Lionel TW Transformer Disassembly

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  • Member since
    May, 2011
  • 49 posts
Lionel TW Transformer Disassembly
Posted by steve1946 on Sunday, February 12, 2017 11:23 AM

I need help taking apart my Lionel my TW transformer.  I have studyied this thing until my eyes are beginning to fall out!  Olsens do not have a diagram showing how, nor does Greenberg.  My problem is not with the two little fragile aluminum tabs on one end but on the two little "hook-like" tabs on the opposite end. It looks simple enough but I will be darned if I can figure it out. The four tabs together allow the aluminum frame to be lifted giving me clearance for soldering. I need to replace the cord and do some other soldering under the hood and I need to remove the frame that covers the electrical to do so.  I sure would appreciate any help you guys with experience may have.  Steve 1946

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Posted by cwburfle on Sunday, February 12, 2017 11:45 AM

I beleive several transformer models have those "hooks" on one end of the upper transformer frame. Take a look at the manual pages for the "SW". When I run into one:

I straighten the tabs on the opposite end of the frame, and treat those hooks like hinges. Hinge up the frame high enough, and those hooks can be disengaged.

Unfortunately, you probably will have to de-solder a number of wires. Be certain to label them :)

Here is a link to an SW service manual page that shows the frame:

http://pictures.olsenstoy.com/cd/transfmr/pstw3.pdf

  • Member since
    May, 2011
  • 49 posts
Posted by steve1946 on Sunday, February 12, 2017 1:25 PM

Thanks for the feedback.  I've done what you suggested but I did not have any luck.    I'll give it another shot and let you know.  The bendable tabs are loose from the frame and I did try to use the whole frame as a hinge.  Perhaps I was not forceful enough. Steve

  • Member since
    July, 2003
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Posted by cwburfle on Sunday, February 12, 2017 2:32 PM

Does your frame look like the SW frame in the link I provided above?
If so, then that is how I do it.
You have to straighten the tabs on the opposite end, and pop them out of their slots. Some coaxing may be required. The hooks don't always slide smoothly in their slots.

  • Member since
    May, 2011
  • 49 posts
Posted by steve1946 on Monday, February 13, 2017 8:00 AM

Thank you for sending the link.  My TW frame is identical to the one pictured.  I still have not been able to separate the frame from the stacks or coils.  Straightening the tabs on the oppposite end was the first thing I did after a thorough look inside the TW.  The tabs holding the frame and the tabs on the ZW and LW are made of aluminum and break easly.  About two twists and they perish.  I'll keep working on removing the frame as long as I know there is not a secret method of doing so.  Thanks.  Steve 

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    December, 2015
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Posted by Chinewalker on Thursday, February 16, 2017 2:19 PM

I recently changed a cord in a TW and the top plate does indeed swing up to allow access.  And, yes, you will have to desolder a couple of wires and loosen one of the circuit breakers to do so.   I didn't remove the top plate, merely raised it enough to get my solder gun tip in there without frying anything else in the process.  I lodged a block of scrap balsa in there to hold it up while I worked the gun and solder, taking care not to let the block push or bend anything critical.  Took me about a half hour total.

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