Loco Wheel Cleaning

What are the best (easiest) ways to clean loco wheels?
With my Lima locos, I simply turn the loco over and rub
a track rubber over the wheels as I turn the axle with my other hand.
But with the Bachmann and newer Hornby locos, it's impossible
to turn the axles by hand, so how does one do it?
Regards, Dave.
Reply to
Dave Potter
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"Dave Potter" wrote
Put power from your controller to the wheels of the model which will ovbiously make them turn - apply a fibre glass burnishing tool to the rotating wheels (much better & less messy than a track rubber) and away you go.
John.
Reply to
John Turner
John,
Depends on the type of glass fibre brush. The fine fibre sticks wrapped in tape or string and about 10+mm in diameter are usually OK since they don't seem to leave a lot of glass residue around. But the glass fibre refills for the propelling pencil type of holder can be a lot coarser, and can leave a lot of sizeable glass fibre bits around which can cause problems. I once ruined a set of Gibson plunger pickups which had completely gummed up with a paste of oil and glass fibre particles.
Jim.
Reply to
Jim Guthrie
The peco brass (?) wire brush wheel cleaning set also does a good job in a simular fashion.
Reply to
Piemanlarger
That seems like a good idea. I guess I can take a couple of leads from the back of the DCC unit. Would mini crocodile clips be OK for holding said wires to the wheels?
Reply to
Dave Potter
The easiest way I've found (which also avoids using anything abrasive on the wheels, which itself can cause future problems) is as follows:
Take a double or treble thickness of paper towel perhaps three inches by one inch, and soak it in track or wheel cleaner. Then with one hand hold it across the rails, apply power to the track, and with the other hand gently hold the locomotive so that one wheelset is rotating over the paper while the other(s) are picking up power. Repeat to taste, moving the paper around so that the crud gets evenly distributed on it rather than just passed from wheel to wheel. Works every time, and costs almost nothing!
John M Hughes West and Wales Web at
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Reply to
caronprom
"Jim Guthrie" wrote
So can using a track rubber, but the residue from these has been seen to wreck a mechanism.
John.
Reply to
John Turner
I made a cradle lined with foam which holds the vehicle upside down.
Attached are 2 cables one is inserted in a piece of dowel drilled at wheel spacing with ends bared and fitted with brass strip to press onto pickup wheels, another cable with a croc clip and a pointed end.
I use a power plug unit rated at 12v and 1.5A to power the loco connected to the cradle via a plug and socket.
I then use cotton buds dipped in metho to clean the wheels.
Peter
Reply to
Peter Prewett
I have used this method with methylated spirits or 70% isopropyl alcohol [the 90% solution is a good paint stripper] for many years as outlined above. For non powered bogies and rolling stock it's a hand held push and pull movement and takes a little longer.
I should add that all my stock has Steel or Nickel Silver wheel rims ... I would not try mixing meths and plastic wheels as I believe some plastics are damaged by meths ... and also don't smoke while you are doing it!
HTH
Mark F
Reply to
mark
Both Slaters and Carrs make decent cleaners, but I suppose that almost any cleaning fluid which doesn't leave a residue would do the job.
That said, I hardly ever clean either wheels or track at all, as I fit my locos with phosphor bronze sliders / skates which bear directly on the track. I noticed at Warley that the locos on the shunting module from Copenhagen Fields do the same, with consequent benefits in reliable running. At last year's Machynlleth / Corris show I ran a shunting layout for all three days of the show without ever cleaning anything at all and without ever having to nudge anything to get it going.
John M Hughes West and Wales Web at
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Reply to
caronprom

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