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Not sure if anyone has already posted about this, but I could find nothing on this subject. If so, let me know, and I'll go to that thread and delete this one. Anyhow, same problem as with the Mikados, but much worse, I bought two, a long and a short tender. Short tender one is ok, but the long tender version locks up almost every time I put it into reverse. As with the Mikado's, you can unlock the gears by forcing the engine with your hands and resetting it, but it happens almost every time with my long tender Decapod, and is a real pain. The short tender one seems fine but I am going to test it more this weekend to be certain.

My son and I did work with Lionel regarding the color, and these are much better than the Mikados. Still think they could be just a shade darker, but if one was not aware of the prior color issues and didn't put the things under a microscope to check the color, I doubt most people would even notice. Now they just have to get this gearing problem fixed for once and for all! Will be calling for my RA on Monday!

Photo attached. They are nice looking engines, Too bad about the gearing...

IMG_3971

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Last edited by PRRMiddleDivision
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Hopefully they fix it. There was one forum member that sent his L1 in for the same issue.

Lionel sent it back saying there was nothing wrong with it.

I'm guessing Lionels techs are more about r&r defective parts than tuning gear lash.

Either way, I'd grease the snot out of the gearbox ( of any new Lionel  engine you recieve) . The L1's were basically dry out of the box.

Last edited by RickO
@RickO posted:

Hopefully they fix it. There was one forum member that sent his L1 in for the same issue.

Lionel sent it back saying there was nothing wrong with it.

I'm guessing Lionels techs are more about r&r defective parts than tuning gear lash.

Either way, I'd grease the snot out of the gearbox ( of any new Lionel  engine you recieve) . The L1's were basically dry out of the box.

Rick,

Thanks for the response. When you say grease the gear box, do you mean just shoot grease in the holes by the axles on the bottom of the engine, or take the engine apart and grease the part of the drive train in front of the motor? I'm assuming the later.

This is going to be the same issue as the L1, …..I would hope by now Lionel has seen the REAL fix Norm & I have developed over on that thread, and they start applying it on the warranty level. Greasing it ( although a very good suggestion) isn’t going to remedy this problem. That’s a band aid at best. Hopefully you’re successful with your RA. If you’re handy with a screwdriver, Norm has ever so graciously provided the 3D STL file on the L1 thread ( same set up as the I1 )  This is certainly not a rocket science job, and you just may very well save yourself a whole lot of grief, ……especially if they send it back as CND, or problem resolved,…..I’m not advocating voiding any warranties…..just offering solid solutions…

Pat

Rick,

Thanks for the response. When you say grease the gear box, do you mean just shoot grease in the holes by the axles on the bottom of the engine, or take the engine apart and grease the part of the drive train in front of the motor? I'm assuming the later.

The "grease screw" will work.

It will be one of the inner axles that actually has the gears in it. I recommend injecting 1.5- 2.0 ml of grease. This will be the axle with the least amount of rotational play.

When I greased my L1 I put 1 ml then ran it a bit to work it in then added another 1ml.

The rest of the axles have grease screws as well. Those are for the axle bushings. These only get a tiny shot of grease. Over greasing will ooze out of the bushings and make a mess.

(I'm not implying grease will fix a poorly setup gearbox.  Only that it's preventative maintenance that needs to be done asap for a functional gearbox to last.)

I've not seene  liberally greased Lionel engine since the days of TMCC.

Last edited by RickO
@harmonyards posted:

If you’re handy with a screwdriver, Norm has ever so graciously provided the 3D STL file on the L1 thread ( same set up as the I1 )  This is certainly not a rocket science job, and you just may very well save yourself a whole lot of grief, ……especially if they send it back as CND, or problem resolved,…..I’m not advocating voiding any warranties…..just offering solid solutions…

Pat

I wonder if Norm or another forum member with printing capability would be interested in printing and selling a few of those shims?

I'd be more than happy to throw a few bucks at him. I'm sure it would be less than return shipping to Lionel at today's rates.

@RickO posted:

I wonder if Norm or another forum member with printing capability would be interested in printing and selling a few of those shims?

