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Lifespan of typical N scale motor

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PED
  • Member since
    April, 2016
  • 405 posts
Lifespan of typical N scale motor
Posted by PED on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 5:07 PM

What is the typical lifespan of a N scale motor? I know it varies by maker but I am focused on the model level, not the toy level.

I have purchased a variety of used locos over the past few years in anticipation of finishing my layout. My layout is fully operational now and I have been unpacking some of the locos I purchased and found that several of them had a bad motors.  One loco was a Kato with a motor that would not start but woudl run OK if you got it moving. Replaced it and all is good. Several Atlas loco's would not run or would run very poorly. Most would just barely move but might run OK after they warmed up a bit. Replaced the motors and they are all good now.

That got me to thinking about how long a motor should be expected to last. I assume that periodic maintenance (cleaning and light lube) would extend their life. Either way, how long should a motor last?

Also, if I have a motor running poorly, should I expect a good cleaning & lube to bring it back to life?

Paul

Washita and Santa Fe Railroad
Circa 1970's in south central Oklahoma

  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • 503 posts
Posted by trwroute on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 5:33 PM

I still have Atlas/Kato locos from the 80's that still run strong.  I don't run the heck out of them though.  I've had one or two develop a squeak and i apply a small amount of light Labelle lube to take care of that. 

I did replace two motors for friend once.  He belongs to an N Trak group...

So, I guess it just depends on how you use them.

Chuck - Modeling in HO scale and anything narrow gauge

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • 234 posts
Posted by bagal on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 1:30 AM

My first N scale loco was an Atlas FM back in the 70's. The motor lasted about a month for me. Found a 'net reference recently that commented that the motor life could be measured in minutes. Hopefull N scale is a lot better now.

OTOH some of my HO locomotives have done over 100 hours in train show running alone.

 

  • Member since
    October, 2001
  • From: OH
  • 16,431 posts
Posted by BRAKIE on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 11:03 AM

bagal
The motor lasted about a month for me. Found a 'net reference recently that commented that the motor life could be measured in minutes. Hopefull N scale is a lot better now.

Quality  locomotives with quality motors will last a life time with normal care and operation. To my mind Atlas,Atlas/Kato and Kato drives are the best of the best. The improved Life Like Proto  N Scale engines are good too.

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.

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