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I recently purchased this set. I gave the track a superficial cleaning using fine wet/dry sand paper, however the instructions said not to do that. Years ago with my Aurora set, they had a sort of large eraser that was recommended, but I don't see anything like that. What would you suggest for the BEST way to clean the track.

 

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Many folks use simple green or any light-duty cleaner. An occasional wipe-down with WD40 helps, or a damp cloth will do.

Those large, gritty erasers you spoke of are still available at any train shop. They're good for cleaning the rails.
 

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Most hobby shops carry track cleaners for trains. They are very much like the old AFX eraser type cleaner. I use one on my rails.
 

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I understand that sometimes no matter how much you search you don't get the answers you need so I'll at least tell you what I do.


For old track I use minimum 600 grit wet/dry and then follow it up with WD-40. The WD-40 is sprayed lightly on a rag and then I wipe the track down. You don't want to soak the track or else it is too slick. New track I just use WD-40
 

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Wipe the track down with WD40 sprayed onto a microfiber towel. Do not spray WD40 directly onto the track. After 30 minutes or so remove the WD40 with a microfiber towel wetted with denatured alcohol.

If the rails are dirty and wont clean up with track cleaning then I go over the rails with 600 grit and repeat the cleaning process.
 

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Wipe the track down with WD40 sprayed onto a microfiber towel. Do not spray WD40 directly onto the track. After 30 minutes or so remove the WD40 with a microfiber towel wetted with denatured alcohol.

If the rails are dirty and wont clean up with track cleaning then I go over the rails with 600 grit and repeat the cleaning process.



Great advice above, the only things I can add is shopvac & if in real bad shape 4-Sided Diamond Hone Block 600 grit from cheap tool Harbor freight
instead of wet/dry sandpaper can do a lot of rails quick.
 

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what i do is i wipe the track with denatured achol (pulls the yuck out of the rails)then wipe with wd(cleans track will remove the dirt the tires lay down on the track) let set over night then i come back wipe trak down with dry rag like i am polishing the track then wipe down again with denatured achol paying close attn to the rails then run a magnet car to finish cleaning rails then i can go month with out cleaning just having to dust track off also after this is done i always run the besy lap times till track starts to blacken up again( yes you car see it on black track too)
 

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409 cleaner for the road surface. Trim 4-way Fingernail buffing block for the rails. Rails will be smooth and shinny with very little abrasion and hardly any residue to clean up. Only $2 at any Walmart
 

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Using a weighted magnet chassis (tomy turbo, for example), with clean shoes, running on all tracks, is usefull too.

To be sure not having "dead spots", just remove one piece of the track, and run the car. The car will stop on the dead stop, it's a way easier to find.

Then, clean up carefully the track connections.
 

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I like to use ultra fine grit dry emery cloth to clean the oxidation on the rails. A bit of WD 40 on a clean micro fiber towel wiping in one direction only and then wiping dry in one direction. My Tyco track is from 1985 and still looks brand new and lightening fast after all these years.
 

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for rails, those old tyco trucks with the 4 shoes.
2 to the front and two to the rear, they seem to get around on rails that need cleaning
 

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I have also done the lite sanding and WD-40 for years But as time goes on the track seems a little dry and more brittle than when new. I have found something I think is better. Available at train shops is Rail Zip made by the Pacer Co. follow instructions on bottle. If in not sure, try some on an extra piece of track. Makes track darker and more rich looking also seems to add some grip (less spinouts). Looks and smells a lot like automatic transmission fluid which does about the same thing conditions metal and wont hurt plastic. I only do this about 3 times a year. I just wipe track between Rail Zip applications if needed. Anybody else try it and post your results. This is on TOMY track and also an old Aurora lock and joiner track.
Happy slotting. :-{>
 

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I have also done the lite sanding and WD-40 for years
the wd-40 should recondition the track

when I did mine, I would spray the track directly (some folks do not like that idea) the wipe it to spead the wd=40 evenly.

wait 24 hours and clean of with windex or other cleaner.

after that, i would apply rail zip ro my rails only

the track would have better grip and run great

I did this about 4 times a year
 

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In my experience it is best to avoid water based surface cleaners, if you use too much it will get down between the rails and cause corrosion. I have a MaxTrax, it is made of Sintra, which is expanded PVC. I usually just wipe down the track with special dusting cloths that I get at my local hardware store, those work better than the Swiffers or lint rollers that some people use. If there are a lot of tire marks I usually strip the track down with lighter fluid before a big race. I only put a little lighter fluid on a cloth and wipe the track with that. I polish the rails with the sort of fingernail buffing block that was mentioned earlier. For big races, such as the Fray, the tracks are cleaned with WD-40 and in my experience that works very well if you spray it on a rag and wipe the track down with that, followed by a second wipe with a clean cloth. I do not believe that it is necessary to wipe down the track with alcohol after you use WD-40 as I have described. The alcohol would remove the small residue of oil that is left on the rails after the treatment and make them more prone to corrosion. Rail-Zip and similar products that are sold for model railroad track should work well if you just apply it to the rails. Be aware that Rail-Zip contains a red dye, if you have marked your lanes with paint markers Rail-Zip will turn white markings pink!
A final note concerns vacuum cleaners. I suppose that if your track is really dusty or just covered with debris from a construction project you might want to vacuum it. Small dust particles will go right throuch an ordinary vacuum cleaner and into the air to finally settle back on the track. Unless you have a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter or a central vacuum you will have to wait at least a few hours for that dust to settle before you finsh up by wiping the track down.
 
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