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"A POSSIBLE TRACK CLEANING SOLUTION"

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  • Member since
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"A POSSIBLE TRACK CLEANING SOLUTION"
Posted by TrainsRMe1 on Saturday, April 3, 2021 7:14 PM

Cool Happy Easter MRRDERS.                                                                                       I was talking to a good friend of mine, who's a great modelrailroader about the perfect track cleaning solution (ie WD40 RADIO SHACK)he told me that he used a spray conrol/contact cleaner lubricate on his track, after he used it, he said that his locos ran like brand new, no sputtering, no stopping, no having "THE HAND OF GOD" moving the locos!!  What do you guys n gals think of this idea, I'm sure you would have to be careful of any acid or chemical reaction to the track, but what is your reaction, inquirering minds want to know! LOLWink

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Posted by gmpullman on Saturday, April 3, 2021 10:35 PM

I really don't have much problem with keeping track clean. I'll occasionally run a CMX fluid drip using mineral spirits around the main maybe once every six months.

I have read several discussions about contact cleaners and have found the one suggested most often is the CRC 3140 in the green can. I have sometimes used it for spot cleaning trackwork.

I have never used anything that leaves behind any film or oil. Some swear by transmission fluid, Flitz, Whal Clipper Oil, Goo Gone (!) and who knows what else.

For contact areas on locomotives and passenger car pickups I use De-Oxit and/or CRC 2-26.

Good Luck, Ed

 

 

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Posted by CNR378 on Saturday, April 3, 2021 10:40 PM

My club uses CRC 2-26. Now only need to clean track where work has occured.

Peter

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Posted by rrebell on Sunday, April 4, 2021 12:17 AM

Wd40 leave a film that will attract dust in the long run.

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Posted by TrainsRMe1 on Sunday, April 4, 2021 12:51 AM

CRC 2-26???,  Can you tell me who makes this solution???

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Posted by gmpullman on Sunday, April 4, 2021 1:07 AM

CRC makes CRC Whistling

https://www.crcindustries.com/

They have scores of specialty chemicals for industry and commercial use.

I believe the 2-26 is available at some Big-Box stores and maybe auto parts stores. The 2-26 fluid is usually in aerosol cans but my former employer bought some for me in a pump sprayer that I like to decant into 1 ounce needle-point applicators. I can get into motor bearings and axle end points with the needle tipped bottle.

 

Regards, Ed

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, April 4, 2021 2:11 AM

Apparently CRC 2-26 is not available in Canada. I searched the CRC Canada website and they showed the product, but when I clicked on the 'Where To Buy' icon it said that no stores carry the product. If it is in aerosol containers I doubt that it can be shipped across the border.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Sunday, April 4, 2021 9:11 AM

WD 40 is very common and used for all kinds of things it's not really designed for. It is mainly designed to clear water contamination off electrical conductors. I dislike the pong so hardly ever use it.

Electrical contact cleaner is actually designed for cleaning conductors. Radio Shack makes a really good one. At least it did when it was last in Canada.  There are many brands. It's a much better product for cleaning railheads.

To sell into Canada also requires French language labelling which some manufacturers decline to pay for. 

Alyth Yard

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, April 4, 2021 9:33 AM

TrainsRMe1
Happy Easter MRRDERS.

I thought this was internet slang for Murderers! I do not like this abbreviation!

Surprise

Anyway... never spray WD-40 on your layout. Also, WD-40 is not a penetrating oil, which many people assume.

Do keep WD-40 on hand. It can be a miracle worker for all kinds of things.

Stuff you need in your house...

WD-40

PB-Blaster (penetrating oil)

Permatex Silicone Lubricant Spray

For track cleaning I will also state that CRC contact cleaner on a paper towel is great. Do not use CRC Brake and Parts Cleaner! It is not plastic safe.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, April 4, 2021 11:07 AM

Lots of these traditional contact cleaners tacitly assume pressure on the 'contacts' in use after application.  Along with solvent cleaning they provide a mobile, thin, self-healing film which 'wets' the metal.  This excludes air and a range of corrosive contaminants, and displaces with pressure until (unlike a lubricant) the metallic asperities on the contact surfaces touch to allow current flow.

Incidentally many of these films happen to be insulative/dielectric for 'boring technical reasons'.  People who do not understand chemistry think that a "conductive lube" actually conducts electricity well.  They do not: they condition and maintain the surface so that with displacing pressure the underlying contact can be good.

