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Has anyone come up with something other than the plastic bar that is used to move the rails on Ross Switches. It seems the plastic bar wears to the point that the rails have a lot of movement. This seems to occur on switches that have a lot of operations. Ross does provide replacements which is great that they to do so but I would like find another type of material that will not wear as fast so I do not have to remove the switches from my layout to repair them.

I was thinking about trying Lexan which is a very tough material but I only have access to clear Lexan.

Just wondering if anyone else has tried any alternatives.




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I doubt that what you're seeing is due to wear.  Some Ross switches with big solder blobs (like in your second photo) used a flux that, over time, dissolves the plastic in the throw bar.  The holes get larger, the bar gets thinner and eventually the bar will break into pieces when the hole gets big enough.

If you install a replacement throw bar from Ross and use regular rosin flux to solder the new pins in place, the problem is gone.  Have you noticed the rails getting loose in any new-style switches like in your first photo?

I repaired 4 of them a couple years ago. They were all like your first picture. Pretty easy if you can get to them. The bar was so bad it was just a matter of getting in there with a small cutter to get everything out of there. There are holes in the points to guide the pins. Makes lining things up for reassembly easy.  I think they all had the issue Bob mentioned. They certainly didn’t get this way from overuse. As they all resided in a seldom used yard and all were purchased at the same time. Some of mine are well over 30 years old without issues. I have broke a few over the years. Sort of got carried away with the vacuum and clipped a few. Now the extended ties on the newer ones seem to prevent that from happening. I run Tortoise switch machines which move the bar really slow. But I’ve seen the Z  motor in action and believe that’s not an issue. I was wondering if you had the older NJI switch motors. They were popular many years ago and really snapped the points over.

Back to your question. I had one break as mentioned. Wanted to do a quick fix till I got a new throwbar. I found a brass strip the same width as the bar. Used the original as a template to drill the holes. Cut the middle with a hacksaw and epoxied both halves to a thin styrene strip and also inserted thin styrene between the 2 halves to insulate them. Painted it flat black. Re installed making sure the brass didn’t rub the rails and soldered the pins in place. A bit of work because if you use just the brass. You will have a dead short. The temporary quick fix has been going for 25 years.

My only thing regarding the lexan. I don’t know how it would react to the heat from soldering. It might be fine.

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