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Well, I got the red n tacky on the gears but, unfortunately, I ripped off 3 little wires (black purple and white) that were soldered onto a plate with a switch in the back of the engine. These 3 wires at the other end of them are still connected to the circuit board (thank God!).

Below are photos of what I'm talking about.

In the bottom photo, the engine is on its side, the white and purple wires were and are taped together, and the black wire is separate.

The middle photo shows the outside of the back plate with the switch on top. Since I don't have the owners Manual, I'm not sure what that switch is for, but my guess is it is for the smoke, the horn and/or bell. It's not for the Railsounds because that switch is under the tender.

The top photo shows the inside of the back plate where the 3 wires need to be re-soldered to the connections on the top.

I desperately need some expert advice as to where each of the 3 wires need to be soldered.

Arnold

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Arnold, this is funny! I thought a ultrasonic nebulizer with some transmission oil, followed by a high dose of magnesium and steroids might help. What is the age and weight and height of the loco? Does it have any allergies? Does it have a history of wheezing? Is there nocturnal wheezing? Audible wheezing is usually a dry gear (or cardiac noise referred sound) So long as You aren’t with a reactive airway or your loco with a steam chest issue!
I had the same issue with one of my postwar locos. Shaft lube needed and check for uniformity or gear integrity. Something might be slipping the wrong way with increased resistance to flow. Hmm, what are we talking about here again? Lol.

great topic and associated videos!



Arnold, when you get all thru greasing and lubing, take several clean, dry cotton swabs and clean off your wheel treads and your wheel flanges, I can see grease globs on or close to both. Do not use the same area of the swab to make multiple passes while cleaning, just one swipe at any small smudges of grease, then rotate to find another clean side of the swab and wipe a new area. Same goes for any globs of grease you find on any moving parts, clean it off before it has a chance to sling off.

I would caution you in regard to applying grease and/or oil to the armature shaft where it goes through the brush plate. While the armature shaft absolutely needs to be lubricated (both ends), any excess applied to the shaft on the brush plate side can easily sling off onto the commutator segments on the armature and will cause havoc if they do so. Keep it light. Through trial and error, my preference is to only use a light oil, and just a very small drop. The engine will tell you if/when it needs more.

Just for grins, you may want to watch this short video on lubrication from Lionel, it talks about NOT applying grease to your gear teeth - when you're done with that, watch this video from some lad named Dean - I have no idea who he is, but he recommends that you do put grease on your gears!

What's the point you ask? In short, the point is that everybody has an opinion on the way things should be done, and they are rarely all the same. As a repair shop manager, I learned that if you have ten different technicians all working on the exact same product, you will have ten different products rolling off your service line unless you provide them with one standardized repair procedure and then train them all to that procedure. What if there is no standardized procedure? Then follow the manufacturer's recommendations - they hire real engineers and even do testing to come up with their procedures. That said, the Lionel video seems pretty minimal in my opinion, but I would bet Lionel has supplied additional info over the years that can be found in operator's manuals, instructions sheets, perhaps even more videos. It will make some interesting reading.

For now, just clean up any excess lube you have on your drive train and get your wires soldered. I suspect that after watching videos and learning more about the repair of your toys, and getting your feet wet, you will, like most of us, develop your own particular approach to doing things like this.

I have attached an excerpt from Lionel Supplement #30 for your engine. You can see the purple and white wires do go together and are soldered to one of the end terminals on the switch, while the remaining wire appears to go to the center terminal. Best of luck!

George

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So, here's the upshot, which is mixed.

The Red n Tacky worked beautifully. The engine can now fly down the track with no wheezing. I was generous, but not outrageous, with the Red n Tacky wherever there was a gear.

It took my FOREVER, after taking the brush plate off, to get it back on with the little bronze cylindrical things (forget what they are called) to stay in place. But, with the patience of Job, after cleaning the copper colored top of the armature (armature plate) with an eraser, and running a tooth pick through the little slots, I FINALLY got the d.... thing back together. What a PITA!

More good news. I re-soldered the 3 wires where I guessed they belonged, and the engine runs, smokes, and all sounds (Railsounds, bell and whistle) work great. What a relief!

So, what problem could there be? The headlight doesn't work. I don't think the 3 little wires (black, white and purple that is in the photo above) have anything to do with the headlight. The wire for the headlight came off, so I resoldered it back on, but still no light.

I will post a picture of the headlight and wire.

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Last edited by Arnold D. Cribari

.

The middle photo shows the outside of the back plate with the switch on top. Since I don't have the owners Manual, I'm not sure what that switch is for, but my guess is it is for the smoke, the horn and/or bell. It's not for the Railsounds because that switch is under the tender.



Arnold

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Arnold - The switch inside the cab is the LCRU switch for Forward/Run or Program/Lock, the latter to enable the engine to be locked into a single operational state if you wanted.  Incidentally, like many other engines the Owner's Manual for this steamer can be found on Lionel's website under Support by typing in the product number as you normally would in the space provided.

