Lionel 2018

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  • Member since
    November, 2017
  • 3 posts
Lionel 2018
Posted by Runtz on Saturday, November 25, 2017 6:34 PM

Hello everyone, I am new to the board mainly because I just recieved a Lionel 2018 and rolling stock from an ebay purchase. This is mainly for around the Christmas tree. Well the loco wont budge the light comes on and there is a hum. I took it apart and cleaned the communicator and the wheels. All the wires still look solid so I am at a loss as to whats going on. Any insights would really be appreciated.

  • Member since
    October, 2011
  • 797 posts
Posted by TrainLarry on Sunday, November 26, 2017 3:07 PM

Welcome to the board.

The E-Unit may either be locked in neutral, or it may be bad. Move the lever on top of the engine, apply power, and see if the engine will run. If the engine still won't run, the E-unit may need servicing.

See here and here for rebuilding an E-unit.

Larry

  • Member since
    August, 2010
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 7,342 posts
Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, November 26, 2017 3:55 PM

Before you tear the E-Unit apart try gving it a shot of electrical contact cleaner, it may just be gunked up and stiff.  Contact cleaner spray is typically available in the electrical sections of most hardware stores.

Tearing down and rebuilding an E-Unit can be done, but it's not a snap job.

If it's a "worst case" and the E-Unit's totally shot you can always remove it and wire the pick-up leads directly to the motor.  You'll have forward-only motion on the engine (there's a 50/50 chance you'll get it backward like I did and get reverse only, just try it again) but it's better than nothing.  I did that with an old Lionel 224.

I've got a 2018 and it's one of the easier Lionels to work on, in addition to being a great runner.

And welcome aboard!  Let us know how it turns out.

  • Member since
    November, 2017
  • 3 posts
Posted by Runtz on Sunday, November 26, 2017 4:01 PM
Thanks for the info guys! I will start with the cleaner and go from there.
  • Member since
    September, 2010
  • From: Parma Heights Ohio
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Posted by Penny Trains on Sunday, November 26, 2017 6:49 PM

From what you describe I'd agree it's locked in neutral.  Welcome aboard!  A word of warning: running old toy trains (especially around the holidays) can be habit forming!  Big Smile

A waking Lithium Flower just about to bloom

  • Member since
    November, 2017
  • 3 posts
Posted by Runtz on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 5:27 PM
okay I cleaned up the e-unit and it runs worse now :( how do I bypass it and direct wire the motor, until i can get parts for the e-unit?
  • Member since
    October, 2011
  • 797 posts
Posted by TrainLarry on Friday, December 01, 2017 11:08 PM

Disconnect all wires from the 'E'-unit to the motor.

Power from the pickups go to one brush connection.

The second brush connection gets wired to one field coil connection.

The other field connection should be wired to ground already.

Apply power to the one brush connection and ground, and the engine should run.

If it runs in reverse, switch the wiring to the brushes.

 

Larry

  • Member since
    August, 2004
  • 788 posts
Posted by EIS2 on Saturday, December 02, 2017 10:01 AM

Runtz
okay I cleaned up the e-unit and it runs worse now :( how do I bypass it and direct wire the motor, until i can get parts for the e-unit?
 

I don't see how it can possibly run worse now, since it didn't run at all before you cleaned the e-unit.  Check to see that all of the e-unit finger contacts are touching the drum and none of the finger tabs are touching the side of the e-unit causing a short circuit.
 
Additionally, try to operate the engine at night with the room lights off and the shell off and watch for sparking, which would indicate either an electrical short or a dirty contact.
 
It is well worth your time to get the engine running correctly, rather than hard wiring the engine to run in just one direction.  If you don't feel comfortable with that level of repair, find a local hobby shop or someone in your area to do the repair for you.
 
Earl

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