In part this is why good 'gleaming' is important whether or not you are a "TOR application" aficionado.  In models without something like Magne-Traction or that British system with magnetic plates under the track, only rolling contact with the 'adhesive weight' of the model provides the electrical connection -- not spring pressure, wiping action, or forced 'spring-loaded' connection as in electrical switchgear or plugs and connectors.  This governs the type of 'film' best suited for model-railroad purposes.

Now, any self-healing film is likely to hold 'some' dirt or other airborne contaminants.  Key, regardless of chosen 'substance', is regular cleaning to remove this followed by re-establishment of the thin, mobile, self-healing layer.  That implies that if you use an actual cleaning solution you may need to re-apply your TOR -- but sparingly; it also follows that a pass with a John Allen-style weighted rear-side-of-Masonite pad might remove crud but leave enough of the dressing to self-heal.

There are true conductive lubricants -- they are usually heavily-loaded with conductive materials (such as silver particles) that touch in sufficient number as to give reasonable current path.  They are expensive and rare, but if used in model-railroading quantity, where 'a little goes a long way', they might be an attractive option in 'trouble spots' like some axle bearings.  Their use in place of something like De-Ox-It products for TOR might be interesting to test.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, April 4, 2021 11:24 AM

Overmod
 Along with solvent cleaning they provide a mobile, thin, self-healing film which 'wets' the metal.

Several engine manufacturers specify the CRC contact cleaner as the final cleaning step for critical gasket surfaces because it leave no thin film or residue behind.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, April 4, 2021 12:23 PM

Yes, not all products billed as 'conduction enhancers' leave a film.  I should have been clearer about that.  But much of this discussion invoked CRC 2-26, which will leave a film.  Elucidating the difference between that product and a 'contact cleaner' also happening to be provided by CRC is important.

I do suspect that where no special 'ingredients' affect the contact surface, a proper mixture of solvent and perhaps detergent would do the job about as well, or more cheaply, than a 'branded' proprietary mixture.  This might not apply to a cleaner preferentially packaged as a spray for more 'pinpoint' application, but typical track use doesn't really favor spray from a can (as Ed noted).

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, April 4, 2021 12:51 PM

Overmod
but typical track use doesn't really favor spray from a can (as Ed noted).

I spray the CRC onto a paper towel and wipe the track with that.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, April 4, 2021 2:34 PM

SeeYou190
I spray the CRC onto a paper towel and wipe the track with that.

Be sure you're wearing gloves impervious to the solvents (probably at least 4mil nitrile or chloroprene) and be very careful not to breathe the overspray and spent propellant that the paper towel doesn't catch.  And wrap the "applicator" up in something like a plastic grocery bag afterwards to minimize 'human contact exposure' Smile...

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Posted by TrainsRMe1 on Sunday, April 4, 2021 4:39 PM

CoolWell Friends

I went to Home Depot and found the CRC 2-26, I'll let you know how it works out, and yes, I will use gloves and paper towels!!

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Posted by doctorwayne on Sunday, April 4, 2021 8:23 PM

hon30critter

Apparently CRC 2-26 is not available in Canada. I searched the CRC Canada website and they showed the product, but when I clicked on the 'Where To Buy' icon it said that no stores carry the product. If it is in aerosol containers I doubt that it can be shipped across the border.

Dave

Dave, I replied to this thread last night, around 5:00AM, and included a link - you can apparently buy that stuff at Canadian Tire.  I dunno where my post went, though.

EDIT:   Here's the LINK

Wayne

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Sunday, April 4, 2021 8:46 PM

Yup, I have a can.

Alyth Yard

Canada

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Posted by ba&prr on Sunday, April 4, 2021 8:50 PM

I use 

WD-40 Specialist® Contact Cleaner     Joe

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, April 4, 2021 11:54 PM

ba&prr
I use WD-40 Specialist® Contact Cleaner

Joe, I had never heard of this product. I just did some reading, and it sounds like good stuff. According to the manufacturer it is safe for plastics and leaves no residue.

Thanks for the tip.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by selector on Monday, April 5, 2021 4:00 AM

It is second on the list of approved track cleaner fluids, just below kerosene.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, April 5, 2021 4:31 AM

It appears that we have to be careful with CRC.  There is a formula 2-26 which contains an appreciable percentage of light mineral oil (up to 20%) and if you did not want an insulating hydrocarbon layer on your railheads this would not be good. It will leave a film.

