Will It Run? Pt. 2
by Bradley Kaplan
follow up to Will it Run? Pt 1
the photo and the story went from the previous article, this engine
was in sad shape.
First I would like to thank Joe Mania of JLM
Trains who helped me with this project and endured too many
phone calls of mine. Since Joe makes repro of this engine he knows
it inside and out and his help was necessary to accomplish this
project. Luckily for me after I bought the JLM
Trains repro #7 that I reviewed, I became good friends with
The first thing that needed to be done was to
disassemble the engine.
The 5's cab has a long rod that runs from the
knob on the boiler front (which had a hexnet) through the boiler
into the cab. I unscrewed the hexnut, threw it in the garbage
(since the proper piece for the front was the knob that Joe Mania
The cab/boiler then detached from the frame by
removing 3 screws. The front screw also held the steam chest in
Then from here the cab and boiler just separate.
The whistle and smoke stack on the engine are wood and get removed
by removing screws from inside the cab.
What I learned quickly was that the owner who
repainted the engine disassembled it as well. They carefully painted
the boiler, the frame and the steam chest and the wheels.
The first thing I did from here was fully disassemble
the steam chest. The steam chest is part wood and part metal.
It looks like the previous owner disassembled the train in this
At the recommendation of Joe Mania, I used "Citrusstrip"
as my paint stripper. He said this
stripper is particularly effective on the boiler because it will
remove the black paint and keep the Russian blackening.
Paint stripper always seems to require a lot
of scrubbing. Make sure you wear gloves. I used the paint stripper
on my roof but initially neglected the glove part! My hands became
numb for a day. Never again will I make this mistake.
After disassembling the steam chest I stripped
the paint pretty easily with the Citrusstrip. I also found the
previous owner painted all the screws. So I had to remove the
paint from the screws as well. A photo is included of the steam
chest painted and half disassembled and then reassembled after
The steam chest did not come out looking 100%
brand new, but it shows is 95+ years of age very well.
next step was to removed the motor from the chassis since it did
not run. Interestingly the chassis was painted black and the motor
was not painted.
So the previous owner who painted it removed
Interestingly the previous owner never properly
attached the wheel onto the powered axle and it just twisted off.
The cowcatcher just came off with 2 screws and
the reversing unit came off with 6 screws.
Joe recommended that I leave the whole chassis,
and wheels in Citrusstrip overnight. I did this and then took
a rag with lacquer thinner and the paint wiped right off the chassis.
I used a rage with lacquer thinner almost like buffing a shoe.
The paint came very easily off the frame and drive wheels. I used
same technique for the boiler.
The plating on the frame was slightly tarnished,
but not that bad for its age.
One one of the wheels, a gear is attached to
it. A challenge was to remove the paint on the
gear since it was literally under the wheel.
This process ended up taking over a week with
soaking it in lacquer thinner and Citrusstrip, sticking Q-tips
into the wheel, etc etc etc. There is a photo I included that
shows the wheel partially clean and then fully clean of paint.
There is a nickel band that runs around the boiler.
This band was difficult to get shinny. It is very fragile. I finally
wrapped it around a metal can and used
my Dremel's polishing wheel. The band would have gotten very hot
if I did not wrap it around the metal can. The can absorbed a
lot of the heat from the fraction between the Dremel and the band.
I put the cab back together so I would not loose
the parts. I took a photo to show how it looks. It does not look
brand new, but looks much better and is original.
The next step was to work on the motor. This
motor is one of Lionel's earliest designs, but works similar to
mostly all Lionel motors made in prewar and postwar designs. The
field coil is grounded on one end, and then the other end of the
field coil is hook to a brush and the other brush is hooked to
the positive current.
Though the armature has a completely different
winding then latter Lionel designs. However looking at the armature
I saw the wires were not attached to the commutator. And one of
the wires was broken. Simple enough. I re-soldered the wires onto
the armature, and then soldered the broken wire to the commutator
as that is where it belonged.
I put new brushes into the motor and ran it.
It ran fine for a minute, then started getting very hot, then
I watched liquid globs of solder go flying off the armature! I
re-soldered the leads and had the same thing happen. After 3 times
I realized something was more seriously wrong with the motor.
Knowing that Joe Mania builds identical motors
to this for his repros, I put the motor it in a box and sent it
to Joe. Joe received the on May 24th. I sent him an e-mail to
confirm he received it and the next day I received the following
e-mail from him:
From: Joe Mania JLM Trains [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, May 24, 2002 9:05 AM
To: Bradley Kaplan
Subject: RE: Did the box arrive?
Yup, got it.
I'll mail it back out tomorrow. Rewound the armature. There was
a short to the shaft and internally on the commutator.
From: Bradley Kaplan [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, May 23, 2002 7:09 PM
To: 'Joe Mania'
Subject: Did the box arrive?
UPS shows the box arrived I sent
I just want to confirm it did.
is true service. Within less then a day of Joe receiving the motor,
he rewound the armature and sent it back to me! The motor photo
is how it came back from Joe.
The next area I concentrated on was the reversing
unit. The reversing unit has 2 rings. An outer ring with brass
clips and an inner wring with more pieces for the brass clips
to rub against and make electrical connections.
The outer O-ring was broke when I took the engine
apart. Looking at it carefully it looks like the previous owner
glued it back together.
Luckily Joe Mania make this piece for his engines and sent it
to me in the mail and it is a perfect match for the original.
I used my Dremel to polish up all the small brass pieces for the
reversing unit. During this process one of the polishing wheels
on the Dremel broke and the small microscopic piece from the reverse
unit flew across the room! Luckily, and I do say "luckily"
I quickly found where the piece landed!
I easily reassembled the reversing unit around
Joe's new outer reverse unit. It works perfectly.
Hopefully in the next installment this engine
will be running!
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