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Old 06-07-2017, 07:16 AM   #1
Gang Labourer
Join Date: Aug 2016
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Tranmission Fluid

Any thoughts or opinions on transmission fluid for track cleaning?
I cleaned track and wheels on a Franklin. Still had some sparks on tender wheels. Wiped track with tran fluid and arcing went away. Just for the record I put wheels in a drill and wrap scotch brite around them. Then wipe with rubbing alchohol. I clean track with a scotch brite and then rub down with same. Just checking for any problems this may cause later.
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Old 06-07-2017, 07:44 AM   #2
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I don't use it but have heard about it. I only use Isopropyl alcohol(91%) and a soft cloth. I use scotch brite for stubborn areas mostly at the switches. I would worry about the long term effects of trans fluid on Pul-mor tires and the plastic wheels.
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Old 06-07-2017, 07:44 AM   #3
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My 83 and 96 Mustangs used ATF instead of gear oil for gearbox lube. I have heard that some use it for track cleaning and maybe it will cut grime from track, but anything that is used as a lubricant won’t be used for track cleaning on my railroad. I use 91% isopropyl alcohol.
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Old 06-07-2017, 10:08 AM   #4
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Cleaning your track with oil just seems like a really bad idea! Also, ATF attacks some rubber types, something to consider for your traction tires. The seals in a transmission typically a synthetic material that isn't affected by ATF.
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Old 06-07-2017, 04:08 PM   #5
Gang Labourer
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Always good to ask for another opinion...I said rubbing alcohol but meant Isopropyl. Thanks for the comments. More research before I use again.
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Old 06-07-2017, 06:13 PM   #6
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For most metal cleaning I use ATF or any oil. Frames track and trucks. If painting I use paint thinner to clean. To me if you use alcohol you clean a lot with oil I admit I don't clean track often. After scotchbrite I like the oil cloth to wipe the track clean. Most important is that I don't have a high end engine on the track either.
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Old 06-07-2017, 07:17 PM   #7
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I have used ATF for cleaning gears & gummy motors on my old rivarossi steamers. I have used it for storage of my steel EZ tracks. I also used it for some EZ track I got that was rusted steel & corroded nickel plated track. It cleaned them real well. I use that track on my layout with no problems. With that said I used window cleaner to wipe down the track after I used the ATF on it. Same with the locos I always wipe down the stuff I used ATF on with the window cleaner. Then I use the light weight oil on the moving parts. A small drop goes along way!
I have used the ATF for about 3 years now.
Always test it first though. You just never know with some of the parts that they make.

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Old 06-07-2017, 08:12 PM   #8
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I do some repairing/restoring on firearms, and a trick I learned a long time ago was to use ATF on 00000 steel wool to polish bluing, especially on a dirty or rusty barrel. It won't remove pits, etc., but it will polish up bluing very nicely, and it will keep it's luster for quite some time.
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Old 06-19-2017, 07:24 AM   #9
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I have used very fine steel wool and gun oil to remove small rust spots on firearms but never used the ATF. Keep it oiled afterward.
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