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  Hello Everyone,

  I bought a Lionel ZW-R which must be the earlier 1954ish version with the brass roller arms, riveted Coil, 51 Bulb with 64W resistor wire, it also has the output studs with nuts on both ends instead of tach welding the coil side like my 60's ZW-R. I'm just guessing here.

  I am looking for a parts breakdown or repair manual for this ZW. Searching online I find partial breakdowns of the control arm assembly's, wiring diagrams etc. I'm missing the coil area parts breakdown. The only other thread that hints at having the file requires entering a credit card number to access the manual and has number 10 scam alert marked not safe with user reports to the same from the BBB.

  The problem I am having is the transformer coil slides front to back about a quarter inch or so, when the coil is in the back position all of the power outputs, A-D, are normal when ramped up and down. When the coil is in the forward position the output on A,B,C are normal post D puts out 8.4 volts when the lever position is in the off position. It almost looks like the "D" roller is barely touching the first copper winding.

  What holds the coil in the proper position? There is no damage to the case, it is pretty clean inside and the only hint that someone was inside the case is what appears to be a new power cord with a strong "maybe" the original cord. Everything looks like it was done in the Lionel factory. The rollers are in good condition, all arms move freely, etc. crossover ties are seated properly. What am I missing?

  Another unrelated question: Both of my ZW's output about 20.86VAC without a load. Do I need to reduce the output to 18VAC when I am running my Legacy and LionChief Locomotives?


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You should be able to stop the coil movement by gently bending the support brackets to fit snugly.  You can also bend the two rods to make fit tighter.  The coil just sits in its nest - there are no other screws or clamps.

Typical starting voltage on a ZW is about 8 volts. Your “D” roller touching the first coil would give you the 8 volts you are seeing.

All TMCC, Legacy and DCS operate between 16-18 volts.  Do not exceed that.  If you don’t have volt meters in line with each ZW handle, use a volt meter to measure the voltage at the track.  Find 18 volts and mark the transformer with a paint strip or piece of tape so you do not go beyond 18v.

Forum member Susan Deats has an excellent website with a lot of information about postwar trains and accessories.  There are a few sections on the ZW under “power”.

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