This engine runs pretty well but at spots on the layout it slows and at times stops. Also, if I add 3 or more passenger cars it runs slower around the layout and will stop at two points.  I've checked the voltage at those spots where it slows and stops and compared those readings to the areas of the layout where it runs OK...same voltage 17 or 16.9.  What I'm not sure of is whether the TMCC signal plays a part in this running issue.  No other TMCC/Legacy engine in my collection behaves this way....  I've greased and oiled per the manual.  I've also put my hand over the engine in those areas where it slows down and that makes no difference.  I'm not to interested in adding drops as most of the area of the track at issue is ballasted, but if that's what it takes OK...  Help needed.  I've had this engine for at least 5 years. It ran without issue when I purchased it. I rarely run it and I think it sat for at least 2 years before I put it on the track recently. 

Info re: Voltage

Voltage at the Terminal of ZW-L = 18.1

Track voltage = 17.6, when Hudson powered down

Track voltage when Hudson  powered up = 15.6 

What I've noticed is the engine will run well with slow down in 2 spots, at switches but instead of stopping, it will make it through at max power. Anything less than maximum, it will stop in those areas.  Also, I've started to switch out incandescent light bulbs in the passenger cars with LED bulbs.  It runs well with LED lighted passenger car, but performance degrades as I add cars with incandescent bulbs...so, I'm going to replace all the bulbs.

If a video of what happens would be useful, please let me know and I'll attach one.

Thanks.

Ed

 

"One TODAY is worth two TOMORROWS"

                             - Ben Franklin

Original Post

Ed, Are you positive your track is completely clean, and well connected in the area where the engine is coughing.  Any other locos having trouble in that area...???   I had he exact same problem.  And I thought the track was clean, but it was not completely.  Re-cleaned, and the problem ended'..

Good luck with this'...  If you have time, I would like to see a video'...

  Ted 

 

RoyBoy

I ran it conventionally.  It performed a bit worse.  Then I changed back to Command mode and it's performance had improved...actually, running better than it had been since coming down off the shelf.  It still slows a bit over one track area, and a bit more over a 2nd track area but does not stall.  Maybe the electronics in the engine or the motor is showing age?

Ed

 

"One TODAY is worth two TOMORROWS"

                             - Ben Franklin

Ted, I'd like to say it's clean...I did run a track cleaning car just last week but I really didn't check with the IG's "white glove" but I will.  If that turns out to be the fix, I'll owe you a beer!  Stay tuned.

Ed

 

"One TODAY is worth two TOMORROWS"

                             - Ben Franklin

ToledoEd posted:

Ted, I'd like to say it's clean...I did run a track cleaning car just last week but I really didn't check with the IG's "white glove" but I will.  If that turns out to be the fix, I'll owe you a beer!  Stay tuned.

The Gremlins can attack just one very small stretch of track and create havoc in that area'...  Often, a cleaning car misses spots in some areas for some reason.  But if the area is too isolated for a manual cleaning, then your stuck with the 'Gremlins'........😜

  Ted 

 

Well, Gents...thanks.  RoyBoy, your test suggestion helped isolate the issue and Ted, I owe you a beer.  I cleaned the two areas thoroughly with alcohol and elbow grease and it's running just about perfect. I think I need to spend some quality time with my track and get get it really clean.  This taught me to not rely on a cleaning car alone...  Thanks!

Ed

 

"One TODAY is worth two TOMORROWS"

                             - Ben Franklin

ToledoEd posted:

Well, Gents...thanks.  RoyBoy, your test suggestion helped isolate the issue and Ted, I owe you a beer.  I cleaned the two areas thoroughly with alcohol and elbow grease and it's running just about perfect. I think I need to spend some quality time with my track and get get it really clean.  This taught me to not rely on a cleaning car alone...  Thanks!

