Repair Question on Lionel Modern Ballast Tamper

Working on a Lionel 6-18483 C&O Ballast Tamper

I've repaired several issues but this most glaring one remains.

The reverse board is secured up and away for testing purposes.

The little critter will run fine, all functions a go.

However, after a few minutes it begins to slow down and eventually stop.

It will do this on the layout or on the workbench so it's not dirt or track work.

Give it a few minutes "of rest" and the event can be repeated.

The motor is not hot when it stops nor is the reverse board.

Is the motor failing or is it something else?

Thanks Gents




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Original Post

Top suspect is the motor, those little motors fail with some regularity.  I keep a spare, a very similar motor is used in the K-Line Plymouth and the K-Line Porter.  Those have a different gear setup.  Left the motor from the ballast tamper, right is the K-Line motor.  Same size, just different gears.


You can lift the leads from the motor and run it from a DC supply and see if it slows down after running a spell.  I suspect the motor, but it's possible it's the reverse board.


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Thanks Guys

I ran the motor, John, on DC as you suggested and it worked without slowing so I guess it might be the reverse board.

However, replacing both while at it would probably be wise.

One more question comes to mind............there are 2 resistors (2 ohm) in line on the leads to both motor terminals.  What is their function?  Are they necessary?

Thanks again


Obviously they're current limiting for motor stalls I would imagine.  I'd leave them there.  I think it's prudent to replace the motor as well as the board, you're already paying shipping, so the motor won't cost much more. 

Did you think to measure the current drawn by the motor?  Did you try applying a light load by gently holding one of the wheels to provide a load to the motor?  The motor should not draw more than around 50ma at 6 VDC free running.  When I applied a generous amount of friction to the shaft, the current was around 100ma.  I've seen them draw much more when defective, that causes them to kill the driver transistors on the reverse board.

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