Lionel 6-31960 Polar Express Problem

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  • Member since
    January 2020
  • 5 posts
Lionel 6-31960 Polar Express Problem
Posted by PolarExpressTrain on Monday, January 6, 2020 11:31 PM

Hello,

My first post here!

When we set up our Polar Express train around the Christmas tree this year, the CW-80 transformer made buzzing noise and the train did not move.  The green light came on, and the engine made humming noise like it was about to go but did not move.  The bell button worked, and so did the lights on caboose.  I tried the forward/backward button but still no movement.  The green light stayed solid.

Since the lights and the bell work, I assume it is not the transformer.  Could it be the motor in the engine?  If so, can this be fixed DIY?

I appreciate your help in debugging and fixing the issue.  Thanks.

  • Member since
    December 2005
  • From: Hopewell, NY
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Posted by ADCX Rob on Tuesday, January 7, 2020 8:41 AM

The fan sound from the CW-80 is normal.

Have you tried to run it in reverse? Check the switches and set reverse to "on".



This set is getting old now, and it may be suffering from a lack of lubrication as it wasn't great from the factory. This is the small motor version as well, I believe, so it may be time for a replacement motor. You can inspect the gears & lubrication status by removing the bottom plate & rollers from the loco.

Rob

  • Member since
    March 2010
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Posted by rrlineman on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 7:59 AM

Me and my brother do repairs for Nicholas Smith Trains in PA. in the last month we have gotton 4 PE's locos that have stripped both the axle and the motor gear. He has a knack for working on the new stuff. In all cases both items were in stock at Lionel. and we had the owner order 6 of each motor and the geared wheelsets for repairs. Lack of chinese grease and aliginment seemed to be the issue.

  • Member since
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Posted by PolarExpressTrain on Friday, January 10, 2020 12:17 PM

Thaks Rob.  The switch was indeed off.  When I turned it on, and tried to run the engine in reverse and forward, it moves half an inch in each direction, but then stops.  I will lubricate it and see how it goes.  Thanks again for your helpful suggestion.

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    January 2020
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Posted by PolarExpressTrain on Friday, January 10, 2020 5:21 PM

While lubing, I noticed that one of the rods has come out and it slightly bent. (See the picture)  Any suggestions on how to put it back in?

Also, are there any videos on how to open this engine to grease the gears?  Thanks again.

Engine Photo

  • Member since
    January 2020
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Posted by PolarExpressTrain on Monday, January 13, 2020 1:42 PM

Success!!

I was able to remove the links assembly to straighten out the rods and put everything back together.  Now the engine runs perfectly.

The only thing remaining is greasing the inside gears.  Any recommendations on how to do it?  It is just opening the screws on the bottom plate, or more is involved?

  • Member since
    December 2005
  • From: Hopewell, NY
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Posted by ADCX Rob on Monday, January 13, 2020 9:42 PM

PolarExpressTrain
The only thing remaining is greasing the inside gears.  Any recommendations on how to do it?  It is just opening the screws on the bottom plate, or more is involved?



ADCX Rob
You can inspect the gears & lubrication status by removing the bottom plate & rollers from the loco.

Rob

  • Member since
    January 2020
  • 5 posts
Posted by PolarExpressTrain on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 10:15 AM

Thanks Rob.  I did have a feeling that I have read that somewhere, just didn't remember where.  Any tips on greasing my brain? :-)

  • Member since
    December 2005
  • From: Hopewell, NY
  • 2,867 posts
Posted by ADCX Rob on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 11:51 AM

On the Ploar Express, I lube all axles, bushings, & valve gear with Mobil 1, and I pack, & I mean pack, the worm and worm wheel with Lucas Red 'N' Tacky #2. I do the same with the 0-8-0 starter set engines as well, even before they hit the track.

Rob

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