Problems with the motor of a MTH/Lionel Corp. 263E (traditional)

I've had another thread going about this engine. I had wheel slippage ever since I bought it and finally got a handle on it. Most of the solution involved adding more weight and removing the Bull Frog Snot I had on it. Anyway, tonight it was running and pulling real well. Until it didn't. All of a sudden, it seemed like the e=unit ceased functioning. Couldn't get it to move. But then I realized that if I pushed it, it would move, but slowly. I had no choice but to strip it down, remove the e-unit and motor and try to solve the problem. 

Here's what I found........the e-unit cycles properly and I do get full voltage readings when I put my meter leads across a brush well and ground and the opposite one when I try to reverse. I have to push the wheels to get them to start moving. I took the brush plate off and cleaned the brushes and the commutator. Added lube (but that was done when I worked on it last week).  I checked for loose or broken wires and can't find anything amiss.  The e-unit gets pretty warm, but most of them do when run for awhile. I don't notice anything charred or shorted on the motor or wiring.  But the motor suddenly lost it's power and after 4 hours down there, I'm out of ideas (at least for tonight).

Any suggestions will be appreciated

-Roger

Original Post

Try using a soldering iron to heat up the point on the armature segement where the wire is attached. It might be that running it hot may have melted the solder and you have ended up with a dry joint. In fact run the soldering iron all of the terminations .

If your readings are correct, there is a lot of resistance on one winding of the armature. Like UKFlyer said, remelt the solder on the commutator solder lugs. The other thing I would check is the brush springs. They may have weakened from the heat of a overworked motor.

Chuck,

I will try the remelt on the lugs. As for the springs......they don't seem weak at all. In fact, the brush plate on this motor is very strange. The brush spring wells are mounted UNDER the brush plate and the springs are at the bottom. Every pullmor I've worked on has the springs at the top. The tension is much lower when on top. So, for awhile I thought the plate was upside down. Pushing on the brushes while the motor was running did not really effect it's operation. 

It's definitely those lugs. I could see carbon around the 2 gaps in the commutator plates between the plates that had high readings. The numbers started out around.....2, 84, 84.  After I did the remelts, it was.......2, OL, OL.  So, it made it worse. 

I would have a go at taking each wire off it’s commutator tag and removing as much solder as possible from it. Then wrap the wire back around it and get some needle nose pliers and just squeeze it tight, then run some new solder back on again. I have just done this to a similar problem on a Flyer PA diesel armature and it ran fine again.

While you are at it make sure you clean any old oil/carbon gunge from the commutator slots as this will cause problems as well.

Do you have any pictures so we can have a look at it?

You have nothing to lose if it went faulty.

 

I’m not familiar with the armature but do you have the armature out of the motor?

You mentioned you had put a soldering iron onto the tag(s) and it didn’t work, does this mean that you don’t have much space to put the iron on the tag and just wind off the wire?

is it possible to post a picture of it?

UKA,

I had to try it with the armature in the motor. It's got a gear on the end (which if this was a cheap PW engine, I'd pop it off with a screwdriver). Not going to take this one off without the proper tool. But I just spoke with the Motor Doctor and he's capable of rewinding the armature (and increasing the winds for more torque) and possibly do a rewind of the e-unit if required). So, rather than go new armature or new motor, I'll go that route. Aside from it's looks......I'm not really liking this engine. When you give up the Proto 2 or 3 to go "modern" you give up all pulling power and traction. It is what it is.

ROGER1 posted:

I just tested the commutator with a multimeter. Between 2 of the plates, I get close to 2 ohms. The other two combinations yield a value of 17 ohms. Do I have a bad armature?

I was about to check on your traction progress.

Check to be sure it isn't 1.7 ohm. But I agree it is armature time. There should be about 2ohm on each. The more equal, the smoother it can run. There should be no contact from plates to shaft as well. (echo)

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





ROGER1 posted:

I just tested the commutator with a multimeter. Between 2 of the plates, I get close to 2 ohms. The other two combinations yield a value of 17 ohms. Do I have a bad armature?

