American Flier - Engins Hums but doesn't run!

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#1
I have a S Scale American Flier train set my wife received from her dad. We set it up two years ago (at Christmas) and everything ran ok. When we set it up last Christmas and again this year, the engine hums but does not run. The headlight shines bright on the front of the engine, so I do not think it is the transformer. In addition, we do not have any accessories connected to the transformer.

Anyone have any idea on what can be the problem? Motor brushes?

The motor turns by hand, so I do not think any of the gears are the problem.

Thanks for all your help. Much Appreciated. Gotta get this working before the inlaws arrive.

JEspo: eek:
 

Cjcrescent

Master Mechanic
#2
I have a S Scale American Flier train set my wife received from her dad. We set it up two years ago (at Christmas) and everything ran ok. When we set it up last Christmas and again this year, the engine hums but does not run. The headlight shines bright on the front of the engine, so I do not think it is the transformer. In addition, we do not have any accessories connected to the transformer.

Anyone have any idea on what can be the problem? Motor brushes?

The motor turns by hand, so I do not think any of the gears are the problem.

Thanks for all your help. Much Appreciated. Gotta get this working before the inlaws arrive.

JEspo: eek:
I don't know what the AF designation for it was, but check the reversing unit. (Lionel called their unit the "E-unit".) These units have a nasty habit of getting dirty, and the solenoid in the unit is often the most affected. It probably just needs a good cleaning. A good spray electronic cleaner should do the trick. I would also look for any broken wires, etc between the unit and the motor, and a good spray into the motor wouldn't hurt.

If you have a LHS, (Local Hobby Shop), that sells trains, check with them about repairs on the train. Even if they don't have a formal repair shop in the LHS, they probably know who could repair/clean the engine.
 
#3
If you ran it on carpeting it could be carpet and pet-hair fibers wrapped around axles and other things. Between dried out 50 year old lubricants, dust and fibers, it could be all bound up.

Belly up the thing and inspect the axles and use tweezers if necessary to pull the junk out.
 





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