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  • Topic: Cut lube costs

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    • December 8, 2011 7:51 PM EST

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      For those who want to cut grease and oil costs -- compared to the costs of the excellent LGB products - consider the synthetic Mobil One products sold for cars. Widely carried by auto parts stores, WalMart, etc., Mobil One grease and their oil are a synthetic products and are perfectly compatible with plastic. I regularly lube the rolling stock and engines on our own layout and at the Living Desert's gigantic outdoor layout, Palm Desert, CA. with grease on the gears and oil on axle journals and side rods. I have reloaded the LaBelle application tubes with Mobil One oil (15/40 wt.) and the nozzles work great dropping the small amounts needed on the car journals and loco drive train. The grease stays on the gears - load 'em up.

      Both LGB and the USA locos have a marginal amount of lube when new. Correction, LGB locos have been seen new, out of the box, with a tiny amount of lube if that.

      Granted, mucho time ago I ran a similar posting to this one. Comments from newer members gave impetus to this posting-- especially, considering the increasing cost of the LGB products. Friend Ron Gibson, former manager at LGB America, gave me the insight as to the synthetic oil and grease from Mobil One. The LGB oil is really German transmission oil -- it's plastic compatible! Really? Yes, really.

      Merry Christmas!

      Wendell
    • December 26, 2011 11:17 PM EST

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      Further....
      Anyone use an alternative to the LaBelle brand nozzle-based small oil containers? Reloading these with Mobil One has been the practice - - they do manage to get lost. Any alternatives to reload?
    • December 27, 2011 2:29 AM EST
      • Deer Park, Washington
         
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      ____________________________________

      Not only does my mind wander, sometimes it walks off completely.

       

      Some people try to turn back their odometers.  Not me.  I want people to know why I look this way.  I've traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren't paved.  Will Rogers.

    • December 27, 2011 10:16 AM EST

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      Honestly? "Cost" shouldn't really be the deciding factor with lubricants. It's still much cheaper than hard parts. Then there is the fact that once you open that quart to use a few drops, the chances of contamination begins. Sure you're paying extra for the convenience of a smaller package, "for the same stuff"...But, one little jar of LGB grease has lasted me 10 years so far, and I still have about 1/4 of it left.... What extra good would a pint tub have done me?
      Bottom line? After spending $200-500 on a toy locomotive, does trying to 'save' a few lousy bucks on grease and oil really make any sense? Seriously?
    • December 27, 2011 10:23 AM EST
      • Tiburon, California
         
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      For some folks, myself included, "making do" and economizing, or innovating is part of the fun. Another part is not paying ten bucks or more per ounce for something that seems like it should go for four bucks a quart...

      But in any case, you are right, NOT lubricating would be bad. Mis-lubricating would be bad too.
    • December 27, 2011 11:27 AM EST
    • I guess I'll have to add this to the "had I known" column. Have a ton of Mobil1 products in the garage...And a bunch of little Bachmann bottles/tubes on the work-bench. Might give it a shot when I run out.

      Just for fun I did the math the other way...To change the oil in my car using Bachmann EZ-lube would run me $1,611.26 + $5.00 for the filter.

      :D
    • December 27, 2011 12:12 PM EST
      • Tiburon, California
         
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      Boy, that's a lot for a filter.
    • December 27, 2011 1:17 PM EST
      • Not one of the WannaBe's,
         
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      And if you use mobile one oil for your car/tractor/boat/atv/tools take the empty quart containers and upend them to drain into a smaller container til full. Yuo'd be surprized at how much residual is left in the bottle.
      Buy a quart of oil and a small container of grease, and pass them around your group, or if anal on contamination, throw out the bulk of what you bought and it's still cheaper then the hobby lubes.
    • December 27, 2011 2:12 PM EST

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      Try and find LGB grease/oil/ or their fatuous "oil pen" (transmission fluid) in a hobby shop or train store.
      Train store? Hobby shop? Here in So.Calif, these are disappearing entities.