I'd be more than happy to throw a few bucks at him. I'm sure it would be less than return shipping to Lionel at today's rates.

3D printers are becoming a lot more numerous than you’d think, ….chances are, you might know someone that has one, …..my son prints them for me, but I have no desire to get into the retail end of things …….there are also mail order 3D printing services available. You’ll have to let google be your friend for that, unless there’s a forum sponsor that offers this service that I’m unaware of…..

Pat

I want to add one other comment. I just came up from the basement and tried out running just the engine alone without a train. Didn't seem to have the problem without a load. I admit I have a large layout as many of you know, and I typically run trains about 25-30 cars in length. That's when I'm having the problem. Just wanted to make sure you were all aware of that. The short tender engine has has no problems reversing even when hauling a heavy load, though I will test it more before drawing any conclusions.

Any other thoughts based on that additional observation? I will grease the engine as suggested by Rick above.

Tom21, it is a nice looking engine so I'd wait for more feedback before canceling. Perhaps this is something unique to my particular engine.

I want to add one other comment. I just came up from the basement and tried out running just the engine alone without a train. Didn't seem to have the problem without a load. I admit I have a large layout as many of you know, and I typically run trains about 25-30 cars in length. That's when I'm having the problem. Just wanted to make sure you were all aware of that. The short tender engine has has no problems reversing even when hauling a heavy load, though I will test it more before drawing any conclusions.

Any other thoughts based on that additional observation? I will grease the engine as suggested by Rick above.

Tom21, it is a nice looking engine so I'd wait for more feedback before canceling. Perhaps this is something unique to my particular engine.

I'm currently at @gunrunnerjohn's getting my L1 fixed.  It's just too frustrating paying $1300 for something to have to have someone fix it right

Didn't seem to have the problem without a load. I admit I have a large layout as many of you know, and I typically run trains about 25-30 cars in length. That's when I'm having the problem. Just wanted to make sure you were all aware of that. The short tender engine has has no problems reversing even when hauling a heavy load, though I will test it more before drawing any conclusions.

Any other thoughts based on that additional observation?

Pat ( harmonyards) covered the issue in his post above. The problem and fix is discussed in his L1 thread at length:

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...5#182466531691965435

Last edited by RickO

Neal, I am getting my two Decs tonight. I believe the shimming is the proper remedy. This gearbox and motor combination doesn’t have the correct worm gear to worm wheel centering. I am disappointed that this setup is in the more expensive Decs but I am prepared to deal with the lockup issue. I don’t think I should have to on a new engine but it is what it is right now.

Please be advised this is not an official or sanctioned fix by Lionel. I never did try to communicate with them after getting my engine back from their service department. I have no idea if they are aware of what’s going on. This fix may void your warranty.

Glad that you had an influence on the color!

I posted the shim files on the long L1 thread. They are very simple. The idea was to keep a constant thickness across the face of the motor to keep its nose angle the same. I believe Lionel shims the gearbox cover which mostly affects the gear mesh. For anyone printing them I suggest doing them raft style to maintain the desired thickness.

I want to add one other comment. I just came up from the basement and tried out running just the engine alone without a train. Didn't seem to have the problem without a load. I admit I have a large layout as many of you know, and I typically run trains about 25-30 cars in length. That's when I'm having the problem. Just wanted to make sure you were all aware of that. The short tender engine has has no problems reversing even when hauling a heavy load, though I will test it more before drawing any conclusions.

Any other thoughts based on that additional observation? I will grease the engine as suggested by Rick above.

Tom21, it is a nice looking engine so I'd wait for more feedback before canceling. Perhaps this is something unique to my particular engine.

The problem will be MORE prominent when backing a load, as opposed to running light. ….the gear on the motor starts riding near the blind spot in reverse, and thus loses it’s mesh. It’s one of those “ on the ragged edge “ of working & not working …..that’s why running light ie; no train to push, it’s ok, and when under load, it skips, locks & jams, …..Norm’s shim will fix the issue if you so desire to DIY, but as I’ve already said, and Norm too, you’ll be joining the warranty voiders anonymous club,….