 This is a pullmor motor ? I am not familiar with the motor on the 263e however reading resistance on a big stack pullmor from a Hudson through the brushes it reads about 2.2 ohms the field reads 1.1 ohms since they run in series the static resistance of the motor would be around 3.3 ohms.  Try this,  connect one end of the field to one of the brush wires or to the brush guide. Now connect a wire from a transformer to the other end of the field. Then set the transformer to 9-10V then touch the second wire to the second brush guide. Let us know what happens.  if the field and armature are good and the brushes are clean and sliding freely in the guides the motor should run. Something I was unclear about in your description was it sounded like the spring was between the commutator and the carbon  brush.   I'm sure you know that is not correct.  I often wish this site had a sketch pad.        j

Below are three photos of the strange brush plate on this engine. The first photo shows what looks like a normal brushplate, with the brass brush tubes on top (you can see the springs. The next two photos show it in it's mounted position.....upside down. The springs are pushed upward by the brush but it's opposite from every brush plate I've ever worked with. No other way to mount this plate. IMG_0932IMG_0933IMG_0934

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I did not know that, Chuck. Thanks for that info.  And as far as the armature goes.....yes, it is clean. 2 reasons.....the engine doesn't have alot of use and secondly, I cleaned it up after the dismantle to troubleshoot. It may be clean, but no longer works. It's on it's way to be rewound. 

Ok brush plate is like an O-27 steam loco just upside down, so to speak. Wires the same way.  Can you get a continuity reading through the field coil ? Make sure the commutator plates are clean, brushes also.   Disconnect the e-unit for now and hook the armature and field in a series like my drawing. If all your windings are OK it should run.  Remember to note how the e-unit connects.   One side of the field may be grounded so the frame will be the connection point to the transformer. You will have to determine that.          j

102_6769

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Update on this engine. I got a call from The Motor Doctor yesterday that my engine is repaired and ready to ship. They rewound the armature and gave me 20% more turns for greater pulling power. And.....they added traction tires to two wheels. I asked Albert what the armature looked like when he had it apart and whether the added weight burned out the wiring. Turns out, he found some bad, loose wraps inside and one of more apparently mechanically broke.  Good to know. 

When I get it back I'll report how it runs.

Roger

ROGER1 posted:

Update on this engine. I got a call from The Motor Doctor yesterday that my engine is repaired and ready to ship. They rewound the armature and gave me 20% more turns for greater pulling power. And.....they added traction tires to two wheels. I asked Albert what the armature looked like when he had it apart and whether the added weight burned out the wiring. Turns out, he found some bad, loose wraps inside and one of more apparently mechanically broke.  Good to know. 

When I get it back I'll report how it runs.

Roger

Very interesting stuff, to me at least. 

First, I wonder how much more pulling power the added "20% more turns" actually creates? My gut tells me it may not be much, but if the armature lamination 'stack' was built thicker, the added 20% might be quite noticeable. Of course that's just theory and there's probably not room, etc. Any knowledgeable motor engineers listening????

Secondly, I just checked my 1937 Lionel 265E and the brush plate is the same as yours, upside down! Now correct me if I'm wrong, but in this configuration, wouldn't the brush holder spring retaining tabs now serve a different purpose, and maybe not a useful one at that? It looks like as the brushes wear down, at some point the springs would hit these tabs and very quickly the engine would lose power and finally stop because there is no longer any tension on the brush springs???

MTH 263E Brush Plate

Just curious...

And BTW Roger, my engine will pull the 3 prewar cars it came with (613, 614 and 615) plus tender, around the old circle quite easily - it accelerates quickly, so I assume there is little wheel slip. I have never tried anything longer because I didn't have any other cars … but I do now, and the next trip out of the box, the testing will begin!

That is a nice clean, rust free engine you have, a real beauty! 

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George,

Well, I'll be able to tell you first hand later this afternoon how it went. I have to thank Amazon indirectly for this. Amazon has Sunday delivery through the USPS. At my post office, any other packages that happen to be there on a Sunday or whenever, end up going out with the Amazon stuff. So......yesterday.....on a Sunday.....on a Labor Day weekend.....my engine was delivered. I haven't had a chance to even open the box, but it's sitting here in front of me as I type this and will get to it a bit later.

