I've had this unit for a good four years and have been working on it on and off for most of that time.

 

     IT IS DRIVING ME NUTS!

 

     The diagonal drive has not functioned properly for more then 30 seconds.

 

A history of repairs

 

1. re-quarter and remount the wheels - wheels loosened again

 

2. replace frame/wheels - due to a broken ladder apron this needed to be done anyway. Wouldn't run with boiler on.

 

3. At this point I attempted to remove the armature and damaged the shaft bearings.

 

4. A seller at the Renningers flea market in Kutztown, PA suggests rebuilding the bearing ball assemblies (I have another 671 motor frame and brushplate).

 

5. I buy the works (armature, balls, washers) from Olsen's. Upon the arrival of the parts, I find that not only did I not order enough balls (I ordered 20), but the armature shaft was slightly too short to allow the E-clip to slip on to the notch ().

 

Questions:

     1. Has anyone else had any experience with postwar Lionel diagonal drives?

     2. Are there any hobby shops in the greater Philadelphia area that can work on Lionel postwar engines?

 

(I'm just north of Coatesville on the old Reading line)

 

I've put so much money into this thing I don't want to give up on it.

 

Thanks,

Samuel Wills

 

Original Post

You sound very frustrated, and overwhelmed but the motor can be fixed.  I find it one of the easiest to rebuild.  First off, 20 ball bearings are actually more than you need.  Typically you only need 6-8 on each end.  Did you remove the shims on each end of the armature?  There are shims of different thickness to take up the front to back play.  Instead of the individual ball beatings, I use part #681-121, which is 5 bearings inside a bearing race.  You will probably have to play with the shims, removing one, and see if the shaft has enough to put the c-clip on.  If the inside bearing races have been damaged, you will most likely have to replace them, which is very tricky.  

 

The running problem sounds like the armature gear isn't meshing properly with the worm gear.  You may have to place a shim under the motor to push the front of the motor farther down, for better contact with the worm gear.  

 

Are re you sure the shaft bearings were damaged?  Only curious as to how.

mr. wills, I live in Port Clinton, PA, just north of Cabela's. If you would meet me halfway between Coatesville and here, and bring your engine, I could repair it and arrange to meet you to deliver your engine when it is done. My charge would be minimal. My phone number and email is in my profile, if you would be interested.

Luke

 

Port Clinton, home of the Reading and Northern RR.

I have found that once the wheels have loosened or been pulled off the axle they will never grip the axle well again, the wheel should be replaced. there are 2 671 motor armatures, and one has to be careful when ordering / replacing these. If all the above suggestions/offers don't pan out, you can send it to me and it will come back correctly repaired.

Chuck

I am surprised that you have had that many problems.  I have had mine for 64 years.  I ran it a lot as a child.  It still works flawless.

 

During my days of buying and selling used trains I've had 19 of the 671, 681, and 682 engines.  I only had one problem and that was this year.  The wheels in a 682 I bought were frozen solid.  After removing the motor, the wheels spun freely.  With great effort I finally got the armature out of the motor housing.  The grease had hardened like epoxy.  After cleaning the shaft and the housing it worked great.

 

I agree with Eddie G.  Unless it's sentimental, I would just buy another one.  I would sell yours for parts if possible.   The one I have from childhood was/is a workhorse.  Looks like one on the bay went for $157  LN/OB

 

If I was buying and wanted to stay with postwar, I would get the 681 with magnatraction, or the 682 which has magnatraction and a extra piece of drive linkage.

Otherwise I would get the Lionel 6200 which is a remake of the 682 and has a really nice dark green paint job.  These are easy to pick up brand new in the OB.

Originally Posted by aussteve:

I am surprised that you have had that many problems.  I have had mine for 64 years.  I ran it a lot as a child.  It still works flawless.

 

During my days of buying and selling used trains I've had 19 of the 671, 681, and 682 engines.  I only had one problem and that was this year.  The wheels in a 682 I bought were frozen solid.  After removing the motor, the wheels spun freely.  With great effort I finally got the armature out of the motor housing.  The grease had hardened like epoxy.  After cleaning the shaft and the housing it worked great.

 

I agree with Eddie G.  Unless it's sentimental, I would just buy another one.  I would sell yours for parts if possible.   The one I have from childhood was/is a workhorse.  Looks like one on the bay went for $157  LN/OB

 

If I was buying and wanted to stay with postwar, I would get the 681 with magnatraction, or the 682 which has magnatraction and a extra piece of drive linkage.

Otherwise I would get the Lionel 6200 which is a remake of the 682 and has a really nice dark green paint job.  These are easy to pick up brand new in the OB.

