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Thread: Need help with a Kato SD40-2 truck not working when going forward

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    Default Need help with a Kato SD40-2 truck not working when going forward

    Bought this Kato used (first and last time to ever buy a loco that way for me).

    The front truck engages in reverse, but not when set to going forward.

    Because of the lack of local repair facilities and my newbie status, I ended up talking to and sending it to Mike Fifer for repair.

    When I got it back, it sounded much better (no grinding). But I think that tripped up Mike. He had taken it apart, reset the truck and cleaned it up.

    However, the truck still does not engage going forward. I will attach a (horrible) video showing how it engages and does not when reversing direction. I know it sounds like it is grinding going forward, but that is not the front truck. It is the rear truck on the track making that noise.



    I talked to Mike again and he seemed annoyed and flummoxed by what could be the problem.

    I thought I might ask on here, if anyone else had this problem and could provide any insight, before I send it back.

    Thanks!

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    Please keep us updated on this issue and if you get the problem corrected. May help others in the future. Have you contacted Kato. Mike F is very good with this stuff.
    "It's not whats best......It's whats best for you"

    Gary

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    I guess I would disassemble the system so that you can isolate the cause -- slowly add complexity back in until the issue appears, then inspect the last component and its interface with other components to identify the cause of the issue.

    http://www.spookshow.net/loco/katosd4x.html

    Does the truck roll smoothly in both directions when out of the loco (will need remove or pop worm gear up enough that it does not mesh with main vertical truck gear)?

    If the truck does not move smoothly w/ worm gear disengaged I would take the truck apart and remove the outer truck frame and low friction contacts to see if they are the issue (maybe they are bent). If the truck still does not move smoothly then need to look really carefully at the gears so look for any junk, burs, chewed up teeth, etc...

    If the truck moves smoothly without the worm gear then it is the worm gear interface with main truck gear. Is is possible the truck is reversed or that the front and back trucks are swapped? Sometimes the teeth on the main gear are angled and will only interface correctly with worm gear in one direction. Again inspect the worm gear and compare the one that seems to work to the other one. Is anything broken or out of place?

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    Are the little clips that hold the truck inside the chassis both intact? I've broken those off before (tried pulling a truck out of the chassis without first loosening up the chassis screws) and had problems such as you describe until I finally just replaced the truck.



    -Mark

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    Here's a question. Is this the original style with trucks as shown in the photo above or is it a mid production with the pinion gear mounted on top of the truck?

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    Bet this is a mid production loco. If so the trucks have very fine toothed gears! I have seen lint get caught up between the teeth and lock up the gear train. Even a small grain of ballast will stop the works. These are VERY SMALL and you will be hard pressed to find which gear or gears might have some thing stuck between the teeth. I have seen this happen more than once. The lint is very hard to see because it is a gray color just like the gears. This stuff is hard to get out too-must use a very small tipped screw driver or even better a sharp #11 blade to un-lodge the lint or grain of sand.

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    I have taken the truck out of the loco and used a brush to brush the gears. That usually dislodges stuff pretty quickly.

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    Mac

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    if it is a mid production truck. it could be missing the front washer on the worm gear. the truck will run in reverse and lock up in forward. those washers are easily lost if the truck tower came apart.

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    I have sent the loco back to Mike. I will post what he finds out.

    Again, I have no clue.

    I will forward this thread to him, if he needs it.

    Thank you for your input.

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    Tooth brush will not touch this stuff. It gets has hard has a rock.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodone View Post
    Tooth brush will not touch this stuff. It gets has hard has a rock.
    I use QD Contact Cleaner to break down old grease and dirt -- but often need to disassemble truck so that you can clean each gear individually. Also can soak in hot water or degreaser...

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    Ultrasonic cleaner?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingmeow View Post
    Ultrasonic cleaner?
    The only thing that I have found to work was brute force! A sharp small screw driver or a #11 knife blade. You have to pick it out of between the teeth. A grain of ballest or the lint that has packed down into the teeth will not desolve.
    I have found this more than once!

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodone View Post
    The only thing that I have found to work was brute force! A sharp small screw driver or a #11 knife blade. You have to pick it out of between the teeth. A grain of ballest or the lint that has packed down into the teeth will not desolve. I have found this more than once!
    I have a set of dentist picks (one of which I have sharpened down to a thin little knife edge -- also what I use for cleaning out commutator gaps)...

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    I had 2 thoughts after reading the above posts:

    1 - I am so glad that this sort of problem does not always have this extreme result. Usually for me it means the loco has a clickety clack sound. Prompt use of the strategies listed above will solve it.

    2 - After making sure all my ground cover and ballast were glued down, this problem was reduced significantly.

    As a retired service tech, I like this approach to a repair problem that was not sucessfully solved on the first attempt. I am confident that a resolution will be found.
    n scale or real size, trains are fascinating.

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    One preventative measure that I've used a few times is to put a pieces of scotch tape on the bottom of each truck to cover the holes. That way, it's less likely for junk to get into the gears.
    Just something to think about after you've solved your current problem.

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    Default Follow up resolution on the Kato.

    The most notable thing about the resolution of my Kato problem is that it will not apply to 99.9% of people on here.

    But, I will provide the resolution.

    When I bought the Kato, I noticed that a plastic piece on the front truck had a portion broken off. Didn't seem to be significant. Nothing was coming apart or falling out, plus it appeared to run ok (didn't realize the front truck issue at the time). Click on the photo to see it larger.

    IMG_5287.jpg

    However, that broken piece was the culprit. Mike replaced it with a piece he had on hand (gray - see pic). Apparently that little portion that had broken off was important to keep the rear axle from shifting while the loco was running forward. The little shift caused the entire truck to disengage, again while running forward.

    As I said at the top, this will probably never affect another Kato owner on here as they probably take better care of their loco's than the person I bought from.

    However, if you were to look at a used for sale, ensure the piece is whole, or have another available to replace it.

    Thank you all for your input. Lots of good stuff there on preventative tasks and how to resolve other truck issues.

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    Was that the tab that held that plate into the truck? It looks like a couple of the middle gears on that truck are actually attached to that plate -- is that correct?

    I guess I can imagine if the plate was not secure and it had gears attached to it this would definitely be a problem. Anyway, thanks for posting resolution (never know if someone else will encounter something similar but at the very least it gives folks closure that were trying to help).

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    I have not had it apart.

    It looks like the side pins hold the plate to the truck. The plate in turn holds the axles in place. As you can see, it was broken from about half way through the rear opening that holds the rear axle. There was enough of it left to hold the axle in the truck. But not enough to keep it from shifting when put into forward motion.

    That is all I know.

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