As for the springs.....yes, if those brushes wear down, at least on mine, they will hit either the tabs or worse.....the commutator. I'm guessing that after the prewar era, maybe that's why they reversed it.  And as for why it looks shiny new.......it IS relatively new. It's not Pre War.....it's MTH/Lionel Corp. 

Another thing that Albert mentioned to me in my phone conversation last week. He could see why it was a bad puller (from a wheel slip standpoint). The wheels are not only shiny, but not as perpendicular as prewar wheels. He thinks the traction tires will make a big difference. But I will put some of my weights back in there. 

We'll see. I'm anxious to take it for a spin (but I'll have to get the shell back on first).

Roger

Ok, back to report on my repaired engine. It took a while to reassemble the engine, but last night, I got it back together and track tested it. I got a look at the armature before I ran it and it was definitely "plumper" in terms of the volume of windings. And the benefits were shown by the engine's speed and pulling power. The only disappointment occurred with the installed traction tires (although I was skeptical about them from the beginning). Without a groove to hold them on, they flew off the wheels within one loop of the layout....ripped off by my switches. I removed them, added some of my weights to the interior and put the shell back on. One of the cars in it's consist is a very heavy MTH Derrick car. Before the armature "gave up the ghost", I had some wheel slip whenever that was part of the consist. In the back of my mind, I started planning about selling that beautiful car and replace it with something lighter. I ran the reassembled engine with the consist minus that car. No problem.  Strong and fast. Then I thought....I'll try it with the derrick car just to see it slip. Didn't happen. It pulled the consist without slip even starting on a curve.  To be fair, I did not hit the throttle hard at startup. So, bottom line, I'm pleased with the armature rebuild and how this engine is running now. I definitely would recommend the motordoctor.com to anyone requiring a rewind of a motor. Not cheap, but cheaper than replacing the motor and not having the benefit of the increased number of winds. 

Roger

Traction tires must be glued on (hacky) or have grooves cut (or filed or ground while ran) into the wheels. The groove is the way to go. Eventually dried glue build up, or removal of it by tools ma6 put them out of round imo. I'd consider a careful closing of the spring tab gap to ensure a spring never takes out the armature plate (watch the tube doesn't warp). I've closed the gap before on one post war engine where the spring kept creeping out of the gap Other than that, the brushes have slightly less travel till worn, but that takes years as is. Postioning of the spring as is, will also help prevent a worn brush "disc" from falling out and ending up "who knows where". Brushes usually conduct very easily, but I wouldn't count them out as a cause for higher than normal resistance, especially when the factory read around them as well to get thier numbers. If you get a good numer with them it's fine, only bad readings should be questioned. If a motor is getting hot enough to burn windings up, you will usually know it fast by the shell heat or the smell. I often ran my post war till the shell was nearly hot to touch, my Marx CV gets painfully hot if heavily loaded for an hour or two or in need of a brush/arm. cleaning. I just think you got the "monday morning" motor, luck of the draw. Interesting page glitch...I just accidently dragged my composer's right margin closed, narrowing the composer box; but I can't reverse it or repeat it. The blue is normal size, the white is about 75% and shifted left leaving less than a space width of blue to the left and about a half inch of blue on the right side....?

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Adriatic,

They were glued on with Super Glue.   Lasted a microsecond over the first switch it hit. Immediately ran rough as apparently one of the tires snagged off. That lasted about another 15 feet when the other one must have come off and the engine and half the consist crashed. No harm done. 

Thanks for the tips on those brushes.  I don't think I ever run any of my engines enough individually to wear out brushes in my lifetime. Unless an engine is new (as this one was), I ordinarily replace the brushes and springs as part of my de facto tuneup. Should last a lifetime. Or what's left of mine. LOL

Roger

I've worn my childhood engines out more than once each. Dished treads, worn slots in shoes and cut rollers in half on Super O. Wore the thin center rails out on that too. I think I once ran the Adriatic non-stop for three days before Ma caught on ;D  I need it's 4th bushings and second gear set for it right now

I bet I do half the wear dressing the brushes flat when I clean .

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Wow......that's alot of run time. I had a 30 year absence from trains and have been back in it for 12. So, I've got alot of catching up to do. 

Just added a touch of lead to the front pilot and rear truck to stabilize them going through my silly 1122s. It's running like a champ. 

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