My Loco wheel cleaning method.
I have been cleaning my loco wheels with Aero-Locomotive Works ACT-6006 Track Cleaner, but NOT like what I have seen others do, by holding the loco upside down on the workbench in some sponge cradle or just on your lap etc.
I purchased my Track Cleaning fluid from LB Model Railways in Ballina NSW. Phone number 02 6686 2506. Others may tell me of similar solvents that I can add here, as this ACT-6006 may be hard to find.
Peter Cokley says; My bottle says "MODELLBAHNOL" all in capital letters. The diagram shows it is for drive gears, smoke generation and track. I purchased my first plastic bottle about 30 years ago and another in the last couple of years, both from Brisbane model shops. The bottle is in the shape of a tank loco with the spout as a chimney and has a drawing of a tank loco covering the side of the bottle. The label is Hans Weiss Chem. Erzeugnisse 7441 Altenriet/EBI
As shown in the accompanying photos I use a far better, easier and more complete method. As can be seen I place a couple of pieces of Chux cleaning tissues cut out to a suitable shape and lay on a piece of flexi track secured to a piece of masonite or any that suits your fancy.
The Chux pieces are held in place, to free up my hands, by some small “tacks” that are nailed in from the rear.
The first (L/H) Chux has the ACT-6006 Track cleaner applied with the little bottle dispenser with a syringe needle in the top to just the Chux on the rail head and as can be seen this piece cleans all the “crud” off the wheels.
The second (R/H) Chux dries the wheels and removes the residue cleaner and dirt, so none of the dirty liquid stays on the wheels.
With judicious placing of the Chux pieces, small and large wheel based locos can be cleaned by both pieces without the loco stopping.
I connect one of my DCC system Program Track leads that have been switched to operate on the Main, to the track.
Select the loco on the throttle and apply nearly full speed to the loco while holding it at the rear, R/H end.
Now let the loco “progress” along the track with the wheels spinning freely.
Hold the loco with the bogies across the solvent for about a minute and then move to the second cleaner Chux
Now with the loco past the second Chux, every wheel is cleaned.
In my case at the most comfortable place, on my mostly cluttered workbench. This is where I do all my DCC programming, in the comfort of my soft seat, hence the NCE Procab stowed on a “The Clip” from the U.S. for easy accessibility on the right.
Locos with staggered wheels like the original K & M mechanism and tank steam engines or ones without tender pick ups like the Austrains 36 etc will be a little harder. You will have to make your own arrangements here.
Hope this makes cleaning wheels easier.
Bill Daniels replied about SR24 - The liquid is SR24 Modellbahnol ... written on the front, with a picture illustrating smoke generation, lubrication and track cleaners. The back of the bottle has further description plus SR24 10 Jahre .... Hans Weiss Chem Erzeugnisse 7441 Altenriet/EBl .... I can't read German, the B is stylized.
I have been using it for just on 30 years - saw some on eBay in the past few months and in a local hobby shop last year.
I keep a small jar with about a fluid ounce in, and put grimy axles in. Screw the lid on an shake for a minute and then wipe off gunge. Sometimes I use it on a cotton tip to rub commutators or loco wheels. I also use it in a track cleaning car that has a felt (?) pad that rotates. Just pat the pad on a tissue after and the grim is transferred.
My first experience of the fluid was watching a respected! hobby shop owner immerse a plastic bodied loco in a jar full of the liquid, swirl it around, then put the loco on his test track, power it up and charge the customer for servicing a loco!!!