I have a push and go motor, also known as Hub No5 model also known as engine base part #28743

The issue I have is that the train can not climb the bridge anymore, unless using the locomotive alone and also stops in curves. After looking carefully I noticed that one of the wheels was slipping.

When I take it in my hand upside down, make the front wheels rotate (the one with the sensors), the propulsion wheels starts rotating. At that moment, if I try to slow down one of them with my finger, I feel it generate torque. For the other one, it just stops easily and I feel the wheel axis continuing to rotate. And I feel some steps.

With the help of the thread How to disassemble LEGO train engine base part #28743 I managed to disassemble nearly everything.

Now, I would like to remove the wheel from it's axis to see what is "broken" inside, and hopefully with the help of a 3D printer, rebuild the broken part.

Any idea how to unmount that ? Is it simple "press fit" (I don't know the exact english name for that).


I have to precise two things.

  1. The batteries are fully charged so it's not an issue
  2. I have two locomotive #28743 and one of them has an issue. I really feel something broken in the "wheel", the wheel is loose from the gear and can rotate nearly freely. So it's not some kind of a kid protection you really feel something is broken inside and that's why I wanted to know how to disassemble the wheel.

enter image description here

  • 2
    Cannot really help you with disassembly. However, to reach you final goal - get a working train base - you may just get in touch with LEGO Customer Service to replace the broken item. They are pretty good at dealing with such issues.
    – Alex
    Commented Mar 22, 2020 at 19:42

8 Answers 8


My back wheels do the same thing. There is no metal axle that connects both back wheels like the axle design does for the front wheels, but I'm sure LEGO designed it that way.

So, imagine the train's motor being in an "ON" state just a rolling. Now enters a kid, just being a kid. Grabs the thing, and starts a rolling in whichever direction kiddie wants to roll. Not a caring that the motor is doing it's own thing too. How does LEGO protect the device from the free rolling madness of a child?

So, I think this slippage is a built in feature to kid proof protect the motor from being over torqued. Some type of reverse rocket booster dampening system. Analogous maybe to a circuit breaker which, is an automatic device for stopping the flow of current in an electric circuit as a safety measure.

Possible solutions:

(01) Battery check. You said it no longer can pull extra weight, and that it stalls even on flat normal gravity leveled curves? Huh? So, before we go too deep, I would recommend first replacing the batteries with new ones. Then, retest it.

(02) Balancing our time vs. the money justification check. Tearing down the housing to get inner access to remove excess hair and debris from this unit is fairly easy, and just requires buying a T9 Star Torque from the local hardware store and maybe 15 mins of our time.

Even though this thing is LEGO engineered like a tank, we can still imagining extensive damage, let's say a smoosh over by car, where we'd need to replace the circuit board, motor, or destroyed plastic gears.

Then, maybe it might be time to do a price check and consider purchasing a new/used unit versus the time to invest and produce a 3D printed replacement.

(03) Axle wheel hub tear down (setup only). I'm not taking mine apart, becasue I haven't justified a reason that works out for me, but this is my observational approach if anyone else wants to venture further into the unknown.

So, let's look at the wheel design and note the similarities/differences between both wheel hubs.

enter image description here

enter image description here

Break down wheel hub anatomy consists of at least three pieces.

  1. Inside hub piece.
  2. In between trans-clear rubber tire tread.
  3. Outside hub piece.
  4. Unknown non-visible pieces. Possible notched out axle bar.

The inside hub pieces and in between trans-clear tire tread all look to be the same molds, where the outside hub pieces differ in aesthetic design, but function in the same way when interlocking with the inside hub piece.

Here's where things get dicey. There seems to be six interlocking tabs that need to be simultaneously unhitched to separate the pieces without permanent damage. Unless you happen to be a six clawed mutant named Wolverine, this will be a challenge.

enter image description here

Six interlocking tabs release damage free setup and approach:

  1. Hot glue one end to work desk for stability.
  2. Insert six flat head precision screwdrivers.
  3. Wiggle until it's free.

Six interlocking tabs release egg breaking, omelette making approach: Goal: 3D print a replacement, so permanent damage doesn't matter.

