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Cleaning

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Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoNW View Post
There isnít a lot of information because the locos are soooooo different. What works for a Kato doesnít apply to all Katos. Ever since they were a manufacturer for ConCor to the latest MPX loco, they have really changed. Nothing is at all like a Pocket chassis. Donít get me started about the Lima flat motor. Mehano locos are so chock full of obsolete and Soviet era motors you can drive yourself insane documenting them all. And that is just the top snowflake on the iceberg.

But what it comes down to is remove the body. Too many ways from hidden tabs to disguised screws, to list them all. Wood toothpicks both round and flat are helpful, when used as wedges.

Then I place the complete chassis on a folded paper then drown the chassis with Radio Control Electric Motor Cleaner. The stuff is safe for plastic and paint. The spray is designed for cleaning ALLLL the junk that can get into a R/C car. Dirt, oil, corrosion, arc carbon and gunk. It is nasty stuff. Extreme ventilation is required. I even run an electric heater to act as a kinda catalytic converter, in the room but not close to the spray. Thoroughly soak the chassis. Lots of dirt will wash onto the towel. Move the chassis to a clean spot and soak again. Repeat until towel under the loco is clean.

Examine the degreased chassis. Look for fluff, fuzz and fur. Using forceps to pull out what you can. An Xacto with a fresh #11 can cut the junk if wrapped around the axles. Give the loco another flush or more to clean the stragglers. All this and the chassis has not been disassembled. Look for any debris. Repeat as needed.

If none, try a test run. If successful a little gear lube in the trucks will work through the gear train. Grease the U joints if equipped. Using a hobby shop syringe equipped with a needle-like K&S tube, place a drop of oil on the brass bearings of the motor.

If there is still gunk and fuzz in the works, you have to go in. But first start taking pictures. Keep a diary of how the parts came off. Taking a picture of each piece as to comes off and where it was. Mark the top of the motor, it can save you a lot of problems. Do the disassembly inside a large clear ziplock bag, so any escapees, donít go far. Some of those parts havenít been available for twenty years. Donít tug on any wires. Insulation becomes brittle and overflexed wires break just past the solder. Donít bend the brass strips! You may never get them back into the right place again. Take pictures! Lots of pictures! Digital film is cheap and developing costs are minuscule.

I know this isnít enough information, but most locos are different from each other. Kato did finally get rid of that three piece frame

I have revived Arnold locos that sat a score of years, left for dead. I have memorized the original Bachmann streetcar chassis.
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