Greetings! Looks like a great forum,  I'm new here, first post:

I run a pre-war tinplate set around the Christmas tree each year. It was my Father-in-Law's (RIP), a Lionel 262 locomotive. It runs pretty good, but it is touchy to get a set-and-forget steady speed from my TECH II 027 controller. I often need to monitor it to avoid it gaining speed and derailing, or stalling (usually ~27~33%, maybe 50-60% to get it started?). After this season, I decided to open it up and clean the brushes/commutator, and a general clean up and lube.

Not surprisingly, the 90 year old wire insulation just disintegrated at the slightest movement. I'm surprised it had not already shorted out. OK, I'll re-wire it, I see how the connections are from the (manual) reversing switch to the brushes/field coil . But I need help on how to replace the wire to the pick up (collector?) plate and rollers. That wire snakes down between a cross-post and the field laminations of the motor. I can't see how/where it attaches to the plate.

I've searched this forum and other sources, and it looks like a pain to remove the insulated plate - spreading the frame to loosen the tabs, maybe taking off the wheels? I'd really like to avoid that. I want to remove the old pickup wire, so it doesn't short to the frame.

What do I get if I drill out the rivets on the name plate? Will that expose the wire so I can replace it? How would I re-attach it (small self-tapping screws?)? I could not determine this from the posts I found.

I'm also considering the rather barbaric approach of carefully cutting those tabs off one side, and putting it back with a little epoxy/shim. I see replacement assemblies are available, so I don't feel too bad doing that, since it could easily be returned to a like-original state if desired.

Also, the springy (copper/brass?) plate is kind of bent near the rollers - should I try to straighten that, or will that just make it more likely to crack? The rollers seem to spring and make contact OK, they just look a little ugly. And the front truck wheel is broken, a section of the flange cracked off (missing), I wasn't sure if replacements are available, or if I should try to fix it? There also seems to be very little clearance between the tab on the rollers and the screws for the trucks - is this not assembled correctly, it just doesn't seem right?
 
Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Original Post

I've had that flaking insulation problem too.  It can be annoying on the pickup wire, but I have a reasonable workaround.  The problem is not so much the absence of insulation as it is the possibility of the wire moving and coming in contact with the frame to cause a short.What I do is make a tube around the wire with insulating tape and shove as far as I can down the wire toward the pickup shoe.  I'll shove a wad of insulating material anywhere that seems necessary to keep that wire out of contact with ground.  Messy, but it works. 

Another easy fix that I've used is to cut the wire where it becomes accessible as near as possible to the pickup shoe.  Clean the flaked insulation off as far as you can reach with a small knife blade.  I then take a length of insulating sleeve and push it over the wire towards the shoe as far as possible.  You'll be able to push it past any possible contact with the frame.  Then you can solder a piece of replacement wire to the stub of the original.

You got it right that the "proper" repair is to remove the collector plate by spreading the frame. I've done it and it isn't too bad with the right tools (see my first foray into collector replacement: https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...or-board-replacement).

If that isn't your cup of tea and the insulation is your only problem, you can disconnect the wire up top and then take some heat shrink insulation and snake it down over the wire as it meanders to the collector plate.

Olsen's kindly hosts some compiled information on the 262 as well as supplies parts:

 

 

More pages to follow: http://www.olsenstoy.com/searchcd31.htm?itm=782

Last edited by bmoran4

Thanks for the fast replies. I had not thought about trying to slip some insulation over the existing wire, or between the frame points -  that just might work, and avoids the whole issue of removing that plate.  Great ideas! The power of the internet, hobby forums, and helpful people! 

I'm tied up for the next 2-3 days, so I won't have a chance to try this out for a little while. I will report back when I get some time with it.

I rewired mine and stripped insulation off a similar gauge wire and pushed it onto the pickup plate wire. That way I did not need to remove the collector plate nor disassemble as much of the motor.

George

Also, are there any pictures if the 'inside' of that collector plate? I have not found any on-line (just the roller side is pictured at the parts suppliers), and it would be helpful to understand just what I'm dealing with.

OK, I took another look, and removed the one screw holding on the reversing switch, which gives a much better view of that wire and space. There's far more room than I thought, a good 1/8th inch? I'm confident I can get some insulation in there or slip some stripped insulation or heat shrink tubing over the wire (or both - belt/suspenders)  w/o problem.

