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Tips For Repairing Your Model Train

Aug 2, 2008
Maybe it is the model train that you played with as a child, or maybe it is the one that your family uses at the holidays to run around the tree. No matter what it is used for a model train is usually enjoyed by most of the family and can bring a smile to most any face. So, what do you do when the engine stops running? Do you throw it out and just buy a new one? Do you send it to a repair shop and pay a high bill? Or, do you save a bit of time and money and make you the repairs yourself?

Repairing a model train engine can be much easier than you would realize. It is true that they do require a bit of work over time due to wear and tear but they bring so much enjoyment that you would hate to get rid of them. To begin your repair efforts you would first need to gather some tools and items to assist you in your endeavor. You would need a few cotton swabs, some baggies, toothpicks, pliers, a small screwdriver, oil, tweezers, and a lint free cloth.

Before you attempt to dismantle your engine you should lay it on the lint free cloth. If you can get a hold of a white one that would be preferable. It will help you keep up with any screws that you might drop on it. Now carefully take the body of the engine apart and set it on the cloth as well. Put the screws from the body into one of the baggies and label where they came from this will help you when you go to reassemble the engine.

Once you have the body off of the engine check all the interior parts for signs of dirt, loose pieces, rust, and oil collecting in one spot. Use either a magnifying glass or a pair of magnifying goggles if you need to so that you do not strain your eyes. If you happen to find bits of oil clumping in the engine remove them carefully with your tweezers. Also remove and loose fibers that you find. There may be animal or people hairs or carpet fiber caught in the engine while it makes its trek around the track.

Use your cotton swabs and solvent to clean off the clumps of oil. Make sure that you don't use too much solvent though because it could melt connections. Also use a cotton swab to clean up any grime you might find built up. Once you do then dry them with a bit of the lint free cloth. Apply new oil to all parts that require them. This is where the toothpicks come in handy. By just using a bit on the tip you can keep from putting too much.

If you happen to find any broken pieces while you are cleaning your engine make sure that you do not just try to glue them together. Find the replacement parts for sale and order new ones. It will turn out much better for you in the long run. Once you have the damaged parts replaced or repaired you can then reassemble your engine and will soon be ready to roll.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for model cars, model trains, and model trucks. You will find excellent hobbying and trading resources here for model car tricks and tips, model train repairs, and model trucks.
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