Pat

The other thing is as Pat has said prior that the shims are not all the same size needed. That is every engine has a different gap to it, meaning that the shims will take some figuring on the size to it. Right Pat @harmonyards

Correct, and like Norm has printed different thicknesses, I’ve found the results to be from .5 to 1.0mm …..but then again, 11 have been through the shop now,…..

* correction!…11 L1’s ….I have not seen I1’s come in yet …

Pat

Last edited by harmonyards

I ended up using a 0.5mm shim, it seemed to do well, so that's what in it now.   Since I didn't have the 3D printed shims, I just cut one out of Styrene sheet.  I also had to replace one smoke motor, it would run great for 5-10 minutes and then start screaming.  I oiled it first, but that didn't fix it, so it got a new one.

Last edited by gunrunnerjohn

As I’ve said before on the L1 thread, this fix owes a lot of credit to Norm. He figured a much more elegant approach than I did …..in fact, I’m using his STL files to make the repair clean & neat, but also like John says, you can fashion a spacer from styrene sheet, or even sheet brass for those that have the tooling to make that, …..as Norm said, it’s best to have a full faced coverage …..

Pat

@Paul Kallus posted:

I suppose running them for several hours and "breaking in" the gears wouldn't solve anything? I have to admit without holding one in my hands and seeing how the gears mesh it's rather abstract for me...same with just about everything.

Unfortunately Paul, that will never cure this condition. Hang tight, I’ll put a couple of pictures together that will explain the ailment in easy to understand set ups ….

Pat

Here ya go, this hopefully will explain what’s going on with the L1’s & now apparently, the I 1’s …..the goldish color gear is on a shaft, and eventually turns the wheels via gear train .…, the silver gear that looks like a fat screw is attached to the motor. I have exaggerated these little examples to make it crystal clear. When the locomotive travels forward, the axle gear pushes the motor gear backwards, and the the tooth engagement is ok. In reverse, the axle gear tries to pull the motor gear further into the gear box, and basically ties to ride up where there is no teeth cut into the motor gear. The lock up occurs when the two gears are jammed together but not engaged in any teeth. So looking at the reverse drawing, if we shim the motor with the gear attached, further back, it can’t ride up on that blind spot …..

Pat IMG_8233IMG_8234

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Last edited by harmonyards
@harmonyards posted:

Here ya go, this hopefully will explain what’s going on with the L1’s & now apparently, the I 1’s …..the goldish color gear is on the axle attatched to the wheels, the silver gear that looks like a fat screw is attached to the motor. I have exaggerated these little examples to make it crystal clear. When the locomotive travels forward, the axle gear pushes the motor gear backwards, and the the tooth engagement is ok. In reverse, the axle gear tries to pull the motor gear further into the gear box, and basically ties to ride up where there is no teeth cut into the motor gear. The lock up occurs when the two gears are jammed together but not engaged in any teeth. So looking at the reverse drawing, if we shim the motor with the gear attached, further back, it can’t ride up on that blind spot …..

Pat IMG_8233IMG_8234

Excellent explanation! Thank you! And when you say shim the motor, do you mean upward on its mounting?

For what it's worth, I did shoot grease into the grease port on the bottom  as per RickO and now it backs up without locking when tested it about a dozen times. Do I think it will keep working? Not so confident about that, but I will keep testing it and report my findings. Is anyone else having the same problem with theirs?

BTW, what do you guys think of the color on this engine?

Last edited by PRRMiddleDivision


BTW, what do you guys think of the color on this engine?

I'm still waiting for the vendor to ship mine, but from what I've seen. It looks much better than the L1s.

When it arrives I'm going to compare it to my early Legacy M1b which appears to have an acceptable DGLE. It looks black until you park a black locomotive next to it.

Thanks for helping Lionel improve the color Neal. Now  if only Lionel would listen to Pat and Norm, maybe the gearbox issues can be addressed.

Excellent explanation! Thank you! And when you say shim the motor, do you mean upward on its mounting?

You shim under the motor itself, remove it from the motor mount and use a thin shim (I used 0.5mm Styrene sheet) cut to the shape of the motor under it.  It should be the size of the end of the motor with holes for the screws and worm shaft.

