Saturday, January 24, 2009

Texas Special Lives!

Well.. since my HO parts STILL haven't even shipped.. almost a week after I ordered them GRRR there isn't much to do with the train platform. So I moved to working on overhauling 2245 - The Texas Special

When first pulled out of storage.. it would marginally go backwards, but not forward and needed some TLC after it had a battery leak in it.

I took notes as I went, and stripped it down as far as possible.. leaving only the motor itself intact. The die cast stuff doesn't clean up well with only soap and water as I was using.. not sure how to get those looking pretty since they seem to be almost painted finishes which wears away. Where battery acid was, it had completely eaten away the metal making any cleanup purely a stabilizing move. With a metal brush, I removed all lose material and washed what was left behind. I even tried grinding in several places without much difference.

A look at the filth inside (and battery damage)

The first fun was finding the electro coupler on the front truck was busted up. It had a plastic flange where the wire from the pickup would attach. Well that whole section was snapped off. I rigged up a small washer to act as the tie point between the angel hair thin coil wire and the wire coming off the track pickup. It's not pretty, but it appears functional. I pulled the truck all a part, cleaning as best as possible and oiled the axles.

Up next was the rear truck which had the gears in it. This thing was filthy. Even once off the engine, I couldn't really turn the wheels by hand. So it got broken down, cleaned out, and re-greased.

50+ years of grime

I intended to pull the motor apart and clean.. but chickened out when disassembly did not look easy without desoldering all the hookups which I did not want to do. I also did not play with the reversing unit.. which seems pretty loud right now.

Once I rebuild the rear end.. a test was in order to try out if it actually all worked :)

Up next was to try to figure something out about the horn. The horn works by a vibrating coil powered by the track opening and closing a contact between the battery and the horn.

Stripped it all apart, cleaned it up, but still was a big unknown. First attempts went no where with testing it. Even the first runs on the track itself were unsuccessful. But after a second breakdown with more attention cleaning up the contact points where the different plates touch.. we had continuity tests that finally worked.

The body work got a washing and cleanup. And finally it was time for some test runs!

The one casualty of the whole thing was the thumb screw that held the battery door. It snapped, and I still need to figure out how to remove the remaining part of the screw. Right now the door remains partially open, and we used a quarter under the battery to ensure contact between the battery and door (which serves as the - terminal contact).

Here she is.. running slow and then full speed

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