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Thread: Question re: removing factory lubricant

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    Default Question re: removing factory lubricant

    What's your best technique for removing factory lubricant from a new locomotive's gears and chassis? Dunk things in plain ol' Simple Green? Use an ultrasonic cleaner? Or . . .?

    I'm thinking of my new Atlas SD-7. Now Atlas locomotives typically don't come from the factory with gear boxes packed full of crappy lubricant. But I might just want a clean slate prior to adding some Labelle 106.

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    Not that ive done this . But I've read here and elsewhere that Contact cleaner works . Like in a spray can . Now dont hold me to this , as I've never tried it

    Steve
    Last edited by aflica; 20th Apr 2019 at 09:28 PM.

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    Hmmm, maybe @Mac could give you some advice?
    ~ Moose (Co-founder of the Mt. Tahoma & Pacific Railroad, located some where in the Pacific Northwest)

    "Beware the Train of Thought that Carries no Freight..."

    Click Here to See Moose's Layout Thread

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    Mac

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    @Paul Schmidt,
    Depending how far you take it, what I normally do is to strip the unit down completely.
    I use a cotton swab/Q tip with 70%-90% ISP and just soak the areas in the drive train where the grease is, then just do a little scrubbing until it's gone.
    Be sure to pick out any left over fibers and re-assemble it.
    I use just a few SMALL drops of your favorite light oil on the bearings, drive shafts and universals and lower axle gears. For the worm gears, I'll place a SMALL drop of LaBelle grease and let it work into the upper gear on the gear tower.

    JUST A DAB WILL DO! It's easier to add a few drops than to take things apart again. If it starts to squeal, add a few drops again, this can be done without complete disassembly of the drive train, just pop the trucks out.

    For the trucks, I do like aflica says, I use contact cleaner in a spray can and douse the trucks, then roll them back and fourth on a paper towel a few times until nothing stains the towel.
    I do this to the trucks cause I hate trying to fit the axles back into those dimpled contact strips on each side of the truck frames.... I hate those things!
    The only time I take them apart if they get so bad that they won't run.
    The Little Rock Line blog


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    IMO Best way is a complete dis-assembly and de-grease.
    If you canít do that then;
    Take it outside and use a disposable bowl (miracle whip) etc.Tupperware type but disposable.

    Then hose it heavily with CRC QD Contact cleaner 2130.
    Use the straw to blast away any stubborn places.
    Rotate mechanism.
    Holding vertically so excess drips into said bowl.
    Spray till clean, then invert and do it again.
    Check contacts
    Iíve never had use the whole can, half seems to be more than enough for any loco acquisitions.
    Then lube as required.

    Good luck

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    Thanks for all the insight, guys! I'm liking the sound of contact cleaner. Goodness I can get that easily enough.

    I rarely ever bother removing the factory lube from Atlas locomotives; they typically aren't over-lubed. I do add a tiny drop of 10 weight Nano Oil to each worm and one tiny drop to the drive gears of each truck. (Labelle 106 works well too.)

    But I'm thinking of cleaning a mech or two just to start fresh, with Conductalube now in my arsenal as well (for the axle pickups and motor), and I appreciate the feedback on how you guys approach the task

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    I've used contact cleaner before and it melted my wheels on my 0-8-0 to where the loco was junk , so test a little part before you do the whole thing, and it may have been the type of plastic as the chemical makeup has changed over the years, but I use 99% isopropyl alcohol and an airbrush and that works great for me.

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