Found Dads old Train set....need advice, pics inside:)

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by RTGreen, Aug 6, 2005.

  1. GeorgeHO

    GeorgeHO Member


    I agree with Dave that it could be a very bad idea to clean any of the plastic if you are not 100% sure of what you're doing. I don't collect trains, but long ago I knew a collector/trader/dealer who said leave everything alone if youre going to sell it, and WHATEVER you do, do not try to touch up anything by repainting it.

    My brother restores clocks that are over 100 years old, covered with grime and rust. He gets a ustrasonic cleaner, mixes up a batch, and puts the clocks in with an air hose from a fish aquarium. When he takes the clocks out, they frequently start ticking, either right away or after swishing the clock in the solution.

    I bought a plastic container (1 litre, 35 oz) of M.G. Chemicals Ultrasonic Cleaner concentrated which says use 10ml per litre for $7.99 at my local electronics supply store. It should make 3,500 oz of the solution, or 100 batches of the stuff, which is more than enough to clean off the rusted engines I bought dirt cheap, if I remember to grease the inside of the motors and don't burn them up.

    I would suggest that you buy a bottle of this stuff and ONLY use it, and nothing else, to clean your trains if you feel you realy need to.

    This stuff cleans "soft metals such as aluminum, copper, brass, silver, gold... cleans metals, plastics, electronic parts, circuit boards, ceramics, rubber, fiberglass, glass, and poreclain."

    If you would prefer to spend a lot of money instead, go to any ritzy jewelry store and they will sell you a little container of the stuff, diluted, for the same price. Jewelers use it to clean all their jewelry.

    Again, don't clean or "fix up" anything you don't have to if you are going to sell the set (in original boxes of course, the better the box, the better the price).
  2. toast-of-demise

    toast-of-demise New Member

    i have a old train set,too!

    i have an old train set of my grandpa rotting away in the closet besides me because i can't get the metal chest it is cursed to almost eternal sleeep in...:cry:
  3. JerrylovesTrns

    JerrylovesTrns New Member

    Well, TOD, take a crowbar and start whacking at the case! Or dill a whole and take a sawzall and gut the chest apart! :eek: Anything to get at those trains.
  4. Chief Eagles

    Chief Eagles Active Member

    Track is cleanable. Some use a heavy erraser but I use a very fine grit [like wet sanding cars] sandpaper. Clean the pins too [I pull them out and clean the whole thing]. Now if the rust got through the paper insulators on the center rail, you will have to replace. If not, give it a good WD40 wipe down. The K-Line track mentioned above is excellent and not too costly. Easier to go that way. Be sure the engien gets a good oiling and a light lube on the gears. Your local hobby shop should have train lube and a needle oiler [makes less mess]. Then oil the ends of the axles on the cars and a light oiling on the couplers will not hurt. On the transformer, be sure the cord is not brittle and will not short out. Have fun.
  5. wrmcclellan

    wrmcclellan Member


    I would avoid trying to clean the Rio Grande box car. The silver paint on older Lionels can be quite fragile sometimes. If you ruin the silver, the value of the car drops severely. If you must clean it, then test on a small area that is as unnoticable as possible.

    Good luck! That is a great looking set you have there!

  6. Dr. John

    Dr. John Member

    Your track looks to be usable. A good cleaning with emory cloth or a "brite boy" abrasive eraser will probably make those pieces servicible again. Just be sure you NEVER use steel wool to clean your track - all of those little metal filings will end up in the electric motor of your locomotives.

    Overall it looks like you came up with a great find!
  7. toast-of-demise

    toast-of-demise New Member

    sounds worth a try if i can find any saws or crap.
  8. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    I didnt read every post in the thread but I will post any way.

    Go ahead and clean them up in the kitchen sint, use regular dish soap, NOT the GREEN stuff. It takes of the paint.

    Use a worn soft tooth brush and rinse with hot tap water and let them drain and dry.
    Personaly I dont care for dirty trains, I dont care how old the dust is, dirt is not a "pattena", it is just dirt.

    I even put a littlle armour-all on mine.

    Junk the track and start with new and clean up the switches. DONT USE a brillo pad on track ot switches.

    Lightly oil the engine and let it go, it should run oK, if not spray it out with radio shack's elecrical parts cleaner, if they still sell it. They have less and less actual radio stuff each year. I never go ther any more. Cell phones and computers is about all they have. There adds may say the have answers....well, they dont.

    You can get a handle for the transforner easy enogh.

    Thor;s sites are great read them all.

    These are my opinions...they may not work for you and others my dissagree with me but This works for me, but dont do anything on my say so.
  9. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    Shoot they are only plastic, some are bakalite....Ivory Liquid will clean them fine.

    Just dont use anything you wouldnt put on your face or hands. If you arent sure, use baby shampo.

    Every one thinksthier Lionel must be worth a thousand dollars or two.

    Goto a hobby shop and get a Greenburgs pocket guide to values for $8.

    Also pic up a copy of Classic Toy Trains and enjot yourself.

    Email me with any questions, that will be fine.

    Gilbreth J
  10. toast-of-demise

    toast-of-demise New Member

    @my old train: i couldn't lift that thing to the sink if my life depended on it!

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