Skip to main content

I have the MTH Premier 20-94049 operating reefer and it no longer 'starts' the sequence.  This item was produced around 2003 and I have not had issues with it previously but have not used for a few years.  When I have it on an operating track and use the unload feature it just clicks and nothing else.  So I removed the shell and the top slider that moves the door open and then the motor that drives the door and the smoke unit operate.  But with the door fully closed holding the micro switch closed nothing happens.  I removed the entire sliding part and the micro switch can come open then the motor on the left of the car runs and if I manually close the microswitch it stops.  The micro switch has 3 wires going to it.  If I put the sliding part back in in the open position it will slide closed but it will not restart and open once the door is closed which also closes the micro switch. 

Does anyone have any experience with this car?  It is really a neat car when it works well.  

 

Attachments

Images (1)
  • Reefer with shell removed, door 'closed'
Last edited by pennsydave
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Dave, is this the same as the MTH operating "lantern man" car, where the figure pops out the opening door with an illuminated lantern, then retreats back inside before the door closes?   I have heard of some  operation problems with these, concerning the electrical switches & sensors.   I have one of the "Santa" versions of that car, but no problems with its operation.    

When idle with door shut, the closed microswitch cuts power to the gearmotor mechanism.  When you press unload (for 2 seconds or whatever) you apply power to the gearmotor mechanism.  The microswitch then opens and now the microswitch takes over applying power to the gearmotor.   When the cycle completes and the microswitch closes, it again cuts power and everything stops.  That's the "logic".  So it sounds like the portion of the circuit that applies power to the gearmotor when you press unload is not getting to the gearmotor.  Since the relay clicks (I assume "crisply" and responsively) when you press/release unload, a lot is happening and the unload power is reaching the board OK.  Given only the info in your original post, my guess is a bad relay - it clicks but the contacts failed and aren't passing power on to the gearmotor.

I think I fixed it.  I removed the two screws that hold the microswitch and then the 4 screws that hold the entire mechanism to the bottom plate.  You can then turn the plastic mechanism upside down and remove two more screws that hold the circuit board.  Then I unplug the 3 prong plug that is at the other end of the microswitch.  I cut and then removed about 1/8 in of red wire and resoldered the red wire at the microswitch since I discovered that moving that wire would start/stop the action so I think there might have been a break in it.   I should have taken a picture of that switch out of the car.  After putting it back together I got it to work reliably but it is very sensitive to exact position on the operating track.  

There are 4 screws that hold the shell to the frame, 4 screws that hold the bottom door guides on, 4 screws that hold the mechanism to the frame and 6 screws that hold the top plate to the mechanism but you generally do not have to remove those six screws I discovered.  

I realized there does not seem to be much interest in this thread but this operating car is really rather neat, with two figures 'working' inside the car, interior light and operating smoke unit and the discharge of the dry ice boxes.  It is one of the few operating cars in the Premier line by MTH, so it is also scale.  

I also noticed that the mounting posts are starting to split and I thought I was careful.

IMG_0524

I cut and resoldered the red wire after removing the switch from the car and checking continuity.

IMG_0525

Putting smoke fluid in the car is tricky.  The smoke tube is to the right of the worker, the shiny part to the right of his head is the top of the tube. 

IMG_0527 [1) 

Attachments

Images (3)
  • IMG_0524
  • IMG_0525
  • IMG_0527 (1)

The red wire carries one of the power wires to the gearmotor mechanism = so you undoubtedly found the problem.  When the relay clicks on it essentially shorts the microswitch providing the alternate method of powering the gearmotor (to get it started until the open microswitch takes over).

As for positioning on the activation track section, if the relay clicks but you get no gearmotor motion, check for clean wheel/rollers and center/outer rails.  If the relay does not click, check for clean slider-shoes and the 4th/5th rails.

