Breaking in locos

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Maineiac, Feb 28, 2007.

  1. Maineiac

    Maineiac New Model Railroader

    Hello all, I'm new to The Gauge and I'm just getting started in the hobby. I have a question about breaking in new locos. The instruction sheet that came with one of my locos mentions running it for an hour or two, at various speeds but not top speed. My question is, what is the best way to break in a loco (how long, speed, frequent starts/stops, pulling cars or not, etc). Any advice for a newbie?
  2. Maineiac

    Maineiac New Model Railroader

    Also, does anyone have any advice on lubricating new engines, such as what to use, and how often?
  3. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Hi Phil,

    Welcome to The Gauge!

    As for breaking in the loco, the best advice is to follow the instructions... :D Those sound like the instructions that came with the new Bachmann Spectrum 2-8-0 that I just got. It ran pretty badly out of the box, but is getting better with each run. I have about an hour on it now, and it is markedly better already.

    As for lubrication, unless you bought something that sat on the shelf for a loooooonnnngggg time, you probably don't need to lube it for at least a year. If there are any instructions from the manufacturer, follow those. If not, remember that grease is for gears, and oil for everything else. Less is definitely more in this case, and be sure to clean out all the old stuff as well as possible before adding new.

    Labelle makes a great line of plastic friendly greases and oils.

  4. berraf

    berraf Member

    Welcome aboard Maineiac:wave:
    I do hope you will enjoy the forum. It's a great place with an amazing knowledge base.
    About your question I have the same opinion like MasonJar :)
  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    The only warning I would mention is that we have found over the years at the modular club that Lifelike P2k locomotives seem to come from the factory either over lubed with excess oil getting on the tracks, wheels, etc., or they are shipped completely dry without any lube. Walthers may have changed that, I don't know about the newer models.
  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    What I would like to do is set up a figure-8 layout using the tracks from a train set so that the loco gets experience with both right and left-hand curves.
    Just set it up out of the way and let it run while you work nearby -- you want to be there if it suddenly stops running. Every so often change direction . Start at a moderate speed and after a while see if it runs any more slowly.
    A voltmeter and ammeter would be nice to have, but aren't required.
  7. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Welcome to The Gauge:wave:

    I prop mine up in a cradle on their backs with wire leads to each side of the motor. I run them this way about 30-45 minutes in each direction. A small drop of light, plastic compatible oil on each bearing surface while this is going on as well as a dab of plastic compatible light grease is all I've done for over 25 years.
  8. Maineiac

    Maineiac New Model Railroader

    Thanks for the replies guys. I have a 4x8 layout leftover from years ago that Dad and I never completed the scenery on. I'm using that to break in my locos while I dream about and plan my own real layout. After running them for about an hour each, my Spectrum F40PH and Athearn AMD-103 are much better.

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