mantua 0-4-0 help

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by philip, Jan 31, 2004.

  1. philip

    philip Guest

    My wifes Mantua switcher is shorting where the rims connect to the wheel . When the power is applied the wheels smoke occasionally. This is a very old engine, but runs great. It is getting worst every operating session. Seems all the newer stuff has solid wheels without the rim. I guess the rims need to be removed and cleaned. Or am I completely wrong? Sigh.... I don't own a puller. Any other way around this without removing the rims or sending her to the roundhouse for a check-up? Thanks for lookin!

  2. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Usually when I see smoke puffs from the wheels or rods, I find the pickups are not all making contact. Aren't there pickips going to the rims? I think Ive, seen this, definately seen the rods smoke. What happens is one set of drivers get power, so it runs (somewhat) and the other driver does not get power and attempts to do so through the wrong parts. The smoke can be from oil.
  3. philip

    philip Guest


    Jon: No pickups on this one. And yes, I did lube the axels under the cover that secures them in the frame. Yes. Maybe the excess oil is burning off but it smoked before lubing the axels. The wheels appear to be two parts with a rim around the circumference. That where it smokes. Kind of looks like steel wool burning, but I wouldn't use that on a layout.

  4. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    You can test the wheels to see if the insulation has broken down using a volt/ohm meter set for continuity check. Touch the red lead to the insulated wheel and the black lead to the axel. If you get a reading then the insulation is gone bad. Check all of the insulated wheels on the tender. If you don't get a reading then read on below.

    Possible but unlikely that the insulation between the tire and the rim has broken down. I've seen that a lot on older brass engines where paper was used as the insulator but never on a Mantua.

    Like Jon I would suspect that the problem lies with dirty wheels and track and tender bosses. You don't have to have a wheel puller to correct that.

    Remove the trucks from the tender making note of which side is "hot" so you can re-install them. I think this loco has brass pickup wheels. Using very fine emory paper...600 grit or higher or a brass bristle brush polish the wheels until they are shiney. Note the point where the truck frame (bolster) comes in contact with the tender floor. Clean and polish this area also on both trucks.

    Now turn your attention to the tender floor where the bosses are located at the point where the trucks attach. Clean and polish these areas too. "Swish" the trucks around in some alcohol to remove any oil from the journals and set them aside to dry. Reinstall the trucks and give it a try. Be sure to clean your track too.

    Hope this helped.
  5. philip

    philip Guest

    arc in question

    Vic: The tender & engine wheels are clean. The so called journals where the axel ends ride are clean and shiny. The bolsters are also clean. The track is clean. It must be a continuity problem in the old wheel set. The attached image points to the problem area. " all 4 wheels are doin the arc thingie". It only does the arc on occasions. Stops the loco dead. I'll dig my old multimeter out and check the driving wheels. I kind of doubt if they have a replacement for this old loco.


    Attached Files:

  6. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Hi Phillip, Somehow I got the impression that the tender wheels were arcing. Please excuse my misconception:oops:

    I see what you are talking about. Its obvious that the insulation has broken down. Actually, the Mantua engines have changed little. You should be able to get replacement ones.

    I've had some luck on old brass engines with this problem by pulling the offending driver(s), seperating the tire from the center, cleaning everything up and then putting a thin coat of 5 minute epoxy on the center and pressing the tire back on. Be sure to leave as much of the old insulation intact as possible. This of course is a hit or miss fix and it doesn't always work. The better solution is to replace the driver.
  7. philip

    philip Guest

    driver replacement

    Vic: Not a problem. I should have posted the picture to begin with.
    I"ll do some checking and see what I can find. May have to do the epoxy trick. How old is this loco? Picked it up for 20 bucks a couple of years back. The tender is cast also.

    Thanks :thumb:
  8. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I think it's post World War II, but might be older. I know they were around when I started in the 50s. If the cab is plastic, it's 60s or later.
  9. philip

    philip Guest

    yep. Its old

    60103: The cab and tender are heavy cast. The short is so bad now its dead. Anybody have any good used drivers out there? I just need the front one.


    Attached Files:

  10. Bill Stone

    Bill Stone Member


    I’m not sure just how old your 0-4-0 is, but I believe (not absolutely sure) that the parts were essentially interchangeable throughout the production history. As you probably know, Model Power bought Mantua a year or so ago.

    I have a late-1980's Mantua parts list that shows the part numbers, and a parts price list from Mantua/Model Power I got in July/03 lists them still:

    Front driver set with worm: 25153 $5.25
    Rear driver set: 25150 $5.18
    Front bearings: 6302 $0.90 (you need 2)
    Rear bearing: 6301 $0.90 (need only 1)

    I would replace both wheel sets and the bearings. Then you’ll have a “new” loco.

