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    • February 16, 2018 8:43 PM EST
    • Francois, 

      As Ted mentioned, I wouldn't try using that motor.

      The only thing I am able to see on Ebay is a full drive that ends in 20 hours as of now.

      I will be speaking to Navin on Monday for parts I need and I will see what he has or can get.

      I also have 2 G scale parts suppliers searching also. It might take some time though and of course, no guarantees. I do think that eventually something will show up.



    • February 16, 2018 2:44 PM EST
    • There seems to be a big difference in the power "curves" between the "prime mover" motor blocks (modular gearboxes) and the original 2 axle motors, don't mix them.


      Francois, you said last communication Navin instructed you on things to try and he was "not sure" about a replacement motor... have you checked back with him now you are sure you have a bad motor?



    • February 16, 2018 12:13 PM EST
    • Francois,


      That motor is bigger and won't apply to the Aristo "Prime Mover" trucks like in the Dash-9.


    • February 16, 2018 12:02 PM EST
    • Hi,

      I need some advice.

      I have a motor block SS WHEELS TRUNCK WITH MOTOR BLOCK (ART29139) from Aristocraft that was sitting at home and doing noting with it. Can you tell me if it is the same kind of motor that Aristocraft used in the dash 9. 

      If it is the same motor, I could change the shaft fitting to meet the gear box from the dash 9. What do you think?

    • February 8, 2018 10:47 PM EST
    • Francois,

      No guarantees but I'll look and ask around for you. Worst case senerio, keep your eyes on Ebay. They come up once in a while. Let you know if I find one or someone else with one.


      Thanks, and your probably right. I looked at the list and I think they will pertrud inward to far but I'll call and ask since there's an 800 number, eh, never know, someone may have another idea.

      I know the gearboxes need some flexibility also, which a plug may interfere with.




    • February 8, 2018 10:34 PM EST
    • Ken, you are going to have trouble finding the plug I think, because it will protrude too far inside.


      I say stick with the tape.


      go here and look at the smallest diameter:§ion=Hole_Plugs




    • February 8, 2018 8:26 PM EST
    • Thank you for all the info. It is very helpful. For the dash 9, i guest is gonna be a shelf ornament for now. Can't find a motor to repair it. I look here in Canada and no luck. If you know some one that have one and want to sell it, let me know.


    • February 8, 2018 5:44 PM EST
    • Never thought about making smaller holes but it makes sense. Like I say I've never gotten dirt into the gearboxes yet but a smaller hole is probably better. Just made it larger to fit standard grease tube ends into, especially the small Super Lube tubes, if you already have them or have seen them.

      I have run outdoors as much as indoors and knock on wood, to date no dirt, damage or problems. I just need to find that plug which I am searching companies for the best one.



    • February 8, 2018 3:15 PM EST
    • Yea, like Francois mentioned, I simply line up and drill the holes in the bottom cover and currently put a piece of electrical tape over the cover hole. I have run indoors and outdoors in all kinds of weather with the electrical tape, for years without it coming off. I am currently searching for plugs as of this week and I'll post information, as mentioned above, when I locate the correct ones. For others who may take on this kind of project, I guess it will depend on the size of hole you drill in the bottom plate on the size of plug to use. Thanks for all your expertise and help Greg, appreciate you being there for all of us.

      Francois; didn't mean to clutter up your post with too much info. but hopefully it'll help you (and maybe others) out some. Hope you get your locomotive repaired ok. If we can help in any way in the future, feel free to ask.


      Here are a couple photos of the first attempt at this. You can see the electrical tape bulge. This is not grease underneath as I have never had grease on the inside of the electrical tape on any locomotive. I just stretched the tape too much when I pulled it off the roll, causing this bulge when applied. If you try not to stretch it, you will get a nice even piece that's almost invisible. I replaced that piece!

      Oh well, like I say, it was my first unit I worked on.

