Large Scale Central

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


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!




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.
  1. 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!



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.


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?”
“Do you think they [TrainLi] can get Gustav to work?”
“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.



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…


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…


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.

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!


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



“Small parts and wisdom.”


Lo! But I see the end of this thread, for Glitchy Gustav’s chassis arrived from TrainLi on Saturday! I put off starting my sugar mill to put my lumbering, ill-starred “buddy” back together. My 1:1 crew being indisposed, my 1:24 crew will help present the final assault on the Eternal Project.

The crew discusses how to proceed:

The fore and aft drivers are new (or at least less used), most of the linkages got rebuilt, as did the crossheads. This had to be done on both sides. The crewman below shows the work in detail:

Hats off to Kristine McNary at TrainLi, not just for the work, but for patiently stepping me through my last round of troubleshooting. I should’ve shipped this off to him years ago. It would’ve saved me money in the long run.

After several years and multiple round of disassembly and reassembly, Gustav’s parts were scattered in my various bins despite my best efforts against entropy. I learned from Rooster and Bill Barnwell that, in this hobby, there is no such thing as “junk,” so all screws, bits, parts, etc. finally made their way to the lanai and reassembly continued.

Did anybody else notice the mistake in the first picture? Neither did I! I had not secured plastic “hanger” that hold all the rods and linkages in place, so I had to take the whole thing apart…Again…Might as well enjoy that one…more…time…

Oh, did I mention an irreplaceable part broke in shipping?

Nothing styrene, contact cement, and black paint couldn’t fix today.

Getting back to Saturday, having decided a snow plow was not that important in Hawaii, at long last, Gustav “magic moved” to the engine service track (near the mill I was supposed to be working on this weekend):

Normally, we test our work near our control station, which is located on the opposite end of the railroad, but we thought Gustav deserved to roll out of the shed after his years in overhaul like a grand old gentleman instead of a frustrating old model. OD agreed to serve as engineer while I worked the switches. OD got the controllers confused, and promptly turned what should’ve been a 30 second movie into a 90 second or so comedy of errors. Do feel free to click through it, but I felt the moment deserved video proof:

Video: Gustav Reenters Revenue Service…Slowly…

We spent about twenty minutes taking him backward and forward, listening and watching, making sure that this time “he” was fixed for good. At some point over the years whatever causes the back-up lights to come on broke / fell-out / turned into a newt / whatever. I am too tired of tinkering with this engine to care, and have resolved to let that lie. OD concurred. By that time, dinner was nearly ready, and it was time to “let ‘him’ go.” We hooked up a short train, opened throttles, and…enjoyed a magnificent old engine pull “his” train against the backdrop of a setting tropical sun. Naturally, i botched that triumphant photo. Please accept the following:

This is the last of my “family heritage” locomotives and, hopefully, the last time in a while we will have to spend time and treasure to preserve what was at the expense of enjoying what is and creating what will be. Thanks to all for suggestion, prompts, prods, and patience over the last three years!



So here we are again…

As mentioned in Triple O - 2023 Plans & Objectives, our venerable LGB m2071 D Gustav ate his gears…Again…The Mik 2023 behind us ( 2023 MIK’s Build Challenge, Post your Photos HERE for Voting), it was time to turn to on this 2023 goal.

The 1:1 crew being indisposed last night, the 1:24 gang and I set up in the dining room…

…cracked Gustav open, and found “gear-fetti…”

…around both fore and aft drivers. The damage, per the picture below, was to the teeth that engage the worm gear on the motor.

We safely bagged and labeled the parts and waited until today to re-attack.

The 1:24 gang and I had to share the lanai with O.S. who is building a tissue-on-frame rubber powered plane. He insisted I share proof.

This is his third plane. He tends to rush, but he is getting better. Oh, and it gives me more excuses to swing by the hobby shop. But back to Gustav

The 1:24 gang and I gathered and gave Gustav’s innards a through cleaning using q-tips soaked in rubbing alcohol.

Then I took over and started to reassemble the old boy…

…but couldn’t get the idlers to slide into place. I got the old idlers back from Kid-zilla, who had incorporated them into a LEGO project, and lo! They are not the same as the now shredded idlers I had removed!

