Cleaning old nasty locos...

We have several old engines that we got cheap that are in SERIOUS need of a thorough cleaning. Can someone point me to a website or let me know what's the best way to go about this? Thanks!

Reply to
Dale Kramer
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A lot of the cleaning techniques depend on the brand and type of loco.

Athearn is very easy, while Tyco/Mantua is not. Diesel is easier than steam

Reply to
Frank A. Rosenbaum

Frankly Dale, the best way I've found (and not lost a loco yet) is to use good ole' soap and water.

1) Carefully disassemble the locomotive, removing the electric motor from the rest of the parts. 2) fill a sink with lukewarm water and a few drops of dish detergent. Take all the parts (except for the motor) and run them throught the water, use a soft brush and clean them out. 3) Rinse well, and then lay carefully dry with a cotton towel or tshirt. Insure all metal parts are fully dried. 4) Use proper lubricants and lube all metal parts 5) Go to an electronics shop and get some electrical contact cleaner (for stereo/computer equipment). This is what you'll use to clean the armature.



Castle Graphics -

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Reply to
Jan Kohl

Mild cleaners often won't cut the grime, and harsh ones may damage the plastic parts or the paint. On metals you can use organic solvents like lacquer thinner ... but it'll destroy most plastics. Remember that even mostly metal models usually have lots of tiny plastic parts, sometimes hidden, like insulation bushings and tire insulation rings.

You'll have to experiment. Start with mild detergents and maybe some light scrubbing with an old toothbrush or similar. Move up, CAREFULLY, to stronger cleaner/solvents on the more grungy parts. Test the stronger cleaners on hidden inside surfaces of the model before wholesale use. Castrol "Super Clean" is a wonderful degreaser, but it WILL attack some delicate parts and many finishes. An ultrasonic cleaner is often useful, but is an expensive purchase.

Sometimes you have to give up on saving the paintwork, and repaint the item after cleaning.

Dan Mitchell ==========

"Frank A. Rosenbaum" wrote:

Reply to
Daniel A. Mitchell

You generally don't need to buy an ultrasonic cleaner; check out your Yellow Pages for "Blind Cleaning". They all use ultrasonic machines to clean blinds, and would probably welcome a couple of dollars per loco in return for dunking them in their machine.

The little machines used by jewellers and so forth generally don't have the "oomph" to clean much in the way of grime.

Garth in Ottawa.

Reply to

Probably a good suggestion.

And, yes, the little ultrasonic cleaners are pretty feeble ... that's why I implied a decent one would cost money. The Sonicore one I have (about two quarts) will bring the water inside to a near boil in about an hour. Tthe heat is generated almost totally by internal friction in the agitated water. The cavitation in a decent Ultrasonic cleaner is pretty violent, and can erode even metals left too long in the tank.

Some of the even bigger units have a separate electric heater in the tank for even faster cleaning.

Dan Mitchell ==========

allergy wrote:

Reply to
Daniel A. Mitchell

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