American Flyer reverse drum question

3 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    February 2020
  • 1 posts
American Flyer reverse drum question
Posted by Mike Yorgey on Friday, February 7, 2020 4:21 PM

Hello, I am new to this site and not sure if this is the correct area to post my question but I figured I would start here. My father had a American Flyer 322 AC passenger set and I just recently got it out to try to get it working again. When I first plugged it in it didn't do anything it would just sit there and hum, so after some reading I disassembled the reverse drum, cleaned everything, Ordered new arms and wiring harness and now it works really good, except for one problem. On the switch underneath the Coal car there is no forward mode, on both modes of the switch it will cycle through forward neutral reverse neutral. Took it apart a few times and tinkered with it but I can't get it to just stay in a forward, any ideas would be appreciated thank you.

  • Member since
    October 2011
  • 947 posts
Posted by TrainLarry on Monday, February 10, 2020 10:00 AM

The lever for the reverse unit should lock the locomotive in any of the 3 states (F-N-R) by keeping the reverse unit from cycling. If it does not, the reverse unit needs repair.

Here is a tutorial on repairing them.



  • Member since
    November 2015
  • 3,573 posts
Posted by Sturgeon-Phish on Monday, February 10, 2020 3:30 PM

The switch on the bottom has nothing to do with the wiring.  It is a lever that basically jambs the coil to remain stationary and not cycle the pawl gear to advance the drum.  Get power to the tender metal pick up wheels off your track or with jumpers.  Open or unlock the lever under the tender as verified by the engine cycling direction . Keeping the tender in an upright position because the reverse unit needs gravity to work, cycle the power to the tender and engine, and when the drive wheels are turning so as to go forward, pull the lever back into lock position.  You’ll probably need to take it through a few cycles to catch the drum rotation to go forward and stay that way, 


  • Member since
    September 2010
  • From: Parma Heights Ohio
  • 3,442 posts
Posted by Penny Trains on Monday, February 10, 2020 5:47 PM

Welcome aboard Mike!

Thanks Larry for posting that link!  I have a similar issue I haven't tackled yet and that tutorial will be of great help!  Big Smile


Trains, trains, wonderful trains.  The more you get, the more you toot!  Big Smile

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community


Get the Classic Toy Trains newsletter delivered to your inbox twice a month