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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

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Oil????

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9 years 7 months ago #10426 by sky_68
Oil???? was created by sky_68
Hallo to all,
this site is fantastic. Another question, what kind of oil should I use? My locos run only sometimes and I would like to avoid that the oil becomes hard.

Thanks a lot

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9 years 6 months ago #10427 by ztrack
Replied by ztrack on topic Re: Oil????
The new oil from Marklin (7149), as well as oil from HTM (5980 and 5981) and Labelle 108 are all safe for Z scale. The HTM oil has been specifically designed for Z scale locomotives. I have used all of these oils and keep them on hand.

Rob

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9 years 6 months ago #10429 by shamoo737
Replied by shamoo737 on topic Re: Oil????
I use Labelle 108 without problems, and its easy to find in hobby shops in the US.

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9 years 6 months ago #10430 by sky_68
Replied by sky_68 on topic Re: Oil????
Thanks a lot, and now I try to find it in Italy.....

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9 years 6 months ago #10431 by ztrack
Replied by ztrack on topic Re: Oil????
HTM oil can be ordered direct from Germany. Here is the link:

www.z-hightech.de/

For those of you in the US interested in this oil, we are the exclusive authorized distributor of HTM products in the US. You can find there products on Ztrack Center:

www.ztrackcenter.com/htm/index.html

Rob

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9 years 6 months ago #10437 by sky_68
Replied by sky_68 on topic Re: Oil????
I love this forum.... ("I love this game"...NBA)

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9 years 6 months ago #10438 by Zcratchman_Joe
Replied by Zcratchman_Joe on topic Re: Oil????
Rather than sell any name brands in this reply, let me say it is usually safer to use a thin synthetic oil, rather than an organic (petroleum) oil.

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9 years 6 months ago #10439 by ztrack
Replied by ztrack on topic Re: Oil????
I completely have to disagree to thinning synthetic oils. The risk is far too great if you don't get the consistency correct. The biggest risk to Z scale locomotives is not the situation where oil dries out or hardens. It is actually the opposite where if too much oil is used, it can clog the engine and damage the fine mechanisms. This is why I only recommend those oil specifically formulated for Z scale. These are lightweight oils, that are not prone to hardening. HTM also includes Teflon in the mix.

I am not trying to sell oil here. But the fact is, less is better and only use oils that are designed specifically for Z scale. The risk is far greater to go off on your own.

Rob

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9 years 6 months ago #10440 by mrz
Replied by mrz on topic Re: Oil????
I wanted to add that I bought the HTM oil from Ztrack and I think it is very good, I would definitely recommend it :)

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9 years 6 months ago #10442 by Zcratchman_Joe
Replied by Zcratchman_Joe on topic Re: Oil????
Rob, I never said to "thin" the oil. I said to use a thin, synthetic, oil. Perhaps I should have said a lightweight, synthetic oil. And please don't try to tell me that there is a company that makes "oil specifically formulated for Z scale". Unless you're speaking of a couple of guys in their basement mixing up different oils until they think they have it "right", the Z scale market is much too small for any company to formulate an oil specifically just for Z. A large company could however formulate an oil designed for all scales of slot cars, model trains, etc., and make a profit on it.

You say you're not trying to sell oil here, but honestly, it sure seems that way. HOWEVER, I don't personally care one way or the other. Sell away, if you believe the oil is good. I certainly would if I believed in a product. I'm sorry if I made it sound like I was possibly complaining about your remarks as being a sales pitch. I didn't mean it that way. I was just throwing in my two cents worth in favor of synthetic oils.

Further you mention the biggest risk to Z scale locomotives is not oil drying out or hardening but rather over oiling which clogs the "engine" and damages "the fine mechanisms". First of all there is no engine inside a Z scale locomotive, only a very simple, small, electric, motor. Also, if one takes apart a locomotive, there really are no "fine mechanisms", like in a clock, etc. to damage. At least I've not seen any real "mechanical" damage due to "over oiling". This is not to say that over oiling is a good practice. In fact over oiling is very bad for the operation of the motor. When an oil hardens due to its formulation or thickens from fine dust particles, etc, it can build up and form a coating on the electrical contacts within the locomotive, necessitating a cleaning before the locomotive will operate properly again. Also when oil builds up it can also make gears "tighter" preventing them from turning as freely as they should. And one tiny drop is usually all one needs at specific oiling points on any locomotive.

I believe the problem most people face with a stalled or sluggish locomotive is actually a combination of problems all brought about by oil or the lack thereof. Either problem can be difficult, for the novice that might read this, to diagnose.

A lack of oil is easiest to test. If your locomotive is still operational, think about how long it's been since it was oiled last (assuming you use it "regularly" and assuming it is not a "just purchased used locomotive"). But before oiling, turn the loco over and check the wheels. Is there a buildup of "gunk" on the wheels preventing electrical contact between the rails and the wheels/motor? Just cleaning the wheels can make a world of difference in sluggish locomotives! Next, think about why those wheels got "gunky", and change whatever it is you're doing, or not doing, to allow the wheels to get so dirty (over oiling is always a suspect with dirty wheels). Now, if you haven't oiled the locomotive in a while, give it a drop of oil where the manufacturer has specified. Just a small drop will do, trust me.

If the locomotive doesn't run at all, check for dirty wheels. If this doesn't help, your locomotive needs servicing and I'm not going to get into that here, there are just too many variables. Ask around to see if someone can recommend someone to help with your problem.

But let us assume the oil we use is perfect and will never harden on its own. There is still the problem of oil thickening due to other substances mixing in with the oil. The other substances can be dust from the air or grime from the track and fingers to simply the gears and brushes wearing down and leaving particles in their stead. Even "perfect" oil will eventually thicken - sometime down the line. It's inevitable. So what is one to do? First and foremost is to use an oil that is designed for small electromechanical devices like these locomotives. This is usually a clean, thin (lightweight) oil. Second is to try an oil that has been recommended to you by someone that has used that particular oil for some time with good results. Third is to keep your "play area" clean. But even with all of these precautions, just like an automobile needing an oil change or new spark plugs, somewhere down the line the locomotive will need service of some kind... usually cleaning and new brushes. After a time the armature of the motor itself can wear down unevenly and you will need to buy a new armature or a new motor... that is, if one can be found for your particular locomotive.

With all this said, all in all I believe a little research on the different kinds of oils will show that no matter what "extras" it has formulated into it, a petroleum based (organic oil) will break down and harden faster than a synthetic oil with similar "additives". BUT, as I said, it's not just "hardening" that's the problem with oil. Picking up "other particles" can be an oils, and a locomotives, operational downfall just the same. In fact I personally believe that ANY good modern oil, thickening from outside sources, will happen long before an oil will break down and harden due to the heat of these motors or simply age. This makes the point of whether to use petroleum based oil or synthetic oil, in my opinion, moot.

Joe

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9 years 6 months ago #10444 by Ztrains
Replied by Ztrains on topic Re: Oil????
Or just use Labelle 108...

John
www.ztrains.com

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