help me save my Lionel 675

Hi all,
This is my first post here, and I'm hoping you guys can help me out. I'm trying to breathe life back into my father's old Lionel 675
engine. I have repaired many things including cars, other toys, old arcade games, and other things, so I'm pretty sure I should be able to save this IF in fact it is save-able.
I have the engine apart, and have started cleaning the E unit assembly as best as I can. I would say it's been at least 25 years since the engine has been run. I've noticed some rust on the E unit, along with white powdery residual that I assume is from the steam capsules.
My questions are these:
1. When testing the engine on a piece of track with a good transformer, the headlight bulb comes on, and the rollers do spark showing they are making contact with the track. However, I can't get any other activity to happen in the E unit. Any tips/suggestions on how to kick it off?
2. do I need to have the tender attached to the engine for it to work? right now I'm going on the understanding that the tender is only for the whistle sound and should not impact whether or not the engine runs
I'm sure I'll have more questions based on any feedback I get on the above. I also have a picture of the engine apart if anyone needs to see that in order to help me out.
Thanks,
VG
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vintagegamer wrote:

White Powder --- analisys sounds right! Rust --- a little oil to slow the rust down wouldn't hurt.
1. There is a lever ON the E-Unit, which disconnects the operating coil of the E-Unit. (to leave things running consistantly the same -- I.E. move the lever to OFF when the loco is moving forward, and it keeps moving forward till the lever is re-engaged.) This may be in the 'off' position, with the E-Unit also in it's 'off' cycle.
2. Tender is NOT needed for Loco operation.
Chuck D.
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Be aware that the E-unit operates in one direction (up) through an electromagnet attracting the relay arm, and it returns to the operation position (down) via gravity. There is no return spring. It is possible that corrosion, smoke pellet powder, and epochal gunk has so gummed up the pivot that the relay is stuck in the up (or off) position. Try raising it and letting it fall by hand and see what is happening,
Another thing that happens to these e-units is that the copper traces on the rotating drum either wear out or get so corroded that they no longer conduct to the wipers. Try using some contact cleaner (see it at Radio Shack) on a q-tip and see if that solves the problem.
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On Nov 28, 12:14 am, "video guy - www.locoworks.com"

Thanks guys- I'm hoping I'm using the terminology "E Unit" correctly. I'm actually using it to describe the whole motor assembly from the inside of the engine that has the 6 Baldwin discs at the base. I did see the lever at the front- you are saying to leave that in the off position (fully to the left) until I can get the train up and running again? Is the lever to turn on the steam function?
Thanks,
VG
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wrote:
(sinp)
Thanks guys- I'm hoping I'm using the terminology "E Unit" correctly. I'm actually using it to describe the whole motor assembly from the inside of the engine that has the 6 Baldwin discs at the base. I did see the lever at the front- you are saying to leave that in the off position (fully to the left) until I can get the train up and running again? Is the lever to turn on the steam function?
Thanks, VG
The "E-unit" is just the sequence relay for remote control of the locomotives direction of travel. Each time power is interrupted it advances one step through a forward - stop - reverse - stop - forward etc. cycle. You should read the Lionel service manual page about E-units which is reprinted at the Olsen's Toy Train Parts site,
http://pictures.olsenstoy.com/searchcd31.htm?itma5
At the Olsen's site, you may also want to look at the Lionel sheets for the 675 - there are two, one for the 1947 to 1949 version, and one for the 1952 version (when the 1950 upgrade version of the locomotive with Magne-Traction lost the feature due to Korean war shortages). You can tell which you have by looking at the drivers - the earlier has very detailed die-cast drivers with minute lettering that says "Baldwin Disk", while the later version has sintered iron spoked drivers.
http://pictures.olsenstoy.com/675-47.htm
http://pictures.olsenstoy.com/675-52.htm
Hope this helps. Geezer
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Try using Deoxit, www.deoxit.com, great on copper. Actually improves connections. RadioShack carries the small spray cans. I like using the wipes and pen for this application. Mike Mike
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Well I came home after reading everyone's input, and tried to carefully get the drum/barrel to move with power- it was definitely gummed up. It seemed like it was starting to work itself free, but then I guess I turned it too far b/c one of the thin wire leads on the outside broke from its location (very very thin wire, like thread). So, I guess I've screwed myself on the testing.
I'll have to think about whether or not it's worth it to get more involved in this. I've already spent $87 on the transformer and track, and now if we're talking new e units etc I may just jump ship now. I never expected this to be this complex.
VG
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Well you guys will be happy to know that I didn't give up (well, technically not)- I brought the engine and tender to a local repair shop. They said the turnaround time is 1-2 weeks depending on how busy the guy is. The place is celebrating their 54th anniversary (http://www.mitchells.com /). I really didn't want to give up on the train, but man it is such worlds away from anything I am familiar with. I'm hoping to maintain it going forward once I see it alive again. I've never seen this train run in all of my life.
VG beforethedarktimes.com
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vintagegamer wrote:
SNIP HAPPENS

Mitchell's is a class operation. You are fortunate to be in their back yard.
Usual disclaimer. I have no affilliation with or economic interest in Mitchell's. Just a very satisfied mail order customer from the Upper Left Coast.
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wrote:

I completely agree, Jim- they send their work out to a person in Wilmington, DE, who is also used by other hobby shops for repair work. They advised that his turnaround time is usually 1-2 weeks, so I'll be looking at 12/13 worst case scenario. I'm just hoping I beat the other masses who are more last-minute in getting their gear out for the Holidays! Stay tuned..........
VG
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WOW!!! What timing you guys have. I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the OP because I have greatly benefitted from your suggestions....
I have been requested to set up my Lionel O guage train for the Christmas tree this year. I have a 1950 (Christmas gift from Santa that year) 4-12-4 Pennsylvania locomotive and tender that is very similar to the one of the OP (What caught my eye was the Lionel 675, because mine has a 676 on the locomotive) with the E type mechanism - although I was not aware that was what it was... It was running, but not smoothly, so I decided to open it up and see what I could do for it. It sat there for 5 days wuth cover off and me staring at an ungodly mechanism and pondering what to do - like someone who has opened a bomb and is trying to defuse it - touching and gingerly prodding, but not doing anything that will blow up in your face. The bottom line is I got some of the cleaner from an electronics supply and sprayed it liberally everywhere I saw a place where there might be some old lube. I gently used q-tips and lint free cloths to absorb excess spray, let it dry thoroughly, re-lubed it with Lionel lube, put it back on the track, and just like I think I can remember 57 years ago, it ran like it was brand new....
As best as I can recollect, it had not been run for nearly 30 years...
Thanks again to all.
Happy Holidays to all...
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in

Great to hear, JJ- I wish I'd been that lucky w/mine- then again, I think it's been 50 yrs since mine was run! I'm hoping to hear back from the repair place this week.
My biggest worry is about when I get it back though- do I have to move that lever up near the front? Can I just leave it in one place? My worry is if I have to move that thing regularly, the engine will end up going right back to the repair shop again.
Thanks,
VG
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Are you talking about the e-unit lever? The various settings lock the engine to a specific direction, or allow pulses of track power to make the direction toggle. You may not have fixed the e-unit - it might just be successfully running in one-way mode. For running a circle around a tree this is fine and you can leave it alone.

The old e-units were pretty finicky, and made of rather fragile components. If you want to use the engine regularly, you might think about replacing it with a modern equivalent. But keep the original should you ever want to sell it. *
--
* PV something like badgers--something like lizards--and something
like corkscrews.
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On Dec 4, 11:55 am, pv+ snipped-for-privacy@pobox.com (PV) wrote:

Yeah, it's future consists of going on an oval track around an xmas tree- nothing more. So which position do I leave the switch in? Far right?
VG
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So the local repair shop called with not one but two counts of bad news on this..
1. they can't have it ready by Xmas for me 2. if they DO work on it for me, it will be a minimum of $150 plus the cost of parts
I'm really bummed now. I went on the premise that they would be able to fix it and have track, transformer, and cars ready to go. Guess I'm shopping for a new o gauge engine today. Dammit.
VG
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So I went at lunch to pick up the train, and the guy who gave me back my engine and tender (not the repairman who looked at the cars for the estimate) told me "yeah, these old trains are getting harder to repair and getting harder to find parts for". The guy looked maybe 20.. I wanted to say to him, have you heard of the internet? I know the parts are out there for this train, and from talking to many of you, I know that this train is repairable and not too painfully by someone who works with them regularly. It feels to me like the repair guy simply looked at it and said "this is gonna take me more than 15 min to get up and running- I'll bail on it now."
So to get me through the Holidays, I purchased the Lionel C&O Dockside Switcher. It has whistle and steam functions, and I think my daughter will love it.
VG
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It's been quite a while since I've held an engine of that era in my hands and played with it, so I can't tell you for sure, but it sounds right. If your engine has one of the old e-units, you will hear and feel it kind of "clunk" into position when you put it into a direction lock. Put it on the track with power and check that way. If it always runs in the same direction, even after you push the direction button (or dump the power level quickly to zero and back again if you don't have one), you're in direction lock mode. In my limited experience a lot of broken e-units will still send power to the motor when in that mode, but a lot depends on *how* it's broken. *
--
* PV something like badgers--something like lizards--and something
like corkscrews.
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On 03 Dec 2007 22:50:30 GMT, Jungle Jim wrote:

Not being versed in the world of tinplate other than to know that lack of prototype is no obstacle, I still find it hard to conceive of a 4-12-4 being able to navigate O27 track curves, even if all the inner drivers were blind.
Is it really a 4-12-4 steam locomotive, and not a 4-6-6-4; is it steam or electric or ??
Curious . . .
--
Steve

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He's probably remembering the 20 wheels that Lionel pushed in the advertising for the 681 Pennsy turbine, and parsing it incorrectly. I believe these 6-8-6's were the only steam locos Lionel ever advertised as having a Pennsy prototype. Geezer
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On Tue, 4 Dec 2007 05:38:56 -0500, Geezer wrote:

Thanks for clarifying that. How close were the Lionel drivers to the prototype's 68" ?
--
Steve

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