I just got a restored 682 on the bay for $130. Whether it was a converted 681 I don't know for sure, but I also don't really care given the price. Nice running engine, too. 

 

The 682s tend to be a bit more expensive than the 671/681, but all are relatively affordable compared to the 736(in good condition)/746/773 steamers.




quote:
I find that not only did I not order enough balls (I ordered 20), but the armature shaft was slightly too short to allow the E-clip to slip on to the notch ().




 

If this cannot be addressed by adjusting the number of shim washers, then one of the armature bearings can be pushed a bit further into the motor housing. Usually the bearing closest to the worm, but I'd check clearances and the alignment between the armature head and the field laminations. If you set the bearing in a bit too far, then you can always just add an extra shim washer or two. (Any more than that, and I'd reset the bearings again)

Since you mentioned damaging the shaft bearings, I assume you replaced them.

 

As others have written, you can use super glue or locktite to keep the wheels in place. First you must carefully clean off any dirt / oil / grease, and be careful not to get any into the bearings. Use it sparingly.

 





quote:
Instead of the individual ball beatings, I use part #681-121, which is 5 bearings inside a bearing race.




 

I believe the motors with loose balls have different shaft bearings. I never tried this. Do you keep the original shaft bearings or change them?

 

 

C.W. Burfle

Loose wheels can be tightened by upsetting the axle ends by knurling with a chisel and light blows to deform the shape so it fits tightly on the wheel. Work ib step wise fashion on each system independently first: motor, drive train, wiring, and then marry them together. Sometimes just put it aside or you will just keep making the same mistake. 

Originally Posted by TeleDoc:

Did you remove the shims on each end of the armature? 

 

The running problem sounds like the armature gear isn't meshing properly with the worm gear.  You may have to place a shim under the motor to push the front of the motor farther down, for better contact with the worm gear.  

 

Are re you sure the shaft bearings were damaged?  Only curious as to how.

 

     I used no shims except for the 671M-19 rear thrust washers next to the bearings as specified in service manual. (This is earlier design of front bearing that uses the smaller diameter washer)

 

     To clarify, the motor I just described is the original to the engine, its commutator segments were severely damaged at some point and my grandfather replaced it with a later (large front thrust washer; small rear thrust washer) motor. He never threw out the original motor, though all washers and ball bearings have been lost. This most recent attempt at repair involves rebuilding the original motor hence the new armature and other components.
 

As far the newer motor goes:

    The gearing issue was almost solved by shimming the motor a few months ago. After shimming seemed to create only the slightest difference the next culprit seemed to be a worn worm, in an attempt to remove the armature the end of the worm caught the front bearing sleeve and yanked it in to the motor housing (This is the bearing damage I mentioned earlier). An attempt to drive the armature out the rest of the way only munged up the worm.

 

As it happens most of the ball bearings were missing out of this motor as well.

 

   

Samuel Wills

 

Originally Posted by Chuck Sartor:

I have found that once the wheels have loosened or been pulled off the axle they will never grip the axle well again, the wheel should be replaced. there are 2 671 motor armatures, and one has to be careful when ordering / replacing these. If all the above suggestions/offers don't pan out, you can send it to me and it will come back correctly repaired.

Chuck

www.only3rail.com

I believe I solved the wheel issue by replacing the frame/wheel assembly.

 

    The service manual doesn't mention different armatures. Is it a shaft length difference or something else?

Samuel Wills

 

According to my repair manual (K-line manual) the 671/2020 motors from 1947 on up use an armature number 671M-8 armature.  The other style 681-100 motor uses a number 681-114 armature.  I have a spare motor that I completely rebuilt 681-100 style, with the flatter brush plate, no brush tubes.  I removed the brush plate and took a micrometer to the ends of the shaft, which measured 3-63/128" or 88.75mm, total length.  I would have to take apart one of my 2020 locos to measure that shaft length to give you the measurement.  I actually think that the armatures will measure the same, and you can use either one.  The only LONG armature I know of would be used on the "Gold Seal High Stack motors, mainly due to the extra added plates on the motor housing, needing a larger armature, and longer shaft, and thus producing higher torque on the High Stack motors.

 

I can attest to one fact, that the brush plates on either motor, can be interchanged, without any adverse effects on the motors, or their ability to run correctly.  One of the 2020 locos that I purchased had the 681-100 motor installed, by the visual of the brush plate.  I purchased a brush plate with the brush tubes, and swapped them out, so that the 2020 now looks like the original.  It runs fantastic.

I happen to have what appears to be the chassis and frame and motor for a 671 turbine loco, missing many parts including boiler and pilot and trailing trucks and tender. I was just recently looking it over wondering if I can kitbash it into something.

