for a lionel fan motor, but folks have been oiling MTH motors forever.  Many case you can access the bearing with no disassembly at the gap between housing and motor.  Frankly, it is just part of the service I do if I have an engine open for some other reason.  Another folk lure like batteries killing 5V boards.  No proof of that and in the last month I service 5 PS-2 5V engine that worked with original white batteries.  Still ran.  I standby oiling if it is just a whine.  G

MTH Authorized Service Center

Authorized ERR Dealer

Lionel Independent Repair Tech

Virginia Train Collectors Member

The only way I see a battery killing the PS/2 board is possibly if the battery is shorted.  I've seen lots of PS/2 that had white batteries and were still alive.  Needless to say, I replace the battery in that case.

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