Possible problem with engine

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by jhoban, Jun 22, 2005.

  1. jhoban

    jhoban Member

    Well, my Atlas SD-35 that I was so proud to call my first N scale engine seems to have a problem already. At slow to mid range speeds, it makes a high pitch squeelling sound. It still runs great, and the sound goes away at high speeds, but lower speeds just sound awful. Any ideas as to what it could be, and how to remedy it. or do I just take it back to the store.

    If I have to go inside, please recomend the tools I will need. I don't have anything small enough to work on these little guys yet.
  2. seanm

    seanm Member

    How old is it? Maybe a trip back to the factory is better if you are worried about opening her up.

    I would start with a light cleaning and lube. Taking apart the engine is not too bad if you take your time. The shell usully comes off with a little work. Sometimes a couple of toothpicks to hold the sides away from the frame and you can pull the frame from the shell...then you loosten the screw at each end and this will allow the trucks to drop off. Inspect them well for grit, animal hairs or fiber. Magnification REALLY HELPS! Check the worm gears for the same... Get some lube from the hobby store that is reccomended for plastics. LESS IS BETTER with lube. Worm gears are usually held in place with some plastic bearing blocks. small lube there too... Last place is where the shaft leaves the motor. Use VERY LITTLE lub here. Dip a toothpick in a drop of oil and shake it off... then touch this to the shaft/motor interface.

    That is about what I do... but the cleaning seems a lot more important then the lubing. I always fid some grit and fibers in there. Having 4 cats I guess leads to that.:oops:

  3. jhoban

    jhoban Member

    Mine was bought 3 days ago. I am hoping it doesnt need cleaning already. The thing is, it didnt make this noise until the second day. It ran fine day 1 though.
  4. Hoghead

    Hoghead Member

    Wasn't this the locomotive you bought for $45.00?

    Chances are at that price the engine may have been used.

    When buying engines, flip them over and look at the wheels. New engines never or lightly ran the wheel treads will still have the same color as the rest of the wheel or a slightly lighter color from when the manufacturers "blacken" the wheels. Used engines with some running time will have shiny treads and in some cases where they were run on track that was rarely cleaned the treads may have a grime build up.
  5. jhoban

    jhoban Member

    That could be the case. It said it was originally on around $90, but was on sale. I guess I will just go back up there and see what the deal is. Another trip to the hobby shop is never a bad idea.
  6. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    If there was only one there, or you bought the "last" one, chances are it was used, but the shop should have made it known to you. If it is new, you are entitled to get another one since you are having problems from the get-go.

    The one shop I go to has an end counter where they have all their used equipment, and it is usually not marked as such other than it's there on that counter. They also have a shrink wrap machine that they use if the part is in a box, and that makes it even more difficult to tell.:rolleyes:
  7. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    Also...And a lot of product reviews mention it...That a lot of new locos make a noise like a banshee when they are first run. Like a new car, model locos need break in. The noise should eventually go away after some use...Usually after a couple of hours of straight use.
    Some modellers, just run the loco by its self until the noise goes away.
    Just remember to lube it after though.
    Hope this helps.
  8. jhoban

    jhoban Member

    Now that is good to hear. I must say, banshee pretty much describes the sound well. I will just run it for a while when I get in from work in the morning, and see if that does anything.
  9. jhoban

    jhoban Member

    I took the engine back to the store today. Exchanged it for the same model, just different markings. The old one must have been a peice of junk, because this one runs like a dream. I had problems with the couplers on the old one. Not knowing any better, I just thought atlas couplers were a pain, but this one holds strong, even around 9 3/4" radius turns. Scary to think that my first engine almost turned me off to N scale. All is good now though, and ready for the scenery part of the project.

    If anyone likes doing layouts and hasn't gone to the future layout forum recently, head over there and throw in some suggestions.

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