You may recall that a few weeks ago, I posted about my problems with my Joshua Cohen Hudson, made by Lionel. I had bought one used, with very little run time or wear, but it had problems of severe slow-downs going around 031 curves in my layout. Not all of the curves, but many of them.
I eventually found, based on lots of advice, that the problem was not being caused by just one thing. It was actually three separate things acting in concert:
First, the engine had probably not been lubricated in many years. It was made in 1982. I took it totally apart and lubed everything that rubbed on anything else.
Second, the eccentric crank on one side of the engine was bent in slightly, probably from the engine being dropped. This not only bent the operating rod that it was connected to slightly, but also the inside edge of the crank was rubbing against a second operating rod that traveled back and forth beneath it.
Finally, on two of the worse slow-down (to a crawl) curves, I gave up on trying to adjust the track, and just pulled it out. The track was virtually new K-Line, bright and shiny. I replaced it with some older Lionel track, a little less shiny, and a little more pliable (malleable). (Plainly it was made of softer steel.)
The slow down problems on those curves disappeared.
I know for a fact that the K-line track is harder and more brittle than the Lionel. (I had to work with a lot of it. Trying to open up the pin holes in the ends of the rails is murder, and creates linear cracks at the ends of the rails. )
Because of the increased hardness, I wonder if like many really hard steels, it doesn't "wear-in" and get "slick." Hard steel rubbing on hard steel doesn't wear in and get glassy smooth. Instead, the rubbing parts remain "sticky."
Any ideas or thoughts are appreciated.