Bad experiance with No-Ox on Peco switch points

videobruce Aug 31, 2021

  1. videobruce

    videobruce TrainBoard Member

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    Apparently I used too much of this stuff, and/or didn't wipe enough of it off the rails and the switch points. Coming back after a few years of non use, when I actually tried to run an engine, it didn't. Anywhere on the layout.
    I went around and wiped down the rails more then once then used a old 'track eraser' (unknown if it was a actual pencil eraser or what) the engine finally moved until it got to the first switch point where it stopped.

    The track is Peco. All, or most of the 'points' seem to be affective.

    My initial solution was to use spray "tuner cleaner" (as it use to be called when it was actually used to clean mechanical TV tuners from the 70's and before). I will add this was NOT any material that has any 'lube' in it, just pure, no residue cleaner.

    It mostly worked, but I still have a few points that are intermittent.

    Any other suggestions to help recover from this nightmare?
     
  2. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    Take fine emory paper and clean the points. I had to do that so frequently I got rid of the Peco turnouts.
     
  3. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    If you had to clean Peco switch points frequently then I would suspect possible environmental factors. Had the same problem with Atlas switches and switched to Peco. Problem solved. Alternatively it may be the actual composition of the nickel silver used in the rails. NS is really an alloy of nickel and brass. There is no silver in it. The price of nickel has varied widely over the decades. Being an alloy means that a manufacturer can vary the ratio of nickel and brass. Lowering the nickel content will result in having to clean track more often. Knowing the relative amounts of nickel and brass in a piece of track would require a metallurgical analysis and that could be cost prohibitive. It is relatively easy to determine if a piece of flex track has a high nickel content by bending it as you would when laying a curve. If the flex track springs back to somewhat near its former shape it probably has a high nickel content. But if it wants to stay bent then it has a higher brass content. I always opt for the track that wants to spring back to its former shape. Its a little more difficult to lay out a curve but it pays off in the long run with less cleaning. I have bought Model Power track at train shows that was rigid and would not hold a curve shape. I have no idea when it was manufactured but figured it had to be before the 1980's.
     
  4. sidney

    sidney TrainBoard Member

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    i use 1600 get sand paper like for car paint and sanded every inch of my tracks then behind that with alcohol wipe.
    i too had a very bad experience with no-ox NEVER AGAIN will i use this stuff or condone its use. it a grease. taking me forever to clean this crap off. the 1600 paper works great and polishes the track too. as far as the turn outs i used that same paper on them as well in between the points ect . i really hate that no ox B/S. now my locos run great even the bachmann sw2 witch never runs good, but does now.
    now i use the dust monkeys on my cars with a piece of 1600 grit paper glued to a couple of them . NO MO problems
    DID i say i love those dust monkeys well i do.
     
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  5. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    I have always advocated leaving rails clean and dry. Any petroleum-based liquid is just going to cause problems with dirt attraction/gumming in the future.

    Doug
     
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  6. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I would, too. John lives in an area where he has noted frequent high humidity. Also, close by salt water. I would suspect these at least contribute something to issues.
     
  7. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    I bought this small foam handle sanding block in the automotive section of walmart. It fits perfectly on the width of the track. It comes with 3 or 4 packets of sandpaper of various grits of automotive sanding paper. Each small sheet of sandpaper will last quite a long time just using it to do quick swipes on the rails when trains start slipping. ;) The system uses velcro on both the block and the sandpaper to hold the paper to the block. I was sceptical...but... the sandpaper actually stays on the block...(y)

    [​IMG]

    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2021
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  8. tonkphilip

    tonkphilip TrainBoard Member

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    mtntrainman - How often do you need to clean or sand your track? I thought that you had gone the No-Ox route? - Tonkphilip
     
  9. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    I was having issues when I lived 200 miles from here and the water. HVAC environment with regular filter changes and the layout was in it's own room. I had all my issues with the ST-5 and ST-6 series. Now with Kato unitrack I have had issues with the NoOX fouling the track. About a year ago I tried some No OX on a part of the track and WD-40 Contact Cleaner on another section. The No OX was applied by directions and I have experienced more fouling with it than on the section with the WD-40 contact cleaner or the section with nothing applied. I suspect that the ST series of turnouts had an inferior run of metal used.
     
