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I bought a 60 trolley on the bay for the chassis, but when it arrived it looked in pretty good shape.  I decided to try to resurrect it.  I put in on my test track for a quick check and it started to smoke.  Time to dig in.  I've completely refurbished 3+ trolleys, so I'm pretty comfortable with taking it totally apart and rewiring what's necessary (short of rewinding the field coil and armature).  It was in pretty bad shape with 50+ years of caked on grease and disintegrating wires.  Amazingly the brushes were in great shape.  I cleaned it all up, lubed it, rewired the track rollers and light, and put it on my test setup (alligator clips, no track) with power coming straight from a KW transformer.  The motor and light worked really well in both directions.  Great, time for a track test.

I put it on my track which is powered by a ZW, with a kill switch when shorts are detected.  It tripped the short switch in both directions.  I took it apart again, made sure all connections were secure and no exposed wires were touching anything.  Again, it worked fine with power from the clips.  When I put it on the track, it again tripped the short switch.  So I reset it and tried to power it up slowly with the ZW handle.  The light came on at low power and got brighter as I increased power.  The light would stay on at that point and not trip the switch.  But when I applied more power to get it to go the switch tripped.

The armature seems to be in the worst shape.  You could see some rust on the outside of it.  I rubbed it off the best I could.  Would that be the source of the short?  I do have an ohm meter, but I'm not real good at knowing how to use it.

Last edited by texgeekboy
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Check the armature with your ohm meter. From any of the copper commutator segments to any other should be about 1.7 ohms.  From any commutator segment to the shaft should the thousands of ohms. Since it worked with test leads, but not on the track, take a hard look at the collector assembly. Is there something shouting when the arms are pushed up, but not when using test leads?

Well, it turns out there must either be something in the wiring in my track or in my kill switch.  I bought 2 exact same kill switches several months back.  The one on the track has been used a lot, and has worked well, and the other one was a spare.  I couldn't figure out why the trolley was kicking it off, so I got 3 feet of spare track and connected the second kill switch to the transformer connected to that track, and the trolley runs without a problem.

Thanks David and Rob, but the problem was solely of my doing and nothing to do with the Trolley or the circuit breaker.  My small track now spans 2 rooms, and a section of it is between some boxes.  In that section I had a train derailment from a week or so before, and never picked it up.  I didn't notice it when I started testing the trolley in the other room, where the ZW is.  The circuit breaker was reacting to the short caused by that problem, nothing to do with trolley stuff.  After I fixed my dumb mistake, the trolley worked great.

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