Author Topic: Old Kato P-42  (Read 450 times)

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carmelmodelrr

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Old Kato P-42
« on: May 17, 2019, 10:05:12 PM »
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I have two pairs of old DC Kato P-42 locomotives--one pair is an Amtrak Phase 3, the other pair an Amtrak Phase 4.  It's been a while since I ran either of them, but last night I placed the Phase 3's on the layout and was surprised to see the headlight blinking quite a bit.  I checked the wheels and they appeared clean.  After enduring the blinking some more (and some herky-jerky running) I dis-assembled the locos and thoroughly cleaned the wheels, the end caps and the "cups" with denatured alcohol--and the blinking and jerkiness continued.  I've completely dis-assembled the locos at least two or three times, checking the contact strips, etc, then finally lubed the gears--nothing helped.

So then I put the Phase 4 locos on the layout and all ran fine.

Does anyone have a solution for the Phase 3's--or at least a suggestion?  My inclination right now is to purchase two new motors from Kato for the Phase 3's, but I'm more than willing to try other ideas.

Carmel model RR
Richard Wroblewski

Steveruger45

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Re: Old Kato P-42
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2019, 10:51:09 PM »
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I have two pairs of old DC Kato P-42 locomotives--one pair is an Amtrak Phase 3, the other pair an Amtrak Phase 4.  It's been a while since I ran either of them, but last night I placed the Phase 3's on the layout and was surprised to see the headlight blinking quite a bit.  I checked the wheels and they appeared clean.  After enduring the blinking some more (and some herky-jerky running) I dis-assembled the locos and thoroughly cleaned the wheels, the end caps and the "cups" with denatured alcohol--and the blinking and jerkiness continued.  I've completely dis-assembled the locos at least two or three times, checking the contact strips, etc, then finally lubed the gears--nothing helped.

So then I put the Phase 4 locos on the layout and all ran fine.

Does anyone have a solution for the Phase 3's--or at least a suggestion?  My inclination right now is to purchase two new motors from Kato for the Phase 3's, but I'm more than willing to try other ideas.

Carmel model RR
Richard Wroblewski
Assuming everything is assembled right and If the motor is a bit herky-jerky it could be the motor brushes need a bit of free up after all it’s inactivity.   Try removing the motor and tap/rap it on a wood block on each side a few times and put a drop of contacta-lube on the commutator and a drop of bearing lube on each motor bearing.
The blinking lights suggests you may still have some poor contact issues. Inspect the left and right contact strips, they may need a bit of a polish if they have become oxidized. Also the tops of the truck cup contacts where they rub on the left and right contact strips. Same goes for any other point of electrical contact.  When I clean the axel cups I use a wood tooth pick to help dislodge the grime while it’s laying in some IPA and put a drop of contacta-lube on each cup when assembling back. When I say a drop I mean the tiniest amount on the end of a wire.  After getting running it may also need a bit of break-in by running it roundy-roundy backward and forwards for a while.

In short have a really close look at all contact and clean/polish/adjust and sparingly lube.
Steve
Atascocita, Texas

peteski

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Re: Old Kato P-42
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2019, 10:52:16 PM »
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I assume these are DC models (not DCC).  Blinking  headlights usually indicate intermittent contact somewhere between the rails and the headlight LEDs (not defective motor).

But if you just assumed that the wheels look clean (and left them alone), clean them anyway.  They could oxidize too.  I seem to recall that friend had a similar problem with the first run P-42s and we replaced the wheelsets with the new Kato low-profile wheelsets.

Not sure how you normally clean the wheels. I hope that you have one of those MINITRIX metal brush wheel cleaners - those do a really good job cleaning the wheel treads.  The other problem areas would be the contact areas between the truck's metal posts and the flat contact strips on top of the chessis. I usually polish those areas with metal polish.

If you really suspect the motor (and since you by now are an expert in taking these models apart), take it apart again, remove the motor and worms, then reassemble it and push it on the track as a dummy (with your hand, or by using another locomotive).  See if the headlights still flash.
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tehachapifan

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Re: Old Kato P-42
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2019, 11:15:00 PM »
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….If you really suspect the motor (and since you by now are an expert in taking these models apart), take it apart again, remove the motor and worms, then reassemble it and push it on the track as a dummy (with your hand, or by using another locomotive).  See if the headlights still flash.

But aren't the flickering lights an indicator that it is probably not a motor problem and most likely a pickup problem?

Russ

peteski

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Re: Old Kato P-42
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2019, 11:40:52 PM »
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But aren't the flickering lights an indicator that it is probably not a motor problem and most likely a pickup problem?

Yes, that is what I mentioned. But to prove it beyond any doubt, remove the motor, then see how things work.
I like to take things apart!  :D
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carmelmodelrr

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Re: Old Kato P-42
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2019, 05:38:08 PM »
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I am running DC, if there's any doubt of that.  I took both engines apart and really cleaned the cups and wheels (even though I thought I'd done a thorough job before).  I got a lot more crud off of the wheels (and cups) and the blinking lights are no longer.  However, I have another problem with the lead engine--the trailing truck derails on curves.  I've had the loco's truck  and its fitting into the motor apart several times, but I can't seem to locate the problem.  Any ideas on this issue?

carmelmodelrr
Richard Wroblewski

tehachapifan

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Re: Old Kato P-42
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2019, 05:59:59 PM »
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Could the trucks be positioned or orientated wrong? You'll notice that the P42's tucks have an arrow along with an "F" or an "R" molded on the bottom of the frame. Make  sure the "F" truck is on the front with the arrow pointing towards the front and the "R" truck is on the rear with the arrow pointing to the rear.

If you ended up inadvertently swapping the sideframes during your cleaning efforts, this may complicate things. That said, I'm not positive that changing the orientation or position of the trucks will cause your problems as I've never tried it.

« Last Edit: May 18, 2019, 06:06:43 PM by tehachapifan »
Russ

carmelmodelrr

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Re: Old Kato P-42
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2019, 07:31:34 PM »
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The derailing was caused by my pushing some of the wheels out of gauge.  Now that I’ve corrected that, the derailing has stopped but now the locos are “pulsing” .  Sooner or later I’m going to figure this out.  At least I’m making some progress. 

Thank you for all of your help so far.

Carmelmodelrr
Richard Wroblewsk