Engine question

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by thetramp, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. thetramp

    thetramp New Member

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    I have a couple of engines I haven't run in years. When I put them on the track, the headlight lights up but the engine doesn't move. I can feel a slight vibration when I touch it. What do you guys think the problem is?
  2. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    Brushes are bad. Take it apart, and clean it. It could be hard grease too! :)
  3. thetramp

    thetramp New Member

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    I have never did that before so I am not sure how to clean the brushes. Come to think of it, I have never taken the body off. Do I use a can of air?

    Dummy question - When I take the body off, are the brushes copper colored?
  4. cajon

    cajon Member

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  5. thetramp

    thetramp New Member

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    Thanks, last night I had 1 out of 4 working somewhat. Today when I got home from work, I took all 4 out. None of these engines have run in least 5 years and some 20 years. Well I started cleaning, oiling and low and behold, I not have 3 out of 4 working.:thumb: The other one I took apart and oiled it but as of right now, only the light comes on. I notices that on the wheels, it looks like there is something wrapped around the wheel that is coming off. I don't know that that is but tomorrow, I will work on it again as at this time I can not afford to purchase new engines.
  6. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    Why purchase new engines, a little elbow grease and some TLC goes a long way! :)
  7. thetramp

    thetramp New Member

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    Thanks to all who helped. I have about 4 more engines to work on. I am kind of clumsy with my hands (I am an accountant) but I will keep trying until I get them all running.

    I am looking for a pdf of a 5' by 4' layout called the turtle creek southern that was mentioned on another thread. Does anyone have a PDF or pictures of it?

    Here is the link of that thread.

    http://www.zealot.com/forum/showthread.php?t=167106
  8. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    As an accountant, your motivation could be seen in the economy of pleasure achieved for virtually nothing invested, with an end result being the saving of money, and some neat working trains! :)
  9. thetramp

    thetramp New Member

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    What he said ^
  10. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

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    I believe that the Turtle Creek Southern was a model Railroader Magazine project, that had a series of articles on the construction of the layout. If you check @ the Model Railroader web site, they may have back issues of the issues with the construction article. I don't remember much about the layout, but I think they provided decals for rolling stock in one of the issues.


    Bill Nelson
  11. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

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    One thing that often needs attention on old locomotives with open frame motors in the commutator, the ring of electrical contacts on the armature, where the brushes transmit the electrical power into the windings on the armature. You can use a pencil eraser to clean the electrical contacts, and this will often be enough to get an old motor going again.

    Electrical contact cleaner (tuner cleaner) can also wash the crud off of the commutator, let the spray dry before you run the motor, as the brushes can spark and the liquid cleaner is flammable.

    once the commutator is clean, you can test the locomotive to see if it runs, if it doesn't a set of small jumper cables can be used to feed power directly to the motor, if the motor runs, on jumper wires, but not off the track, you have to check the wheels and other contact points to be sure the contacts are clean, and touch like they should.


    bill Nelson
  12. Trainiac77

    Trainiac77 Member

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    Here's the PDF that you are looking for. Actually I found 3 Turtle Creek layouts all three are included.

    Attached Files:

  13. thetramp

    thetramp New Member

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    Trainiac77, thanks for your help. I really appreciate it.:wave:
  14. Trainiac77

    Trainiac77 Member

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    No Problem! It was on the MRR site.