Lionel 6466W Tender Electrical Problem

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by ssorrell, Jan 29, 2007.

  1. ssorrell

    ssorrell New Member


    I'm new to all this stuff, so please bear with me [​IMG]

    I have what appears to be either a Lionel 6466W or 6466WX whistling tender that I have been repairing. When I apply electricity to the track, the tender will not whistle. However, when I hold the tender upside down in my hand, and apply current with two wires from the transformer, it whistles. When I perform the same operation with the tender in my hand, but right-side-up, there is no whistle.

    I took the tender apart again to look more carefully and found that there appears to be an electrical component, transformer, or whatnot, mounted next to the whistle motor and fan. At the bottom of this piece is a small metal switch that appears to be open, but closes when I turn it upside down, which is the reason for what I observed in the first place.

    My question is, should this switch, under normal operation, close itself due to an electrical magnetism, when current is applied? If this it not happening, are there any suggestions as to the cause, or possible a solution to the problem?

    Thanks in advance for any help!

    Scott Sorrell
  2. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Scott: is this an old Lionel? My 1950s vintage has a mechanism with a RELAY in it, which could look a little like a transformer.
    Somehow, this is a DC relay that doesn't pick up on AC. Lionel transformers have a rectifier and another bit of circuitry in them that puts a bit of DC on top of the AC and jacks up the voltage a bit. The DC causes the relay to activate, closes the switch and runs the whistle motor.
    I don't know if the old whistles are sensitive to the direction of the DC; I know the new ones are.
    You should have a lever or switch on your transformer labelled "Whistle". Some of the cheaper ones didn't.
  3. ssorrell

    ssorrell New Member


    Yes, this is a 6466W tender from the 50's. I guess what I'm talking about is the relay (I make no effort to hide my ignorance of things like this :) )

    I believe what the problem is, after a little more experimentation, is that the small piece of metal on the bottom of the relay that snaps closed to activate the relay is either misaligned, or it has sagged with age, to the point where it will not snap closed.

    What I did was hold the piece up against the upper part of the switch with a screwdriver, while the transformer was turned on, but the whistle button was not pressed. This caused the whistle to blow. I then backed off with the screwdriver to the point just past where the whistle stopped blowing. While I held the metal in position with the screwdriver, I hit the whistle button, and, sure enough, the metal snapped up, closed the switch, and the whistle blew.

    I get the impression that those two pieces of metal are supposed to be REALLY close together, to where they are just BARELY not making contact. I'm going to try to manipulate the metal piece to where it will work right. Hopefully the metal won't end up breaking.

    All that aside, the whistle motor makes a horrible clattering noise when activated. Is this normal, or is there something that can be lubed to fix this?

    Thanks for your input on this!

  4. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    The noise from the tender should be a whirr and a whistle. Clattering sounds like there may be stray matter in the blower or something has come adrift.
    Have you checked olsen toy trains site? They have service diagrams for most of that vintage equipment, and I think all the whistles were similar.
  5. ssorrell

    ssorrell New Member

    Thanks for the reference, I'll give that site a look!

  6. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan


    Welcome to The Gauge ssorrell!:thumb:
  7. ssorrell

    ssorrell New Member

    Thanks CNWman! I see you're also from Cincinnati! Are there any train and hobby shops that you are particularly fond of in the area and that you could recommend?

  8. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

    There are two that I like. There's Davis Trains/Electronics which is where the bulk of the stuff I have came from.
    Then there's the train corner at the Johnny's Toys in Covington, KY where their help and stock are almost unmatched (they even have a giant layout there!).

    They also have repair shops (Davis puts most of their prices up on their site, but some require more stuff which means you pay for it) hope this helps!:thumb:
  9. ssorrell

    ssorrell New Member

    I haven't been to Davis Trains, although I've heard of it.

    I was impressed with the attention paid to trains at the Woodlawn area Johnny's Toys, but was blown away with Covington :) I bought some track there not too long ago.

    There is also a store up on Main Street in Mason, near me. I think it is called Dixie Station, or something like that. I haven't had the opportunity to check them out yet.

    I also saw in the local paper this morning that there are plans for a giant railroad layout in the old Oak and More store near me. Maybe you've heard of this already....
  10. Jaabat

    Jaabat New Member

    Instead of messing with the relay, just put something under neath the bottom part to raise it up enough so that it will close when the whistle is activated. I'd use a piece of plastic or cardboard glued to the tender's floor.

    As for the grinding sound, add a drop or two of oil to the armature shaft on top and under the armature, It will clear up that sound you're hearing.

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