Micro-Trains MTL F7 surging

Raytl Jan 21, 2016

  1. Raytl

    Raytl TrainBoard Member

    94
    24
    7
    Hello All,

    I've noticed my MTL F7 has started "surging" on the track, e.g. Runs at normal speed then slows the speeds back up. It is a consistent action while e train runs and it is quick. I have no clue what it could be. The B unit I purchased with this runs just fine. Any ideas?

    Thanks,

    Ray
     
  2. z.scale.hobo

    z.scale.hobo TrainBoard Member

    186
    134
    11
    This sentence is missing something: "It is a consistent action while e train runs and it is quick"

    Common questions: What power pack? Are you touching the throttle? Is the loco new or used?

    First course of action should be to contact your dealer. If it is older or used or an auction site "grab bag" I would check for any gunk build-up in the trucks and then check the cat whisker contacts for solid contact to the trucks. Clear all oils and then re-apply a tiny bit of Atlas 192 Conductalube or Labelle 108 and see if that was the problem.
     
  3. Raytl

    Raytl TrainBoard Member

    94
    24
    7
    I was trying to convey that the locomotive repeats the surging action all the way around the track in the same manner. It's not just in one place or at random.

    I'm Using the Rokuhan RC02 and power adaptor. No issues running my other locos. I purchased this loco earlier last year, didn't really use it until Christmas. Ran it during Christmas almost daily with no issues until a week or so ago. I contacted MTL, but they only offer a 90 day warranty. They offered to repair it for cost of parts and $50.00 per hour.

    I will try the tips you mentioned first.
     
  4. markm

    markm TrainBoard Supporter

    781
    214
    19
    Ray,
    If you're not very familiar with the F7 may I suggest an article from our late friend Glen Cheneir: http://www.wiringfordcc.com/zmtf7.htm
    The first half of the article covers overhaul and maintenance.
    Mark
     
    Kez likes this.
  5. Raytl

    Raytl TrainBoard Member

    94
    24
    7
    Thanks for the link, Mark.

    Anyone have suggestions as to what tools work best or that are needed? I can see I'll need a smaller flat head screwdriver. Anything else that would be useful?

    Thanks,

    Ray
     
  6. markm

    markm TrainBoard Supporter

    781
    214
    19
    Ray,
    For working on a locomotive, I would suggest a jewelers' screwdriver set, they fit the screws better than mechanics' tools. A good set of tweezers would be straight and curved tip as well as locking tweezers, all fine tip. Fine tip needle-nose pliers. Lighted, hands-free magnification is almost a must.
    An assortment of toothpicks, cotton swabs and brushes along with alcohol or electronics contact cleaner can be used for cleaning and the Labelle 108 or equivalent for lubrication.
    A padded U-shaped cradle to hold the unit is useful. These are available commercially or make one from soft foam. I like working on a white pillowslip. It's easier to find parts on it and things don't roll away as easy.
    It's generally a good idea when you disassemble the locomotive to mark the items or place them in a marked bag Up-down, front-back, left-right sometimes makes a big difference,

    The link I posted describes "the" major overhaul for an F7. I suspect most of the document will be unnecessary for you right now, but it's a good reference.
    The problem is that remote locomotive diagnostics can be hard to do. I can think of a dozen details to ask you and possibly none would help solve the problem. I suspect you're just looking at crud in the truck. Check the gearing from the bottom of the trucks. You will need to power the wheels to check. You'll probably find that the gears need cleaned. In rare occasions after long operation, they may just need some lubrication.

    Hope this helps,

    Mark
     
  7. Raytl

    Raytl TrainBoard Member

    94
    24
    7
    Ok, well, I was tinkering with layout ideas tonight and just couldn't figure out what I wanted to do, so I decided to take off the shell of my F7 instead to see if I could see anything obvious. I noticed the wire for the light bulb kind of hanging out/down. I read an article previously about clipping the bulb wire, but I still haven't purchased my new tools to open up the little guy. I figured, what the heck and just bent the wire away from what I believe it was rubbing against and the train seems to be running normally now. Thanks for all the help guys!
     
  8. markm

    markm TrainBoard Supporter

    781
    214
    19
    Ray,
    Glad to read that you've fixed your problem. Your case is a classic example for why it's hard to diagnose a locomotive issue remotely. "Check the headlight wire" would not have been in my first dozen suggestions. At least it wasn't a crumb of fruit cake. BTW: I'm a veteran of decades of "trains under the Christmas trees" and it can be very hard on rolling stock. The stories I can tell about tinsel...
    Seems like you don't need to rush out to buy the tools. But having the right set will make thing less frustrating when the time comes to do some heavy maintenance. You'd think that some enterprising Z scale retailer, some "top Noch dealer" would put together a minimalist tool set with an appropriate cleaner and lubricant. When I was a kid, American Flyer produced a kit with a couple of screwdrivers, tweezers, cleaning accessories, cleaner, grease, oil and instructions for when and how to use.

    Mark
     
  9. Raytl

    Raytl TrainBoard Member

    94
    24
    7
    Thank Mark, me too, was a sad sight that little Southern F7 struggling around the loop! I was afraid it was a something in the gears.

    Lol, I agree, I did see a lot of things out there, but none consolidated. A starter kit, if you will, would be a good idea.
     
  10. z.scale.hobo

    z.scale.hobo TrainBoard Member

    186
    134
    11
    Ask and ye shall receive:
    http://zscalehobo.com/marklin/70900.html

    Thanks for your feedback and product page suggestion.
     
  11. markm

    markm TrainBoard Supporter

    781
    214
    19
    Yeah, something like that. One question: are the 3 piece tools socket drivers or Allen head?
     
  12. z.scale.hobo

    z.scale.hobo TrainBoard Member

    186
    134
    11
    markm: thanks again ... Fixed the description:
    Contents:
    1 each PH 00, PH 0 and PH 1 Philips screwdrivers.
    1 each 2.0 mm and 3.0 mm flat blade screwdrivers.
    1 each 2.5 mm, 3.0 mm and 3.5 mm nut drivers.
     

Share This Page