Life like proto 2000

Oldelpa48 Jan 8, 2014

  1. Oldelpa48

    Oldelpa48 E-Mail Bounces

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    Getting back into the hobby and warmed up an older Life-Like proto 2000 SW1200. Well, tried to! Ran about 6 foot back and forth on a section of track and it died. Must be a short as the Tech II light goes out when I put the engine on the track. I can find no loose wires and figure it maybe a diode shorted out. Does anyone know how to bypass the diodes? Any ideas what else it could be? Just changed all the cracked gears on 2 P2K GP's and having trouble finding Athearn parts for another project for my grandson. This isn't as much 'fun' as I remembered! Tom:eek:hboy:
     
  2. ratled

    ratled TrainBoard Supporter

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    Clean it out well. They lube the used is commonly refereed to as peanut butter as it looks and feels like that over time. Dried peanut butter will not allow the motor to turn the wheels

    ratled
     
  3. Oldelpa48

    Oldelpa48 E-Mail Bounces

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    I can turn the flywheels and the gears in the drive wheel area turn so can I assume the motor isn't seized? Also, anywhere you can think of to find instructions on how to take this puppy apart without me applying my talent and destroying it? TKS! Tom
     
  4. Southern Oregonian

    Southern Oregonian TrainBoard Member

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    I posted this on another thread, but it still works. Shell removal differs. Some have a few screws on the bottom, and some don't but almost all of the P2K locos are built the same way as Athearns.

    Starting with the shell. Since you converted it to DCC I take it you know how to remove the shell, so remove it and leave it off until the end.

    Once the shell is off, remove the cover on the worm screws. they're where the drive lines end and are snap ons. Gently pry off the caps and oil the worm screw, and don't forget to oil the ends of them. Replace the caps. Oil the motor at the farthest points were the polls come out of it ONLY. Turn the chassis over.

    On the bottom, remove the just for looks truck assemblies on either side (their held in with plastic pins that are apart of them so be careful). once those are off remove the bottom cover between the axels (they are held in at 4 points and are easy to spot). once those are off remove the axels and check for corrosion on the wheels and pickup points. It also doesn't hurt to check the solder point and the wire. clean and repair as necessary. oil the gears lightly (excess may leak onto the track causing a lot of wheel slip) and reassemble (same process as disassembly in reverse).

    DO NOT put the shell back on. Test run it. If it still has issues then check the brushes. To do that you must remove the drive lines from the poles (held in with tension only so be careful) and pull the motor up since it's held in with 2 rubber sidings that have 4 plugs that plug into the frame. Be aware that before removing the copper strips snapped onto the top and bottom of the motor there is a tiny spring under each one. Loose the spring and you might as well get a new motor. So remove the copper strips and collect the springs. Under each spring is the brush. If the brush is okay (as in still existing with some height left on it) put it back in, with the spring above it and reinstall the copper strips and put the motor back in and reattach the drive lines. Take a pencil eraser and remove the excess graphite from the brush contact point on the motor and retest it. If the brushes are pretty much gone, I think Athearn still makes replacements, but their RTR motors aren't that expensive. If it runs good during the test then replace the shell and have fun.

    Worst case took me about an hour. Be sure to use plastic friendly non-conductiave oil and the only tools I needed were a knitting needle and a very small flat head screw driver. If it sounds like a coffee grinder but runs fine then your good to go. Athearn BBs are well known for gear noise. Almost everything functionally related on Athearn locos are held in place with tension so be careful not to break any of it.
     
  5. Oldelpa48

    Oldelpa48 E-Mail Bounces

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    Thanks! I'm going to try and tear the engine down further but a lot of what you're saying is beyond me! Plastic and I are sometimes enemies!
     
  6. JNXT 7707

    JNXT 7707 TrainBoard Member

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    Odelpa - I picked up a beautiful P2K Chessie GP30 last year, put it on the tracks and sounded like it was self-destructing and would barely move. It was indeed the lube in the trucks that had not aged well - don't know what they put in them but it looked like peanut butter. All the above instructions may sound intimidating but be patient and it's not that bad. They aren't all that different from Athearns really.
     
  7. Oldelpa48

    Oldelpa48 E-Mail Bounces

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    Jerry, thanks for the reply. What I don't understand is if it's the lousy grease, why does turning the flywheels move the gears at the drive wheels so easily? And why does the Tech II power monitor light go 'out' as soon as I put the engine on the rails? I have GP7 PK2000 that I just replaced all the cracked gears on and it sounded and acted as you say.This is different! It's totally dead acting. I've cleaned the gears and re-lubed as best I can. Unfortunately, there is a module that sits on the top of the motor with a bunch of diodes (?) for constant lighting (?). I hate to cut the wires and try to bypass unless I know what I'm doing. I have a second PK2000 unit, exactly the same except the number, that runs smooth as silk. Older Athearns are sooo much easier. Does anyone even know if a bad diode would stop the engine? I've checked for loose wires! Nada! Tom
     
  8. Colonel

    Colonel Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    You will most likely find because it is seizing the motor will start to draw excessive current as it stalls, the Tech 11 will see the excess current as a short circuit and shutdown
     
  9. JNXT 7707

    JNXT 7707 TrainBoard Member

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    It's hard to say without being there. But...if you have cleaned out the old lube and re-lubed the trucks and they are in good shape, I would look at the worm and its bearings, is it cleaned up/free turning/good to go as well?
    The bad news with me is somewhat similar to you, the electronics and circuits boards are the bane of my existence in this hobby! But yes I would speculate that something in the electrical works could be at issue and giving you problems if the drivetrain is free.
    Next step that comes to mind would be to isolate the motor from the drivetrain and confirm that it is indeed a good one. I have not done so myself yet, but the principle is simple, attach leads from your power source to the motor and see if it will run!
     
  10. Oldelpa48

    Oldelpa48 E-Mail Bounces

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    I'm going to cobble together alligator jumpers and hopefully bypass the electronics. If that doesn't work I'll cut the wiring to the electronics and try a bypass. If that doesn't work I'll start tearing things apart! At least that's my plan! Be it good or bad! I'm assuming the motor isn't burned out or there would have been a smell. Almost has to be a short!
     
  11. Oldelpa48

    Oldelpa48 E-Mail Bounces

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    Paul--Is there an easy way to measure the current draw? And what would excessive if it can be measured?
     
  12. Southern Oregonian

    Southern Oregonian TrainBoard Member

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    I just use a old school multipurpose voltage tester and set it to DC. Typically most motors hit full speed at or around 12 volts, but most DC throttles max out at around 16-18 volts. If you unhook the running gear from the motor it should spin up at a relatively low voltage if the motor is still good. If the feed passes 5 or 7 volts and it won't turn I'd worry.

    Straight DCC power to the motor will just fry it.
     
  13. Oldelpa48

    Oldelpa48 E-Mail Bounces

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    Thanks for the info! Between redoing a bathroom and repairing my grandsons trains (mostly cleaning and re-gluing, adjusting couplers) I haven't spent much time on my stuff! I dred tearing these engines apart ---the old Athearn bb's were a snap! Tom
     
  14. Flashwave

    Flashwave TrainBoard Member

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    Because you can put more force on the flywheel with your finger than the shaft can. I've got a prr sd7 thats doing a similar trick, motor sounds like its trying to turn but can't.


    Sent from my LG-LS970 using Tapatalk
     
  15. Oldelpa48

    Oldelpa48 E-Mail Bounces

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    If I take the engine off the rails and touch the solder on the diodes with the transformer wires the engine wants to run! Put it back on the rails and -- nothing, even touching the soldered points! Must be a short in the wiring or contacts!
     

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