This loco (six months old) refuses to run smoothly and stops and starts needing frequent pushes to make it move. The wheels, pickups and brushes don't seem unduly dirty (without giving it a full stripdown) is this a common problem? It's never been the quietest or smoothest of runner even when new....
Hope this doesn't sound patronising, but as you haven't mentioned it above; is the track clean?
The items above which you've listed would be the first things to check if a loco doesn't perform properly; it doesn't take a lot of muck on the wheels to play havoc with Lima locos. I clean mine with a cotton bud wetted lightly with cellulose thinners, taking care not to touch the plastic. Similar treatment for the pickups, at the same time checking they actually touch the wheel/axle but not too hard.
Thats about all I can suggest; if it still doesn't work, put it on eBay, make a small fortune and invest in a Heljan 66 when they arrive! Can be sure that'll work :o)
Clean the wheels, tyres and track. Check the pick-ups at each end with just sufficient pressure of the pick-up against the axle/wheel.
Check the commutator and armature.....degrease if necessary. Check the carbon brushes and springs for contact and/or contamination.....you can clean all parts with a degreasant. Try to fit springs of equal length and adjust with the spring holders which fold over to retain them....the spring holder/bearing cap is held in place by the two screws, remove carefully.
Whilst I would normally bow to your professional expertise I have to take issue.
I've got a shitty old "Warship" from ebay a month or so ago, £13 or so from Rails and it runs like an absolute dream, unlike my Lima Western it can pull as many coaches as I can fit behind it, wheels don't slip, slow speed running (whilst not to exacting 'club' standards) is easily the equal to most modern Hornby offerings and considering the cost and general 'ruggedness I feel happy to leave it out for son and even daughter to play with.
As I'm still building the track is dirty, the wheels on most of my stock are dirty, the Warship no exception.
Whilst I fully appreciate previous comments on them I think that it's a shame the company's going belly up, some of their stuff obviously worked well and as for detailing, well considering what they could offer to the youropean market there's no reason that the British outline couldn't have been improved.
Have you not fitted the chip yet Dave? Sadly, I remotored with fly wheel and Lenz (now a ZTC) chip, but even after CV adjustments, she still runs poor... Yes, my track is clean, as are the pick ups and wheels..... So, even with my knowledge of repairs, I'm baffled.... Back on topic, same is said for MY 66, also shiny, but leave it a day, and hey ho, polish again or she jutters and splutters (And the lights go out !)
-- Andy Sollis Churnet Valley Model Railway Department (Remove the Standard Tank from E-mail to reply)