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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello.

For two years I've had an LGB Mogul circling the base of the Christmas tree, pulling about three cars. It doesn't run outside, and that's the only time that I use it. This Christmas, it ran smoothly and perfectly until around New Years, when it started running slow and locking up. It just would randomly stop running, the engine would make a sort of buzzing or humming noise, and it wouldn't move anymore.

On the off chance that the issue might have been with something else, I cleaned the track, tried a different power pack, and ran a separate locomotive on the track also. No issue, so the problem has got to be with the locomotive itself.

I set it aside until I had time to look at it. And after testing it this weekend, it doesn't want to run at all. It will run a few inches or perhaps a few feet and lock up and sit there and make that buzzing noise (which I assume is the motor trying to run or something). Occassionally, I can coax it into making a full loop around the track I set up (slowly, often with a faint teething noise from the gears, and always ending in a freeze-up again).

I had thought that perhaps tinsel from the Christmas tree had gotten caught up into the gearbox or something (which I have noticed to happen with the axles of the rolling stock), so I opened it up. Nothing there. There don't seem to be any problems with the appearance of the gears (the teeth seem to be in fine order), the drive wheels are properly quartered, and the side rods are not binding.

What else could be causing this? Is it a problem with the motor or the gears that I missed? Is there anything that I can do? Should I just ship my locomotive off to LGB?

Help!
 

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I've had several years of good experience with each of my Moguls, but occasionally the idler gears (the ones between the worm on the motor shaft and the gears on the axle) need to be replaced.  Check them again very carefully.  If you see any signs of "dishing", replace them.  It doesn't take much wear to dedgrade performance.  If that works, great, but if it doesn't, you may want to pack it off to LGB.:confused:
 

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I agree with Ed.  It is most likely the idler gear.  I have five moguls and over the years I've had to replace the idler gear in all of them at one time or another.  Your description sounds as if the motor is still spinning.  If it is then it is the idler gear.  There may be only a couple of teeth that are damaged.  That would account for its intermitant operation. 

The replacement isn't that difficult.  You need to remove the motor block and take of the top.  Just lift off the motor and pull out the gear, and place the new one on the shaft.  It is a much more difficult operation if you come at it from the bottom.

My guess is that you are probably using 4' diameter (1100) curves around the base of your tree.  That is a tight curve and may add stress to the wheels and gears.  I used to put about 6 ounces of lead in the cab of my moguls.  This gave better traction, but it also put more strain on the drive train, because I could pull longer trains.  Since removing the lead and running shorter trains, I haven't had to replace any idler gears.  The idler gear is definitely the weak link in the system.

If you are running a lot under the tree and are using 1100 (R1) curves you would be better off using one of their 2 axle locomotives and use the mogul for special ossasions.

Cheers,

Chuck N
 

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I wold not worry about the 4 foot, my friend has run his mogul for 15 years on a permanent indoor layout with 4 foot diameter curves.

Sometimes these just let go.

replacement parts are under $20.

Biggest problem can be once these gears strip, the engine side rods and graes are mis-aligned (not quartered). Sometimes a gear just jumps 1 tooth and causes an alignment problem. this creates an engine thet jumps. Free spinning motor means gears are stripped, and since the motors have brass worm gears, it is this plastic gear/s that is the weak link that will break/strip.

After replacing the gears (be sure to lube with LGB's gear grease and oil the axles), you need to make sure all the wheels have the side rods aligned.

I turn each wheel to make sure the screw for the side rods are at the bottom of the turn on one side when reassembling the engine.
 

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Scott, if your not comfortable repairing the Mogul, I can highly recomend Watts Train Shop in Zionsville, IN. The owner Dave Watts is excellent with fixing LGB locos. I can also repair them as I do both Lionel and LGB repair work localy where I live. Dave wanted to hire me at one time to work in his repair dept, but I ended up moving to PA. Once we get moved back to IN in the next couple of months, I might try to work there part time. I love doing the repair work and seeing an ailing model running again. Best luck with your Mogul. Cheers Mike and Michele T
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Boy, I hate to resurrect such an old topic, but thank you all for your helpful replies. I really appreciate them (though the forum apparently crashed not long after this was originally posted).

I finally got the time (and the parts) to fix my locomotive. Getting the little gears was relatively easy (I ordered two packages of 62007 gears, and was called by the folks at Ridge Road Station to inform me that they only had one left, but that the packages contained four gears apiece anyway). Getting a tube of lubricant was not as easy, but I was finally able to find one on eBay with patience and diligent weekly checking of their listings.

So I took the locomotive apart and checked the gears again. I did not notice any sort of damage to them; they were not cracked and all of the teeth seemed to be intact. I replaced them anyway, since I figured that I might not know what I was looking at. I quartered the wheels to avoid the rods binding, then put the locomotive back together and let her run.