SUCCESS!!!   its kinda of like measuring twice and cutting once'... We automatically always suspect the engine of some type of failure'.  when almost always it is the track and those dam gremlins'............ 😁

  Ted 

 

Hello again.  Started it up this morning, thinking yesterday's success put the issue behind me.  Well, not so much. When I started it up, same issues in same spots, but what's interesting is as it travels around the track and "warms up?" it gets faster and then it only slows in one area of the track. Also, once it's 'warmed up' it's slow end speed from a stop is pretty respectable.  Since this is an old (1996 first TMCC engine) is it possible that it actually needs to 'warm up' or is it an oil grease issue, or???  I've never experienced this issue with any other engines.  I have an older Camel Back (2003-0) TMCC engine and it does not behave this way.  Also, I backed it up, and stopped it then I saw a very visible spark from the front truck...I examined it on the track and everything looked in order...I didn't see anything that would have caused a short on the tracks... Frustrating.  Yes, Ted, I'm going to scrub the entire loop, but as you know, I did this a few days ago and my knee did not like it, so I'll do it in short spurts and hopefully by tomorrow the entire loop will be clean as new.  

Ed

 

"One TODAY is worth two TOMORROWS"

                             - Ben Franklin

You know Ed, it could be a multitude of sins'.. It may need to warm up. It may also be a loose wire on the mother board.  Could be a loose wire from the truck to the motor.  Could be god knows what'... Is there a Lionel shop in your area where it can be checked out by a technician?... I don't think because it is a first run TMCC engine that is causing this.  I wonder what other more experienced members think, for example, Gunrunner John'.. It is now becoming a real mystery'...  If its not a track issue, it must be a power, or defective/loose wire/part somewhere on board'....   Good luck...

  Ted 

 

Your yellow belly is really doing the best it can for what it’s equipped with. Certainly check the greases and oils appropriately, but more than likely, she’s givin y’all she’s got Captain! .......

your 2003 locomotive is most likely equipped with cruise, so you can set it and forget it....

your yellow belly just can’t compete.....old school pulmor and early tmcc has no cruise, nor can you add cruise to that locomotive without doing a can motor swap...( can be done, depends on how much in love you are with it) ....one thing I can tell you about the yellow belly, it’s got IMO one of the best early railsounds whistles I’ve heard....man that thing is haunting!..I have one, and some day soon it’ll get a can motor and a cruise set up..sorry to bust your bubble, but for the time being, when running your yellow belly, you’ll have to sorta baby sit it....great loco though!.......Pat

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

1. What type transformer are you using? The pul-mor AC motor draws a lot of amps. I use a MTH Z4000 and after I put my Lionel Yellow Belly on the track, I set the voltage for 18 volts. (That means without the loco on the track there is more than 18 volts going to the track.)

The Z4000 can handle the amps needed for this loco and seven aluminum passenger cars with incandescent bulbs.

2. My Yellow Belly did slow some on curves, initially. In the two places where it did this, all of my large Lionel steam locos with pul-mor motors were also slowing down. I had to add extra power feeds to resolve the problem. My DC can motor locos had no problem going over the same section of track where the AC motor locos were slowing down.

3. It may be time to replace the brushes and clean the commutator.

4. I also have power feeds at all 3 entry points on a switch, to ensure there is ample power to the rails.

5. The Yellow Belly should run slow and smooth for a pul-mor. It has the same type drive system as the scale Hudson. My AC pul-mor powered scale and semi-scale Hudsons, Yellow Belly, Commodore Vanderbilt, Reading T-1, and Mohawk all have similar drives and are much better performers than the standard spur or worm drive postwar locos. Your Yellow Belly should perform well.

In addition to suggestions in previous posts, I would start with the brushes/commutator, ensure you have a transformer with ample amps, and then try adding additional feeds.

 

I would make a power probe that I could hold against the side of the track close to the location it usually slows and see what happens when the engine gets to that spot. Then you'll know if you have to add a drop.

When running trouble, only do one thing at a time. Otherwise it is hard to tell what fixed it.

USMC 1966-69

JEF2035. I power my tracks with a ZW-L. Thank you all for great suggestions and info on the engine. It’s winter so I’ll have the time to devote to her. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

Ed

 

"One TODAY is worth two TOMORROWS"

                             - Ben Franklin

More input voltage probably wouldn't hurt.  With those Pullmor-motored Hudsons, you really want the voltage at the rails to be close to 18V as you can get.  The old conventional versions were rated for 20V.  The motor can take it, but the TMCC circuitry is limited to 19.