@Leroof posted:

Arnold, this is funny! I thought a ultrasonic nebulizer with some transmission oil, followed by a high dose of magnesium and steroids might help. What is the age and weight and height of the loco? Does it have any allergies? Does it have a history of wheezing? Is there nocturnal wheezing? Audible wheezing is usually a dry gear (or cardiac noise referred sound) So long as You aren’t with a reactive airway or your loco with a steam chest issue!
I had the same issue with one of my postwar locos. Shaft lube needed and check for uniformity or gear integrity. Something might be slipping the wrong way with increased resistance to flow. Hmm, what are we talking about here again? Lol.

great topic and associated videos!



Leroof, you are the best respiratory therapist in the World. LOL, Arnold

@GeoPeg posted:

Arnold, when you get all thru greasing and lubing, take several clean, dry cotton swabs and clean off your wheel treads and your wheel flanges, I can see grease globs on or close to both. Do not use the same area of the swab to make multiple passes while cleaning, just one swipe at any small smudges of grease, then rotate to find another clean side of the swab and wipe a new area. Same goes for any globs of grease you find on any moving parts, clean it off before it has a chance to sling off.

I would caution you in regard to applying grease and/or oil to the armature shaft where it goes through the brush plate. While the armature shaft absolutely needs to be lubricated (both ends), any excess applied to the shaft on the brush plate side can easily sling off onto the commutator segments on the armature and will cause havoc if they do so. Keep it light. Through trial and error, my preference is to only use a light oil, and just a very small drop. The engine will tell you if/when it needs more.

Just for grins, you may want to watch this short video on lubrication from Lionel, it talks about NOT applying grease to your gear teeth - when you're done with that, watch this video from some lad named Dean - I have no idea who he is, but he recommends that you do put grease on your gears!

What's the point you ask? In short, the point is that everybody has an opinion on the way things should be done, and they are rarely all the same. As a repair shop manager, I learned that if you have ten different technicians all working on the exact same product, you will have ten different products rolling off your service line unless you provide them with one standardized repair procedure and then train them all to that procedure. What if there is no standardized procedure? Then follow the manufacturer's recommendations - they hire real engineers and even do testing to come up with their procedures. That said, the Lionel video seems pretty minimal in my opinion, but I would bet Lionel has supplied additional info over the years that can be found in operator's manuals, instructions sheets, perhaps even more videos. It will make some interesting reading.

For now, just clean up any excess lube you have on your drive train and get your wires soldered. I suspect that after watching videos and learning more about the repair of your toys, and getting your feet wet, you will, like most of us, develop your own particular approach to doing things like this.

I have attached an excerpt from Lionel Supplement #30 for your engine. You can see the purple and white wires do go together and are soldered to one of the end terminals on the switch, while the remaining wire appears to go to the center terminal. Best of luck!

George

Outstanding tutorial, Geopeg, on making this repair, and doing repairs in general.

I will clean off the globs of red n tacky as you recommend.

Based on you excerpt from Lionel, it seems that I did not solder the wires in the correct places, but by some miracle the engine still runs great. So like Yogi says if it ain't broke, don't fix it. LOL. Arnold

PS: later on, I will post a video showing how well the engine now runs at high speed

Geopeg

One more thing, I remembered from many years ago, when I did more Postwar maintenance than now, to put only 1 drop of light oil on the end of the armature shaft near the carbon bushings (is that what those little cylinders are called?), to use an eraser so the copper armature plate is shiny, and to run a wooden toothpick through the little slots.

Arnold: ...Based on you excerpt from Lionel, it seems that I did not solder the wires in the correct places, but by some miracle the engine still runs great...

What you did  is electrically equivalent to what the diagram shows. As long as the purple and white wires stay together and go to one of the terminals and the black wire goes to the other.



Arnold: "...near the carbon bushings (is that what those little cylinders are called?)..."

They are brushes

Watching your video, I can almost hear the clear, easy breathing!!!

George

Last edited by GeoPeg

I mention the above because after I got the shell about 90% off and could access the gears, there were quite a few screws I removed, and I was not 100% sure how to put it back together.

Also,  wires that had been soldered got disconnected and I was not sure where to solder each wire back into the correct position.

I was very relieved that the train ran so well after I put it back together.

Arnold

Last edited by Arnold D. Cribari
@ADCX Rob posted:

The shell does not nave to come off to access the spur gears! It's all done from the bottom/side.

This is very important. It would have saved me a lot of trouble if I did not take the shell off. Taking the shell off caused wires to come loose, which, IMO, are not easy to re-solder back on because the wires and where they are connected to the LCRU. are very small. Also, the headlight wire got disconnected, which is tricky to get to work again.

The wheezing is gone, as stated above, but there is a new problem. The locomotive is inconsistent when cycling from forward, to neutral, to reverse, etc., often getting stuck in neutral. As a result, when it's stuck in neutral and I want it to go forward, I need to apply power from transformer and press the Direction button several times, maybe 10 times, to get it to go forward.

Any thoughts as to the cause of this, and how to fix it?

My guess is that the cause is the LCRU unit, and my failure to re-solder the black, white and purple wires back on correctly and/or in the correct places.

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Last night, at first, I did not have this inconsistent recycling after applying the RnT and re-soldering the wires. Maybe the re-soldering connections got loose? What do you think?

