Postwar Lionel Turbine: Can We Talk Smoke?

My used-1-month-each-year 682 used to produce thick, wafting, billowing, perfect "O" plumes of smoke. Now? Not so much. For years I used a scented MTH liquid that smelled terrible, and last year I bought a little white bottle of Lionel liquid smoke. When I set the ZW transformer in neutral at the max 20 volts, thick smoke smoke does appear. However when I run it forward at the same @14 volts as always, the smoke dissipates; only for 2-3 laps around the oval will it lightly tap-tap-tap, and then it virtually disappears. I tried a pellet, and the results were the same. I eve pulled out the aforementioned scented MTH liquid, and it still showed relatively thick smoke in neutral that becomes imperceptible when the consist starts moving forward. Now the place stinks.

Any advice/suggestions?

Original Post

It sounds like you need to clean out the smoke unit.  Over time, they can get "gunked up", especially switching back and forth between smoke pellets and liquid smoke.  At the bottom of the smoke unit bowl, there are little holes that allow the puffer piston to force air up through the unit and out of the smoke stack.  If those are clogged, you won't see much puffing action at all.  While your at it, you can replace the wick material.  

Do not stick anything down into the unit to scrape around.  You will likely break the small wire in the heating element.

After re-reading your post, before you clean out the smoke unit, I would check to see if the piston that moves the air through the smoke chamber is stuck.  To fix the smell, you may still want to try JTs MegaSteam "Nada" which is supposed to eliminate residual smells.  You could also replace the batting/wick in the smoke chamber and start fresh.

Does yours have the spring in the diagram below?

 

 

Hello, and thank you.

I have taken the shell off my 681 and cleaned the residue from the smoke unit, but I have never removed the 682 shell because I'm nervous about breaking those side valve attachments in the process.

Pardon the potentially stupid question: Is leaving the 682 on the track in neutral for an extended period of time with the ZW transformer bumped up to 20 volts not advisable for clearing out the smoke unit?

One vote for a push/pull pin that will need to be glued back or replaced, and another vote that it's a hex head screw. Has anyone taken off a 682 shell recently who might be able to confirm the correct removal method? What's frustrating is that I made an hour drive each way twice in one workday to the train shop, paid $30 for the repair, and the gentleman only fixed the stray wire issue and didn't even look at the smoke unit like I requested.

The problem: When the 682 is in neutral with the ZW transformer bumped up at 18-20v, the smoke slowly starts to waft out. When I send it forward, the smoke is imperceptible. (My 681, on the other hand, has not had the smoke unit primed in over a year, and it smokes like a chimney). As smoke does appear out of the smokestack while in neutral, I can assume that the unit does work but is simply clogged, correct? I have unclogged the smoke unit on the 681 many years ago, but my fear with the 682 is damaging the side pistons since I'm not sure how they are supposed to come off/go back on...

Thanks again for any/all info and advice!

JD2035RR posted:

It sounds like you need to clean out the smoke unit.  Over time, they can get "gunked up", especially switching back and forth between smoke pellets and liquid smoke.  At the bottom of the smoke unit bowl, there are little holes that allow the puffer piston to force air up through the unit and out of the smoke stack.  If those are clogged, you won't see much puffing action at all.  While your at it, you can replace the wick material.  

Do not stick anything down into the unit to scrape around.  You will likely break the small wire in the heating element.

I agree with JD that it is best not to switch back and forth between liquid smoke snd smoke pellets.

For Postwar, I prefer pellets. One thing I do is cut the pellet in half, and further break the half pellet into smaller pieces with my fingers, and put those small pieces in the stack.  This seems to work well for me.  Arnold

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

Lionel used some hex head drive screws. Usually the way to tell the difference is if the head is recessed a little it is a drive screw. If the head is flush it is a threaded screw. On the 682 I believe that the hex head fastener that holds the lubricator linkage to the shell is a drive screw. If you put a wrench on it and try to turn it it will break off. Leave the linkage attached to the shell and take it loose at the wheels. 

From the description you gave of your smoke problem, I would guess one of two things. As others have said, you need to check that the air pump is working and getting air into the smoke unit to blow the smoke out. Could be a mechanical problem that is not letting the smoke piston go up and down or it could be the air passages are plugged up. Second problem is if the smoke unit heater has been changed, the reproduction elements have the resistance too high. Resistance should be in the 11 to 15 ohm range. It it is 20 ohms or above the resistance is too high. 

I woukd recommend against changing the smoke unit to the liquid style heater. The pill type unit uses liquid just fine. The liquid type will not work with pills. 

