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I will start us off by sharing my most recent project: the Lionel Postwar #450 2 track signal bridge.

This is one of my favorite accessories. I also have the Postwar single track signal bridge.

There are more modern and superior full proof signal bridges, but I like the Postwar one using the #153 connector that triggers the changing of the signal from green to red from the weight of the train passing by. Why do I prefer it? Maybe for nostalgic reasons (I got one as a child), maybe because of the challenge of getting it to operate well, and maybe because I already have one and if I get it to work,  I don't need to buy a more expensive modern one.

The repair involved getting the green light to go on for one of the 2 signals.

In the past, I simply adjusted the nut or cleaned the 153 connector, but this time that simple fix didn't work.

I didn't have much confidence that I would succeed in fixing it, so yesterday I visited my LHS hoping to buy another one. After searching throughout the store, I first found the new Lionel version for $99 that plugs into Fast Track. That seemed expensive and not ideal for me because I have an O Gauge tubular track layout, so I continued my search.

Eureka! I finally found the classic #450 Postwar version with the box for $29 and bought it without hesitation.

When I got home, I decided to take another stab at fixing my original #450. The wires seemed old so I decided to re-wire it using black flex wire I had bought a couple of years ago from the Train Tender, one of our sponsors.

After re-wiring it, I tested it on the living room carpet hooking it up to a ZW transformer, and it worked beautifully.

When I first put it on the layout connecting it to the existing wires there, I still had the same problem with no green light for one of the signals. So, I re-wired those wires as well.

Now, it works perfectly. Now I have 2 #450 signal bridges: one is on the layout, and one is on the shelf. I may use the spare one when I do a planned layout expansion within the next month or so.

I found this project very satisfying, and my success with it gives me a little more confidence fixing things on the layout.

Now it's your turn: tell us about anything you recently fixed and how did it make you feel.

Arnold.

PS: I will post a photo and video of my repaired signal bridge after I clean up the mess currently on my layout and in my basement.

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@Mike D posted:

I tried to repair one of my Weaver E8's with a bad gear. Still haven't been able to find parts, so back burner it went. Waiting on parts for my Veranda turbine. Should have it track ready in a few days if all goes well. So I guess the answer is nothing yet.

Michael, IMO you are laying the foundation for a couple of potentially very satisfying fixes.

Just wrapped up repairs on a 2628 "Manhattan" Madison style Heavyweight from years gone by. Wasn't too much to do, just a thorough cleanup, repaired couplers, added new lights and new window strips from TT. Durn thing had the shell totally stuck to the frame, in fact the previous owner put a crease in the frame where it started to bend as he was prying things loose! Crease was straightened and is not at all noticeable now. The car looks good and rolls like a well  lubricated, heavy, postwar passenger car - need I say more?

The real fun was on yet another 8111, also a bay bargain. I gave it a nice sudsy bath, removed the F/R switch and added an ACMC I had on hand from the Lionel 2020 sale, pulled the headlight and added a warm white LED and a new lens, added 2 green (missing) class lights that I had to modify with a tiny routing bit to get two very tiny green LEDs (from a Christmas tree string) to fit inside the green lens, and added a back up light, also a warm white LED and a lens. So thanks to the ACMC board, I now have directional lighting! Good Times!

IMG_5329IMG_5330IMG_5331IMG_5332

The LED shown below came from one of 3 strings of 50 lites each, bought from a local discount club years back, about $12 as I recall. I will never run out - got green, white, red and blue!

IMG_5335IMG_5338

I will remove the tape when all the glue holding the wires finally cures.

George

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Lionel 2020. Fixed in stages, not all at once. Repairs included: replaced ripped off cab steps, replaced motor bearings, replaced bad E-unit coil, replaced burnt out smoke unit. Replaced worn axle bearings, fixed loose wheel on axle, added frame weight, rewired. Stripped off a bad repaint, new paint job and decals, new headlight lens. Added shims under motor to get correct gear lash. I think it took a nose-dive to the floor at one point before I owned it. There's a little deformation in the cow-catcher that I didn't attempt to fix.

I could've bought one in better condition for all I eventually found wrong with this "bargain" but I used it as a learning example. I'm happy to say it's one of my better performing postwar steamers, and my best postwar smoker.

Believe it or not, I enjoy the 'fixing up' side of this hobby. Oh, BTW, the tender is still on the repair bench, another week before that's done.

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Last edited by CJ Meyers

Is this a trick question???????

My latest was to upgrade a humble BEEP with an ERR mini commander and railsounds. I added directional headlights, and separate number board lights. I also used LED's from a dead string of Christmas lights.

It was done, but back on the bench now. One set of the number board lights died over the weekend. I need to re-do the board and put it back together .

@GeoPeg- Try hot glue for securing your wires. Quick and easy and allows for removal if necessary.

2021-11-20 17.22.53

2021-11-21 17.31.53

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My uncle is an auctioneer and dropped off a box of "no-sell" o27 track, switches (the postwar clamshell kind, I don't know what they are called), and accessories.  I happened to need a few switches for the o27 part of my layout and didn't really want to shell out for them.  There were several in the box that had minor problems.  But using my very rudimentary soldering skills, combined with my knack for taking things apart and actually remembering how they go back together, I have so far made 2 like-new switches out of 4.  It's no rewiring a loco or understanding TMCC, but I am proud regardless.

@RSJB18 posted:

Is this a trick question???????



@GeoPeg- Try hot glue for securing your wires. Quick and easy and allows for removal if necessary.