    • February 8, 2018 2:54 PM EST
    • Yes, I see the one picture with the holes. There's no way to seal the gearbox itself, if you are also having holes in the bottom cover. Maybe I might consider holes in the gearboxes with tape over them and pull the bottom cover when lubricating. I personally would not be real comfortable with the gearboxes being open all the time, but realistically, other than grease coming out of the the hole, nothing is really getting inside as long as you tape does not fail.


      Not a bad idea for a gearbox that needs to be lubricated several times. I'm not sure I am 100% convinced that these gearboxes cannot be lubed only once in their life.


      But, once you invest the time to totally tear the loco apart to make the hole in the gearbox (take it apart to the point of opening each gearbox) then making a lube hole makes sense. I would make a much smaller hole and use a hypodermic to squirt in the grease.




    • February 8, 2018 7:09 AM EST
    • If you see his photos, you can see the hole in the bottom cover. That why i was asking what kind of plug he was using. He said that he was only using electric tape over the hole.


    • February 8, 2018 2:35 AM EST
    • Interesting, I just bought a Sherline cnc mill and that's the lube they recommend, as well as the spray for places that would use oil. I have both the grease and the spray lube.


      I have not used it on trains, but if it's good enough for my mill, I guess it's fine for trains.


      So, when you make the holes in the aristo gearboxes, you still remove the bottom cover to get to them?



    • February 8, 2018 1:14 AM EST
    • No I don't fill the gearboxes because it's not necessary due to my added grease ports on each gearbox. It allows me to grease the gears anytime it is needed without disassembly.

      I tried filling the gearboxes a couple times in the past but I was unhappy with the results. It seemed to increase the amperage draw slightly and the motors ran hotter, especially in a hotter environment outside. It also decreased the pulling power.

      These are only my results, so I can't say all lubricants will act in this way. 

      I currently use the same grease that Barry (Barry's Big Trains) uses. It's called Super Lube Synthetic Grease and it sticks like glue to the gears and resists dirt. I use it on a multitude of parts and on all my gears on every locomotive. It's so good, I rarely have to re-grease gears even under heavy usage. It just lasts a long time. Another trick I learned from Barry.

      This grease is better for direct application and has fantastic longevity compared to the 22 other greases I have personally tried. I just wouldn't use anything else. 

      If a person wanted to fill the gearbox, my suggestion would be a plastic compatable gear oil, not a grease, however since the gearbox isn't 100% leak proof, this probably wouldn't work and that is the reason I went to grease ports drilled in the bottom casings of the gearboxes. This way you always know you have lubrication, kinda like Bachmann's lube ports under their steam engines which was Barry's invention and submission to Bachmann years ago. I have never understood Aristocraft's sealed maintenance free gearbox idea because the grease they used always seemed to be flung off the gears and plastered all over the side of the gearbox. Every locomotive I pulled apart was either completely dry (with grease everywhere but on the gears) or had so little grease that it wasn't going to be long before it was dry. I've even witnessed 100% dry gearboxes on brand new locomotives, right out of the factory, so it pays to check them out. I've also seen a lot of unnecessary premature gear wear as a result of a lack of proper lubrication.

      USA Trains, LGB, Bachmann, lionel, MTH, Accucraft, and Piko all have removable plates on most models allowing for periodic bottom plate removal and greasing. On these models, I simply drill a hole in the bottom plate directly in line with the gear/s to allow grease to be applied without having to remove the plate.

      On Heartland Locomotive Works/Kalamazoo 4-4-0's, 2-6-0's etc. it's a bit more difficult because you have to remove main rods, side rods, remove the mounting screws and wires, remove the drive block, remove the screws and nuts holding the two drive block halves together, remove all gears/axles etc., remount the two halves back together with nothing inside and then mark and drill your grease port holes. You then have to reassemble the gearbox and quarter the axles/wheels and put it all back together. It is worth it in the long run because once again, it just seems odd to say that a gearbox is maintenance free. I sure wouldn't try it with my car or truck.

      I just like to make sure my equipment runs as long as possible and is simple to maintain. So far it's been successful because we use our equipment a whole lot and I haven't had any major problems with exception of the bad motor we had in our BNSF Dash 9 some time back, however that was a factory defect and was repaired by replacing the motor. Some things are just unavoidable. 


