Packed away locomotives

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BobDM
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Packed away locomotives

Postby BobDM » Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:46 pm

I am just about to unpack some Bachmann & Hornby locos which have been packed away for about 6 years. Any tips on what I would be wise to do before running them for the first time. They were in a suitcase in a loft for about 2 years which was not the best storage method but was the best option at the time.

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GeoFF03
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Re: Packed away locomotives

Postby GeoFF03 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:56 pm

At the very least I'd lubricate the axles and valve gear (if they are steam) as the oil or grease will have dried out by now. Also clean the wheels and pickups to remove any dirt or tarnish that could interfere with the current collection.

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Roger (RJ)
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Re: Packed away locomotives

Postby Roger (RJ) » Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:12 pm

A good clean to remove any old oil and grease which may have dried out and hardened, particularly around the motor, gears and axles and then re- lubricate with suitable oils and/or grease designed for use on models. DO NOT use general purpose oils such as 3 in 1 oil or WD40 which are not suitable and can cause plastic parts to soften over a period of time.

The wheels may also need a clean to ensure good electrical pickup. DO NOT use anything abrasive when cleaning. A solvent such as methylated spirit or (better) Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) on a lint free cloth, such as an old handkerchief or microfibre cloth should be fine. A track rubber may be used to clean the wheel treads and backs of the wheels if they are very dirty.

Don't expect the locos to run perfectly straight away, they will probably need to run for half an hour or more first.

PS if you remove the wheels, make sure you put them all back on the same side as they came from, otherwise you may cause a short circuit.
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Bigmet
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Re: Packed away locomotives

Postby Bigmet » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:52 pm

It's a fair bet that you will find quite a wide variation, which in my opinion is mostly dependent on how much running they had before going into storage. So don't be surprised if some spring to life with just the minimum of attention recommended in the above posts, while others need a bit of coaxing to get the conduction paths all polished up and working efficiently again, or work to free hardened grease, and some running as suggested before they are smooth performers.

I not long ago received a Bach steam model from the estate of a late friend (he'd kindly put my name on it) and not only that, as was his custom he put a slip of newspaper carrying the date in the box, when he packed it up. So it hadn't turned a wheel since 2006. I just dabbed spots of oil on all the rod joints, gave it minimum power from the DC controller, and it smoothly glided away.

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Mountain
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Re: Packed away locomotives

Postby Mountain » Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:03 pm

Usually just a wheel clean and a dust should do it. Dust can get between the pickups and the wheel backs. Usually motors are OK as they are further inside the loco body so have some protection.
Enjoying 7mm narrow gauge.

BobDM
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Re: Packed away locomotives

Postby BobDM » Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:54 am

Thanks for taking the time to help a novice, chaps.
I haven't actually done any railway modelling before so every bit of useful advice is really helpful.
What oil should I be using to lubricate these locos and where is the best place to get it? I thought 3-in-1 would be OK but I'm obviously wrong.

Bigmet
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Re: Packed away locomotives

Postby Bigmet » Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:32 am

You want a light oil that leaves no residue as it evaporates. Model shops (look here to see what might be convenient http://www.ukmodelshops.co.uk/ ) should stock one or more suitable brands. Daywat, Hob-e-lube, Labelle; if you happen to have a woman in your life equipped with a sewing machine, she may have some sewing machine oil which is 'the right stuff'.

You may wince at the price, but it lasts 'forever' because the amount applied should be miniscule. The basic rule is if you can see the oil once you have applied it, that was much too much! Very little at a time, every once in a while.

Better news, we have more than just oil available now, there are plastics compatible greases and also dry lubricants. These are all very handy with modern model constructions. The grease can be used on axles and gear trains, and a very small application lasts a long time because it doesn't go anywhere but where it was placed. The dry lubricants, graphite and PTFE powders are invaluable in all sorts of mechanisms on vehicles like close coupling arrangements, and also has endless uses on other equipment. (At one time there was a very neat 7 pack under the Hob-e-lube brand for much less than the contents bought separately, strongly recommended if you see it.)

Something I have yet to investigate, apparently the model helicopter/droneist community have an ultraefficient grease for their mechanisms, if you feel adventurous that's another to look at.

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Mountain
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Re: Packed away locomotives

Postby Mountain » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:42 am

I've been there and tried that in my teenage years regarding 3 in 1. It gets everywhere and also some oils attack plastics and the bond between metal axles with plastic middled wheels or plastic cogs can be at risk.
If you can, try to get the correct oils and use sparingly.
I would, instead try the locos and only oil the ones that really need it. You should find most will run fine after non use and while some need a gentle push or pat to get them to start, once they have done a few laps of an oval of track they usually settle down to nice running. If not, the first place to look is the wheels and electrical contacts to the wheels. Oiling is normally only needed if it gives signs of squeak etc. You will get to know the more time you spend running them.
There can be the possibility of factory applied model train grease has gone solid over years of use and for the odd new model (See info. supplied in the box of the loco) may require a very light oil while running in. I used to use Peco electrolube. I need to buy more in the future. In my youth, we used to use milking machine oil if I remember, but locos back then had the hardy X03/X04 motors... Hardy motors with brass gears. They survived but I doubt today's models would cope with such oils!
Enjoying 7mm narrow gauge.

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D605Eagle
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Re: Packed away locomotives

Postby D605Eagle » Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:50 pm

if some are hornby from the 2000 - 2008 era watch of for crumbling plastics on the keeper plates on the underside. The oil that hornby used at the time was quite corrosive to the plastic used. The first sign is cracks around the screws.


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