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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so my trains have been in boxes in attics across the country for 20 years. are they probably going to work fine when I take them out like when my dad got out his OLD Lionel O27 trains after years of storage, or will they probably need some love? they are HO, from the 80's, but I see similar sets today.
 

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Yard Master & Research
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My HO is from the 80's. My Tyco engines didn't make it. The Bachman 's needed alittle cleaning and lube on the gears. Clean off any old oil/grease. I had some plastic split on the drive shafts and repaired with contact glue.
The steamers did the best. If you can separate the motor from the gears do so. The less stress when starting the better. Oil on the armature shaft helps.
Basically the expensive ones will work and the cheeper models will burn up or spin a gear off a shaft. Good luck.
 

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After 20 years it might be a little messy but don't get discouraged. I'm gonna wait and see what you have before I toss out pearls of cleaning wisdom as each make has its own way of coming apart and maintenance. Being from the 80s at least you won't have the zinc-mite issues some older trains have. "Zinc-mites" is a metal fatigue issue where the quality of the metal used allowed moisture to enter into crystallizing metal, making it fracture and crumble over time.

Here it is on the wheel of a 60 year old Marklin piece...

 
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