Tuesday, June 09, 2020
Mending the Mini-Train
The solvent quickly restored the parts, but not perfectly. Not enough for a collector, but fine for someone happy to do a bit of filling and planning a repaint.
Taking the model apart by undoing a single cross-head screw underneath and then wiggling the red frame clear, exposing the motor. It's a horribly cheap one and I was confident I had a suitable replacement in stock somewhere.
With this in mind, I desoldered the wires and peeled back the retailing tabs on the plastic end. Carefully pulling it away, I could see that the commutator and brushes were covered in sticky goo. My guess is some grease that has solidified, but it looked capable of stopping electricity.
Wiping everything clean with a bit of kitchen towel soaked in WD40 did the job. A quick polish with a fibreglass pencil and all seemed well.
After reassembly, the motor was rigged up to some power via flyleads and slowly turned. After a few seconds, it speed up and ran sweetly. A little oil on the bearings and everything seems fine.
Back in the loco, there was a little fiddling with the contacts in the switch, which is underneath the loco, and I have a working model. This sort of "toy" is pretty simple and easy for the amateur to fiddle with so it's always worth having a go.
My plans now involve fitting a more convenient switch and detailing the body. To which end, a big order for bits has been placed, but I may have to wait a bit for delivery.