Lionel Conventional Classics NYC F3 repair needed

Hi,

A couple of wheels on my powered MagneTraction truck Lionel Conventional Classics NYC F3 got rusted. The wheels have gears on them.  Is someone able to just pull the wheel and replace? or do I need to buy the whole new truck? I looked on the Lionel web site and only seen the geared truck available for sale and not just the wheel.  If it can be done is anyone interested in doing it for me for a lttle $.

Thanks,

Sunrise

Original Post

There is more than one way to clean those rusty drive wheels.
I would be hesitant to use a wire wheel because the motor truck has magnetraction.
I would also be hesitant to run the engine upside down to clean the wheels because I'd be concerned about the dust getting all over everything and into the bearings.

Without seeing good pictures, it's hard to make an alternate suggestion on cleaning.

I think I would be most likely to:

- remove the truck assembly from the engine.
- remove to truck sides from the truck block if possible.
- use fine sanding cloth moistened with oil to polish away the rust by hand.

I have rolls of 220 and 320 grit sanding cloth for just this sort of job. The 220 roll is 1 inch wide, and the 320 roll is 2 inches wide. Often I split pieces lengthwise to get narrower strips.  If the rust was heavy, I'd start with the 220 grit and finish with the 320 grit. If the rust was light, I would go with the 320 grit from the start.
I like to move to a clean part of the cloth very often.

I guess wet/dry sandpaper could be used as well, but I prefer the cloth.

C.W. Burfle

I have never seen these rusty.   Please show pictures.

 

 

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Hi Sunrise!

C.W. gives good advice. It isn't a great idea to introduce tiny metal fragments to a magnetic assembly. 

Others on this Forum introduced me to Evapo-Rust, a liquid non-caustic surface rust remover. If you can't (or won't) remove the drive wheels you can always soak paper towel with Evapo-Rust and wrap the rusty part of the wheels with the soggy paper for a few hours. Over night would be better. Then finish the job with a Dremel tool using a Scotch-Brite (non-metallic) abbraisive Dremel head. If you want the rims to shine, polish them with some Mothers Mag polish. If your rust is  pitted rather than surface rust, realize that you have lost part of your surface. You still go through the same exercise to get what's left of the surface as conductive and smooth as possible.

BTW, when using a Dremel, expect small particulate matter to be broadcast in the air. So wear a disposable safety mask so you don't breathe it in. The same may be said of safety goggles. I know it isn't macho, but it is smart.

 

Pete F.

Mahwah, NJ

TCA# 18-73568

Lots of folks here recommend evaporust. I tried it once, didn't seem to work for me.

I did not degrease / deoil the part first. Maybe that was the reason I did not have good results. Or maybe I just did not give it enough time.

Some rust solvents also remove blackening. Don't know about evaporust.

C.W. Burfle
C W Burfle posted:

Lots of folks here recommend evaporust. I tried it once, didn't seem to work for me.

I did not degrease / deoil the part first. Maybe that was the reason I did not have good results. Or maybe I just did not give it enough time.

Some rust solvents also remove blackening. Don't know about evaporust.

I wouldn't trust Evapo-Rust with rubbery surfaces overnight. It also removes paint from flatcars so one must intend to repaint in many circumstances. But for rust removal from metal parts it works well.

Pete F.

Mahwah, NJ

TCA# 18-73568

That is old brown rust with pitting. The axles are likely rusty too, and the collectors. 

If at all possible I would pull the wheels to get at all the corrosion. I broke an axle the last time I did that. C. W. properly admonished me that I should have soaked it in penetrating oil for a day or two. Instead I was in an all fire of a hurry. So take the education, Sunrise, without paying the tuition.

Then soak the wheel in E - R for a full day.

Pete F.

Mahwah, NJ

TCA# 18-73568

If at all possible I would pull the wheels to get at all the corrosion. I broke an axle the last time I did that. C. W. properly admonished me that I should have soaked it in penetrating oil for a day or two. Instead I was in an all fire of a hurry. So take the education, Sunrise, without paying the tuition.