      P.S. to Steve F:
      Nice shot!
    • December 27, 2011 2:59 PM EST
      • Sylvester, Ga
         
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      My mom was diabetic and took insulin. When she passed away there was 3 boxes of unused syringes in her bathroom. I've been using those for both lubing my model trains and the clocks I repair. Very easy to control the amount of oil to be placed in a spot. I mark them with a dot of paint on the body of the syringe tube to denote what is in it.
      And fairly easy to fill - pull the plunger out and use an eye dropper to put the oil/lube in.
    • January 31, 2012 10:13 PM EST
      • YYC, CANADA
         
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      I bought one of these oiler pen from LeeValley a couple yrs back http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=43266&cat=1 but still have to load it LOL Should purchase a unit of mobil . . .

      I also have one those lgb pens which tends to be a real pain getting anything to flow out when ya want it .
      ____________________________________

      " G-Gauge may not RULE, but it  GROWS  on Ya !! "    djc'99

    • March 5, 2012 8:40 AM EST
      • Toronto, ON., CAN.
         
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      If it came in a plastic container, chances are it's plastic-compatible.
    • March 5, 2012 1:28 PM EST

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      John-
      Good assumption -- depends on the kind of plastic container. Regular dino motor oil in the plastic quart bottles is a no-no on the plastic used in the model train gearing, reports Ron Gibson, former mgmt. at LGB. Good guess is it hardens the material.
    • March 5, 2012 1:40 PM EST
      • North Coastal, CA
         
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      John Le Forestier said:
      If it came in a plastic container, chances are it's plastic-compatible.
      John: From this and previous posts, I assume you do not believe that most lubricants can damage the plastics that are used in our trains. A few years ago, I witnessed an H0 locomotive that was destroyed by the application of a non-compatible oil to the running gear. My young neighbor thought he was doing the right thing, but way over-lubricated the locomotive with an oil that literally softened the plastic over a period of less than 48 hours so it would not hold its shape. Fortunately it was an inexpensive locomotive, so was easily replaced, along with providing this budding modeler with some plastic compatible lubricants and instructions on application. There are lots of different plastics and lots of different lubricants. In today's market, most lubricants will not damage most plastics, but some combinations are definitely not compatible. For example, there are very few chemicals that will attack teflon, while many styrene plastics are vulnerable to damage by hydrocarbon oils. Just because an oil comes in a blow molded plastic bottle of unknown composition does not in any way guarantee or even imply that the oil is compatible with our injection molded plastic models. I do appreciate that you used the term ". . . chances are it's plastic-compatible," but I don't think it is wise to encourage folks to take a chance with an expensive engine or piece of rolling stock. I am not saying it is always necessary to purchase the most expensive lubricants in tiny packaging just because the are labeled "plastic compatible." When I am in doubt, I do the research to verify the compatibility before I use the materials. Examples are Wendell's original report (top of this old thread) on using synthetics and my own contacts with the makers of WD-40 regarding plastic compatibility. (It is plastic compatible.) Just my opinion (and my pocket book). Your mileage may vary. Happy (well lubricated) RRing, Jerry
    • March 5, 2012 4:35 PM EST
      • Toronto, ON., CAN.
         
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      Thanks Jerry, and I agree with you - moreover you know far more about these things than I do.

      Glad to hear about WD-40; always thought it was OK. I must be pretty lucky - I've never had a problem. Mind you, I've been using WD-40 forever, and lithium grease for the heavier lifting.

      Just to be clear, I use the last drops of motor oil to top up my general purpose oilcan, and that is used for oiling hinges around the house and bits and pieces around the car & shop. Metals, in other words.

      Really, the only point of my post was to caution folk that there are sellers out there who will take perfectly ordinary stuff - be it oil, chemicals, solvents, etc etc, and repackage it in tiny quantities with a 'buy me' label to sell to the gullible at any price they can get.

      The active ingredients of a great many of the fancy products on the store shelf are in fact very common substances. Often we already have exactly what we need at home in some cheap bulk amount by some other name, or we could easily get it, but we just don't realize it! Some examples that leap to mind are acetic and oxalic acids, gypsum, hydrogen peroxide, ammonia, baking soda, and methyl alcohol. All of these are as common as dirt, cheap as heck, useful as all getout, and, if you want to go that way, available in expensive disguise.

      All the same, your story of the oil and the kid next door is an object lesson for all of us! Cheers.
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