Help save Xmas for an 8yr old new 2 trains

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by elmntl1, Dec 8, 2006.


What gauge is best for beginners?

Poll closed Dec 22, 2006.
  1. ho

    0 vote(s)
  2. o

    0 vote(s)
  3. g

    0 vote(s)
  4. s

    0 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. elmntl1

    elmntl1 New Member

    I got a box full of train parts, track and a weak 5v xformer when a neighbor moved out. Also in the box an American Flyer Penn. steam engine Sg (1963?) & a Lionel Sante Fe 8020 desile engine Og. Uncle Santa is cleaning up the O to give a good little boy his 1st train set for Christmas.
    the problem i am having with LIONEL SANTA FE #8020, on the bottom of the motor area between the wheels there is a stamp on it of 8250'125 2. the light works and the train moves but it runs backwards. the train has a lever switch on the top but with the body on it only runs backwards, with the body off I can move the lever a tad more forward than it's normal position when the body is on it and it will go forward. WHAT TO DO??? can anyone help me with this problem? Glad my wife found you good elves! thx elmntl1
  2. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    It's the forward/reverse switch. If the cab is knocking it into reverse, then something is out of whack. Take it to a hobby shop that does repairs if you are not electromechanicly enclined yourself.
  3. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    I've got an odd-sounding trick to try. If you have a hobby shop nearby, go and see if you can find a product called Rail Zip (made by Pacer). It's normally used for cleaning HO and N scale track. It removes corrosion and inhibits new corrosion. A bottle costs about $5. Try putting some of that on your switch. Shoot a drop in there and work the switch back and forth to spread it around. I'm guessing the normal position might be electrically dirty, and pushing it over a little further is getting you a good spot.

    Some auto parts stores also carry it, if you don't have a hobby shop nearby. I think Radio Shack has a product called DeOxit that's similar but I think it costs a lot more.
  4. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    How can one answer that.....I wouldn't make any recommendation with knowing the age and abilities of the person.

  5. elmntl1

    elmntl1 New Member


    Thanks I am the creator of odd and I bet it will at least help if not work. There is only 1 recommended hobby shop in all of Ctl. FL and it is the one I go to but the repair man is having his engine overhauled (pacemaker) so I'm willing to try anything at this point. Again thanks and happy holidays!

  6. elmntl1

    elmntl1 New Member

    Now that's just mean. Didn't anyone tell you if you can't say something nice don't say anything at all. Santa isn't visiting you this year. He know's what you'd do with the lump of coal. :<
  7. elmntl1

    elmntl1 New Member


    I have some fair abilities although they haven't been used in more than 15 yrs. The repairman is having his own engine overhauled (pacemaker) and wont be back for some time my nephew will be here 12/16-12/23 so time is pressing. I think Dave F's post may give some remedy. The cab is not knocking it into reverse, it just doesn't move in the forward position unless I take the body off and push it (f/r switch) a little further forward. Oh well it's entertaining the cat (who thinks he's a person) for now.
  8. elmntl1

    elmntl1 New Member

    not nice

    Mrs. Santa says you have been put onto Santa's naughty list has you listed as oldCANtankerOUS/oldtanker. Have some milk & cookies. ~:eek:
  9. Thrillseeker

    Thrillseeker New Member

    It shouldn't be too difficult to clean up the switch and check alignment between it and the cab. With a little patience he should be able to fix it himself.
  10. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    elm I was referring to the poll question....

    As far as the switch there has to be something wrong...pivot point worn misaligning the lever, dirty contacts, slight distortion to the shell...., I'd bet on the dirty contacts and get a can of electrical contact cleaner, the stuff electronic shops carry (best buy included).

    For the 8 year old what scale would still be hard, some 8 year olds are tame enough for ho and some are not, some need the real deal and they would break that too....we raised 7 kids...I know...LOL.

  11. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    Elm, BTW I got myself an Atlas GP38 DCC equipped loco for Christmas so I'm not worried about Santa!

  12. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    the 8020 did not come with a switch on the top, you may have an older engine with the newer body. the 8020 bodys had the slot for a switch but not a switch, at least all my 8020's are that way.
  13. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    the 8020 was made from 1970 to 1976. they did not make it in 1973 tho. mine are good runners, very few problems, but there not as powerful as the older one from the 1950's and 1960's, they are lighter. the 8020 is worth around 85.00 if it was in mint condition.

    some info for ya
  14. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    take a pic of it with the body off, then i can compare it to mine to see if you just got an 8020 body.
  15. ejen34

    ejen34 Member

    Any scale one chooses is a winner, N scale is the best for me :thumb:
  16. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    I agree with Rich. There's many factors in play. I do believe a child would be better off with a Lionel. They are big and rugged. I had my first Lionel when I was 6. An older child that's in their pre-teens or teens. Try a Bachmann or Athearn starter kit. If it is an adult with a small living space, such as a college student. Try in N or Z scale. Then there are people with disablities and a limited budget. That me, a limited budget!!!!

  17. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Great. The spammers are loose in the O Gauge Forum. :rolleyes:
    Yay! They're gone now! :)
  18. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    Squirt so WD 40 on it but not a lot.

    That or radio shcks tuner lube and cleaner. I have fixed Marx engines with both.
  19. cucamonga loco

    cucamonga loco New Member

    For the poll question, I have to say O gauge. HO is pure evil. Those little couplers are absolutely diabolical and those itsy bitsy wheels are the spawn of the devil. Putting an HO train back on the track is known to make grown men go mad. :cry:

  20. Thrillseeker

    Thrillseeker New Member

    I gave my boy HO scale when he was about 6 and it still works today over 7 years later.
    Just buy a cheap set that you won't care if it gets a little destroyed. I made sure I told him to be careful with it and showed him how to treat it. I also painted up some plywood just big enough for the loop of track that came with the set and nailed the track down. That kept track from being destroyed by crushing feet.
    When I was about 6 (1968) I got some hand-me-down lionel from my cousins who were about 15 years older than me. We got a huge plywood board with two seperate track circuits on it, 3 engines, 3 transformers, and about 30 cars. Those engines would run fast enough to fall off the track and get damaged. Fortunately they all still work today. This is why I would recommend HO as a good starting gauge for the kids.

    If all else fails (switch cleaner and adjusting) you might want to take a dremel and adjust that slot in the body so the switch can go into the forward position.

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