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Reading a recent OGR post by JPS on Track Cleaning cars and a chart showing non polar solvents to be the best got my interest as I have used IPA and lacquer thinner (polar) and sometimes a little so called odor free mineral spirits (non polar) but still have dirty wheels and track as well as lots of sparking.  This has lead me to Model Railroad Hobbyist forum, the origin of the chart.  Reading their forum showed several post touting the use of  NO-OX-ID Special-A terminal grease, an electrically conductive grease made by Sanchem, for track cleaning and keeping train wheels clean.   NO-OX-ID A-Special is used by radio operators and aviation electronics experts as a means of preventing oxidation from arcing. The US government has been using a variant of this (cosmolene) as a surface protectant since the beginning of WW II.  Reducing sparking may help in keeping wheels and track clean.

https://model-railroad-hobbyis...shers-musings?page=1    scroll down to page 2

Reading of reviews on Amazon and eBay also show positive results of using a thin coat of Special No Ox Id A on train track and they have it for sale.

A search of OGR forum showed positive remarks by several recommending NO-OX.  Tom Stoltz on on 12-24-2020 summarized several sources in the second to last post on

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...eaning-wheels?page=2

There have not been a many comments on OGR whether Special No Ox Id A will replace track cleaning cars, dirty wheels and dirty tracks as some others have claimed.

Do any of you OGR forumites have experience with the use of NO-OX-ID A on your rails?

Charlie

Last edited by Choo Choo Charlie
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Reading a recent OGR post by JPS on Track Cleaning cars and a chart showing non polar solvents to be the best got my interest as I use IPA and lacquer thinner (polar) and sometimes mineral spirits (non polar) but still have dirty wheels and track.  This has lead me to Model Railroad Hobbyist forum, the origin of the chart.  Reading their forum showed several post touting the use of Special No Ox Id A terminal grease for track cleaning and keeping train wheels clean.   No Ox Id A is used by radio operators and aviation electronics experts as a means of preventing oxidation from arcing. The US government has been using a variant of this (cosmolene) as a surface protectant since the beginning of WW II.  Reducing sparking may help in keeping wheels and track clean.

https://model-railroad-hobbyis...shers-musings?page=1

Reading of reviews on Amazon and eBay also positive results of using a thin coat of Special No Ox Id A on train track and have it for sale.

A search of OGR forum showed a positive remarks by several recommending NO OX.  Tom Stoltz on on 12-24-2020 summarized several sources in the second to last post on

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...eaning-wheels?page=2

But there has not been a many comments tn OGR that Special No Ox Id A will replace track cleaning cars, dirty wheels and dirty tracks as some others have claimed.

Do any of you OGR forumites have experience with the use of NO OX ID A on your rails?

Charlie

I gave up on the idea of using it Charlie, after seeing a couple of articles on it being a great product but using it with the rubber traction tires and grades wasn't recomended.     🤔

Dallas

Thanks for the comment.  I understand your concern for NO OX grease on grades and traction tires.

My layout does not have grades and I only have a couple of locomotives with traction tires as most are post war.  I will have to see if NO Ox grease works as reported and as to how much is required on the tracks.  I hope it will mostly be wiped off.  I have ordered a jar and will be testing before Christmas season as that is big train running time around here.

Charlie

Last edited by Choo Choo Charlie

What you are calling "dirt" is probably that yucky black crud that is deposited on the rails and wheels as the result of electric arching. NO-OX-ID "A SPECIAL" is not a cleaner and it is not a coating. And it should not be used as such. Clean your track and wheels and then use a tiny amount of NO-OX-ID "A SPECIAL" on the track. Leave the grease on the track for 24 hours for a chemical reaction to occur. During this period no engine with rubber tires should be on the track. Then remove all of the grease.

Dallas

Thanks for the comment.  I understand your concern for NO OX grease on grades and traction tires.

My layout does not have grades and I only have a couple of locomotives with traction tires as most are post war.  I will have to see if NO Ox grease works as reported and as to how much is required on the tracks.  I hope it will mostly be wiped off.  I have ordered a jar and will be testing before Christmas season as that is big train running time around here.

Charlie

From info I've been able to put together the NO Ox seems to be the best product out there right now for cleaning and reducing the need for frequent track cleaning .             With no grades and no traction tires ,I would say you are probably going to have a good experience with the product Charlie  😉

Last edited by Dallas Joseph

Doing industrial and marine electrical work for many years, we often used an anti-oxidant type grease on any connection of dissimilar metals or whenever connecting copper in a salt-marine environment.  Also, when connecting large aluminum feeders 6/0 or so from power company.  It was my understanding it prevented oxidation on the surface that increased in certain environments, current flow, and dissimilar metals.  However, make no mistake it is greasy and will transfer to the wheels, I believe John in California had very good advice.  I'm curious choo-choo if you are using stainless track?