  10. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    I went with the No-Ox about 5 years ago. It worked so-so. I switched to using WD-40 back about 16 months. Track conductivity has improved and I dont hardly get any 'gunk' buildup like I did with the No-Ox. (y)

    Being out in an RV my trains are susceptible to some drastic temp changes along with humidity changes. I do get 'dust' in there over a period of about a month...which usually just takes a dry rag to wipe down. The track that needs the sandpaper wipe...now and then...are the inclines. For some reason after a few hours of running trains they begin to slip going 'uphill'. Not a lot...just enough that it's noticeable. A few quick swipes on the inclines with that sanding block and I'm good for a few more hours...(y)

    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2021
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  11. OleSmokey

    OleSmokey TrainBoard Member

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    I also have had issues with the No-Ox. WD-40 is a oil is it not? I will try the 1500 grit sandpaper with that handle. Got to change something. I am having major issues with No-Ox.
     
  12. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    WD-40 electrical cleaner not WD-40 lubricant.
     
  13. Rich_S

    Rich_S TrainBoard Member

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    According to several sources, "NO OX ID" A Special is the product you want to add "Very Lightly" to your track to improve electrical contact.
    The most important step is to have everything clean before adding "NO OX ID" A Special to your track.
    For more info have a look at this video.
     
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  14. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    [​IMG]

    WD-40 ontact cleaner is 1.9 on the dieletric constant chart.

    WD-40 (regular) is 2.4 on the dieletric constant chart.

    A .5 difference is still better then anything NOT in the light green area at the top of the chart..JMO.

    That and most everyone has a can of WD-40 around the house so you dont have to go out and find/buy WD-40 contact cleaner...:p

    I've treated my rails with WD-40 (regular) about 16 months ago and havent had a problem one with it...:p:whistle:

    ** I am not sure where NO-OX comes in on the dieletric constant chart

    .
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2021
  15. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    Last edited: Sep 1, 2021
  16. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    If anyone can find where NO-OX comes in on the dieletric constant chart please post a link. I still have a whole jar of the stuff and would be interested in seeing where it falls in line with the other stuff...TIA..:D:)
     
  17. sidney

    sidney TrainBoard Member

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    mtntrainman hey i like that lil sanding block. I printed one from thingyverse . it works ok. for the most part i just cut off a square and use my fingers for quick wipe and its good to go. ill have a looksy for that lil sanding block if i can find it at wally world online.
     
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  18. Rich_S

    Rich_S TrainBoard Member

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    Hi George, I believe the entire reason for using NO-OX-ID A-SPECIAL on the rails is to prevent micro arching. The entire debate over Polar vs. Nonpolar is which cleaner is best for eliminating micro arching. But the way I'm reading it, once your track and wheels have been cleaned adding the NO-OX-ID A-SPECIAL eliminates micro arching and improves electrical contact between the wheels of your locomotive and the rail. From my understanding this extra step eliminates micro arching that causes the dreaded "blank gunk" and some folks are reporting it's years before they have to clean their track and locomotive wheels.

    I want to add, a very small amount of NO-OX-ID A-SPECIAL goes a long way on the layout.
     
  19. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    Think I'll go with something that is a 25.0 on the dieletric scale. Then it probably won't matter if the track is clean or not :D:p:ROFLMAO::LOL::coffee:
     
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  20. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    I have used a yellow "Perfect" brand eraser-type cleaner from the early sixties on and my results have been...well...perfect. The micro scratches claims are way overstated, in my opinion.

    Sparks are not going to jump from the wheel to rail on either side of where the wheel is in contact with the rail. Electricity always takes the path of least resistance. Any sparks will be right where the wheel is actually in contact or, I should say, should be in contact. We live in an imperfect world.

    Rubber traction tires should never come into contact with any petroleum-based product, including mineral spirits. They will deteriorate.

    Doug
     

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