Restoring Lionel N5c Caboose

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by 60103, Oct 19, 2005.

  1. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I just dug out my first piece of Lionel - the N5c Pennsylvania caboose from 1953 (First year of issue) It's in pretty bad shape, but I'd like to replace the worst of the broken parts.
    I just cleaned off the wheels and the was a thick layer of gunk on them (who says metal wheels on metal track don't pick up dirt?)
    I need new end platforms and a new coupling. Where is a reliable parts source?
    Are the wheels supposed to turn independently on the axles?
    One of the side frames is loose. Can this be tightened or does the whole truck need replacing?
    How do you get off those U-shaped clips that hold the trucks on?
    This car has been in storage for about 40 years, but I'd like to run it with my wife's Polar Express.
  2. spankybird

    spankybird OTTS Founder

    You can remove the ‘c’ clip with small needle nose pliers. Just be careful as this clip is made of spring steel and may jump after it clears the shaft.

    Here are a couple of sites for parts

    and I am not sure about this site. When I check it, it wasn’t working but maybe they are having problems

  3. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    I took the lazy way out on a Lionel caboose I had with a loose side frame: I just glued it into place with superglue. That was two years ago and it's held. If I ever decide I want to reverse that repair, an hour or two in the freezer will take care of the glue.

    As far as wheels turning independently, they probably should. They do on my postwar cars. I've freed rusted parts by oiling them, letting it soak in, and then turning the two wheels in opposite directions by hand. I've treated some really bad parts by soaking them in vinegar. I know some other people who use REM oil (for cleaning guns). But usually some oil, a little force, and/or some running around the track pulled by a strong locomotive does wonders to loosen the wheels back up.

    While trucks can be replaced, and rather easily at that in the case of most postwar Lionel, I prefer to try to repair them, especially since a set of postwar trucks can cost more than the car is worth, in some cases.
  4. spankybird

    spankybird OTTS Founder

  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Thanks, Dave and Tom.
    I looked at olsen's site last week and found the caboose parts after a lot of fiddling.
    We have a show in Toronto at the end of the month and I'll see what's available there.
  6. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    Chances are you'll find lots of good parts under the tables at the show. You'll almost certainly be able to get one or more trucks that are in better shape than what's there (or just a replacement coupler assembly). End platforms will require a bit more luck, but you never know. That's part of the fun.

Share This Page