Arnold

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I had some insomnia last night, but made my sleeplessness productive by working on this locomotive. Do any of you guys do that?

More good news. I believe working on this project has substantially improved my Postwar repair knowledge and skills. (I regard this 1995 Railsounds locomotive as postwar-like, because, although it has an early circuit board, it has a Postwar style motor and it isn't dominated by circuit boards and wires like the more modern Lionel and MTH engines). I studied (like I studied for the Bar Exam) the Supplemental Diagrams Geopeg posted above, and very carefull and correctly soldered the purple and white wires, and the black wire, on the little terminals for the LCRU. I used just a little solder to make the connections very neatly (like I was doing brain surgery, LOL), and doing this makes me much more confident about my soldering technique.

This morning I ran the engine. At first, it didn't run at all. I checked it out and made the connection more snug between the locomotive and tender. When I did that, I got the sounds, still no headlight, and the engine ran, but there was still inconsistent cycling from forward, neutral and reverse.

Here are 2 photos showing the weird locomotive-tender connection plugged in and unplugged:

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I unplugged and reattached the locomotive-tender connection, and the cycling was better. I don't know if that is a coincidence or not. Often, when it got stuck in neutral, I could get the engine moving by manually pushing the locomotive forward or backward.

I suspect that the problem with the now occasional inconsistent cycling from forward to neutral to reverse has to do with the connection between locomotive and tender.

What do you think?

A couple of more questions: can this engine, which I love, be overhauled so it runs like an MTH Proto 3 or LC+? Also, if that is done, can I keep the same smoke, horn and whistle that it currently has? If so, approximately how much can such an overhaul cost if done by an expert (not me)?

My guess is the cost of such an overhaul would not be any less expensive than buying the identical engine in very good to excellent condition (not mint) without the box.

Arnold

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Last edited by Arnold D. Cribari

Arnold as the old saying goes....practice makes perfect and it also builds confidence.

Here are some of my thoughts which are limited since I don’t have a LCRU board schematic.  The white wire from your switch goes to the tender Railsounds Board. Not sure of the wires function but its connected. When you had the engine apart could you have impacted the ground (black) or power (pink) connection at the board? Is the power connections at the wire nut good and secure? I don’t know if they are just twisted together or soldered? You may want to check them. Lost of power usually causes something to cycle.

Keep at it and we will help you get this running as it should.

"I suspect that the problem with the now occasional inconsistent cycling from forward to neutral to reverse has to do with the connection between locomotive and tender."

Arnold - As I mentioned in my earlier comments the sharp bend in the cord caused my #618 to derail, and when you look at the latest pics you've provided perhaps the bend causes your fragile 4-pin connection to come loose and cause other problems as well.  Just a thought.

Secondly, I know (by you mentioning trying to run the engine through the F-N-R cycle) that you've been running in conventional mode, but did you realize that this engine is command equipped - or is supposed to be (see first page of Owner's Manual).  I only mention this because I see your cord has 4 pins (which mine originally had when I bought it new) but I wasn't into Command Control as yet.  Later, after I had had someone re-wire mine to correct the derailing problem, at some point I noticed that they had used 3-pin wire - but really didn't think much about it at the time.  As a result, when I eventually got TMCC components and then tried to assign an ID# to this engine, to my dismay as soon as I put 18 volts to the track my engine went 90 mph and I was very fortunate to be able to catch it before it went flying off my layout table.  Consequently I concluded - rightly or wrongly - that you need a 4 pin connection in order to run this engine in CC mode, but a 3 pin connection will enable it to be run conventionally.  In my case I've been content to run my #618 in conventional mode only. 

... The locomotive is inconsistent when cycling from forward, to neutral, to reverse, etc., often getting stuck in neutral. As a result, when it's stuck in neutral and I want it to go forward, I need to apply power from transformer and press the Direction button several times, maybe 10 times, to get it to go forward.



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Arnold

Arnold, as I look at the broken wires in your picture above, these breaks appear to be due to flexing, not pulling apart. I suggest you go back and check ALL of your wires (again) for proper connection, on both ends (board and switch.) I suspect other folks have been in this engine a few times and have flexed those wires more than a few times! Sometimes a wire looks connected but may be held in place by a small glob of heated insulation, or a cold solder joint. That may have something to do with your headlight as well, but for that I would check against a known good bulb first.

But before you tear your engine apart again, try the easy stuff first. The switch in your engine is a slide switch, and changes the engine between the RUN mode (contacts completed) and the PROGRAM mode (contacts open). If the switch is intermittent, it could be that your engine is jumping into the PROGRAM mode which would explain why your reversing actions are not working.

Slide switches are by nature, self-cleaning, so turning the switch on and off a few times will likely scrape any oxidation off the contacts, albeit temporarily. Turn that switch on and off about 10 times, then make certain it's fully in the RUN position and give it a try. If that fixes things, spray some contact cleaner into each end of the switch and work it back and forth another 10 or so times, then test it again.

In summary 1. test your switch, 2. test your bulb, and 3. CLOSELY examine your wiring again!

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