Help understanding how Lionel '52 2025 K5 2-6-4 operates

GFisher2001 Dec 4, 2015

  1. GFisher2001

    GFisher2001 TrainBoard Member

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    My father passed away this February and I thought it would be neat to set up his beloved Lionel's, from his childhood, around the tree with my son.

    This train has seen heavy use....I can remember playing with it as a kid 20+ years ago (not gentle I am ashamed to say....), and obviously my father played with it as well. W

    So the issue...

    I set up a small oval and ran the wire to the track. Cleaned all of the center rail with a track eraser. The engine is clearing getting juice as when it runs, it SCREAMS around the track. The issue is that sometimes, most of the time, it will not go forward or backwards without futzing with the little switch on top, behind the smoke stack. If you caress it one way or another you can feel a sweet spot and sometimes the train will lunge forward, other times it doesn't react at all to switching it back and forth. Also, it only seems to run in reverse.

    I have a very impatient 4 y.o. on my hands that is use to our H.O. set that runs flawlessly, HA.

    Transformer is 90 watt lionel with the directional and whistle orange knob on left.

    Any ideas? Could I have the wiring wrong?

    I can post pictures if helpful.

    Also, suggestion on points to lube? I know minimal amounts and only use the stuff made for trains (I have some from my HO set). My dad had this train set-up for the last two decades but it saw minimal use and rarely if ever was taken in for service.
     
  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Your transformer is a Model 1033? It would not be wiring. Sounds like the "E" unit is worn, or possibly dirty. That little lever is part of the E unit.
     
  3. ScaleCraft

    ScaleCraft TrainBoard Member

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    Old, non-maintained e-units (the thingie at the other end of the lever you futz with) can be..touchy.
    The lever allows current from the pickups to actuate the solenoid. You can usually feel a detent as it engages. The other direction breaks current to the solenoid, and the contacts stay in the last setting, be it forward, neutral or reverse.
    Might take someone to have a look at it.
    Lube is...everything that moves. However, the absolutely most critical, before you ever apply power to something stored for years, is the armature shaft between the brushes, you can see it about the drivers on one side.
    Sewing machine oil works well..and not a lot.
    Then oil everything that moves when you roll the drivers.
    Then everything else that rolls, including wheel to axle contact on all rolling stock.
     
  4. GFisher2001

    GFisher2001 TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for all of the info. Is the armature shaft right above the wheels?

    I used some LaBelle 104 on the wheels and moving parts, nervous about getting it anywhere near the motor. I ruined 1 or 2 HO locomotives that way.

    Also, how easily replaced is the E Unit?

    I do have the 1033 Transformer.
     
  5. ScaleCraft

    ScaleCraft TrainBoard Member

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    Not hard to replace e-unit, but I just repair them...far cheaper.
    Cleaning the drum contacts is a good idea...as is the slot of the solenoid and pawl on each side.
    Sometimes the sawtooth of the drum gets a notch from the pawl arm....and sometimes you can file it smooth, sometimes easier to replace. Both require removal of the drum, and you should have the tool and someone to show you how the first time.
    The armature shaft is above the wheels. One side in a plate held in with two screws, the other (critical) part the other side whi8ch is a much bigger plate, usually bakelite, with two brush holders (usually brass) that hold the brushes, one on each side of the shaft. Roll the wheels with your thumb while looking. You'll see. Oil that shaft.
    Too much....you can always take it apart and clean it.
    What general part of the country? Maybe we can direct you to someone to look at it.
     
  6. GFisher2001

    GFisher2001 TrainBoard Member

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    Delaware, I do know a couple hobby shops. Simon's Hobbies and Dougs Trains, I believe.

    I always like a good project, but I'm thinking this is one train I don't want to ruin (cash value might be low but sentimental is priceless). I don't mind trying to make an old Bachmann set run, add meds, the like, but I'd rather leave replacing the e-unit to professionals. I can do the lube though.
     
  7. ScaleCraft

    ScaleCraft TrainBoard Member

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    Lube is mandatory. Once you get the loco running in the right direction, leave the lever in the disconnect direction, and the youngsters will have no trouble making it go in that direction with the speed lever.
    http://frank-dutton.blogspot.com/2012/12/lionel-1033.html
    should give you 1033 instructions.
    A-U is high speed, B-U is low speed to track lockon, "U" being Universal Common.
     

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