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I have an MTH 11-90068 Tinplate magnetic crane on my layout. It usually works great, but suddenly the hook and magnet stopped going up or down. I went on the MTH website looking for replacement drive belts. Unfortunately, since MTH no longer offer Tinplate there are no replacement belts to be had. I tried various rubber bands and I could hear the motor run but no up or down movement. Then I tried a stretched out traction tire measuring 3cm in diameter and it worked. My crane is now fully operational. Moral of the story: Don't throw away your stretched out traction tires. They are simply reborn as a drive belt. It's sad that a $350.00 crane is made unusable by a $1.00 drive belt that is no longer available. The install is easy. The mechanism is beautifully made except for being dependent on flimsy drive belts.

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Followup report on magnetic crane repair. The use of the stretched traction tire was not successful. The tire was too wide for the pulley. So, I called Bill Harrison at S&W  Train Parts and he sent me part # 6208063615. which are drive belts for the crane. They also work on the #282 modern day magnetic cranes. The crane now works great. I was also able to get 25.5 mm and 31.5 mm 1/16" O rings at my nearby hardware store. So, bottom line, there ARE solutions to solving these crane woes. If you want further info reach me at: milt@paiger.org

I was able to pick up a rubber drive gear for my mth tinplate repro 165 magnetic crane from the new mth parts website when they first went online. If I recall, I went to the parts link and typed “crane” into the search bar, then a list of crane parts appeared.  I don’t know if you checked there and they are out of stock, but the part number was HH5200245 when I bought it.  I picked up two, one for current use (I had the same issue as you) and a second spare.  Glad you were able to find one elsewhere.

Last edited by Strap Hanger

I called MTH and spoke to Don in the parts Department. He said the drive belts for the 165 crane were unavailable and would not become available unless they remade the crane which won't happen because the tinplate agreement MTH had with Lionel is over and MTH will no longer make any tinplate. Fortunately, there are guys like Bill Harrison at S&W Train parts who can help. By the way the 31mm diameter, 1/16" belt will also drive the American Flyer Coaling tower and the more modern Lionel 282 magnetic cranes. The drive belts in the portal gantry cranes go bad as well.

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OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

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