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Yesterday I was running my Pennsy 2-8-2 USRA Light Mikado (20-3286-1) and it was running just fine when it just stopped dead on the track.  It was going forward and stopped, tried reversing it and it wouldn't move, lights were on but no movement.  Shut down the whole system and then restarted.  Power came back up and I hit the start up button and the loco came to life.  I could blow the whistle, ring the bell and reverse it but the engine would not move, shut it down again and this time the 5 fingered big hook came over and moved the engine about 6 inches and went thru the start up again, this time it moved, it came around and as it was heading towards me, all of a sudden it took off like a rabbit.  It became the Pennsy Flyer,  before it reached the next curve I was able to get it stopped.  The next time it was running back and forth on the main just to see what was up and it did it again only this time it zipped along and then slowed down for a short time the took off again.  Not sure what exactly was going on but it would definitely get in a mood and do whatever it felt like doing.  I stopped it and disconnected it and looked the locomotive over real close but everything seemed ok.  Tender seemed just fine too.  I reconnected it and it started and ran like normal for a few more laps around the layout and then it did it again and then it just stopped liked I described before.  Does anyone have any idea(s) as to what might be happening with it.   It is a great looking and running engine except for when it thinks its  a rabbit or a race horse.  Could it possibly be the drawbar pin and socket connection?  It felt like it was very well seated but its hard to tell.

Can this engine be changed over to Proto 3 or better yet, could it be changed over to Lionel Legacy?  Thanks for your responses, I'm looking forward to your replies.

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So a motor wire touching the shell would do this. A bad tether can do lots of weird stuff.

Time for the shell to come off for a look and share some pics.

I wonder if some wire is touching the frame on either end of the tether?

I believe loss of tach signal makes these PS2 3 volt stop? Just a guess.

A shorted wire would be what I'd look for or something obvious.

Last edited by Engineer-Joe

Engineer Joe, I don't have the slightest idea as to how to get the shell off but I guess there is no time like the present to learn how.  Then, I wouldn't know what I was looking for or where to look.  Where does one go to find parts if I need them.  Alan Mancus, thanks for your response but I have no clue whaat you are talking about, you are talking Greek to me right now.  Sorry.

@J. Motts posted:

Can this engine be changed over to Proto 3 or better yet, could it be changed over to Lionel Legacy?  Thanks for your responses, I'm looking forward to your replies.

Sounds like it would be a ton cheaper to simply fix it.  Although anything's possible, this sounds like the board is OK, you have a connection issue, pinched wire, or tach sensor problems.  None of these should cost nearly as much as upgrading it.

I had similar symptoms with a 0-8-0 switcher. It could be the tether or the tach reader. If it seems to show up more in corners where’s there’s a little strain on the tether.  More likely the pins that tether plugs into need to be resoldered on the PC board. They basically just need a pencil type iron touched to each connection to re flow the solder on the connection. If you aren’t comfortable soldering. Send it to a pro. This job isn’t for the faint of heart as your dealing with close spacing and small wires. It’s best to leave the tether plugged in when doing this so the pins stay in proper alignment.

Last edited by Dave_C

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