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Lionel 140 banjo signal drum will not turn

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  • Member since
    September 2010
  • 2 posts
Lionel 140 banjo signal drum will not turn
Posted by play48 on Monday, September 27, 2010 1:58 PM

Hi

When my 140 Banjo signal started just vibrating without turning I assumed it needed a new rubber drive washer with the 3 little fingers.  I picked one up at a train show yesterday, used a knife to peel the old one off the metal washer, and used a little Elmer's glue to attach the new drive washer to the metal washer and then placed them both onto the shaft of the electromagnet.  Unfortunately, this did not help.  The drum still just vibrates a little while trying to turn counter-clockwise, but with little success.  I then found a hint to lightly dust the fingers of the drive washer and the inside of the drum with talcum powder, which still did not help.  Can anyone help?

Thanks

Andy from Baltimore

 

  • Member since
    January 2007
  • 167 posts
Posted by stubbsO on Monday, September 27, 2010 3:19 PM

Is there any rust on the inside of the drum? If so just take some steel wool and clean it up. What I also do is take some laqure thinner and clean up any goo inside the drum as well. Then talc again and see what happens. Good Luck

  • Member since
    September 2010
  • 2 posts
Posted by play48 on Monday, September 27, 2010 5:46 PM

Thanks stubbsO for your reply.  There is no rust inside the drum.  I did spray some tuner cleaner inside the drum and re-talc'd, but this sadly had no effect.

  • Member since
    December 2005
  • From: Hopewell, NY
  • 3,203 posts
Posted by ADCX Rob on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 7:34 AM

Use contact cement for the washer.  Elmer's is too brittle.

Also, many of the new drive washers are made without enough "shape".  Study the fingers to be sure they have enough "lean" to them to push the drum around.  You may have to physically press them over to get them bent enough to work.

Rob

Rob

  • Member since
    January 2006
  • 621 posts
Posted by dsmith on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 11:01 AM

Andy,

If your rubber drive washer is attached to a metal washer,  I don't think that is correct.  On my 140 the rubber drive washer is glued directly  to the front surface of the electromagnet.   Also make sure that the 3 rubber fingers look good, each finger should sit at about a 45 degree angle and all should be the same length.  If even one of the fingers is short or broken, the drum may not rotate.  Talcum power works OK but I like to use graphite from a pencil.  The graphite seems to last longer than talcum powder.  Every couple of months my 140 slows down and I add more graphite.   I just scribble the pencil all over the inside of the drum where the fingers would contact it.   Try varying the voltage to get the drum to rotate at a nice speed, sometimes if the voltage is too high the drum will just vibrate and make noise but not rotate very well.   Finally, the drum should rotate clockwise.  Good luck!

  David from Dearborn  

  • Member since
    November 2015
  • 1 posts
Posted by RailroadRobert on Wednesday, November 11, 2015 9:11 PM

Thanks Andy!  I've had an MTH banjo signal for several years that I bought used from a train show.  I gave up trying to get it to work.  After reading your post, I glued the rubber disc to the magnet hub with contact cement, and used pencil graphite on the inside of the cylinder.  It works great now!  Thanks for taking the time to post your tips.

  • Member since
    January 2024
  • 1 posts
Posted by BBzipBang on Friday, January 19, 2024 11:19 PM

Well, almost 14 years later, your reply helped me figure out why my son's banjo signal wasn't working.  Thank you!

When you mentioned the drum should be rotating clockwise it dawned on me that these older accessories use AC power.  I was testing it with a DC battery. I default to DC because we only just got into trains about 5 years ago with the Lionel starter sets that come with Fastrack and run using a DC wall adapter.  Anyway, thanks to everyone on this thread. Y'all made it easy to diagnose and "fix" the banjo signal.

Ben

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