That loco wheel cleaning post…

Whoa! Stop the press – Jeff mailed me this about my previous post on wheel cleaning:

“If you apply a drop of atf (automatic transmission fluid) to the wheels of all of your rolling stock you eventially will never have to clean them again. Same applies to your track. This works on all gauges. I haven’t cleaned my layout in years.
This was featured in Model Railroader Magazine a couple of months ago.”

Now that’s a great tip!

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  1. that sounds a good idea , must try it

  2. Brian Clauser

    Years back I read and used a tip on the same order as transmission fluid. It was to use Wahl clipper oil. Supposedly it has no additives to cause problems. It only takes a thin thin film of it.
    I do use transmission fluid for wind instrument key oil. (flutes, clarinets – OK?) It does not get thick and gummy in cold weather. Easy, easy, so I’m off the track a bit.

  3. Stewart Ellis

    Thanks for the tip, will pass it on to my fellow members at Lawton Model Railroad Association

  4. Where do you put the drop ? On the face of the wheel or use the aft in place of lube oil at the required points?

  5. :???: I am interested in this would you apply it to the track and wheels lightly with a q-tip or something ? :?:

  6. Lincoln

    Everybody has some gimmick, gadget, or gizmo to clean track and wheels, mainly because they’re too lazy to properly clean the rails. There is no substitute for a little 99% isopropyl alcohol and a good lint-free cloth or towel like Scott’s Shop Towels on a Roll, and some effort while one tries not to knock down everything along the right of way. Keeping the dust and lint out of the train room helps too. Don’t forget to clean the inside edges of the railheads. :roll: :roll: :roll:

  7. Lincoln

    I really don’t see automatic transmission fluid as a way to prevent dust and dirt from falling on the rails and becoming the crud that accumulates on wheels and track. It is oil. It lowers friction. It may also chemically attack plastic wheels and traction tires. :roll:

  8. Ron Zimmerman (USA)

    I visited the local Model Railroad club a few yewrs back. They suggested using the Wahl Hair Clipper oil. I tried it and it DOES work. They said to put a drop on your finger and wipe it down about 2 feet of track. Then run the trains. The wheels distribute it around the layout. Believe me, if you go to a far point on the layout and wipe a clean paper towel, you will INSTANTLY pick up all kinds of grundge. Funny though, it does not stop the trains. It loosens the crap and cleans the wheels. It does seem to dry after several weeks but another drop on the finger and wipe and all is good again. I have a mixture of copper and the nickle/silver. Works great on both.

  9. Automatic trans fluid, that’s nuts or so I thought but I had to try something. The wheels on my Kato RS2′s were caking up with crap. I had tried GooGone and that did not work, it made it worse. When I went to the local “Jiffy Lube” for an oil change I asked for and got 4 ounces of Tranny fluid FREE. When I came home I put it on one of my favorite Kato RS2′s not allot mind you. I applied it to the wheels with a Q-tip and cleaned it off with another Q-tip running the engine upside down on the bench. Man what a difference, I ran the engine for about an hour with NO crud appearing. I since then have treated all my locomotives with the same process and I have not had to clean wheels or track in the past 3 months. I have an all Diesel manifest RS2′s, RS36′s, PA-1′s. I don’t know how it will work on steam engine pick-up wheels. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

  10. Ok i am convinced to try the Trans Fluid

  11. I will try the fluid. Afraid the track will become slippy causing the wheels not to grip when pulling a heavy load of cars.

  12. What type of tranny fluid?

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