New To Model Trains: Need Help Please

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gpilapil

New Member
Hello All,

I had recently received an old train set from my father in-law from when he was a little boy. Having 2 young ones of my own, I thought they would love it so I'm trying to get it running again. Unfortunately the train engine, a Lionel 0625"southern Pacific", is not running well. I've done a little research and took apart the engine and did a thorough cleaning. It worked better but still not running.

The problem I'm seeing is that when I take the drive rod assembly off on both sides the center wheels spin. But once I reattach the drive rods the engine struggles and is not able to rotate the wheels with the drive rod on. I can easily get the wheels to turn manually and the motion feels pretty smooth and not sticky at all. I've lubed the engine but don't know what else to try.

Could it be the motor not being to exert enough juice to turn the wheels with the drive rods on? Like I said it spins fine without the rods, and the rods don't seem to be bent to restrict any movement. Would appreciate any thoughts from the group. Thanks in advance for your knowledge!!
 

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santafewillie

Same Ol' Buzzard
First of all, welcome aboard to our forum. Lots of friendly helpful folks here, but being summer you may have to wait a day or two for an answer.
I am unable to assist though, since I do not do steam engines, but my guess is that it has something to do with what's called "quartering". I may be wrong though.
 

Selector

Well-Known Member
All of the cranks on all coupled wheels must have the same position on the clock-face. If the main crank, the one with what is called the 'big end' of the main driving rod, is at bottom dead centre, then the others must be within a small fraction of a degree of that same position. It happens, often due to wear, improper assembly, or tired materials, that one or more of the cranks gets out of position, or merely wants to due to slippage, because the frictive component that keeps the wheel locked onto the axle is defective. That is, all driven wheels, the 'drivers', are fixed to the axles on both the real things and on our models. All crank pins must be very closely aligned. This is called 'quartering'.

However, that's also a guess as to the cause of your locomotive's motion problems. It might be improperly seated axles during reassembly, dirty bearings, or dirty pin holes for the various driver crank pins (pet hairs, lint, human hair, grit, skin particles...it all finds its way into your locomotive's nooks and crannies in time). Yes, the magnets in an older motor may have lost their potency. Windings become corroded and broken. Brushes weaken, get dirty, lubes lose their volatiles over time.

Power supplies, themselves, also lose their ability to pass through current. Have you tested the outputs at the terminals, and if they're good, how about power to the rails? Rails need to be cleaned, pick-up tires need to be cleaned (any tires on locomotive and/or tender that have phosphor or copper wipers meant to get power into the innards of the locomotive).
 
M

MHinLA

Guest
I'm HO and not involved with 3 rail O scale...But what Selector said above could be spun this way:
It sounds like there is/are wheels causing the side rod/s to bind when you reattach them. If so, it's because one or more those wheels are said to be 'out of quarter'..So, keeping their axles from rotating turn the offending wheel/s on the axle (clockwise/counterclockwise) until the binding is gone (called 'quartering the wheels') Why quarter and not, say, halving them is because whatever position the wheels are on one side of a steam engine, the wheels are not in the opposite position on a clock, but a quarter or 90 Deg from the other side, not 180 Deg, as most new to trains think. This is the same whether on the model or the real one (1:1 scale). If a steam engine's wheel or wheels are 'out of quarter', their side rods will bind..
But I'm assuming this is what the problem is. It's possible that it's not...M
 
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gpilapil

New Member
Thank you for such quick responses!

1st question - Re: quartering, assuming this was my issue, would you be able to feel any tugs/snags/binds as you roll the wheels(please excuse my use terminology I am very green in model trains and mechanical engineering in general). I have the train off the track and upside down and when i manually roll the wheels into a few revolutions all seems smooth. All the cranks seem to be in the same position.

When I dismantled the engine I got it to this far (see pic attached) and submerged it into a simple green/water mixture for about 2 hrs to clean it. i did remove the motor and the light before submerging. Would that be enough to clean the bearings or pin holes and the such you mention? If not how do I remove the wheels off for a deeper cleaning?

I do notice quite a bit of play with the main wheels(on these it's the center ones), not just side to side but a bit wabbly. Is this normal? I can see how the side rods would bind if this was too wabbly. As far as power, Ive been testing the train off the track, again holding the train upside down and holding a 9volt battery to either the front or back wheels. The center wheels spin without the drive rod assembly on, but once attached the wheels struggle to turn, at time it does ok for a few seconds. Mostly it seems to get stuck. I've tried reversing direction with the same results.
 

