I had my Lionel 6-11333 ATSF 4-8-4 Northern #3759 on a shelf for two years.  When I went to run it after installing a YLB Battery, the gears chatter/grind/do not engage when I try to move the engine forward.  The engine runs fine in reverse.

After running the engine in reverse for ten minutes, I was able to get it to move forward three inches before it stopped and the gears chattered against each other.

Is there an adjustment that I can make to get the gears to engage better when the engine goes forward?

Is this a service center issue, or one I can attempt?  The engine has run perfectly prior to today.

Thank you for your reply.

Sincerely, John Rowlen

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John,

It's hard to tell because you are still getting a chuff going forward even though the engine is not moving.  I think the chuff is based on the magnet on one of the axles, but I may be wrong.  Without opening the engine, it is hard to tell.  It may just be a loose flywheel, or it might be something else.

John: Just my opinion, but the boiler shell needs to come off and check the gearbox cover to be sure it is tight and not letting the worm and driven gear get out of mesh.

I don't have this engine; maybe you get lucky and can access the geartrain from below, but I doubt it.

D&H 65 posted:

John: Just my opinion, but the boiler shell needs to come off and check the gearbox cover to be sure it is tight and not letting the worm and driven gear get out of mesh.

I don't have this engine; maybe you get lucky and can access the geartrain from below, but I doubt it.

I agree although it’s hard to see why being on a shelf would create a gearbox issue of this kind even if the gear lubrication has gone solid or otherwise needs to be replaced. The gears are not engaging properly going forward but will mesh going back and that suggests to me they are not properly tightened in place.

I’m not sure but I think maybe the chuff on these engines is not generated by a magnet but electronically keyed to motor voltage/RPMs, which would account for why you are still hearing that effect.

 

John,

you’re going to need to look inside the gearbox, I don’t think this engine has an access cover on the bottom. Only access is from the inside.

7B5A6A95-A563-41B5-8AA4-D574595F3B86

 

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Thank you for the suggestions.  The gear box has no bottom access.  The shell will have to be lifted out of place to access the top.  I will see if tightening the gear box screws helps.

The sound is not triggered by a magnet, it is controlled by the speed step for the engine.  I should have turned off the sound when I made the video.

Wish me luck.  Gunrunner John, I may need your repair services.

Sincerely, John Rowlen

Having just completed a repair job on this engine, it is not for the faint of heart to replace the nylon gears and the universal joint. The traction tires are still more of a challenge.

Stay frosty my friend.

ChooChooPaul

 

Acela Fella at your service.

 

The Lionel 6-11333 ATSF 4-8-4 Northern #3759 is repaired (Temporarily).  The factory Double-T Universal linkage is too short to set in the too deep cups that hold it. The universal joint arm pins are just coming out of their cup holders, and over time rounding the pins/arms and spinning in the cups.

The engine Universal Linkage Shaft is just long enough to work, but soon fail as the T-pins round and wear.  It is just enough to work when first out of the orange box.  Failure is soon to follow.  It is like the too short screws in the SD45 and many other issues the Chinese factory has created for Lionel Service. 

REPAIR PROCESS:

I removed the three screws holding the body and carefully set it forward on a towel.  Two electrical plugs fell out of their sockets and were replaced later.

The gear box is only accessible from the top.  It was firmly screwed in place.  When I opened it, the Double-T Universal Shaft came out of position.  There was nothing wrong with the grease or gear box.

The Double-T Universal Linkage showed signs of the T-arms wearing and rounding.  When put back in place, the arms were able to come out of place because:  1. the Universal shaft is too short, or   2. the receiving cups are too deep, allowing the Double-T to sink deep in one end and come out of the opposite end.  This was the clicking sound I heard when I tried to get the engine to move forward.

I HOPE DAVE OLSEN LENGTHENS THE UNIVERSAL SHAFT ON THE NEW ATSF NORTHERNS.

There are two pictures of the wear on the Double-T Universal Shaft.  I twisted and stuffed greased paper into the bottom of the receiving cups to center the Double-T Universal Shaft.  Since the greased paper spins with the cup with the Universal Arm, I am hoping the repair lasts for a while.

There is a picture of centered Universal Shaft in the receiving cups and a short video of the repaired engine.

Thank you to everyone for the advice given that helped me repair this engine.

