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  • Topic: LGB 0-6-2T: BadMotor, Bad Gears, Both, or Something Else?

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    • April 2, 2020 2:17 AM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Gents, 

       

      Thanks again.   Mike, there are no missing parts, and, as Bill suggested, the poor fit is more a matter of a poor picture.  The motor, Mike, is held in place by the port and starboard side of the chassis.  A motor block lid then drops on top of the assembled chassis.  This is held in place by four screws, two on each side.  The whole is made fast with a couple screws around the cab, and, to some extent by the wheels and axles themselves.  Per Dan's warning of years ago, I have been observant of the issue of quartering, so I do not suspect that to be the cause.  Oh, and Greg, this is the original motor.  There is no observable damage.

          Like Bill said, this seems to be an issue of wear… but where?  And, like Greg said, it has to be in the drive train.  Because both idlers get stripped each time I "fix" Glitchy Gustav,  I am inclined to think the motor is, in fact, sitting wrong.  Since it is grinding out both idlers at once, wouldn't this suggest:

      1. The motor wiggles port-to-starboard, eventually binding the idlers. 
      2. The idlers themselves no longer spin true, eventually binding on the drive gears, much to their physical detriment
      3. The axles no longer spin true, eventually locking one or more of the drivers.

       

           As for what I am willing to spend, Greg, this has been a running thought project.  I am willing to take the time to engineer a solution.  Monetarily, I am at that "Las Vegas Rules" tipping point.  Since i am in over $100 (I had already purchased long-lost detail parts before this issue with the gears), I have reached a point where I am willing to spend for a permanent fix, but I am not willing (or allowed) to throw cash at experiments anymore.  I have considered buying a used one on e-Bay just to enjoy the look of this loco on our railroad again (trust me, it somehow looks "right" amidst our tight curves and bright flowers), but the proposal met with universal non-approval on the Homefront.  The style of the locomotive is evocative of some of the side tankers that ran out here, so fitting this shell to another chassis of a different wheel base (2-4-2 or 0-6-0) is on the table, but, for the moment, probably beyond my skillset.  Probably...

       

           Glitchy Gustav is in parts (again), and I am happy to take new, hopefully better pictures of the internals if that'd be useful.   I'll call it a homeschool class in "mechanical engineering" and get some help and credit with the crew's teachers.  Otherwise, I am going to bolt him back up to avoid losing parts.

       

          Thanks to all for the renewed interest and continued discussion.  Having shredded the gears through misassembly of my recently re-animated m2075, I am hoping to use this to avoid a similar chain of missteps in the future if not to get this loco back on the tracks.

       

      Aloha.

      Eric

       

           

       

       

       

       

    • April 4, 2020 9:50 PM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      OK,

       

      I was pondering this with a beverage as I watched my trains chase their cabooses, and it occurred to me I have a test subject ready-to-hand.  We have another battery operated LGB m2075 at the end of service life exhibiting similar issues to the model m2071 in this discussion.  Namely, the worm gear from the motor does engage drive gear (no idler in the m2075 (battery)) and just spins in space. 

       

      My plan is to use the m2075 (battery) as a guinea pig.  I figure if snugging the motor down on the m2075 (battery) fixes this sad sack, it may validate the loose motor theory on the m2071 while also offering an opportunity to practice a repair on a locomotive due to enter the shops for conversion from "Kid-zilla sponge" into "M&K Sugar Co. No. 8," anyway.  

       

      And now, back to the garden for more inspiration.

       

      Aloha,

      Eric

       

       

       

      This post was edited by Eric Mueller at April 5, 2020 10:01 AM EDT
    • April 18, 2020 2:59 PM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Update:

       

            I am running out of COVID-19 projects, so I may have to turn-to on this one...I did validate the concept of "loose motor" using my guinea pig m2075 (battery).  In this case, the motor no longer seated, so I  glued a small strip of styrene to the top as a shim, reassembled the thing, and put it out on the line.  Runs like a champ!  Likewise, when I cracked open my m2075/STAINZ hybrid, I found it had not eaten its gears.  It simply wasn't always engaging.  Reassembly with extra elbow grease on the screws closing the top lid of motor block was the solution.  It runs smoot as glass.

       

           Next week is my "on" week in the office, giving me a chance at a good think. Based on my good luck above, my initial thought is to take line the part of the motor block lid that engages the motor.   I've also called TrainLi to see if there are really solutions beyond throwing money at destructive testing of nylon gears.  Mybe they have new-old chassis somewhere in their vaults.

       

      "I am I, Don Quixote..."

       

       

       

       

    • April 26, 2020 9:14 PM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      We proceed...

