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should lego trains be lubricated?


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#1 Goldenmasamune

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 04:11 PM

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I partially took apart my emerald night yesterday, and saw that the moving parts had dust around them which i assume is from the technic parts turning. Eventually, would this cause serious damage to the parts? Would lubricating them make it all run better?

#2 fred67

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 04:21 PM

View PostGoldenmasamune, on 20 September 2010 - 04:11 PM, said:

I partially took apart my emerald night yesterday, and saw that the moving parts had dust around them which i assume is from the technic parts turning. Eventually, would this cause serious damage to the parts? Would lubricating them make it all run better?
Interesting question, but really... I would consider those $0.50 in parts replaceable before making a mess with lubricant.

#3 hoeij

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 04:53 PM

View PostGoldenmasamune, on 20 September 2010 - 04:11 PM, said:

I partially took apart my emerald night yesterday, and saw that the moving parts had dust around them which i assume is from the technic parts turning. Eventually, would this cause serious damage to the parts? Would lubricating them make it all run better?

I applied a little bit of WD-40 to mine, but then I read somewhere else on Eurobricks that WD-40 is bad for the lego's plastic and that I should have used something else instead (search for lubrication on Eurobricks and you'll find some hits).

I have spare gears, so I don't worry about them.

The only thing I don't have spares for are the Emerald Night train wheels. To reduce the wear on them, I decided to remove the rubber traction bands on the front driving wheels.  The reasoning is this:  If the front driving wheels don't have to contribute to pulling a long train, then there will be less force (and hence less wear) on the pins in the driving wheels because a force on the front wheels translates into a force on those pins.

#4 andythenorth

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 08:22 PM

I've seen the dust too on RC and PF trains which use technic axles for the unpowered wheels.  Cleaning out the dust does reduce rolling friction a bit.  Also the axles are wearing smaller due which is the source of the dust  :devil:  Technic axles are cheap though  :cry_happy:

View Posthoeij, on 20 September 2010 - 04:53 PM, said:

I applied a little bit of WD-40 to mine.
When I was a kid I melted plastic parts using the wrong oil.  ABS is relatively tough, styrene is much easier to damage.   A silicon or teflon based lubricant should be ok (but I'm no chemist).  You can get them for radio-control cars which use plastic parts, try online or a hobby shop.

Oil can also have unintended effects - the oil can trap dust or fibre, increasing wear.  So on carpet etc it might hinder not help.

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The reasoning is this:  If the front driving wheels don't have to contribute to pulling a long train, then there will be less force (and hence less wear) on the pins in the driving wheels because a force on the front wheels translates into a force on those pins.
Plausible, but if the wheels slip it equally could cause wear due to the high rotational speed  :wink:

Edited by andythenorth, 21 September 2010 - 07:12 AM.

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#5 CarrollFilms

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 08:46 PM

Well what I do for really long shows, 9AM - 4PM I spray a little bit of WD-40 on my chassis so the wheels don't squeal and run smoother with that beautiful sound of train wheels running on the track....ahhh I love that sound   :wub:

#6 Gioppa

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 09:25 PM

Yesterday I put the motor on my EN,(but i've made a modification on it,now is a 2-4-2)I follow the instruction,and after fixing some small problem(Ex:short cable battery box-ir reicever)it run faster then a bullet...or less,but with a lot of noise.
No problem,i put on the axe and in the tooth-wheels a sylicon spray(ouch!! very expensive)but now the EN work very fine.
Last thing,I have made a lot of modification on the arm in the motorized wheels,because the original build up from Lego,as you know,made a lot of problem.
DRESSIN BLACK MADE ME THIN,BUT NOT MADE MIRACLE!!

#7 Toastie

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 10:32 PM

View PostGoldenmasamune, on 20 September 2010 - 04:11 PM, said:

I partially took apart my emerald night yesterday, and saw that the moving parts had dust around them which i assume is from the technic parts turning. Eventually, would this cause serious damage to the parts? Would lubricating them make it all run better?

Dear All,

basically all has been said, maybe one thing to add: Even if you'd use a lubricant that does not do chemistry with ABS, you might end up with some of the lubricant on the tracks. If you are using 9 V tracks that might eventually lead to poor electrical connections between motor and rails. On both, 9 V and RC track you may further suffer from loosing grip - I simply would not do it. Just replace the pieces that are worn down.

Regards,
Thorsten

#8 Pet-Lego

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 08:30 AM

I've been using universal silicon oil from a spray can with straw nozzle
for all my old toys with moving parts to get them back to as new performance.

Never had any plastic degrading and the straw nozzle helps greatly in getting
just a tiny amount on the right spots.

Using it on lego gears I'd take the gears out lay them on a piece of cloth and
then spray and rub a little silicon oil on them and replacing them.

There's also something like silicon grease, this is much thicker like butter
and will stay on the gears better as well if you are worried about leaking.

Hope this helps.
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#9 Sinner

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 08:46 AM

View PostToastie, on 20 September 2010 - 10:32 PM, said:

Even if you'd use a lubricant that does not do chemistry with ABS, you might end up with some of the lubricant on the tracks. If you are using 9 V tracks that might eventually lead to poor electrical connections between motor and rails. On both, 9 V and RC track you may further suffer from loosing grip - I simply would not do it. Just replace the pieces that are worn down.
I second this; I was unhappy with the cornering speed of my RC trains (yeah, I know) so I lubricated the wheel sets. At first it worked well... but then overnight the oil dripped just a bit, and soon I had a thin layer of oil over all my tracks.

Never again... :sing:





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