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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Knowing that we bought the locomotive used on eBay a couple of years ago, and I've never maintained it, pretty sure I needed to get inside and clean/lubricate. No clue.

So, my wife and I went to a train show yesterday 50 miles away and took the loco with me; stopped at a display from a train club and started asking. A guy took some time to examine and describe how to crack it open.

He said to remove one screw holding the four frontmost little wheels in place, pull those and another screw under that to unattach the front of the decorative shell from the mechanical bits. Then, to remove two screws, one either side, about 2" from the back of the loco; then the decorative shell would lift off, exposing the parts to clean and lubricate.

No-go. Still would not come off. I unconnected two wire "handrails" connecting the shell under the underside. THat's nice, but it still won't come off. The two upper/lower "halves" of the engine are very loose, but hanging up and seemingly connected in a place about 1.5" from the very rear of the locomotive. I see no further screws or such.

Before I break out a sledgehammer, what's holding it? :confused::mad::dunno:

By the way, watching video
, similar unit but the shell lifts right off in that video. Mine is a streamliner "20th Century Limited", I might presume the only major difference is the cover, but that might not be true?
 

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If you know there are no more hidden screws that 'could' be preventing the boiler shell from lifting free, then it might just be stuck, or sticky. Take a very small thin blade and try to pry up that edge. Do this in several places. Chances are good that the item should be lifted at the cab end and then pulled away from the front coupler to clear a pylon or mounting of the front headlamp.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Chances are good that the item should be lifted at the cab end
Well -- I got it out! the opening in the "shell" underneath is a bit narrower than the width of the motor. I gently but firmly pulled a little harder, and the sides of the "shell" flexed enough to let it slip out. You'd think they would have made the opening a wee bit wider...

Hmm, what I see looks a little different than I expected. There's the motor, a worm gear, and then everything else leading to the drive wheels is "encased" and, unless I hear of a ready way to get in there, I am disinclined to crack that open (probably need to watch the rest of that video, and there does seem to be a screw on the underside of the between-wheels area). Perhaps just air-can cleaning of what I see, and lubing, and all will be well?
 

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60"X80" layout and a Rivarossi Streamliner NYC? and four cars is a pretty good start.

I have disassembled many of Rivarossi's engines from their most simple to their most complicated. Not necessarily by choice, I buy their "parts" engines (mostly) and put them back together again.

But, I can tell you that disassembling a well running engine can cause more harm than good. Most well meaning people will either lose a small part, reassemble it wrong, or at least hog out a threaded hole be it metal or plastic.

Most lubrication points can be accessed without disassembling anything. Just lightly lubricate the side rods and valve gear with a light oil from a drop dispenser or use a tooth pick. Drive gears can be greased from the bottom of the locomotive.

But, now that you have it apart you may as well remove the worm gear cover and clean any dried grease from it and the gears, really the only reason to maintain a well running engine. A poor running engine is a different story. Just don't dissemble the valve gears.
 

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I recently refurbished an antique brass-work clock drive. Before I took it apart, I took photos, clear close-ups using macro, so that when I went to reassemble the whole thing, I had various photos showing what went where, but also HOW they went together...some things need a certain orientation.
 

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I recently refurbished an antique brass-work clock drive. Before I took it apart, I took photos, clear close-ups using macro, so that when I went to reassemble the whole thing, I had various photos showing what went where, but also HOW they went together...some things need a certain orientation.
Great tip, and one I live by.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks!

Mine looks inside much different than the one in the video (linked above). The motor is longer and narrower, and there's no drive shaft, a worm gear - with no cover - is on the end of the motor shaft and I presume a spur gear is below it. Whatever is in the area where the 3 axles connect the 6 main wheels, is NOT accessed from above, there's a panel on the underside held by one screw and 2 "clips" the operation of which is unclear but I suspect pressing/prying them away from each other; I am loath to do that for fear that a bunch of small parts will come springing out.

Unless there is reason otherwise, I think I'll use the canned air on the worm-gear area (by the way, I see some lube there but not accumulated crud) with no further disassembly, also spray around the external linkages connecting the main wheels, and then lube those areas.

60"X80" layout and a Rivarossi Streamliner NYC? and four cars is a pretty good start.

I have disassembled many of Rivarossi's engines from their most simple to their most complicated. Not necessarily by choice, I buy their "parts" engines (mostly) and put them back together again.

But, I can tell you that disassembling a well running engine can cause more harm than good. Most well meaning people will either lose a small part, reassemble it wrong, or at least hog out a threaded hole be it metal or plastic.

Most lubrication points can be accessed without disassembling anything. Just lightly lubricate the side rods and valve gear with a light oil from a drop dispenser or use a tooth pick. Drive gears can be greased from the bottom of the locomotive.

But, now that you have it apart you may as well remove the worm gear cover and clean any dried grease from it and the gears, really the only reason to maintain a well running engine. A poor running engine is a different story. Just don't dissemble the valve gears.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Update: Despairing of getting train oil at the hobby shop, ordered from Amazon and, being not Prime, took a while to arrive... came last night. The brand is "Liquid Bearings".

I blew out everything with air, I do not think much debris came out and I'll take that as a good sign. I put the tiniest droplets I could manage on -- the motor shaft where it comes out of the back of the motor and through the "frame" before getting to the worm gear, on the worm area, and on the driving (?) wheels, where the axles pass through the body. Also all the pivots/bearings for the complicated "drive linkage" connecting the large wheels. Plus on the small wheels where the axles pass through their frames... and the same not he tender. Hopefully not over-oiling and hopefully not setting myself up to attract a lot of dust to stick to it; the needle tip allowed for very small droplets.

I need to get the passengers cars out and do the same thing on those wheels, pretty sure I heard squeaking before I put the whole layout away.

The last thing remaining is figuring out the positioning of the wire "hand rails" at the back of the cab. Alas, I got those loose before the idea of taking photos came up! :dunno:
 

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I gave up buying expensive train oil and paying shipping charges long ago. Another railfan recommended air tool oil available at Walmart. I switched and use it along with Remoil also available at Walmart.

Love those dispensers, I have two and keep different weight oils in them.

Just to add. This belt driven Varney was making a lot of noise. A few drops of oil on the felt wick quieted it right down. Smooth and silent as belt drives are now.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I gave up buying expensive train oil and paying shipping charges long ago.
Hmm, exactly how much oil are you going through? As in, how often do you oil, and how many point on each locomotive or car? I guess if you have an extensive layout and run it a lot of hours...
 

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I have well over 100 locomotives and try to run two or three a day. But I use those oils for other things too.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I have well over 100 locomotives and try to run two or three a day. But I use those oils for other things too.
:eek: Uh, I think you might need a 55 gallon drum! :appl:

If I may ask, what's your estimated loco-hours between lubes?
 

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Hmm, exactly how much oil are you going through? As in, how often do you oil, and how many point on each locomotive or car? I guess if you have an extensive layout and run it a lot of hours...
Long time. Once a year if I'm lucky. A drop or two goes a long way. As mentioned, I have many things that require lubrication.
 
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