Cleaning locomotive wheels.

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CGW121

Active Member
Whats the best way to clean wheels? I have locos that need wheels cleaned. There used to be devices for that are they still available, I did not see them in the MicroMark catalog, and am not a fan of putting them on a paper towel and running them for Looking. for answers thanks.
Mike
 

Greg@mnrr

Section Hand
Mike, I have one of those wheel cleaners that uses brass brushes and a connection to track power and the n apply the brushes to the moing whells of the locomotive. I'm not a fan of this method to clean wheels since I'm not conviced that the brushes alone remove all grime and dirt from the wheels.

I find the paper towel with alcohol, ACT 6006 or WD-40 does the best cleaning job. I use these products followed by running the locomotive over a "Clean" piece of towel to remove all cleaner(s) and any dirt residue that maybe remaining on the wheels.

There should be no reason not to use the brass brushes followed by chemical cleaning which is a practice that I use.

The wheel cleaner you maybe looking for is sold by Woodland Scenics. Mine was made in Europe and sold by Walters and distributed by Kadee (See below).

1592844983833.png

Here's my wheel cleaner......

1592845097012.png


Greg
 
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santafewillie

Well-Known Member
I use the Kadee track cleaner in Greg's second picture when needed. Look around, the price (and shipping) varies greatly. Like him also, I follow up with the paper towel but I use Isopropyl Alcohol. I don't need anything stronger than that because my wheels (and track) don't tend to get dirty. I have not ever used the Tidi-Track device so I cannot comment.
Why are you not a fan of the paper towel method?
 
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CGW121

Active Member
It cleans some locos wheelers other it dont touch. I get paper all over the place from paper towels that get shreaded. Have to try 91% rubbing alcahol again Just looking for an easiert here method if there is one.
 

Selector

Well-Known Member
I have leftover strips of scale timber, bits of dowels, and a utility knife. I scrape with the wood, and what doesn't lift that way I carefully edge off with a gentle touch of a utility blade. Then I wipe the operating surfaces with a clean painters cloth remnant moistened with kerosene. Four minutes per locomotive, add another three minutes for a tender.
 

glenng6

New Member
I have a foam cradle that I place my locos in, upside-down. I hook up two alligator clips, attached to an extra power supply and then hold a q-tip, soaked in 90% alcohol against a wheel. Usually, the wheel is clean in a few seconds and normally each wheel can be done with a single tip. At worse it might take two tips per wheel. This has been working for me for many years. Once I am set up I can do all 28 locos in less than 2 hours. Glenn
 

CGW121

Active Member
Followup: Tried cleaning again, used paper towels with 91% rubbing alchohol. Results were promising. I learned to NOT use track cleaner, I think it leaves a residue not sure tho. I had the living room and dining room floors sanded and refinished and they are right above the layout so train time is rare now. Anyway want to get one af the kadee cleaners, gonna do some additional wireing as well. Seems like there is always something that needs to be done.
Mike
 

GeeTee

Active Member
I usually just put a paper towel on a piece of track , put one truck on the towel the other on the rail and throttle up ,isopropyl alcohol is optional . If the paper towel gets shredded ....I get a better paper towel ,like the blue ones they sell in the auto parts stores.

I dont like anything that scrapes , the plating on the wheels is pretty thin (a few microinches ) . Brass brushes are ok if they're not used that often.
 

mondo1948

New Member
I usually just put a paper towel on a piece of track , put one truck on the towel the other on the rail and throttle up ,isopropyl alcohol is optional . If the paper towel gets shredded ....I get a better paper towel ,like the blue ones they sell in the auto parts stores.

I dont like anything that scrapes , the plating on the wheels is pretty thin (a few microinches ) . Brass brushes are ok if they're not used that often.
Hi GEE TEE,
I use the same method but instead of placing the paper towels on the track, I took a piece of 1x3 lumber, attached a 1 1/2' section of track to it and taped a small, train set power pack on top of one end of the board. Then, I soldered wires to the track and attached them to the power pack screw attachments. The reason I did this is so I could take several engines to my work table where I can sit and clean the wheels. Being 72 years old and having foot and back problems, I, like so many of us, need to minimize the time spent standing.

Hope this helps,
Mondo
 

MHinLA

Well-Known Member
Yeah, the old wet paper towel with alcohol on track method.. GeeTee left out that you hold the loco in place as the wheels spin on the towel (just in case you're confused)..
Also, get gunk off car wheels...Hold car upside down. Turn one wheel with your thumb while other thumb nail is acting like a shovel lifting gunk off opposite wheel.
 




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