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This past weekend I picked up a 8305 steamer at a yard sale, I believe this is from the early 80s or late 70s. Not 100% but may have come in the Milwaukee rd passenger set. The shell looks very similar to a postwar 2037. Anyway When applying power the engine runs perfect forward but in reverse it only hums and vibrates. I opened the engine and it has a 2 position e unit which is in fact cycling. Seams like the motor is fighting itself in reverse, I was thinking maybe ts a DC motor but then I don't think I would have it running so well in forward. Any ideas what I should be looking at next? I don't believe its a e unit issue because it would most likely just be silent when in the reverse position rather it is vibrating like mentioned.

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Hello. Technically, it’s a universal motor, which can be run on AC or DC. But, Lionels intent was that it be run on AC. It is possible that either E-unit is damaged or the field winding is damaged. Since it runs forward, I doubt that the core winding is damaged. How to repair: for me that would get a bit wordy. So, respectfully, I’m not going to go into that here. Basically, a wire could be broken or damaged. That could include a damaged drum in the E-unit. FWIW, I came across another thread regarding an 8305. I came across it while googling the engine number. But you could probably use the search function for this website and find it. I didn’t read it as it was a long thread but basically it talked about poor performance.

Steve

You can also simply have a dirty contact in your 2 position e-unit - it will still make noise as you stated, but it can run badly or not at all.

2 pos eunit markup

A very simple thing to try is to wet a Q-Tip with alcohol, then swab both e-unit contacts - the e-unit contacts are simply the back side of the solder stakes on the e-unit. It takes less than a minute and IMO it's worth trying.

George

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Last edited by GeoPeg

I had a similar problem with my 8305 Milwaukee Road locomotive.  It would sometimes not work in reverse, or would stutter in reverse.  It turns out it was a bad/cold solder joint for one of the wires connected to the motor assembly.

It took me quite awhile to find the problem, as I was originally thinking it was a problem with the e-unit.  I finally found the bad solder connection by doing a "tug test" and just tugging on the wires to the motor.  One of the wires came loose after tugging on the wire.  I re-soldered the wire to the connection point on the motor and have not had a problem since.  Not sure how prevalent this problem was for these locomotives, but I'd check that out as the cause of the problem.  Here is a diagram and area with the wires and solder connections to check:

8305 motor assembly

I first observed this issue back in the early 80s, and remember being frustrated as a kid that my locomotive was having this problem.  I finally figured out and fixed the problem 35+ years later. 

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