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I thought I would share my move into making my own train repairs. I am working on my Lionel Southern FM Trainmaster. It is not postwar but a more modern conventional build. However it is pretty much the same as the post war versions.

At issue is a bad gear in the truck. The gear is split and is either plastic or nylon. About 4 years ago I sent this out to be repaired. It was repaired and when I got it back I never ran it. Tried to run it last week and was a week puller and slipped a lot on the rails. Yeah, paid repair and postage but never checked repair. No big deal.

So I figured I was sending far foo many things out for repair thus it was time to do it my self. Now the first thing was to find a new gear. This is a common gear to find. To fined the part number I used the library at Olsenstoy. The only difference I could only find a brass replacement. I put my order in for two. I think it was around $21 with shipping.

Now I had to take the wheel and axle off the truck. I figured this would be simple and I could use two flat head screw drivers. I bet it would have worked but after reading some older forums on this site I bought a wheel puller. I bought the wheel puller from Port Lines Hobby for $56 in in lncluding shipping.

I order both the parts and wheeler puller on Thursday. Hat off to Port Lines the wheel puller came Saturday.

It is a neat tool, something so simple I probably could have made one. But I'm happy now would it work? Of course it couldn't be easy. There was no room to get the tool between the frame and wheel. The way the tool works you need to have the two attachments on the wheel across from each other. My solution was to make it fit by lightly tapping the one puller between the wheel and frame. In any event it worked. Then it is a matter of fitting it so the center of the tool sits on top of the axle. Later I will post some pictures.

It a matter of seconds I had the wheel puller. So I can endorse this tool, at least it works better than two screw drivers. 

This is where I am at for now until the gears come in. But as far as repairing a gear in a FM Trainmaster it is pretty simple. Take off the shell. Take the motor off the truck. Take the black wire off the truck, attached by a screw. Unscrew the sides off of the truck. Pull the wheel and wait for new gear to come in.

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My gear came in today. If your interest the part number is 623-22. It was really a very simple straight forward replacement. It took less than 10 mins to replace and then put everything together.

I used my drill press vise and it worked just great. While pressing the gear and wheel on at the same time I used the tip of a small flat head screw driver to keep the gear centered on the axle. The axle has a spot for the gear to set, so it is easy to get the right setting. You have to make sure to align the outside gear while pressing everything together.

I just took my time slowly pressinghile working the gears to get them to set correctly.

The wheels were centered and 100 balanced. The motor work gear matched up perfect to the new when gear.

I gave it a half hour workout and all is fine.

So my total cost was $16.94. I bought two gears at $6 each then had to pay a little postage.

Just trust me if you can change oil in your car you can replace this gear.

Next up fixing my horn in my Lionel F3 New York Central, just waiting for parts.


Wow-Even though an older post this is exactly what has happened to my Southern FM with both of its nylon gears---must be a common problem with these type of gears. For short term I was lucky as I had two older FM trucks I had purchased and just put them on and all was fine.  I decided to try the above (replacing the gear myself)---I used a nail punch and tapped the axle to free the plain wheel off enabling the gear side to be removed....then trying to think how the heck do I get the new brass gear centered properly...I too thought about using a shim etc...but I chickened out! Fortunately a friend nearby who once had a Lionel service station and all the proper equipment was called upon by me to complete the I  left both trucks and new brass center gears with him to finish the job after the holidays. I loved reading this post and only wish I had stumbled across it before because I would have tried completing the job. Steady and slow and patience. Glad it all worked out for you--thanks for posting this info.

Eureka!  Just got a call this morning and already picked up both pair of trucks professionally repaired.  Kudos to George Small who operates a Lionel repair center and has an unbelievable service work area with all the tools and parts anyone can imagine.  Thank you George and honestly I am glad I did leave the repair to the pro with knowhow. However it was interesting that original post and mine were the same Southern FM engine----with those center nylon gears in the trucks. Now that I have the brass gears I imagine all of us even if you have to pay a little extra for originally when purchasing a unit with brass gears would gladly pay instead of having the frustration of those nylon gears splitting.  This was great link to the repair to keep in mind if and when needed.  Thanks again to everyone responding.

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