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MOH

Track cleaner

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Hope this is okay to post here...

 

My CMX track cleaner has been laid up for a while, as I have myself, so getting back to a re-start on my layout I find the cleaning fluid is not seeping onto the cloth pad which is remaining dry so it is ineffective, is there a way to check that the outlet which allows the liquid to release onto the pad is perhaps clogged up through non-use, or have I not done something very simple. 

 

The CMX unit, while being circa 5 years old, has not been in constant use over that period and I am using my wife's nail polish remover as the cleaning fluid.

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Was it stored with nail polish remover (Acetone?) inside?  Is that the approved cleaning solvent by Dapol - just wondering if prolonged storage with cleaner inside may have melted something.  I don't have one of these, so not sure of the arrangement unfortunately.

HTH

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One of the things that I have learnt from exhibiting regularly in France is that wine bottle corks make first class track cleaners, natural or reprocessed cork ones are best but the plastic variety work too. They readily remove track-top gunge without being in the least bit abrasive - and, post lunch, there is always an abundant supply available free.

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The CMX Machine is not a Dapol item and is made entirely of brass, except for the washers that seal the filler plug and the airhole at one end.  If the airhole is blocked, then nothing will come out of the outlet on to the cleaning pad.  Both plugs unscrew.  I guess it is possible the corduroy cleaning pad has stuck itself to the outlet so removing that might be another thing to check.  Once removed, it can be cleanied in water and soap/detergent before putting it back.    

 

Harold.

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Thanks to all,

 

The corduroy pad seems okay, it's just the dispenser seems to be stuffed, it was indeed left idle with fluid inside so hoping nothing was damaged but presumably they are built with the understanding that fairly strong chemicals would be used in them? I will do a more detailed investigation with a view to dismantling the dispenser if possible and cleaning it out.

 

I was of the opinion that the brass valve in the centre of the unit controlled the flow rate of the liquid so by regulating this valve open or closed determined how much of the liquid flowed on to the pad.

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13 hours ago, MOH said:

I was of the opinion that the brass valve in the centre of the unit controlled the flow rate of the liquid so by regulating this valve open or closed determined how much of the liquid flowed on to the pad.

 

That's correct.  Just looked at mine (which also has not been used for a long time but was left empty).  The filler plug is in fact the airhole and the centre one, as you say regulates the flow to the pad, and it has no washer - sorry for my incorrect comment.  If you remove the centre plug it comes out with the control valve (as a single casting) so, unless the valve is stuck, I can't see what can stop the flow, as long as the filler plug is not fully closed.

 

I note you have not said what cleaning fluid you last used. but I wonder if some substances could leave a residue once dry.  I have always used Isopropyl Alcohol which leaves no residue.

Edited by HLT 0109
Added second paragraph

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Thanks HLT,

 

I did mention originally that my cleaning fluid was nail polish remover which seemed to work well with no discernible residue on the track anyway, I will give this problem a bit more attention this week and hopefully no lasting damage has been incurred.

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8 hours ago, Torper said:

There's an  interesting and rather scientific discussion going on the Scalefour forum about the best methods and substances for track cleaning.  It seems that IPA is to be avoided.

https://www.scalefour.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=6426

 

DT

An interesting article.  However, whilest I am sure there is no perfect solution, I that find paraffin leaves a deposit of its own on anything it touches.  Since Isopropyl alcohol evaporates quickly, I wonder what it is that is said to cause the buildup of gunge?  I have used Googone as a track cleaner in the past, but that definitely leaves a residue.

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The article suggest using mineral spirits instead of IPA.

 

The argument does not make sense to me. The 2 are both alcohols, so have similar chemical properties but IPA is a heavier molecule so does not evaporate as easily. It still evaporates pretty quickly though.

 

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Managed to dismantle the CMX after a struggle with the centre cap, I found this difficult to unscrew and was worried that something unknown inside would shear off.

 

However upon its release it proved to have a metal tapered spike for sealing off the bottom opening which allows liquid to drop on the cleaning pad, after a decent cleaning of all parts the liquid was being dispensed.

 

Even with all parts re-assembled there remains a resistance to unscrewing the centre cap to allow for drip release to the pad, pardon my ignorance but what is causing the resistance to opening the centre cap, could it be that the filler cap needs to be released a little to allow air to circulate, I see a small hole underneath the filler cap.

 

Now I need to source where replacement corduroy pads, or similar type, can be bought, any ideas?

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The centre cap regulates the amounnt of fluid that is dripped on to the cleaning pad, the further it is opened, the grreater the flow - i see that the instructions for mine suggests 10-15 drops per minute, but it would mean removing the skid pad assembly (I think) to check it.   In use, I open mine just sufficient for the rails to feel damp immediately behind the passing wagon.   Just below the screw thread on the cente cap is an O ring - if that is damaged, perhaps it could be causing the resistance.  If the O ring is OK perhaps a smear of lubricant on the screw thread might overcome it.  The filler cap must be opened a little to allow air into the tank when fluid is required to flow on to the pad (otherwsie a vacuum would be created in the tank) but failure to do that would not cause a resistance to the opening of the centre cap.

 

You may find the problem lessens as the machine is used again.

 

Harold.

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Thanks HLT,

 

Anyone any idea if replacement corduroy pads can be sourced and where please?

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