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I inherited a decent, yet broken collection of pre and post war 1959-1962 trains.

I am am VERY HANDY and am currently rebuilding the KW.

The power cord has been replaced and I have ordered a new rectifier and Carbon rollers.
As I clean up the innards, I want to be sure I don’t remove any protective coatings.
Is there anything I should be aware of?
How might I go about bringing the copper coils back to life?

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@Joe U posted:

I inherited a decent, yet broken collection of pre and post war 1959-1962 trains.

I am am VERY HANDY and am currently rebuilding the KW.

The power cord has been replaced and I have ordered a new rectifier and Carbon rollers.
As I clean up the innards, I want to be sure I don’t remove any protective coatings.
Is there anything I should be aware of?
How might I go about bringing the copper coils back to life?

I usually use alcohol on a soft cloth to remove any carbon residue in the area they roll on. Don't forget to test the circuit breaker, I usually always replace them with a solid state 10 amp breaker. Hope that helps.

@Joe U posted:

It’s not the power cord.  Apparently there was a fix early on with one of the internal wires.

Can I just use a 14 gauge?
Is copper ok?

Use whatever gauge it originally was or larger.  Lamp cord may not be the best because of the heat in the transformer.  As you may be aware regular wire has the temperature rating stamped on it.  It DOES NOT have to be fabric insulated 1950's wire.  LOL

@Joe U posted:

Any idea what type of heat is produced?

I want to make sure I’m covered and safe!

Not sure exactly.  I know some of the wiring could rest against the coil once the housing is slid back on.  I think most current standard wire "should" withstand the heat.  I have a KW but when I opened it up everything was OK except for a couple of the studs being snapped off.  So I left well enough alone with the wires.  I know there are guys that fix these and ZW's "professionally".  Maybe one of them will see this and can let you know.  I don't have access at this time to equipment to set-up thermocouples and find out.  Sorry can't help you more.  I, like you, though rather err on the side of caution.  When I fix something I want it to last another 70 years, even though I know I won't be around that long.  If you used fiberglass shielded wire I KNOW that would work, but probably overkill.

Last edited by MainLine Steam

if concerned about heat, you should make sure that the wire is rated THHN or MTW rated (good for 200deg +) and a fiberglass pencil is good for cleaning copper contacts without chemicals or harsh abrasives (transformer wire windings)

EDIT: if a train transformer is near or above 175~200 there is a problem

Last edited by woodsyT

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