Any thoughts on a front truck/wheel replacement, or the near-short between the pickup and the truck/screws?

I restored my Dad's 262 last year and faced the same problem, not having the tools to spread the frame. I used heat shrink tubing and slid it down until it bottomed out and then shrunk it with a match. I like George's technique as well. So far, so good, it's running well! 

Last edited by Will

Here is a success story on 262 pickup wiring.  I have a 262 motor that's been puzzling me for several months - one of those intermittent power problems.  

I cleaned it up and rewired as needed and disassembled and cleaned the reverse unit.  I did all kinds of bench test and found that ti worked.  But when I put it on the track sometimes it would seem to want to move but always stop.  After reading this discussion, I tried another approach.  Was it a discontinuity between the collector rollers and the connection to the reverse unit.

On very careful inspection oft he pickup mechanism, I had a feeling that it might be the result of a repair that I had done earlier.  This 262 motor was part of a 262 in a  collection that I bought that had a lot of marginally competent repairs and it had a collector mechanism that didn't look right for a 262.  At the time I was working with several motors, cannibalizing as necessary trying to get one good and salable motor.  I had taken a collector roller from another locomotive to replace the bad one on the 262.  You can see in the photo how it was soldered on. 

2020-01-20 17.20.36

I also made sure the nameplate was correct for the type of motor and era.  

I looked at the connecting point for the power lead.  It's right at the left end of the name plate.  I was suspecting that when I replaced that plate, I may have gotten a cold solder joint with the power wire.2020-01-20 17.20.47

So I decided to bypass that solder joint with another wire.  Here you can see the bypass wire that I soldered to the collector assembly.

2020-01-20 17.21.00

Here is an end view.  I cut the original wire from the pickup and wrapped the end in insulating tape.  I attached the new wire to the reverse mechanism.  In these photos, you can see the old wire on the right and the new one on the left.

2020-01-20 17.21.212020-01-20 17.21.27

I did have another problem with flaky connection -  be sure all screws on he reverse mechanism are tight - this one wasn't.

After that work comes the stressful part - test time.  I put the motor on the track, after copious lubrication, and it's real jackrabbit at 20 volts - just zipping around in both directions.

If anyone in this group is interested in buying this motor, send me a note.  It will be going on eBay soon, along with other 262 parts including rods, copper boiler fittings and the bracc windows and number plates.

 

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When I need to insulate or reinsulate a wire, I take the insulation from a wire that is the next size larger. Just slip it on the wire to be insulted.

I've been restoring a M-1000 set and had the same issues with the motor wiring. I used the larger insulation method and slid it down the wire after cleaning off all the old crusty stuff. Works like a charm.

2019-12-24 13.55.082019-12-24 13.55.112019-12-24 14.00.48

 

Three Rails Are Better Than None 

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2019-12-27 16.09.24

NTL2009, you asked about the roller clearance to pilot truck - it's close but shouldn't hit. If it does then something is out of wack. The older 261/262 frames had the back truck screw under the PU assembly on the end but even then the PU roller tab/shoe shouldn't hit. If you try to straighten the copper by the roller- very good chance it will break. You can re- arch the copper strip a tad but cutting down a round wooden tooth pick, slip it underneath, and sliding it towards the name plate-very carefully.

If it was easy, anybody could do it!

Success! I used the "strip away old insulation and slip new larger diameter insulation over it" method. I replaced all the other wires, opened the motor and reversing switch, cleaned and lubed as needed - tested and working well.  Brushes are in good shape, I guess this doesn't have that many hours on it.

@BMORAN4 Regarding the back side of the collector plate: "It is nothing exciting - just the other ends of the rivets - one of them has the lead soldered to it."

(I seem to have trouble quoting, will figure it out later.) Ahhh, seems obvious now (which I guess is why no one bothers to post a picture! ).  But that got me to thinking, if someone needs to replace the rollers/copper plate, and/or the pickup wire - I think it could be done w/o going through all the problem/risk of spreading the frame. I'm assuming that in most cases, the insulator plate itself is intact (or could be repaired in-place with epoxy). Does this sound reasonable? Procedure:

A) Drill out the two rivets. Lift off nameplate and conductor plate and set aside.

B) Drill an ~ 1/4" hole (or slot) in the center of the insulator plate (will be hidden by the conducting/name plates).

