hi all, im new here, and i have a question about engines

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by ozzy, Jun 25, 2006.

  1. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    well after 15 years or so i have room again to set up my trains (well not as much as i would like but at least a smaller layout...lol) well after 15 years of being packed away most of my engines dont run like they should. i got some brand new track so its not that the track is cruddy. im wondering if there just dried out, maybe needing oiled? and if so what points should i oil? and what kind of oil? and is there any other things i need to check/clean on them? i did get one engine to run better, after running it for awhile.

  2. abutt

    abutt Member

    Hi Ozzy...Could we have a little more detail please?

    What gauge? HO, O, N, Z? They all get cruddy at different rates, and after 15 years they'll all need general cleaning and lube.
  3. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Welcome to The Gauge, Ozzy:wave:

    Yup, they all need a good cleaning. Oils turn varnish like and grease cakes like ear wax. Diesel models are fairly straight forward, steamers on the other hand...well...art imitates life and I've retired most of mine to light service because of the maintenance headaches some designs prove to be. They're all my pets though...:thumb:
  4. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    im talking about HO gauge. i do have some O gauge that i need to get running, but thats another post all togeather....lol i guess i dont know the brands of them. but i got 10 or 12 of them, all ran perfect when i put them up, and now all light up, some dont move, some try to, some are "jerky". almost all are "loud" where they was queit before. some run better one direction then the other. and some only move at "full power"
  5. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Pictures? manufacturers? engine types?
  6. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    i will see what i can do for pic's , give me a few.......
  7. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    Yep.. Long-term storage of locos tend to do several things:

    - The light-oil lube on some gears would completely evaporate, leaving the gears bone dry and will cause them to seize up like a rock.

    - The heavier grease on some gears would just turn to crud, and act more like glue than a lube.

    - Some of the electrical contacts will tarnish and cause poor conductivity.

    - In some more extreme cases, plastic gears can also dry out and crack. Does not happen often, but if it does, you would have to either find parts and do a major rebuild of your loco, or trash it.

    So you got a lot of work to do: Tear down the engines completely, wash and dry everything not electrical, inspect all the gears and contacts, clean the electrical contacts, relube and reassemble. That should bring your engines back to life if there are no cracked gears.

    Good luck.
  8. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    well, i have not figured out how to post pic's here yet.

    but my rock island is made by tyco, a conrail made by life-like, a santa fe from bachmann others that dont say who made them, all diesel, all 8 wheel, but one is a 12 wheel..
  9. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    Oh noes...

    If those things are 15 years old, they might have the infamous pancake motor drives (only one of the trucks on the loco is powered, with a flat motor built into the truck itself).

    If they are pancake-motor-powered, I wouldn't even bother trying to revive them. Spend some money on the newer all-wheel-drive flywheel-equipped locos (Athearn, Kato, Atlas, P2K, Spectrum, etc.).
  10. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    yeah i agree with Tom. you'd be better off getting new locomotives. the drives in those old ones probably aren't the best.
  11. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    ok. ya i think most are powered by 1 truck, current comes in from 1 truck, then out to the other truck for the motor. and ya, i guess the motor looks like a pancake if its standing on end..

    so, if i end up getting new ones...(old lady not going to want to hear that...lol) tell me about the new ones, (or new to me) with the sound effects! i forget what there called now. whats the price range, can i run one with the track/set up i got or is there more to it then that? i seen one work the other day, it blew my mind away!

    and if i dont get one of them, whats the better brands out there now-a-days, say for $200.00 or under something so i can have atleast 1 good running engine, can always upgrade latter.
  12. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    Some of those locos with sound like the Atlas Master Gold Series engines will run on your loop of track and power pack, but you won't be able to use the sound or lighting effects such as flashing ditch lights.

    You need to have a Digital Command Control (DCC) setup in order to transmit a signal to the locomotive to make the sounds or command the lights to blink.

    They are not cheap either... A typical Master Gold Series locomotive from Atlas can cost around $150.

    I wouldn't worry about DCC and sound right now... First priority is to get you locomotives that are mechanically more reliable and better running than the pancake-drive locos you got now. You want to get a locomotive with a motor mounted in the center of the frame that drives all the wheels through worm gears, which are much more reliable and much easier to maintain. Those locomotives have mechanisms that look like this:

  13. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    :wave: welcome to the gauge :wave: you still might try to lube some of the locos or if not able to get them to work i think Hobby Town still makes replacment drives f not then A-line.
  14. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    they get expensive. they are just about always above $200. depending on which sound equipped locomotive you have, you can use a special decices to use all sounds. lighting will be constant, but you won't be able to control it like Tom said. I had a Lionel Challenger before I had DCC, and if you like a sound equipped locomotive, its probably ok to go for it, as long as you are sure its what you want. I'd wait until you have a track plan and an idea of what you want to run before investing in anything too horribly expensive.

    Unfortuneately, upgrading locomotives to sound can be very difficult and expensive. In reality, the reason sound locomotives cost so much is because the actual electronics are amazingly expensive. they more often than not are 5/8s of the price.

    in reality, you'll be paying more to buy the locomotive, then buy a sound decoder to install in it. It would probably be better and easier to just save up your spending money and buy a sound locomotive ready to go.

    In the realm of good running locomotives, Any recent Athearn and Bachmann locomotives, atlas locomotives ( silver series), and Proto 2000 are good.

    If you really want to save, you can get an Athearn Blue Box locomotive. They are fairly tough and are good runners, but are very cheap. the detail isn't the greatest out of the box, but you can easily purchase better part for it and switch them around. the shell also has spots with little indents so that you can add details like hand rails and grabirons. you just need to buy them from any detail company, then get a pinvise with #80 drill bit. you shouldn't have any problem makeing the locomotive up to par with the more expensive ones.
  15. santafewillie

    santafewillie Member

    Ozzy, if you forget about the sound for now you can get good running Athearn diesel units for $75 - $85; Kato or P2K (Proto 2000) for $125 -$140. Atlas and Bachmann Spectrum are also good quality but I haven't purchased any so I don't know the price range, I buy from discounters so your LHS may be slightly higher. These all run on older DC systems which haven't really changed except newer DC systems are much higher quality. Take the motors out of your old engines and use them as dummies if you don't wish to re-motor them.
  16. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    i mant one with out sound to get me going again, sorry.
  17. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    well, what sort of railroad are you doing? what time period? what area?
  18. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    oh ya, i did find one of my engines that was NOT a pancake motor, its my 12 wheel BN, both trucks are powered. and it is running better now, then at first, still need a lube job im sure tho. went from not moving to making laps in an hour. and if i can remember right this on was my work horse, i could not put to many cars on behind, was my most pricy engine one of the better one , well back 15 years ago anyway.
  19. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    more modern, i will run a steam engine every now and then, as the 8 year old likes them, but id like to keep the detail not older then maybe 30 years. just a guess on how old tho. might go back 50.
  20. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    YES! YES! DUMMIES! i can do that, atleast with the ones there no hope in getting them running. why did i not think of that!?!

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