Large Scale Central

LGB Olomana - Smoked Buehler Motor

Our LGB Olomana went dead-on-the-rails last week as we celebrated the 4th of July. Last year, we swapped out a dead motor (see OLOMANA (LGB 22130) - How do you remove the motor?). At the time, one of the posts takng power to the motor poles needed a slight bend, and I assumed something had just wiggled its way loose. Nope…

First, I noticed the brush spring had come off.

I probably should have noticed that there was obvious heat damage to that whole pole! This little loco runs hot, so my theory is that this melted, the spring worked loose, and here I am.

I opened the can to see if I could reset the screen, something courtesy of @PeterT 's guidance and patience last year with my son’s railtruck I felt competent to attempt, fond the little spring had sheared, tried to unwind it a coil, and shot it clear into the yard.

A new motor is on order, but I am curious if there is something I should check as I reinstall it to prevent a repeat.



Never had an LGB motor go bad, but then again I have only had LGB diesels (2 motors) and the steam moguls (one motor) that get run these days.

I’ll bet Pete T has some ideas on this…

I think Eric said it all. . . He took the motor apart, and found heat damage and a bad spring. There’s a limit to what you can do in that case!

The obvious question is whether you can improve the cooling around the motor, as you say it runs hot. Maybe drill some holes underneath, or ??

I have no experience with this loco however in looking at the picture you posted my guess is the reason the motor was running hot is due to low resistance. Meaning poor connection at the terminals. From the above picture it appears that the motor terminal (spade connector) was getting hot. If there was a weak connection there causing voltage drops it’s makes the motor work harder trying to draw more current in turn causing it to over heat.
Just my thoughts

That could be it! When I repaired this loco a while back, I had to fiddle with the bus bar and the space connector (new word!) to make contact and get her to run. Would soldering a jumper from bus to connector work?

@PeterT , Pete, I would worry holes would leave this vulnerable to debris damage, either the gears or the rubber drive train. Since heat is the issue, though, I should have mentioned that we often run Olomana a bit fast to get it over the unpowered frogs on the turnouts. The motor is rated to 24V, and we don’t run it flat out, but I wonder if that is part of the issue as well? If so, the constant nagging that I need to bite the bullet and invest in some batteries just got a little more incessant…


Certainly would not hurt .

Yes, I agree with MrR’s comment that a bad connection might have added to the heat. [It is a spade connector, by the way. Like a shovel. :grin: ]

I think you’ll find it tricky to make space for batteries and stuff in that loco. I did a little Feldbahn 0-4-0 which looks similar, and I put all the works in a following gondola!

Out of curiosity, did you ever figure out what holds the red plastic brush-holder in to the metal end cap? It doesn’t look too burned.

I have a lot of springy phosphor-bronze wire, originally sold for streetcar overhead wires, that I use to make up springs that I have lost. A pair of loop pliers from Michaels (used for jewelry) help to create a perfect spring. Let me know if you want a foot or so of the wire.

Nope. Since I now have quite the collection of non-functioning Buehler motors, though, maybe a re-attack is in order!



This was another one on the project list today. Kid-zilla lent an able hand as we let glues and paints on his latest rocket dry.

Meanwhile, after reprinting the parts diagram because I couldn’t remember where the motor went (the gears to nowhere did not cue me to the location), he got out the test rollers. We buttoned it up, and, of course, it failed. The next logical step was to see if we could find a break somewhere, so, we lashed up the following…

…and made the little motor spin. Like before, then, it seemed the tabs were not making contact with the metal bars that carry the power to the motor. I successfully soldered bits of wire to the motor tabs. I was not able to solder the wire to the metal bars. Not wanting to melt plastic, I opted to wrap the wires around the metal bars, button up Olomana, and put power to the wheels.

Video: Olomana on the Stands

Yay! We put everything back together, when I noticed a tiny little metal bead on our work space. Of course, I had forgotten to restored the thrust bearing I had forgotten existed. Good thing we were working on a towel, which is the only reason it didn’t roll off on an adventure of its own. After a final field stripping to reinsert the bearing, I buttoned up the little iron horse, and we took her to the track.

By this time, Youngest Daughter had sauntered out. She chose the consist for Olomana’s return to service.

Video: Olomana Returns to Service

Henrietta seems to have enjoyed the ride!

Until it breaks again…


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