I doubt that I suggested soaking in oil.
If necessary, put some penetrating oil like liquid wrench on the hub of the wheel and let it soak in.
Break free is another good product, but as far as I know, it is only available as an aerosol. There are plenty of others.

C.W. Burfle

Is that smaller gear next to the wheel plastic? Will any of the chemicals mentioned leave the plastic alone? If left to soak, won’t anything that attacks the rust also remove the blueing from the metal? Has anyone tried gun blueing on Lionel parts? If so, how close will it come out to the original Lionel color? With all of the work involved, eBay has similar postwar trucks in the $20 range. Wouldn’t that be easiest and maybe cheapest? 

Oops! Just noticed Norton mentioned the blueing. A five minute soaking is all it would take? I’ve got some postwar trucks that I accendtally removed to the bare metal. I’ve thought about trying to re-blue them.

I seem to get good results blackening sheet metal.  The results blackening sintered iron don't seem as good, and the results blackening Zamac parts is poor.
Whatever you do, when blackening you have to make certain the part is completely clean and free of any oils, including skin oil.
I use Birchwood Casey gun bluing. Always interested in learning about other products / techniques.

I agree with Dennis, if you are going to remove the wheel, get a new replacement if you can.

C.W. Burfle
Sam Jumper posted:

Oops! Just noticed Norton mentioned the blueing. A five minute soaking is all it would take? I’ve got some postwar trucks that I accendtally removed to the bare metal. I’ve thought about trying to re-blue them.

Cast wheels (and couplers and sideframes) take blueing easily. I just dip a Q tip in the solution and wipe it around, 10-20 seconds will usually do it. Wipe off the film and reapply. Then another wipe and finally a thin wipe of fine oil. 

Swap wheels if you want but these are not badly rusted and will clean up easily. The microscopic pits may actually add to the traction but I doubt you will even see them,

Pete

Norton posted:

Swap wheels if you want but these are not badly rusted and will clean up easily. The microscopic pits may actually add to the traction but I doubt you will even see them,

Pete

Yeah, while not the clearest image, I'd clean them and see how it comes before swapping any wheels and axles out.

Cast wheels (and couplers and sideframes) take blueing easily. I just dip a Q tip in the solution and wipe it around, 10-20 seconds will usually do it. Wipe off the film and reapply. Then another wipe and finally a thin wipe of fine oil. 

What product do you use?

C.W. Burfle

I have used a couple but the easy to find (Walmart, Dicks, etc) Birchwood Casey Super Blue works OK on sintered steel. It seems to match closely. Not so good on sheet steel like car frames or diecast body parts like Post War steam chests. It leaves a definite bluish cast on those. Some of the lesser known products found in gun shops work a bit better on sheet steel but still not a perfect match for the hot blue that Lionel must have used.

Pete

I have used a couple but the easy to find (Walmart, Dicks, etc) Birchwood Casey Super Blue works OK on sintered steel. It seems to match closely. Not so good on sheet steel like car frames or diecast body parts like Post War steam chests. It leaves a definite bluish cast on those. Some of the lesser known products found in gun shops work a bit better on sheet steel but still not a perfect match for the hot blue that Lionel must have used.

Thanks. 
The stuff I have on hand is Birchwood Casey. I think it's Super Blue, I would have to check. The last sheet metal I had to do was a postwar diesel frame that was chemically treated. There was some battery corrosion, so a friend sand blasted the whole thing to clean, bare metal for me. I wiped it down with mineral spirits, and then applied the blueing liberally with a chip brush. The frame didn't look very good until I went over it lightly with some fine steel wool and did a second treatment.
I think it was a liberal application that did the trick. Most other times the bluing would come out uneven for me.

C.W. Burfle

A few years ago I picked up a product from Caswell Plating that appeared to give a true black color but have yet to try it. They now have few items which may work. Check out their website: https://www.caswellplating.com  and look at the sections on "metal antiquing" and "everything for firearms". 

I may have to take another trip there with a bare frame and see what they recommend. They are less than an hour from me.

