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Author Topic: Where are the motor pickups for a GS4 Daylight?  (Read 215 times)

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« on: January 30, 2020, 12:47:14 AM »

Hi everyone,
This may seem like a silly question, but I cannot see anywhere that there are pickups on this loco.
It is a standard GS4 with split chassis, and non-metal tender wheels.
There are two very small brass washers on the metal part of the axles of the front driver.
It appears that these SHOULD make contact with the LH and RH sides of the iron chassis halves, to convey the current to the motor, but they do not contact the chassis halves.
Is there something missing here, or should there be another system of pickup which might have been removed?
If all else fails, I suppose I'll have to make up a custom system of pickups.
PS the motor turns fine. Also these brass washers don't seem to appear on the exploded diagram of this loco.
Thank you in advance!

« Last Edit: January 30, 2020, 02:37:00 AM by ozjaguar » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2020, 08:53:14 AM »


Bottom line up front:  This locomotive is old, and is likely going through its death throws.  Repair may or may not be possible.

That being said:

The washers are not your problem. Most likely those washers were glued to the inside of the wheels and have come loose. The washers were probably intended to protect the wheel and add more electrical contact with the frame as the locomotive turned through a curve.

If you look at your photos (thanks for providing them), the electrical contact (pick up) is provided by the metal bushing on the axle which sits in the frame's depression for the axle. The rest of the axle is plastic. I'm surprised the axles haven't let go by now.

If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say you should look at the spots where the motor makes contact with the frame parts. The contacts may be corroded or worn out. 

You didn't say what the problem was. Does the headlight still come on?  Is the motor not turning when applying power to the track?

Parts will be near impossible to find for a loco this old.  You would probably have to root around at train show bins to find the same loco for spare parts.  Would probably cost you more to repair it than just purchasing a newer loco with more updated technology.

Just an opinion. I have spent time on old locos that had sentimental value to me, like old Varneys or Mantuas.  Your GS4 might be more challenging to attack.  Those axles are going to give out eventually, and there is nothing that can be done once they fail.  Just sayin'



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« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2020, 09:08:30 AM »

Thank you Jonathan.
All very informative.
The motor runs and the light comes on when I apply power to the left and right sides of the iron split chassis.
However train does not run on the track, because there is no power getting through.
That said however, today I applied power to the driver and pushed downwards (loco was bottom up), and I did get power through and the wheels turned and the light came on.
This tallies with what you said, so I will persevere now and get this thing running!
I know it's old, but it's in excellent cosmetic condition and it only cost me about $50!
Thanks again.

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« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2020, 10:05:00 AM »

Sounds like there may be a bit of dirt or corrosion between the brass contact and the chassis. A bit of 'Contact Cleaner', followed by a conductive lubricant, should set things right again.


If at first you don't succeed, throw it in the spare parts box.
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