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I purchased a new Lionel Legacy steam engine—part # 1931120 back in March of this year.  It has operated great up until a couple of days ago when it stopped smoking.  The cab light started blinking twice, which means the “Smoke Unit 1” is problematic according to my manual (based upon what I’ve read on this forum, a bad fan motor is almost an inevitable occurrence).  The whistle steam still works and so that unit is operational, but it is the main smoke fan motor that is no longer working.
I am running the train in command control and I did try to reprogram it per the Programming Guide on Lionel’s website, but that did not correct the problem.
 
I looked on Lionel’s website under parts and the only parts that come up for my engine are a couple of control boards.  Hopefully that means they just haven’t gotten around to posting everything for that engine.  I would assume that the same fan motors are used and have been used in other steamers in recent years, but I don’t have a part # so I can’t try to find it elsewhere.  I am capable of repairing this myself, but I thought I would send it back to Lionel and let them do it on their dime since it is still under warranty, but it may be months before they can get to it based upon the current state of affairs.  Any insight, or does anyone know exactly what fan motor this would take?  Thank you. 
Original Post

Maybe a drop of oil on the fan motor shaft bushing as a start. While your in there you can get a look at the motor.

 Being a decent sized scale steamer. It's probably the same one that's in a lot of stuff. But the way Lionel makes electronic changes you can never be too sure.

Lionel has had some variations on occassion. Some motors are shorter than others and some motor shafts are shorter than others.

Some have horizontal screw holes. Some have diagonal.

 

Last edited by RickO
@Norton posted:

Its possible the problem is not the smoke unit but the RCMC circuitry that drives it. Its common for these to fail especially on newer engines. Best bet get an RA and send it back. A smoke unit and RCMC could cost you close to 200 bucks.

Pete

Pete—thanks for the reply.  That was in the back of my mind regarding that it could be one of the boards as my engine has “chuffing smoke” and I figured a more complex circuit drives that than regular non-chuffing smoke.  I know if I open it up then I will void the warranty if it is indeed a more expensive fix than just a fan motor.  Maybe it is prudent to just wait and get an RA even if it takes a few weeks for them to respond to me.  ...

@Jim Sandman posted:

If you want a RA you will have to call!  They do answer the phone although the hold music gets old in a hurry.

Jim

Jim—thanks.  I’ve tried getting in touch with them via phone I believe 4 times over the past week and each time I was on hold for 15 min and then each time it went to voice mail where it said their voice mail was full...it appears they are extremely backlogged.  I wonder if they will have to extend folks’ warranties if it takes a couple of months to get an RA.  Probably wishful thinking!

If you go to the trouble of opening it up, put a new fan motor in it!

The only reason I suggest trying the oil is because theres no guarantee that a replacement from Lionel won't fail in the same manner.  I've had replacements get noisy and fail just the same as the original.

I also have had an out of the box problematic fan motor that was oiled, and has run without issue for a decade.

IMO. Its a crapshoot as to whether you'll get a reliable replacement since all the fan motors come from the same source.

@RickO posted:

The only reason I suggest trying the oil is because theres no guarantee that a replacement from Lionel won't fail in the same manner.  I've had replacements get noisy and fail just the same as the original.

I also have had an out of the box problematic fan motor that was oiled, and has run without issue for a decade.

IMO. Its a crapshoot as to whether you'll get a reliable replacement since all the fan motors come from the same source.

Rick—thanks for the reply.  I actually got a hold of Lionel yesterday by phone (after trying for a few days with no luck).  They said they will issue me a RA# within 2 weeks as they are that behind.  I have actually tried the putting a drop of oil on the fan motor shaft method on one of my Lionchief steam engines and it solved the squeaky/noisy sound coming from the smoke fan that developed in pretty short order with that unit.  I could be wrong, but I don’t think the Lionchief engines have that safety circuit that shuts down the smoke fan if there is a short or an over current situation.  My theory is that when these fans get noisy then there is usually more drag on the shaft which draws more current and on the newer Legacy steamers with the safety circuit that shuts down the fan motor (I could be off the mark though).  At any rate, since my unit is still under warranty I am going to send it back to Lionel and let them fix it as it might be something else like a board (more $) so I don’t want to void the warranty by trying to fix it myself.  Now, come next year when it is out of warranty, then I will definitely do the “oil drop on the motor shaft/bushing technique” if the fan gets noisy.  I’ll keep you posted!  May be a month or longer for me to get it back from Lionel at this rate so I’m not holding my breath!

Thanks to you and others for the terrific advice and insight.

 

Rick—thanks for the reply.  I actually got a hold of Lionel yesterday by phone (after trying for a few days with no luck).  They said they will issue me a RA# within 2 weeks as they are that behind.  

 

Glad to hear you got through and  hope they will make things right for you!

I imagine a good part of the backlog was created because I believe they were shut down for the virus like many other buisnesses.

Rick—thanks for the reply.  I actually got a hold of Lionel yesterday by phone (after trying for a few days with no luck).  They said they will issue me a RA# within 2 weeks as they are that behind.  I have actually tried the putting a drop of oil on the fan motor shaft method on one of my Lionchief steam engines and it solved the squeaky/noisy sound coming from the smoke fan that developed in pretty short order with that unit.  I could be wrong, but I don’t think the Lionchief engines have that safety circuit that shuts down the smoke fan if there is a short or an over current situation.  My theory is that when these fans get noisy then there is usually more drag on the shaft which draws more current and on the newer Legacy steamers with the safety circuit that shuts down the fan motor (I could be off the mark though).  At any rate, since my unit is still under warranty I am going to send it back to Lionel and let them fix it as it might be something else like a board (more $) so I don’t want to void the warranty by trying to fix it myself.  Now, come next year when it is out of warranty, then I will definitely do the “oil drop on the motor shaft/bushing technique” if the fan gets noisy.  I’ll keep you posted!  May be a month or longer for me to get it back from Lionel at this rate so I’m not holding my breath!

Thanks to you and others for the terrific advice and insight.

 

Don't get your hopes up I've been waiting a month for an RA and haven't received it.   I'm starting to think its not behind but uncappable.  I've got 3 sitting around(2 DOA'S and one smoke unit related) that need to go back that they wont take at this time.  Said they we'll extend my warranty coverage to offset the delay.   If it wasn't for not wanting to eat all the shipping cost I would send it somewhere else.  Really starting to take a down turn as of late.  My experiences have been very positive.  However lately in my own experience and what I see here makes me wonder where we're really headed.  Not to get off topic but while I'm venting I'm really tired of not getting what's advertised as well.   Total BS.   Makes me whish there was another alternative.  You can only ask for such much forgiveness and patience.  Instead of driving folks to MTH it'll be to HO or N.   Love Lionel but I'm not impressed.   

Don't get your hopes up I've been waiting a month for an RA and haven't received it.   I'm starting to think its not behind but uncappable.  I've got 3 sitting around(2 DOA'S and one smoke unit related) that need to go back that they wont take at this time.  Said they we'll extend my warranty coverage to offset the delay.   If it wasn't for not wanting to eat all the shipping cost I would send it somewhere else.  Really starting to take a down turn as of late.  My experiences have been very positive.  However lately in my own experience and what I see here makes me wonder where we're really headed.  Not to get off topic but while I'm venting I'm really tired of not getting what's advertised as well.   Total BS.   Makes me whish there was another alternative.  You can only ask for such much forgiveness and patience.  Instead of driving folks to MTH it'll be to HO or N.   Love Lionel but I'm not impressed.   

FWIW, I got an RA last week in 2 days. I guess mileage may vary. BTW, it may help to follow up.

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