Need Help with my American Flyer S Gauge


New Member
Hi, Need help... We bought an old S scale American Flyer train set at an estate sale. After cleaning up the track and replacing the VERY bad power cord on the transformer, we got it to work. It goes in reverse. I read that to change directions, I had to turn off the transformer and turn it back on and the train would move in the opposite direction. It just keeps going backward. I turned the engine around on the track and it still goes backward. Any thoughts on that? Seems to have good power. It has the link couplers so it must be 1946-1952 vintage. Any help or advice would be appreciated. Thank you. Update: my wife moved a switch under the tender and it stopped working.... Now its not going anywhere???? Thanks for your help, my grandson is VERY excited...
Sounds like the E unit may be stuck, or the manual switch for it is engaged. I'm not an expert in American Flyer, so I'll leave telling you how to deal with that to others. But this should be enough for a Google search, if nobody else comes around on this holiday weekend.
AF reverse units can be grumpy. I suggest going to you tube and view any video on any mechanical reverse unit.
Portlines has information on maintenance. May I suggest getting an AF Instruction catalog. Year does not matter but should be after your set by 5 or ten years.

You can remove it to clean and replace parts and wire the engine just to go forward, That you can use it while working the reverse unit.

Take pictures before and understand the wiring first.

It may be locked in reverse so check the lever at the bottom.
You can move the drum manually and then lock it. It will go into neutral forward or reverse. A few tries may be necessary.
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If the E-unit is similar to Lionel, it works in conjunction with gravity. With Lionel, if you turn the unit upside down, the back to right side up, you can actually cause the metal plunger to operate (rotate) the drum, thus shifting it to the next sequence. If the locking lever is disengaged, it won't allow the e-unit to operate on track power, and thereby stay in whatever position the drum has rotated to (forward or neutral or reverse). A dirty or sticky e-unit drum and/or plunger, along with bent or damaged pick-up fingers, will exacerbate the problem(s).