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Running trains on my indoor layout tonight, I noticed that the wheels are starting to squeak pretty bad on several cars. I would normally spritz them with a little WD40, but I remember reading somewhere that WD40 is not really a good oil to stop squeaks but rather is designed to clean/dissove rust. Is this true? If so, what is the best oil or type of oil to stop wheel squeaks?
 

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Yes, I would not use WD-40, although this may start an endless argument about what WD-40 is made of (used to be fish oil, now it's a petroleum product).

First though, are you sure the axle journals are squeaking and not the flanges against the rails?

Get a good lubricant for the axles. If you have plastic sideframes and metal axles then I recommend dry powdered graphite, never collects grit, works into the plastic surface, basically works well.

Metal axles with metal sideframes, I like oil better, graphite does not seem to "Stay" in metal journals.

(and if you have plastic axles and plastic sideframes, throw them away, ha ha).

I think maybe you have flanges squeaking on the rails.

Do not lubricate your rails! Some people have tried oil or graphite, it's a bad scene.

Regards, Greg
 

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I agree that WD-40 is NOT to be used for anything that needs lubrication. The WD stands for Water Displacement. I have been told the 40 stands for the number of tries the scientists tried to get a formula that worked and also that it is the number of days it is supposed to be effective. Personally, I find it lasts about 30 days. I also find that it leaves a sticky residue (the opposite of lubrication) that once present, will not allow any other oil to stick to provide lubrication in the future... you are stuck using WD-40 every 30 days to keep the item lubricated and not squeeky (or worse... just sticky). (I wish I coud get the car mechanics to STOP using it on my car hinges and door locks!!!!
!!! )

As for squeeky wheels, I have one axle on my Mike's tender that I had a terrible time killing the squeek. Tried large doses of oil on both the axle/journal interface and the flanges and it still squeeked. Finally found that the side of the wheel hub was rubbing on the truck frame and all that oil was just not hitting it. A slight twist to the truck frame and re-tightening of the screws holding it together cured it.
 

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Ed,
I use powdered graphite like Greg. I pull the wheels and axle out of the truck sides and spray just a little bit in the axle hole.
 

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I used to use that white lithium grease but it won't stay put. I had similar issues with powdered graphite. Also there was a thread a while ago from someone who used powdered graphite with Bachmann metal wheels and found that the graphite, being conductive, was causing shorts and melting the plastic sideframes. The graphite was bridging the plastic insulater between the metal axle end and the metal wheel. Am I remembering that right?


I've been using, on the recommendation of someone else here, "synergen assembly lube," whch I found at a local hot rod shop that has since gone out of business. It's slippery enough but doesn't run away like the lighter lithium grease
 

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Has anyone heard of SlipiCone.... Silicone based lube. ?

And I hear sewing machine oil is good for drive trains.

gg
 

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I think the problem is getting the stuff to "stick" or stay in place.

By the way, the person with the graphite "Shorting" problem also apparently used some grease or oil to make a mess. I was not satisfied at all with getting to the root cause in that thread. It was supposedly responsible for a short... find it hard to believe.

What I have found is that if you can use a "dry" lubricant, you stand a much lower chance of getting dirt and grit in your axle bearings.... oil and grease will hold girt, and will ooze out enough to get junk stuck to your sideframes.

Regards, Greg
 

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At the time the shorts occured on the Bachman axles, only graphite had been used. The cars were left outside where moisture could also get to the axles. I now use LGB red oil.
JimC.
 

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Maybe I am a heretic, but I use steam oil. It's thicker and stays in place.
 

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Let them squeal! That way the train cars sound like a real train going by with the wheels squealing.
Just kidding. I use Labelle oil.


Randy
 

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Posted By Greg Elmassian on 03/21/2009 12:53 PM
Where U been Nick? It's been entirely too quiet on the forum!!!

Greg



Greg, Been busy trying to get this new house finished for final inspections, all i can say is a lot of little stuff to do before move in time but were gettin there
i'l be glad when its over...... but on a positive note. my footings were laid this weekend for the bridge over the stream so hopefully next pictures will be of new 85ft long daul track bridge installed.
 

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OK, here's my pitch: Mobil One.
That's right, a plastic compatible synthetic in 10/30 or heavier. Cheaper than any other hobby oil.
Former mgmt. person at LGB affirmed that the oil - the "pen"oil is really a transmission oil compatible with plastic.
LaBelle is fine. It is plastic compatible and it also won't screw-up the truck journals. Costs more.
I now reload my LaBelle squeeze tubes with Mobil One -- use it throughout the loco's moving parts and the cars.
Wendell
 

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Any light oil would work although always sparingly - a heavy oil or grease may end up getting a lot of dirt (dust) stuck to it creating more problems long term than you want. Used to race mountain bikes in my younger days and our rule of thumb was light oil as needed. We use synthetics silicon based as they seemed to last longer. WD-40 would destroy a chain in one race. It actually is a great cleaner and in a sense de-greaser we used it to clean the bike after a race or training run (daily) then we would lubricate the bike for the next run. With Titanium chains running 150+$ back then you were careful on how you oiled and maintained them. Rolling stock is no different light oiling so you keep them lubricated without attracting a whole lot of sand and grit into the mix. Just my thoughts and I am by no means an authority or expert on lubricants or their use. All I do know is clean contact between two metal or moving parts = good , dirty = bad. :cool:)
 

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They have an oil for everything ...
Have you tried 'Squeaky Wheel Oil' ?

Seriously, what about Petrolium Jelly, Vasaline or whatever you call it.

Not too much though !


Andrew
 
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