Interesting... normally people have trouble by not being able to supply enough voltage to make it work right. Reversing the motor would seem to make it easier on the motor, but if done because of lower voltage then you gain nothing.
I had one and found that you need darn near 20 volts to make it work right. I tried it on an MRC6200 and it would barely move on the track. Later under 24v DCC it worked perfectly.
I would fix my voltage as it wants that higher voltage to spin to clean effectively.
I made my own rail polisher that spins an abrasive disk against the rails (~$0.50/disk and they don't seem to wear out). If I run it so that the wheel runs turns "against" the direction of travel, it gets much hotter, to the point of stalling the motor. If I run it so it goes with the direction of travel, I get less stalling over high spots, and it doesn't get as hot to the point of stalling the motor.
i have reversed the cleaning wheels.
i ran it this way for several years, (for the reason below.)
track through switches slightly better,
i think too, the cleaning wheels ‘bounce‘ slightly less.
significantly improved traction/operation better IF track is wet, slick, on grade. I have had the cleaning wheels actually stall the loco in these conditions. Actually, more of a back and forth mambo…😃
the cleaning wheels had traction equal to the metal loco wheels on the wet rails, combined with grade .
i had a sticky pine sap grade and frequent dew or sprinkler wetness.
the brass oxide seems to be directed into the cowl area more than when normal. It would seem too that the abrasive wheel /track movement must be lessened especially depending on the loco’s speed. Slowest loco speed providing the greastest abrasion
i have since returned to the normal direction.
i have no intention to return to reverse motor leads, as my layout conditions have changed.
suggestion…every year, dismantle and clean;regularly check the cleaning wheel axels for micro threads of nylon, which are sheared from the black plastic wheels. This seem to occur when they are new. They bind around the axel, next to the block, potentially adding load to the gears and motor. I remove them with a dental pick and/or tweezers/fingers.
never add weight to the floating cleaning section. Never.
i blow out the dust after every use. Do not inhale this stuff.
keep the cleaning gears lubed…
never leave it unattended while running in cleaning mode.
i too run at 24v., at the slowest speed via variable roof resister.
I swapped the bulbs to 24 v type, as i had, once upon a time, a bridgewerks throttle with a faulty potentiomete which occasionally had full voltage spikes that would blow the 5v originals. Not sure you need this.
I had one and sold it because I thought the wheels were too damn expensive! I would go though a set and a half for an open house and they are not cheap ($35 at the time). That's why I made my own with a box of 100 metal polishing wheels for $51.
ive been running my loco since about 1988.
run each time i operate, about 120 ft, 2-3 loops Around.
so thats, very roughly 10-12 years, allowing for time down/bad weather, work, etc.
on my second set of abrasive tires.