The Canadian Tire link Wayne provided apparently shows the correct 'non-residue-leaving' product, their 'electrical contact cleaner'.  The MSDS for this shows as containing acetone, isopropyl alcohol, naphtha, and isohexanes (all listed equally as composing "10-30%" of the composition as supplied.  That would certainly be effective as a solvent, but be sure to think about and then use safe practices regarding these chemicals.

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Monday, April 5, 2021 8:39 AM

According to its SDS the WD40 specialist contact cleaner is basically gasoline and isopropyl alcohol. Unsurprisingly, it warns that the stuff is  highly flammable!

https://files.wd40.com/pdf/sds/specialist/wd-40-specialist-electrical-contact-cleaner-spray-us-ghs.pdf

 Radio Shack stuff uses "white mineral oil" which sounds suspiciously like Naptha to me:

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0953/5270/files/SDS-E-640-0148_v30_2015.pdf?7934407606512000081

 

Alyth Yard

Canada

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, April 5, 2021 11:45 AM

Lastspikemike
WD40 specialist contact cleaner is basically gasoline

Um... no it is not. I did not see anything in common with EPA approved unleaded gasoline.

Not all hydrocarbons are "gasoline" by any means.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, April 5, 2021 12:11 PM

Technically, heptane is almost like an anti-gasoline [in the sense of 'gasoline' as effective fuel for internal-combustion automobiles]: it is the substance that is the reference for zero octane in fuel rating Laugh

The isohexanes in the CRC contact cleaner are closer to how gasoline would be expected to behave (isooctane is basically fancily-substituted pentane in the first place).

(Incidentally, gasoline without 'additives' like TEL or MTBE is an excellent solvent, much better than kerosene... but it still has, ahem, certain characteristics that make it less preferable than alternatives for most purposes... Whistling)

White mineral oil has little in common with white naft, and that's the closest you're going to come to any real comparison with naphtha: the constituents of naphtha are at most around six-carbon chains where the mineral oils by most definitions start around 16.

For fun look at the stated vapor pressure ... at 20 Centigrade! ... in that Radio Shack MSDS.  I would want that stuff far, far away from me.

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Posted by John-NYBW on Monday, April 5, 2021 1:27 PM

SeeYou190

 

 
TrainsRMe1
Happy Easter MRRDERS.

 

I thought this was internet slang for Murderers! I do not like this abbreviation!

Surprise

Anyway... never spray WD-40 on your layout. Also, WD-40 is not a penetrating oil, which many people assume.

Do keep WD-40 on hand. It can be a miracle worker for all kinds of things.

Stuff you need in your house...

WD-40

PB-Blaster (penetrating oil)

Permatex Silicone Lubricant Spray

For track cleaning I will also state that CRC contact cleaner on a paper towel is great. Do not use CRC Brake and Parts Cleaner! It is not plastic safe.

-Kevin

 

Any self respecting man should be able to fix anything with either WD-40 or duct tape.

If it moves and it's not supposed to, use duct tape.

If it doesn't move and it's supposd to, use WD-40. 

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Monday, April 5, 2021 2:07 PM

And a tube of silicone sealant. For when the duck tape runs out of stick. Which it does in sunlight and enough rain.

Alyth Yard

Canada

  • Member since
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  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, April 5, 2021 3:18 PM

Overmod
Technically, heptane is almost like an anti-gasoline; it is the substance that is the reference for zero octane in fuel rating 

I always thought Propane was the reference for zero Octane, oh well. I don't miss trying to explain how the Methane Number is different for natural gas than the Octane Number for gasoline.

Lastspikemike
For when the duck tape runs out of stick. Which it does in sunlight and enough rain.

You need to buy better quality duct tape. Compromise elsewhere.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, April 5, 2021 11:21 PM

I checked Canadian Tire's website. They carry several CRC products but they do not list CRC 2-26. That doesn't necessarily mean that they don't have it, but I won't be able to go to our local store for a couple of months or more, both because of Covid-19 and my ankle.

Wayne, your 'Edit' to your last post apparently wasn't complete. It only said "Here's the" and nothing more.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
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Posted by doctorwayne on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 1:42 AM

hon30critter
Wayne, your 'Edit' to your last post apparently wasn't complete. It only said "Here's the" and nothing more.

Hmm....there is a working link after "the", but you're right, it doesn't show the correct product, even though my search included the correct data.  I can check here in town, to see if they carry the correct stuff, as we're not yet in lock-down.

Wayne

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Posted by mbinsewi on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 8:14 AM

hon30critter
Wayne, your 'Edit' to your last post apparently wasn't complete. It only said "Here's the" and nothing more.

That's what I see, no link.  

Mike.

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