Postwar motors making a grinding sound. Where to clean? What to clean with?

Maintaining postwar engines has always been troublesome for me. I've made several posts asking what the right way is but I still can't seem to get it right. I have a 611 NW-2 that makes a horrible grinding noise as it putters along. My 2055 steamer no longer runs and stops after moving a few inches. Santa Fe F3 has stopped and won't even move. The old gunk inside the engines near the gears has to be cleaned out. What do I clean it with? And then what do I replace the old grease with?  Many have said mineral spirits but would isopropal work as well? I have a train show coming March 5th and I would like to get all of them in operational condition so I can run them on my layout. Help would be appreciated! 

- Joe

Somerset County 4-H Trainmasters, Independent Hi-Railers Eastern Division,

Ocean County Society of Model Railroaders, Raritan River Chapter of the NRHS,

METCA

 http://raritanriver-rr.com/

"You're too young to remember the Raritan River!" -Told to me by a man at a train show.

Original Post

Your 611 has a different motor set up but a grinding noise isn't good. Is there grease in the gears ??  Take the motors out and clean with CRC electric cleaner sold at auto parts stores. Clean the commutator and armature good. Use a pencil eraser on the commutator and toothpick to clean out the slots on the armature. Put small drops of oil where a shaft turns in a bearing or hole. Definitely put a small amount of oil on the armature shaft ends. Clean the wheels and rollers real good. That will get you started. You will get lots more advice. Carefully clean the E units too. Look for loose and bare wires. Good luck.

So the CRC electric cleaner is used on the wheels and rollers as well? Would motor oil work well for the gears? I've heard it can damage the shell of the engine or something.

- Joe

Somerset County 4-H Trainmasters, Independent Hi-Railers Eastern Division,

Ocean County Society of Model Railroaders, Raritan River Chapter of the NRHS,

METCA

 http://raritanriver-rr.com/

"You're too young to remember the Raritan River!" -Told to me by a man at a train show.

Mineral Spirits are safe to use on Lionel Train motors, and last I knew, didn't cost any more than alcohol.
If alcohol is safe in most cases, then that means there are cases where it is not safe. So why use it?
Years ago I shorted out a couple of armatures using alcohol, and have not used it since.

Some folks like to use automotive products to lubricate trains, but I don't think anybody has advocated using motor oil on gears. It would be motor oil on bearings, and Lucas Oil Red N'Tacky grease on gears.

Personally, I prefer to use Labelle products: 106 grease, and whatever light, plastic compatible oil is handy. They make a few.

It sounds like your trains need a good cleaning and lubrication.

C.W. Burfle
RaritanRiverRailroadFan4 posted:

Maintaining postwar engines has always been troublesome for me. I've made several posts asking what the right way is but I still can't seem to get it right. I have a 611 NW-2 that makes a horrible grinding noise as it putters along. ..

This is a different problem -

The problem is the lower bearing plate is floating in the stamped aluminum motor side frames as the factory staking has worked loose over the years.  The old Lionel fix for this was to "dent" the side frames with a punch, some shops used cardstock jammed in to firm up the plate.

I have had good luck using tiny black anodized self-tapping screws into drilled pilot holes to hold the bearing in place.

For a satisfactory non-destructive fix, use CRC QD or any non-residue contact cleaner, clean ALL oil & residue from between the sideframes & the bearing, using the nozzle to spray into the crevice.  Dry it out well, several hours or overnight.

Now use the regular "thin"(not gel) CA adhesive("Super Glue", Eastman 910, etc.) and flow the cement into the crevice on both sides, letting it creep in by capillary action to fill the gap.

In about 10 minutes, the loco is ready to be lubed(grease on gears, oil on pivots & bearings/axles), will run like new, and the repair is next to invisible.

Rob

Your F3's have horizontal motors or vertical?  I use an automotive solvent called "brake cleaner" on the power trucks to remove old grease.  Drys quick, no residue.  I also use "red n Tacky" on all my gears.  Spur and worm gears.  If you have horizontal motors in your santa fe" make sure the wheels dont rub against the body of the truck. Bushings may be worn.  EZ fix. 

bob

ADCX Rob posted:
RaritanRiverRailroadFan4 posted:

Maintaining postwar engines has always been troublesome for me. I've made several posts asking what the right way is but I still can't seem to get it right. I have a 611 NW-2 that makes a horrible grinding noise as it putters along. ..

This is a different problem -

The problem is the lower bearing plate is floating in the stamped aluminum motor side frames as the factory staking has worked loose over the years.  The old Lionel fix for this was to "dent" the side frames with a punch, some shops used cardstock jammed in to firm up the plate.

I have had good luck using tiny black anodized self-tapping screws into drilled pilot holes to hold the bearing in place.

For a satisfactory non-destructive fix, use CRC QD or any non-residue contact cleaner, clean ALL oil & residue from between the sideframes & the bearing, using the nozzle to spray into the crevice.  Dry it out well, several hours or overnight.

Now use the regular "thin"(not gel) CA adhesive("Super Glue", Eastman 910, etc.) and flow the cement into the crevice on both sides, letting it creep in by capillary action to fill the gap.

In about 10 minutes, the loco is ready to be lubed(grease on gears, oil on pivots & bearings/axles), will run like new, and the repair is next to invisible.

Rob,

Would you mind posting a pic of the lower bearing plate as I'm having the same issue with my PW NW2.  I've cleaned her up pretty well but haven't completely removed the engine just yet.  I'm new at this as well and don't want to damage my first locomotive but would love to restore my 602 Seaboard to near mint condition.  The problem I'm having here is with the terminology... 

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