The indestructible Marx motor

Want to hear a Marx story? Of course you do. Early this month I bought an early basket-case Marx 999 and some scale cars that obviously were stored for decades in a garage or attic exposed to humidity and temperature extremes. There was rust all over the place, to the point where the rust had bound some parts together. Paint was flaking off.

The locomotive itself had all of those problems too. Plus two driver wheels, their bearings and axle, and a gear were missing. What was left of the motor felt seized up. I spun the armature with some pliers to free it, and then I put a bit of oil on the parched, dried-out felt wick around the armature. You know what I was thinking.

Of course this poor, neglected motor wasn’t going to run. Motors this neglected and abused never do. But still, I had to see if it had any life left in it. I got out my spare transformer and clipped two test leads to it. I clipped the black terminal to the frame of the motor and the red terminal to the pickup shoe. I applied power, and that motor proved me wrong. It ran really well.

It doesn’t happen this way every time, but it does more often than not.

So what did I do with this motor? I had another 999 motor that was missing some parts, so I was able to combine the two to get one working motor.

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