Multiple online images show, and other threads discuss, that a drive screw (682-9) was used, I was in error. You already knew this based upon this thread.

Not to discourage you, but the forum has discussed all of this with you before:
Here is your old thread discussing this smoke issue, which builds on this thread.
Here is your thread about an odd smell from a turbine.
Here is another of your threads about smell where "eliminator" is mentioned.
There is also your concurrent thread mentioning some of these issues, which builds upon this previous thread.

Thank you Über--

My memory is evidently hazy, because I remember having problems with the smoke unit on my 681--which I finally sent out to Mr Chuck Sartor in Denver--but I didn't recall smoke issues with my 682. Aside from the apparent non-smoking, the 682 had problems running in general a few years back, and I was discouraged when my local repair shop did a so-so job, as referenced in the thread you hyperlinked where one of the rivets popped off and the other was only hand-tight upon return. One aspect that I did clearly remember is that the side piston valves are not to be messed with...

At any rate, the thread doesn't state how the smoking issue was finally resolved. I know that it has been smoking perfectly for the past few years, and my local guy--one hour away--snapped at me this morning when I called and asked if he will be in tomorrow/Saturday (Him: "It's the holiday season crunch time and I cannot drop everything to tear down your engine." Me: "Fair enough, but when I drove out there Monday morning with it, I told you about the smoking issue but you didn't address it"). Not that I was looking forward to spending my Saturday making a second trip in the same week for a train repair, but that sealed it.

I suppose I will send this one to Mr Sartor as well. Over the past 5 years, I am sure that in repair and re-repair costs I have far exceeded the resale values of my 681 and 682. It's only money.

Now I'm aggravated.

In taking off the little bolt at each wheel in order to avoid messing with the rivet at the shell...both rivets popped off anyway while removing the shell. The smoke unit looked nearly perfect; no gunk and no blockage anywhere once I removed the "donut" cover and wicking. Rotating the wheels manually I confirmed that the cantilever piece is functioning as it should. I put everything back together including the two rivets--one of which was bent and wouldn't push back in all the way--and there was no difference in the non-smoking. Two laps around the track and I noted a) the headlamp was now not working, and b) one of the rivets had fallen off. I inspected the bulb and found it to be screwed in all the way with the filament looking perfect...but not working. I wasted 20 minutes looking for the rivet but it's nowhere to be found.

Model railroading is such fun!

Use a magnet to sweep around the area to find the missing piece.  I don't know the part number for the oil linkage rivet, someone here probably does. 

No light and no/little smoke.  Sounds like it might possibly be a bad solder connection. Below is a wiring schematic for a 671.  Should be the same as the 682.  I would follow the wires of the headlight (6 in the diagram below) and the smoke unit (7 in the diagram below).  Look for any bad connections, worn out wire, possible shorts along the way.

Desert Center CA posted:

What's frustrating is that I made an hour drive each way twice in one workday to the train shop, paid $30 for the repair, and the gentleman only fixed the stray wire issue and didn't even look at the smoke unit like I requested.

 

Which wire was loose before you took it in?  Perhaps the stray wire issue was the smoke unit issue.  Perhaps a bad solder joint is causing the issue now in both the headlight and smoke unit.

Desert Center CA posted:

The one that fell off was slightly bent. If/when I find it I will try to straighten it, but if I break it, can I use either part 682-9 or part 700E-55 as above? I will be putting epoxy in there so they never again come out..

Use the 682-9. I posted the wrong rivet from the other end.

Rob

All's well that ends well.

I swapped in the same 1447 bulb that lights up in my 681, and it didn't work in the 682. I then tried a used 1447 from my miscellaneous junk box, and it worked. Returned the previous bulb to the 681, and it lit up like it should. This electronics stuff is all black magic to me, but problem solved nonetheless.

I then carefully dabbed some so-so strength glue onto the rivets (found the one that fell out) and pushed them into the shell. After waiting a day for the glue to dry, I primed the smoke unit with drops and let 'er fly. Thick, beautifully-defined O's once again billow from the stack even though I did NOTHING but take apart the smoke unit and inspect it. I did note that there is no donut-shaped gasket between the top of the smoke unit and the body--does this matter and/or affect performance? The 682 and consist have now gone 50 laps around the xmas tree oval without a hitch--it's a Christmas miracle!

I am leaving well enough alone, but my next question: which position for the side linkage is correct? Elbow "up" or elbow "down"...?

 

loco682_ident

pw-682 turbine

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