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Author Topic: black drivers on locos  (Read 977 times)

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« on: November 28, 2017, 04:10:11 AM »

I don't know if anyone else has this problem. but when I get a new engine from Bachmann its wheels come black or blackened. i try to remove this but it does come off because when i try to operate the engine it seems to operate jerky or needs nudging to get it to move. anyone have any ideas to get this compound off of the wheels so as to get a better electrical connection. and yes i have cleaned my tracks with bright boy and alcohol.   

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« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2017, 08:15:00 AM »

Yep.  Cleaning the wheels is one of the important steps before making a new loco operational.

I have tried many things, including that powered bristle brush, where you connect the brush to track power, which is suppose to clean the wheels while providing the power to spin them.

What works best for me: 

With the loco upside down, connect some leads to either the motor or tender wheels.  Get the driver wheels spinning at about 50% throttle

With a diesel, I find it's easier to remove the shell and find a couple motor leads, connected with tiny alligator clips.

Sharpen a toothpick so it has a flattened surface. Dip the toothpick in rubbing alcohol and apply pressure to the driving wheels while they are spinning.  The use a cotton swab or cloth to wipe up the residue.

For steamers, it's easier to remove the tender wheels and clean them manually--using rubbing alcohol and a cloth, like an old t-shirt.

For maintenance, I usually lay a paper towel over the tracks and run half the loco drivers over the paper towel, then the other half.

99% percent of all running issues I have are due to dirty wheels or track.  Hence, I pay a lot of attention to wiping down rails and cleaning wheels, to keep everything running smoothly.

There must be some part of the factory assembly process that leaves loco wheels a little gunked up. Cleaning wheels on a new loco seems to be a standard necessity prior to regular operations.



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« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2017, 11:11:31 AM »

Every Bachmann steam engine Iíve bought comes with really dirty wheels that need radical surgical scrub cleaning.  I always thought that this resulted from being in a warehouse for a very long time. My cleaning methods are slightly different but the end result is the same.

Modeling the New Iberia and Northern 1945
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