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I have an issue with my post war log loader motor and would like to know how to check a motor in general to see if it operates. It has been taken out of the 364 log loader. Please advise how to check its components to see if they are good and things I can do to repair it because this particular one is not operating

Thank you very much, Jerry


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I think I saw another thread on this 364 log loader motor. If I recall correctly, your log loader was in storage, unused, for many years.
Your problem could be caused by oxidation and/or hardened grease.

If the motor was on my bench, first I would make certain the armature could turn by manually turning it with my finger (through the opening in the side of the motor).
If it will not turn, the gearbox is probably full of dried grease.
Clean it out and try again.

Once you know the motor turns, use a pair of test leads to apply power to the motor. One brush tube should have a power wire attached to it. (The other brush tube will have a field wire (enameled copper wire) attached.
Connect the power to the brush tube with the power wire, and to the lug where the second field wire goes.
If nothing happens, then I would remove the brush plate (I unsolder the field wire first to avoid breakage), and clean / burnish the commutator, brushes and brush tubes.  Check the brush springs, do they both seem to apply the same amount of tension? Can the brushes slide easily in and out of the tubes? Are the brushes both the same length and long enough?

Some of these questions really cannot be answered without experience working on Lionel motors, but if you post pictures, I am certain someone will help.


Last edited by C W Burfle

Like Jerry above, I am trying to get a 364 Log Loader to operate properly.  I started with the motor first.  I applied power and got a little smoke.  I decided to take it apart and clean it as described by Jim Barrett on one of his Back Shop videos and as described in several threads on this forum.  After cleaning the old grease out of the motor, I put the motor back together.  The big pulley shaft turns when the motor is turned manually.  However when 12 volts is applied, the motor tries to turn but does not rotate.  I also see sparks at the brushes and get a little smoke.

Can someone help me figure out how I can get the motor to work? OR do I need to look for a replacement?

Thanks for your suggestions on what I should do next.  I will be glad to provide additional information if needed.

  Did you clean and sand the motor commutator plate? brush tubes? wipe brushes & check for flatness? springs arent weak? All connections are strong?

With a stiff paint brush or lightly dragged pin/toothpick make sure no brush dust or gunk is in the gap between plates. Lightly because there is wire in the gap sometimes, you dont want to break, score it, etc.. Debris means the electricity travels there, bypassing that sections wire loops that make up that sections electromagnet. (there are basically three moving magnets turned on and off by position)

(pressure on connections is important, including spring pressure on brushes).

   Disassemble the brush cover, take an ohm meter to the shaft and each armature plate segment; there should be no contact.

Take a reading between plates, there should be no large varience.

Take a reading from stationary field core plates to the winding ends; no contact.

Reading from coil end to end should make contact like any other wire from end to end.

Also as a last resort sort of thnig because you really dont want to upset it; make sure the armature plate can't twist on the shaft at all. Ive had two get loose, cause iissues, and just swaped in new ones; but I don't know if thats a special armature or swapable with a type 1 or something.

David Johnston posted:

DS Texas, how was your motor wired?  It sounds like the power might have been applied to the brushes without the field in series.  

David, I am not sure I understand the question.  How should I test the motor with it removed from the log loader? 

The motor has two terminals - one has a wire connected to the motor winding and the other was connected to a long black wire from the terminals at the other end of the log loader.  Should power be applied to the two terminals for testing? 


Thanks to David and C.W.,

I applied power to the motor terminal where the black wire would be connected and to the ground lug on the side of the motor.  The motor turned although it was noisy.  I am still getting sparks inside the motor at the brushes and the top of the brush tubes on the outside are hot to touch.  Are these normal?

I feel a little "stupid/dumb" for not thinking through how the motor would get power before I tested it. 

What type lubricant do you recommend for the gear box on these motors?   The person who owned this accessory must have worked under the theory that "more is better" since the gear box was packed with grease.

This accessory had sandpaper taped to the big black wheel.  I assume this was to help ensure the belt would move.  What do you recommend?  Was this original?

Thanks again for the help. 


Two types of lube are needed.  The gears should have a coat of grease.  I use Lucas Red and Tacky #2. Just needed on the gears, do not fill the box. The bearings are oilite.  They are a porous bronze with oil inpregnation.  These should be wiped clean.  Do not clean them with a solvent as you do not want to remove the oil soaked into the bronze. I would oil the bearings with LaBelle #107, which is a light weight synthetic motor oil. I soak the bearings in the oil for a couple of days before reassembly. I do not know if this helps reimpregnate the bronze, but the effort makes me feel good.  If you need solvent to clean the bearings, use the light oil on a rag or Q-tip.   I would never use white lithium grease for anything. 

Keeping the red belt from slipping has always been a problem with the load loader. If the sand paper works, I would leave it. 

As for sparking on the commutator, there are three copper segments on the commutator.  They are at different voltage potential.  When the armature goes around and the brush crosses the slots in the commutator, it shorts the two bars together for an instant causing a spark. So some sparking is normal.  On high hour motors like you might find in a locomotive, the sparking might erode a low spot on each side of the slot. This causes more arcing and that causes more erosion of the commutator surface. However on the log loader I doubt it would have gotten enough hours of operation to do much damage.  Hot brush tubes are normal.  The brushes can get very hot  

The other advice provided in this thread is all good advice. 

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