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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Late in 2007 I bought a Hornby Black 5 from my local shop, Waltons of Altrincham.
A short run on their test track showed no problems and I took it home A couple of weeks later I removed it from the box and set it to work on my layour. It was jerky, slow and impossible to control.
I checked my track with other locomotives and they were fine. I took it back and left it with Keith at the shop for investigation. Some weeks later I called back and was told that the wheels were coated with a hardened sticky substance which he was having trouble cleaning off. Neither of us could understand what this was and he said he might send it back to Hornby. I called in today to buy a Jubilee and the Black five was ready and running perfectly on his track. He said that only petrol would clean the muck off, and then with a lot of effort. She now runs well on my track.
We are both intrigued by this problem, anybody out ther had a similar experience ?
Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
QUOTE (Brian Considine @ 15 Jul 2008, 07:59) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I've had similar problems with used locomotives & have had to resolve to using a fibreglass pencil, but once off the problem never returned - maybe some previous owner used ****lube or similar !
Thanks Brian,
I would, perhaps, expect this sort of problem with the odd used purchase but this black five was brand new, out of the box, from a main dealer.
We'll have to keep wondering what it was and why it was there.
ED
 

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QUOTE (Ed Allen @ 14 Jul 2008, 22:12) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>.. Some weeks later I called back and was told that the wheels were coated with a hardened sticky substance which he was having trouble cleaning off. ... He said that only petrol would clean the muck off, and then with a lot of effort. .. anybody out there had a similar experience ?
The solvent required to shift the 'muck' is a good clue to what type of compound was on the wheels: most likely a lubricant residue (waxes and lacquers are also possibilities). Here's a surmise on how it got there: the factory machinery on which the wheels were made has to be lubricated, and small (invisible) quantities of that lubricant will be found on the wheels. A subsequent 'degreasing' stage should clean it all off, but it is only too easy for the first few items at the start of the day's production run to go through a cold degreaser, and not get efficiently cleaned. When the loco with those wheels is run it will pick up general track dirt, and the 'muck' becomes visible, and as it collects dirt it interferes with current conduction.

I had a similar experience a few years ago, the mechanism of the new loco worked the dirt into a dotted pattern on the driven wheel tyres, corresponding to the slight cogging of the somewhat stiff new drive. If the loco stopped with metal wheel surface in contact with the rail it would restart, but if it had only dirt in contact with the rail - no go! I had to use acetone to get the muck off, another aggressive solvent.
 

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QUOTE (Ed Allen @ 15 Jul 2008, 22:51) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>but this black five was brand new, out of the box, from a main dealer.
For some reason I thought it was a second hand one !
34c's suggestions seems more a possible cause then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks 34C and Brian.
I thought it was something to do with the factory and I suggested cellulose thinners to Keith at the shop but he was concerned that the might damage the plastics if he wasn't careful. Incidentally is 34C your shed code or your bra size ?

Ed.

L & Y Highflyers rule, OK .
 

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QUOTE (Ed Allen @ 16 Jul 2008, 18:02) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>.. Incidentally is 34C your shed code or your bra size ? ..
The early years of my life were spent very near Hatfield shed. Near enough for Mother's washing to suffer when there was an occasional smokiness from a recalcitrant N.
 

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QUOTE (poliss @ 30 Jul 2008, 00:35) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Could it be like the transit grease Dapol mention on their website?
If some of the grease has got onto the wheel tyres* and lost most of its' volatiles, that is a possible cause, although I would not expect it to be so difficult to remove as to need petrol or acetone to shift. Something that needs a really aggressiive solvent to move it is more likely to be derived from a lubricant or other material (like a wax or lacquer) which is fairly solid at room temperature, but liquid at high temperature, such as may be found in automatic metal casting equipment.

As relating to the real railways there is something similar. Part of the reason why the soot and ash in steam locomotive exhaust sticks so badly is that the steam cylinder oil is thick and sticky like treacle at room temperature, and quite literally glues the soot and ash on! In the UK paraffin was the usual cleaning agent for steam locos. It is worth noting that part of the reason why the UK's pregrouping companies were famously able to keep their locos and stock so clean is that they mostly operated saturated steam locos. The superheater only became common toward the end of their existence, bringing with it the need for high temperature lubrication, in the form of thicker and stickier oils so effective at attaching the dirt to the paintwork.

*Hopefuly most people would remove any visible oil or grease from the wheel tyres before running though.
 
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