Here is my Lionel Tank Engine.  Low gearing makes this a favorite on my elevations.  A couple weeks ago, while performing switching service, there was a big spark and some noise, and the fun stopped.  I found a roller pickup and a screw.  There is something missing.  Can anyone tell me what part I need to buy?    I've got  an excursion planned and need to add an executive car.

Engine 194Missing a part

New traction tires are on hand.

Bill

 

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Thanks for the reply gentlemen.  The screw and roller are correct.  I found them together between the rails.  The screw bottoms out before anything is tight.  The roller does not index to the frame with the screw tight.  There is a gap begging to be filled with something.  This engine came in set #6-31990.  I found and copied this.

Could part #30 be missing?

      
      
      
      

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Bill- I have one of these engines. I will pull a pick up off later if I have some time and post a couple of pix. My guess is that the pick up has been loose for a while and heated up the insulator and deformed it to the point that the screw won't tighten down all the way anymore.

Bob

Three Rails Are Better Than None 

More out of curiosity, I decided to look at the parts illustration for this engine. I noticed under the Copper Range Docksider illustration, that the Series 1 motor is no longer available. This is something that bothers me about the constant advances and features and changes in products, is that parts become obsolete rather quickly.

So I poked around the parts listings. There is a Series 2 motor available, but it has differing screw mountings requiring a whole new frame to accommodate the different motor. Look here at both part illustrations for #24 and #28.

https://www.lionelsupport.com/...mp;resultsPerPage=75

So Bill, while you're looking for the insulator, I'd also be searching parts dealers to find someone who stocks that Series 1 motor, should you eventually need one, otherwise you'll have an engine that is useless. Or, as these engines are fairly common, you could buy a secondhand one to cob for parts, so long as it has the same motor.

One of the standard things I do when considering a locomotive purchase (if it's not a model I already have) is I check for parts availability. I really do try to streamline engine purchases to ones that use common parts between them. There was one LTI-era steam engine I was considering, but Lionel and also parts dealers no longer had the DC motor in stock for this particular engine, so I passed. If you cannot find the correct DC motor for your locomotive, it's basically junk... or parts for another one.

DC can motors will eventually fail at some point in time, so I try (as much as I can) try to stick to engines where the parts are available. And it seems to be the way things are going these days: It's not just Lionel. Changes in product design along with limited inventory of parts is going to make a lot of products obsolete, regardless of their retail cost. And original low-run production quantities will help insure that there's no profitability for someone to make reproduction parts, as was the case with the postwar and MPC era.

The only saving grace, is if it was a popular model that sold in sufficient quantities, where you can purchase a second used loco to use for parts. Or if the product has continued in current production with the same parts. But even with "low-end" locomotives, the LionChief and LC+ technology use entirely differing components from their earlier counterparts. 

Good luck with your engine fix Bill. I'm impressed with how you've come along in the short time you've been posting here. You obviously have some mechanical and modeling abilities, and/or a willingness to dive into projects that a good many who have been in the hobby longer, would never attempt.

@gunrunnerjohn, I don't want to derail the topic here too much, though it does happen frequently on the various train forums... .

You ought to be on the Lionel payroll (though that probably won't happen!) for all the assistance you provide on the forum to help people get their trains running. No one currently at Lionel or MTH provides the advice and service you provide for people. Though in all fairness, there are others who chime in and help folks with other problems - which is one of the positives with these train forums.

And given the point I made above, well it's not like the old days. The mythology that Lionel trains will run 50 years from now, is probably a thing of the past. Yep, the technology in trains today is amazing, but like with many other high tech products, parts become obsolete rather quickly with all the feature changes.

I just have no interest in the high end products, but you come along and can provide information on individual components on circuit boards... it blows me away sometimes how much you know about this stuff. Or can recommend replacement boards... of course, it helps that you have some of them made yourself. Still it's a service, and you are helping in your own way, to fill a large void in the hobby these days.

Newspapers used to have the "roving reporter." Well, you are the "roving repair guy," just incase you were ever considering a new screen name.

Does the engine operate with one pickup?  If it does that is one issue off the table.  In the old days we would merely fabricate a replacement part and continue merrily along.  If the only thing missing essentially is a spacer then make one and reattach the pickup.

RSJB18 posted:

It probably will run but I'm sure it would stall on switches and crossovers.

 The test is to determine if there is an additional problem other than the pickup falling off.  If it runs then the only problem you have to solve is how to reattach the pickup.  It is so easy today to go online to find parts that we do not sometimes look at the easiest solution which in this case might be just making a spacer out of insulated material.  It could be as simple as a piece of cardboard or as hard as sending it off for repair.

gunrunnerjohn posted:
feet posted:

It's sad what we pay for this stuff and parts are obsolete in 5 years or less. I do not understand why this is.

In this case, I think the parts just fell off.

John, I think what he was referring to (?), was the info I found on the motor and the frame, which pretty much makes these earlier production dockside switchers obsolete when the motors fail, at least by what I'm seeing here.

