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Thread: KATO EMD SD-40 question

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    Question KATO EMD SD-40 question

    I have a Kato EMD SD-40 I bought used a while back. It runs very smooth & strong in both forward and reverse. However, when I throttle down to less than 50% power I notice a squealing noise in both forward and reverse. I'm using a Kato 22-018 SX transformer. When it starts squealing at the lower speeds - its performance doesn't seem to be affected - it just squeals some. It's not horrible, but I'm wondering why it only does it below half throttle. Any pointers would be appreciated. Thanks, Smitty

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    The gears probably need a little lubrication on them is my thought. Not sure why it's not squealing at higher speeds, possibly rotating faster so it's squealing at a higher pitch at above what a human can hear.
    Kevin M.

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    Use a plastic safe oil, check out Labelle's line; there are others. If you Google "model train oil" there are a lot of options that pop up. Again, the stress is on plastic safe. A tiny dab on the bearing blocks and motor bearings, NOT inside the motor, and that squeak will almost certainly go away. Check YouTube for how/where to place the oil. Come back and let us know what you tried and whether it worked or not.
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    I went to YouTube & watched Mike Fifer's lubricating video. I have some Labelle 108 so I lightly lubed the areas he indicated. That helped the squeal a lot. It still does it at the low throttle settings but nowhere near as bad as it was. Should I run it around the track at low throttle for 10 or 15 minutes to see if it works itself out? Thanks again, Smitty

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    Quote Originally Posted by smittykid View Post
    I went to YouTube & watched Mike Fifer's lubricating video. I have some Labelle 108 so I lightly lubed the areas he indicated. That helped the squeal a lot. It still does it at the low throttle settings but nowhere near as bad as it was. Should I run it around the track at low throttle for 10 or 15 minutes to see if it works itself out? Thanks again, Smitty

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    my bachmann dc loco started doing that turned out the motor was grinding on the magnets a lil bit . ive scaped that motor and guts. had a busted gear too.

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    I am thinking that the only components that are even spinning fast enough to produce a squeal would be the worms, their shafts, and the motor.
    I am betting the motor bearings are dry.
    You must lube them carefully - put some light oil in a spoon. Dip a single wire stand until you have a tiny drop, then paint some on each of the motor bearings. Have a small corner of a paper towel ready to instantly soak up excess oil. IOW, apply oil, then poke the paper towel in there right away.
    I do not use grease on any part - way to thick for n scale.
    "Plastic safe" oil is a myth. I have used sae 10w and atf for 49 years - not one problem.
    TIP: Scared to trust me on plastic safe? Spray some silicone in a bowl and let dry for a day.
    You will have a low viscosity silicone grease, great for rolling stock trucks.
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    I have no idea. I bought it used.

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    Sometimes it helps to divide and conquer.
    Try removing the gear that each worm touches.
    You can then test just the motor's spinning assembly realtime while you observe.
    Put your finger on a worm to simulate loading, change speeds, ect...

    If the motor is iron core type:
    Smell the motor, is it burnt?
    Is it getting warm? Good motors run cold under no load.
    Look at the winding, the wire color should be bright, and uniformly so.

    Motors are the weak spot in most n scale locos, in my opinion.
    Mean Old Man

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    It's probably had a hard life up till now. Scan_20200520 (2).jpg check out (927010) brush set and see if there worn out. the other spot is the worm gear bushings. They might not be round any more, exp specshaly if someone at full throttle slammed it from forward to reverse a bunch of times. When you get the motor out rock the flywheel up and down holding the motor magnets still. If you get the smallest movement you will need a new motor (926030) from KATO is $29.00 when it's in stock. I save the old motor oil out of my Harley to use on this stuff.

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    Try what Bronman said..A LITTLE oil on the outside of the motor bearings...might have to let it set to soak into the bearing..most of the time that will take care of it.....If you need a brush set, I have one...Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by MeanOldMan View Post
    I do not use grease on any part - way to thick for n scale.
    "Plastic safe" oil is a myth. I have used sae 10w and atf for 49 years - not one problem.
    Labelle plastic-compatible grease is quite suitable for N scale locomotive gears if applied properly, i.e. not globbed on. https://labelle-lubricants.com/shop/...ase-with-ptfe/

    I would cast a very skeptical eye toward using 10 SAE or any other lubricant meant for automobiles that does not have a proven track record of more than 50 years in the model railroading hobby. There is a reason that recognized experts such as Robert Higgins used and recommended Labelle for locomotives, and it is not because they were paid endorsers.

    And in the past several years, Nano-oil has become popular and accepted as well. https://nano-oil.com//Model%20RailRoad.html

    I've confidently used both Nano-oil and Labelle for decades. YMMV, but I'll need to see some independent science before lubricating an N scale mechanism with 10 SAE or ATF.

    And there's no need to grease N scale trucks made from Delrin, unless you intentionally want to create a gunk trap in the needle bearing cups.

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