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M

MHinLA

Guest
No. When you re-quarter the wheels in whatever direction is needed, it should then remove any binding once you've located the 'numbers on the clock'..In other words, if you had the 3 drivers at 6 o'clock dead center in the picture (using the screw holes as the pointers), you'd ideally have the screw holes on opposite side on engine exactly at either 9 o'clock or 3 o'clock (makes no diff as long as the 2 sides of the loco are exactly 90 deg from one another). Making believe the loco is running well, if you stopped it and one side is at 1 o'clock, the opposite side will be at either 4 o'clock or 10 o'clock..and the drivers will be in correct quarter....
BTW. The middle wheels have no flange and are called 'blind drivers'...permitting engine to make it thru tight radius curves...
 

gpilapil

New Member
Yes I think I understand. They are as you say, using the screw holes as pointers, on one side pointed to 6 oclock, on the other at 3 oclock.
 
M

MHinLA

Guest
Yes I think I understand. They are as you say, using the screw holes as pointers, on one side pointed to 6 oclock, on the other at 3 oclock.
Do you mean they are or have been that way without you having turned any wheel on its axle ? Or, did you re-quarter them ? And if so, have you reconnected the side rods and tested it yet ?
Also, Willie wants to know if it's HO or O scale...
 

gpilapil

New Member
They did not need to be re-quarter. They have been that way when the side rods were attached but not functioning well. Willie it's an HO steam train.

Thanks
 

Selector

Well-Known Member
If it is possible to isolate the drive, even by removing a single gear to free up the drivers/rods, you should be able to stand the loco on a smooth surface, or even the rails, and nudge it back and forth about 12 inches. As you do this, if you feel binding, periodic resistance, then you have either a quartering problem, a dry bearing problem, a driver detached from its axle and it binds somewhere through 360 degrees (but appears to be quartered when at rest), or you could possibly have one or more cracked gears in the final drive, on the main geared axle, or inside the gear tower.
 

trailrider

Well-Known Member
I'm not sure what kind of a gear train you have. Some older locomotives had a worm gear on the motor's shaft that directly drove a bull gear on the main driver axle. Simply removing the motor would allow you to check for free rolling of the drivers as Selector stated. More recent models have a gear box that has a reduction gear driving the bull gear. If so, you can still remove the motor to free up the gear train. If you still get binding, then removing the gear box would be your next step and, again, roll the drivers over a smooth surface. That will most likely tell you if there is binding in the driver/siderod assembly. This is a pain, but the best way to trouble-shoot the problem.
 

Bruette

Well-Known Member
Hello All,

I had recently received an old train set from my father in-law from when he was a little boy. Having 2 young ones of my own, I thought they would love it so I'm trying to get it running again. Unfortunately the train engine, a Lionel 0625"southern Pacific", is not running well. I've done a little research and took apart the engine and did a thorough cleaning. It worked better but still not running.

The problem I'm seeing is that when I take the drive rod assembly off on both sides the center wheels spin. But once I reattach the drive rods the engine struggles and is not able to rotate the wheels with the drive rod on. I can easily get the wheels to turn manually and the motion feels pretty smooth and not sticky at all. I've lubed the engine but don't know what else to try.

Could it be the motor not being to exert enough juice to turn the wheels with the drive rods on? Like I said it spins fine without the rods, and the rods don't seem to be bent to restrict any movement. Would appreciate any thoughts from the group. Thanks in advance for your knowledge!!
Welcome, it’s always great to have a new member and with little ones!

What you have is a project. Not necessarily best suited for little ones. I say that without knowing anything about your little ones. For all I know they could be mechanically inclined. If not, I will be so bold as to suggest you start with something easy for the little ones, like this train set or others like it.

Lionel’s Pennsylvania Flyer Lionchief® 0-8-0 Freight Set with Bluetooth® 6-83984
1592387624790.png

The new technology and “bells and whistles” might interest the young ones. The locomotive in Lionel’s Pennsylvania Flyer set can be controlled by the included remote or Bluetooth LionChief app you can download to your phone or tablet for free. It has an operating headlight, On/Off switches for smoke and sound, RailSounds, RC sound system with steam chuffing and background sounds, and user activated whistle, bell, and dialog announcements, Puffing smoke, Powerful maintenance-free motor, Operating couplers, Chuffing sounds in synch with puffing smoke.

Here is a link to the set at Amazon, they had the best price I could find at the time. https://www.amazon.com/Lionel-Pennsylvania-LionChief-Freight-Bluetooth/dp/B01N1A3JS4

Here is a link to other sets https://www.lionelstore.com/category/Train-Sets

Always do a quick search before you buy to find the best price.

I’m not suggesting you abandon your project, keep that for yourself and maybe buy a new Ready to Run set for the little ones. Your project might take some time and this way the little ones can be busy.

Have fun with your train!
 
M

MHinLA

Guest
One final one from me: Why not, if you're still having problems, moth ball this one and buy a new one ? You might find the same one on ebay, cheep. . Of course it doesn't even need to be the exact same engine type. You've been going at this a long time now..Why not cut your losses ? M
 




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