I recently acquired a LionChief Plus 2-8-2. The heating element in the smoke unit works, and I've tested the fan motor, it's good, too. I got the appropriate continuities on the simple smoke unit PCB. So, it would seem to me that the fan motor switch, that causes the synchronized smoke puffs, and I believe is in one of the locomotive's primary PCBs, is bad. Is this fixable? Does anyone have other ideas as to the potential cause of the problem or suggestions?

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Hello, I have the same problem with my AF flyerchief Berk loco. Same problem smoke unit heater works but the fan motor does not. Checked the motor and it did not work. Dead motor. Purchased a new smoke unit from Lionel. Tested the new unit and fan motor ok. Installed it it and found the fan motor not working. Looking for the problem but could not find the problem. The problem must be in the main circuit board. For now I just left the smoke unit out of the loco and and run it without smoke for now. I'll by a new main board later on. Let me know how you make out.


I my Lionel LionChief Plus Mikado to my LHS on the weekend of York for repair, and was told it would probably take two to three weeks. After three weeks, I called the shop and was told it would be another week. Each week or so I would call and be told it would be another week until I called a week ago and they said that with the Lionel parts department move it would be at least another month-and-a-half. This past weekend, I picked up the locomotive so that I could run it until the backlog of repairs was down.

After putting it on my track and running it, I thought, "What the heck, I might as well try turning on the smoke unit just to see if it has miraculously fixed itself." What do you know, it had. The smoke unit seems to run perfectly. I am delighted.

(Note: I had repeatedly tried turning the smoke unit on and off to no avail when I was initially trying to diagnose and fix the problem.)


For the past two weeks, I have been running my LC+ Mikado with the smoke unit functioning perfectly. Before running it last night, I added for drops of JT's Mega Steam smoke fluid. After running awhile, the smoke output was thinning, so I stopped it and added four more drops. Initially it smoked fine, but shortly after the smoke unit's fan stopped functioning again.

I have turned the smoke unit off, but if I do run it periodically to check to see if the fan is working again, but it isn't, do I have to worry about the motor burning out?

Soo Line posted:

With the sounds off...can you hear the fan running?  Or are you assuming that with no smoke it is the fan motor?

Did you mean "four" drops of fluid?

Four drops is not nearly enough fluid....15 would be better.

The smoke unit produces smoke, but the fan, which generates the synchronized puffs, doesn't spin.  You can see smoke lazily oozing out, but there are no puffs. This is confirmed when I take off the shell. I removed the top of the smoke unit and checked to make sure the fan could turn freely.

When this first happened at the beginning of April, I put in an entirely new smoke unit, but that did not solve the problem. So I dissembled both smoke units and tested the motors and the continuity of the wires and the tracings on the smoke units' simple PCBs. Both smoke units appeared to be fine. To the best of my knowledge, the smoke unit fans weren't getting a signal from the locomotive's main board.

Having it sit at Charles Ro for a couple of months did solve the problem, at least temporarily.

The locomotive's manual specifies adding four drops of smoke fluid. I use the eye dropper included with the jar of JT's Mega Steam (coal-fired scent).

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