       

      Today, I laid Glitchy Gustav open (Did I mention I found both screw and thrust bearing?).  There is neither damage, warpage, nor obvious wear on the motor block cap:

      Drat.  This is a $2-$3 part...

       

         After re-separating the halves of the "clam shell" chassis and verifying I had motor and gears in place, I replaced the gap to see if I could physically wiggle gears or motors:

      It took a good  deal of pressure on the cap, but eventually everything settled into place.  Does this validate the "snug it down theory?"  Not sure... I am weighing banding this all together (half "clam shell," motor, and motor block cap), applying clips to the motor leads, and slowly bringing it all up to speed to observe what happens. If all is well, then it would seem, like my m2075/STAINZ hybrid and my m0275 (battery), then, indeed, for reasons lost to me the motor is not being held in place.  Unlike the Maerklin era-STAINZ block, though, the motorblock cap on Glitchy Gustav is not held in place by vertical screws, so simply screwing the cap down tighter will not be an option.  

       

           In the meantime, the search for a replacement motor block came up "hot," and I have a lead on a new / old part... assuming I can trust the seller AND CINCHOUSE releases the funds.  I also talked to TrainLi, but I've yet to hear back.   I'll re-enage their parts folks tomorrow.

       

          For now, I closed up Glitchy Gustav enough to protect his innards.  I need to address a track issue, and I don't  want to engage in a potentially gear eating experiment without a few hours to think about it.  To that end, I'd appreciate thoughts on my proposed test.

       

      Aloha,

      Eric

    • April 28, 2020 8:38 AM EDT
      • Eastern Massachusetts
         
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      When I service this old type motor block (2080 had the same type) I add additional screws to the top plate over the motor and I also add a strip of plastic to the cover plate to press the motor more securely on to the gears.  And if the motor has sideplay on the shafts, it is bad as the brass gear can go to the outside of the plastic gear and cause it to strip/chew up the teeth.

    • April 28, 2020 7:45 PM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Dan,

       

      Thanks.  I spoke to TrainLi today.  They have a motor block on-hand if it comes to it. He had also suggested removing the side rods, as sometimes they can be bent or they can get settled in wear grooves, either of which would cause the observed binding even when I try to push this thing using an external power (an LGB powered tender).  I'll get the clamshell buttoned back together, remove and inspect the rods as well as the "pins" coming from the drivers, and push the chassis down the track to see what happens.  If it rolls OK, then I'll put the motor back on, install that plastic plate, and hope for the best!

       

      Aloha,

      Eric

       

    • April 29, 2020 2:45 AM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Update:

       

      I buttoned up the chassis, mounted the boiler and tanks, and did a couple rolling tests.  Also, there is no appreciable or even visible wear on the "pins" on any of the drivers.

       

      1. Hand power. Kid-zilla served as assistant.

      2. Under tow.  Diesel Dan is on half-charge after a hard afternoon ("His" engineer appears half in the sauce after same said afternoon).  I did have to get this rig rolling, but "he" managed to get the chassis through the turn.

      You'll note in all tests, not all the drivers are spinning.  I am not sure if this is pointing towards binding or simply an indication of inadequate weight distribution with the cab off.  We'll reconnect the rods and repeat these tests tomorrow.  If there is no appreciable binding, then it will be time to cut that plastic for the motor lid, pop the motor in, and slowly apply power.

          If I can just ship the chassis alone to TrainLi, I might do it if this test fails.  The chassis will fit in a flat rate box, which makes professional servicing an option.

       

      I feel like I am finally moving towards a permanent fix...but I've said that before!

      Eric

       

       

    • April 29, 2020 10:16 PM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Update:

       

      The slow reassembly continued.  Adding the side rods did not impede anything, so I added the mainrods, which are pinned to the cross-head assembly via a series of linkages.  Diesel Dan's engineer being in better shape, I repeated yesterday's tests and observed binding in both directions. 

       

          First, I noted I had a fore and aft driver swapped.  The after drivers have longer "pins," which prevent them from passing under the cross-heads.  Everything came off on the port side, went back together...and I discovered I had made the same mistake.  Ooopsss...  Back apart it all came, and I noticed that what was supposed to have been the after drive wheel did have a wear groove in it.  Wonder how long that has been there?

       

       

         Next, I just kept rolling the chassis back and forth, and I noted the port forward driver still engaged the crosshead enough to stop the wheels from turning.  I tightened down all the wheels and all the screws hold the rods and tried again...Same thing.  Having found my tech manual, I noted each driver was - by design - supposed to have a washer and a screw.  By removing the washers, I finally had enough clearance for the wheel to spin without engaging the crossheads!  Yay!  There is still some clicking as some of the other linkages contact a vertical piece of plastic that holds the slide bars in place, but I don't think these were causing the binding of the rods and, ultimately, the  stripping of the gears. 

