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Thanks for the add to the forum. I am a totally rookie so please bear with me. I did some searching but don't really know what I am looking for so I apologize if this is a dumb question in advance! I accidentally started this thread on the o-gauge page as that's what I thought I had but someone was kind enough to point me here with my standard setup. 

I recently saved my great grandfather's collection of standard track with a no 384 engine and a bunch of cars to go with it (312 observation car, 513, 517, and 512). I don't know much about the sets but assume this is a mixed bunch?

My grandfather had them running while I was a child and when he passed they were boxed up luckily. Being the only grandchild with a house I spent the last month building an areal track that rides along the ceiling and is about a 30 foot standard oval shape. I made sure all of the pins engaged tightly and ohmed out the whole inner and middle rails (two I chose to power the track) making sure they were <1ohm around the loop. I thought I was ready to test the train and get it setup to run but ran into an issue with the transformer which led me to hunting for help on what to use on here. I got some good feedback and think I am going to go with an RW due to my budget, the older school look of it which matches and my lack of accessories - just running the engine. Feedback on that welcome. Looks like i can run this with the U post going to my outer rail and A post to my inner rail for 19V to power this train. 

My other post led me to some awesome intel showing me I am in way over my head with this hobby - but I'm super excited to learn! The train was running before it was boxed up but has been sitting for years since. Curious if there is anything I should do to it prior to trying to run it (routine maintenance) or anything to look for. I can see a few parts missing like the wheel linkages, is it OK to run it as is and upgrade later or should I get these or other missing parts first? 

Also any comments on my setup or tips for a total rookie would be helpful! I am planning to install a fence of sorts to prevent a runaway train from falling if it jumps off the track as I heard these engines can gain speed on their own as they warm up. Thanks for any tips/feedback. Very excited to get this going again and grateful for any help!

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Last edited by jonrapp83
Original Post

There are places that are well versed in Prewar Standard Gauge to replace the missing parts on the locomotive, it will probably need rewired as the rubber insulation on the wires was not vulcanized so it crumbles with age.  The bent platform on the caboose should be able to be straightened with some thumb pressure, then the roof(which is sitting on top of a gondola) can go back on.  Anything with lights will probably need rewired and maybe new bulbs.  Try calling Hennings Trains as they seem to have a great repair dept.  Best to let a pro bring the old set back up to snuff so it can run safely again.  Many times the wheels on the engine have swelled from zinc pest and will need replaced as well.     Looks like a great set to get redone mechanically, polish up the original paint and enjoy.      AD

 

Oil it. All axle bushings, gear posts, and a DOT on the armature shaft ends at the bearing /shaft. (oil wont kill the windings/armature/etc, but it is messy.

A little grease goes on the gear teeth.

Repeat this often/every few hours. Black oil= wear. Flush it away (wd-40/crc electrical cleaner/etc) re-oil.   (wd,-40 is not a "real" oil..Common .Mobil 1 etc will do)

  Look for threads on motor tune-ups for an in depth cleaning guide.  ( "universal" type threads/suggestions vs #specific etc.)

Looks like this baby got tossed a few times in it's life.

Missing handrails, lead truck (up front before the drivers), side and main rods, pilot broken off, bent cab roof. But because it's a BILD a LOCO, and because it LOOks like the drivers are Ok (try to turn by hand, if free, that's good). Does it fit on the track, if not the wheels are swelled. These can be replaced. Also agree on the oil and grease. Wiring may or may not be good, doesn't hurt to oil it up and see what happens. It will run without all those missing parts, will just look a little funny to those of us who know what is missing.


Jim

Thanks for all the replies! I wiped them all down today and they shined up decent (mostly got the dust off). I'll do a better polish tomorrow and try to get the wheels shinning again. Will also do the oiling tomorrow now that the dust/grime is off.

Got all of the bent parts you all noticed straightened out good and will call Hennigs. Now I'm starting to see some missing parts just don't know what they are . Thanks for the list Jim - I'll start poking around for those. 

My goal right now is to get it running and then I'll work to get it looking perfect! Everything turns free and feels good and smooth by hand. The wire to the light looks OK (I'm used to these wires from old tractors I work on). The wheels fit the track no problem and turn nice on the engine and all the cars. Hoping once my RW comes I can light it up and it works (fingers crossed). 

If you look at the engine from the side when oriented as it would be on the track, right between the two main wheels there is a lever that sticks out. Does that position matter? Not sure what that does but it also moves freely. 

I know you understand conductivity because of the 1 ohm resistance you got for the track connections.  That is great.  If you look at the picture you supplied us of the suspended track you can easily see crud on the top of the rails.  You said you already cleaned the wheels, now you need to clean that track up to complete the circuit.  Enjoy yourself and have fun.  I'm sure this will bring back fond memories from the past.   JP

Thanks everyone - excited to report that it is alive and well. I got the RW transformer and ran new wiring. I did clean off the whole track so the contact surfaces are nice and I have great voltage/resistance throughout. I also JB welded the crack in the cow catcher as it was very clean and from the outside you cannot see the gap or missing parts. For now I'm stoked it is back. I love the old smell, that I recall from being a kid in the basement with the setup! I'll slowly work to fix the engine and add the missing parts but already having fun and happy to work it. Thanks everyone for the help!

@JPLoco posted:

I know you understand conductivity because of the 1 ohm resistance you got for the track connections.  That is great.  If you look at the picture you supplied us of the suspended track you can easily see crud on the top of the rails.  You said you already cleaned the wheels, now you need to clean that track up to complete the circuit.  Enjoy yourself and have fun.  I'm sure this will bring back fond memories from the past.   JP

Just a reminder - when cleaning the track (or pretty much anything else related to the train) do NOT use steel wool.

That nice motor and wheels would certainly look good on an MTH replacement frame along with a proper pilot truck, both of which are available from Henning's along with the necessary mounting hardware. The frame is drilled and tapped but requires priming and painting. With a replacement frame, your engine will have a proper pilot, and with the replacement of boiler trim will look great. Just something to consider.

Thanks for the intel Tinplate Art! I'll check hennings out. Painting/priming is no issue for me, I do that all the time on large equipment. I'd definitely like to get all the replacement parts I just wish I could find a diagram - I don't know what all the terms you all are using mean yet . I'll contact Hennings though. My family is pretty happy it is rolling around the track again, this one will hopefully stay for more generations!

The  frame for the 384 includes a cast pilot or "cowcatcher" which was broken off on your engine. Your loco is also missing the front pilot truck which has two wheels. Hennings has the frame and front truck assembly and all the mounting hardware you will need. They probably could also provide some guidance for changing out the frame and pilot truck. The frame is a high quality MTH part and is drilled and tapped but unpainted. It will also be easy to install the missing handrails and their mounting clips on the boiler shell with the old frame removed.

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