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TOMIX - track cleaning car puzzling me a bit?


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At last - having been to Italy for two weeks - I got it. It looks nice but is kinda puzzling. Il put my question adding pics hoping someone will be able to help me (God bless japanese "writings").


PIC 2693: ON/OFF are clear, of course!!! Then: what is CL POWER position (on the switch on the roof)? Close to it (at left) there's something that LOOKS LIKE AN OIL TANK CAP, correct? There's a given oil ti be used? further at left WHAT'S THAT ???


PIC 2695: there's a "correct runnong position" looking at the car as in picture?


PIC 2697: is the (sort of) "rubber sweeping tool" in correct position?







Edited by cteno4
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did you not get the little translation bit with the cleaner? i can scan it for you, helps explain the japanese instructions some.


CL power is the tomix constant lighting power that most tomix controllers have. it puts out a high frequency pulse of power that can't turn motors over but can be picked up by lighting circuits and things like this cleaner car with the proper circuit in them.


for running the car with cleaning solution in it you want to run it with the tank in front, so in the picture it would be to the right.


when using fluid then use the soft buffing pad. 


yep the sponge goes in that crescent shaped slot and you can see the tiny hole there in the middle where solution will dribble thru to soak the sponge. the brass weight in the cleaning tank is to slow the flow of the cleaning fluid out the hole. as the train runs and jiggles the weight it lets out little burps of fluid. 


one other thing you can try is to get a small rare earth magnet and put it on the underside of the cleaning car or another car with a low belly. this will grab up any little stray bits of metal that end up on the layout and sometimes resist being sucked up by the vacuum of the cleaner car. 


i am always amazed at what the magnet and the vacuum picks up!


the little little tank cap on the top is actually the end of the motor for the vacuum/polish wheel. its just the end of the shaft and bearing. i guess the motor was just a tad bit too long to fit totally inside the housing at the height they wanted it.


one warning on using the abrasive discs. some folks think that using really abrasive things like this on the rail heads tends to put a lot of fine scratches in the surface of the rail that can catch and hold more grease and smutz than a nice smooth rail head. Its a very healthy ongoing debate. i tend to shy away from using any abrasives as i find that the use of just isopropanol gets everything off the rail head just fine and then you don't have to worry about fine metal dust all over the place which can muck up motors if it gets into them.


the other cleaner car i love to use in conjunction with these is a roller cleaner. they aint cheap but work well and i got mine about half retail on ebay. i especially like the centerline one as its heavy and you can just cut your own little wipes to rubber band around the roller. i just soak the roller in isopropanol and also have a little heki tank car that disperses cleaning fluid as well i put before the roller car. works wonderfully. for super mucked up rails some use one of the orange oil cleaners as it can really strip off stuff well and will dry slowly with no residue it seems.





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Ok, THX!   :notworthy:


Then let's see if I got it right:
CL POWER: is of importance only with tomix controllers (which is not my case): one engine on each track no lights, no contact of every kingìd, no nothing. May be I'll switch to interior lighting (coaches) but this is another story
FLUID TANK: wth car running right is ok but (no isopropoanol in Abidjan) what other fluid? Alcohol? Skip it's use fully?
RARE EARTH MAGNET: Availability (here) as above but I think the car could/sholud work properly also in stock trim.
HARD ABRASIVE ITEM: I, too, tend to stay away from them

SOFT BUFFING PAD: You mean the one with the white disk (the one I've been suggested to buy as a spare part, which I did). Is the one, beyonf the vacuum "disk".


I'm afraid this (electric captation) is gonna be a problem (here): because of weather and pollution after less than a week a "hard cleaning" is in need. :sad1:  :sad1:  :sad1:



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hmm have you checked at the pharmacy for the isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol for short)? its really common stuff used for a bunch of things, usually the stuff they will swab you before a shot.


other alcohol like ethyl alcohol will work but it can go at paint faster than isopropanol will. the stuff you buy in the store at 70% has a denaturant in it or if you have some just straight distilled alcohol (i.e. like ever clear) that you drink that could be used, but be careful around painted stuff. should not hurt the paint on the rail ties unless you use a cloth and rub down there with the ethanol.


rubbing alcohol is also a common name used and it can be either isopropyl or ethyl alcohol, just have to look on the bottle to tell.


for the fast clean a rag with your finger and some isopropanol works wonders really quickly!