Soon I will be laying Gargraves track, I was hoping to use anti-oxidant on the pins on my track during assembly.  I was going to use a product by Ilsco (De-Ox-Nogrit)  Iam curious if anyone else has assembled track with a similar product? It certainly worked great on connections I made up previously.

Fast Mail and others

I am using old steel 027 track from Marx and Lionel.

Here is some information from the above reference at https://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/7519?page=2 that should clear up some questions about NO-OX -ID A grease.

Notice the references to use on/with traction tires.

"The following is an excerpt from one of the many articles I have written on No-Ox:

Sanchem (the maker of No-Ox) makes several variants; the one you want is NO-OX-ID “A SPECIAL”. To properly treat metals with No-Ox, a very small amount is used on the surface or surfaces. A waiting period of 24 to 48 hours allows the chemical process to take place, after which ALL TRACES OF THE PRODUCT ARE WIPED OFF, or otherwise removed.

In my case, scenery was completed and all track was ballasted before applying. I felt that getting the track dirty after application would affect its performance, but it didn’t matter.

All contaminants such as plaster, glue, or oil, should be removed prior to No-Ox application. The steps below are all VERY important and none should be skipped.
1. Use a mild abrasive such as fine sandpaper or a brite boy on all rails to remove any oxidation.
2. Wipe all rails with a rag and alcohol to remove any dirt and fine particles.
3. Vacuum all rails to ensure cleanliness.
4. Put very thin smears on your finger and rub it on your rails. The total amount of NO-OX-ID “A SPECIAL” that should be applied to 500’ of N scale track is about ¼ teaspoon. If you can SEE No-Ox on rails, you are putting TOO MUCH on! DO NOT APPLY MORE!
5. Run all your locomotives, EXCEPT ONES WITH TRACTION TIRES, (no rolling stock yet) over all of your track for at least 2 hours. You may notice some wheel slippage and skipping, (DO NOT PANIC) this ensures that all wheels get treated with No-Ox.
6. Remove all locomotives from track and wipe all rails with a clean rag to remove any excess product. Don’t scrub, just rub.
7. Wait 24 hours.
8. Wipe rails again. Rag will be black.
9. For locos with traction tires, turn them upside down, connect track power so that wheels turn. Put a small dab of No-Ox on a Q-tip and apply to all wheels that DON’T have traction tires. While wheels are still turning, use a clean Q-tip to remove any excess No-Ox.
10. Run trains and forget about cleaning your track except for occasional light vacuuming.

THE ABOVE 10 STEPS WERE REVISED 6-10 TO ADDRESS TRACTION TIRE ISSUES AND ARE NOT INCLUDED IN BAR MILLS DIRECTIONS.

In all cases where problems are encountered it is due to over-application and not wiping off rails.  FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS EXPLICITLY ! "

"You can re-apply No-Ox as often as you like, but after 8 years of experience, as well as over 100 testimonials from very happy users, you will find that it is not necessary."



I know this sounds to good to be true, but that is why I am going to try it.  The above answer questions about traction tires and tracks with grades with the fact that all traces of excess NO-OX will be wiped up and removed.

Charlie

Last edited by Choo Choo Charlie

I used the NO-OX-ID on my N gauge layout. I was having stalling issues in places. I thoroughly cleaned the track. I believe I used CRC contact cleaner. I then applied the NO-OX-ID sparingly with my finger. The grease was then lightly wiped off with a clean rag. After that trains were run to completely distribute the grease onto the engine wheels.

I will say it made a noticeable improvement. The trains run much better now. I never tried it on O gauge. It would be interesting to see how it works.

Here is some information as to what NO OX ID special A is from the Material Safety Data Sheet and Joe Fugate, Publisher, Model Railroad Hobbyist magazine, who gives some Pros and Cons.

"No-Ox-Id A Special

Wed, 2019-05-08 08:51 — joef

According to the MSDS doc I found, No-ox-ida consists of:

Petroleum Wax 85%

Light Napthenic Oil 15%

That makes the dielectric constant 2.3 ... the wax makes the mixture into a stable coating that will leave a thin film, rendering it more difficult for the metal to oxidize easily. The stuff is very non-polar and the waxy coating clearly helps tremendously with oxidation and arcing.

Notice it's not JUST the dielectric constant that matters, but how the material is applied and whether or not it leaves a protective coating. Mineral spirits is almost as good, and it's a lot easier to apply since you can use a track cleaning car. No-ox-ida involves a lot of "elbow grease" to apply, then it needs to be buffed into a polish to make it not inhibit electrical contact. It sounds like a lot of hard hand work to apply it properly.

As an example of how it's not just the dielectric constant that matters but how the material gets applied and how it protects, powdered cork has a very low dielectric constant as well (~1.7) but it will do your track no good at all for reducing micro-arcing.

One last point -- you need to start with getting the track and wheels clean. Just applying mineral spirits to oxidized track will simply re-distribute the oxide, which won't help much.

Joe Fugate, Publisher, Model Railroad Hobbyist magazine'

Charlie

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