C) Push a new wire through that hole, fishing it up to the reversing switch.  Strip 1/4" at the plate end, tin, and bend into a "V". Bend at a right angle at the insulation.

D) Solder this new wire to the conductor plate, right over where the hole is, so the plate will sit flush.

E) Fasten the plates with two small self-tapping screws.

I'm assuming it won't be too hard to fish that wire up to the reversing switch, but I don't know w/o trying. Opinions?

Since my roller plate is kind of bent up, I think I'll buy a replacement from one of those listed sources, to have on hand if it breaks. I'll get a new front pilot truck at the same time.

 

NTL2009 posted:

@BMORAN4 Regarding the back side of the collector plate: "It is nothing exciting - just the other ends of the rivets - one of them has the lead soldered to it."

(I seem to have trouble quoting, will figure it out later.) Ahhh, seems obvious now (which I guess is why no one bothers to post a picture! ).  But that got me to thinking, if someone needs to replace the rollers/copper plate, and/or the pickup wire - I think it could be done w/o going through all the problem/risk of spreading the frame. I'm assuming that in most cases, the insulator plate itself is intact (or could be repaired in-place with epoxy). Does this sound reasonable? Procedure:

A) Drill out the two rivets. Lift off nameplate and conductor plate and set aside.

B) Drill an ~ 1/4" hole (or slot) in the center of the insulator plate (will be hidden by the conducting/name plates).

C) Push a new wire through that hole, fishing it up to the reversing switch.  Strip 1/4" at the plate end, tin, and bend into a "V". Bend at a right angle at the insulation.

D) Solder this new wire to the conductor plate, right over where the hole is, so the plate will sit flush.

E) Fasten the plates with two small self-tapping screws.

I'm assuming it won't be too hard to fish that wire up to the reversing switch, but I don't know w/o trying. Opinions?

Since my roller plate is kind of bent up, I think I'll buy a replacement from one of those listed sources, to have on hand if it breaks. I'll get a new front pilot truck at the same time. 

Since I have the tools and experience, I'll "properly" replace the collector assembly and not take kludgy shortcuts. I take pride in and try my hardest to make my work indistinguishable from factory new.

Last edited by bmoran4
bmoran4 posted:

Since I have the tools and experience, I'll "properly" replace the collector assembly and not take kludgy shortcuts. I take pride in and try my hardest to make my work indistinguishable from factory new.

Fair enough. For those of us who are a bit less of a purist (and that's just being descriptive, not judgemental in any way - heck, I admire "purists", I'm just usually too lazy/inept to be one most of the time! ), it strikes me as a pretty reasonable fix (assuming fishing that wire isn't too difficult). It certainly looks a bit better than the fixes with a wire soldered on the exposed side (though I also think that's reasonable for someone who just wants the thing to run). 

For me, the key is that this would be reversible. If I were to leave my 262 to you in my will, you'd be no worse off, you'd just replace the collector plate with insulator the "proper" way, which you'd need to do anyhow had I not used an alternate method. I personally would not be offended by seeing two small screws where the factory put rivets, that seems pretty minor to me, but to each their own. I feel a bit stronger about fixes that are not reversible, those can be cringe worthy, depending.

John H. Shetler posted:

NTL2009, you asked about the roller clearance to pilot truck - it's close but shouldn't hit. If it does then something is out of wack. The older 261/262 frames had the back truck screw under the PU assembly on the end but even then the PU roller tab/shoe shouldn't hit. If you try to straighten the copper by the roller- very good chance it will break. You can re- arch the copper strip a tad but cutting down a round wooden tooth pick, slip it underneath, and sliding it towards the name plate-very carefully.

That pilot truck is not shorting, but as you say, it is close - it just looks wrong to me, but I guess that's just how it is. The rear one touches the truck screw when fully depressed, but I guess it just should never be depressed that far in normal use. It just seems to me it should be designed with full clearance, especially considering the potential for rough handling by kids.

I had a similar issue with the screw heads on the motor brush plate. I'm guessing mine were replaced along the way, and the head on one was filed down almost flat, making it difficult to get a screwdriver to hold to remove it. So I found some in my spare parts bin, cut them to length, and when I assembled it, I was getting intermittent shorts. Hmmm, that screw head was filed down because it hits the die cast frame! I assume the originals are a very flat head? So I filed them to fit, and slipped an insulator in there for good measure. Just seems odd to me that things are this close to shorting.

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