Maintaining Your Lionel Trains
Take one of your swab sticks and moisten it with Mineral Spirits and
remove the oil and grim from the armature as well as the inside of the
motor field. There isn't much room between the armature and the inside
of the field, so take your time. You don't need to flood the area with
the Mineral Spirits, just enough to get the job done. Use as many swab
sticks as necessary. If the motor is reasonably clean when you take it
apart initially, and before unsoldering any wires, then merely lightly
clean the areas mentioned above.
If your motor is exceedingly grimy and filthy, and/or has a lot of oil
residue, we recommend that you take it to a service facility that can
remove the pinion gear, clean the motor housing properly and reassemble
it for you. If you do not have such a facility near you, we can perform
this service for a nominal fee.
As mentioned earlier, the armature is important and its commutator is
its heart. Inspecting and cleaning it will ensure that your motor will
perform at its best. Below you will see four examples of Lionel's 671M-8
armatures. At the top, left to right, you will see a new unused armature
with a slight glaze or skin on the commutator. This glaze is normal to
new armatures. In the center is a used armature with no apparent scoring
or damage. The armature windings attach at three (3) points as noted by
the red arrows. Inspect the solder points to make sure that each of the
wires are properly soldered and not damaged or broken.
The armature at the top, far right, is in bad shape.
Although difficult to see in this picture, the
commutator is deeply scored where you see the copper
colored ring. The commutator on this armature should
be replaced. Absent that, replace the entire
armature. A damaged or scored armature will not
function properly no matter what you try and do to