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Author Topic: 385e balky, not sure where to start  (Read 226 times)

RITrain

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385e balky, not sure where to start
« on: November 17, 2018, 10:51:51 pm »
Hi All,

I have a hand-me-down standard gauge set I am trying to resurrect. I hooked the 385e loco to a 15VAC Lionel
 #1033 transformer and it spun the wheels a little, but just reverted to humming and buzzing. Of course I only tried for a couple seconds at a time. I had replaced one wheel and lubricated all the shafts with light oil, and I think it spins free enough but dont have the experience to know.

Any advice appreciated, I'd like to have this sorted out by Christmas...

Thank You

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djacobsen

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Re: 385e balky, not sure where to start
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2018, 09:23:27 am »
RITrain
Hello & Welcome to the Forum!

Sorry to hear your locomotive is running poorly.
My suggestion is to clean your wheels, pickups and track,
sounds to me like its not getting enough power.
l am not sure if that 1033 you tried has enough voltage/amps
for the 385e.

Hopefully some of our technicians/forum members will chime in...

Happy Rails!
dave




TrainLarry

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Re: 385e balky, not sure where to start
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2018, 11:08:42 am »
Welcome to the forum!

First, clean the wheels, roller pickups and track with Naphtha as has been written above.

Now you have to do some regular maintenance to the loco which requires you to disassemble it.
You will need to take the loco completely apart to get the boiler shell off to get at the motor.
Once that is done, remove the brushplate to expose the armature and the copper commutator. Don't lose the small brushes that fit in the brushplate tubes. If the brushes are very worn, they may need to be replaced.

Get some Q-Tips, dip them in Naphtha, and clean Everything- brushes, brushplate and commutator. When done, reassemble the motor.

The next item to tackle is the E-unit. Apply power to the loco, and watch the E-unit to see if it cycles properly. Look at the 2 sets of copper contacts to see if they are in good shape and making contact with the drum. To service the E-unit properly you need a special tool to take it apart and lots of patience. Inspect the drum and contacts and replace any bad parts. Using Q-Tips and Naphtha, gently clean the contacts and drum, then reassemble the E-unit. This is where the patience come in, getting all the parts aligned and snapping the E-unit back together.

Next, lightly oil all wheel bearings and both ends of the motor armature, and lightly grease the gears.

After this is all done, your engine should operate and run like new.


Larry
« Last Edit: November 18, 2018, 11:11:56 am by TrainLarry »

RITrain

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Re: 385e balky, not sure where to start
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2018, 07:04:07 pm »
Thanks for the advice, some of that I did 3 years ago but not that thoroughly, now I will.  I found an old video i made back then and discovered that the e-unit was the issue, and I jogged it and now the train runs.  :)


TrainLarry

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Re: 385e balky, not sure where to start
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2018, 10:26:13 am »
Good to hear.

Regular maintenance will keep your trains running in tip-top shape.


Larry

 

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