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Secarider - I apologize for not being able to help you resolve your problem but thought I'd share my 'similar' story with you FWIW.

A few years ago I experienced the exact same problem (on a different engine though).  Very frustrating, especially when you've just bought the engine.  Anyway, I initially resigned myself to the fact that the electro-coupler would have to be replaced to 'cure' the problem and so, because I'm a neophyte when it comes to repairs (and would probably screw things up worse), I dejectedly shipped it off to a Lionel service rep.  However, when I got the repaired engine back I was surprised to learn that a new electro-coupler was not needed to fix the problem.  I don't know what it means but the invoice simply stated "Determined False Firing. Installed a non-polarized electrolytic cap on rear coupler/prevention."

Good luck in getting your engine fixed without incurring too much cost.

There have been several threads on the forum that have covered this topic over the years.

To cut to the chase, you first need to determine if the problem is mechanical or electrical.

1) Disconnect the coupler from the board in the tender. Remember which socket it came out of because you have two choices in that tender. Operate the locomotive/tender as you normally would and if the coupler still opens, the issue is likely mechanical. You can either fiddle with the internal coupler spring or replace the coupler.

2) If the coupler holds tight during operation when disconnected from the board, then the issue is likely electrical. A 1uf (microfarad), 50v non-polarized/bi-polar capacitor across the coupler socket terminals on the board will usually fix the issue.

Note that adding the cap is a solution for TMCC and early Legacy era locomotives only. It is NOT a solution for locomotives with the Legacy RCMC board.


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