She ran fine on a straight section of track that I had set up for testing purposes, and seemed initially to run alright on a 5 foot circle that I set up for further testing. The pesky teething or gear noise seems to still be present, though fainter or less audible than before. However, I do not think that the gears were the problem (or if they were, replacing them was not the only thing that needed to be fixed).

The locomotive will run fine (though perhaps slowly or a tad sluggishly) on the five-foot circle at the 2 and 2.5 marks on the transformer throttle, but the locomotive will die at anything above 3 or thereabouts. The same happens when I put it into reverse at around the 3 or 3.5 area. The locomotive jerks to a halt and the motor hums (as it did before I replaced the gears), and just sits there. Zeroing the throttle and moving it back up to the same area will cause the locomotive to move briefly, then lock up again. This happens whether I throttle the locomotive up to the "dead zone" quickly, or throttle it up very slowly or even gradually after running it for a while at a lower setting.

And after I thought this was the extent of the problem, the locomotive has started to grind and lock up at slower speeds as well (though I can sometimes get it to operate just fine at slower speeds--noise aside--as if there was nothing wrong at all).

I'm fairly certain that it's not the transformer; I had tried a second transformer before and got results that are no different, and the issue does not exist when running another locomotive. My father was over the other night when I was working on it, and he commented at the unusual behavior of the headlight when the locomotive locked up (it died, or flickered). He (though not an expert on trains) throught that might be indicative of an electrical or electronic problem. I am not so sure.

I don't understand what could be causing this. Did I do something wrong? Is this also a gearing problem? Did the mogul really have a gearing problem in the first place? Or is this some sort of motor problem or (heaven help me) circuit or electronic problem?
 

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What is the vintage of your mogul?

If it's newer, then the headlight performance reminds me of a dud brand new undecorated mogul we got 5 years ago.

When powered up, the headlight would strangely go on and off rapidly (almost like a flicker bulb), but the loco refused to move. Had to send it for repairs to LGB of America (San Diego). It needed a new circuit board. Now she runs fine. It was a brand new mogul from a big distributor. Just a bad board. This happens sometimes. Not sure if this is the same problem you're having since ours didn't work the 1st time out of the box.

If it's an older model (say a 2019S...C&S #6 with analog sound) then perhaps the little switch under the firebox door is not in the right position. Should be all the way to the right...I think it's to the right (position 3). Note, my newer mogul has a 4 position switch. I noticed years ago that if it was in position 2 it would still run, and it's not supposed to. Position 2 sends power to just the lights and smoke unit, not the motor. When in position 2, sometimes it would run, sometimes it wouldn't. Since it ran sometimes I forgot it was in position 2. So check the little switch if you haven't already.

Question for others:
Looking at the old entries in this post, I'm a little worried about the gears on my moguls. Never knew about the potential gear problems. My old 2019S is 20 years old and been running strong since the first day. Should I be worried about the gears? My newer mogul is only about 5 years old. How about it's gears? They hibernate during the winter, and get lightly lubed before coming out for the summer.
 

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We all tend to not fix what is not broken, but in the case of an engine, it is important to check the gear case for lubrication.

I have taken all my engines apart and relubed them.

I always check used engines I purchase as one can not be sure of the state of the gears.

Engines with side rods need to have the wheels verified for proper quartering after assembly as this is the number one cause for gears to fail due to the extra stress on them form improper quartering.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It's a 22185; I've had it for almost two years.

I think that the gear case is sufficiently lubricated; I lubed the new replacement gears when I installed them. I intend to take it apart tomorrow and re-quarter the wheels (just in case), check the idler gears, and (since it was mentioned) check the lubricant. I checked the switch position (0 to 3 position switch, four spots) and that does not seem to help things any.

Do circuit boards in LGB locomotives simply go bad after a while? While that's possible, I am still inclined to think that the issue is something with gearing (perhaps even with the motor itself). Assuming it's not related to the quartering of the wheels or the idler gears, what else could be responsible? The motor itself? There aren't a lot of other options for what could be wrong, at least as far as I can tell with my limited knowledge.
 

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Scott,

The boards do go bad. I have a older C&S with a spark arrester on it. It would run for a little bit and stop. I sent it in to LGBOA and they replace a board and it's been running fine ever since.
 

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Anything electronic can fail from any mfg. I have repaired several LGB boards, one was a transistor, another was a diode that was heat sensitive.

The newer boards are harder to repair due to complex circuits and surface mounted devices (DCC/MTS, etc.).

Sometimes the computerized type of boards get their programming messed up and need you to do a reset of the electronics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I've requartered the wheels and checked the replacement idler gears. The problem remains.

The only options left seem to be to box the thing up and either ship it to LGB (are they still even providing service?) or taking it to Indy the next time that I head that way and visit the Watts shop referenced so positively above and see if they can fix it.
 
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