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Old 12-20-2013, 06:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 2020 lubrication

Hi again guys!

Got my trains running pretty well now. I did notice today that my little 2020 Stainz loco would all of a sudden slow way down while running at a constant voltage on the transformer dial, ie I'm not turning the knob to a lower setting.

With 'normal' 'round the Christmas tree use is there any place(s) I should be lubricating the engine? I've checked it when it slows and it isn't running hot anywhere that I can feel. Transformer (LGB 5003/110) isn't running any hotter than in the past either. I've checked the skates and they're looking normal based on a picture I saw here recently in another thread that was asking about the deposits on them. I do notice that one wheel has darkened (the one opposite the one with the traction wheel on it) such that it looks like it has a traction wheel on it too.

Any help would be appreciated, especially if I'm missing some lubrication points I'm not aware of.
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Old 12-20-2013, 06:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default RE: 2020 lubrication

First, clean the wheels. For best operation they should be clean without any black. Second. Does it slow down in the same place, or random places? If it slows down in the same places, is it on a curve or section of straight track? What is the diameter of your curves? Chuck



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Old 12-20-2013, 06:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default RE: 2020 lubrication

Clean the crud off the loco wheel, that may be lifting the skate causing poor contact.
The crud can come from a couple of places, some from arcing between skates or wheels and the track and some from plastic wheels. Over oiling journals can cause dirty track too.

Hope this helps,

John
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Old 12-20-2013, 06:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default RE: 2020 lubrication

Hi Chuck!
OK, I cleaned the wheels and the same one is dirty again after very little running. I might add that I haven't cleaned the tracks, just took 'em out of the closet and set 'em up. Could probably use a wipe down just for drill, right?
It slows in two places, both coming off turns and going into my 'mountain'. I've got a big cardboard box I cut some holes in to pass the train thru. I'm thinking that maybe the track is flexing going up the 'ramp' created by the 'flap' of the openings. The curves are just the starter set 1100 pieces, nothing out of the ordinary. The loco has run fine on them before, that's why I'm thinking my 'mountain' and the ramp into it may be the cause. Think I might have to tighten up some of the connectors in a few places.
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Old 12-20-2013, 06:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default RE: 2020 lubrication

Hey John!
Most of my cars have plastic wheels. A few have steel for light power pickup. I haven't lubed these trains at all as I didn't think they required any so the track is in pretty good shape, but probably could use a wipe down.
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Old 12-20-2013, 06:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default RE: 2020 lubrication

I turned the train on just as I was typing that reply and it just now slowed down again. I went around the track and pushed it down to see if any movement would make a difference. It didn't. I don't think loose track connections are my problem.

Gotta break off for dinner, be back in a while.
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Old 12-20-2013, 06:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default RE: 2020 lubrication

Clean the track. I use a green scotchbright pad. It does a good job cleaning the track without scratching it. Check to see if the plungers that make contact with the back of the wheels are in contact with the wheels and move in and out freely. Do you have a multimeter? If you so check the resistance across all wheels both sides. There should be very low resistance between the wheels and slider on the same side. If there is high resistance there is a bad contact. If you don't have one it is a a good tool to have. You can get a good one for less than $30 at Radio Shack and some hardware stores. Chuck

PS, while you are checking the resistance, slide the wheels back and forth to see if the conductivity changes. If it does you will need to clean the plungers and/or replace the springs.



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Old 12-20-2013, 07:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default RE: 2020 lubrication

Yup, got a good multimeter. I'll check the resistance and see what I can come up with.
Thanks for the tips.
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Old 12-20-2013, 07:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default RE: 2020 lubrication

One wheel shouldn't blacken that quickly. My guess is that wheel is the only point of contact providing electrons on that side. We use those engines at our Christmas shows and the wheels rarely need cleaning. Chuck



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Old 12-20-2013, 08:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default RE: 2020 lubrication

OK, I cleaned the track and checked the resistance. Got good readings on both sets of wheels and the skates.
Track really brightened up with a scotchbrite pad, used it on the one dark wheel too.
Happy to report the train is flying around the track now.
I also changed up the rolling stock so the little 2020 engine isn't pulling quite as much as before. Put the car hauler behind my 2017D which has been running fine on the outside circle of track and moved the big gondola to the little 2020 on the inside track. Those Mercedes Benz's weigh a lot!
Thanks for the help guys. I'll keep an eye on that one wheel but I think things are a-ok now.
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