      Here are photos of the grease we use.


    • February 7, 2018 9:37 PM EST
    • Happy that we agree about "bedding" the motors all the way down.


      Do you fill the gearboxes fully with grease? What do you like? A good lithium wheel bearing grease with moly works well.


      Also, keeping the gearboxes full of grease should avoid this problem:


    • February 7, 2018 6:13 PM EST
    • It's actually 2 pieces, 1 on each side that allow a cradling of the motor but they are cut under the motor at 45 degree angles on each side, which is actually the top as you mentioned. This allows the motor to sit as far down as possible but still contact the tape well enough to stick firmly to it.

      It also allows to position or reposition the motors and drive to the best location possible without excessive force. I haven't put anything under the cover or on the opposite side of the motor yet because I have never, to date, found it necessary as non of the motors I have done this with have ever moved. You are right about one thing, you do have to make sure the whole motor/gearbox assembly sits as far down as possible into the plastic box and this application allows for that. It also helps quiet some of the noise, but not all.

      Some of it is design flaws. Once again, only my opinion. However over all, I really think this is a great drive and they have provided years of durable, trouble free, powerful usage. I really have no complaints. A little extra work (and grease ports) and they are as near perfect as you will get.



    • February 7, 2018 3:49 PM EST
    • Yes, I misunderstood what you wrote, somehow interpreting it as being simple when you have to basically work the motor out a bit at a time with an iron, or having a third hand for 2 soldering irons and pulling on the motor at the same time.


      Now your method makes sense to me, you stop/minimize the motor rotation that causes the contacts to loosen and open up. Further, "narrowing" the forks helps too. The only thing I wonder about is your "double stick puddy tape"... my guess is that it's sticky enough to minimze motion, but flexible enough for the motor to "self align" / "seek alignment" so the geartrain is quieter and no binding.


      So, do you put this tape between the bottom of the block and the motor (which is really the top when in situ), or the cover and the motor? Since I have found that the best alignment with soldered motors is usually with the motor recessed as fully as possible into the block, I'm curious.




    • February 7, 2018 2:48 PM EST
    • Greg, 

      No I have not had floating motor contact issues although I know Aristocraft has in the past. What I do to avoid this issue is put some double stick puddy tape (easily removable if necessary) on each side of and below the motor, applied to the bottom if the plastic block, like a sticky cradle, so to speak. I then bend the forks on a slight angle to create some good resistance and a tight fit. The reason I didn't mention this is, all of this has to be done precisely to avoid alignment issues with the other motors and gearboxes and i wasn't sure if anyone really wanted to go to that level as it can be tricky and the normal procedure works fine by narrowing the forks slightly. When done correctly this seems to prevent motor movement better and still allow easy removal when necessary.

      I have 10 locomotives that we dId not do this to and they have run this way since they were new without contact problems.

      If they ever do have the problem that you mentioned with contact, then of course I will solve it in the above manner.

      One important note is, even if you don't do what I suggested above, just narrowing the forks to a size that will still allow full insertion of the motor lead (snug) will definitely help prevent motor movement. I just like going the extra step, plus it allows for a bit quieter operation.

      So to answer your question about having locomotives come back due to motor contact issues, not to date, so far, knock on wood. The only problem I have ever had is the one dash 9 with a bad motor getting hot like Francois which I to had to replace.

      Also, I'm not sure I'm understanding what you mean by removing the solder in advance as all I do is unsolder and loosen and remove the motors. I don't remove solder in advance or even after. I just melt and clean it up and leave it as extra conectivity. Seems to work ok.



    • February 7, 2018 10:39 AM EST
    • Ken, I guess you misunderstood my question, or I misunderstood your post.


      I asked how you removed all the solder BEFORE you removed the motors? But I see upon re-reading you said to remove the motors as Ted suggests. I swear it was written differently when I posted, but oh well!.