  1. Using a Dremel rotary tool, carefully drill out 4 of the 6 interlocking tabs ONLY. Don't go deep. We can 3D print plastic, but not the clear-trans rubber treading.
  2. Insert two flat head precision screwdrivers to disengage the locking function of the 2 remaining tabs.
  3. Using a digital caliper measure out the dimensions of the working 2 remaining tabs.
  4. 3D print replacement piece.
  5. Consider using some Loc-Tite glue adhesive when reassembling the wheel hubs.
  • 1
    I have done an EDIT. Beside thanking you for the details answer I would like to precise a few things. First of all I totally agree with you for the time vs price. But in my case my son has two locomotives and with the coronavirus and curfew it was a game disassembling, asking question on stack exchange, waiting and answer and eventually building something with a 3D printer. Moreover here I cannot buy the part #28743 alone. And I would prefer to keep the 50 bucks of the duplo train box to buy the "real" lego train when my kid grow up.
    – HpTerm
    Commented Mar 23, 2020 at 20:08
  • 1
    Also, as I said in the edit, when I compare the two locomotive, I really feel something broken and the axle of the gear rotating independently from the wheel, even in simple curves with nearly no low. We did slow motion vids with my son trying to figure out the issue. So beside all that game thing making time past quick in those hard times needing to stay home, I would like to thank you for the detailed answer as well as you "funny" way of describing things ... no, nobody in my family has Wolverine like hands.
    – HpTerm
    Commented Mar 23, 2020 at 20:12
  • 1
    Hey, Friend, I've read your edits, and I believe you on the breakage 👍🏿 👌🏿. Don't know where you are in the world, but for me a used set runs $16 bucks, where as the part itself alone is more expensive. Go figure... My job is part of the supply chain, so there's no forced play time for me. So, unless I get the "Captain Trips"... Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 3:47
  • ...but, I am still curious on how to unhitch the six locks without destroying the thing. (I kinda like mine...) If I had two like you, and one train was already broken, plus the equipment/time to replicate a replacement, I definitely would be doing some exploratory dentistry with the Dremel. LOL, Wolverine like "hands"? Claws, Bub! ;) Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 3:47
  • 1
    I'm in the United States. That price is bonkers! Yup, that money could be put toward something more prudent. Well, anyway, if you're able to pull off some kind of breakdown, any kind of breakdown, please feel free to share your knowledge with all of us here. See ya ✌ Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 12:50

Regarding to wheel split and interlocking tabs:

There is simpier way to do it, hopefully without permanent damage to the wheel.

Requires: 2+ flat precision screwdrivers.


  1. Push screwdriver in between the rubber part and top (side) part of the wheel
  2. Push another screwdriver to the closest hole with tab - push from the centre to the edge
  3. Optionally - repeat 2 with another screwdriver in a hole close by
  4. Repeat 1 to 3 in another segment of the weel.

Part 5135cx1 specific: Rember the center is sitting tight on axle. You need to leverage opposite sides equaly.enter image description hereenter image description here



So, I managed to disassemble the wheel axle from the gear axle, which show what I was expecting, a broken piece in the freewheel.

As my question is on how to disassemble the wheel itself @Rin Rio-Oki answer is the correct one.

A picture is worth a thousand words so put picture ...

The wheel axle is simply force in the gear axle, so simply by pulling firmly but carefully disassemble both.

The small teeth in the wheel axle interact with the 4 white teeth of the gear axle to create a freewheel, and that's one of those that is broken in my case and that explain the slipping.

Note that I don't know what could have caused that teeth to get broken.


I solved the problem by drilling a small hole and putting a piece of copper from an electric wire (without the insulation, only the copper) and twisting it at both ends. However the solution of @Greg Dubicki is cleaner. It would be interesting to see if we can redo the part on a 3D printer.

Also note that there was a discount price on Duplo Locomotive a few weeks after the issue, so I also bought a new one ....

