What to do?

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by brakie, Nov 5, 2003.

  1. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    I received a Athearn SD45 today that a Gentleman says won't run to well..Ok I told him I charge a $4.00 fee for tear down,inspection and analyzing.He agreed to this.Ok.I just finish tearing this unit down and can understand why this poor unit will not hardly run at full throttle.First I have been in the repair business for the last 25 years and I have never seen anybody use Vaseline for grease.:eek: Yes,Vaseline. The gearboxes and drive shafts is full of this crap.:mad: I have already called the Gentleman back and told him what I found and what it will cost for cleaning this mess up(my exact words) and I have a use SD45 drive that I could sell him cheaper then I could clean this unit for..I was told to proceed with the cleaning and tune up as he wanted to keep the original drive.

    My question does anybody know of a easy way of removing Vaseline other then the hard way? :confused: Like I said I never seen anybody use Vaseline for grease in the 25 years I been doing repair work.
  2. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    I haven't used vaseline on any of my locos but have used it as grease for other things like my power drill gears. I understood that vaseline is a very pure grease. I imagine something like Gunk engine cleaner will get rid of it but maybe also some other delicate parts. Wouldn't any form of solvent do it? Now maybe good old WD40 would do it for you.
  3. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    As a moderator, I have to bite my lip as hard as I can to keep from making dirty jokes about the use of said lubricant.

  4. penngg1

    penngg1 Member

    Before trying solvents, try deturgents, hand or dish, in warm water. If this doesen't work test alcohol on the plastic if it's compatable use that.
  5. Clerk

    Clerk Active Member

    Dawn dishwashing soap works pretty well at cutting grease.

    SLUSSERS New Member

    I agree with the Dawn dish detergent. Their claim that it cuts grease is true. I use it the remove the fat (grease) from our ice cream making equipment at school.
  7. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    wife uses somthing call orange crush have used to clean old grease out of windshield wiper drives .
  8. Clerk

    Clerk Active Member

    I thought Orange Crush was a orange drink. If that is used to cut grease, I won't drink it anymore.
  9. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    maybe Goo Gone? again, try it first.
  10. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    dont know if i spelled ir right but it is a very good degreaser made with orange peel smell good:D
  11. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    The dish soap does the job.
    How I know(I guess it sounds crazy to most) I use Vasoline to lube the gears in my Athearn locos. I don't pack the gearboxes with it though, just enough to give a thin film on the gears. then 30W motor oil on the brass bearings. I haven't had any problems.
    I can see how the gearboxes packed with it would cause that problem. All that Vasoline between the gears and the case would cause quite a bit of resistence.
  12. Clerk

    Clerk Active Member

    Oh. You mean natures orange, which is a cleaner
  13. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Get some spray cans of tv tuner cleaner, or circuit board cleaner from Radio Shack. You want to read the caution lables carefully. You are looking for a product that is plastic compatible. Electronic cleaner, made for cleaning circuit boards is fine. Some electric motor cleaners will disolve plastic.
  14. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    I was so worked up about the vaso, I forgot what I used to degrease the mix of parts found in a 44 tonner power truck: brake parts cleaning spray. The motor, all the plastic and everything seemed to survive, it's been a year, and now it happily lives in England, on Shamus's layout. That stuff takes anything resembling anykind of grease or oil out of anything, including skin, leaving it like styrofoam. I am sure some plastics are allergic to it too. Procede with caution!
  15. txcavgr

    txcavgr Member

    be very careful with tuner cleaner and anything to do with cars!!!
    Most tuner cleaners and brake cleaners have chlorinated solvents in them like methylene chloride. If you don't have problems now, you may later - as the plastic cracks and gets brittle.

    I would suggest either the Dawn or one of the citrus type cleaners. We used Citra-Solve we buy by the drum, and also Simple Green. Both work very well with a little heat and elbow grease.

    (My company does environmental cleanup - we use a lot of different types of cleaning agents for different surfaces and most of the time one of these two and some elbow grease will get it!
  16. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    First thanks for all of the replies..When I got home this morning I put the gears,gearboxes,bushings and drive shafts in a plastic bowl of Dawn and will let it sit till I wake up later today and then I will take my cleaning tooth brush and proceed to clean this gook off..

    Ray said:I can see how the gearboxes packed with it would cause that problem.
    Ray,This unit was packed almost tight with Vaseline and I noticed the armature and motor had a bluish tint to it like the unit had been ran red hot for a long or perhaps a short period of time..Thankfully this is a Athearn motor and I tested it this morning after I saw the blue tint and its still good to go.:D

    Like I have said more times then I care to remember.You can't kill a Athearn....:D :D Chuckling and shaking my head
  17. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    Now that you mentioned it, in all my years of collecting Athearn parts and peicing locos back together, I have only come across one athearn motor with a problem (other than worn brushes and springs). It had a wire knocked off the commutater. It's running strong in one of my Frankenstien(peiced together from graveyard parts) GP9s.
  18. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Brakie, Glad the Dawn worked. We use it a lot to clean up old dirty, greasy diesel engines on generators. It works better than the commerical degreasers. BTW...for those that are into health things....Recent studies have shown that Dawn is more antibacterial than the antibacterial soaps. In fact some surgeons are now using it to "scrub up" before an operation.

    I notice that some folks are using Vaseline to lube gears in their model locos. That's probably OK on all metal gear sets but over time its gonna play havok with any plastic gears. The reason being that both plastic and Vaseline are petroleum products. The Vaseline will soften the plastic gears to the point, over time, where they are almost like rubber. This usually occurs on the gear teeth where the plastic is thin. Delrin gears are self-lubricating and if properly cut and meshed shouldn't require lubrication. Besides, Vaseline is "gummy" and it would seem not to be a good lube for gears.

    I'm a firm believer in synthetic lubricants for models....there's just less problems with them. Just be sure that they are plastic compatiable.

    BTW...I quit repairing trains a long time ago....Seems like everybody expected a life-time warrenty on the train because once I fixed it anything that went wrong with it from then on was my fault! :eek: :D
  19. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    I'll have to look at some of those gears that I used the vasoline on to see if it is affecting them.
    I stopped repairing trains For the general public for basicly the same reason.
    Most model railroaders understand what to expect from a rebuild ,but those that would bring in their old Tycos and trainset Bachmanns sometimes expected me to transform them into state of the art locos.
    One guy called me back after I cleaned his bachmann 4-4-0, calling me every name in the book. He said he put it on the track and it hummed and went up in smoke. To make a long story short, DC trains do not run on AC.
    I enjoyed repairing them, but it didn't seem worth it. It took to much time away from my modeling.
  20. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Me2. I also sometimes use a dry lube on plastics. Or nothing on plastic to plastic. If someone needs a source for a plastic safe synthetic, I can look it up. Tri-flo is good and has teflon in it if you can find it non-aresol. I have to order it to get a regular bottle. Been using that and some blue stuff for almost ten years on many types of plastic, many unidentified.

    I've been in the fix-it business for 15 years. My current shop rate is $165/hr., $330 minimum. Believe me, they want a lifetime warranty! That's a big part of why I have to charge so much. The service warranty is 30 days, but there's some fudge factor in the repair charge for those who scream loud enough to get more warranty than that ;p

    On a basket case, I always charge extra, more than what I expect to have in it, and tell them "No warranty" due to abuse.

Share This Page