Skip to main content

I recently purchased a postwar Lionel 2321, and was surprised to find these strips of paper glued over the motors. Could someone please shed some light on what the purpose of these strips are?

IMG_1392

I was so intrigued that I joined the forum to learn more. I'm intending this C7 unit to be a runner, and hate to have to rip this off if it's factory applied but it seems inevitable! I'll be regularly cleaning the commutators so not planning to glue these back unless absolutely necessary. My only guess is that it holds the wires away from the headlight bracket but it seems like a bootleg detail on an otherwise beautiful motor. Maybe Lionel needed a quick fix?

Attachments

Images (1)
  • IMG_1392
Last edited by Rich Melvin
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Matt, welcome to the forum!  That's a good question.  During the postwar era, paper was commonly used as electrical insulation in many applications.  I'm no expert on postwar locomotives, but your hypothesis does appear plausible to me: that it could have been factory applied to prevent the light bracket from shorting the motor circuitry or from rubbing the insulated wires.

Others more familiar with the older locomotives will probably have a suggestion or two about working around this.

Last edited by SteveH

@Matt G from VA If you decide to remove the paper tape for easier servicing the of motor, maybe a good alternative would be to apply Liquid Tape to the underside of the lamp bracket.  The link above is to Amazon.  It can also be found in the electrical aisle of some home improvement and hardware stores.

Liquid Tape

Attachments

Images (1)
  • Liquid Tape
Last edited by SteveH

The tape appears to have perhaps two functions - to prevent the chafing of the wires on the light bracket, and to provide a measure of strain relief on the motor wires. If you watch the motor pivot with the shell off on the O-31 curves this diesel was designed for, it becomes evident that keeping the wires tethered closer to the brushplate cuts down on the fatigue to the connections at the brushes and the field.

Jerry Williams did something similar by using a rubber band to cinch the motor wires down & around the can/enclosure to keep the wires from flexing at the motor solder tabs.

My only guess is that it holds the wires away from the headlight bracket but it seems like a bootleg detail on an otherwise beautiful motor. Maybe Lionel needed a quick fix?

Yes. It is not a "bootleg" method at all - have you seen all the zip-ties under the hoods of moderns locos to keep things apart/together? There were no "zip-ties" in 1957 or whenever. The paper tape was quite effective.

There just always seems to be some clever little clip that piggy-backs on a a fastener/integral to another piece - or with a little more longevity than tape but I guess I can't expect something as elaborate as the mercury capsule hold downs inside the engine. Also might just be a little bitter about the stains left on the side of the Pullmors :-)

The point made about alleviating strain on the solder connections is very interesting - thanks for the feedback everyone!

I believe that that is a woven fiber glass tape. It is intended for high temperature applications. All the FM s I have worked on have it. Glass tape is still available and I put a new piece of glass tape on to hold things in place. Many of the earlier diesels have a variety of metal clips to restrain the wires. I think the glass tape was a money saving change.

Add Reply

Post
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×