Sincerely, John Rowlen

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I had a drive shaft that was doing what you describe. As long as you held it centered between the two sockets it was fine but let go and it worked loose on one end. Two cures that worked.  The first I tried was to take some foam padding the white type they put on loco trucks to keep them from scraping the frame.  This piece was about 1/4" thick.  I made two disks each about 1/4"  X  1/4" and put it in the drive shaft sockets to hold the shaft centered and it worked well.  After I thought about it a while I cut the drive shaft  in half and found a ball point pen barrel that was a press fit between the two shaft ends and made the shaft about 3/16" longer.  That's the way it has been working for a year or more.  You do have to get to it before the little nubs on the end of the drive shaft are sheered off.  This is a case where it is better if the shaft falls completely out of it's socket than if it is barely in.          j

I started my first response before you posted your photos. In your case if you loosen the set screws on the flywheel you should be able to slip it out on the motor shaft enough to get complete engagement of the nubs on the drive shaft ends. Those short drive shafts are more difficult to lengthen than ones which are longer. I would not want the tube or pen barrel you use to touch the socket.  If the shaft diameter matches the ID of a piece of brass tube that may work as it is much thinner than a plastic pen barrel. However in your case loosening the flywheel and pulling it out a bit is the proper cure. I would order a new drive shaft if the nubs are the least bit damaged.  The ultimate cure is for Lionel and MTH to move production out of china. There are far to many quality issues with the product coming from china. Korea and Japan never had this level of quality control issues.                            J

JohnAction, 

Thank you for your information.  I am not a fan of moving the flywheel. Lengthening the Universal Double-T Shaft 3/16" is a better option.  There are sometimes timing sensors on the flywheel that can become misaligned if the flywheel is moved too far. 

The ideal option is for Lionel to send Dave Olsen to China to check their work.  Or Lionel should look inside the factory product samples and make sure parts fit properly.

And as Dean in service says, "Run the pants off them."  I have had several engines run the first time out of the orange box, and then fail the next time I ran it.  My 1931260 Challenger #3985 is an example: It overheated after 20 minutes of run time.  The Steam Generator Smoke does not work. I believe it is the source of the extreme heat being transferred to the cast metal engine shell.  HOT,  HOT.  See video of the engine without Steam Generator Smoke.

What is reassuring is that Lionel already inspected my failing Challenger #3985.  It has a shinny Metallic Label on the carton that says "Quality Inspected".

Sincerely, John Rowlen

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96B6053C-4997-4B7F-B672-966C80FFF07BJohn, this isn’t the first time I’ve seen this either....like John Acton said, best thing to use is a perfect fitting brass sleeve cemented all together for a permanent repair....if you can measure that shaft, then give me the additional length you need, I can certainly fab you one up....this is a custom shaft I made for my CC II Niagara....email is in my profile if you want to pursue it if your repair doesn’t hold.....Pat

The Water Level Route.......You Can Sleep

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harmonyards posted:

96B6053C-4997-4B7F-B672-966C80FFF07BJohn, this isn’t the first time I’ve seen this either....like John Acton said, best thing to use is a perfect fitting brass sleeve cemented all together for a permanent repair....if you can measure that shaft, then give me the additional length you need, I can certainly fab you one up....this is a custom shaft I made for my CC II Niagara....email is in my profile if you want to pursue it if your repair doesn’t hold.....Pat

Nice fix but remember to leave a little wiggle room at the ends before the nub pins. If the shafts are not perfectly aligned the coupling shaft needs room to move in and out. 

Rod Miller

Pat and Rod, 

I will call Katie in Lionel Parts and see if I can purchase a new Universal Shaft that has not had the pins rounded.  I will also let her know that several people have had to lengthen the part by 1/8 to 3/16 inch.  I don't know if Lionel lengthened the shaft in the new 4-8-4 engines.  There is no reason to perpetuate the problem.

Thank you.

Sincerely, John Rowlen

Lionel might already have a slightly longer shaft that was intended for use with a different loco.  The gearbox is cast into the chassis with ball bearings to take up the thrust from the worm.  The motor mount is rigidly fixed to the chassis.  So it's not like you have to worry about the distance between the cups getting larger or smaller, as you would on a Williams loco with sprung drivers and a gearbox separate from the chassis.

Creep, coast, and pull.  We're not talking about cold fusion here.

Other than the Santa Fe Northern and the first series New York Central Niagara, how many other Lionel premium locomotives have gearing made out of a nonmetallic substance?

With all due respect, I think @choochoopaul is mis-remembering.  Some Lionel locos may use a nylon intermediate gear, but I'm pretty sure this one has a steel worm that directly drives a bronze worm wheel on the axle.  [And I certainly wouldn't want to replace the axle gear!]  If I'm right, the dog-bone shaft is the only part of the drive train that isn't metal.  And it's not really that difficult to replace.

Another option for the original poster:  NorthWest Short Line (NWSL) sells U-joint kits if you want to make your own dogbone shaft of any length.

Creep, coast, and pull.  We're not talking about cold fusion here.

Ted S posted:

With all due respect, I think @choochoopaul is mis-remembering.  Some Lionel locos may use a nylon intermediate gear, but I'm pretty sure this one has a steel worm that directly drives a bronze worm wheel on the axle.  [And I certainly wouldn't want to replace the axle gear!]  If I'm right, the dog-bone shaft is the only part of the drive train that isn't metal.  And it's not really that difficult to replace.

