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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all, I am new to this forum so please bear with me here. I have a question. I purchased several locomotives off ebay. One appears to be dead (doesnt do anything when put on the tracks (HO gauge). The other 4 made noise when the power is applied and move a little but won't travel forward or backward.

I want to clean and relube these locomotives and I would like to know what is the best cleanter to clean the outside and the drive truck gears?

Appreciate any suggestions.
 

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{subscribed}

ive been looking into this too...
ive got much to fix before I worry about where your at!!!! hah..
good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What oil/grease to use for HO Gauge

I read the posted responses. I also read from another poster that Mobil-1 is a good lub as it is really slick. Any comments.

Thanks to all who answered my querry.
 

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You mean engine oil? I'd probably go for something made for hobbies, though mobil-1 is probably fine, I guess :dunno:

3n1 oil, or most anything that comes with a small needle like snout. and then some good hobby grease. I use HOPPE'S No. 9 Lubricating Oil, for what it's worth, but not because it's better, I just had it.
 

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Remember that most of what we have on the
rails is plastic. Any cleaner or lubricant you use
should be plastic friendly. That excludes most
automotive and household lubes. Possibly the most
available for us is LaBelle's. They offer both a 'grease' and
an '0il' at most hobby shops or on line.

The old lube in many old locos gels and hinders
rolling efforts. Use alcohol to clean it all out then
apply a small amount of lube to the gears.

Use the 'oil' on the motor bearings.

The loco wheels would need cleaning also to
provide good electrical contact with the rails.
The easy way to do this is to place a paper towel
with a wet spot of alcohol on the track. Run
the front wheels of the loco onto the wet spot,
run up the speed control as you hold the loco,
spin the wheels. Repeat with the rear wheels.

Be sure your track rail heads are clean also.

Make sure the wheel wipers have clean contact
with the wheels and check to make sure the
connecting wires are intact.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #8
What oil/grease to use for HO Gauge

HI TomC, Yes, someone on this forum suggested the Mobil-1. I have 4 HO locomotives I got off ebay that need cleaning and lubbing. I don't want to use something that will damage the plastic parts, cogs and wheels. Here is a pic of our Christmas setup this year.
 

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Beautiful! You can look in my history for my Christmas layout, and other members, too. I won't post it again, but you can find it if you're interested.
 

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Don't over oil a little bit is fine.

For O scale, I use motor oil.

I was always told to stay away from 3&1 oil.
But I see that there are members who use it.
 

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I should say that I personally don't use 3in1 oil, so if it's bad, then that is my bad for mentioning it.
 

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If you currently don't have lube advice given on LaBelle's is a great choice. I, like several others, use what we have. I have a lifetime of Mobile 1 so that's what I use. Be sure to use 91% alcohol for cleaning wheels and use caution with it on shells as some paints will wipe away.
 

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google and youtube searches has resulted in wd40.. for the track, wheels, gears... I see no one mentioning that. is it because its not thick and wont adhere/last as long?
 

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WD-40 is, as its initials suggest, a 'water displacement' medium. It is a desiccant and a penetrant. It is not a good lubricant for chains, gears, or bearings of any kind.

I have used Dextron III Mercon auto transmission fluid to lube my steam locomotives since about 2005. Works fine because it is a synthetic and superior lube, and it is safe for plastics and paints. Note that I mean I have used it on the exterior works, not in the gear towers.

However, in the past 15 months I have cleaned and lubed two brassworks antique bong/chime clocks. I dipped both works into paint thinner, let them air dry for a few days, and then dipped them in the Dextron III Mercon. They're both working like...well...like clocks.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Oiling and Lubing

Thanks to all for your suggestions and recomendations. I will go to walmart today and some 91% alco. Since I have a quart of Mobile-1 I will give that a try and I will go by my local hobby shop and get some of the LaBelle gear grease. Looks like I have some work to do!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Oiling and Lubing

I figured as much. I will pick up two or three bottles of alco plus one of those small squirt bottles to apply the alco to the gear boxes etc. I have to finish up a front yard project before I get started on the locomotive cleanups. Thanks for your input.
 

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Depends on the particular models involved, I would think.
Also... just how old they are.

Some may have motors that may be seized up beyond the point of "repairing". This doesn't mean you couldn't do it. It DOES mean that the work involved and cost might not be worth what it takes to get them running again.

With others the grease in the gear cases may have hardened up through the years, making it difficult for the motor to turn the wheels. Fixing this will almost certainly involve "breaking the trucks down" into their component pieces, cleaning the parts (I use 91% isopropyl alcohol), and then re-assembling them.

I've had pretty fair luck with buying older (not REALLY old) engines from ebay (particularly Proto2000). But some did require "a teardown" before they'd really run well.
 

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Depends on the particular models involved, I would think.
Also... just how old they are.

Some may have motors that may be seized up beyond the point of "repairing". This doesn't mean you couldn't do it. It DOES mean that the work involved and cost might not be worth what it takes to get them running again.

With others the grease in the gear cases may have hardened up through the years, making it difficult for the motor to turn the wheels. Fixing this will almost certainly involve "breaking the trucks down" into their component pieces, cleaning the parts (I use 91% isopropyl alcohol), and then re-assembling them.

I've had pretty fair luck with buying older (not REALLY old) engines from ebay (particularly Proto2000). But some did require "a teardown" before they'd really run well.

so I have a mud truck play toy and at times I have stingy bolts.

I know there is WD-40 as was stated about Water Displacement but it does work to penetrate and maybe would help there..

has anyone ever attempted to use Kroil to get stuff like that started to break down?

Kroil is insane at penetrating but I think its bad for plastic.

I had like snotty grease in mine and I squirted WD-40 from top down and it broke down and oozed out that grease!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Oil and Lube

Again, thanks guys for all your inputs. I do have one more question. I read on here, I think, that TYCO gears are hard to come by. Is that a fact? I have a TYCO Rock Island Line loco that from the sound of the motor I am pretty sure I have a stripped gear in there somewhere.
 
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