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I'm sort of at a standstill now, with no additional progress. I plan on looking at this next Friday at my friend's house, as we may need to rewire everything. I still hope that all goes well and I don't need more parts.

In the meantime, if I can ask a stupid question to JAGRICK, David Johnston or Harry Hennings... if I want to test the motor with running two wires from the center rail and ground rail directly to the motor, where exactly can I attach the wires? If you can use engineer's side and fireman's side to clarify which side, it would make my life easier. Thanks.





Tom, to get the motor to run you need to connect power to one brush, connect the other brush to one motor field lead, and connect the other motor field lead to the other power wire. Looking in the cab from the tender what you see is the brush plate.  Above the brush plate is the motor field coil.   The leads for the field come out on the engineers side. One goes to a terminal on the brush plate, the other goes forward to the e unit.   The brush holders are on the lower edge of the brush plate.  They each should have a lug that comes to each side of the brush plate. Normally those lugs would be connected to yellow wires that go forward to the e unit. 

When connecting the motor to power wires, it does not matter which wire goes to the brush or field. It is AC and the wires have no polarity.  They are interchangeable.  

Connect one power wire to either brush lug.  Use a jumper wire to connect the other brush lug to one of the field leads.  Connect the other field lead to the other power wire.   The motor should run, but it must have good brushes in it.  To reverse the direction reverse the power wire and jumper to the field on the brush lugs. 

I would suggest you take the motor out.   With all the wires disconnected it only requires removing the two mounting screws on the front. To rewire the loco the motor has to come out as the rear collector terminal is under the drive shaft. With the motor out you can remove the screws that hold the gear unit cover on. This will let you remove the cover , which has the e unit mounted to it. With the cover off , and the gasket if it stays with the frame, you can lift the worm shaft out. The bearings will come with it. Now you can get to the rear collector lug. 

This may sound like a lot of work to get to a lug to solder on a new wire, but this gives you access to the interior of the gear box, which is probably full of very old hard grease, which needs to be cleaned out and replaced. With the worm shaft out you can remove, clean and relubricate the bearings on one end of the shaft.  To get the bearings off the other end the gear needs to be removed by loosing the set screw and tapping it off. The things that look like washers are actually hardened and ground thrust washers. The side the ball bearings are running against need to continue to be the wear side. 

The weak point in this loco is the fiber gear on the end of the worn shaft. It's condition will determine the future of the loco.  I have never found any sold as spare parts, but they might be out there somewhere. I also remove the gear on the motor shaft so I can remove the armature from the motor to clean it and get oil in to the front bearing.  There is a second bearing on the motor shaft that sits on the commutator.  Keep track of that as it needs to go back on.  If the set screws in the gears are slotted so they can be removed with a straight blade screw driver, they may break when being removed. Replace them with set screws with a recessed hex drive.  That will make life so much easier.  


Before I get into the nitty gritty details, I need to give "Special Thanks" to 3 people for going above and beyond with this project:

1)Harry Henning and his folks are great to deal with and are so honest, it is refreshing. No wonder why his store has been around so long.

2)David Johnston must have worked in a prior life at the Lionel factory assembling prewar steam switchers. How he knows what he knows is beyond me. I could not thank him enough for his support.

3)My friend Bill who has the unenviable job of helping me out when things go wrong with my switchers.

(honorable mention to Myron Biggar for the set of screwdrivers he gave me at a Greenburg train show at Yonkers Raceway, back in the 1990's)

I recently got back my "basket case" of a locomotive from Harry Henning. Harry had the lower half of the locomotive assembly. Now keep in mind that this locomotive was severely abused by a prior owner and it needed lots of work. Some of what was needed included: rewinding the coil for the e-unit, I believe all of the wiring was replaced, the drivers were dinged and dented needing replacement, the idler gears were shot and needed replacement...and that may just be a fraction of what Harry and his folks worked on. Luckily, I had a donor locomotive that I bought years ago if ever needed for such a project. The donor steam switcher donated drivers and idler gears.

While that was happening, my friend Bill, who helps me with the less severe types of repairs did some great work on the cab roof. The cab roof was no longer "round" most like from a drop or several. It also had a rip/tear on one edge. Bill hammered out the rip and then we figured that we should try to reinforce the roof. Looking around his basement, I noticed a familiar shape and asked, how about this tuna can? So, Bill used tin snips to cut a small section out of the can and then we epoxied it to the underside of the cab roof. I wonder if the cats in my house will have an unnatural attraction to this particular locomotive now!

