Rewired Polar Express Cars
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for a YouTube video)
The original wire is thin and stiff. It often snaps off. Do not re-use or re-solder it. Remove each copper contact spring, old wire, solder, remnants, and glue. Re-soldering was attempted here.
Soldering while a contact spring is installed melts the plastic substrate underneath it.
More plastic substrate damage.
Be mindful of the tiny set screw and tinier still plastic positioning nibs.
Remove half of the original wire. Trim and tin all tips. Splice in new SuperFlex wire.
Apply heat shrink tubing to the splice joints.
Contact springs polished and reinstalled, but only after new flexible wires were soldered on while each spring was separated from the truck.
With this work carefully done, PE cars light up a lot more consistently. Clean wheels and track as always help too.
The wire on the pilot truck of the engine is also prone to breaking off. I replace those as well.
Trailing truck lead wires too.
FYI - Lionel glued in most of the bulbs. Not much spring to the bayonet socket's base.
Another factory glued in bulb. Glue covers lead-wire solder too.
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