Excellent explanation! Thank you! And when you say shim the motor, do you mean upward on its mounting?

For what it's worth, I did shoot grease into the grease port on the bottom  as per RickO and now it backs up without locking when tested it about a dozen times. Do I think it will keep working? Not so confident about that, but I keep testing it and report my findings. Is anyone else having the same problem with theirs?

BTW, what do you guys think of the color on this engine?

No, we are shimming the motor away from the motor mount. The motor mount attaches to the gear box on the vertical plane only ( up & down ) By shimming the motor on the  mount, we are moving the motor with the screw gear attached to it, on the horizontal plane, ….When the shim is in place, reverse looks the same as the drawing labeled forward. Albeit my examples are extremely exaggerated for easier reference..

Pat

Last edited by harmonyards

Allow me to explain as well, why adding grease will only be a band aid solution, and it will not last long at all,…..When the fresh new grease gets on the gears, it will basically act like sticky glue and help basically hold things together…..momentarily!….as the geese gets squished out of any gears, it begins to lose that initial gooey state, and then begins to act like grease, and not like glue,…..that’s how this works. So as the grease is spewed out of the gears, and then begins to collect on the gear box walls, the whole skipping & locking in reverse will happen again……unfortunately, these locomotives need mechanical intervention, not cough syrup……not trying to bust no one’s bubble, just a dose of reality ,……😉

Pat

@harmonyards posted:

Allow me to explain as well, why adding grease will only be a band aid solution, and it will not last long at all,…..When the fresh new grease gets on the gears, it will basically act like sticky glue and help basically hold things together…..momentarily!….as the geese gets squished out of any gears, it begins to lose that initial gooey state, and then begins to act like grease, and not like glue,…..that’s how this works. So as the grease is spewed out of the gears, and then begins to collect on the gear box walls, the whole skipping & locking in reverse will happen again……unfortunately, these locomotives need mechanical intervention, not cough syrup……not trying to bust no one’s bubble, just a dose of reality ,……😉

Pat

I assumed this was the case

@harmonyards posted:

IMG_8234

Wow Pat, you are a very talented graphic artist too!? This is so realistic looking, it almost jumps off the page! So many talents!

LOL 🤣

Kidding aside, I love simple diagrams like this. It leads to a good common understanding of the problem, an how the fix solves it.

Now I’m really curious to recheck my L1 to understand why it works. Is it that there is less “throwout” on the worm shaft, or are  worm threads cut further in.

I wonder the same about the K4s… or was the lack of a centering spacer there allowing the gear to float over enough so that the teeth didn’t hit the non-threaded part, while keeping say, the edge one tooth engaged with the worm, slowly chewing away at that edge???

In order for this issue to surface, the worm has to reach the end of it's threads.   FWIW, the K4 is a totally different issue, the worm position was fine, it was the worm gear that walked off it's position on the shaft that caused the problem.

Understood. My question was more about why the K4s didn’t experience lockup problems. Did the fact that it walked off the worm, allow it to “continue working “ until it didn’t once the teeth wore down.

@harmonyards posted:

You’ll have to tell us in detail how you were able to bend their ears to get them to listen to you about the colors……..looks like in the pictures and in a lot comments, your hard work was rewarded …nice job

Pat

Pat,

Your feedback has been really helpful, and now I believe I understand exactly where the shim should go. i am going to open the engine and look for myself.

Thanks for your comments regarding the paint color. Just as some of you guys are into the mechanical details, I am into the graphics. I do have a contact/friend at Lionel who was aware of the color issue and was quite receptive to the comments of both me and my son Steven. We sent him lots of color chips, photos, and finally purchased a Pantone color book for ourselves so we could suggest accurate colors. Keep in mind, this is just for the railroads we model...PRR/PC/CR and a few others.

I would suggest you share you comments about the gearing and shims with Lionel which may bring this issue to and end. Furthermore, I will share this thread with him and see if he is ok with you contacting him directly.

Still not sure if the problem with my engine is limited to that particular engine or to lots of them. My short tender one works fine, and no one else has said they were having problems, so I just don't know for sure.

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