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Discussion Starter #1
I'm trying to figure out why my engine seems to take a while to warm up. When I first bring it out, it runs very slowly and then after several runs, it eventually seems to go faster.

I just recently installed my track. It is 75' and a mix of lgb and aristo brass. I've been cleaning the track with a pole sander and making sure the pickups are clean and shiny. I've tested the voltage on the entire system and it is consistent.

I do have a 2-3% grade in some spots and the engine is so slow when it starts that it just can't make it up these hills. Once it has "perked" up it has no problem with these grades.

Jim
 

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I think it would help to know what your engine is. Also, is this your only engine? If not, do all your engines do this?

-Brian
 
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might be, that it got thick grease in the gears, slowing it down till it warms up...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It does seem to speed up faster when I use the Smoke/Cleaning fluid. Or, when I give it a little push while it is running...
 

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Odd.

Don't think it could be the lubrication. Doesn't sound like power supply either.
 

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Possibly the wheels or track are slightly dirty. AS the train runs it "cleans" the contacts which makes it run better. Try cleaning track and wheels first see if it runs good when you first start.

Tom P
 

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I will tell you that your loco will run different speeds on brass vs. SS.

I have seen many posts confirming this. This is CLEAN track. The deal is that brass starts to oxidize immediately. Most people will never see or believe this until it is demonstrated for them.

I started with a loop of track of LGB and USAT brass. I then built my layout bit by bit, and slowly got rid of all the brass. I have all SJ SS rail clamps.

I noticed some time later that my train slowed down for just a bit on the far side of the layout. Sure enough, there was a 1 foot straight of brass still in there!

So, you might check to see if this is a contributing factor.

Regads, Greg
 

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How big is your power supply. The one that comes with the starter sets is sometimes 1 amp. THat is what I had and I had a similiar problem. I bought a bigger unit and now my loco has no problem getting up to speed and running as fast as I want it to. It will also pull as many cars as the weight of the locomotive will allow. I didn't have as much track as you have when I first started having the problem.
 

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In the first post, the behavior is described as:

"I'm trying to figure out why my engine seems to take a while to warm up. When I first bring it out, it runs very slowly and then after several runs, it eventually seems to go faster. "

If this was a power supply problem, it would be the same at first and later, unless the power supply was severely overtaxed. But if that was true, it would get worse as the power supply overheated, not at the beginning.

He gets slow operation at first when the power supply would be at it's best.

The problem seems to be elsewhere.

Regards, Greg
 

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It's doubtful it's the power supply, or the track, it's probability in the loco....I would suspect grease or binding, the thing to do to narrow down the possibilities because it's an LGB engine you can try blocking the enigine up off the track or work bench and applying power to the sliders, if it has the same symptoms it's in the loco, if not, although unlikely it's probably in the track, or power supply...
 

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Back in the 50's, we didn't have much to choose from in types of greases. I used what IBM put on sorter gears that fed cards at 600 cards per minute (which we thought was fast back then); it really STUCK to gears. I used this on my HO locos and EVERYONE of them, on start up, would run slowly bur would gradually warm up and then run normally.

So I, too, think the problem lies in the engine's guts. Binding is a probability but I never had a bind free up and then be bad the again next day. Much more likely is hardened grease, as once it cools down, it becomes hard again.

Art
 

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My thought is that if you checked out the track and the power source well.
Engine's wheels are clean?
I am betting it is a binding problem of some kind...I have had those issues...when starting or going slow...you get an uneven or no movement at all untill you push it.
Try looking over the engine very closely, putting it up on rollers and test from a stop to slow speed, and even, if noting is noticable I have even taken off the plate covering the motorblock..very carefully of course...could be something very simple to fix as the LGB 0-4-0s' are bullitt proof.

I have also read here that maybe the slider springs has something to do with it also, maybe they are sticking and not free flowing, increasing pressure on the rails, and by pussing it it sems to free them up a little...not sure..isn't it fun to problem solve?

Hope this helps

Bubba
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for all of your thoughts and insights.

Dirty Track: cleaning the track definitely makes it run better, but it still cannot pull more than one tiny gondola up my steepest 3% grade. When I first installed the track, the engine could handle all three of it's cars. It still slowed down on the grades, but not nearly as much as it does now.

Dirty Wheels: I've cleaned the pickups and the wheels as best as I can, but it's hard to tell if there was a difference.

Power Supply: I've measured the voltage at various points on the track and it seems both continuous and consistent.

Engine Gears and Grease: Something that I did not mention before was that this problem occurred indoors as well. When I would first start running the train on the starter circle, it would go really slowly and then perk up. This perk up would happen after half a pass around the starter set, so I ignored it. Is there something I should be doing to 'oil' my engine? Does the smoke fluid clean the inside of the engine?

Thanks again for all the advice.
 

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Bubba, re-read his first post. That will convince you it is not the track power or cleanliness.

Could he have corrosion or dirt on his wheels? Not likely that it would clear up by itself.

Thick grease is the first theory I have heard so far that fits what we have been told so far.

Regards, Greg
 

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It could be the motor itself. With my "Loco Doctor" hat on at our local show, I see this problem sometimes in the smaller scales caused by a motor that's been over-oiled and the oil has gotten onto the commutator. The brushes and the commutator get contaminated. The motor runs slow when cold until the brushes warm up and burn off some of the oil.

Normal cure is to remove the brushes and clean these up on some kitchen paper, re-profiling the commutator end with a small file if necessary. The commutator is then cleaned and the brushes re-fitted. Apply power and let the brushes settle before refitting the motor to the chassis.

Nick
 

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Now that sounds plausible.
 

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Posted By Greg Elmassian on 06/09/2008 1:49 PM
Bubba, re-read his first post. That will convince you it is not the track power or cleanliness.

Could he have corrosion or dirt on his wheels? Not likely that it would clear up by itself.

Thick grease is the first theory I have heard so far that fits what we have been told so far.

Regards, Greg






Greg read my post a little further down as I feel that is potentially what is going on...sliders...maybe.

Thanks

Bubba
 
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