Funny you should mention that! I now have my original 2 hot glue guns (well used) plus two more brand-spankin' new, still in the box, gifted to me at Christmas, hot melt glue guns, with plenty of ammo! I think it's time to try one out!!!
George

@RSJB18 posted:

The bridge looks good Arnold. I like the effect of the tumble weeds rolling along as the Chessie passed by.

Can I quote you to my CEO on the "brilliant" comment? She never believes me when I say it.

Yes, Bob, you may quote me, and you are very perceptive about the tumble weeds, which was, of course, inadvertent. Sure don't want scenery materials to gum up the locomotive mechanism.  Arnold

Last edited by Arnold D. Cribari
@CJ Meyers posted:

Lionel 2020. Fixed in stages, not all at once. Repairs included: replaced ripped off cab steps, replaced motor bearings, replaced bad E-unit coil, replaced burnt out smoke unit. Replaced worn axle bearings, fixed loose wheel on axle, added frame weight, rewired. Stripped off a bad repaint, new paint job and decals, new headlight lens. Added shims under motor to get correct gear lash. I think it took a nose-dive to the floor at one point before I owned it. There's a little deformation in the cow-catcher that I didn't attempt to fix.

I could've bought one in better condition for all I eventually found wrong with this "bargain" but I used it as a learning example. I'm happy to say it's one of my better performing postwar steamers, and my best postwar smoker.

Believe it or not, I enjoy the 'fixing up' side of this hobby. Oh, BTW, the tender is still on the repair bench, another week before that's done.

@CJ Meyers   CJ,

  Looks like a nice job. What did you do for the cab steps if I can ask?

  You could probably use automotive Bondo to fix the pilot, but if not too noticeable it could just pass for normal railroad wear and tear.

Tom

I had a very technical and complicated track repair over the weekend.

My Son and Brother-in-law had trouble running their engines through this switch.  The meter said power was good on all three ends but the middle was dead.

I know from a previous project that MTH runs a wire molded in the plastic ties to connect power from the center rails on the ends to the middle.  I added one of my reference pics from some time ago to show the wire.

My guess was the wire had come loose.  my track is nailed down and all of the ballast is glued.

What to do?  Solder in new leads?  Nope, that takes time.  I pressed down on the switch with the palm of my hand VERY hard, almost elevating myself.  That did the trick and the wire came in contact with the center rail again.

Problem fixed.  Good thread Arnold.

Have Fun!

Ron

Scaletrax Wire SwitchIMG_20211129_204110519

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@Ron045 posted:

I had a very technical and complicated track repair over the weekend.

My Son and Brother-in-law had trouble running their engines through this switch.  The meter said power was good on all three ends but the middle was dead.

I know from a previous project that MTH runs a wire molded in the plastic ties to connect power from the center rails on the ends to the middle.  I added one of my reference pics from some time ago to show the wire.

My guess was the wire had come loose.  my track is nailed down and all of the ballast is glued.

What to do?  Solder in new leads?  Nope, that takes time.  I pressed down on the switch with the palm of my hand VERY hard, almost elevating myself.  That did the trick and the wire came in contact with the center rail again.

Problem fixed.  Good thread Arnold.

Have Fun!

Ron



I guess when you run on batteries these issues go away.

@PRR8976 posted:

@CJ Meyers   CJ,

  Looks like a nice job. What did you do for the cab steps if I can ask?

  You could probably use automotive Bondo to fix the pilot, but if not too noticeable it could just pass for normal railroad wear and tear.

Tom

For the cab step, we carefully clamped the body in a mill and drilled and tapped the underside of the cab to accept some short button head screws, black oxide, and reattached the steps.

Our train club is having its annual Christmas Train show this weekend, December 4th & 5th. The show features running layouts in Antique Standard & Prewar O, Lionel Kids layout in O, American Flyer S kids layout, Hi-rail module and HO module. In addition we have sales tables and raffle items. To support these I fixed and serviced two 50 gang cars, NH 2350 EP-5, Seaboard 602 switcher, 2034 Steamer and various rolling stock needing attention. Looking forward to this show since our last one was two years ago.  

I recently "fixed" a LionScale CONTINENTAL GRAIN 3-bay covered hopper by two-railing it. It turned out to be very easy to do; I contacted NWSL (recommended here) and their on-line catalog showed the correct 36" wheelsets so I ordered a set. I was told that it might take a few weeks as they had to be assembled (ok, I was in no hurry); the next day I had a tracking number and they arrived on time as stated by the PO. "Very easy to do" was quite correct. it took me longer to organize everything than it did to do the conversion. The total time spent was about a half hour.

Last edited by PRRMP54

This repair may seem to be something simple, but what made the repair necessary could be worth a chuckle or two.  I thought that I would give my G-Gauge train set a little run time.  As it got almost all the way around the layout, it ran up and over a remote for another train that I had left on the track near a curve.  Just like you see in an old western movie, the entire train went over the end of the table and onto the floor just like one going off a trestle in a movie.  Believe it or not, there wasn't even a scratch on the engine or cars.  This train set was made by Scientific Toys Ltd. and the engine has smoke, sound and a headlight.   What a quality product!  The only casuality was the headlight bulb.  Being lit and hitting the concrete floor must have been too much of a jar for the filament.  The engine came apart relatively easy and I replaced the filament bulb with a 3mm Evan Desidns warm white LED.  An easy fix, fit the headlight housing perfectly, and looks great!  Needless to say that I don't store remotes on tracks any longer.

Ron

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