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58640Re: [Z_Scale] Track Vac Time - Fall Layout Tuneup

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  • Edward Scullin
    Nov 1, 2008
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      Glenn
      Any tips on how to clean the wheels on the cars. Especially when you have a bunch of cars to clean, like after a show.
      Ed Scullin
      Roanoke VA


      --- On Fri, 10/31/08, Glen Chenier <glen@...> wrote:

      > From: Glen Chenier <glen@...>
      > Subject: [Z_Scale] Track Vac Time - Fall Layout Tuneup
      > To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
      > Date: Friday, October 31, 2008, 7:21 PM
      > With summer over and model train running season approaching,
      > those
      > who did not run trains over the summer are about to blow
      > the dust off
      > their layouts (literally) and spend the time that used to
      > be
      > dedicated to lawn mowing etc running trains again. But
      > before
      > placing a loco on those dusty rails, vacuum the dust off
      > first.
      >
      > It's amazing how much dust can get sucked into
      > locomotives and clog
      > the works. Not usually fatal unless the motor overheats
      > from forced
      > running by cranking up the voltage. The cure is to
      > completely dis-
      > assemble the loco and scrub out the accumulated dust from
      > all moving
      > parts with alcohol, tweezers, and toothbrush. Not easy,
      > the longer
      > fibers get wrapped around the worms and axles and have to
      > be unwound
      > like a silkworm. An ultrasonic cleaner cannot do this type
      > of
      > cleaning.
      >
      > Avoid this problem by vacuuming your tracks monthly. Use
      > an open
      > ended hose nozzle, or better yet the small nozzles intended
      > for
      > keyboard cleaning.
      >
      > Then clean the railtops with a low-fiber rag or paper towel
      > wetted
      > with rubbing alcohol which does not leave a slippery
      > residue on the
      > rails. Avoid abrasive cleaners such as Bright-Boy types,
      > they will
      > scratch the rails which then grind away at plastic wheels.
      > If you
      > have used a Bright-Boy type in the past and want to restore
      > the
      > railtops, use 2000 grit emery paper to polish out the
      > scratches.
      >
      > And of course keep those wheels clean. Both rolling stock
      > and
      > locos. Does no good to clean tracks and then place a
      > boxcar with
      > dirty wheels on the track.
      >
      > Clean loco wheels by holding it upside down in a styrofoam
      > cradle and
      > apply power to one wheelset with a handheld short piece of
      > track
      > wired to your power pack. With the wheels thus spinning,
      > press a
      > Qtip wetted with rubbing alcohol onto each wheel tread.
      > May need
      > several Qtips, repeat until the Qtip comes away white
      > instead of
      > blackened by wheel crud.
      >
      > A bit of preventative maintenance now and monthly will go a
      > long way
      > to making your trains run reliably over the winter.
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