Also since it is a series motor, it will slow down when it encounters increased load.  Cleaning the track is always a good move, but I would suspect things like a loose track joint, a "pinch point" in the gauge, or your table isn't level in that location.  Put a level on it (a short one maybe 6-12" long.)  Another way to test for increased load would be with an AC ammeter.

If the platform surface has sagged between joists, sometimes putting shims under the legs won't solve the problem.  More track voltage and/or a lower gear ratio would though.  A true champion can win under any conditions!

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

Do check the things mentioned above that others have suggested. Add to your list the condition and cleanliness of the locomotive itself too. Examine the rollers. They need to be squeaky clean. The wheels, free of grease, dirt or any kind of build up. After cleaning the rollers, a small drop of oil on the roller pins, and on the pivot point for the roller arms does help. As I stated before, this locomotive does not have cruise. This is the simplest and earliest of TMCC.....this is basically a remote controlled throttle. Don’t rip your hair out trying to make it do something it can’t do....it’s not going to cruise around your layout and maintain a certain speed. It’s not equipped with that capability. If all else fails, and she still doesn’t perform like you’d want it to, then it’s time for upgrades if she’s one of your favorites and you want to run the snot out of it. If Postwar locomotives are Dinosaurs, your C&O Hudson ain’t much past the Stone Age .......it can be brought up to modern electronics...........Pat

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

I have to go with Pat here, I suspect it's as good as it's going to get.   One thing you can do is pop the top and perform basic maintenance on the Pulmore motor.  Clean the commutator, new brushes and (if necessary) springs.  While you're in there, lube the bearings on both ends.

Well Ed, the more experienced members, including the Gunrunner, have checked in and provided good information. Very interesting suggestions from knowledgeable individuals.  I didn't realize your yellow belly was a real senior'... Now I am informed thanks to fellow members'...👍🏻

  Ted 

 

one thing I have seen is corrosion in the  center pin rails and you have to have 2 bad points before and after the effected track problem, sometimes you have to add jumper wires to fix the problem, you just solder a jumper on both sides of the rail due to a pin is corroded rail is open more then it should be to repair that kind of problem! sometimes you can run the train for a while and then shut down the engine and feel the rails with your hand if it feels warm anywhere on the rail then you definitely are having a resistance drop causing lower voltage in the zone or area of track!

Alan

o gauge  trains ,music ,computer repair windows 7 and 10!

ASC Tech MTH school completed! 2019 !

Alan, good tip, thanks. I'll look for it.  In retrospect, I probably should have added more drops and, frankly, adding jumpers between the tacks would have been very wise.  As luck would have it, the areas where I am having the most problem, I've ballasted and sceniced... Good ol' Murphy!

Ed

 

"One TODAY is worth two TOMORROWS"

                             - Ben Franklin

If you want to keep the Pullmor motor currently in the locomotive and want better control in TMCC operation you can swap the factory LCRU for a ERR AC commander. You'll get 100 speed steps and vastly improved performance over the old LCRU. The locomotive won't creep along like a cruise equipped modern locomotive, but you'll be able to run it much slower. 

Santa Fe, All the Way

Final update.  First, recap: After sitting on the shelf for a few years, unused, I pulled it down at my grandson's request and it ran very slowly and couldn't pull any cars. Then, this thread. As I mentioned doing everything suggested improved performance but I still had 'slow spots' on the outer loop. After cleaning the motor, swapping out LED lights, cleaning the track, the outer loop performance issue remained, then a head slap of the obvious. Run it on the inner loop and see what happens. It ran great. So, I added 2 more power drops at places on the outer loop where it slowed as suggested by Jeff. As demonstrated in the videos when it crosses from the inner loop to the outer loop it no longer slows down.  Bottom line, it runs about as well as I think one can expect.  I'm very happy knowing I have an engine that's nearly 25 yrs. old with the first significant technology change in the hobby.  Here's the proof: 

Problem, it slowed down entering the outer loop and often stopped on that outer loop turn:

Then the 'head slap'realization: run it on the inner loop...if it runs well, it's not the engine...well, it was not the engine!

