Kato MP36's Run Inconsistently

gkoproske Jul 9, 2015

  1. gkoproske

    gkoproske New Member

    I had occasion to acquire 4 Kato MP36's. When I put all 4 on my layout and crank the throttle, each locomotive runs at a different speed. Significantly different such that I can't really pair any of the two of them (Analog). This has not been my experience with Kato N in general. After removing the shell, I see that the frame is of a new design. I also notice that getting at the drive train appears to be a pain in the rear. Does anyone have experience taking these apart and perhaps lubing in order to get them to run the same? These 4 locomotives are brand new right out of the box.
    Glenn Koproske
  2. LeonardNichols

    LeonardNichols TrainBoard Supporter

    In my experience with Kato engines, from the GP38-2/GP50 to MP36 and SD70 models, they do run very consistent, I only have one MP36 (Caltrain) and it has a habit of stalling and slipping if you put a large load (a Centerline track cleaner for example) in the consist, running a train of 5 bilevels is not a problem. I would suggest using the exploded drawing provided in the bottom of the Kato box as a guide to disassemble the units. I don't know what disassembling the unit will accomplish Variance in motor speed can not really be addressed by removing them. I would suggest converting to DCC, this will eliminate any issue with varied speeds.
  3. Amtrak90

    Amtrak90 TrainBoard Member

    There was a problem with some mp36's with the worm gear sleeping. If you have noticeable drop off in performance in certain engines send it back to Kato and they'll sort it out for you. They fixed up my VRE real nice.
  4. SASRR

    SASRR TrainBoard Member

    I replaced the trucks on mine as they seemed to have a lot of slip(grinding ) seemed like that took care of it for me.
    Breech2021a likes this.
  5. Primavw

    Primavw TrainBoard Member

    Not an MP36, but during a quick teardown of one of my ACE's, I found a plastic shaving in the worm gears. Ran much better after I removed it.
  6. Breech2021a

    Breech2021a TrainBoard Member

    Kato in Schaumburg, I’ll. was very nice and sold me a couple of new truck gearboxes. They are universal so they work on both front and back. Part number kato. 929245 mp36ph power truck black. 1 ea
  7. tpwillie

    tpwillie TrainBoard Member

    You mentioned you had the chance to acquire these 4 engines, but didn't mention if they were new in box, used, or a mixture of both. You didn't mention if they all came from the same source (hobby shop, show vendor or some other sale venue) at the same time. You may have a problem of some being "broke in", some stiff from sitting around without any run time, dirty wheels or just a bad batch of locos(not really a problem with Kato MP36s). A lot of things can come into play when trying to get 4 locos to run together. I usually take the time to check the condition of the engines (new wheels, dirty wheels, loose trucks, wheel gauge, etc), run them by themselves for a period of time and observe their operating characteristics, before I assume something is wrong. Four different engines can have some minor speed and operating variances, but Kato is one manufacturer that doesn't have much variance in a production run. Check the conditions I mentioned and maybe you can see something that makes certain loco different from another. You shouldn't have to do anything radical to get at least a couple sets to run together on DC without having to go the DCC route if you are not set up and using DCC. Good luck and hope you get to enjoy them without too much added expense or frustration.

    John (tpwillie)
    Calrod likes this.

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