How do you clean a HO race track? - Chevelle Tech
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  #1  
Old Jun 23rd, 05, 9:34 PM
Olle Olle is offline
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Default How do you clean a HO race track?

We just got a used HO race track from a friend, and it has got a lot of oxidation on the rails. I could go over the whole thing with fine emery cloth or steel wool, but it would take forever (it's a pretty large track) so I would like to find some kind of "wipe on, wipe off" solution instead. I tried Brasso, but it didnt work. Is there anything better I can use?
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  #2  
Old Jun 23rd, 05, 9:40 PM
67Chevelleguy 67Chevelleguy is offline
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Default Re: How do you clean a HO race track?

I use to have Lionel model trains and the steel tracks would also oxidize. I just used steel wool and cleans right up.
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  #3  
Old Jun 23rd, 05, 10:08 PM
Gene McGill Gene McGill is online now
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Default Re: How do you clean a HO race track?

How about Nver-dull wad, or some wd-40 on a rag. Electric eraser might work well too.
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  #4  
Old Jun 23rd, 05, 10:40 PM
GRN69CHV GRN69CHV is offline
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Default Re: How do you clean a HO race track?

I can remember using an Ink pen eraser. One swipe ought to do it.
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  #5  
Old Jun 23rd, 05, 10:56 PM
DjD DjD is offline
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Default Re: How do you clean a HO race track?

They make electronic spray cleaner that doesn't conduct electricity or leave a residue. Shouldn't hurt the the plastic track itself but I bet if you spray it on and follow with a rag the corosion will clean right up.
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  #6  
Old Jun 23rd, 05, 11:33 PM
MalibuJerry350 MalibuJerry350 is offline
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Default Re: How do you clean a HO race track?

Have to watch steel wool. Tiny particles can and WILL short out the rails! Use a scotch brite pad OR go to your local train/hobby shop for some track cleaner. I use a special track cleaner pad and track cleaner liquid on my Lionel layout once a month to clean the rails.
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  #7  
Old Jun 23rd, 05, 11:46 PM
Olle Olle is offline
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Default Re: How do you clean a HO race track?

Well, upon closer inspection I realized that I probably will need something abrasive. I didn't want to use that first because it will ruin the plating, but some sections have a thick, white layer of oxide, so acid dipping would probably be the only way to do it chemically. I tried WD-40 and Aero Kroil, but they didn't do much good, the oxidation is just too bad.

I also tried steel wool and after cleaning a few feet of track we tried the cars on it. They took off like top fuelers, but to my horror I saw big sparks flying, almost like there was a major short somewhere. When I picked up the cars I realized that the magnets in the motors had picked up all the steel wool debris, and the cars looked like they were growing hair underneath I ran a magnet over the track and then the vacuum cleaner. Should obviously have done that before trying the cars.

Steel wool works, some of the track is clean but I really don't want to make a mess again so that ink pen eraser might be the next thing to try. If I have time I'll go to Radio Shack to get some of that electronic spray cleaner. If nothing else, it should work for maintenance cleaning after I have everything up and running.

So... any more ideas?
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  #8  
Old Jun 23rd, 05, 11:50 PM
SS4Real SS4Real is online now
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Default Re: How do you clean a HO race track?

Do not use steel wool. Not only does it say that in the original instructions, but it does get caught up in the magnets of your cars. I use emery cloth on the metal rails or very fine sandpaper on a small wooden block and it does the same trick. Just vacuum it up before racing the cars.
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  #9  
Old Jun 23rd, 05, 11:59 PM
Olle Olle is offline
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Default Re: How do you clean a HO race track?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS4Real
Do not use steel wool. Not only does it say that in the original instructions, but it does get caught up in the magnets of your cars. I use emery cloth on the metal rails or very fine sandpaper on a small wooden block and it does the same trick. Just vacuum it up before racing the cars.
I don't have the original instructions. And instructions are for whimps and women. I prefer to do it the hard way

As a matter of fact, I just found a small aluminum block about 1" * 1/2" * 3/4", and wrapped some 400 paper around it. Worked great! I might try a wooden block tomorrow, I figure it will follow the contour of the rails a bit better, they seem to be a bit rounded on top.
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  #10  
Old Jun 24th, 05, 12:04 AM
ktownkid ktownkid is offline
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Smile Re: How do you clean a HO race track?

Well..........was gonna say, don't use steel wool.......never mind.

Jerry.....Keep the Hudsons rolling..........

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  #11  
Old Jun 24th, 05, 12:23 AM
dreinecke dreinecke is offline
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Default Re: How do you clean a HO race track?

Olle,

Check out a few sites such as:

http://hoslotcarracing.com/ - awesome info!

From this site: Plastic HO Slot Car track needs to be cleaned from time to time. Under normal use oil from the cars will be deposited on the plastic track surface. This thin film of oil will attract and hold dust and dirt.


The best way that I have found to clean plastic HO Slot Car track is to use Formula 409 Professional Heavy Duty Cleaner. Use the Green De-Greaser formulation and spray it on a soft, lint-free rag. Wipe the entire track with your dampened rag and then follow up with a clean dry cloth.


The metal power rails used in plastic HO Slot Car track oxidize with age. The easiest way to remove this built up oxidation is by rubbing a silver coin on a pair of lane rails. Press the coin firmly against a pair of lane rails and move the coin around the entire track in the same direction the cars normally race. Repeat this process for each lane. A Nickel seems to work the best for this.


To slow the inevitable return of rail oxidation apply a product such as Track Zip to the lane rails once a month. Track Zip can be found at most hobby shops in the Model Railroading Department.

I'm big into slot cars, drop me a line.
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  #12  
Old Jun 24th, 05, 12:54 AM
Chris R Chris R is offline
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Default Re: How do you clean a HO race track?

If this track is anything like model railroading. Try not to use something abrasive. It puts grooves in the track and makes it harder to get oxidation out.
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  #13  
Old Jun 24th, 05, 3:09 AM
Cameano Cameano is offline
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Default Re: How do you clean a HO race track?

I still have my original train set. 95% of the cars are in the original boxes, even. Played with it for years as a kid, set it up in the morning, boxed it up at the end of the day. Mostly Tyco HO stuff. Untouched by my own kids, thus not destroyed in 2 hours.
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  #14  
Old Jun 24th, 05, 4:20 AM
vrooom3440 vrooom3440 is offline
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Default Re: How do you clean a HO race track?

I don't know if you can find anything like this anymore...

But back in the day I had a special eraser from Tyco that was slightly abrasive and intended to clean the pickups on HO slot cars. It was just the ticket for cleaning the rails on Aurora AFX track. I am reminded of typing erasers, something else that you likely cannot find anymore.

I would be careful with abrasives in general since most will also abrade the track surface. Might not be a good thing or what you want to do.
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  #15  
Old Jun 24th, 05, 7:48 AM
Olle Olle is offline
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Default Re: How do you clean a HO race track?

Well, I would stay away from abrasives if I could, but this track must have been sitting in a damp basement or something. I tried the 400 paper, and after that I could see that the tracks are actually pitted in some places, that's how bad it is. I tried the coin method as well, and even if it did clean off quite a bit of oxidation, it didn't get all of it.

I'm going to get more 400 paper and a sixpack this afternoon, I think it's the quickest and easiest way to go. I'm not too concerned about ruining the track, it's already ruined by the oxidation. My friend paid $3 for it at a yard sale, so it's not like losing a fortune either. Thanks for the replies guys!
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