Added power drops on outer loop...!!!

Slow speed because of Throttle setting not track power...  She's a beautiful engine/set and I'm so pleased I can show it off.  Thanks again for your help.

Ed

 

"One TODAY is worth two TOMORROWS"

                             - Ben Franklin

Attachments

Videos (4)
C&O Inner to outer loop to firestation then slows
Inner Loop C&O Yellow speeding
Outer Loop fast
Slow speed
Quarter Gauger 48 posted:

 So happy Ed, to see that "Yellow Belly' High Balling ' along the lines'..

Congrats'.. I know all the work you put into getting her up to a full head of steam'.... and as we can see, 'well worth it'...                     

Thanks, Ted. 

Ed

 

"One TODAY is worth two TOMORROWS"

                             - Ben Franklin

Great layout.

Also, you have superb accessories that I am sure you and your Grandson enjoy.

I love the backshop. I have mine wired up and running, but I still need to insert the switch and track to get to the backshop. One of Lionels all time greats....once you get it running. My grandson loves to run the doors, smoke, and machines.

Jeff2035 posted:

Great layout.

Also, you have superb accessories that I am sure you and your Grandson enjoy.

I love the backshop. I have mine wired up and running, but I still need to insert the switch and track to get to the backshop. One of Lionels all time greats....once you get it running. My grandson loves to run the doors, smoke, and machines.

Thanks, Jeff. I really enjoy the Backshop also. I added fluorescent lights from Miller Engineering and a welder scene.  Looks cool. I’m replacing the motherboard using a kit from Lionel. I hope to get it up and running soon. My 8 yr old grandson is getting into the accessories. It’s fun to watch. 

Ed

 

"One TODAY is worth two TOMORROWS"

                             - Ben Franklin

I just saw this thread for the first time. Somewhere a long time age it was suggested no more than 5 joints on each side of the track power drops. I am glad to see you got it working to you satisfaction. I always liked those yellow bellies.

Forest

I didn't realize that you were using Fastrack or I would have mentioned this earlier.

Fastrack is notorious for developing high resistance track joints. Fastrack switches have their center rail connectors open up so that there is no center rail connectivity from one end of the switch to the other. There is a cure for that, but it involves removing the bottom of the switch and soldering the connections on the "T-bone" center rail connector.

When TTOS had Fastrack on the layout at the mall, we jumpered every track joint with wire and solder. We had to do that to prevent low voltage places and conventional/non cruise trains slowing down.

RoyBoy

Roy, I wish I had realized the advantage of jumping the track joints. I was considering pulling up track and adding more drops and putting in jumpers but so far, all is OK with only a few added drops.  I hope this ends the problem.  I do not want to pull up anymore of my ballasted track.    I didn't know about the switches....  Explains why I sometimes have trouble in the yard area where 3 switches are together.  Boy, you learn much as you move along in this hobby. 

Ed

 

"One TODAY is worth two TOMORROWS"

                             - Ben Franklin

If it starts acting up again, you do not have to pull up the track. There are two ways you can improve connectivity on track that is already in place.

Solder a tiny bare wire jumper on the side if the rail, bridging the gap between two pieces of track just above the roadbed/ties. Be careful not to melt the roadbed/ties

Or drill a hole through the roadbed/ties and through the table top. Push the wire up from the bottom or down from the top, and solder a drop wire to the side of the rail.

RoyBoy

Ed, more drops or jumpers can't hurt.  But you never told me whether you put a 6" level along the right-of-way in the suspect areas, as I suggested.

Series motors like the Pullmor are very sensitive to changes in load.  Even a slight grade will cause them to slow down.  If your benchwork was built a while ago, the surface might have sagged between supports.  Homasote or ceiling tile used for the layout surface can absorb moisture and swell.  This is a difficult problem to solve!  If the layout was bumped or moved, perhaps it needs to be shimmed again.

Put a short level on the track, about the length of the loco's rigid wheelbase.  Move it along the track a little at a time in the direction of travel, and look for any bumps or rises.  Although they have less "personality," the can motors in today's locos are less affected by this type of undulation, even without cruise control.

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

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