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I have a Lionel Classics Blue Comet from 1991 that I've been trying to service the whistle for. The relay does work and activate the motor, but the motor itself really hesitates running, and even when it does, the sound is very, VERY anemic. The motor itself makes more noise than the whistle sound.

I have a feeling the motor brushes need to be changed, since I have given the motor armature a couple drops of oil. One of the springs isn't seating the brush as strong to the armature as the other. Are these whistle brushes and springs universal? I'm looking on Trainz and they have the WS-147 springs and 1661E-19 WS-110 brushes, so would these fit this?

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I would make sure the commutator segments are flat and clean, the brushes do not hang up in the tubes and the springs have good tension.  You can disconnect the electronic relay and test the motor with AC (power in one brush, other brush to one lead on field, other field ground, power out). If the electronic relay is limiting power to the whistle, you can install a postwar style mechanical relay.

Although it seems unlikely with a clean and relatively new motor, is it possible that one or more of the armature wires is broken, or might there be a loose piece of debris stuck inside the motor?  (If you follow @Jon G's test and the motor doesn't work properly, these might be things to check.)

@Jon G posted:

I would make sure the commutator segments are flat and clean, the brushes do not hang up in the tubes and the springs have good tension.  You can disconnect the electronic relay and test the motor with AC (power in one brush, other brush to one lead on field, other field ground, power out). If the electronic relay is limiting power to the whistle, you can install a postwar style mechanical relay.

If a postwar relay is unavailable or too expensive, is there a cheap generic electronic relay that can be substituted, or does Lionel's use of a DC surge to trigger the relay (along with the presence of AC current) make this impractical?

Last edited by Mallard4468

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