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Brass wheels spark badly

By | July 31, 2009

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Q: I have an American Flyer no. 300AC Atlantic 4-4-2 steam locomotive. The brass wheels (only on one side of each tender truck) spark badly when they roll along my vintage American Flyer track. Could you tell me if the wheels need regular cleaning? I don’t think the problem is with the engine wheels, since they don’t spark. Also, do you know if there is a whistle in the tender? It is heavy and has wires coming from it to the cab.

A: Yes, the brass wheels probably need cleaning badly, as does your track. Use a Scotch Brite Pad and some solvent, such as mineral spirits, on them. Make them shine.

The reason the locomotive wheels don’t spark is because they don’t function as power pickups on a no. 300AC. Both sides of the electrical circuit are picked up by the brass tender truck wheels, which are on the opposite sides of the car. If cleaning the track and wheels doesn’t solve the excessive arcing problem, chances are your motor needs a good cleaning and tune-up too.

the no. 300AC is not equipped with a whistle or smoke unit and choo-choo for that matter. The wires coming from the tender are the power leads to the locomotive motor.

One thought on “Brass wheels spark badly

  1. I have an American flyer mail car and the post that holds the mail bag for pick up. What is the wiring scheme that I need to use?

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