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Maintenance info

Postby kaygee46 » Sun Jun 14, 2015 12:56 pm

I've run my T Gauge layout called "Briefleigh" (in a briefcase) at a number of model train shows where it runs almost non-stop for two days. Despite having a purpose built perspex cover over it, the wheels and track pick up a bit of rubbish which is not too difficult to clean but after the last show one of the locos from the HST set is acting as though something is interfering with the gearing mechanism. I can't see anything so I'm probably going to have to remove the body shell and/or the power bogie. I've been reluctant to do this as I believe there are a couple of very small springs inside the shell and I imagine these would not be easy to get back into place.
My question therefor is this - do any maintenance manuals or documents exist for these little locos? I've been unable to find anything so far.
Ken G, Ipswich Qld Australia
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Re: Maintenance info

Postby martink » Sun Jun 14, 2015 6:12 pm

kaygee46 wrote:My question therefor is this - do any maintenance manuals or documents exist for these little locos? I've been unable to find anything so far.

Alas, no, we have to figure this out for ourselves.
The risk is not so much getting the springs back into place, but that the springs often get stretched and ruined during a full dismantle/reassemble cycle, requiring new ones.
As for cleaning, a couple of extra tricks to watch out for - crud can also get caught in the gears, so using fine tweezers here can help. I have also sometimes found dirt accumulating in the hollow wheel faces/bearings which has to be carefully picked out.
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Re: Maintenance info

Postby Billard » Sun Jun 14, 2015 6:49 pm

Hi Kaygee46.
I have not come across any manuals or service documents for 'T' gauge anywhere but I have done an awfull lot of rebuilding and modifying of these units.
When you say 'it appears as if something is interfering with the gears', does your power car run very jerkily? especially at lower speeds, also how have you been cleaning the power chassis 'driven' wheels ? as this could be a key factor.
One of my older chassis developed a very noisy jerky operation, almost as if a gear had a broken tooth or had a piece of debris caught in the teeth somewhere.
On investigation, the gears were found to be clean and undamaged, and when I ran it with the driven bogie off the track, it ran perfectly, put it on the track, jerky performance again !!! I even tried replacing the motor
After a lot of head scratching and playing about with it, having it totally stripped down and finding nothing, I was reassembling the drive bogie and I found the magnetic wheelsets behaved oddly, with a wheelset placed on a non magnetic surface, ie wooden tabletop, it was difficult to roll it along, it would hesitate during each revolution as though being attracted to something metal although nothing metal was present, so I tried the same thing on a piece of track and found the wheelset would not roll at all only skid along, I also found the same thing with the other magnetic wheelset.
I suspected the magnetic field of each wheel on an axle had become aligned in the same way, causing both wheels to grab the rails at the same time and not allow the axle to turn, As the wheels are only a push fit on the axles I tried turning one wheel on an axle a minute amount, then trying to roll it along a piece of track.
After a few attempts I found a point at which the two magnetic fields were almost 180 degrees apart and the wheelset rolled acceptably, I then performed the same operation on the other magnetic whelset and after refitting the axles into the bogie frame, tested the chassis on the track and found it to perform much more smothly and quietly, almost like new again.
I've carried out this operation on a couple more of my old poorly running chassis, successfully restoring good performance.
I concluded that if cleaning driven wheels with the official 'T' gauge wheel cleaner and too much pressure is applied to the vehicle (in an attempt to increase the cleaning efficiency), one or more wheels may slip on an axle and contribute to this problem.
I realise this is a long screed but I hope it will help you and you can check if this is the problem without having to take the chassis out of the train.
Good luck.
Best regards, Noel.
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Re: Maintenance info

Postby Nutter » Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:59 pm

Agree with the comments regarding lack of manuals. It would be worth your while getting spare springs in any case. You may not need them but having lost springs to the carpet monster get at least one pack also worth it in case you accidently stretch them.
A tool kit including a very fine pair of tweezers, a camera lens cleaning brush, magnifying glass and possibly some watch makers screwdrivers will repay itself if you are deciding to dismantle/reassemble rolling stock.
Mike
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Re: Maintenance info

Postby kaygee46 » Mon Jun 15, 2015 3:55 am

Thanks all for your responses. The stuttering performance described by Noel is pretty much what I'm experiencing, although I haven't had a chance yet to try his remedial suggestions. At the last show another T Gauge exhibitor did a wheel clean for me as I didn't have my cleaning jig with me so he could have applied too much pressure as Noel suggested. I do have a reasonable tool kit as Mike mentioned including a jewelers eye glass and screwdrivers, and of course tweezers. I also have a USB microscope bought on Ebay for around A$10 which is sometimes quite useful.
I don't know if anyone else has had this problem but I did once have a wheel that lost a large chip out of it and I have another that has a ragged edge so maybe its getting ready to do the same thing. Below is a picture of the chipped wheel taken with the microscope.

1410291240068436312.jpg
1410291240068436312.jpg (36.2 KiB) Viewed 9884 times
Ken G, Ipswich Qld Australia
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Re: Maintenance info

Postby Nutter » Mon Jun 15, 2015 10:55 am

Ken,having just seen your photo, have decided to buy one of those microscopes as well.
Have other uses for it as well so look forward to its arrival.
Mike
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Re: Maintenance info

Postby kaygee46 » Mon Jun 15, 2015 12:15 pm

Nutter wrote:Ken,having just seen your photo, have decided to buy one of those microscopes as well.
Have other uses for it as well so look forward to its arrival.

For the money they are quite impressive. For example did you know that bees have 5 eyes? I didn't until I took a few photos of the 6,000 segment main eyes and noticed what looked three more smaller eyes above them. A quick search on Google confirmed it. I'm sure you'll enjoy using it.
Ken G, Ipswich Qld Australia
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Re: Maintenance info

Postby Ozrail » Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:53 pm

Sadly I don't really have anything useful to add in terms of advice as others have suggested all the good tips.
That said, if we ever meet up again, I'd be more than happy to take a look at the HST in question.
Check out my Shapeways store for T-gauge stuff.
Image
http://www.shapeways.com/shops/everythingtgauge?s=0
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Re: Maintenance info

Postby kaygee46 » Wed Jun 17, 2015 12:06 pm

Ozrail - is that you Matthew?
Ken G, Ipswich Qld Australia
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