Looks like TrainLi will be getting a call…

I did review this thread from top to bottom. We got close to 3 years of running from a professional overhaul at TrainLi. Everyone loves this lumbering old loco to the point that, during COVID, I got permission to hunt e-Bay for LGB’s Zilltertal set. We even debated making these 0-6-2Ts our “prime movers” we enjoy their profile so much!
Clearly, though, something is not quite right with this loco anymore, as “he” has developed a Bachmann-esque taste for “his” own gears. The plan here is to buy the correct idlers then retire Gustav to ceremonial duties.

Updates as parts allow, but for now I am going to tape in those ball bearings, back up any small parts, and place Gustav somewhere safe.



I finally got around to ordering the gears after Olomana’s motor burned out ( LGB Olomana - Smoked Buehler Motor). I learned a valuable lesson…waiting 6 months to repair something does nothing for remembering how to reassemble the item in question!

I did get the lower hull back together before it got too dark to work. The gear box is a VERY tight fit, and I wonder if the dimensions of these gears have changed over the years? Regardless, when Gustav is all buttoned up, he will be placed in reserve for ceremonial functions. Both Oldest Daughter and I lamented this fact, “he” just looks right lumbering about the Triple O. There is something about those overhanging saddle tanks that just screams plantation railroad to both of us.


Well (deep subject) at least you and oldest daughter lamented the fact which is great! However I had to report you to the moderator for saying “lumbering” as I don’t, do not believe Hawaii had a lumber industry and I feel the terminology is incorrect! Heck you didn’t even know they made cigars in Hawaii but I bet the kids knew!


It was the destruction of sandalwood forests that began the hunt for another profitable crop, which, of course, ultimately became sugar.

Anyway, guess what Kid-zilla and I found out today…

Yep. I bought the wrong idler gears. We found this out as we were trying to quarter the drive axels and just couldn’t seem to get things to engage. Oh, well, better to have found out before I made things worse. These new idlers will go into the spares bin.



Newer new gears are on hand. Saturday we will try again!



Kid-zilla and I took this project on…again!

I let him drop in the new gears so that I could teach him about quartering…a detail that has bedeviled me in the past!

We buttoned up the chassis…

…only to find yours truly had failed to slip all the wires into position!

Getting the stern of this thing closed up is a bearcat, as the various bus bars and wires can and will loop around each other. On the underside, the mechanisms that hold the trailing truck in place are also a bit squirrelly, and you need a extra hand to depress the piston that holds the truck against a glide plate.

The next step was to get the mechanical spaghetti of the rods in place. Kid-zilla mercifully wandered off as I did battle, messing up screws, washers, wheelsets, and everything else. Practice makes perfect, and I got lots of practice!

Finally, we took the chassis to the rails to give it a test:

Video: Testing the Chassis


All that was left to do was find the smokestack (Done!) and button Gustav up (Done!). Unfortutely, the snowplow that broke while transiting back from a previous repair broke a bit more. I could not hook Gustav up to his train, as the same screw that holds the plow in place also holds the steam chest together.

I’ll get a longer screw this week that will accommodate that washer, pass through the broken mounting bracket, and on into the steam chest cover.

Curiously, I found in my carefully labled tray a bunch of leftover screws, allegedly to hold something to the chassis.

Try as I might, I could not determine where they went. I even referred to the original manual, but with no luck. I am wondering if they are left over from some other repair.

The other thing the manual shed no light upon was where to place various washers. I gave a STAINZ a good hard look, and it seems that the LGB washers only go where metal rubs on metal, so that is what I did.

I put this point here as, like the screws, it helped drive home my big lesson learned: Get the Repairs Done! None of my careful boxing and labeling was 100%, as there was still some guesswork at the end.

I rewarded mysel later that evening by just watching trains as the sun went down…

Sometimes, I have to remind myself to do that!

And with that, I can cross a job off Triple O - 2023 Plans & Objectives. On to another project on that overly ambitious list!

Enjoy your weekend!

Eric & Kid-zilla

That image right there should be taken of all you locos.Same with an image of each step of opening them up. My father taught me back in the day to make a drawing as I took things apart. Didn’t need to be an artist rendition just something that I could understand even a list ( screw, washer, spacer, rod, washer, wheel ) Now we have a camera next to us 24/7 it seems so drawing isn’t necessary. But the info will still be there two months down the road when you put it back together. :smiley: :sunglasses:

Dave, sound advice! Labeling my bit box was only a 75% solution. Time for me to enter the digital age…