Lionel steam locomotive 665 no longer goes in reverse

3 replies
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  • Member since
    August 2021
  • 244 posts
Posted by Swiss-Colorado-Lines on Monday, December 12, 2022 12:44 PM

Hello there!

  Being that these trains are electro- mechanical, something may have gotten jarred. The good news is that this is one of the easier engines to open up and work on. You may just see the problem if you open it up.

 Two things come to mind:

1. Make sure the brush plate is not damaged, or missing a mounting screw. I had an engine with the symptom you describe, and it turned out one of the brush plate mounting screws had fallen out!

2. if that is not it, you will want to remove the screw holding the " E- unit" in the frame and carefully lift it out to inspect it. You should be able to lift up the " pawl", and the drum should rotate one notch every time. Look at the drum to make sure it hasn't come loose, and lastly, look at the fingers touching the drum to make sure they are not bent, and making good contact with the drum.

Good luck!


  • Member since
    March 2005
  • 1,512 posts
Posted by philo426 on Monday, December 12, 2022 11:12 AM

Flintlock covered all of the bases ,I wonder if the E unit lever hit the concrete and caused a misalignment. 

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 9,426 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, December 12, 2022 10:03 AM

That's a tough one to call without actually seeing it.  The e-unit may have been knocked out of alignment enough so the plunger won't cycle properly, or the frame has been bent in such a way that forward's no problem but reverse is, or the siderods may have been bent with the same result. Check the e-unit lever as well to see if it's where it's supposed to be for the usual operating cycle. If the engine's Magna-Traction equipped check the driving wheels to see if they've picked up any metal fragments, I've had that problem where a small screw got between the wheels and the frame and would allow motion in one direction but not the other. 

At any rate look for the simple things first before trying anything complex.

The only advice I can give is eyeball the engine as carefully as you can for any exterior signs of what's causing the problem.  If you're not comfortable going "under the skin" to inspect the e-unit see if you can find a local Lionel repair shop but be advised this is going to be their busiest time of year. 

  • Member since
    January 2013
  • 4 posts
Lionel steam locomotive 665 no longer goes in reverse
Posted by ZZpop on Friday, December 9, 2022 2:11 PM

Lionel steam locomotive 665 no longer goes in reverse after going off the track and falling about two feet onto concrete floor.  It makes an effort when direction is changed but does not move.  When pushed hand it seems to roll without a problem.  Any suggestions appreciated 




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