      In any case, since I have been doing this probably as long or longer as you have, I'm very curious, since there was a lot of controversy about this. I see you do not re-solder the motors. Yes, solder wick, or compressed air will help you clean the "forks", I'm well aware, been soldering since about 1957.


      But not bragging here, trying to learn/understand/help. The reason that the forks are soldered to the motor brushes is that Aristo themselves found that the motion of the motors torquing in different directions "opened" the forks and eventually resulted in poor electrical contact between them and the "motor brush tabs". The motors always try to rotate in the block a bit.


      The original design was indeed to leave the motors "floating" as you prepare them - no solder. But the complaints of intermittent operation were so great Aristo started soldering them.


      So, leave them unsoldered and watch for power problems, but normally enjoy quieter running or solder the forks and enjoy better power/operation but you might have alignment problems, which are usually solved by realigning the motor.


      Since you have been doing this for a long time, I have to respect that you have had success with the motors "floating". Perhaps Aristo "jumped the gun" in soldering them. Certainly it has produced some noisy locomotives, but in  all cases I have been able to quiet them to an acceptable degree by realigning the motors.


      Have you ever had a "floated motor" locomotive come back with poor running issues caused by poor contact between motors and forks? It seems that with all the locos you have worked on and the time elapsed this issue should have surfaced a few times.



      Regards, Greg

    • February 7, 2018 8:04 AM EST
    • Yesterday i receive new from Navin:

      {Francois, I will check to see if I have any motors in stock, if I do I will conform.} 

      So if some one have a Aristocraft dash 9 motor for sale i'am a buyer, or if some one know where to find some motor let me know. Thank you.


    • February 6, 2018 3:49 PM EST
    • Francois,


      I don't currently use a plug but there is room for one in the outer plastic block only. I have been meaning to get one from a company that makes them but there is only room for a plug in the outer plastic block. The gearbox doesn't have room between the plastic casing and the gear on the bottom. I have been using black electrical tape on the outer block only, up till now. However, when I find a correct plug for the outer block, I probably won't have to worry about the gearbox as it seems to stay greased for a long period of time, even under heavy operation and it's pretty well sealed from dirt. I have disassembled various blocks and gearboxes at different intervals and have yet to find dirt or discoloration.


      As soon as I find the correct plug, I'll post that information in another post. I'll do that as soon as I can here, since it's been too long. Guess I gotta stop being lazy on it.




      Removing all the solder is actually kind of simple after you remove the motor assembly. What I do is heat up one motor contact on one side at a time while gently prying up on the motor with a small screwdriver quuckly, (wiggling it up and down only a tiny, tiny bit until the contact releases. I then do the rest of the contacts in the same way. I then check to see that all the contacts from both motors are loose and if not, I redo the one that isn't, however, most of the time they are. Incidentally, before I pry on any motor, I make sure the gearboxes are loose enough so as not to bend a shaft. You will find there is enough play in the full drive to compensate for the motor loosening movement without bending a shaft or damaging a gearbox if you don't over pry. The key is only pry as far as is necessary to release the contact fork from the moter contact lead.


      I have a new second way of removal by using 2 soldering irons in a holding bracket adjusted the correct distance apart to release both contacts at the same time. This way solder can be removed enough to loosen both motors at the same time but this is very tricky because you have to be even quicker at prying them loose.


      I like the first way better. To me it's safer and easier but that's just me.


      After removing the motor/gearbox assembly it's fairly easy access to remove all the solder, if you even need to. Sometimes I have found the build up actually helps conductivity (if your not resoldering on reassembly) as long as you don't have any resistance in reassembly and everything seats properly in the plastic block.


      I don't know, crazy ideas? It's only the way I do it.


      It seems to work well on on all the dash 9's I've done in the past.


      Between ours and other people I've helped repair or add grease ports, I would guess I've done it this way on 35 plus Dash 9's, Sd 45's, and E8's at least so far. 


      I wouldn't call myself an expert but it's fairly simple for me to do now and I kinda enjoy it. I guess, actually, it's kinda like the same way you do it, I've just gotten use to working on these things, I guess.


      Hope that isn't too confusing and helps some.