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Problem With Mantua 4-6-0 Locomotive Running Sluggishly

Dean sent in this question in the hope someone can assist:

“I have an HO scale Mantua 4-6-0 Rogers type steam locomotive and am having difficulties trying to figure out why it’s causing problems. It runs sluggish and almost stops at times. I did some troubleshooting by giving it an oil and cleaned the wheels but it hasn’t resolved the issue. I’m wondering if it could somehow relate to the binding? I admit it hasn’t been run much recently. I’m certain it’s not a track or power pack problem because I’ve operated larger engines on the same setup with any problems. It is sure to something that’s fixable, but what? Any thoughts would be very much appreciated. Thanking you.”

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11 Responses to Problem With Mantua 4-6-0 Locomotive Running Sluggishly

  • Anandasays:

    Check the motor brushes and the commutator.

  • Dennis Franklinsays:

    Clean and lube the brushes and gears.

  • Ken Lambornsays:

    Disconnect the linkage and let it flop. Put the engine on the track and let the power flow while holding the engine. That linkage has to be perfect for that engine to run well. Good luck.

  • Ken Lambornsays:

    Disconnect the linkage and let it flop. Put the engine on the track and apply max power while holding it. The linkage has to be perfectly aligned for good performance on this 4-6-0.

  • Wallysays:

    Try to run the engine on your bench by appling test leads to the wheels. Support your engine up side down in a box. Regards Wally.

  • Jay Rosssays:

    You could try removing the motor, and running the motor by itself to see if it runs well. Also, with the motor removed, you can spin the wheels, to see if they run freely. If the motor don’t run good on it’s own you’ll need to make sure that the brushes and commutator are clean, the the rotor is not binding etc.

    If the wheels are binding then they will have to be freed up lubed etc.

    When putting the motor back in, be sure to have proper gear clearance, not too tight or loose. Make sure that any wheel wipers and all electrical connections are good.

  • Danasays:

    Have you checked the distance between the wheels on the axles against NMRA standards?
    Sometimes these are too far out and can bind quite easily on the track. Just a thought.

  • Robert Caulfieldsays:

    Clean the brushes. They should be where the wires join yhemotor. Try taking an eyedropper of mineral spirits and pour it on the brushes. Wait for it to dry because mineral spirits are flamable. Mineral spirits won’t degrade the electrical components.

  • Norman Chippssays:

    Check the basics and measure the voltage with the engine on the track.

  • David Stokessays:

    Something James May (of Top Gear and Toy story fame) did when servicing a “Flying Scotsman” not used since the 1960s, was to remagnetise the magnet in the motor. I was amazed the change it made to its efficiency . This is something we overlook so often. Older locos have soft iron magnets, that over time lose their “grip”, and cause locos to act ornery.

    I don’t know if Hornby still sell their “magnetizer”, but it would be a useful piece of kit at times like this.

  • Joe deBysays:

    Depending upon which motor you have in it, The problem could be at the point where the pressure spring touches the stem of the brush. Originally the spring was flat against the brush and everything worked. Then some idiot changed the bend point of the spring so that only the actual point touched the brush. I pointed that out to Mantua at a trade show a very long time ago and nothing was ever done about it. So, anytime we stocked engines with the PM 1 motor, I changed the angle of the bend before we sold it.

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