 

Yup. You are correct. Steel worm that drives a bronze worm wheel: https://www.lionelsupport.com/...b4-8743-d3837b809b95

Santa Fe, All the Way

Thanks for all the input.  All the gears I encountered were metal.  The Universal  linkage uses a heavy plastic "dog bone".  Even my G-gauge USA Trains use a plastic dog bone.  Using metal for the dog bone universal connection would create potential friction and binding.  Something has to give way as the linkage rotates.

Sincerely, John Rowlen

I contacted Lionel Parts and spoke to Aaron.  He is looking for a Drive Shaft/Dog Bone that is 3/16" longer than the Part 6308079145 that is listed as the correct drive shaft for the Lionel 6-11333 ATSF 4-8-4 Northern #3759.  He also said he would relay my concern about the new ATSF 4-8-4 Drive shafts being too short.

Again, thank you to everyone who posted pictures of their repair work and modifications to the drive shaft/Dog Bone.  My engine is running fine and pulling ten Pennsylvania 21" Broadway Limited passenger cars I detailed.

My next repair will be my Lionel 6-82768 Chesapeake and Ohio Allegheny #1604 that jerks down the track between speed step 22 and 110.  It had been serviced by Lionel and does not run properly upon its return to me. Now the warranty has expired.

Sincerely, John Rowlen

I cant imagine the driveshaft part for this locomotive is too short. How many of these are out there in circulation? If they were too short then wouldn't everyone that owns one be having the same problem? My guess is that during the assembly process something didn't go together exactly right, and we ALL know how many times that happens these days.

 

LAIDOFFSICK,

Not many people run their engines like I do.  Look at the photo of my repair.  Perhaps the factory put the wrong drive shaft in my engine.  It worked for two years, then suddenly it did not.  The Dog Bone drive shaft was just long enough to grind the T-Pegs over time and round them so they would pop out of the upper U-joint cup.

Perhaps the engines that are still working were miss-assembled at the factory.  The factory forgot to screw them up. The motor has a non-adjustable fixed mount.  The gear box is a fixed distance away.  The Dog Bone is too short.  Long enough to work for two years and then fail.  This thread has pictures of the work others had to do on the ATSF Northern engines.  Also, perhaps the engines that failed are sitting on the display shelf waiting one day to be repaired.  I have 200 engines, I could have just set this ATSF Northern aside.

I originally ran this engine with my six Santa Fe Scout passenger cars, like in the Eric Segel's product video review  Then like many of us, I put it on the display shelf and ran other engines.

Thank you for your input.  I guess its a miracle that any of these trains work.

Sincerely, John Rowlen.

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Thanks Gunrunner John,  You saved me again.  I meant Dave Olsen, the guy who loves tacos.

I should blame Gunrunner John for this mess.  If I hadn't put YLB Batteries in all my Lionel Steam engines, I would not have discovered that the ATSF Northern #3759 did not run properly.

I am in uncharted territory, opening up steam engines and trying to fix them.  I have transferred six non-powered GP35 engine shells unto motorized sound GP35 chassis to create several three powered unit consists, but steam has been an unknown.  I guess I can take on any engine and try to fix it.  If I fail, I can send the box of parts to Gunrunner John.

Sincerely, John Rowlen

John Rowlen posted:
If I fail, I can send the box of parts to Gunrunner John.

Something to keep in mind John.

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Gunrunner John,  I'll take "I Screwed It Up Royally" for $150.00.  That's about what Lionel charges.

I am headed to the basement to bring the Allegheny #1604 to the kitchen table to work on it.  Wish me luck.  I am checking the gears and drive train to see what would cause the drag/ jerking/ binding between speed step 22 and 110.

I started another thread for the Lionel 6-82768 C&O Allegheny #1604.  I had no luck getting it to work properly, but posted three videos of the engine and its problem.

Thanks again.

Sincerely, John Rowlen

GRJ, that is really a good one! You should print that out in extra large poster size and hang it near your workbench in the secluded, highly secured laboratory! That's worthy of a nice frame too!  

I have one similar, but some of the wording is not suitable for posting.   I will have to bury it again before my new granddaughter learns to read!

John Rowlen posted:

LAIDOFFSICK,

Not many people run their engines like I do.  Look at the photo of my repair.  

Well my dad has the same exact engine Cab 3759 and it probably has as many if not more hours of run time than yours. Then it sits for a long period of time, then run again for hours on end. The only thing that engine has ever had a problem with is the smoke unit which we all know was a problem with this run. So even if you did run it more than we ran ours (which I can not even imagine), the drive shaft has never been an issue, and I have had that engine apart a few times to fix the stupid smoke unit. 

 

My ATSF has always had GREAT SMOKE, never a problem.  Of course, it arrived without a battery cable.  Lionel Service put a battery cable in the engine for me.

If we combine my engine and your engine, we could get one engine that works perfectly well, … but probably not for long.

Buying an engine today is a "crap-shoot".  These are the two words most often uttered when the engine does not work.  The only consolation is that I will "out-live" my trains.

If your ATSF #3759 should have drive shaft issues, at least you now have an idea of what the problem might be.  Good luck and best wishes.

Sincerely, John Rowlen

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