    You can reach Model Power at 631-694-7022, or online at

  11. philip

    philip Guest

    Thanks Bill!
  12. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    Having rebuilt and pieced a few of these together, I can tell you there are some subtle differences that might make finding a replacement more tasking than one would expect.
    There are at least 3 different wheels that look the same untill measured. The ones you have are the smaller dia. with small flanges. These should have a finer tooth gear mounted on them.
    Then there are ones with the same dia. with larger flanges and a coarser tooth gear set. The other set is about .030" larger in dia. with small flanges and the coarse gearset.
    If you can get a complete set of the newer drivers you will need to install the matching worm on the motor.
    I'm not posting this info to sound like I know it all, just to spare you some of the hair pulling and head banging I went through.:(
  13. Tomo

    Tomo New Member


    I can't offer any help to your problem, but it is great to see someone besides me has one of these Mantua Shifters!

  14. philip

    philip Guest

    welcome Tomo

    I bet yours runs:D Welcome aboard TOMO!:thumb:

  15. philip

    philip Guest

    Ray: I kinda figured it would be tough finding a replacement part. I e-mailed Mantua a week ago and have heard nothing. Got any parts in your Junk box? I need the one you described with the fine teethed gear. Only one of the rims is shorting, the front left one. Oh yeah......... how hard is it to install one of those worms?

  16. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    Sorry, I don't have any, in fact I need a set for a Mantua 0-6-0 I'm trying to peice together.
    Changing the worm is easy . If It'sThe nylon worm it can be pried off and pressed on easily. the brass ones are sometimes soldered and need to be heated and may need a puller.
  17. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    If at all possible, grasp the motor by the shaft somehow when pulling the worm off. If it's very tight, and you grap the motor by the housing, it is likely to damage the motor. If the shaft extends out the back, it's easy, just grab the other half with pliers. If not, maybe you can get needle nose pliers behind the worm. You can vice the worm and tap the shaft, but then you are squishing it on tighter.
  18. TrainClown

    TrainClown Member

    What I Do

    What I do, as was told to me by a Radio Shack tech, was THE way of handling small engines and gears. Okay okay, I know Radio Shack is probably a tabboo around here, but, I was having trouble with gears splitting and I busted the motor in this little transmission I was working on.


    The thing to do is much like jon said except you don't put the gear in a vice. This would make the gear junk and no good any more. So make a brace (for lack of a better name) out of a piece of scrap tin, about 3" square, and cut a grove from one side to the center that is just a bit wider than the shaft of the motor. Slide this brace on the shaft between the gear and the motor body. Then set it, motor down, on a vice, so the motor hangs free and the brace sits on top of the vices jaws. Then using a finnishing nail that is the same size or smaller than the motor shaft as a punch, and a small hammer, tap the shaft out of the gear. Sometimes I use an old pair of scissors for the brace depending on clearance requirements. With this technique you don't damage the motor or the gear.

    To put the gear back on the shaft without damaging anything.

    Put the gear on a hard flat surface (I have a little anvil) then line up the motor with the gear and, with a small hammer, tap on the back end of the motors shaft to seat the shaft into the gear. Most small motors have the shaft sticking out the back just a bit.

    Do it this way and you will not have a problem with the brushes being knocked out of alignment by putting to much force on the motor housing.

    I try to find brass gears to replace plastic ones. Brass don't split.

  19. Graham Hoffman

    Graham Hoffman New Member

    Hi Phillip.....I have a similar Mantua 0-4-0, vintage 1950, that also needsa new set of drivers. I emailed Model Power and this was their reply...

    Hi; Yes we do . But we are out of stock at this time. When the new locos start to come in stock i'll have the parts too. Try around APRIL or MAY. Thanks, Michael
    800-628-2803 (Phone)
    631-694-7133 (Fax)

    So We'll have to be patient. I had remotored/regeared my engine some time ago with a Sagami motor and NWSL gearbox and it ran very smoothly. I recently converted to DCC, installed a NCE decoder and now it runs even better.

    Good luck.

    Graham "Otto" Hoffman
  20. philip

    philip Guest

    Ah...the story of my life. Wait and be patient. I'll try the Jon Monon trick and try to recap the thing. Oh yeah that worm gear has a small chunk out of it already. Wonder how that happened? I guess the previous owner had it chucked up using the dent puller and hackin on it. I'm looking for that BFH. The BfH don't work get the burn wrench:eek:

    :rolleyes: philip:rolleyes:

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