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.