Good evening,

I recently purchased a used (great condition, working lights, smokes like a champ, properly lubricated, etc) Lionmaster Legacy Challenger.  I have a fairly large layout, which includes a 4.5% grade.  I have engines that pull better than others, but none of them have any issue pulling 10-15 cars around my layout.  I run both Legacy and DCS.  Steam and Diesel.

This engine has difficulty pulling away from a stop with 8-10 moderate weight cars -- boxcars, tankers.  If I nudge it, it will get up a head of steam and start moving around the layout, however it begins to have trouble on the middle of the grade after losing momentum and won't make it's way up.  It's not breaking traction and spinning it's wheels as my other engines that are overloaded would.  It just isn't putting out the power.  I'm running a constant 18 volts with the command control.

So I think, well, the motor just doesn't have the stones to pull it's own weight up a grade.  I got a bum deal on a used engine that I thought was a great purchase.  But the motor really does have plenty of power, because when I hit the boost wheel when pulling out, or to get up the grade, the train will respond and fly right up.  I figure that since it has cruise control / speed control, the power output should automatically compensate for grades, turns etc.  It does when I use the boost.  But does not hold speed when I am running at any preset speed.  

Has anyone had this experience or can properly diagnose?  The most I really do is change out smoke units and traction tires, so If it needs to go in for repair that's OK.  I have been down that road a few times with a couple of other locos.  I would like to know what the root cause is, or hoping for an "easy" fix.  

Thanks in advance.  

 

 

 

Original Post

I have a lionmaster class a and will offer what i can. The fact it needs a nudge to get going indicates a problem maybe with a motor. You can try running it with the drive wheels suspended on your bench or layout just make sure the center rail rollers still make contact. It sounds like one motor may be weak or binding. How does it run with no cars in tow on the grade? It should keep steady speed up and down the grade with speed control enabled.

Are you certain that both of the two independent motors are getting voltage?  If you run the loco upside-down do both sets of wheels turn?  I agree that at least one of your motors is weak and probably needs to be replaced.  That's not an expensive or difficult repair, as long as the part is still available from Lionel.  Good luck!

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

Rod is correct, that sure sounds like the cruise is disabled.

Make sure this switch is forward in the ON position.  If that doesn't do it, there could be a broken wire to that switch.

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So I checked to make sure the speed control was on.  It is.  I test ran it with both speed control off and on.  Same difficulty in getting initial momentum.  The engine ran a bit faster, but that's it.  Still won't pull itself (no cars attached) from a start.  It won't even pull away from a stop, even when i have the dial all the way up.  Once I hit boost and it's moving, it pulls its own engine and tender up the grade with speed control on and off.   The engine is a 4-6-6-4.  When I lift the front of the engine just slightly off the track, I notice the front 6 drive wheels rotate quickly and without any "drag"  When I lift the rear of engine slightly off the track, I notice the rear 6 drive wheels take more dial input to get moving and don't turn as quickly as the front with the same throttle input.  

My assumption is that one motor operates the front drive wheels and one motor operates the rear drive wheels.  I am thinking now that I have a bad motor, or something is impeding it's ability to get power to the rear drivers.  Everything appears to be properly lubricated on the side rods, so i don't think there is any resistance or binding there.  

I also think that would explain why it runs with ease and power when I hit the boost dial.  The good motor up front is more than compensating for the weak power to the rear drivers.  

Any input based on these observations would be appreciated.  

trainhallway

 

 

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Adam's O gauge posted:

  The engine is a 4-6-6-4.  When I lift the front of the engine just slightly off the track, I notice the front 6 drive wheels rotate quickly and without any "drag"  When I lift the rear of engine slightly off the track, I notice the rear 6 drive wheels take more dial input to get moving and don't turn as quickly as the front with the same throttle input.  

My assumption is that one motor operates the front drive wheels and one motor operates the rear drive wheels.  I am thinking now that I have a bad motor, or something is impeding it's ability to get power to the rear drivers.  Everything appears to be properly lubricated on the side rods, so i don't think there is any resistance or binding there.  

I also think that would explain why it runs with ease and power when I hit the boost dial.  The good motor up front is more than compensating for the weak power to the rear drivers.  

Any input based on these observations would be appreciated.  

 

 

Thats normal operation on these 2 motored locos. Diesels operate the same way. Its how the speed control syncs the two motors based on load.

I think if you try the same thing in reverse the opposite will occur.

It sounds like the motors aren't receiving enough voltage. Maybe the control board is bad?  My dad had a Lionmaster bigboy where the control board failed and it did the opposite. It started erratically rocketing around the layout until one of the gearboxes got bound up.

 

" No matter how far we travel, the memories will follow in the baggage car."

RickO posted:
Adam's O gauge posted:

  The engine is a 4-6-6-4.  When I lift the front of the engine just slightly off the track, I notice the front 6 drive wheels rotate quickly and without any "drag"  When I lift the rear of engine slightly off the track, I notice the rear 6 drive wheels take more dial input to get moving and don't turn as quickly as the front with the same throttle input.  

My assumption is that one motor operates the front drive wheels and one motor operates the rear drive wheels.  I am thinking now that I have a bad motor, or something is impeding it's ability to get power to the rear drivers.  Everything appears to be properly lubricated on the side rods, so i don't think there is any resistance or binding there.  

I also think that would explain why it runs with ease and power when I hit the boost dial.  The good motor up front is more than compensating for the weak power to the rear drivers.  

Any input based on these observations would be appreciated.  

 

 

Thats normal operation on these 2 motored locos. Diesels operate the same way. Its how the speed control syncs the two motors based on load.

I think if you try the same thing in reverse the opposite will occur.

It sounds like the motors aren't receiving enough voltage. Maybe the control board is bad?  My dad had a Lionmaster bigboy where the control board failed and it did the opposite. It started erratically rocketing around the layout until one of the gearboxes got bound up.

 

Hey Rick - do you know if this uses the RCMC board ?

I would try swapping motor leads and see if the pattern reverses.

 

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