anyone here work on lionel o gauge engines?

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by ozzy, Jun 27, 2006.

  1. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    anyone work on them, or knows a place that do? i have 3 diesel engines, #212 santa fe, #218 santa fe, and a #210 texas special.
    the 218 and the 210 both light up and "hum" and the 210 when i lightly push it , it seems to want to go, it will go maybe a 1/4 inch then stop.

    the 212 needs wheels put back on so i cant test that one.

    any help is welcome.

  2. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    Are they of recent manufacture? If they are, they might still be under warranty. Maybe the manufacturer can fix them for you.
  3. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    there 50 some years old!
  4. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    here are some pic's

    Attached Files:

  5. lionelfan

    lionelfan Member

    I would try cleaning both the engine and track, also a little lube on the engine after cleaning. More than likely these are just dirty.
  6. jflessne

    jflessne Member

    I grabbed my old lionel and stopped by my LHS. Nice guy cleaned it up a bit and bam it started running again. No charge. Of coursed I just bought $1000 in new O scale stuff.
  7. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    well i did get one of the santa fe engines going again. runs good now, but now my transformer shuts down after awhile, like its getting hot, it do it with a marx engine too. i hooked up with one of my other transformers and it do the same thing.

    anyone got any ideas?

  8. jflessne

    jflessne Member

    The guy at the my LHS had mentioned that if an engine is not running smoothly it may draw to much power to run....hence the transformer shut down.
  9. jimbogibbo

    jimbogibbo Member


    I am new at this train stuff to. I found that my lionel has rubber treads on the drive wheels and if they are worn the engine just sits in one place and spins its wheels.?
  10. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    mine dont sit and spin, just sit there and "hum"

    i did get the one going tho, and after oiled it up with some 3 in one oil in a couple key places, it runs great now. altho it dont seem to have the power i think it should have, but it is 50 some years old, and i was one around 7 years old when i seen it run last, but then i could pull a long set of passanger cars, now it will only pull 3 flat bed cars and then it drags the engine down, i add a caboose and it will not pull it at all. i got 2 more to get running, one wont move at all, and the other is missing the tront trucks.
  11. TR-Flyer

    TR-Flyer Member

  12. Billman730

    Billman730 New Member

    I am serious on this. I pulled my beloved train set out of the cardboard 50 gallon drum they were carefully packed in. I hooked the super o track up fired up the zw and watched my ep-5 move a few cars smoothly. Problem came after a stop at the local hobby store where this stuff came from. An older gent working in the train section showed me what the new lionel runs like with TMCC. I could not race home fast enough to repack my drum. Sad but stamped metal constructed engines and cars using the old type electical connections of the past are hard to keep working today. Old train construction does not seem to hold up unless stored perfectly as were mine by a smart thinking DAD. The trains do not compare well to the new die-cast metal, complex electronic equiped, stuff that is now available. I don't have a single, voltage variable track to run older stuff on in my layout. I may have to build one cause I miss seeing the horses load in to the car from the corral.....
  13. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    If it just sits and hums it could be the e-unit (the part that reverses direction). They can be a bit cranky and aren't a good repair for a beginner to try out. Back about three years ago when I got Dad's old Lionel postwar trains out, one locomotive ran, one had a problem like you describe, and the other was usually good for about one lap around the track before it would stop running. I took the two broken ones to a store that still services old Lionel. The one that would only make it around the track once needed a few parts but mostly needed a good cleaning and lube. The other one needed the e-unit to be completely overhauled, and also got a good cleaning and lube. When all was said and done it set me back around $70 ($25/hour labor, and about $20 for all the parts). But after doing that, they ran spectacularly, and they still do. He said with the better lubricants we have today (he uses Labelle oils), he wouldn't be surprised if they're still running smoothly in 20-30 years.

    It's entirely possible your engines are just dirty, which will keep them from running as well as they could, or in extreme cases will keep them from running at all. Go to Radio Shack and get a can of what they call TV Tuner Cleaner. I think it'll cost about $9. Spray some of that into the motor and into the e-unit and set it aside for a while and let the cleaner flow back out, hopefully taking the gunk with it. Spray some of the cleaner on an old toothbrush and use it to clean the gears to get the old grease off. If you have a hobby shop anywhere close, I would suggest getting a tube of Labelle grease and Labelle oil. 3-in-1 is OK (it's what everyone used in the '50s) but the Labelle is better. Put some grease on the gears, a drop of oil on the axles and the armature shaft, and I'd say your odds of getting at least one more of the engines running are better than average. The engine that runs but is having difficulty pulling could also benefit from this.

    Also, put a drop of oil on the axles of all your cars, where the wheel and axle meet. It's amazing how much easier they pull with a bit of lubrication.
  14. 3railguy

    3railguy Member

    For engines like this, I like to tear them down as much as possible. The old lubricants tend to crustify and cease up, causing eratic, amperage hogging operation.

    I begin by removing the shell and using a soft rope brush, clean the shell with Dawn detergent and warm water. Dab the shell good with a towel and set it aside to dry.

    I scrub and soak the motor shaft, gears, and axles in a can of mineral spirits with a tooth brush. I then scrub the truck sides and couplers with WD-40. It restores and protects the metal blackener Lionel used. It also frees up the coupler mechanism. In the bottom of the truck frame there should be a bushing with a little ball in it where the end of the motor shaft rests. Be sure not to loose this ball when disassembling. It falls out easily. Be sure to clean it as well as everything else. Clean the crud off the motor comutator face with an HO track eraser or ink eraser along with some plastic compatible tuner cleaner. Using a toothpick, scrape out any crud between the comutator plates while doing this.

    As you re-assemble. Use a toothpick and lightly oil the shafts, gear spurs, and axles with light plastic compatible oil such as Labelle. This incudes the bushing on top of the motor for the end of the motor shaft. Use lithium automotive grease on the worm and spur gear teeth. This stuff sticks well to the gears and won't sling all over the track if applied sparingly. Turn all rotating assemblies as you assemble and check for binding.

    As Dave suggests, shoot the reverse unit with plastic compatible tuner cleaner and cycle it several times to work it in.

    Once the frame, motor, and power truck are assembled, with the shell still removed, give the engine several laps around a loop of track cycling between forward and reverse several times. Give the reverse unit another shot of tuner cleaner while doing this. After about an hour, wipe any excess oil off the bottom of the truck frame. The shell should be dry by now and you can re-attach it.
  15. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    announce1 No place else but Davis Electonics near Dayton.

    Google them up.

    You will find most answers to any question by googling.

    :thumb: Works for me

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