American Flyer

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by Edavillenut, Aug 15, 2004.

  1. Edavillenut

    Edavillenut Member

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    ok i havent been on here in a long time. but i was cleaning my attic and i found my fathers old american flyer trains. i started lookign through them and there in rough shape. i would like to fix them up for him and set the up in my hobby store. but i dont know how they go together all the locos are in pieces and have never seen the all together so i am not sure how or where to start to fix them for him. and info would help

    thanks
    shawn
  2. TR-Flyer

    TR-Flyer Member

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    Hi Shawn:
    The best source for information on what's inside a Flyer engine is the K-Line book "Complete Service Manual for American Flyer Trains". I got my copy from Hobby Surplus Sales but i think Doug at Portline Hobbies sells it and i know Joe's Train Repair (joestrainrepair@yahoo.com) sells it as well. If you are a DIYer then the engine exploded diagrams and parts lists in here will get you what you need.

    If you haven't ever worked on a universal AC motor, then you might want to hit Paul York's website www.trainweb.org/s-trains/ and start cruising sites and talking to people about these little motors. The Yahoo S-Trains group is also a good place to ask questions. They are not hard motors to work on but like most things there are tips and tricks to it. If it's basically put together, is a steamer, and just won't run, the sidearms may just have been put back on incorrectly and are binding. Coudl jsut be a broken wire. If it's a diesel the axle holes in the chassis are probably worn out so the axle gear may be binding on the worm gear. But, hard to tell withou seeing it.

    If you would rather put the parts in a box and ship it to somene to have it "done right" i'd suggest you email or call Joe Haenn at Joe's Train Repair or Doug at Portlines Hobby. They both do excellent repair work and can also supply almost any part you might need.

    I could tell you a little bit more about them if you'll list the numbers printed on the sides of the cars and motive power. These tell the model of the piece and are not related to the roadname. I can tell you, as long as it isn't rusted into a solid mass of orange/brown crud you can probably get 'em to run again. These little things will still be running when they are 100 years old if they are maintained.

    Regard'S',
    Ted
  3. Dick Elmore

    Dick Elmore Member

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    Tr Flyer...You're assuming that Shawn is talking about "S" gauge, but I don't see anywhere in his post that he mantions gauge. I would be interested in the same info for prewar American Flyer "O" gauge. Any suggestions please?

    Dick
    Texas Chief
  4. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

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    Dick, O gauge Flyer is a lot tougher, meaning the parts are harder to find if they're not all there. The motors are big and simple, which makes them easy to assemble and disassemble, even if you only have modest mechanical ability (I may not even have that).

    There's a Yahoo group called prewarOgaugetrains. It's just starting up, but maybe someone else there knows more about old Flyer. I only have one O gauge Flyer engine, which I'm rebuilding by flying by the seat of my pants.

    One fairly common practice, when a motor just won't run in a prewar unit, is to put a postwar Marx motor in. You may have to do a little sheet metal work to get the motor to fit (a lot of prewar electric motors were bigger than the postwar Marxes) but it can get an old loco going that wouldn't otherwise, and those Marx motors run a long, long time.
  5. Dick Elmore

    Dick Elmore Member

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    :) Actually Dave, the engine runs great. What I need is pilot and trail trucks for the engine and wheelset replacements for the passenger cars that came with the engine. Also couplers for the cars.

    Dick
    Texas Chief
  6. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

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    Ah, couplers and wheels aren't much of a problem. Pilot and trail trucks usually aren't either. Try www.olsenstoy.com, or a Google search for "american flyer o gauge parts." Most places that sell Dorfan and Ives parts also have prewar Flyer, so a search on them might weed out those pesky S gauge hits. :)

    I've fabricated tab and slot couplers out of sheet metal before. All it takes is a pair of metal shears to cut it out and a rotary tool to cut the slot and dress the edges. It's pretty easy if you have one you can copy. And in a pinch, you can use the smooth metal from around the top edge of a soup can, though I prefer something a little heavier gauge.

    If you've got the later link couplers though, you'll want to buy those.
  7. TR-Flyer

    TR-Flyer Member

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    Hi Dick:
    "Pesky S-gauge hits?'' Indeed! HA!

    I'm not a source for pre-war. I have one prewar piece, a water tower, and that's it. I know Joe Haenn repairs pre-war equipment and he'll probably share sources with you. Why don't you e-mail him?

    Sounds like prewar is a scratchbuilders dream. Tin can couplers, Marx engine substitutes. Fun stuff! If you replace a 70 year old moter with a 50 year old motor, do you still get to call it your "new motor" like we still refer to our '98 Sienna as our "new car"?

    Regards,
    Ted
  8. acflyer322

    acflyer322 New Member

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    Hello Edavillenut,

    First thing you need to do is determine what your dealing with prewar or postwar. Then just Google American Flyer train parts you will see numerous sites and anyone of them are ok to deal with. There is also Ebay which just about has every part you could possibly need, but beware some of those who sell on Ebay don't tell the truth. Just to make sure you know, prewar Flyers run on 3 rails and postwar run on 2 rails. Good luck and have fun!