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Spare wheels for MM 141s

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irishthump
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Lads,

 

I bought a secondhand 141 from Ebay a while back which has been suffering from the intermittent running. The wheels seem to need cleaning very often and I compared the wheels to those on my other 141s and they seem to be brass rather than nickel steel. Maybe the previous owner switched them?

 

Anyway, where would I get spare wheelsets? Are they standard sized Bachmann wheels? Should I contact Bachmann's spares dept?

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Hi irishthump

 

The wheels on my 141's are brass, newer models seem to have a nickel coating but I can see brass coming through this finish.

 

Don't use wet n dry or emery paper to clean them, this makes them pick up more dirt, only use a scratch pen. If its the first time with the scratch pen give them a really good going over to get the surface smooth again.

 

If they still pick up dirt you will need to look at the track

 

murrayec

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Hi irishthump

 

The wheels on my 141's are brass, newer models seem to have a nickel coating but I can see brass coming through this finish.

 

Don't use wet n dry or emery paper to clean them, this makes them pick up more dirt, only use a scratch pen. If its the first time with the scratch pen give them a really good going over to get the surface smooth again.

 

If they still pick up dirt you will need to look at the track

 

murrayec

 

I only use IPA and cotton buds to clean my loco wheels with, as you say, a fibreglass pen for stubborn dirt. Guess I'll need to try and give them a good polish. I don't think the track is much of an issue, I clean it very regularly and none of my other locos collect much dirt even after weeks of running.

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Indian Pale Ale? To clean wheels on a Loco! Dreadful waste of a good pint.

 

Seriously, you are, in my opinion correct. The use of Isopropanol Alcohol (Rubbing Alcohol) on a good quality cotton bud will do the trick. Using Glass Fibre Pencils to clean the wheels can have adverse consequences. The fibres are likely to separate from the pencil and collect in the oil on the wheels. This eventually builds-up into a nasty paste and prevents contact between the brass connectors and the wheels. (Been there and done this one).

 

If the contacts are contaminated with heavy dirt, dust, grease, oil, remove the plastic bogie housing to allow access to the naked wheels and connectors. Using Isopropanol Alcohol on a series of cotton buds carefully wipe off all the accumulated dirt on both sides of the brass contacts (Take great care not to bend these contacts).

 

When the wheels and contacts are clean test the locomotive on your track before replacing the bogie housings. If the problem of bad running persists, check your track for dirt on it. I use a stick with clean material attached to it (and soaked in IPA) to clean my track.

 

I hope this helps you -

 

David J. White.

(Old Blarney)

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The problem isn't so much having to clean the wheels it's the how frequently I have to clean them!

 

Like I said this is the only loco that gives this sort of trouble. After less than an hour of running it's starts to run erratically and needs cleaning again. I have a Heljan class 27 which gave the same problem and I noticed it had the same type of brass wheels, I changed them for a new nickel set and the problems stopped.

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Hi irishthump

 

Have you tried giving them the good polishing yet?, maybe they are scratched from the previous owner!

 

and as Old Blarney says about the fibres.. I usually clean out the bearing and wheels of oil before using the brush, then blast with air at low pressure, and then re oil.

 

If it still happens and you are sure about the track then new nickel plated wheels might be the only way

 

murrayec

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....Oh and

 

Replacing the wheels;- if their not a full set with bearings attached you will have to dismantle the existing wheels to get the bearings off and use a back to back gauge or a calliper to get them gauged again.

 

Try Marks Models as suggested earlier, but it may be quicker to get them from Bachlines, Markits, Ultrascale, or Sharman Wheels.

 

One thing about using IPA to clean wheels, if you have a little accident spilling it or it gets in the wrong place it can be problems for paint work, especially acrylic paint or varnish

 

murrayec

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Before you look at replacing the wheels use a continuity tester or simply turn the loco upside down & apply power to each wheel in turn to check that all pick-up wipers are working and power getting through to the motor from all wheels.

 

Bachmann locos have nickel plated or blackened brass wheels the plating tends to break down due to a combination of wear and spark erosion particulary on DC or analogue control, there tends to be less spark erosion with the AC waveform used with DCC. I had a lot of trouble with poorly adjusted pick ups on new Bachmann N Gauge locos more or less direct from the factory.

 

I have not found the wear/plating break down to be a serious issue and the Bachmann wheels are less prone to pitting & picking up dirt than other more expensive brands.

 

I found the most important things were to keep the track clean and only run stock with metal wheels. I use a very fine (non-scratching) metal polishing block from Eileens Emphorium for cleaning the track & use IPA for wheel cleaning in both G & the smaller scales.

Edited by Mayner
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Before you look at replacing the wheels use a continuity tester or simply turn the loco upside down & apply power to each wheel in turn to check that all pick-up wipers are working and power getting through to the motor from all wheels.

 

Bachmann locos have nickel plated or blackened brass wheels the plating tends to break down due to a combination of wear and spark erosion particulary on DC or analogue control, there tends to be less spark erosion with the AC waveform used with DCC. I had a lot of trouble with poorly adjusted pick ups on new Bachmann N Gauge locos more or less direct from the factory.

 

I have not found the wear/plating break down to be a serious issue and the Bachmann wheels are less prone to pitting & picking up dirt than other more expensive brands.

 

I found the most important things were to keep the track clean and only run stock with metal wheels. I use a very fine (non-scratching) metal polishing block from Eileens Emphorium for cleaning the track & use IPA for wheel cleaning in both G & the smaller scales.

 

I've already checked that the loco was picking up from all 8 wheels. In fact, when I got the loco 2nd hand there seemed to be a problem with the circuit board where both axles at one end of the loco were not picking up power. I re-soldered the connections to the PCB so I know everything is ok there. I also make sure the pickups are properly adjusted every time the loco is cleaned.

 

I'm pretty sure the loco was ran on a DC layout so maybe that's the reason for the condition of the wheelsets.

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