Tonight...Upon receiving the lower assembly back from Harry Henning, I still needed to do some minor work. Tonight was a pretty big step forward. I had to flip a plate under the e-unit, I wired the headlight to the new wire Harry left for me, I drilled out the repro 653 number plate for the new smokebox assembly and replaced the 653 number plate with a new old stock #227 number plate which is more representative of the vintage nature of this locomotive.

So, how does it run? I had emailed David Johnston earlier today and he gave me some more advice. The last sentence summed it all up. He said:

Should run like a Swiss watch.

By the way, she does! I could not have been happier.

More to come in the next few weeks:

  • Putting all the rods back on
  • Putting the front smokebox assembly on
  • Putting the boiler shell on
  • Putting on the front pilot/steps
  • Running it with the #2232B tender purchased to be its mate
  • Replacing the missing marker lights on the boiler

So, summing up... here we have a locomotive that is in its mid to late 70's as far as age, made in the USA when this type of craftsmanship was indeed like a Swiss watch and it now ready to start another 70 years of operating.

Thanks again for everyone's interest and support.


Edit from Spring 2024- It was around this post that we used a Krylon can of black (flat) if I remember correctly...taping off all but the cab roof. So, the top of the cab roof got a coating to cover the repair we made. In one of the photos below (2 down from here), you can see the lines of the tuna can we epoxied on the underside of the cab roof. Also, if it gets confusing to follow, I changed by OGR handle from "MNCW" to "PRR8976."



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Last edited by PRR8976

Cosmetic Work- December 28-29, 2016

I went over my friend Bill's house to get some more work done on my switcher yesterday. Prior to that, I had ordered 8 handrail stanchions to replace 7 broken and 1 missing stanchions, from Harry Henning. I admit, I should have counted how many I needed since I lucked out and used every last one (Harry, if you are listening I could use 8 more of the short version handrail stanchions!).

Prior to all of this work, I had given the boiler shell another good cleaning, this time with Zud and a toothbrush which did a pretty good job of getting things mostly all cleaned up. Bill also used rubbing alcohol and Q-tips for the final cleaning. Judging by the dirt still being removed, both of these methods definitely helped to give the boiler shell a nice clean surface. 

So, here are some pictures...

Pulling out the broken stanchions that could be easily removed.


Drilling out the ones that could not easily be twisted out. Prior to drilling, my friend Bill filed the broken piece as flush to the boiler as possible, then used a hole punch to help guide the drill bit to drill out the remainder of the stanchion (multiply that by 7!). 


After the stanchions were installed, we opted for using a (Krylon) clear coat to balance out the work previously done on the cab roof with the boiler and the smoke box door. We used a turntable substitute/"Lazy Susan" to make the spraying process easier. I liked the clear coat idea since I really did not want to repaint everything and cover up all of the original paint and the original cab numbering. See what you think...


Today (December 29th), I used 20 gauge galvanized steel wiring to replace the handrails. 


While visiting, I was able to run the locomotive for the first time with its adopted tender...


More work to be done in the new year includes replacing the broken marker lights, reattaching the rods that were temporarily removed and reattaching the boiler shell. 

Happy New Year everyone.



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Last edited by PRR8976

Nice work so far.  My brother owned the same pre-war switcher when we were kids.  Beautiful loco.  

Krylon is by far the best spray paint on the market.  It has always worked first time every time for me with excellent results.  It's a pity they don't sell it at Home Depot and Lowes.  

Last edited by Former Member
Adriatic posted:

 Original Rustoleum looks like old thick tin plate paint. It's curing time is another issue. Don't be in a hurry

Krylon good paint, likely best for the loco finishes.

Yes, that's another reason I liked the Krylon. It dried relatively quickly and I could handle it to put it in a box to bring it back home.

Thanks everyone for your comments, Dan, Dave, Jim (again) and Adriatic. 


More News Today...January 8th...

I was able to scrape together 2 more stanchions for the pilot area, put in the last railing (on the pilot), attached the pilot/front steps, put the boiler shell on and attached 2 rods previously removed while repairs were being made. 

Overall, everything went well...a few laps around on my workbench and a little ozone in the air! 

One small issue that one of the screws holding the rods on came loose...any thoughts from David or Harry or any other repair folks about putting a dab of crazy glue in the screw hole to prevent the screw from backing out?  Thanks in advance for the advice. 





Last edited by PRR8976

Hi Tom, engine really looks nice.  For screws that will not stay in I use purple Loctite, their  no. 222.  It is low strength so you can get them out later.  If threads are gone so screw will not tighten I use helicoils. Not available in many sizes including 4-36, but it is available in some pitches for #2 and #3 screws.  Some of these items are available on Amazon. Otherwise I get them from McMaster Carr or MSC. 

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