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  • Topic: New loco lubrication problem?

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    • July 20, 2016 1:40 PM EDT

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      New loco lubrication problem?

      Having taken apart over 50 LGB/Aristo/USA/Bachman locos to lubricate, my experience dictates in making a lube check before a first-time run. 

      In particular, I have heard the "Why check, this loco is brand new!" My insistence to check brand new locos coming to the Living Desert train exhibit in Palm Desert, Ca,. has proved repeatedly factory lubrication at best is meager. LGB and USA are now consistently the brands of loco being run and are not immune from lubrication scarcity. We use the Mobil One grease and 10/30 weight synthetic oil on the axles, motor armature bearings lubed at the motor shell ends, and valve gears. A drop of synthetic oil in the rolling stock axle journals is greatly beneficial. 

       

      I can attest to my own loco fleet running better from regular lubrication.

      This post was edited by Wendell Hanks at July 20, 2016 1:42 PM EDT
    • July 20, 2016 6:01 PM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      everything works better with a little lubrication.

      This post was edited by David Maynard at July 20, 2016 6:01 PM EDT
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    • July 21, 2016 1:12 PM EDT
      • Deer Park, Washington
         
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      Even the brand new 1:1 locomotives off the erection floor ran better with a little lube. 

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    • July 21, 2016 6:30 PM EDT
      • Taos, NM
         
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      Wendell, how have you arrived at the use of 10/30 wt oil for lubrication? I'm ready to do the same thing to my locomotives and rolling stock, but thought perhaps a 5/20 would be adequate. Does the heavier grade hold up longer?
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      Rich Niemeyer

      Taos & Chili Dust RR

    • July 22, 2016 12:53 AM EDT

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      Rich and others-

      The question is how was the viscosity choice made for the Mobil One lube oils?

      The premise is based on the effect of engine heat. As the viscosity improvers thicken the oil from the lowest number to the higher number thickness for protection. So because of the small amount of heat, I use the heavier grade because it "appears" to stick longer on axles and axle journals on rolling stock.. For motor bearings - usually brass sleeves - I use the lighter oil, say, the 15/20. However, this maybe is unneeded. Save your LaBelle squeeze tubes and reload them -- or Micro-Mark sells lube tubes for loading.

       

      Still, the Mobil One synthetic chassis lube - wheel bearings, etc., - is great for the gears.

      This post was edited by Wendell Hanks at July 22, 2016 12:56 AM EDT
    • July 22, 2016 2:02 AM EDT
      • Denver, Colorado
         
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         Thank you for this Wendell. In the nine years since I bought my first locomotive I have never once lubricated any of them because I don't know what to use and don't know where to lube. I've used white lithium grease in the gear boxes of rolling stock when they start squealing and the wheels don't turn freely, but I've always been afraid of wrecking the locomotives. I read in one of the magazines that too much oil/grease, or in the wrong places, is worse than running with nothing.

       

          I need to get over it. I have a tool with a long needle attached to it that's just for lubricating (there's nothing in it because the oil drained out years ago). So I"m making a trip to the auto store and resolving herewith not to run another locomotive without first lubricating it before it goes on the tracks. I'll bet there are very explicit instructions on George Schreyer's website or even on the youtube.

       

         If I chicken out, I'll call Kevin!

       

       

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    • July 22, 2016 2:17 AM EDT
      • Denver, Colorado
         
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          Well, this should be specific enough for all my Shays, of which I have too many, and it doesn't look as bad as I thought:

       

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcEKO-325f0

       

       

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    • July 22, 2016 5:00 PM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Yea, but the older ones were best lubricated with the bottom plates removed. It isn't that hard to do.

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      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

    • July 22, 2016 7:48 PM EDT

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      TIP

      This came from Dave "the Ole' Curmudgeon" Goodson, living in the state of Washington:

      "Drop a small amount of plastic compatible oil in each screw hole when you remove screws from plastic - it stops the dry screw from removing plastic and destroying the receiving threads."

       

      He is absolutely right!

