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Messages - TrainLarry

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« on: Today at 07:53:56 pm »
The Crossing Gate would have to be modified if you want the lights to blink alternately. Each bulb would have to be wired to a separate activator, an electronic board, or insulated track sections that will effect the blinking.


Lionel Maintenance & Repair / Re: 303 engine won't run after 50 yrs.
« on: July 12, 2019, 04:10:02 pm »
A partial parts list for the locomotive is here:

The brush springs are #25 on the list and are part #PA10757-A and are available here:

The brushes should be changed at the same time:


Lionel Maintenance & Repair / Re: 303 engine won't run after 50 yrs.
« on: July 12, 2019, 07:01:15 am »
Here is the parts view of your locomotive.

Remove the brushplate (#21) and turn the armature by hand. You may need to lube the gear in the loco and oil the wheel bearings until everything turns freely.

Unsolder the wiring from the tender to the locomotive to isolate the motor from the reverse unit. Reassemble the brushplate and power up the motor as previously posted to see if it runs.

If it still does not run, you may have a bad motor, possibly the armature.


First of all, welcome to the forum!

Get yourself some Naphtha at your local hardware or paint store for cleaning up old grease and oil.
Next get a lubricant kit like this from Labelle.

For the rolling stock, use a hobby knife to scrape off any accumulated dirt off all the wheels. Next use a Q-Tip dipped in the Naphtha to finish cleaning off the residue on all the wheels until they are clean metal. Clean the rollers on the loco also. Burnish the wheels and rollers with a Scotch-Brite pad until they are clean.

Next, oil all the axle bearings on the rolling stock and locomotive, and the stud the locomotive gears revolve on.

Take off the brushplates on the locomotive and tender motors and clean them, the brushes, springs and copper commutator segments on the armatures with Naphtha. Reassemble the brushplates and lightly oil both ends of the armature shaft in their bearings.

The 'E' unit may need servicing. See these video tutorials on servicing it.
Part 1
Part 2

The mechanisms on the operating cars are fairly straightforward and should pose no problems in cleaning and lightly lubing them.

Rub the tracks with the Scotch-Brite pad until they are clean, then wipe them off with a rag soaked with Naphtha to get off all the residue. Make sure all the track pins are in tight, and the track sections fit together tightly. Use a needle-nose pliers to squeeze the track ends tight if necessary.

Once the whistle tender is done, the transformer can be checked. Put the tender on the track alone, turn up the transformer and press the whistle button. The whistle  should blow. Run the trains around the track and blow the whistle again. It may need almost full power to blow with the train running. If the whistle does not blow, the whistle rectifier in the transformer may need replacing. It is available with online parts dealers.

The operating accessories may just need a good cleaning to get them working again.

For a value assessment, look up the individual items on some auction sites to give you an idea of their worth.

With a little work, you will have a nice train set to run with your family.


Here is a schematic of an 'E' unit and motor installation.

Make sure the wiring on your locomotive is correct. If it is, and the locomotive does not run, does the 'E' unit cycle with interruptions of power? If the 'E' unit cycles properly, then the 'E' unit probably needs servicing. Possibly the drum may be dirty or oxidized, and/or the contact fingers may not be contacting the drum properly or be bent or burned through. Parts are available to repair the 'E' units.


Welcome to the forum!

Generally, Lionel pickup rollers snap in place. A thin brass strip holds them in place

Here is a short video showing how to replace the rollers. It is on a diesel locomotive, but the procedure is the same on a steam engine.

A written tutorial is here.


Lionel Maintenance & Repair / Re: 303 engine won't run after 50 yrs.
« on: July 02, 2019, 06:07:50 pm »
Make sure the engine is wired correctly. Here is a wiring diagram for older American Flyer locos.
The top diagram for locos with 4 wires is the one you need.

If the engine still does not run, isolate the motor, and wire the motor manually as follows:
   Disconnect the 4 wire plug from the tender to the loco.
   Unsolder the wires to the smoke unit.
The motor wires to the plug from left to right:
         1- Field #1
         2- Brush #1
         3- Field #2
         4- Brush #2
  Hook one transformer lead to one brush.
  Use a jumper wire to connect the other brush to one field wire.
  Hook the other transformer lead to the other field wire.

Apply power, and the motor should run.
Reverse the wiring to the brushes, and the motor should run in the opposite direction.

If the motor runs this way, but not with the reverse unit hooked up (put the plug back in), chances are the reverse unit is in need of service.


Lionel Maintenance & Repair / Re: 303 engine won't run after 50 yrs.
« on: June 19, 2019, 07:22:45 am »
This is what you need.

Order it online. It is the right product for model train lubrication.


Lionel Maintenance & Repair / Re: 303 engine won't run after 50 yrs.
« on: June 18, 2019, 06:50:15 pm »
Here is the parts view of the #303 locomotive.

Take it apart, and clean out all the old oil and grease with Naphtha. Clean all the wheels with Naphtha also.

Lubricate all the gears with a model train grease, and oil all bearings with a model train oil.

The reverse unit in the tender may need servicing also. See here for a tutorial on servicing them.

Here is a video showing general repair procedures.

This should get you on your way to getting your engine running again.


Power & Control / Re: Tech 2 1400 Transformer
« on: April 05, 2019, 10:13:31 am »
The Tech 2 1400 supplies DC voltage to the track. Your locomotive may run on AC or DC.

What locomotive do you have, and who is the manufacturer? This info will guide us in determining the proper transformer for you.


Welcome to the forum!

You are correct, in that you can use a switch to cut power only to the center rail. You do not need to isolate the outside rails. A SPST switch will do the job.

Yes you can tie all the transformer grounds together.


Trains Marketplace - Buy & Sell Here! / Re: American Freedom Train
« on: March 20, 2019, 07:08:12 pm »
The fastest way to get an idea is to check the auction sites.


Trains Marketplace - Buy & Sell Here! / Re: Selling my Lionel Trains
« on: March 20, 2019, 07:05:01 pm »
What are you trying to post, and what is the exact message you are getting?


The best place to start would be going through catalogs.


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Recent Threads

Today at 07:53:56 pm

Re: 6-62162 AUTO CROSSING GATE AND SIGNAL by njjrjohn
July 14, 2019, 06:48:33 pm

Re: 303 engine won't run after 50 yrs. by TrainLarry
July 12, 2019, 10:04:12 pm

Re: 303 engine won't run after 50 yrs. by rep
July 12, 2019, 05:41:53 pm

Re: 303 engine won't run after 50 yrs. by TrainLarry
July 12, 2019, 04:10:02 pm


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