In fairness to Lionel, it could be that the original motor was no longer available from their motor manufacturing vendor. This happened to MTH as I heard Mike Wolf talk about having to retool a gear box for one of their locomotives due to this issue. 

But it doesn't change the reality that these locomotives stand a very good chance of being completely unrepairable in the near future. I don't know how many series 1 motors are in the hands of parts dealers. And I don't know if you could cob a fix by drilling the holes for the motor mounting a little bigger to compensate for the wider dimension of the motor mounting holes. It's hard to tell if the part of the motor where the gear comes out, are the same between the two motors. One thing for certain: The motor can't wobble and has to be perfectly centered in the frame or you'll chew up gears.

So the way it appears, is when you need a new motor, you'll need the series 2 motor ($17.50), and then you'll need a new series 2 frame too ($85.00). And I haven't studied this enough: This is all provided there were NO other changes made to that frame that would require other new parts. Oh, and I just noticed the reverse board  (part 19 on the Lionel list) is both obsolete and unavailable. I suppose you might be able to put in a small regular reverse board (provided you can find one small enough) but you'll lose the whistle - and anything else the original board did. It'd be cheaper to just buy a newer production version of the docksider, and keep the older one for any usable parts, outside of the motor, frame and circuit board.

I'm glad I looked at all of this. And I'm glad I decided to stick with the MPC docksider version over this certainly nicer looking and proportioned model being discussed. Mine might not be as nice a model, but even with years of running on it, it is still seeing regular use on my layout.

FWIW, I sent a Hogwart's locomotive down to Frank Timko and had him mount the larger motor in it to eliminate the little flat-sided set motor.  It runs fine in conventional, I have to get time to upgrade it to TMCC, should be a good runner.

feet posted:

It's sad what we pay for this stuff and parts are obsolete in 5 years or less. I do not understand why this is.

 

I'm not picking on just one company, but try to by a part for a video camera from Sony. They keep parts for a very few years then sell the parts to one or two small repair companies. It's not all their fault. We want new, new, new. So there is a new train or camera for every person and pocket book. Don 

scale rail posted:
feet posted:

It's sad what we pay for this stuff and parts are obsolete in 5 years or less. I do not understand why this is.

 

I'm not picking on just one company, but try to by a part for a video camera from Sony. They keep parts for a very few years then sell the parts to one or two small repair companies. It's not all their fault. We want new, new, new. So there is a new train or camera for every person and pocket book. Don 

I understand what your saying but can you imagine throwing away a locomotive because parts are not available? I can't do that and most can't either. It's a throw away society today.

One thing about trains, it doesn't matter where they are going, it's having the sense to get on.

Odenville Bill posted:

Here is my Lionel Tank Engine.  Low gearing makes this a favorite on my elevations.  A couple weeks ago, while performing switching service, there was a big spark and some noise, and the fun stopped.  I found a roller pickup and a screw.  There is something missing.  Can anyone tell me what part I need to buy?    I've got  an excursion planned and need to add an executive car.

New traction tires are on hand.

Bill

 

 A couple of solutions to this problem  Put a washer under the head so it tightens down on the pickup base. Not always possible so time to shorten the screw.  My favorite technique is to drill a hole in a piece of scrap metal put the screw in with washers and the nut to achieve the length needed .  Rough cut the screw to approximate length with wire cutters then use a file to dress the screw to the exact length against the nut. The scrap metal forms a convenient handle to hold or put in a vice.   One more thing to look at.  Most of the Lionel pickup mounts I have seen over the last twenty years have a barrel nut inside the plastic insulator and a screw also comes down from the top inside the loco that holds the wire for the center rail pickup. You can put a washer under the head of that top screw inside the loco and get some room for the bottom screw to go in deeper.  Below are a couple of pix showing how I trim tiny screws to length.  I use a caliper to measure the length and diameter of the screw then drill a snug hole to mount the screw in my scrap of metal, adding the washers to adjust the length.  I make my rough cut with snips then dress the screw down to the top of the nut with a file. Spend the $ for good USA made files (NICHOLSON) and a set of numbered drill bits.   I try to not leave the end of screw shafts protruding anywhere let alone inside a model loco they are a magnet for catching wires, hands, clothes....  always cut them to length and dress with a good file.  I'm sure this was redundant for most of the forum but just as sure many don't know how to shorten tiny screws to an exact length.  Not quite the same as taking a hack saw to the 1/4" nut and bolt on the leg of your train table.                                j 

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feet posted:

I wonder if that screw was too long to start with?  If it were my engine I would order the insulators to be on the safe side.

I tend to agree - I wouldn't immediately jump to the conclusion that the screw is wrong and have all this talk around cutting the screw with out FIRST checking all the other parts it is fastening are up to spec, especially the insulators.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

One easy way to size screws is with a decent screw cutter.  I do that all the time to get a correct length screw.

This what you talkin bout ?  It plays out by 4/40.  Wish I could find one which went down to about  #0. I do have a metric version which goes down to 1.5mm  Though by then I still have to dress the end with a file.            j          

105_7919

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