       

      This post was edited by Wendell Hanks at July 22, 2016 7:50 PM EDT
    • July 22, 2016 10:56 PM EDT
      • Peoria, NW of Phoenix, Arizona
         
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      Ok I have a USA -38, how difficult is it to open things up to do this? like others I am kind of scared to do open heart surgery on a new purchase, I don't want to go Tim the tool man Taylor on this. Where can i find good info on how to do it.

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      Butt Modeler #2

       

       

    • July 22, 2016 11:23 PM EDT

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      OK, I have one and lube it.

      Here's what I do:

      1 - Small Phillips screwdriver - remove all screws on bottom late - start with either motor. place the screws in an order so you feel comfortable you know which one goes back in which hole.

       

      2 - CAREFULLY wiggle the lid off - pulling straight up so all the axels are left in place or close to it. Don't do a thing until you study how the electrical setup is in place - note the narrow stainless strips and how the wires protrude under these pieces of stainless that convey the power. This is in case you move suddenly and get things out of place.

       

      3 - Put the Mobil One grease on the worm gear assembly. Use enough so the teeth on one side are covered. You don't have to remove a thing. Make a drop of synthetic oil for each of the axles in their bearing sleeves.  Having brazen confidence, I put a drop of synthetic oil on the motor armature ends - guide the squeeze bottle slowly into the assembly to make contact on the motor shaft between the attached worm gear and the body housing of the can motor Carefully tilt the engine so the oil runs down into the can bearing.

       

      4 - Drop of oil into each of the screw holes so the screw teeth don't bind and reassemble. A drop of oil on each of the wheel axle ends keeps the truck bolsters operating easier.

       

      Please give us a report on your successes.

      This post was edited by Wendell Hanks at July 22, 2016 11:23 PM EDT
    • July 23, 2016 12:23 AM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      Be very careful to re-align the axle bushings properly. Putting it back together wrong will destroy the gears in one lap of your layout.

       

      I've got some tips on disassembly and reassembly here: http://www.elmassian.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=648&Itemid=893

       

      Greg

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    • July 23, 2016 11:44 AM EDT

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      CAUTION

      Greg is correct and wise in reporting to be CAREFUL not to unwillingly rotate the metal axle sleeves which are bearings for the axles. They have specific flanges on their exterior sides to drop into slots in the plastic motor body. This is so they don't rotate along with the axles. When the motor top is replaced, these axle sleeves are pushed down securing them with their side flanges. It is possible to close the lid and not have the flanges set into the plastic body slots. This is when Greg warns the gears not being correctly meshed. When the lid is pressed into place, with the flanged bearings correctly installed, the proper specs for the gears are fulfilled.

       

      So---

       

      Check carefully how the sleeves are placed in those motor body slots. I would study the unit carefully after removing the lid and before lubing anything just in case the axles lift those bearing sleeves and you don't see them rotate when they lift up out of their slots.  I keep them oiled with the synthetic.

       

      Again, for anyone lubing USA diesels, please report back as to what is missing in the instructions. Greg's photos show motor blocks and he offers very helpful instruction.

      Wendell

      This post was edited by Wendell Hanks at July 23, 2016 11:51 AM EDT
    • July 23, 2016 2:28 PM EDT

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      Henry -

      You make a good decision not to use automotive-grade motor oil. It is NOT a synthetic and is not acclaimed compatible with plastic. The fully synthetic oils - such as what are used in the food industry and now in cars - are plastic compatible. 

       

      All the model mfgs. offer their packaged synthetic oil - and some offer grease. For example, transmission oil is plastic compatible. According to a previous LGB administrator, LGB in Germany packaged transmission oil  in their "pencil-sized" containers and sold it under the LGB name. This is not unique to LGB. Considering the small amount most modelers use, the costs are not critical. However, knowing the alternative and its relative lack of expense is satisfying since it presents a choice.

       

      Granted, there are other brands of fully synthetic other than than Mobil One. It's just a choice. We use their oils and grease continually lubing over 75 different locomotives and hundreds of car axle journals at the Living Desert Museum train display in Palm Desert, California.  Pulling 100+ cars by four USA diesels all day over a thousand feet of mainline track means continual lubrication on that train alone.  So cost is relevant. 

