Author Topic: Dirty Locomotive Wheels  (Read 1164 times)

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alhoop

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Dirty Locomotive Wheels
« on: March 26, 2014, 08:55:38 PM »
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I have a Kato F3 that  gets gunk on the wheels on the negative pickup side, hardly any on the positive pickup side.
Have run it in both directions for 3 scale miles with the same results. Does this mean my dirt is postively charged?
Al

Jeff AKA St0rm

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Re: Dirty Locomotive Wheels
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2014, 09:13:23 PM »
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I am positive you have a dirt problem. How new are the loco. If they are new there is some times a kind of film on the wheels that need to wear off. I notice this more with atlas locos. If you have a trix wheel cleaner you can use that to get the film off. After you get that off should be fine.

mmagliaro

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Re: Dirty Locomotive Wheels
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2014, 02:55:58 PM »
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Fascinating.  For years I have noticed that on steam loco tenders, where only one side pickups up current,
the conductive wheels are often far dirtier than the the "dead" wheels, and I always figured that the current flow had something to do with the accumulation of crud.

It will be interesting to see if you clean the wheels several times and the phenomenon continues.

LV LOU

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Re: Dirty Locomotive Wheels
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2014, 12:43:51 AM »
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What track are you using?

johnh35

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Re: Dirty Locomotive Wheels
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2014, 11:33:04 AM »
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Maybe it thinks it is a car battery?

alhoop

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Re: Dirty Locomotive Wheels
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2014, 12:32:00 PM »
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Fascinating. ...................

It will be interesting to see if you clean the wheels several times and the phenomenon continues.

I cleaned the wheels about 6 times and still got the same results - albeit less each time but always
more on the negative side.




What track are you using?
Atlas flex.

Al

peteski

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Re: Dirty Locomotive Wheels
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2014, 02:05:31 PM »
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So, without changing the polarity on the throttle, if you flip the loco 180 degrees and continue running it, the wheels on the other side of the locomotive (which are now on the same side of the track as the previsouly dirtier wheels) will now get dirtier?

By the same token, if you leave the loco alone but flip the direction on the throttle and run the model backwards, will the the wheels on the other side of the loco get dirty?

That would be an interesting experiment.  If that is really true, if you were using DCC, both sides should get about evenly dirty (since the polarity switches several times a second).  :D

Honestly, I think that there is something else going on here than just the polarity.  But I could be wrong.
--- Peteski de Snarkski
--- Honorary Resident Curmudgeon

LV LOU

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Re: Dirty Locomotive Wheels
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2014, 06:54:46 PM »
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alhoop

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Re: Dirty Locomotive Wheels
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2014, 08:41:05 PM »
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Mike C

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Re: Dirty Locomotive Wheels
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2014, 08:57:26 PM »
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  Do you use metal or plastic wheels on your cars ?....Mike

LV LOU

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Re: Dirty Locomotive Wheels
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2014, 11:52:35 PM »
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C80
I wouldn't be all that surprised if it was something goofy going on between the wheels and the track..When I used Atlas 80,my wheels were filthy.I never really even cleaned any cars,ETC,when I built my new RR with ME C70,no more dirt problems..

peteski

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Re: Dirty Locomotive Wheels
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2014, 12:23:40 AM »
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The question was specifically about only one side picking up dirt. That is why I asked a series of questions which could reveal if in fact the polarity does play a role in this. At this point I'm a bit skeptical.
--- Peteski de Snarkski
--- Honorary Resident Curmudgeon

alhoop

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Re: Dirty Locomotive Wheels
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2014, 12:54:14 AM »
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I was running a Kato F3 -at least 12 years old - Using a CoolerCrawler throttle which is a DC throttle that generates a modified  AC voltage.
The locomotive was pushing a Masonite track cleaning car. Most of the dirt was picked up on the negative side .

PS - I think Peteski might be on to something in reply #6. I just realized I turned the locomotive around to go the other way so the same side of the locomotive always got the dirtiest. Will have to wait until the track gets dirty again to implement his suggestion

Here is a photo showing the loco wheels after about 12 times around - cleaning the wheels after each loop.
The top wheels were on the negative pickup and the wheels on that side were much dirtier after the first run and got progessively   better after each run.
I've noticed the same problem with LifeLike E units but never thought much about it until now. I would really like to know what causes it.

Al
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« Last Edit: March 29, 2014, 01:06:47 AM by alhoop »

mmagliaro

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Re: Dirty Locomotive Wheels
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2014, 02:00:04 AM »
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My comment regarding steam loco tenders is actually not quite the same situation, now that I think of it.
I always thought that conducting wheels, regardless of polarity, accumulated more dirt than "dead" wheels,
as though the current passing between rail and wheel contributed to the problem.   But in the case
of the diesel in this thread, all the wheels on both sides are conducting, yet one side gets dirtier faster than the other.


LIRR

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Re: Dirty Locomotive Wheels
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2014, 09:33:50 AM »
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I had a similar problem awhile back. I had a set of GPs that always ran together. After a good track cleaning and then cleaning the wheels on all my locomotives, the wheels on these three would gunk up again after only a few laps. After scratching my head over this, I discovered the wheels on my freight cars were pretty dirty (these never get cleaned), it seemed these wheels were re-depositing dirt on the newly cleaned rails. So I cleaned all 2000 of them (which didn't take as long as I thought). They run much better now. This tells me it was the problem, but I can't say why these three were effected so much more than all the other locomotives.