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I have embarked on a project to bring back to life my first Lionel train from 1952.  The e-unit was shot, so I purchased a rebuilt unit.  The train saw many years of operation and the rollers where worn, so I purchased a new set.  I have been testing things along the way rather than waiting to the end so I can isolate issues that may arise.

I CANNOT get beyond a short that occurs in the trailing truck.  I am using the original screws with insulating washers and the insulating pad between the roller assembly and the body of the truck.

Would very much appreciate any advise on how to determine where the short is and how to correct it.

Thanks,

Tom

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@Danr posted:

Check the wire coming from the pickup rollers.  If it is original it may be cracked or it may be pinched somewhere.

Thanks Dan for your reply.  I carefully checked the (original) red wire and it is okay.  Somehow the  current is flowing from the roller assembly to the truck, either the red wire, screws that hold the roller assembly to the truck, or the alignment pins on the roller assembly to the truck.  I placed electrical tape over the alignment pin hole on the truck and still have the short.  Next, I will unsolder the red wire from the roller assembly and see if there still is a short.

I was looking forward to seeing my first train run once again over Christmas, but this short continues to elude me.

The part numbers are hard to read:

  • insulating spacer (shoulder washer) 671-112. $0.25
  • insulating washer 2333-42. $0.20

Just in case you can’t find the washer.

Unfortunately, you won’t find these in your local big box store.  These prices are from the Train Tenders website.  His minimum shipping charge is $5.75 so, it’s a good time to order a couple of other parts you might need.  

@Danr posted:

The part numbers are hard to read:

  • insulating spacer (shoulder washer) 671-112. $0.25
  • insulating washer 2333-42. $0.20

Just in case you can’t find the washer.

Unfortunately, you won’t find these in your local big box store.  These prices are from the Train Tenders website.  His minimum shipping charge is $5.75 so, it’s a good time to order a couple of other parts you might need.  

Dan - thanks for providing the part numbers and a place were they can be purchased.  BTW, I disassembled the truck from the dummy a-unit that provides power to the light and found that it does not have the shoulder washer, so I am wondering if Lionel stropped using them after 1950 and before 1952.  In any event, it seems prudent to purchase and install some.  Thanks again for your help.  Tom

Dan - I have tried three roller assemblies and each one has a short.  Two of the assemblies don't have wires.  So, it would seem that the source of the short would either be the screws coming in contact with the metal base of he roller assembly or the alignment tabs at the base of roller assembly coming into contact with the truck frame.  I applied some electrical tape to the holes in the truck frame that accept the alignment pins, so most likely the source of the short is one or both screws.  I will order the shoulder insulating washer and hopefully that will fix the problem.

And, the short goes away when I remove the roller assembly.  I will let you know when I receive and install the shoulder washers.

Thanks for your help.  Tom

@Tom Jasper posted:

Dan - I have tried three roller assemblies and each one has a short.  Two of the assemblies don't have wires.  So, it would seem that the source of the short would either be the screws coming in contact with the metal base of he roller assembly or the alignment tabs at the base of roller assembly coming into contact with the truck frame.  I applied some electrical tape to the holes in the truck frame that accept the alignment pins, so most likely the source of the short is one or both screws.  I will order the shoulder insulating washer and hopefully that will fix the problem.

And, the short goes away when I remove the roller assembly.  I will let you know when I receive and install the shoulder washers.

Thanks for your help.  Tom

Good luck, Tom, let me know if it works out.  Happy Thanksgiving!

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