First, be aware that reconditioning an old Lionel engine is not a job
for the amateur. If you value this engine, and want to run it again, I
recommend you find a dealer/repair shop and make the hard choice of
deciding whether it's worth the price of professional TLC. Search on
"Lionel trains repair shops".
That being said, I'll answer your questions, based on my experience.
The engine number itself (on the cab) is usually the model number. Look
on the underside as well, you should see a Lionel tag.
Check the wheel arrangement, eg, if it has two small wheels at the
front, then 6 driving wheels, then 2 small wheels at the back, it's a
2-6-2. Search on "Lionel 2-6-2 locomotive images" and you should be able
to identify the engine.
If the engine is really old, the driving wheels (and the body, too) may
well have deteriorated. The zinc alloy used for diecasting may
crystallise over time, and the casting will break or crumble, so be
prepared to replace the wheels. Also, the insulation on the wiring
becomes brittle, solder joints oxidise and break, oil become varnish,
and so on. Take the body off, and examine the mechanism as closely as
you can. If your are unsure about your ability to clean and repair,
stop, send the loco to a repair shop.
Check all the wiring, there should be no loose wires. If there are, and
you are sure you can figure out where they should go, make notes so you
can resolder the wires after cleaning. If you aren't sure about
repairing the wiring, I'd strongly recommend you stop right there and
use a repair shop.
To clean off the gunk, slosh the parts around in a degreasing cleaner.
You can use a soft tooth brush to scrub, gently. Then wash them in dish
detergent, use the soft toothbrush again. Let dry thoroughly. You may
have to do this several times. When done, put a drop or two of light
oil on all bearings, and turn the mechanism carefully by hand until it
loosens up. Reassemble, and put it on the track.
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