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FYI, Tomix themselves sell “6401 Rail Cleaner” fluid to use with the cleaning cars - although unfortunately it’s very difficult to find outside of Japan.

I also had a lot of trouble finding Isopropyl here in Thailand.  There’s some foul smelling blue stuff called “Alcohol Siribuncha” (which I guess is Thai “Rubbing Alcohol”) available in pharmacies and it works ok but I was a bit worried about any additives.
I ended up purchasing some pure Isopropyl from a local company that supplies chemicals to school laboratories.
Like Jeff said, I’d strongly recommend getting some Isopropyl (or other specialist Rail Cleaning fluid).  I think you’ll find it’ll make all the difference even with the humidity and pollution.
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The stuff that smells in the rubbing alcohol is usually a denaturant so if you drink it you will throw up fast! That usually points to it being ethanol,Minot isopropanol as usually they don't put denaturant into isopropanol as you will throw it up on its own usually!


Rail cleaner works well, but isopropanol seems to work just as well. Problem with tomix rail cleaner is it has some other nasty organics in it, I can whiff xylene and dichlorobenzine (urinal cakes) in it (sorry to many years in the lab) and not great stuff to inhale and whenever we use it on the layout I think I'm in a public restroom!


For nasty cleaning the Orange oil cleaners (stuff like goo gone that takes off price tag gum) can work wonders. One of our club members has a huge kato unitr layout in a basement he runs infrequently and it gets lots of humidity in the summer and loads of smutz raining down from the floor boards over head. He uses the goo gone in his cleaning train and it really does clean it well. He was where I saw the centerline car do wonders!


Of course wine or beer also works along with your cleaning train. Pour a glass of wine or beer or your favorite spirit, start the train running and then sit back and enjoy your drink!





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Problem with tomix rail cleaner is it has some other nasty organics in it...


I’m addicted to the Tomix Rail Cleaner.  I love that unique fruity/spicy/oily smell.

Google Translate says that the mystery ingredient is “flavoring agents” which doesn’t tell you much.
It certainly reminds me of something, although I *hope* it’s not just urinal cakes.
Fortunately it only comes in 50ml bottles and is almost unobtainable outside Japan so my consumption is limited to special occasions.
I’ve got a whole bottle of the magic Goo Gone sitting here but I’d never thought to try it as a rail cleaner.  Do you have to run a second pass with isopropyl to remove any residue?
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The member that uses it never did. It never seemed to be a problem for him or traction tires and such. I've only sided it a couple of times with a cloth and lots of wiping. A pass of isopropanol would not hurt. I think most of the oils in goo gone are pretty volatile and with a little time it should all evaporate.


Yeah that fruity smell!


When one of our members and his wife were leaving to stay in lapan for 2.5 yrs they had a small cup get together to clean out the liquor cabinet and late at night a blue concoction was created and a dab of whipped cream on top (well err cool whip) and a cherry and a piece of code 55 rail as a swizzle stick was dubbed the "tomix rail cleaner"! Will clean the rails and your insides!



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Yeah that's where we fill up our rail cleaner bottles, don't you? $4 a shot, $2 at happy hour!


No the coctail rail cleaner uses Bombay Safire gin as its cleaning agent...



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A cup for the car, a cup for E6, Kampai!. A cup for the car, 2 cups for E6, Kampai! A cup for... Is see some issues...


Even if you use rail cleaner in the car the sake is for cleaning as it making it enjoyable for you to do the necessary cleaning!


Mrs E6 hearing "Kampai!" from the train room: "Groan -- He's cleaning the tracks -- Again!"


Maybe tomix should make a version of the cleaner car that looks like a masu!





Edited by cteno4
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Somehow the Tomix rail cleaner fluid smells like a WD40 for me.


Yesterday I accidentally shot a little WD40 to my rails. When I rubbed it with a tissue I was amazed that the tissue picked up so much dirt..

Edited by HantuBlauLOL
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wd40 has some cleaning agents (mostly volatile organics) in it as its meant to spray on really gummed up things. unfortunately it leaves behind non volatile oils that will make life tough for your locos!



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