 

It's a high-mileage unit with a lot of slop in the wheel bearings. I see that the motor shaft worm gear is noticeably worn. The motor drives one axle and it relies on the side rods to transmit power to the other drivers.

 

My point is: if you have a high-mileage unit with a lot of wear, it may not be economical to repair. The worm-drive units are somewhat particular with fit and alignment of the worm to the gear. My service manual shows that each end of the drive shaft uses 9 ball bearings for end thrust. The associated parts have to be just right to maintain limited end play.

 

Loose wheels/axles can be staked/knurled/super-glued, but it can be tricky to keep them true.

 

By all means repair it if you can, but sometimes they aren't worth it if multiple parts are substantially worn or damaged.

Originally Posted by spwills:

     I've had this unit for a good four years and have been working on it on and off for most of that time.

 

     IT IS DRIVING ME NUTS!

 

     The diagonal drive has not functioned properly for more then 30 seconds.

 

A history of repairs

 

1. re-quarter and remount the wheels - wheels loosened again

 

2. replace frame/wheels - due to a broken ladder apron this needed to be done anyway. Wouldn't run with boiler on.

 

3. At this point I attempted to remove the armature and damaged the shaft bearings.

 

4. A seller at the Renningers flea market in Kutztown, PA suggests rebuilding the bearing ball assemblies (I have another 671 motor frame and brushplate).

 

5. I buy the works (armature, balls, washers) from Olsen's. Upon the arrival of the parts, I find that not only did I not order enough balls (I ordered 20), but the armature shaft was slightly too short to allow the E-clip to slip on to the notch ().

 

Questions:

     1. Has anyone else had any experience with postwar Lionel diagonal drives?

     2. Are there any hobby shops in the greater Philadelphia area that can work on Lionel postwar engines?

 

(I'm just north of Coatesville on the old Reading line)

 

I've put so much money into this thing I don't want to give up on it.

 

Thanks,

Don't give up now, you can do it. Get everything smoothed out with out the motor. (side rods) and then add the motor.  

Ace, It sounds like you have a "Misfit" orphan, that only needs some TLC.  I have three 2020's, and one 681 and they all needed work, but all run like a champ now.  I bought a 681-100 motor off the Bay, and when it arrived, I found out that the field windings were broken in at least three spots, and thought that once I got it to the last break, I could solder it back up, to get it to run.  Well it ran, but talk about slow.....  I wound up putting it aside, lesson learned the hard way.

 

I decided to experiment on it, and I wound up stripping all the windings off the field,  I ground down the rivet end of the shafts that hold the brush plate on, and removed the core.  I bought the right gauge wire, and decided to see if I could rewind the coil.  It took forever, but I did succeed.  Don't ask me how I re-attached the two halves back together (It worked for me), and I hooked it up for a test run with a transformer.  This thing runs as good if not better than the others that I have.  It just comes down to how much time or money you are willing to spend, as to whether it is worth fixing.  I happily succeeded.

Well, all this has really made me appreciate installing ERR Cruise Commanders and Railsounds and the like in the kind of stuff that I work on. Next time I run into a frustrating installation (and I will), I'll try to remember The Good Old Days.

 

Oh, I know that it's old, and I like them too. But, wow.

 

 

Both of my motors are the brush tube type.

 

I think I might have found something. I tried to mount the original (damaged commutator) armature in the motor. It fit perfectly, so the issue is definitely with the new armature. Following are pictures for comparison. In all pictures the new armature is to the right. Olsen's numbered the armature as 671M-8. Note the commutator damage on the left.

 

 

 

 

P1060315

 

P1060318

 

     I think the sleeve at the base of the armature (see below) extends further down the shaft on the new (right) then it does on the old (left). The length from the end of the sleeve to the E-clip slot on the old armature is about 46 mm. On the new armature that length measures about 44 mm.

 

P1060319

Samuel Wills

 

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Photos (3)

It looks like you have an NOS armature on the right.
As I poster earlier, if need be, AND there is enough clearance, you can gently tap the bearings further into the motor housing. You must be careful not to tap it in too far, otherwise the windings may strike the bottom of the motor housing, which will ruin them.  I would use a large flat ended tool, because you do not want to distort anything on the bearing.

Your armature looks to be an NOS piece.

Be aware that a lot of Lionel parts hit the streets when everything from Madison Hardware, the Kughn collection and the Lionel (LTI) factory was sold off. A lot of those parts were factory rejects/seconds. Some of the parts I've seen were perfectly usable, others not so much.
Madison (Detroit) sold armatures by the pound. I forget how many pounds I purchased, I had a lot of armatures. I think about 1/3 were just junk with bad windings. Some just needed to have a wire soldered back onto the commutator. Some had bent shafts, others were fine.

 

 

C.W. Burfle

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