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November 18, 2017, 12:43:50 AM
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Author Topic: Shay and Climax lubrication schedules  (Read 976 times)
nymark


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« on: June 04, 2017, 01:37:47 PM »

I have had my 3 truck Shay for about a year and a half and recently acquired a Climax. Both came with sound and DCC installed. The Shay came with a video showing how to lubricate and suggests every ten hours which I have followed pretty closely. The Climax did not come with a video and I lubed it as per the instructions in the manual with a 20 hour lube schedule. Both suggest using the electrical lube on the wheels every 5-6 hours. The Climax seemed a bit tight in the curves and jerky at slow speeds. After about 15 hours of running the Climax, I found a Bachmann you tube showing the guy taking the bottom plates off the trucks and using heavy gear lube and gear grease inside. I was worried that I may have damaged the gears by not doing this before I ran it at first, but all seemed well. It did run more smoothly afterwards. I would like to ask for other people's experiences with these engines. Has anyone had problems due to lack of lubrication? Also, the lubrication schedule for the Shay seems a bit excessive-I haven't had the Climax long enough to know. Any ideas on this will be most appreciated.
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Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947


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« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2017, 09:59:13 PM »

Hi nymark,

Some years ago there was some discussion about lubing.   At the time the lube schedule was said by a Bachmann Rep to be a "suggested" schedule depending on how you actually ran the loco, and the weather conditions at the time.  In extremely hot temps I believe the suggestion was to do the rods, valve gear and associated driving parts more often.   I don't recall what the suggestion was about gear lube, except to say that the gear boxes were factory lubed.

I have my own personal way of doing things.  When I get a new loco, I do open up the bottom and add teflon based white plastic compatible gear lube.  After that I never open up the bottoms again.  When I opened the bottoms I never found any without grease.  I run my Annies and my Connie's most often and in the past 16 years have never had a gear problem due to wear on the gears.  I did have a split gear on one of my two Connies, but the other has never had a problem.  I do the same with my geared locomotives.  As for the running gear and side rods and other exposed moving parts on all my locomotives I use light plastic compatible oil  on a hit and miss schedule, based on when I "think" it might become necessary.  If something squeaks I pay attention right away and pull the loco out of service.   

I use battery power and so do not worry about using electrical lube.  When I did use track electrical power, I never used electrical conducting lube, just the light oil.  When using track power my biggest problem was dirty wheels and keeping the track clean, and I always looked at the wheels first if the loco started acting up. If dirty I pulled them out of services til I could do a complete cleaning using acetone and Q tips.   I used both a track cleaning car and hand cleaning for the track.  If I were using electrical track power today, I would for extra care use the electrical conducting lube.

Forgot to mention, if running in snow or if the loco gets caught the rain, I always lube them right after they dry out. 

All of the above my personal opinion of course!

Loco Bill
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Loco Bill,  Roundhouse Foreman
Colorado & Kansas Railway Missouri Western Railway
Semi Official Historian; Bachmann Large Scale
There are no dumb or stupid questions, just questions!
nymark


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« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2017, 10:54:04 PM »

Hi Bill, Thanks for your expertise on this. I have been sticking to the 10 hour schedule as suggested in the Shay video but might start stretching it out a bit more based on your info. The Shay is gettin a little gunky-runs great though. I don't want to over lube which is also advised to watch out for.  I've been really enjoying the outdoor railroad!

Much appreciated -Nymark
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Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947


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« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2017, 11:28:32 PM »

Welcome,  I agree about over lubing.  If conditions are dry and dusty and windy , the gunk can build up fast on the moving part. 

Enjoy the good weather while you can!

Bill 
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Loco Bill,  Roundhouse Foreman
Colorado & Kansas Railway Missouri Western Railway
Semi Official Historian; Bachmann Large Scale
There are no dumb or stupid questions, just questions!
nymark


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« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2017, 11:04:29 AM »

Hey Bill, You mentioned using acetone for cleaning wheels. In N,HO,and now Large scale, I have always used 90 + isopropyl alcohol and a soft rag. Acetone can be found in nail polish remover. Do you use nail polish remover or is there a more pure form. I clean and groom my track almost every time I run my engines. I use a sheet rock sander with a scotch brite pad and carry a spray bottle of isopropyl so I can keep the scotch brite wet. I then repeat with a soft rag to polish it up. Is acetone more efficient or easier on surfaces? Sorry for these basic questions but I am still working on best practices for Large scale.
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Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947


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« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2017, 03:31:00 PM »

Your method sounds fine to me.  I never used Acetone on the track since it attacks plastic.  I do use the pure Acetone to do the wheels, but in all honesty I never tried the alcohol method, so I have no way to make a comparison.  I transfer a small quantity of Acetone into a small glass bottle, the dip the Q tip into it just enough to get it wet but not dripping, since the acetone would attack an plastic parts of the loco if it dripped on it.  If the alcohol works for you then keep using it.  Alcohol will definitely be safer than acetone!!

A friend of mine uses WD-40 with the q tips method on wheels.  I also used the drywall sander the  same way you do, but never used any liquid on it.  Some guys use the WD-40 on their track as well.   WD-40 is also safer than Acetone.

I definitely agree that a quick cleaning before each use it a great way to slow down dirt buildup on the wheels of your equipment.

Maybe others will post their methods as well, there must be some other methods out there.

Best practices seem to be different depending the climate conditions in various parts of the world. Once you develop something that works for you, then stay with it.
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Loco Bill,  Roundhouse Foreman
Colorado & Kansas Railway Missouri Western Railway
Semi Official Historian; Bachmann Large Scale
There are no dumb or stupid questions, just questions!
nymark


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« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2017, 12:10:03 PM »

Thanks for your advice on this-some of my methods are carryovers from HO and N but large scale is a bit of a different animal. I might try some WD-40 as I have a bit of it around. I was running the Climax yesterday as we are having some beautiful weather in my area. It is really running well after the break in period. I always appreciate the knowledge of veteran large scalers.
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