jaesroe

Question for 12v train motor lubrication tips!

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Hi,
I  have a question for maintaining 12v tracks and motors,
 
The motor speed at the first run was so fast that passenger coaches were derailed at the corner but after 10~12 mins running, it has become slower and stops in the middle of the track.
 
So I though I may need some lubrication work and cleaning rails properly.
Is spraying grease like Super lube works for lubricating 12v motors? or would affect solder part or plastic?
or is there any tips for lubricating 12v motors?
 
Also, cleaning the conductor rail, would whiskey or alcohol spirit with cloth work? as black spot does not go away.
 
Thank you.

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Hi @jaesroe: this old topic might help: 

Indeed be careful with your ABS and lubricants. WD40 should work and be safe but first test it on a normal brick that is not as valuable I would say.

 

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I did some googling and someone explained that WD-40 could potentially be dangerous for ABS:

There are two main types of plastics according to that person:
Crystalline: Polypropylene, Polyethylene, Polyester (all types), Nylon
- Amorphous: Polycarbonate, Styrenics (including ABS), PVC

"The main ingredient in WD-40 is a light kerosene-like mineral oil, which is hydrocarbon based. Amorphous plastics and hydrocarbons don’t play well together: hydrocarbons will attack the chemical structure of amorphous plastics, breaking them down - essentially trying to “melt” them. In particular, Polycarbonate (PC) and Polystrene (PS). they are two named plastics on the WD-40 “do not use on these” list.

Crystalline materials are unaffected by the hydrocarbons in WD-40, you can spray them as much as you wish."

Source: https://www.quora.com/What-effect-does-WD-40-have-on-plastic-materials

So maybe silicone spray or something would be less risky for our precious ABS.

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Posted (edited)
On 3/17/2022 at 6:28 AM, jaesroe said:

but after 10~12 mins running, it has become slower and stops in the middle of the track.

Hmm. That does not sound like "needing lubrication". Also, there is a rather big difference between "lubrication" and "cleaning" (electrical tracks/connections). WD40 is for sure good for let's say (old) car related issues or real steam engines - but certainly not for delicate LEGO parts. It says on the can it can do it all - sure - but you don't want all. First, you need to carefully figure out the cause and then decide on the cure. 

Stopping in the middle of the track would mean that "friction" has become insane - easy to tell: Do the non-motor wheels still spin? If so easily? If so, friction is not the main cause.

So let's first check on that, and then we move on. Just leave any WD40 where it belongs ;) You know, over time it creeps to every LEGO piece attached, and clutch power goes far south. "Everywhere".

Best,
Thorsten

 

 

On 3/17/2022 at 6:28 AM, jaesroe said:

Also, cleaning the conductor rail, would whiskey or alcohol spirit with cloth work?

Ooops, just saw that. Man, drink the whiskey, but don't waste it on LEGO track - even when dead cheap.

I believe there were numerous posts here on EB about cleaning electrical track parts (4.5/12/9V). It goes from mechanical to chemical. When oxidation has occurred (black/grey/whatever color "on" the metal rails), alcohol, regardless of type, hardly works. WD40 would partially, but see above. Don't use it. I'd rather use some very fine abrasive material - VERY fine. Steel wool of the finest grade or something like that, as you don't want to deeply scratch the metallic surface, but rather remove the "oxide" layer(s) only. 

However: This is NOT the cause of your problem: It worked in the beginning.

Did you check the 12V pickups? Do they look good? Did you mechanically clean them?

 

Edited by Toastie
Some random word was replaced with megablocks

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On 3/17/2022 at 1:28 AM, jaesroe said:
Hi,
I  have a question for maintaining 12v tracks and motors,
 
The motor speed at the first run was so fast that passenger coaches were derailed at the corner but after 10~12 mins running, it has become slower and stops in the middle of the track.
 
So I though I may need some lubrication work and cleaning rails properly.
Is spraying grease like Super lube works for lubricating 12v motors? or would affect solder part or plastic?
or is there any tips for lubricating 12v motors?
 
Also, cleaning the conductor rail, would whiskey or alcohol spirit with cloth work? as black spot does not go away.
 
Thank you.

You can look up compatibility charts on the product manufacturer's website like for Super Lube:.   https://www.super-lube.com/compatibility-charts

Some are safe for ABS plastic, some are not.  Refer to the charts before using or buying.

 

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WD40 was my first choice many many years ago...and I can say it's good for cleaning motors, but aggressive on plastic.So if you have dirty gears (also because maybe some previous owners tried some lubrication too), WD40 will help to clean them.

On old 4,5v motors, once they are clean, I use a drop of sewing machine oil or lately, a grease like Tamiya's one, which is the best in my opinion (after all, also Miini 4WDs have plastic gears). Same on 12v, but I had to open them...and It's not an easy task. Oce opened, 12v motors will reveal also very dirty wheel bearings, which are full of dust, hair...and so on).

The sewing machine oil tends to be a bit messy, so I limited its use on windup motors only, using the key hole (I never opened one, but it seems there's no need).😀

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