 

Pete

For anyone thinking of pulling off the wheels on this locomotive, be careful. The conventional classics diesel and steam locos have their wheels pressed on tighter than anything I have ever seen. The force required to remove them is incredible!  I have broken flanges on several wheel sets using the gold-standard Timko wheel puller. That's probably why Lionel doesn't offer a truck parts breakdown. If you go the route of replacing the wheels, I would use postwar style repro wheels from the Train Tender (which have metal gears, not plastic inserts).

A few years ago I picked up a product from Caswell Plating that appeared to give a true black color but have yet to try it.

Thanks again. The stuff I've been using lately is the Super Blue. I have some PermaBlue on hand too.
Funny about your Caswell Plating kit: I have an Eastwood Automotive blackening kit sitting on a shelf. The instructions say to dilute the blackening stuff. It makes a large amount and comes with a big container so you can submerge your parts in the liquid. So far I haven't been inclined to play chemist when the little bottles of Birchwood Casey stuff will do.

Interesting point by Gregr. If the wheels are hard to get off, I would think they might also be hard to press back on.
Would postwar wheels even fit?

I'm with Norton, clean them in place.

C.W. Burfle
Norton posted:

CW, I think Eastwood gets their plating kits from Caswell. Avoid the middle man in the future. I suspect what you have is the same material as the kit I got from Caswell.

Pete

Thanks again. Got my unopened kit at a Train show, with a substantial discount.

C.W. Burfle
Sam Jumper posted:

Is that smaller gear next to the wheel plastic? Will any of the chemicals mentioned leave the plastic alone? If left to soak, won’t anything that attacks the rust also remove the blueing from the metal? Has anyone tried gun blueing on Lionel parts? If so, how close will it come out to the original Lionel color? With all of the work involved, eBay has similar postwar trucks in the $20 range. Wouldn’t that be easiest and maybe cheapest? 

I have cleaned and reblued many train parts over the years. It will look fine when it is done. I also wipe on a light coat of oil to add a little rust resistance and to clean off the residue and bring out the color. Just did wheels, couplers and frame on an MPC boxcar that was in bad shape and now it looks great. I use Birchwood Casey rust remover and gun blue. Qtips and scotchbrite pads are your friends.

Michael DeSandro

Troy, AL

C W Burfle posted:

Interesting point by Gregr. If the wheels are hard to get off, I would think they might also be hard to press back on.
Would postwar wheels even fit?

I'm with Norton, clean them in place.

I believe that someone here recently mentioned Lionel using a hollow axle shaft with small magnets in the middle for magnetraction. Is there a risk of breaking the axle while trying to remove a stubborn wheel? I can’t site the source, as I don’t even remember what the topic was. Point is, as others have mentioned, wouldn’t it be better to try cleaning the wheel and leave well enough alone?

 

C W Burfle posted:

A few years ago I picked up a product from Caswell Plating that appeared to give a true black color but have yet to try it.

Thanks again. The stuff I've been using lately is the Super Blue. I have some PermaBlue on hand too.
Funny about your Caswell Plating kit: I have an Eastwood Automotive blackening kit sitting on a shelf. The instructions say to dilute the blackening stuff. It makes a large amount and comes with a big container so you can submerge your parts in the liquid. So far I haven't been inclined to play chemist when the little bottles of Birchwood Casey stuff will do.

Interesting point by Gregr. If the wheels are hard to get off, I would think they might also be hard to press back on.
Would postwar wheels even fit?

I'm with Norton, clean them in place.

CW:

Getting these wheels back on (maybe because I have an arbor press and wheel cups) has not been an issue for me.

Original postwar (and remake) wheels are an exact dimensional match for many conventional classics, and Lionchief Plus products that share this same truck type including the F3, FT, Budd, GP-7/9, etc. The knurled axle ends are also an exact match. 

Sam Jumper:

You asked about whether the hollow axles on Lionchief products would be at risk of breakage during removal. The answer is no. The portion of the axle which is embedded into the wheel is solid. The hollow portion of the axle occurs between the wheels. Therefore, when you use a wheel pulling tool, a compression force is being applied to a solid axle end, with an equal and opposite reaction on the wheel flanges. No force is applied to the hollow axle during removal. A shear force parallel to the axle is only applied to the surface between the wheel and the solid axle end.

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