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Hi all, wanted to share with all of you a problem that I had and how I fixed it.. not the ideal solution but.. ehh what are you going to do.

I ordered a Ten Wheeler from the most recent catalog and it was shorting out. Called the dealer to see if they had any ideas and they told me they weren't a Lionel service center and to call one. Sat on hold with Lionel for 20 minutes and I didn't want to go through the hassle of shipping things back and forth so I took a look.

When I flipped it over, I saw the the collector plate was crooked. It had a lot of play in it, so I unscrewed the plate, straightened it and then screwed it back down. Ran it some more, same thing, cockeyed to the one side and shorting immediately. Tried some electrical tape to preventing ground to the frame and no go. Pulled it out again, the little plastic plate "nub" wasn't catching the nut underneath and was allowing it to move. Picture below to show how crooked it would get.

I took a little bit of hot glue, put it around the outside of the plastic catch, then pushed it back on, and screwed it down. It hasn't moved since. (Sorry didn't have my phone near me when I was doing this so I don't have a picture.. and well hot glue dries fast.) I figured hot glue would be good to use since it is easy enough to pull off if I ever need and and would help fill in any spaces.

Just a heads up in case anyone else runs into this. I mean, a lot of money to have to fix something hot glue but I figure 50ish bucks of shipping back and forth was worth the couple pennys of glue.



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Normally, the plastic plate underneath the rollers serves two purposes.  It insulates the collector assembly and it also has a nib to lock it into place on the chassis.  I wonder if the plastic plate is broken and you did not realize it.  I would check with Lionel.  They should be willing to send you those parts for free to repair it correctly without the hot glue.  The hot glue was a nice improvised fix.  I recently bought the the 0-6-0 saddle tank engine and its ties rods were mis-cut at the factory.  Lionel send me tie rods so I could repair the engine myself.

The screw is okay Pete....but the plastic insulator and the chassis are both too smooth.  The screw alone cannot prevent the movement of the rollers.

As well....there is a small piece of plastic used under the board to prevent it from touching the top of the motor and causing a short which would probably take out the board.  That thin piece of plastic in my opinion was not substantial enough ....I doubled it.


Dave, this is a typical setup. The insulators can be slightly different depending on the roller assembly but the insulators should lock in place plus be molded to keep the barrel nut from rotating. Both screws use the same nut and if one is too long they will touch and prevent one or both from being fully tightened.




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Understood Pete.

But this time around on this new Ten Wheeler (at least mine) there are not the usual "nibs" to prevent rotation of the roller.

So the double engine roller in question has nothing to hold it to the chassis but the one small screw.  The screw sits at the one end of the double roller with nothing to prevent pivot at the other end.   The smooth surfaces and one screw cannot prevent this large double roller from moving side to side.


Yeah I found that there was just a lot of leverage that could be applied to the double roller and the little nibs just weren't holding it. We use O34 curves so it is a bit tight I imagine.

So far hot glue has held well even when the boys high ball it over some older Marx turnouts. I used some high temp hot glue that they use to pull dents out of doors with.

Hopefully this helps.

Thank You for your assistance on this issue Pete.

I did not at first have this roller issue.  I was into the smoke unit for adjustments (that is another story) and must have nudged the main engine double roller and when I set it on the track the short occurred.  The screw must have just loosened enough to allow rotation of the roller.  At least it is a home fix !

I was also going to purchase the Docksider and passed when I saw all the issues being reported.  And the Mogul...well I passed on that one too.

I've reached the point where I wait and see if there are serious issues with a new Lionel engine as reported by others before I purchase.  Just too many issues now with Lionel.   Pretty sad...but I now feel lucky if I can fix the problems with a new Lionel engine myself at home.

I truly like all the new features Lionel has been coming out with but would sure like to have the confident feeling of product satisfaction out of the box I use to have in the past.


Maybe a dumb suggestion because I'm having a hard time visualizing the problem.  But couldn't you insert a thin "star" washer, or split lock washer between the plastic insulator and the chassis?  Maybe the "teeth" would dig in and stop the thing from rotating.

Yes it's a shame that you have to come up with fixes like this on your own.  And Yes, Lionel does sometimes make wholesale changes to what looks like the same product.  The Legacy E6 (Pennsy-style) 4-4-2s have been made at least three times.  The first one, Santa Fe 6-11117 , had captive axles.  The next batch like my 6-11232 B&O had removable axles and a "bottom plate."  Bravo!  Then, based on Forum members' photos of the latest 6-84942, it LOOKS like Lionel went back to a one-piece chassis.  I don't believe the exploded parts photo posted on the support website is correct for the latest release!  Since the production runs are done by possibly different contractors in China, it's like a box of chocolates.  Until Alex, Pete, or GRJ takes one apart, you never know what you're gonna get!

I'm with Soo Line, not pre-ordering ANYTHING.  I'll take my chances and pay a premium to a greedy hoarder or collector, only AFTER the Forum gives the loco it's blessing

Last edited by Ted S

It is listed as the same part from the Vision Hudson, The star indent is supposed to fit over a small hex nut and the screw holding the assembly to the frame. I don't know if mine just lost some of its hold ability or what. Also that extra little nubby bit was not there. I put the hot glue around the outside of the star indent and it seems to work well.

This was the part that was the issue on mine.

Link to the support/parts page for it.

I have a Lionel Legacy Ten-Wheeler from a previous release and two new versions from the 2021 release. The double-roller pickup assembly and lower insulator are the same on all three engines. They were loose on one of the new engines but securely in place on the other two. I removed the loose double-roller and revised the lower plastic insulator without gluing anything to the engine. I think that my modified insulator is better than Lionel’s design because the double-roller is secure, cannot rotate, and cannot cause a short circuit by contacting the chassis.

First, I glued two 0.040-inch-thick white styrene strips to the sides of the insulator using two-part epoxy. The strips are sized so that the modified insulator fits snugly between the two sides of the chassis (photo 1).


Second, I cut a piece of 0.015-inch-thick clear styrene and glued it to the upper surface of the insulator. This strengthens the modified insulator and adds thickness such that the assembly becomes tight when screwed into the hexagonal coupling at the bottom of the chassis (photo 2).


Photo 3 shows the modified insulator in position between the sides of the chassis. The added styrene pieces prevent rotation of the insulator and the double-roller assembly, and eliminate the possibility of a short circuit.


Photo 4 shows the double-roller assembly screwed to the bottom of the chassis and located securely. The entire assembly remains easily removable and nothing has been glued to the chassis.


I think this problem might have been remedied by removing the engine shell and adjusting the components inside the shell at the top of the collector, but I wanted to avoid removal of the shell on a new engine. In my opinion, this problem is due to sloppy assembly and inadequate inspection by the manufacturer.



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