This might be my first new topic, though I have commented on a few running topics some time back. So, howdy folks! I have been chasing an annoying squeak on a recently acquired Lionel 1666 that I have been working on. To make a long story short the culprit is one or both of the pickup shoes. They are quite worn and ready for replacing, I had just not heard any squeal before while running down the track. Internet and forum searches didn't find any mention of this phenomena but my "google fu" can be a bit weak at times. Is this common with these small pickup shoes, or just in cases where they are badly worn? They both have deep grooves from lots of use, but aren't worn through anywhere. It squeals on the straights as well as on curves. I need to rebuild the e-unit on this and a couple other locomotives, guess I'll add a couple sets of pickups to my shopping list.
Replies sorted oldest to newest
Are you sure it's the pickup shoes? These engines often begin squealing because the armature needs oil at the fiber brush plate. This end of the armature need lubrication very frequently as the fiber tends to absorb oil quickly. Do both ends while you're at it, but it's the fiber end that is usually the culprit. I'd try that first if you haven't already.
But "Don't panic" and keep that towel handy. (Sorry - couldn't resist! )
i would take the brushes out and polish the commutator to a high gloss with very fine emery paper finest grit you can get, polish commutator until you can see your self like in a mirror, then install new brushes and springs, then it should run light a top, you probably have a lot of arching on the commutator because the brushes are very worn, sometimes even groves worn in to commutator! this solution will fix your motor if this was the problem!
Thanks for the great tips fellows but I have already done those things, already being somewhat familiar with working on these motors. I can demonstrate that the squeal is not motor or axle related by gently pushing the locomotive along the track while holding the wheels so they can't turn, it still makes the same noise. I thought it might be the truck wheels, but oiling them didn't stop the noise. It isn't a continuous loud squeal, just sort of a soft periodic squeak really, when pulling a consist at speed I don't notice it for the rolling noise, but when just running the locomotive by itself it is obvious in the otherwise quiet room. I'll keep running it until I get the parts in, maybe it will straighten out on its own. When I got the loco it was obvious that it hadn't run in quite a long time, maybe it just needs a bit of exercise.
And yes, I always know where my towel is!