Help! Fast!

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by KCS, Feb 28, 2007.

  1. KCS

    KCS Member

    I'm working on a locomotive problem and I'm having trouble getting the solder to adhear to the truck pickups. The pick up's are brass and I have no flux and no way to get any. Any Idea's?
  2. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Lemon juice? I don't know. Sorry, can't help. Maybe sand them a little ever so lightly to remove any oxidants and a place for the new solder to adhere.
  3. KCS

    KCS Member

    Thanks trainnut. I tried that but it's not working. I'm sitting here working on it right now but it just doesn't want to take.
  4. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    Sand them down with fine sandpaper, then put a drop of vinegar on it. Heat the pickup with the tip of the iron in the vinegar, and get the solder in before the vinegar all evaporates. If the solder takes after that, tin the end of the lead you want to attach, then lay it on the pickup, and press down on it with the iron so it presses them together. Hold the lead down tight and take the iron away.

    It may also be you're not getting the pickup hot enough, especially if it's still touching the wheels - they'll act as a heat sink.
  5. KCS

    KCS Member

    I'll try that. It's a Kato so I have removed the pickup's from the trucks so I wouldn't damage the trucks from the heat.
  6. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Did it work?
  7. KCS

    KCS Member

    No, I don't know what is wrong. I'm able to get the wires soldered to the motor contact strips which are brass but I can't get solder to adhear to the wheel pickups. I've tried light sanding, filling, I even used a small file and scratched it full of grove's to give it some "bite" but still nothing. The solder just roll's right off and on to the table when it's hot and whn it stay's and cool's then when it's turned over the wire with the solder just fall's off. >.<
  8. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    I think the wipers may be phosphor-bronze, not brass. You're gonna need some flux, and you may have to silver-solder it. That means a torch or a really hot iron.

    What size iron are you using?
  9. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    You might get by with a silver bearing solder like Sta-Brite, but you will have to use Sta-Clean Flux.
  10. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    One big problem could be that the metal was overheated while trying to solder it. No amount of flux or cleaning is going to make it accept the solder after that. Usually excessive heat will cause the metal to change properties and harden and even become brittle, but the process is irreversable and that's not a good thing.

    I can't say that this is the case here, but it sure sounds like it.
  11. railwaybob

    railwaybob Member

    The solution in one word - flux.

    The heat creates an oxide between the solder and the metal. No amount of sanding, polishing, acid baths, etc is going to fix that. As soon as you bring the heat near the metal - it will oxidize. It happens with soldering irons, oxy-acetylene torches, electric arc welders. You may be able to get by if you have a flux-core solder but it sounds as if you don't. Or if you do, it sounds as if you need more flux.

    Bob M.
  12. KCS

    KCS Member

    Well, I started with using one of those "cold-heat" soldering iron's then dug out the good old gun. Not one of them worked and nothing is still not working.

    Go here and look toward's the 1/2 to 3/4 bottom of the page where this guy is showing where he soldered the truck pickup wipers. This whole page is what I'm having to do with these two Kato's. Read and you'll know why. I also made a post a few months back on sending them back to Kato for new locomotives but they returned them and said they couldn't take them. *cuss cuss cuss* So I figured well, screw it. I'll just go this route. I have eveything else done on the first one but won't move on to the second one until I figure out how to get the pickups soldered. I am so lost at this point that it's not even funny. I can't afford to go out and buy anything because all the money I have is to get to school to start my new job driving a truck so I can't spend a penny. On top of that I don't even know where to get this stuff because Radio Shack doesn't carry thing's like that anymore sense 9-11 and we don't have a LHS anymore sense the owner died a couple years ago. *steam comes from ears*
  13. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    You can't afford $6.00 for the flux at Radio Shack?

    Got an Ace Hardware store in the neighborhood? This is the stuff you're looking for. Unless you can find an electronics store (a real one, not a hi-fi/TV shop), where they'll likely have better stuff.
  14. KCS

    KCS Member

    Na Squid, I have to come up with $800 bucks to live on for the next couple months while I'm getting my CDL and training on the road and I have very little time to do it because it won't be to much longer before I have to leave to go to West Memphis, AR. for 3 week's then go to Phoenix, AZ then I won't be home for some time. Beside's, Our Radio Shack's here don't carry such thing's. They used to but not any more. We don't have an Ace hardward either. Wish we did. I would buy them out of brass stock for scratch building! :D I may have to either find someone who can do it or just put it back together and back in the box until I get back home with a few paychecks under the belt. Then the hard part would be finding the time to do it in the very little time I'll have home unless I do it in my truck.
  15. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    I'm studying for my CDL as well but just so that I can drive the church bus when the other driver can't. Let us know when you get to Phoenix and we'll turn you on to all the local hobby shops and clubs.
  16. KCS

    KCS Member

    lol, I won't be in Phoenix for that long. Maybe long enough to fill out more paper work, get assigned a to a trainner and long enough to find his truck, fuel and then away we go. That's the only bad thing. However I would love to go visit so of the LHS' as I hear good thing's about them there as well as a few other places. Now, I'm guessing that's where they will send me because that's where Swift's main yard is. They also have one right across the river in Memphis, TN. that they could me to. It's all a "don't count your chicken's before they hatch" kinda thing. :p
  17. Goattee

    Goattee Member

    Charles my farther was in the radiator repair business all his life. He also made his own flux. I think I remember hen putting alum and some other things in it. That being said you can buy a caustic or antiseptic stick at the drug store, which is made of alum and used for stopping the bleeding when you nick yourself shaving. It coast’s very little. I would crush it up and make a paste of it and brush it on the hot brass with a brush or toothpick.

    Another thing you might try is Borax. I know it is good for brazing.
    Just a thought.

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