I just picked-up a cosmetically nice Lionel #42 loco and three coaches.

 I oiled it, spun the wheels a few times, and put it on my Christmas loop, and..... nothing.

No growls, grunts, sparks, anything.  I rolled it back and forth with power on, and still dead as a doornail. ( Just prior  I had run my 38 around a few times, so track & power are ok.)

This unit is single-motor, with sliding shoe pick-up.

Am thinking the troubleshooting will be easier if I remove the motor-truck/bogie from the shell.

Not sure how to do it though... there is a stirrup bracket / pivot bolt over top  for each truck,  but the motor assembly makes this inaccessible on the powered truck...

Any suggestions?

Fran McM.



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Thanks for replies.

Got the motor truck out, and discovered some wiring was missing:  wires from brushes to switch, and wire from pick-up shoe to switch. Also missing were wire to headlight and illuminating post.

I took apart the reversing switch to clean the wipers and contact “bullets”, reassembled, installed missing wiring, took it over to the track, applied the power, and... nothing.

Pushed the unit back and forth a bit, and then it locked-up.

Commutator came apart. ☹️

Needless to say, I am disappointed. 🥺

It looks as though the wheels have to come off to disassemble the motor.

Any recommendations on a GOOD wheel puller ( cast-iron wheels ), and a source for a new commutator, or someone to rebuild mine?


Fran McM.


Just lay it in your lap and tap the axle out with a small punch. Sometimes you can just twist the wheel off. If the commutator segments are intact they might can be glued back together, then run a bead of JB Weld around it to keep it together.



Jeff at the train tender has a good wheel puller for about $50. Check with Harry Hennings to see if wheels are available in case you break one pulling it off. When assembling you will need to quarter them properly. Mounting post for the siderods need to be 90 degrees apart, otherwise they will bind.

Try some of the other methods for wheel pulling first to save some money.

Thanks to all for the suggestions and endorsements for repairs / tools / parts.

Motor truck is at Henning's for diagnosis and repairs.

The answer to my original question, "how to remove motor / dummy truck from shell?"  is thus:

Remove the frame retaining screw (circled in red) at the inner end of the truck, then gently pull the inner-end of the truck away from the shell, it will pivot on rivets at the outer end of the frame (circled in green).  This will give access to the center pivot nut & stud (circled in blue). Remove the nut and washer if any (stud / bolt should be captive),  and carefully remove truck from shell.

You may need to disconnect wire for headlight / lighting post from the reversing switch.

As others pointed out above, my loco is missing a lot of wire... everything but the field-coil wires to be exact.

Fran McM.

# 42 Loco - underside 1.1, motor truck - retaining screw and frame hinges# 42 Loco - underside 2.1, 'dummy' truck, showing pivot bolt & nut - retaining screw and pivot bolt circled# 42 Loco - underside 3.1, reversing switch, both trucks, showing retaining screws & nuts. Retaining screws circled


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