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Author Topic: 00624 McKinley Explorer Set  (Read 2767 times)
jason_ak

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« on: April 16, 2012, 12:24:28 AM »

Hello All,

New to trains as well as your website.  I recently picked up a 00624 McKinley Explorer set at a yard sale for 20 dollars.  The packaging is in rough condition and there's a few problems with the tracks.

I was wondering if anyone knew if those track connector clips are available for purchase anywhere?  I didn't see any on this website's catalog unfortunately.  Or do I have to pick up new tracks?

I don't know anything about this set; ie: what its worth... or if its even worth fixing up.

Does anyone have any info on this set?  The picture on the package does not match my search results via Google, so I'm guessing it's an older set.  There's no instruction set so I don't know.

Thanks,
Jason
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Doneldon

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« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2012, 05:00:37 AM »

jason-

This is a current item although the part number is 00694. I assume the one you purchased is used, judging by your question about the track and your description of the box. You can find the set listed under "Product Information" at the top of this page. As for value ... that would be a function of the set's condition and completeness. It doesn't have any value as a rarity nor will it ever since the packaging, at a minimum, is in rough shape and maybe parts of the set itself.

I'm not clear on what you mean by "track clips." The folded metal pieces which join the rails are readily available from many manufacturers; just purchase what you come across but be sure to get "Code 100" rail joiners. That refers to the height of the rail (100/1000 or .1 inch). Joiners for Code 83 will work but might be a little tougher to get on. If you mean the flexible plastic loops which hold the roadbed together, I'm afraid those cannot be purchased as they are a molded part of the roadbed casting. They aren't strictly required, particularly if your track is permanently mounted, but they are very helpful in keeping things aligned if you must set up and break down your track each time you want to run your trains.

Welcome to model railroading. It's an exciting and interesting hobby which will have you learning new things every time you dabble in it, and you'll meet some terrific people along the way, too.
                                                     -- D
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jason_ak

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« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2012, 03:30:37 PM »

Yes it was purchased at a yard sale... so the train itself is in fair condition but the plastic packaging is pretty broken up.

I hate to correct someone...but it is indeed item #00624  its printed clearly in the lower righthand corner.

As I said earlier, the packaging does not match any pictures I've found for this train set.  I'm guessing it was an earlier edition of the McKinley Explorer set.

I tried to upload a photo but it kept telling me the upload folder was full... heres an external link to the picture on my server



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jason_ak

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« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2012, 03:36:01 PM »

Track clip

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Doneldon

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« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2012, 09:15:55 PM »

jason-

The current item number for the McKinley Explorer is 00694. You have an obsolete version of this set. That doesn't mean it isn't any good. Item numbers are sometimes changed when products are modified or updated, and sometimes when there have been no changes but the merchandise is from a new manufacturing run.

I'm guessing from your photo that what you are calling a "track clip" is properly known as a rail joiner. As I mentioned in my first post, you can use any brand to connect your rails but you'll find that rail joiners for Code 100 rail will work the best.
                                                                                                                                  -- D
 
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jason_ak

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« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2012, 09:47:14 PM »

Cool

Thank you so much for all your help and information.  I'm gonna have to find out where the closest hobby shop is up here.  At some point I wouldn't mind upgrading the passenger cars.  I found some that are a little bit better built and actually light up on the inside.  These ones are lightweight plastic and hop off the track a little too easy.  That and the couplers keep coming undone.
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James in FL

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« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2012, 09:47:46 PM »

Check both the lokie and the power pack. If they both work then invest in a couple packs of joiners.

Good luck
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jason_ak

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« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2012, 10:03:32 PM »

I've driven it around the tracks a few dozen times...  It goes pretty fast at full speed...  Just keeps popping off in certain spots... need to fix the tracks and get some of those rail joiners guy was talking about...
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Doneldon

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« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2012, 12:00:34 AM »

jason-

As a general rule, derailments at the same place indicate a track problem whereas derailments by the same car or cars (or loco) suggest a problem with the rolling stock. So that's a clue about where to start checking for problems. Many modelers keep careful records about derailments in order to identify problem places or equipment.

A common track problem is rails which aren't inside their rail joiners. This is easy to do and you won't necessarily notice it unless you look closely. What happens is that the rail sits atop the rail joiner which makes a bump. Sometimes it's easier to feel the irregularity than to see it.

You can add weight to your cars to help them track better. The NMRA (National Model Railroad Association) rule for HO is one ounce plus one-half ounce for every inch of length. For a "standard" 40-foot box car that would mean about four ounces. Your McKinley cars are about 12" long so they would need to weigh about seven ounces each. You can use just about anything for weight. Old screws and hardware work well, as does a stack of pennies. Pennies are cheaper than most other weights and you can get an exact weight. However, it's not critical that the weight be precise. If you are off, it's generally better to go a tad too heavy than too light. Weigh them on a postal scale and be sure to firmly fix the weight to the car. Caulk works well but make certain it is plastic compatible.

Most plastic cars open by spreading the sides and dropping the chassis out or by popping off the top. Some have screws which hold everything together. I don't have a McKinley Explorer (although I've been on it!) but someone on here will tell you exactly how to do it.

You can probably add lights to your cars (if you have metal wheels) for a whole lot less than new cars would cost. All you'll need is some LEDs and a 1K ohm resistor. You can add a capacitor if you want to avoid flickering as your train travels around your pike.

The major cause of derailments is excessive speed, especially on tight curves. Yes, it's fun to watch your trains zoom around but it is anathema to smooth operation and potentially hazardous to your trains' health. One dive to a concrete basement floor is more than many models can survive. Your set should have come with 22" radius curves (at least the current set does) but that's still considered tight. Other causes are poor track joints, track kinks (either side-to-side or vertical), poorly adjusted turnout (switch) points, out of gauge wheelsets (a wheelset is two wheels and their axle), improper weight and badly located or functioning couplers. The NMRA has a gauge for each scale which will allow you to check all of the various clearances and dimensions. It's one of the most useful items in my model toolbox, and I've been accumulating model tools for nearly 60 years. I strongly urge you to get one and use it.

If you explore on this Board you'll find summaries of how to make sure your equipment is within specs and correctly lubricated. It can seem boring but it will really pay off in reliability. Let's face it: No one enjoys tracking down short circuits or cleaning up train wrecks.
                                                                                                                                                                  -- D
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jason_ak

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« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2012, 12:57:47 AM »

Thats an excellent idea... Thanks for that...

Unlike the engine, the passenger cars are super lightweight plastic with nothing to them.  I think straightening some of the bent track and replacing the missing joiners and adding some weights would solve this problem.

Yes the set is 22 radius curves.

I don't think lights are a possibility for the passenger cars.  They're completely plastic.  I did see some newer ones for sale that are pre-lit however.  I think they were about 40 bucks each tho.

I really appreciate your help  Smiley
« Last Edit: April 17, 2012, 01:00:32 AM by jason_ak » Logged
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