View Full Version : Help my diagnose tram problem.

13th Jan 2014, 02:58 PM
During Christmas I set up a loop of my tram track around the tree, classic! It ran super smooth, could really crawl. I didn't run it that much but when I did, I noticed it got progressively worse. I'd have to run it at higher and higher speed to maintain movement or it would stall out. Before I packed it up I had to have it at nearly full power for it to go at all. It would move very jerkily but it would slow down in a perfect rhythm which made me think maybe it's a problem with the motor/gears rather than the track.

I gave the track a quick wipe down but the tram still seems to be running like this. I don't know where to start to figure it out.

13th Jan 2014, 03:55 PM
Debris in the gears or motor is where I would start to look. The same as I would do if this happened on any engine I had.

Other then that, maybe the power pack is going out if it is DC.

13th Jan 2014, 04:03 PM
My thoughts went straight to carpet lint or other such gunk in the gears as well.

13th Jan 2014, 04:32 PM
Luckily it's a tomix tram so if something is ruined I can just order a new drop-in motor for the shell.

13th Jan 2014, 04:56 PM
If stuff from the tree got on your tracks, it might also have gummed up you wheels. I'd start there by cleaning them.

14th Jan 2014, 03:06 PM
I don't know if this will help or not but it worked for me on some of 20+ year old stuff that is starting me off. I took a product called "fader lube" and sprayed down all mechanical and electrical components in my locomotives. I believe it's basically a contact cleaner combined with a lubricant. It's purpose is to service a mixing console as dust inevitably gets into the faders (basically a super high quality linear potentiometer) which leads to both bad connectivity (scratchy sounds) and makes the fader harder to move. I figure since it works really well on that, I can try it on just about anything as the consoles are not cheap (well some are). Works wonders on my DJ equipment as well, just saying I use it on really expensive and fairly fragile things. You can buy it at Guitar Center or other music equipment retailers in the Pro Audio section. It should not stain plastic or other materials but you may want to take caution here. Unlike many other lubricants or cleaners, you actually want to use way more than you need to flush everything out.

14th Jan 2014, 03:43 PM
Well after looking at the wheels alone I see they are absolutely filthy, I imagine inside isn't so great either. I'll give the wheels a good clean and if that doesn't help I'll open it up and see what I can do. I'm just a bit scared messing with the guts of these tiny trams, it's all a very different design compared to a typical locomotive.

22nd Mar 2014, 07:46 PM
It's pretty basic...An Armature 2 magnets (or field windings if its an A/C some brushes) clean it lube it and run it. don't sweat it go for it. take pictures as you go if you are afraid of forgetting how to put it together.