Shell removal question!

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by erschand, May 23, 2012.

  1. erschand

    erschand New Member

    Hi, everyone. I came across this site while asking Google to help me with model railroading.

    I have a whole bunch of N scale stuff that was put away in a closet and my 9 year old dug up and asked what it was all for. So we set it up! And now she's excited about it all!

    But I'm looking at this and realizing that of the locomotives I have, none have ever been cleaned or lubricated. One makes buzzing noises as it moves around the track, so I'm guessing it needs it for sure.

    I have 2 Atlas Dash 8-32BWH (one of which makes the buzzing noise) and 1 Atlas SD60, N scale, all are DCC equipped. (Just bought a MRC Prodigy Express)

    My main question is how do I remove the shells so I can get at the "inside" to lubricate it? I'm terrified of breaking the locomotive and all I can find is that I should be able to release the shell "simply". :oops:

    The other question is that I have found many sites that attempt to explain what to lubricate, but is there one with helpful pictures or perhaps a good video for N-scale?


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  2. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    The N scale cars I have have bodies held on by"tabs", the kind that click. You usually just hold it up to a bright light and look for them. I used something thin and flat. Sometimes there are little square holes where you can see what you push in (lightly, always lightly), others have recessed slots on the inside of the outer shell, and they are held on by corresponding raised slots on the body. I think pictures of the bottoms would give more information. :)
  3. erschand

    erschand New Member


    Thanks for the response. Here's the pics of the bottom.

    I can't seem to see any tabs or slots to push or pull on. :-(


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  4. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    It's the second train in this video. I believe, I could be wrong. :)

  5. erschand

    erschand New Member

    No way!! :eek: It's that simple! :thumb:

    tldr; Rest the locomotive ladder onto the edge of the box, drop from half inch or so. Both ends of the locomotive.

    Thanks for the video!

    Now I have it apart. Any suggestions on how to and what to look for, lubricate, etc? I have text based sites that I can go through, but are there any videos other than the Labelle one on youtube, perhaps specifically towards N-scale?


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  6. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    I would recommend you do the research on that. You may have to degrease it first, or you may not want to. Some of the gears on these things become brittle with age. Trains are not my forte. You might want to try searching the forum archives. You could try Atlas' website too.
  7. erschand

    erschand New Member

    Thanks for the info. I found a youtube video from Bachmann Trains that gives a pretty good idea.


  8. Viperious

    Viperious New Member

    if you have any other (usually older types) my Southern ALCO Century 420 has a tab on the back and the top of the shell pops up and you have to take the 2 screws out...just a thought if you ever run into it for greasing and lubrication and what-not...the clicking and buzzing is the friction motor in the middle most likely...before you go to it, look on the little contacts on the inside...they should look like round pegs that are about a quarter inch in diameter...they have a tendency to carbon up after sitting for a while and then trying to be ran. Both of my Southern pacific SD-45's had that trouble...upon pretty much ruining the motor (because I have to take things apart and figure it out myself...the curse of over-curiosity) I found this out...I was also 9 at the time, so none too gentle...but the little contact pins were jammed up with carbon build up and once I was able to get it off and polish the end of the contacts it purred like a baby kitten...ever since then I have ALWAYS checked that first, and more often than not, it is the solution
  9. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    when your oiling a mechanism you want a little oil on the face of the gears, it will spread around as it runs, so you don't need to add oil all the way around a gear. You also want a very small amount of oil in the axle shafts at the bearing surfaces.

    You are better off with too little oil than too much, too little, you will just have a little extra drag. too much and the oil will collect dirt, which will gum up the gears, and interfere with electrical continuity.

    Be extremely careful oiling near the motor. Very tiny amounts of oil on the motor bearing shafts can be helpful, but if oil is applied generously near the commutator (the thing the brushes run on, it can cause poor electrical contact, which will increase resistance, and thus heat, as well as attracting dirt, causing a cycle of bad stuff. Electrical contact cleaner can be used to clean off the commutator area, but let it dry before applying juice, it is flammable, and a spark from the brushes on the commutator can cause unpleasant results. I Have melted an HON30 mechanism, and it's not fun.

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