Need help with old Con-Cor Kato DL-109

Lowell Johnson Jul 13, 2019

  1. Lowell Johnson

    Lowell Johnson TrainBoard Member

    Hi N Scalers,
    I have an old CC-Kato DL-109 "Rock Island Rocket". I grew up two blocks from a RI mainline and have a liking for these old "Rockets".
    This has an electrical issue I can't figure out. Sit it on the track and put power to it and directional headlight works, intensity varies with power. But loco does not move. But you take the body off and put 14v DC to the motor and it runs perfectly. It is obviously getting power picked up (light ok) but not getting power to motor (which works fine otherwise).
    This is one where the large metal weight completely encloses the motor and wiring. I have yet to remove it because I would like to have some idea of what I'm getting in to first. Anyone have experience with these dinosaurs? Thanks. Lowell.

    P.S. Option #2. Does anyone else make a chassis the DL-109 body will fit on without big mods? Thanks.
  2. JBrown

    JBrown TrainBoard Member

    If it's like the Concor older PA's there are four screws in the top you remove and pull the top off.. only wires a for the headlight. Motor has brass contacts that rub against the two frame half for power....Pretty simple......
  3. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

    I can no longer recall how the CC-Kato's DL-109 is assembled, but it's essentially their PA-1 with a slightly re-engineered chassis and truck arrangement. I have two pairs and they run so well that it's been ages since I've had to look within one. It's "dinosaur" status will be your friend, as I do remember that it's a cinch to work on, with excellent durability and straightforward assembly. Spookshow lists three series of these:

    1982 - Con-Cor Kato (Japan)
    1995 - Con-Cor (China)
    2006 - Walthers (China)

    This Spookshow link might help [ ]
  4. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Staff Member

    After you loosen the four screws and remove the screws holding the headlight circuit on, it is best to flip it over and remove the trucks and the two long chassis pieces. Leave the plastic insulation shield on the motor/gear/bearing assembly. From here you can clean the frame contact points on the two long pieces that I have outlined in red and the motor contact strips highlighted with arrows. The motor contact strips can be bent up a little to provide positive contact when the chassis is reassembled. A little Atlas Conducta-lube can help at these locations too as well as where the top of the inner truck frames rub against the chassis parts. Also the axle on side frame points on the trucks could use some.
    Kurt Moose and Hardcoaler like this.
  5. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

    Since this is an old loco and the fact that you have already tested the motor my attention would go to gummed up lube in the trucks preventing movement. and oxidized contacts where the trucks pick-up current and transfer it to the motor. I cannot remember if this loco uses wires to get the current to the motor or wipers. If wires are used check for soldered connections that have come loose a frequent problem with wires fed from the truck on older locos. Clean and lube the trucks and all driveshaft bearings.

    And lest we forget check out Spookshow.
  6. Lowell Johnson

    Lowell Johnson TrainBoard Member

    All your info is very helpful, especially the info and pics from r.i.straw. I'm at work but I'll give it a shot as soon as I have time. I was thinking maybe it was transferring enough current to light the light but not enough to run the motor. Thanks. Lowell.
  7. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

    If the headlight is lighting, the problem is with the two contacts Russel pointed to contacting the frame. If the trucks were the problem, the headlight wouldn't light either. Now, after you get good contact to the frame halves for the motor and if it hesitates and the headlight flickers, then that's the trucks and contact between the trucks and frame halves.

    For the motor contacts, bend them out to better contact the frame halves and clean/burnish them and the frame where they contact. For the axles, yes, even just regular oil like LaBelle 107 or 108 works wonders.

    The DL-109 mechanism is basically the same as the second generation PA-1 mechanism with the rear worm shaft made longer to reach the rear truck of the longer wheelbase DL-109.

    The second generation mechanism is kind of the first generation flipped upside down. The large block of zinc alloy is on top with the motor and worm shafts enclosed and the two thinner pieces on the bottom (although the first generation has two thin pieces on the bottom too). It would actually be more accurate to say they just eliminated the top cover on the second generation version.

    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
    Hardcoaler and Sumner like this.
  8. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

    I'll bet Doug has the answer. Had a similar situation with a new decoder install yesterday. Lights worked but motor wouldn't turn with decoder board in. Converted back to DC it ran fine. Put the decoder back in and light worked but wouldn't run. Finally traced it to the motor leads not making good contact with the pads on the decoder even though they looked fine. Secured them better to the board and loco runs fine.

    Hardcoaler likes this.
  9. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

    I forgot to thank Russell for the excellent photos. Thanks, Russell.

    r_i_straw likes this.

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