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

  • 1
    so did you manage to get a spare part printed? do you happen to still have an STL which you might be able to share?
    – Leo
    Commented Dec 4, 2020 at 2:33
  • Had exact same situation. We ended up heating up a paper clip over a candle and use that to melt the plastic so we could put a hole through the wheel axle (the dark grey part) – orthogonal to the axis. After that, we cut off a short piece of the paper clip and put it into the hole we made. It needs to be just the right length so that it would spin the outer white part when the axis is turning.
    – mb21
    Commented Jun 16 at 12:41

This is more of a follow up to the HpTerm's "FOLLOW UP POSTED AS AN ANSWER":

Firstly I did manage to disassemble the wheels pretty easily. Similarly to Murder.exe's answer I did push the screwdriver in between the rubber part and top (side) part of the wheel. However I did not use a 2nd screwdriver - I just slowly pushed the external part of the wheel away from the internal with the 1st screwdriver. I didn't make any photos as I had to quickly put my kid to sleep though. :P I will add them here on another day.

Secondly in one of the wheels an EXACTLY the same breakage happened as for HpTerm. What I did to fix it is the following:

  1. I glued the broken part back into its original place with an instant glue.

  2. I used a small rubber band to protect the part from breaking again (I hope) by putting it around broken part like this:

enter image description here

I had this rubber band from a new set of tools that I just opened - the tweezers there were blocked from opening with such a thing.

My original plan was to put this band AROUND the whole light plastic part but it wasn't big enough.. However when I put the axle through the band it did spread and looked pretty solid.

So far we have just made a 3-minute test but for now the results are great - the train is not slipping at all anymore. \O/

I will keep you posted how it hold up after A LOT of playing that will happen soon over Christmas. :)

  • +1 for the follow up. On my side I solved the problem by drilling a small hole and putting a piece of copper from an electric wire (without the insulation, only the copper) and twisting it at both ends. However your solution is cleaner. It would be interesting to see if we can redo the part on a 3D printer.
    – HpTerm
    Commented Jan 23, 2021 at 16:43

Fixed sliding wheels by add rubber on and tie it few times. I hope engine will not burn too fast.rubber on wheel axis


Same on my Lego Duplo steam train 10874. The issue is indeed with insufficient friction. In my case there is nothing broken. It is just worn out friction points on wheel and hub parts that makes it slip with smallest pressure/resistance. The train therefore even fails to pull own weight on turns.

enter image description here

I have managed to fix it. I used the same rubber band idea. As I did not have a rubber band at hand I used a random piece of thin-ish rubber like material and glued it around cogwheel. Works like a charm - no more slipping (for now). UPDATE: It held on just for a short while. Few times tried adding more weight (more cars) and it went back to initial state - barely able to pull own weight. :(

Now I tried increasing friction with rubbery insulation tape. Tested that train now goes over bridge with one car. Probably will need to redo this frequently, but it works now. enter image description here

Disassembling rear wheel is very simple. I just pried open one side with a knife (not cutting, just getting a thin thing in to pry it open). Then I put a small screwdriver there to hold it open and worked the other side of wheel the same way until it popped open.

However it is not necessary to open the wheel itself. Just pull the whole wheel away from hub. It will come off. You will be able to see friction points with this - no need to open wheel.

Disassembling the rear wheel


I also had the same problem as many of you. After some intensive use the train wasn't able to climb the bridge anymore.

I fixed it by putting a small piece of 6mm heat-shrink tubing around the axel (without heat-shrinking it). The picture is taken after using the train again for a whole day and you see the band nicely formed around the teeth of the cog. Also the mechanism for which the cog is there is still working when forcing the wheels when the motor is not running. The heat-shrink is just thick enough to add a little more resistance to the mechanisme when the teeth are worn down.

Train wheel with heat shrink tubing


I've had this problem with my train that over time has gotten worse. My train was unable to climb the bridge and recently started slipping on turns. I used Bushwoelie's solution of putting heat shrink tubing over the hub friction gear. Now the train does both.

Also these recommendations of taking the wheel hub apart are probably a waste of time and destructive to the wheel. It's much easier to just pull really hard on the wheel to get the stub out as shown in the photo by Bushwoelie. Thanks for that photo and suggestion.

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