I have the signalman car which has a bit less action than this and it isn't scale.  I had a slightly different problem with mine recently in that it wouldn't stop operating.  The problem for me was the microswitch.  It wasn't being pressed hard enough by the protrusion on the motor mechanism that moves back and forth along the bottom of the car so the mechanism never shut off.  I had to bend the little metal microswitch arm with the bend/protrusion on the end so it received more pressure and forced the switch to close.   I initially bent it too far out and the mechanism would shut off before the door was completely closed again.  It took a little trial and error to get it in the right position so it would shut off the mechanism just as the door finished closing. 

Someone in my thread on this posted about a board from Electric Railroad that would automate this car to work with TMCC/DCS so you could activate it anywhere on your layout or just get rid of the need for the operating track section.  I can't recommend that board highly enough.  It wasn't hard to install at all and greatly adds to the enjoyment of the car in my opinion.  

I have just purchased the MTH Matheson operating reefer car.  When the used car arrived,  I noticed the operating door was open half way.  I placed it on my operating track, applied power and it came on but the door was stuck.  I removed the car from the track, removed the operating door off of the clip, re-attached the door and the clip now in the door closed position, engaged the power and it now works the way it should.  However, it never shuts off when power is applied to the track.  Something is wrong with the recycle off switch.  I am not that familiar with the car. Can anyone shed additional light, with a picture?  I pasted below from mopac01  what I think is my problem, but not sure where this metal microswitch are is on the bottom of the car.  Do I need to disassemble?

 

"I have the signalman car which has a bit less action than this and it isn't scale.  I had a slightly different problem with mine recently in that it wouldn't stop operating.  The problem for me was the microswitch.  It wasn't being pressed hard enough by the protrusion on the motor mechanism that moves back and forth along the bottom of the car so the mechanism never shut off.  I had to bend the little metal microswitch arm with the bend/protrusion on the end so it received more pressure and forced the switch to close.   I initially bent it too far out and the mechanism would shut off before the door was completely closed again.  It took a little trial and error to get it in the right position so it would shut off the mechanism just as the door finished closing. 

I'm going to add to this thread, since I had a similar "clicking noise" but saw/heard no action with my operating reefer.

When I took off the reefer body and tested the reefer again, i found that the driving tab of the plastic cog had slipped from the slot of the white plastic mover... I'm thinking this all happened because the reefer had been knocked over -- then later when i tried to use it, the clicking sound and no action happened, because one of the payload crates had twisted in the dispensing slot, causing the mechanism to jam, and that caused the cog to forcefully slip under the slot.  

BTW, I first tried removing the payload crates and recycling the reefer without taking it apart; that did not work for me... i had to remove the reefer body and the inner top plate (directions for doing so are in the pamphlet included with the reefer in the section on how to change the light bulb), and then align the white plastic slot back with the drive tab on the cog wheel.

After doing that, I put it back on the track, activated it and watched the mechanism operate a complete cycle without issue.  Reassembly of the doors is "fun" ... it requires some force to get the guide tracks back into the slots while squeezing the top of the box car down to the base to make sure the slots are clear of the reefer floor.

@ScottV posted:

I'm going to add to this thread, since I had a similar "clicking noise" but saw/heard no action with my operating reefer.

When I took off the reefer body and tested the reefer again, i found that the driving tab of the plastic cog had slipped from the slot of the white plastic mover... I'm thinking this all happened because the reefer had been knocked over -- then later when i tried to use it, the clicking sound and no action happened, because one of the payload crates had twisted in the dispensing slot, causing the mechanism to jam, and that caused the cog to forcefully slip under the slot.  

BTW, I first tried removing the payload crates and recycling the reefer without taking it apart; that did not work for me... i had to remove the reefer body and the inner top plate (directions for doing so are in the pamphlet included with the reefer in the section on how to change the light bulb), and then align the white plastic slot back with the drive tab on the cog wheel.

After doing that, I put it back on the track, activated it and watched the mechanism operate a complete cycle without issue.  Reassembly of the doors is "fun" ... it requires some force to get the guide tracks back into the slots while squeezing the top of the box car down to the base to make sure the slots are clear of the reefer floor.

Old thread but this was SUPER helpful. Thank you! These cars are great but temperamental.

Add Reply

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

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×