Fixed and Smoking!!! (Looking for input on a Lionel Smoke Unit)

Hey Gang,

I snagged a Lionel Legacy B&O Mikado (6-11280) off ebay for a good price. It was listed with a bad smoke unit, which can easily be fixed. I tore down the smoke unit, measured the resistor, tested the motor, replaced the wick, and checked the wires and pcb for continuity. Everything looked fine, so I put the locomotive back together and put it on the track. The locomotive smoked in idle, but when I put it in gear, the smoke stopped and I got the three blinking lights. 

I have the smoke unit in front of me now. I am going to re-flow solder to all connections in case there is a cold joint, lubricate the motor, and clean up the residue on the resistor.

Will the resistor in the smoke unit still measure in the 8 ohm range if it went bad? I did get smoke last night, so I don't think that is the problem. Could there be a fault in a pcb or wiring upstream? Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.

Stewart

 

Original Post

 I'd go after the fan motor first. These models are notorious for bad fan motors.

 3 blinks is the onboard diagnostics for a bad smoke unit fan. Was it noisy when it was working?

You could try a drop of oil on the fan motor shaft bushing behind the impeller.  However, Its likely you'll have to replace the motor.

Lube does help  many motors from Lionel and MTH, with exception of the Lionel offerings from 2011 and a year or two beyond.

IMO the bushings in these are incorrectly manufactured and the fan rotates in an orbital motion creating the noise, excess power draw and then throws the code.

FYI: When it shuts down and throws the blinking light code you get 3 resets via the remote. After that it shuts down for good until you remove power. You will get another 3 resets when the loco is powered up again and so on.

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

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

I am smoking again! I pulled the resistor from the pcb, and found burnt gunk between one of the resistor legs and the pcb contacts. I cleaned the resistor up, reflowed the solder on the pcb, and now the continuity readings are stronger.

Time to start shopping for more smoke fluid!

Stuart,

Same thing on the Sunset/3rd Rail smoke unit in my C&NW H-1 4-8-4.  The solder joints for the resister onto the permanent circuit board looked perfect but weren't.  What made it harder to find was it was intermittent- I pulled the unit out of the locomotive once and upon testing- it worked just fine!

Rick

Cold solders cannot always be seen. It can also take nearly as long to closely inspect things as reflowing the solder without inspection might take. 

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Stewart,

Good to hear from you again! Good troubleshooting skills as usual. Check with gunrunnerjohn if you have any smoke issues in the future.

I prefer JT's megasteam or Lionel premium smoke fluid for the thickest smoke.

Are you planning on building another layout?

Carl

Arctic Railroad

ChessieFan72 posted:
RickM46 posted:

...too much with excess flowing into the fan motor or onto electronics gets ugly.

 

Guess what I did this morning? LOL! Yep, managed to overfill the reservoir and get fluid into the fan. That was a heck of a mess to clean up!

Welcome to the club; everyone on the forum knows I am the destructor of smoke units - too much or too little fluid - ruined 3 in a Big Boy - either starved them or flooded onto the RCMC; I have been experimenting with adding 1 drop of fluid per 1 minute of running usually after at least 10 minutes of running + 2.  I always add when the unit is cold.  I keep in mind that the funnels and resistor suck up some of the fluid when doing a fill.

RickM46

And now it starts.

Moonman posted:

Stewart,

Good to hear from you again! Good troubleshooting skills as usual. Check with gunrunnerjohn if you have any smoke issues in the future.

I prefer JT's megasteam or Lionel premium smoke fluid for the thickest smoke.

Are you planning on building another layout?

Good to hear from you Carl!

Yes, I will be building another layout. I had the basement waterproofed a little over a year ago and wanted to make sure it was going to stay dry before starting a new layout. The upside is that I now have a large area to build a layout. The downside is that I will be moving some time next year.

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