       

          Of note, both piston rods snapped off shortly after Gustav came out of hibernation.  I now theorize that the slider bars and crosshead assembly may have been soft enough when new to allow the drivers to slide by.  With age, the plastic hardened and became brittle.   The piston rods gave way, but the sliders and crosshead, being of sterner stuff, were not flexible enough to account for constant motion but stiff enough to hold without failing.   We briefly had Gustav running when we upped the volts and amps to the rails, and "he" seems to have powered through the binding for awhile until eating "his" gears (again) in expensive protest.

       

       

         The upshot of all this is that it is NOT the motorblock or gear train, either of which signals the end of the locomotive... At least I don't think it is.  It seems to be an issue of the piston / cross-head / valve assembly and a legacy of a design idiosyncrasy (those washers), frequent use in "his" heyday, long storage, and possibly a mis-repair along the way (I bet at some point we fixed a traction tire and botched the wheel installation).  I think I will remove everything but the siderods and power "him" up, but I want to think about that.  I may still send in the chassis and have this fixed once and for all.

       

      Eric

       

          

    • April 30, 2020 3:43 AM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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           I give up... I bolted the motor back in, and now it won't turn.  I have electrical continuity across the bus bars that run fore-to-aft via the motor block lid, but not from wheel to wheel on any one side.   At this point, my three year struggle to bring this family "heritage loco" back into service has taught me everything from how to use a multimeter to parts of a steam locomotive, and always at $12.50 shipping and handling a crack.  Failure, I am reminded, is also a teacher, but only if you know  how and why you failed.   I am sending the chassis, rods and all, to TrainLi.  If they can fix this, wonderful.  If they pronounce it dead, I have peace of mind, and it will be worth the money just for that.  I thank all for their guidance, suggestions, and patience over the course of this long-running thread.  The next post will be the final verdict and, hopefully, a video of Gustav in service pulling our Festzug.

       

           As I was mulling Gustav's fate, OD could tell I was evaluating the old boy as a parts source.

       

      "Can you get Gustav to work, Dad?"
      "No."
      "Do you think they [TrainLi] can get Gustav to work?"
      "Maybe."
      "So we can do for Gustav what we did for Little Thomas, if they don't, right?"

       

      Challenged  - plea, perhaps? - laid down; challenge accepted.  One journey in this hobby ends.  Another begins.  We'll see what comes of professional service and go from there.

       

      Eric

       

    • May 9, 2020 2:44 AM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Update:

      The chassis is at TrainLi.  The initial diagnosis -wear and tear, to include the wheel sets.  The downside - parts availability.  The upside - I can absolve myself of incompetence by blaming my cascading series of failed repair efforts on "lack of comparison to functioning examples."  That's my story and I am sticking to it!

       

      My VISA is looking very, very afraid for some reason...

       

      Eric

    • May 9, 2020 6:45 AM EDT
      • Saint Johns, Florida
         
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      ____________________________________

       

       

    • May 22, 2020 3:22 AM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Great success!

      Kristine McNary at TrainLi shared a video of the chassis running very smoothly.  The big problem were those side rods biding on the cross-head holders. There were other odds and ends, too, to include springs and bushings, missing washers (no clue...maybe eons ago my brother and I changed a traction tire and forgot to replace them?), and known broken bits that i had assumed were from plastic embrittlement but I now understand were symptoms of the worsening binding.  In all, this old locomotive suffered from a combination of small issues that over the last couple years I tried to address as individual items without investigating the root cause.  Lesson learned...

       

      Eric

    • May 22, 2020 8:24 AM EDT
      • Eastern Massachusetts
         
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      Those old blocks had many issues not seen until someone has (run the wheels off).  I have found even on newer engines the rivits 'loosen' and I use a small water pump plier to tighten them (these are brass and tighten real easy).  Also I found that LGB had 2 different heads on the hex screws and the thin head has to be on the front axle in order to prevent it from touching the rivits!!   Rear axle did not care about head thickness.

    • May 22, 2020 2:27 PM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Thanks, Dan.  As I said earlier. this has been a long, frustrating, and costly process, but I am glad I committed to seeing it through.  There are lessons here that will save me money in the years to come!

    • May 22, 2020 4:36 PM EDT
      • Elverta, CA
         
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      Eric

      Did you have to replace the motor block, or just small parts and wisdom?

      Michael

       

    • May 22, 2020 8:38 PM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Michael,

       

      "Small parts and wisdom."  

       

      Eric

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