       

      I also use the same grease and lube oil on all the powered lawn equipment - especially greasing the hedge trimmer gearing.  As to your trains, you noted your choice of the synthetic LaBelle products.  For me, and our family layout, I would be more infrequent in lubing all the axle journals and would not be as dedicated to loco needs if the only alternative was the cost of packaged hobby lubes. 

      This post was edited by Wendell Hanks at July 23, 2016 2:34 PM EDT
    • September 18, 2016 11:59 AM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Guys, you have created a monster. I now have a quart of Mobile One in my work area, and it now seams that everything needs lubrication. I have a pair of small needle nosed pliers that would not spring back open. So I put a drop of Mobile One in the pivot area of the pliers and worked them back and forth. After wiping the rust stained oil off the thing, they work as good as new. My pin vice no longer squeaks when I am using it, because I gave it a drop of Mobile One. The Aristo 100 ton hoppers now glide along the rails without complaining, as does an HO diesel I run at shows. I am starting to wonder, I am lubing nearly everything in sight (not really, but it seams so), so how many drops are in a quart? I am usually only putting one small drop on things, whatever the size of the drop is that will hang on a toothpick.

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      and King Butt Modeler

    • September 18, 2016 3:23 PM EDT
      • Missouri
         
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      Wendell Hanks said:

      Henry -

      You make a good decision not to use automotive-grade motor oil. It is NOT a synthetic and is not acclaimed compatible with plastic. The fully synthetic oils - such as what are used in the food industry and now in cars - are plastic compatible.

      I was wondering about that. Actually, paranoid would be the better word.

    • September 18, 2016 9:33 PM EDT

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      Having gone nuts lubing the massive -- 100s of rolling stock -- numbers of locos at the Living Desert layout in Palm Desert, Ca., I understand the natural compulsions to "lube" that David reported. My wife's Fiskar scissors were victimized by one or two drops. All was appreciated until I mentioned it was a synthetic motor oil!

       

      For further reading try out the suggestion for cleaning and "looking-like-new" our rolling stock - especially passenger train cars that reflect the sun. Its on the Pledge Wax posting -- I thought there would be a list of responses which warraned a separate thread. I might be wrong on this one.

       

      Wendell

      This post was edited by Wendell Hanks at September 18, 2016 9:35 PM EDT
    • January 9, 2018 8:37 PM EST
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      Wendell Hanks said:

      Having gone nuts lubing the massive -- 100s of rolling stock -- numbers of locos at the Living Desert layout in Palm Desert, Ca., I understand the natural compulsions to "lube" that David reported. My wife's Fiskar scissors were victimized by one or two drops. All was appreciated until I mentioned it was a synthetic motor oil!

       

      For further reading try out the suggestion for cleaning and "looking-like-new" our rolling stock - especially passenger train cars that reflect the sun. Its on the Pledge Wax posting -- I thought there would be a list of responses which warraned a separate thread. I might be wrong on this one.

       

      Wendell

       

       

      Fiskar scissors should be victimized by one or two drops of food grade mineral oil for proper lubrication. Especially not Mobil 1 as it is WAY TOO expensive to waste one or two drops of that product not to mention it's not the proper lubrication for that application.

      I have a few recommendations in mind however I have not finished my research on Fiskar scissors just yet. What I do know is that after properly lubricating the Fiskar scissors then and only then my they be waxed with Pledge.

    • January 9, 2018 9:37 PM EST
      • Sylvester, Ga
         
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      Wendell Hanks said:

      TIP

      This came from Dave "the Ole' Curmudgeon" Goodson, living in the state of Washington:

      "Drop a small amount of plastic compatible oil in each screw hole when you remove screws from plastic - it stops the dry screw from removing plastic and destroying the receiving thread"

       

      He is absolutely right!

       when replacing screws into plastic, place screw into the hole until it touches the receiving hole. With appropriate screw driver gently turn the screw counter clockwise until you feel it "drop" into the receiving threads. Now tighten clockwise. This avoids cross threading the existing threads and the ability to avoid having to make repairs sometime down the road is avoided. 

       

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