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How to Light Lionel 26 and 260 Bumpers
With Constant Voltage.

Lionel's Bumpers are made to work off track voltage. This means bumpers on sidings are not illuminated unless the track is powered. It is easy to modify the bumpers so they are always on. Note:Do not modify black plastic 260 or grey painted 26 bumpers. Collectors will pay a premium price for the grey and black bumpers. The new die cast bumpers made by Lionel are even easier to convert because they are assembled with screws instead of rivets. Tools you will need:

  • Flat blade screwdriver.
  • Needle nose pliers.
  • Soldiering iron and Soldier.
  • Electrical tape.
  • Wire strippers.
  • You will also need wire, some pieces of cardboard from an empty cereal box, and a place to work.

    Step One:

    Push the brass contact strip into the slot it comes through. Then insert the screw driver into the slot as shown below:

    Step Two:

    Twist the screwdriver to break away the plastic base. You can't break to much away, so go at it with some gusto. You should have something like the photo below after breaking away the base, if you don't use the needle nose pliers to break more away.

    Step Three:

    Use the needle nose pliers to wrap the brass strip around a stripped end of wire. The wire should be about 2 feet long. Two feet of wire should be long enough to tie into your wiring harness without stretching anything. Then use the soldiering iron to soldier the joint together. It should look like the photo below when you are done with this step.

    Step Four:

    Wrap the exposed brass strip with electrical tape. Make sure the brass strip is not touching the die cast body or the metal light bracket. You are now done. Here's what it looks like:

    Test the bumper to make sure you have no shorts. Connect a lead to the wire you soldier on and to the mounting screw on the base of the bumper. Like shown below.

    When mounting the bumper on the track cut a small piece of cardboard and place it under the bumper. The cardboard should be about the size the black plastic piece was before you broke it away. The cardboard will keep the track from tearing the electrical tape. You don't need to tape it on- the bumper will hold it in place when you tighten the screw. When installing the bumper, do not over tighten the screw. You will push the rails out of gauge and cause derailments. Just tighten the screw enough to hold the bumper in place. connect the wire to your lighting circuit or to your fixed voltage circuit.

    In case you are wondering what the black thing is the bumper is resting on here's a picture. I found this lying next to a garbage can. I don't know what it was, but it works great for holding items. It's dense rubber.

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    ã 2000 by Terry Gibbs. All rights reserved.