Marklin DB89 is driving me crazy..almost ready to dump Z scale

grahament Jun 19, 2014

  1. grahament

    grahament TrainBoard Member

    I have posted a lot of topics about my DB89, but I am really almost at the end of my rope with this thing. I cannot get it running right. Just when I think I have it sorted out it starts to go bad again.

    Right now after running well for about 5 mins it just stopped, it sits on the track, not moving, def. has voltage on the brush bars (checked with a meter) and gets pretty warm but does not move. I have tried two sets of brushes (first ones fell apart), clean commutator and carefully lubed the top bearing..but not too much...

    The DB89 ran pretty well when I first got it. I soon noticed that it was getting quite warm which worried me so I set about trouble shooting:

    1. Applied lubrication very sparingly as per instructions.
    2. Marklin forum warned of danger of too much oil so I decided to strip down and clean everything and relube.
    3. Did that, cleaned and reassembled.
    4. Repeatedly cleaned commutator in case of oil contamination.
    5. During one of these cleaning cycles the head from one of the brushes fell out..bad news.
    6. Perhaps this was loose and was causing high resistance
    7. Got new brushes and it ran well for a while but does from time to time get quite warm/hot.
    8. Re lubed top motor bearing and carefully stored loco upside down so any excess would run away from armature.

    I would say that right now it’s very hit and miss, sometimes runs nicely and mildly warm, sometimes not so well and quite hot….the top motor bearing does get pretty warm sometimes.
    Is there something I am missing..I love this thing and am dead scared of burning something up? I am running it with the body removed for easy access to everything.
    The commutator looks really nice and clean, bright shiny copper.

    I am going to try taking all the wheels and gears out again today to clean that up....
  2. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

    Getting the right tension on the brushes can be tricky. I have done it many times and every now and again after a cleaning I get the warm motor as well. I just bend them slightly to get them right.

    As far as lubing goes, I always clean first every time then lube. That seems to help.

    Also, I would recommend a gaugemaster with your power supply, it really helps keep them running smooth and well worth it. I might have quit Z if not the the gaugemaster it is that effective!

    Here is a website that helped me quite a bit and has great information check it out very helpful
  3. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

    I (and others have) had issues with 'recent' (last few years) motors from märklin. Some reporting that they have recently gotten better. I had ordered a few several years ago and had a lot of problems with them, similar to you. Current consumption was already higher, got worse as they ran, overall quit, etc. I can only assume that you have a bad motor (mainly the armature with its commutator contacts).

    I suspect that with all their financial issues, move of much of the manufacturing to china (not sure about the motors tho), you could have something produced during those poorer times.
  4. grahament

    grahament TrainBoard Member

    Thanks for this...I had wondered if this was the problem..not getting a good hard connection between the brush head and commutator. I thought about doing this and now I certainly will try it.
  5. grahament

    grahament TrainBoard Member

    Thanks for this...I bought this starter set on Ebay a few months ago. It was listed as "new" i.e. unused. I think it was but when it was made I do not know. I am going to find out from the seller and see if I get anywhere with Marklin/Trix. These sets are certainly NOT cheap and we deserve a better product for our money than this.

    Interestingly I also have a T scale layout (less than half the size of Z scale) and it has given me FAR LESS grief than this. The loco bodies are a very simple design and work very well. I recently had a premature motor failure which was replaced FOC by the good folks in Scotland at
  6. Cleantex

    Cleantex TrainBoard Member

    The advice with the brushes are very right. If you buy any new, it is important to buy the version corresponding to your motor, 3pol or 5pol.
    If you got a kit that was produced some times ago, than, even when new, the gears can be stuck completely or partely by bad oil getting some resin consistence. It is at this moment necessary to wash it out completely. For the quick action I use some sort of video head cleaner, other use white-spirit.
    Best is steam oil in an ultrasonic bath, when nothing is moving. So, I dont know how you cleaned it, but very often this is the reason for bad running. But it can be also that somebody made bad reassembly of the gearbox, difficult to judge on the distance.

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