Fixing older Kato N-Scale Loco's


Well I had been out of the hobby for a while, but I have recently dusted off the train boxes. I have a few problems with my original units in the Blue boxes. Here are a few of the symptoms:

On a few units I have a random high pitched shrill sound. It still moves flawlessly, no lurching or jerking. I have tried lubricating the gears and running the unit for a while, but no change. When I remove the shell and run it, still the same thing. Does any one know how to cure this?

On another unit, the normally quiet Kato drive sounds like a leaf blower, but it also moves flawlessly. Again, a little lube and run for a while, shell on and off and no change.

I have about 26 Locos with these problems. Have they met thier end?

Do I need to consider replacement drive units, and if so, how can I find out where to get them?

I would hate to lose some of these old units, they are not made by anyone and they are just some of my favorites. Is there any hope?




Reply to
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Try a small drop of light oil on the moter bushings. If that doesn't cure it the disconnecting the drive from the moter to find where the noise is comming from.

Reply to
Charles Kimbrough


Thanks! I lubed the gears but not the motor bushings. A drop on each bushing and runing about five minutes in both directions and that shrill sound is gone.

Now to figure out the leaf blower problem.

You help me save 18 of the loco's!

Thanks again!


Reply to

David, if you want to fix your locos, you have to start playing a detective.

Is the noise same in both directions or is it worse going one way? Is it louder when loco is running slow or fast?

Take a noisy loco and take out one of the trucks and see if the noise is gone, if not, take the other truck off and check again. If noise is still there, take out one worm gear assy.... and so on...

Of course, you need to hook up some wire leads to your power pack so you can just touch the wires either to the wheels or directly to both sides of the frame. That is so you can "run" it upside down or without placing it on the tracks.

IIRC, there were some issues with slipping universal couplings on some of the old locos. But I'm not sure if your locos have that. Some early Kato engines had just the motor with long shafts wth work gears on both ends.

Also, noise is usually caused by lack of lubricaton and by loose parts.

And of course, this group is a wealth of great info. Try searching r.m.r archived messages for "noisy kato engine" or similar thing. You might find other hints...


Reply to
Peter W.

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