Marklin evaluation

I have a Marklin passenger train (c. 1945-1948, I think) which I would like to have checked out and brought up to speed. For years it has
spent its life in a box. Hopefully, it is more than a shelf collector's item.
I asked at the Little Choo Choo Shop in Spencer some years ago when there was either someone there or someone who knew someone to undertake the task. Regrettably, life intervened and I never made it back.
Asking yesterday, they suggested that I browse the Net. I was initally introduced to the Little Choo Choo Shop here and I'm more favorable toward you all here than someone on the Net at random.
Help, direction, suggestions are appreciated.
Happy railroading!
Mist
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The Marklin electrical system is a 3 rail setup with studs instead of a continous rail in the center. The wheelsets are not insulated like with today's HO 2 rail stuff. You can put in insulated wheelsets into the cars if desired and run them on regular 2 rail. Locos will be another thing altogether as not only are they picking up the power from the center studs but also running on AC (50Hz European frequency) of 16V (I think). I do believe the motors will run on American 60Hz frequency with no problems. If you have track, you can run the train as such. Do lubricate it before you do any extensive running, especially the loco's motor and gear train, ahd the wheels of all of the cars. You don't need a lot of oil but just enough to lubricate the bearings.
-- Bob May
rmay at nethere.com http: slash /nav.to slash bobmay http: slash /bobmay dot astronomy.net
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Bob,
Thanks.
Have the three rail setup. Loco has two moveable flanges centerline to gather power from the center rail. There is also a transformer which I'm not all that sure about due to its significant age. It did run on American power.
What type of oil?
Mist
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I prefer LaBelle oil, mostly because it is a known quality oil. LaBelle oil is available at qualit train hobby stores, at least here in the US. Three in one or equivalant oil will work fine. I'd not worry about the transformer as there are no commponents iin it that will degrade over time.
-- Bob May
rmay at nethere.com http: slash /nav.to slash bobmay http: slash /bobmay dot astronomy.net
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Ma produced 3 rail until 1957 and stud contact from 1953. Before 1953 locos had what might best be described as a pair of sprung "spoons" to collect current from the center rail. From 1953 this was changed to a sprung "ski" or slider to cope with the stud contacts as the collector(s) need to be on at least 3 studs at a time for smooth operation.
Current is 16 volts AC. Both the transformer and loco mechanisim will cope with 50 or 60 cycles equally well. The loco motor is reversed by way of an electro-mechanical relay operated by an impulse of about 20-24 volts. (I think Lionel has a similar system which operates when traction current is at zero volts) A badly adjusted relay will allow the loco to jump when the reversing button/ lever on the trafo is pressed. The relay is not robust enough for uninformed tinkering, but robust enough to last 50 odd years untouched.
The transformers will last forever, BUT look for perished insulation of the power cord. Damaged insulation can be dangerous. Dismantling the transformer can result in irreparable damage as the transformer wiper under the knob does double duty contacting the reversing voltage contact which is on a bar above the wiper. Often fiddlers break the wiper by pulling the top and knob straight up.
Generally old Ma locos will operate after a light application of oil to axles and gears. The motor armature bearings are critical, particularly the bearing in the center of the brush faceplate. Too much oil there will result in oil contaminated brushes which will then require replacement. Brushes for some 1930s-40s locos are no longer available. Replacements can be turned on a lathe from carbon or copper-carbon such as used in old Eloctrolux motor brushes. C1950 Ma changed to one soft carbon brush and one copper wire gauze brush which was superior.
A lot depends on the specific model of loco you have.
Regards, Greg.P. NZ
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Mist wrote:

Labelle lubricants: http://www.modeltrainstuff.com/category_s/965.htm (I know nothing about this vendor, they just have good catalog pages.)
Aerocar lubricants: http://www.aerocarlubricants.com/Trains/index.htm
I like and use both.
wolf k.
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