for a while my MTH imperial PRR m1a 4-8-2 has had a weird noise when it runs, it's sounds like it's coming from the motor or gears even in reverse. I've had this loco since last year and even then it had this noise. I oiled and greased it and runs fine but the noise is very noticeable. Any thoughts? 

Original Post

I would open up the engine and inspect the worm drive engagement (cover loose?) and inspect the worm gear on the axle.  Is it worn?  Does it need lubrication.  Also inspect dog bone drive.  Also inspect motor mount screws for looseness.  G

A couple of years ago I had a MTH diesel that would emit a high pitched electronic type squeal/squeech sound as the engine would be moved.  Currently, I can't remember what the cause was, but I had to send it back to MTH for repair.  Not sure, but it could have been something w/ either the motor or a driver board?


I need to take my Imperial M1 out for a spin since it's been idle for at least 6 months - been mostly running conventional Williams and some tinplate lately.


On a product related tangent (...rant) I must add, I looked forward to this Imperial PRR M1 from the time it appeared in the catalog and I pre-ordered.  I waited the 18+ months for it's arrival only to be greatly disappointed in the LACK of Imperial line detail in this model:  no separately applied marker/class lights and no tender/truck chains.  MTH provided real coal load and blackened wheels, but cheaped out by putting those two features on what appears to be an unaltered earlier released standard Railking shell w/ its cast in marker lights.  Yes, this was a $375 purchase and not a very high end model, but that is still not inexpensive.  To the best of my knowledge, all prior and later Imperials that had class lights were add-on style and not cast-in.  I will no longer pre-order an MTH engine; I'll take my chances and wait to see the finished product before buying.  There are plenty of second hand or N.O.S. items out there, including tinplate to keep me happy for a long time.

Last edited by Keystone

Noto be silly, however, have you run the engine with sound off to see if the noise is intentional and is in the sound file? I have RK Imperial steamer that has sound file that  "squeaks".

Thanks for the advice! I've opened the engine up and I don't see anything that's wrong at least from my perspective. I am going to bring it to my LHS who is an authorized MTH train place to have it checked out, also one of the valve gear rods broke the other day for some reason. keystone I agree with you totally on the marker lights and other details, one thing about his loco is its quite the smoker!

Just got a mth M-1a proto 3.0 from 2013 from tranz and it has squeaking from the motor area. Just wanted to know Blake how you made out with yours or if anyone else has any ideas what's wrong.....jim

What type of squeaking?  As Barry said above in the sound file is a sound that is a squeak when it is running slow.  It happens about once a revolution.

Gene Anstine

Sound and smoke is turned off sounds like a hamster wheel squeak but only in forward put red and tacky in the gear box a couple of times ....with shell off if you turn the fly wheel forward you can hear the sqeak

How do you oil the bearings I posted a pic earlier it's from 2013 but only had 52 miles on it when I got it 2 days ago

I can’t help on how you oil the motor on this, I am a Flyer guy. I’m sure someone will be able to help you on this.

If it hasn’t been used much in the last seven years it could be that the oil has dried out and the bearings are now dry. I wouldn’t run it until you are able to lubricate it and see what happens.

Didnt have to take the motor out just held the motor upright and put oil on the shaft and turned fly wheel to work it in. Bearing noise is gone thanks to everyone who helped.......

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