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Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by plbab, May 21, 2002.
Is there a recomended breakin period for new locos? Or just put them on a track and go
1,000 scale miles.
Seriously though, I believe there is. I always like to run my locos around a loop at a good clip for some time - they seem to make less noise, and just work better all-around after that.
I don't know the technical reason, somebody else might.
The last few I bought said 45 minutes in each direction but didn't specify a speed. I usually start at a moderate rate (halfway between start and full) and increase it near the end.
This is a good use for those loops of track that come in sets, as long as your loco will take the curves. Also avoids any problems with switches and things and eliminates the attention you need if you don't have a continuous run.
I've seen test rollers too. There's an expensive one in England, but it includes a 240volt contoller. Someone had a set at the last show here that was just rollers that sit on the track (HO).
Actually, everything mechanical should be run in. Some bearings will be too tight, and there are also going to be burrs and filings in there from the manufacturing process. (In spite of what car dealers tell you, cars should be broken in too. And brakes should be run in every time you replace them. On new cars, I change the oil after 500 miles of low RPM, slow running, then up my top speed a bit for the next 500, change the oil again, and then let 'er rip. Brakes are run in by driving carefully for a number of miles, and only applying the brakes lightly.)
If you really want to make your loco last, I would lightly lubricate it before running it at all, then run it in at moderate speeds for a while --- in each direction --- and then disassemble it, clean off all bearing surfaces (which means you'll be removing the filings and burrs that have accumulated in the oil) and then lightly lubricate it all over again with good, clean oil.
I don't usually with purchased locos, but when I build one, I substitute metal polishing paste (tooth paste will work) for the first lube. That does a nice job of polishing the bearings and axles, and making the tight ones loosen up. But you do want to get it all out of there after the break in run. Don't want to keep wearing away metal.....
May sound like a lot of work, but it's worth it.
Hey Paul, I would also recommend a good lube job before running!